I was not going to write about The Bachelor, but then…

I wasn’t going to write about The Bachelor this year, but then a girl showed up in a shark costume convinced it was a dolphin costume.

I wasn’t going to write about The Bachelor this year, but then a girl showed up who hooked up with Nick at Jade and Tanner’s wedding. Did you guys hear about that? I wish she would mention it every time she is on camera. (More to come)

I wasn’t going to write about The Bachelor this year, but then Astrid, the daughter of Jan Levinson (formerly Jan Levinson-Gould) made her first national TV appearance since Michael Scott told her mom that he had herpes…


I wasn’t going to write about The Bachelor this year, but then a girl Lady-and-the-Tramp’d an uncooked hotdog with Nick the moment she first met him, which I didn’t have on my Bachelor Bingo sheet.

I wasn’t going to write about The Bachelor this year because I started to believe that I was ever so slightly above it, but then I found myself at Publix an hour before the season premiere buying champagne to celebrate the start of a new season with my Bachelor-watching crew.

Finally, I wasn’t going to write about The Bachelor this year, but then so many of you ever so kindly asked me, “Dude, WHERE ARE YOUR BACHELOR POSTS?!”

Should I be allowed back into your life after leaving you out to dry for the bios and the first episode? Let me answer my own question with another question that is also from me…

Is there anything more Bachelor-ish than someone (me) showing up during the middle of the season asking someone (you) for a second chance???

So in that spirit…

The Ladies Love Nick

The girls on the show sure do, and they come from a wide variety of backgrounds — diverse by Bachelor standards, which usually means white, eggshell white, bad experience with self-tanner orange, or OMG I’m going to be half naked on TV so I better get a Ross-level spray tan.


There’s Raven from Arkansas, who I’m positive owns an “American by birth, Southern by the grace of God” monogrammed tank top.

There’s Corinne, who is the type of girl that follows at least 10-15 different Instagram accounts that have the word “betches” in the title. If she’s reading this then she just spit coffee out of her mug that reads, “There’s Wine in Here.”

There’s Liz, who is the type of person that smiles like she just realized where she can bury your dead body without a trace.


There’s Jaimi, who is the ringleader of the nose ring resurgence on The Bachelor. By the way, I was ridiculed by my watching group for saying how attractive I find nose rings (or rather nose ring wearers), but I’ll stand by it until I hear a compelling reason not to.

(Please don’t act like an idiot next week, Jaimi – my Bachelor blog reputation is at stake here!)

There’s Kristina, a girl with a hometown listed as Lexington, Kentucky, but carries an accent that sounds like she hacked the 2016 Presidential Election.

(Yes, I did feel bad for writing that joke before learning that she was adopted, but I feel worse that I didn’t cut that joke out after knowing she was adopted and appears to be really nice.)

There’s Christen, who is basically Gretchen Wieners – the movie isn’t really about her but she’s just there to advance the plot by having main characters confide in her.

There’s Josephine, who is the girl from college that you had a large lecture class with but you still remember her vividly because she was such a mess. She’s the type of person who says, “Hashtag,” when telling a story in person and not on the internet. Example: Josephine has hashtag no chance, because she’s hashtag made for Bach in Paradise……… hashtag blessed.

There’s Lacey, who will make us all say, “Who?” when she shows up to Bachelor in Paradise this summer. She’s so forgettable that you are debating whether or not to look up her bio to see who I’m talking about.

Then there’s Danielle M, who is the sweet girl you went to high school with that your Mom bumps into at Target and then calls you to say, “Guess who I saw at Target today? Danielle. She’s in town for Christmas and she’s still singleeeeee…” and then she does that little excited-Hillary-Clinton-Mom-energy-shoulder-shimmy.


Almost every girl on this season admitted the same thing: they like Nick only because of his damage-control campaign on Bachelor in Paradise. It’s definitely a first in BIP to come out looking better than when you arrived. Nick went from a guy who was humiliated on national TV multiple times to now a guy that 25 girls who are young enough to still be on their parent’s health insurance want to marry. It was a remarkable turnaround.

Now I know what you’re going to say: but Jeremy, it doesn’t matter who The Bachelor picks each year, they could cast a beanbag chair as the next bachelor and the girls would still fall in love.

“Oh em gee, I used to have a beanbag chair in my college dorm that I loved, so I’m super excited to get to know this one better and see where this adventure takes us.”

“When we pulled up in the limo he looked a little pudgy, which I’m super into; I bet he’s a great cuddler.”

“I can’t wait to get to know the beanbag chair better and see what’s inside. No really, like what’s inside? Is it actual beans? I hope it’s black beans.” Then Raven yells, “I bet them beans are Bush’s Baked Beans!”

Ok, so the beanbag thing is dumb (but not dumb enough to edit out), you get the point – the girls on the show love Nick.


Do the girls on the couch next to you love Nick?


I took a poll question before the premiere with the people I was watching with, and we all unanimously raised our hands in favor of him. But I feel like he’s losing votes after just two episodes, and if more and more people across the country start to turn on him then he may even be in danger of losing the Electoral College.

His main problem is his inability to tell the girls no. He let Corinne walk all over him on that group date – and by walk all over him I mean take her top off and make Nick “Janet Jackson” her for the photo shoot. But that brings up the age-old question: should you Janet-Jackson a girl in front of 10 other girls you are also dating?

Anyway, Nick can make one of two choices that would alter the trajectory of his season:

1) He can continue to not tell any girl “no” and be a man-whore and have a highly-entertaining season BUT lose a bunch of fans watching at home,


2) He can put his foot down and try to seriously find a girl that he has a genuine connection with that he can propose to in three months and breakup with in nine, while having America on his side.

The former makes for better television, and the latter makes for a better reputation. I would vote for option A, although it’s hard to balance between being a party-boy on the show (Firestone guy; Juan Pablo) which leads to falling out of favor with the powers that be (Chris Harrison) or being a party-boy who gets it together in the end and still gets invited to Bachelor events (Ben F).

And no, stop pretending like you watch this show for any other reason than for absurd drama. You don’t care that Nick finds someone to marry and be happy with. That’s like saying you watched Laguna Beach just to see what Southern California was like. We wanted drama: the LC-Kristin-Stephen dynamic, Lo (the best character on the show), girls constantly leaving Dieter, and so on.


Anyway, I think Nick will lose a lot of fans UNLESS he is saved by choosing a girl that America falls in love with and claims that she’s, “Too good for The Bachelor,” WHICH DOESN’T EXIST. Yes, even including Danielle M.

In the words of Andi, Kaitlyn, and Amanda: enough with Nick, let’s move on

Hurricane Corinne

The group date started like any old group date: the girls pretend they are excited to be on a group date and not on the one-on-one. They all put on clothes that say it’s a casual event with makeup that says otherwise, and then they all pile into Michael Scott’s Dunder Mifflin company car – a below-average convertible. Can you tell that I’ve been rewatching The Office (again)?

Then they dressed them all up in different bridal gowns, but a few girls were bridesmaids which probably undid three months of therapy they just completed after getting their 10thbridesmaid box in the mail that says, “I have my Mister, but I can’t do it without my Sister. Will you be my Maid of Honor?”

FYI, guys just send a text. And not like a nice, thoughtful message. They’ll be bitching back and forth about a golf tournament and then add at the end, “Oh by the way, you cool to be in my wedding?” To which you then reply, “Yeah, that’s fine. But dude, did you see Spieth just hit it in the water on 12?!”

Corinne-ya believe that she…


Corrine pulled out all of the stops that a villain can possibly do on a group date. Usually it takes a couple of group dates, but she thought, “Eh, why make people wait to realize how unstable I am. I’ll just take my top off real quick.”

Corinne’s rap sheet in just one group date:

-Get naked without being asked to just because another girl was naked.

-Make out with Nick right in front of the other girls without being asked.

-When that’s not enough, grab his hands and place them in a Bachelor black-box-edited zone.

-Win the group date contest, OBVIOUSLY.

-Interrupt every single girl’s time with Nick after she already spent time with him.

-Get drunk and slur a few less words each time you interrupt a girl’s time with Nick:

“Hey, sorry to interrupt, but do you mind if I steal him for a second?”

(glass of white wine)

“Hey, can I steal you for another second?”

(glass of red wine)

“Steal you for a sec?”

(glass of red wine mixed with white wine)


-Win the group date rose. Then tell everyone how and why you won the group date rose while still on the group date.

That’s like Dabo walking into Alabama’s locker room immediately after the National Title game saying, “Hey guys, we beat you because we scored more points than you when the time on the clock ran out. Just thought you should know.”

We’ve Been Here Before

We already know how this Corrine thing ends. Nick is going to fall under her wicked spell for another three or four weeks, just enough to piss off everyone watching at home but not enough to piss off the girls on the show. Right when he gets to the breaking point he’ll send Corrine home in the middle of an episode and then go tell the other girls what he did as they all sit crammed onto one awkward piece of hotel furniture, and then expect a hero’s welcome.

Did You Know that Liz Met Nick at Jade and Tanner’s Wedding?

Somewhere between the 95th and 105th time that Liz mentioned she met Nick at Jade and Tanner’s wedding they managed to squeeze in one more group date. Nick took the girls out for a date to The Museum of Broken Relationships where they watched fake couples scream at each other like only fake couples know how to do.

A Museum of Broken Relationships – or as we like to call it, Bachelor in Paradise.

But before the date, Liz decided to tell Gretchen Wieners (Christen) all about her sexscapade, while Gretchen promised to not tell the other girls. It was like watching a serial killer tell her victim’s family how she did it. Gretchen just had to play along as if she was not dying on the inside listening to every painful detail.

With Liz not being able to keep her mouth shut we knew that her days were numbered, but I didn’t think she’d get bounced on the second episode. Her “secret” ended up being a quick trapdoor instead of leverage that she could drop on the ladies at a later date. This had the potential to go so many different directions, but it ended up being like the series finale of How I Met Your Mother. This was a really entertaining story, then I got tired of it, but I’m still curious to see how it ends and oh wow it’s really dumb.

I need a few questions answered by Liz, or in more dramatic relationship terms…

Liz, I Need Closure


1) Why you gotta go ruin my theory that cool girls wear nose rings?

2) If you really wanted to date someone then why would you wait until HE IS DATING 24 OTHER WOMEN? That’s like someone offering you backstage passes to a Beyonce concert and dinner with her and HOV afterwards and you saying, “Nah, I’ll just listen to her on Spotify.”

Look, I’m all about dramatic confessions of love. It’s a dream of mine to chase a girl down in an airport to tell her to not get on that plane because WHAT WE HAVE IS REAL! But I don’t think Liz really likes Nick, and I don’t think I would buy a plane ticket if the girl in the airport already went through security. If she did actually like Nick then she would’ve given it a shot 9 months ago when, and I’m not sure if you’ve heard this, THEY MET AT JADE AND TANNER’S WEDDING.

The only reason she showed up this season is the same reason why people have gender-reveal parties: to get more likes on Instagram.

3) When you don’t give a guy your number after he blatantly asks for it, what do you expect him to do? He can’t then go and get it from a friend of yours, because then you’d think he is creepy and desperate.

A guy would rather just get your number from a friend anyway, that way he can leave you a voicemail acting like you don’t know why he’s calling:

“Hey person I’ve never called before, I was, uh, just calling to see what you’re up to, uh, so I guess just call me back when you’re free so that, uh, you can tell me what you are up to here on a Thursday in the middle of the workday — oh yeah, you’re probably working. Well anyway, just give me a call when you’re free, or after you call your friend asking why she gave me your number because now it puts you in an awkward spot. K, bye.”

There is no line finer for a guy to walk than the one between being creepy and being persistent. A guy can go as far as asking you out or asking for your phone number or making some sort of gesture, but if you say no then he’s going to move on unless you do something about it.

And don’t come at Nick with the whole, “I want you to fight for me,” riff-raff. You disqualified him before the fight even began! There’s a term for when a girl gives in to a guy that is “fighting” for her: settling. It’s the South’s greatest pastime.

Liz is gone, and rightfully so, but just for now. I have 100% certainty that Liz will end up marrying a former Bachelor/Bachelorette cast member. I’ve never been more confident of anything in my entire life.

The Bachelor 2016: Episode 6 Recap (Bahamas!)

Coming up on this week’s Bachelor recap: I give Olivia’s eulogy at her funeral, we say goodbye to the girls who were sent home, and we figure out who the remaining six girls are if they were one of your friends on Instagram!

But first, I must apologize that this post is coming on a Thursday instead of earlier in the week. I know that The Bachelor is on TV on Mondays and you have already forgotten about it by Thursday, but I was busy. No, not busy with work, but I was tasked with giving the eulogy for Olivia as we said goodbye to her life on The Bachelor.

It was a beautiful service. I know that most of you couldn’t make it, so I’d like to share the eulogy that I gave at the funeral.

Friends, we gather here today not to mourn the death of a woman, but rather to celebrate the life of a living legend: Olivia Fromthebachelor.

She was born on February 29th (probably), in whatever year makes her 23 years old. We knew she would be special even before she was born, because Olivia was originally supposed to be a twin. However, six months into the pregnancy, and during an ultrasound, baby Olivia yawned and swallowed the other twin whole. We believe this is what gave Olivia twice the arrogance of a normal human. Also, by “twin” I mean two offspring produced during the same pregnancy – not to be confused with the other definition of “twin” meaning an occupation that two sisters have only if they are born and raised in Vegas.

Olivia wasn’t always the easiest child to raise. When she was 9 years old she attended a classmate’s birthday party where a group of 10 girls gathered around a piñata, each taking turns giving it a whack. Even though it wasn’t her birthday, Olivia took the first turn. Then after just one other girl went, Olivia asked if she could steal the piñata for a moment, angering the other participants. Once she returned with the piñata, the birthday girl asked if she could have a turn, but Olivia told her, “This is my piñata, now. And when I’m with him it’s like bam…. Shabam!” When asked why she felt like that, Olivia explained that she had a secret language with the piñata that the other girls wouldn’t understand. It was later that year she had to move to a different school.

Olivia Fromthebachelor was always there for her friends in a time of need. When she was in high school one of her friends had a family member unexpectedly pass away. She was only asked to read one Bible verse during the service, but instead she tried to teach a lesson about perspective. “Before I read this verse, I’d just like to say that I somewhat envy the deceased.” The audience groaned, but Olivia continued, “I would rather be lying dead in a casket than to spend another 30-40 years with these cankles.” It was later that day that she had to pack up and start a new life a different town.

We’ll always remember Olivia as someone who was wise beyond her years. She was 23 years old, but she wasn’t as young as Emily FromtheBachelor, who was also, uh, 23 years old. She loved to dance, but only after she popped out of a cake. She loved to cook, but only if it was with a guy on a reality dating show that she could steal from the other women. She loved to laugh, but only in that evil, Cruella de Vil way that shook you to your core. She loved to show us all of her teeth, all 94 teeth. She loved to be zen, but only with people whose name rhymed with zen – such as Ben.

But most of all, Olivia’s greatest gift was reuniting an entire country. Olivia took a country like ours where Donald Trump is the Republican frontrunner, where The Martian is somehow up for Best Picture, where people actually like Chip from Fixer Upper, and she made us all rally together every Monday night to stand arm-in-arm and root so hard against her that you would get texts from your parents about her.

Olivia made Americans set aside their differences for 2 hours each week (or 3 if you watched Bachelor Live) and stand together as one. For that, we thank you, Olivia Fromthebachelor. We’ll miss you, but I have no doubt that we’ll see you again soon on The Women Tell All, Bachelor in Paradise, or True Life: I Accidentally Swallowed the Empire State Building.

This week we said goodbye to Olivia (see above), Leah (not without a fight), Jennifer (wait, was she on the whole time?), and Lauren H (she seemed nice, I guess?).

What we’ll miss from each girl…

Jennifer: It’s tough to see someone go when you NEVER LEARNED WHAT THEIR SMALL BUSINESS WAS! I’m guessing she travels the country teaching a workshop called “Undercover PR: How to be somewhere for 6-7 weeks without really being noticed.” We’ll miss saying, “Who?” each time Ben gave her a rose.

Leah: She wasn’t going to leave the show without showing us that she has a true dark side, and I’m not just talking about her eyebrows. Leah is this year’s Kim Davis award winner, recognized for her ability to go from a complete unknown to a household name overnight by doing something so ignorant and tone deaf.

Why would Leah badmouth Lauren B? That’s like leaving The Revenant and saying that the movie just didn’t take enough chances. That’s like the Tennessee Titans saying that they want a piece of the Broncos. (Wait, I almost forgot who my audience is. Let me try one more…) That’s like watching The Notebook and hoping that the old guy stops visiting his wife at the nursing home. It’s illogical! Plus, if you’re going to knock The Notebook, it’s that Rachel McAdams DIDN’T RETURN ONE OF HIS LETTERS WHEN HE WAS AT WAR! (Might need someone to fact-check that for me)

I’d be willing to bet 1,000 of Ben’s zip-up hoodies that Leah shows up in Paradise, so it’s more of a “see you later” than a true goodbye.

Lauren H: We’ll miss knowing exactly what she’s thinking at every second because she has no poker face.

Lauren H is going to return to her teaching job where she gets overly emotional when she sees a dad stop by to bring pizza to his kid. “Why can’t I find a man like that?” she’ll tearfully and accidentally say out loud, causing the man to transfer his kid to a different homeroom. She’ll be the one that shows up in all of the other contestant’s Instagram pictures because she’ll be best friends with anyone who is willing.

Olivia: I’ll personally miss her giving me so much material for each blog post. In fact, she’d give so much material that I had to cut out certain parts because I’d write 2,500 words, and 2,000 were about Olivia.

To answer your question: Yes, Olivia is still out on that island. The first few days were tough, but now she has fallen in love with a coconut that she drew a face on with a rock. She named him Hen Biggins, and they’re getting married at 8pm on ABC this coming Sunday!

We’ll always remember her for inspiring the @BachelorOlivia account, which I hope lives on in remembrance of a mouth that was large enough to see from space – before the Hubble Space Telescope accidentally got sucked into it’s orbit.

I really wish there were eight girls left so that I could title this section the Hateful Eight, but then I would be tempted to write a fan-fiction of the Hateful Eight starring only the remaining cast members. I know, I know – I could do it if I just added Ben and Chris Harrison, but no one wants to hear about that. No one wants me to compare each character to someone in The Hateful Eight – I mean obviously Emily would be Walter Goggins’ character who slowly grows on you the whole movie; Becca would be Kurt Russell’s character, of course, because she’s been there before; Chris Harrison would be Samuel L. Jackson, the wily verteran; JoJo would be Daisy Domergue…

See? You’re already bored, and I just spent 25 minutes on a Hateful Eight deep dive on the internet that ended with me buying a few songs off of the soundtrack.

Anyway, we are down to Amanda, Lauren B, JoJo, Becca, Caila, and Emily – listed there from my favorite to least favorite. I always thought that you could tell a lot about someone’s personality by just going to their Instagram page. I have never spent a single second on any of the remaining six girls’ Instagrams, but I’d like to take a guess at what each page looks like. So instead of talking about what happened last week, here’s who each girl is on Instagram:

She’s your friend on Instagram who… every picture looks perfect: perfect lighting, everyone is dressed well, etc. Probably a lot pictures of outdoor meals in a field where everyone has a flower in their hair – not in a hippie way, but more in an Anthropologie way. Basically all of her pictures smell like the Volcano candle from Anthropologie.

She can’t eat a single meal without posting a lot of aerial shots of the food both while it’s being prepared and after it’s made. How does she have every ingredient each in a perfectly white bowl? Where did she get all of these bowls? How long is it going to take to clean this up? Is every surface in her kitchen a rustic wood grain? The only way she is eating before 7pm is if she started this process at 11am.

She’s your friend on Instagram who… stops to take a picture next to every “welcome to” sign when entering a new state. 1) We get it, you travel. 2) No one cares that you are entering the state of Georgia. 3) Please don’t hashtag #PeachState… oh, too late. Will someone please tell her to buy a plane ticket? I really hate this version of Lauren that I made up.

She’s your friend on Instagram who… posts pictures both Friday and Saturday nights always out on the town, i.e. at some trashy club. Even when she goes home for Christmas she still puts up pictures out at a bar, but this time with her high school friends. She’s always hashtagging whatever night of the week it is that she’s out: #ThristyThursday, #WastedWednesday, etc.

She also always runs into like D-list celebrities and posts pictures with them. “OMG! Can’t believe I just ran into Blah Blaherson who got fourth on season two of Top Chef! IS THIS REAL LIFE?! #SundayFunday.” Spend one night at home, JoJo. You can’t keep burning the candle at both ends! You can’t bring the guy who just bought you a flaming fireball shot home to meet your family.

She’s your friend on Instagram who… has a private account. Her most recent post was over 7 weeks ago, but she has at least 700 followers. It always feels like a big day when she posts, and if she posts 10 pictures in a year you’ll unknowingly like all 10 of them and probably comment on 6 of them.

I think I just fell in love with this version of Becca. There’s something more attractive about someone that has a private account. They’re not just vomiting their whole life on there, and when you ask them how they’re doing it’s a genuine question and not just conversation filler.

She’s your friend on Instagram who… comments, “Not just like, but LOVE.” Or something like, “I wish Instagram had a LOVE button!” She can’t just ‘like’ a photo like the rest of us, she always has to comment.

She’s also the friend that you grab lunch with and she tells you that she’s going through a tough time and that she doesn’t really like where she lives and blah blah blah, and then an hour after your lunch she posts a picture of the skyline wherever she lives and captions it, “So in love (hear emoji) with this city! (Sunshine emoji!).” But didn’t she just say how much she hated it here? Ugh.

She’s your friend on Instagram who… uses only emojis to describe what she’s doing. Every post of hers is like a game show where you are trying to encrypt what exactly she’s doing. “Ok, so put a picture up from the beach, and the caption is a surfer, an arrow pointing up, and the Brazilian flag. Hmm… Oh, I know! Surfs up and she’s in Brazil!” Ding, ding ding! Winner!

“So she posted a picture from a terminal at LAX, and the caption is an airplane, the moon at night, and a movie clapperboard. Hmm… did she see someone famous at night at the airport? No… Oh, I got it! She’s flying back east on the redeye and watching a movie!” Winner, winner!

She also uses the hashtag #TheyH8UsCuzTheyAintUs in all of her pictures and probably her bio. Her average posts per year is conservatively 750-800 total.

During last week’s recap of The Bachelor I asked you guys to tell me TV show Olivia reminds you of. This was prompted when she said that Amanda reminds her of an episode of Teen Mom. You guys did not disappoint! Here’s your contributions…

Hanna Holder
Olivia looks like she would be on that show parental control not as one of the dates they would pick..obviously but us the girlfriend they are trying to get rid of

Joseph Williams
TV Shows Olivia Reminds Me Of:
Tori & Dean: Home Sweet Hollywood
I’ve never watched either show, but every time I see an image or a picture or a commercial, I roll my eyes and worry about the future of the republic.

Michelle C 
Olivia reminds me of Glenn Close’s character in the older movie ‘Fatal Attraction’. Whomever Ben chooses should watch their backs and their pet rabbits… Olivia might just pop up and steal Ben away in a few years! She’s never going to give up!

Olivia reminds me of Lola Bunny controlling and snappy.

Olivia should have been on Bridalplasty (1 season on E!) where she would compete for her dream wedding with Ben and a cankle reduction.

Tim Rice
Olivia’s True Life Show–
“Twin Peaks”
(The Musical)

Exclusive Interview with Adam Smith of-Americas Next Top Model

Adam Smith from this season of America’s Next Top Model and I went to high school together at White Station High School in Memphis, TN and so once I found out about him being on ANTM I knew I had to get him to do an interview with us. Naturally, he’s a busy dude these days but he was still gracious enough to take the time to join us for this Q&A. 

CM: How does a true Memphis playa end up on America’s Next Top Model?

AS: Kind of a funny story… I was out in Atlanta last Halloween, and my friends and I were dressed as the Magic Mike stripper crew. We were being pretty ridiculous, hammered drunk, giving girls lap dances and everything. Then this guy came up to me and asked if I had ever considered modeling before, and said that he works with casting for this TV show and he wanted me to apply. I didn’t think much of it but he called me the next day, and I thought, well this is too funny of a situation not to at least try, I have nothing to lose. I ended up successfully getting through a few rounds of the application process and the next thing I know they’re flying me out to LA for casting week as a semifinalist. When I initially had to call my parents to tell them I needed to take the semester off of grad school to go be on America’s Next Top Model, they were a little concerned to say the least, but they are amazingly supportive parents and my biggest fans.

CM: Since we’re both proud graduates of White Station High School in Memphis and presumably you’ll be getting a lot of love from friends back home, I have to ask- what’s your favorite memory from high school and/or growing up in Memphis?

AS: Looking back to high school, there were so many incredible situations that were constantly occurring that I appreciate so much more now being older. The INSANE pep rallies when snap music and the concept of “crunk” was at its peak; The utter ruthlessness of the crowd at our talent shows, honestly I could never have gotten up there on that stage…far more nerve wracking than being on a national TV show in my opinion (shout out to my boy Mark Bolding for absolutely killing it and taking the crown with his Billie Jean performance sophomore year). THE M-TOWN CHOPPERS DANCE CREW, HOLY SHIT. The P-Squared parties were so absurd, the level of slutiness and underage drinking was off the charts at those things, there were literally no rules…the fact that they made the (front page?) of the Commercial Appeal as like a warning to our parents was so f**king cool (shout out to Philip and Philip). And I miss even the simple stuff like just hanging out in the senior parking lot every day after school for hours because we literally had zero responsibilities and nothing to do; Saving up the little money that we somehow made back then and spending it all on huge stupid subwoofers for our cars; Dude, we rolled up 10 bros deep to that SummerJam rap fest at THE PYRAMID, without blinking an eye, and everyone loved us. I could keep going on… The diversity of White Station was incredible, man high school was awesome.

CM: You’re bringing some of your new L.A. friends to Memphis- where are you taking them? On the flipside, where in L.A. are you taking folks from the South when they visit?

AS: If I’m showing Memphis to my LA friends, I would definitely take them to get some BBQ at Rendezvous, then head out to Beale Street to party after a big Grizzlies win at The Forum. I didn’t get to go to Beale Street ever in high school really because the fake IDs we had then were photoshopped pictures glued to gift cards, but going back to Beale since college has always been a great night out when I’m in town. Out here in LA, I’d bring my southern friends around the Hollywood scene…it’s interesting and different for sure, there’s always a party going on, and everyone seems to be in the entertainment industry in some capacity so you meet a lot of cool people out. My ATL and NY crew from Emory can still out party everyone out here hands down though!

CM: What’s the funniest TV show or movie you’ve ever seen? First thing that popped in your head.

AS: The Hangover is probably a pretty typical answer here, but honestly that was the first movie that popped in my head. And that shit really was hilarious. I also thought Superbad and 21 Jump Street were both genius. I’m not a huge TV guy for comedy, but The League on FX is pretty badass.

CM: Favorite Tyra Banks movie- Life-Size or Coyote Ugly? Honest answer.

AS: This is embarrassing, but I haven’t seen either one actually. Momma Banks is going to kill me! I’m watching them right after I finish this interview, I promise.

CM: Have you gotten to attend any wild parties since being a part of America’s Next Top Model? What celebrity would you most want to party with?

AS: Yeah of course, nothing too special though, man, I’m a f**king vet. #ProfessionalPartier #1percent

If I had to pick a celebrity to party with, it would 100 percent be Dan Bilzerian, that guy seems like the f**king man. If I can accomplish that I will count my time here in LA as a win.

CM: Speaking of partying, let’s talk about a project you did before you got a spot on America’s Next Top Model… BeerontheHead.com. Tell people about what made you choose to explore this phenomenon and what is the best example you’ve seen?

AS: Well you see, BeerontheHead is a very intricate concept, it is incredibly difficult to explain to the intellectually inferior population. I could write a detailed thesis on it, but I’ll spare you. I didn’t even start this groundbreaking trend actually, I just made the website and the logo and began documenting it for the general public’s enjoyment. The roots of BeerontheHead is still a topic of heated debate within my fraternity, but to my recollection it was my buddy Jonas who was the founding father. So next time you are in a nice social situation, don’t think too hard about it and just pour that ice cold beer right on your own head, and be content knowing the fact that you are part of a movement far greater than yourself. Send all videos to videos@BeerontheHead.com. Check out our website for more info, and go buy a T-shirt to support my drinking habit. Tank tops coming out soon.

CM: In addition to America’s Next Top Model, you also recently got to participate in the Young Hollywood Awards. What’s going through your head when you’re on stage next to so many celebrities?

AS: Yeah so that was a great first Hollywood experience. I initially thought they were going to let me present an award, I was amped about it of course, but shocked. I was like, wow these people are really going to trust me with a microphone on stage and let me say whatever the hell I want to this crowd? But then I found out I was just the trophy holder guy haha. I wasn’t really star struck at all though. Honestly I didn’t know three quarters of the people who won awards that night. What was going through my head was like, I’m pretty sure a lot of these people aren’t even that smart, there is no reason for me not to be good at being famous as well. Being up there next to Bieber was pretty crazy though, you have to respect that guy, he’s killing it. I didn’t get a chance but I wanted to ask him if he could introduce me to his manager Scooter – he was actually in Sigma Nu at Emory as well but I never got to meet him because he left before I was a freshman. Afterwards I went out with the whole dance crew that performed that night, met Derek Hough, great group all around.

CM: With being in the spotlight obviously comes with lots of new attention on social media. Have you had any interesting interactions with fans so far? I’m imagining there are a lot of interesting people out there…

AS: Yeah I never did Instagram before the show…thought it was pretty stupid, but now I’m really into it. I catch a lot of hate on social media for my personality on the show, and in general. People just need to lighten up and laugh. I just f**k around a lot. I don’t even take myself seriously, so why are you trying to? I have plenty of friends, I really don’t give a shit if people don’t like me out there. I’m just a guy trying to have a good time…

CM: And speaking of the fans, say some chick watches the show and really digs Adam Smith- what traits does it take to get your attention?

AS: I like a smart girl who I can have fun and laugh with. Personality is king of course, but yeah, she also has to be hot too, sorry. And I’m kind of big on good teeth…my dad is a dentist. If a girl has crooked or yellow teeth that’s definitely a gamebreaker for me.   If you’re hot and want to get my attention just message me a NSFW pic on Instagram…I’m pretty simple.

CM: What do people watching the show not know about you that you think they should?

AS: People watching the show should know that I’m really not a huge asshole, I swear. I know I may come across like that, and I know I won’t be able to prove it to anyone without personally hanging out with him or her, but you have to trust me! I like to think that most all people I come in contact with genuinely think I am a good guy and enjoy my company. I could be wrong of course. But ask anyone who knows me man, really.

CM: How would you characterize your persona on the show? Do you think the Adam Smith we’ll see on TV is a good, fair representation of you? What are you ultimately hoping this experience leads to?

AS: Yes I think it is a good and fair representation of that aspect of my personality. I presented myself as the crazy, frat, party boy…and that wasn’t an act at all, that is exactly PART of who I am. You can’t keep up a fake persona for 2 whole months while filming, it would be very hard to do that and no one cast for the show is a professional actor of course! You choose what aspects of your personality to magnify for TV, and the angle I played was my wild party side. No TV show wants to see the nerdy, actuarial science grad school Adam. No TV show wants to see the calm, reading a book, lazy on the couch Adam. I’m actually a pretty quiet guy in certain settings; to some people I even come across as shy and introverted. So you sort of play like a caricature of yourself if that makes sense. I had never modeled before so I was just there for the crazy once in a lifetime experience of being on a reality TV show. My strategy was to just have a hell of a time being there, and at the same time soak up as much knowledge as I could about modeling since I had never really been exposed to it. Ultimately, I have no idea what this experience will lead to, I just knew it was too big to turn down when I somehow stumbled into it. I moved out to LA to enjoy my 15 minutes of fame, and hopefully I will meet the right people out here, and who knows what will happen. I’m a smart guy, I’ll figure it out… I’m not too worried.

CM: Say, hypothetically, you have friends who have never seen an episode of America’s Next Top Model but plan to watch it this season because they know someone on the show. What can and should they expect to see this season?

AS: For someone who has never watched the show before, I would say that you have to at least give it a chance! In its 21st season, it is one of the longest running reality TV shows to date. I wouldn’t have dropped out of grad school to do the show if it was some stupid MTV pilot that no one knew of, but even if you’ve never watched, everyone has at least HEARD OF America’s Next Top Model. I know it doesn’t get near the amount of viewers that American Idol or The Bachelor gets, but you know Tyra and Ken Mok are doing something right with this show for it being on the air for over a decade now. I know I’m biased but this season is honestly straight up entertaining, it’s solid TV. For all the trash on your DVR and just generally worthless stuff you do on a weekly basis, take 42 minutes off and tune in to Top Model this season. Don’t take it too seriously, remember it’s a reality show as well as a modeling competition, and Tyra’s persona on the show is incredible. There is plenty of drama, fighting, crying, even some sex, and of course hilarious over the top photo shoots and challenges to keep you entertained each week. Take some time and get invested in the characters a little, and I promise you’ll develop a guilty ANTM addiction in no time.

You can (and should) check out Adam Smith on America’s Next Top Model on Mondays at 9/8pm central on the CW.

The Top 15 Episodes: Ranking Seinfeld’s Best Moments

Seinfeld. To those who became fans of the series in the 1990s or who started to follow via syndicated re-runs in the last decade, it is undeniably one of the greatest television shows ever. It hits all the right marks: the writing is outstanding, the characters are perfectly cast and the timing is, for the most part, perfect in producing laughs.

Fifteen years have passed since NBC aired the final episode of Jerry Seinfeld and company’s masterpiece of a series. You would have thought the digital age that has quickly developed since would make most of the humor outdated. Some have suggested numerous problems Jerry, Elaine, George and Kramer confronted could’ve been instantly fixed had they had access to many gadgets at our disposal today.

In a pleasant surprise, not only has the technology-less show maintained its status for being a laugh-out-loud endeavor, but also actually improved in reputation as the years have passed. The show’s almost-flawless interweaving of the principal players and their chaotic lives far outpaces the tone set by most major network sitcoms that followed.

Given a show this rich in content, it’s difficult for a group of five guys who all loved the series and have seen the majority – if not all – of the show’s nine seasons to narrow all the gang’s outings to a list of 15. Still, we did our best to highlight some of the strongest moments from its near decade-long run.

We want to thank Chris Bright, a major fan of the show, for joining the regular group of contributors here at The Wise Guise in ranking the top episodes. We’re sure devoted followers will have some quibbles with the results, and lists varied radically between our group of voters. The end result is a nice blend that will hopefully remind many of you why you fell in the love with the show.  – Alex 

Let’s get to the rankings.

15. The Red Dot

Warner: George absolutely carried Seinfeld in so many episodes and this is one of his finest moments. His cheapness alienates him from Elaine, leads him to sleep with a cleaning lady at his new job, and ultimately gets him fired. Jason Alexander considers this episode to be one of his defining moments as George Costanza, therefore it HAS to be one of the best of all time.

14. The Fusilli Jerry

Clayton: This is the episode where Kramer inadvertently receives the “ASSMAN” license plate, which he ends up trying to use to his advantage. My favorite part of the episode though is all the discussions about people stealing each others “moves”. Elaine recognizes one of Jerry’s moves when she sleeps with Puddy and then Kramer gets accused of using Frank’s “stop short” move on his wife. It is utterly hysterical how upset everyone is about the use of their moves.

13. The Library

Warner: The interactions between Mr. Bookman and Jerry throughout this episode are enough to catapult it into any list of best episodes. I mean, just watch this…

Throw in George’s typical, pathetic “woe is me” storyline of getting wedgies and being called “Can’t Stand Ya,” and you have a classic episode of Seinfeld. Also, the scene in which Kramer dissects what he believes is the back story of the mousy librarian is phenomenal. When you watch this episode, you laugh the whole time.

12. The Frogger

Alex: One of the final episodes of “Seinfeld’s” nine-season run, “The Frogger” is also one of the most outlandish. George attempts to save a Frogger arcade machine at the closing of Mario’s Pizza Parlor because he still holds the all-time high score. Jerry spends days hoping to break-up with his sentence-finishing girlfriend (“It’s like dating Mad Libs”). Oh, and Elaine mistakenly eats a $29,000 piece of wedding cake from King Edward VIII her boss purchased at an auction. The whole thing ends in a rather surreal fashion, as we see George playing real-life Frogger with the arcade machine, trying to get it across the street. The episode stands as a superb example of how a range of plots among characters, no matter how different or bizarre, could be almost effortlessly integrated into one, solid block of television.

11. The Burning

Warner: This episode’s four plots could each carry their own episode. “It’s me,” leaving on a high note, Puddy’s Christian radio presets, and Mickey and Kramer fighting over gonorrhea are all memorable stories; ones you often find people discussing when talking about Seinfeld’s greatness. And they’re all in this one episode! The beauty of the plots is that each one is absolutely ridiculous but all extremely believeable.

Even Kramer and Mickey’s crazy antics aren’t that far-fetched but are still over the top funny.

10. The Yada Yada

Clayton: I’ll admit that part of my love for this episode is Walter White playing Dr. Tim Whatley, who converts to Judaism, according to Jerry, for the jokes. George’s girlfriend abuses saying “yada yada” when telling stories, which George then tries to use against her. She ends up telling him that her ex-boyfriend visited last night and “yada yada” and so she’s tired today. Naturally, George loses it. This is also the episode where Jerry is deemed an “anti-dentite” because of his beef with Dr. Whatley.

9. The Chicken Roaster

Alex: A real showpiece of Kramer, “The Chicken Roaster” is about as good of an episode as any to show the unique wit of Michael Richards’ character. Kramer absolutely loathes the Kenny Rogers Roasters chicken restaurant that moves in across the street from his apartment and puts up a big neon sign that bursts light through his windows. The outrage leads him to switching apartments with Jerry, which produces a strong comedic exchange between the two stars embodying each other’s personalities. Of course, Kramer secretly gets addicted to the chicken of the restaurant he protests. Elsewhere, George buys an $8,000 hat with Elaine’s business card. And you can guess how that ends up.

8. The Muffin Tops

Chris: This episode stands out as one of the best instances of each of the show’s main characters having his or her own interesting storyline. Elaine runs into her former boss and enters into business with him by opening a bakery that sells only the tops of muffins. The business is a success until they are faced with the problem of what to do with the unwanted muffin stumps. Kramer starts the “Peterman Reality Tour” in which he essentially charges people a hefty sum of money for a glimpse into his daily life. George poses as a tourist to win the affections of a travel agent, but his plan leads to a mix-up with the Yankees that ultimately leads him to be traded to Tyler Chicken. Jerry tries to convince his girlfriend that his chest is naturally hairless after learning that she loves hairless animals. Despite how unrelated each of the storylines may seem, the show once again does a fantastic job of bringing all of them crashing together perfectly at the episode’s conclusion.

7. The Opposite

Alex: In terms of memorable moments, “The Opposite” is tough to beat. The bits are timeless when George decides his life is a disaster, and the best way to correct it is to do the opposite of everything he’s currently doing. This makes for one of the best lines of the entire series, when George introduces himself to a woman by saying, “My name is George. I’m unemployed and I live with my parents.” Kramer goes on Regis and Kathie Lee to promote his coffee table book and ends up spitting coffee on Kathie Lee. Also, this is the one where Elaine gets dumped by her boyfriend for buying Jujyfruits before coming to see him at the hospital. It’s the series at its finest.

6. The Marine Biologist

Joseph: Kramer’s 600 Titleist driving range balls. An ocean. An old high school friend of Jerry and George’s. A simple white lie about George’s occupation. A beached whale. All resulting in the greatest scene in the entire history of Seinfeld. The final scene of The Marine Biologist is the single best moment in the show’s history. It starts with Larry David’s voice yelling out, “Is anyone here a Marine Biologist?” Then the beautiful high school friend asks George to save the whale. We see George, slacks rolled up to his knees, traipsing into the water. Then the greatest 2 minutes in the show begin, where all the great ones do. In the booth at Monk’s. “A strange calm came over me… At that moment… I WAS A MARINE BIOLOGIST… The sea was angry that day my friends, like an old man trying to send back soup in a deli… I said, EASY BIG FELLA… I realized that something was obstructing his breathing…” And then the best final line: Hole in One!

5. The Contest

Clayton: In my opinion this is the best episode of all time. I think the greatest thing Seinfeld brought to TV was the introduction of “cringe comedy”. And it doesn’t get more cringe-worthy than George getting caught by his mother doing, well, “you know”. This is where you find out who is the ultimate master of their domain.
Here is the setup:

4. The Strike

Chris: Any episode that delves into George’s relationship with his parents is guaranteed to provide a ton of laughs, and perhaps no episode serves as a better example than “The Strike.” After getting caught using donations to the phony Human Fund as Christmas gifts at the office, George claims not to celebrate Christmas, instead saying that he celebrates Festivus, a holiday created by George’s father in protest of the commercialism of Christmas. Kramer, who briefly returns to his old job after a 12-year strike, convinces George’s father to once again throw a Festivus celebration. The celebration, which also serves as an attempt to convince George’s boss that the holiday is real, quickly begins to unravel with events such as “the airing of grievances” and “the feats of strength.” Perhaps the most amazing thing about this episode is that Festivus has since transitioned into a somewhat real holiday amongst the Seinfeld fan base. Think about that for a moment. People are still celebrating a fake holiday introduced in a sitcom episode that aired over 15 years ago. Mark your calendars for Dec. 23 and prepare for a Fetivus for the Rest of Us!

3. The Comeback

Joseph: This was always my personally favorite episode. I don’t know what there was about it. The concept is a simple one we can all relate to. A bully taunts George at a work meeting with, “The ocean called, they’re running out of shrimp.” On the way home, George thinks up the perfect “comeback”: The jerk store called and THEY’RE RUNNING OUT OF YOU! But no one else thinks it’s as funny. The reason why The Comeback is top-tier is its ability to take four separate individual storylines for each of the stars and effortlessly weave them together in the hilarious final act. Jerry discovers that the tennis pro, Milos, is a horrible tennis player and Milos sends his beautiful wife to seduce Jerry to keep him quiet. There’s Elaine and the video store worker, “Vincent”, who calls her and romances her. Kramer is concerned about being put in a coma and wants a living will. Once he watches the end of the movie that started his fear to see that the woman gets out of the coma, Kramer panics and wants the will annulled. In the final minutes of the episode, every plot line weaves together seamlessly. There are tons of laughs… and then it gave us one of the greatest quotes in the history of the show. The Jerk Store line…. it’s GOT. TO. BE. THE. JERK. STORE. LINE!

2. The Soup Nazi

Chris: This episode introduced the world to one the show’s most popular characters and brought us perhaps the most often quoted line of the show’s entire run. The plot centers around a new soup stand that has just opened up and that features the best soup and the strictest proprietor in town. Despite Jerry’s instructions, Elaine violates the proper ordering protocol and finds herself with a one-year ban handed down by the episode’s titular character. Meanwhile the constant baby talk between Jerry and his new girlfriend has begun to wear on the nerves of the rest of the group. George attempts to prove how annoying this behavior is by using the baby talk on his fiancé, but the plan backfires when she loves George’s new ability to show affection. Jerry soon finds himself forced to make the ultimate choice between love and soup when facing a ban from the soup nazi, and in typical Seinfeld fashion, soup wins. The episode serves as a prime example of the show’s ability to escalate the mundane to absurd levels.

1. The Merv Griffin Show

Joseph: There’s two types of genius Seinfeld episodes – the ones so simple and basic where hilarity comes completely from the characters in that single situation. Think The Chinese Restaurant. Then, there’s my favorites… the one’s where there are numerous absurd storylines that all intersect in one hilarious moment. There is no episode where the premises are as ridiculous nor where the mode for combining them so outrageous as The Merv Griffin Show. It’s a parody of talk shows with Kramer as the host and his friends as the guests. There’s George’s compact with the squirrels and his nursing an injured one back to health. There’s Jerry’s girlfriend with the classic toy collection who he gets drunk so he can play with the toys. There’s even Jim Fowler and his animals. And then there’s Kramer… bringing it all onto his Merv Griffin set in his apartment with nothing but hilarious results.

Pro Wrestlings Nwo The Rise the Fall and what Might Have Been

Alex: Grappling with Greed – The Rise & Fall of the nWo

To the victors of war go the keys of history. To hear WWE talk about the Monday Night Wars today gives a somewhat warped view of why professional wrestling became a global phenomenon in the late 1990s. They’d like to have you believe it was their cleverly designed “Attitude Era” that was the primary cause of the boom.

And yet, that innovative period was actually in response to the great success their Southern-based rival, World Championship Wrestling, had enjoyed. With new WCW head Eric Bischoff in control, the company incorporated some interesting new tactics into its televised strategy, including live broadcasts every week.

The centerpiece of their skyrocketing ascension came in the form of the New World Order. The volatile group of black-and-white bad guys helped not only to bolster WCW to the top of the wrestling world, but also made Ted Turner’s once financially unstable organization a boatload of cash.

The story of how it went down behind the scenes is perhaps even more interesting than what fans saw on camera. Bischoff understood in order to compete with WWE, which had a strong national presence, he would need to get the right players to give the brand a feel of being “the big leagues.” He spent heavily – Hulk Hogan, Randy Savage and other aging stars who once performed for Vince McMahon were signed.

But the real shift in power came in 1996. Bischoff pursued the team of Kevin Nash and Scott Hall, both well-known WWE superstars who appeared under the names Diesel and Razor Ramon. This is where the long-term mistakes for WCW started: both men were offered guaranteed contracts for astronomical sums of money, as well as creative control over their characters.

The notion that in the crazy world of professional wrestling an employer would give such financial and creative power to its employees seems ludicrous. And yet, it was this very contract that lured away so many of Vince McMahon’s roster in the years that followed.

Bischoff also had an ingenious way of introducing Hall and Nash on television. Instead of having them debut in a grand, announced fashion, he simply had both show up in the crowd and invade the ring. Fans at home were stunned, because to them, it looked like WWE performers were attempting to invade WCW.

This well-told storyline would roll into the company’s big summertime pay-per-view, “Bash at the Beach,” where the duo claimed they’d unveil a third man who was pulling the strings of their invasion. Who would the third man be? Fans speculated madly. In a recent interview, Scott Hall claimed even he was unsure who the individual would be, stating that at one point, head WCW good guy Sting was even considered for the part.

Ultimately, the role went to Hulk Hogan. His babyface, red-white-and-blue character was fading, with audiences being bored by seeing the same act they had watched for a decade by then. Bischoff convinced Hogan a heel turn would spark his career, and boy, was he ever right.

Hogan’s turn is now the stuff of legend. Coming out toward the match’s end, he teased helping friends Savage and Sting, before dropping a big leg on Savage. Sure enough, Hogan was roundly booed, and the amount of trash that flew in the ring is still hard to believe.

The strategy worked. In the coming months, nWo gained more of a following. Ratings for Nitro began to rise. Ticket sales went up. Merchandising profits were through the roof. Nitro would soon become the most watched show on basic cable, and demand was so high by 1998, they’d have to form a second weekly program, “Thunder.”

nWo mania was rampant in the U.S. It was this counter-programming to the WCW norm that was the initial bump for professional wrestling’s rise in the 1990s. Many boys (including yours truly) became fans during this period. I even recall my middle school selling T-shirts for our football team calling us the “Eagle World Order.” That’s how big this thing was.

And it would only get bigger with the second half of Bischoff’s strategy. He planned an epic, year-long rivalry to form between the group’s leader, Hogan, and a returning WCW superstar, Sting. The feud is one of the most memorable of the decade, as the company slowly built up to its biggest event ever, Starrcade, in 1997.

It was there that after a year of waiting, fans would get to see the match they’d been dying to witness. Sting vs. Hogan would lead to unprecedented revenues for the company, and, ironically, would also mark the beginning of the end for WCW’s fortunes.

For it was during this match, the boys in the back and the fans at home witnessed Hulk Hogan’s ego in all of its glory. Instead of taking the loss admirably, the star beat the hell out of Sting for 20 minutes. He finished things off with a boot to the face and a big leg drop. He pinned him and got the one-two-three.

Or so that’s what it seemed. The claim was made it was a fast count (it wasn’t). The match was restarted, Sting got the win and fans went home happy. The damage had been done though. Thanks to Hogan’s showboating, Sting, the company’s top face, had been made to look like a chump. Sting was never that hot again, and six months later would be performing in mid-card matches while Hogan was back on top.

And that’s undoubtedly what produced the downfall of the nWo and WCW as a whole: greed. The egos of those involved couldn’t make anything good. Take for example what happened in 1998. Goldberg was the company’s new top face. A major star, he had risen to fame through his towering presence and a lengthy undefeated streak.

The roster was stunned when Hogan was pinned cleanly by Goldberg on Nitro that summer to win the WCW Championship. Had Hogan suddenly become generous? No, not at all. In fact, the grand plan was for Hogan to ultimately get the title back and make Goldberg look like a fool in the process.

That’s exactly what happened. In one of the worst decisions a wrestling company has ever made, Kevin Nash would end Goldberg’s streak later that year. He’d then pass on the title to Hogan via the infamous “Finger poke of Doom” encounter, a match that saw Hogan simply touch Nash to win the title.

The nWo back together, they then beat up Goldberg, spray-painted his back and cooled his jets. No one was going to be bigger than the nWo. And that was the problem.

Over 1999, WCW would see one of the fastest declines an entertainment company has ever witnessed. Meanwhile, WWE would continue to gain in popularity through its Attitude Era and would come to dominate the Monday Night Wars.

After WCW was bought out by Vince McMahon and crew in 2001, the nWo was dormant for a period before making a return in WWE in 2002. The resurrection was short-lived, but served its purpose of providing fans with nostalgia that helped them open their wallets.

And that’s what nWo has ultimately become for wrestling fans: sugarcoated nostalgia. The backstage story is a lengthy, frustrating one that is still the subject of interviews and discussions till this very day. However, fans would rather dwell on the sensation they felt when watching this group of badass misfits run wild on an organization.

It was wild and – yes, for the 1996 – even a tad edgy. When you were watching the nWo, you felt cool. That effect was – more than Steve Austin, DX or any other wrestling entity – the primary cause for professional wrestling’s boom 15 years ago.

I still have just a lot of fun reminiscing on the period. So put on your sunglasses, get out a black bandana and start making the “4-Life” symbol with your hand. For better or for worse, nWo was just as much apart of our young male experiences as first dates and acne.

Warner: What Could Have Been – nWo


It’s been 17 years since the formation of the greatest stable in professional wrestling history.  Let that sink in for a minute. 17 years! On July 7, 1996, Scott Hall, Kevin Nash, and Hulk Hogan formed the New World Order (nWo) in Daytona Beach Florida at Bash at the Beach, and from that moment on professional wrestling changed forever.

If you’re reading this, you probably know that the nWo was an amazing set of bad guys, split in half to form an amazing set of good guys, wreaked havoc on the WCW, nearly put the WWE (then WWF) and Vince McMahon out of business, and was a huge factor in WCW winning the Monday Night Wars for the majority of the late 1990s. It made for entertaining TV when the bad guy, black-and-white nWo spray painted the good guys after a beat down, when they relished in having trash thrown at them, and when Hulk Hogan played the biggest, best villain pro wrestling has ever seen, Hollywood Hogan.

I won’t go on much more about the history of the nWo because if you’ve made it this far into this piece, you’ve already read Alex Beene’s awesome recap of how they rose to the top and then fell to the bottom.

But I do want to harp on one thing for a bit. In Alex’s piece, he mentions that Sting was considered by Eric Bischoff as one of the candidates to be the leader of the New World Order, but ultimately that role was given to Hogan. And according to Scott Hall, there was still indecision as Bash at the Beach was going on. If you read the interview linked above, and I would take it with a grain of salt because, well it’s Scott Hall, you will find that Hogan was on a plane trying to get to Daytona in time for the event and there was uncertainty as to whether or not he would make it. If he didn’t, Bischoff told Hall and Nash that Sting would be the “third man.” I mean WOW! Can you imagine if Hogan had been late to his flight, or it had been delayed, Sting, STING! could have been the guy to lead WCW into the most successful years in pro wrestling history. I got chills when I read that interview with Hall. I mean history could have been vastly affected that night if the winds blew just a slightly different way.

So here is just one “what if” scenario had Sting been the guy to take the reins of the nWo instead of the Hulkster:

1)     Sting makes the backstage decisions instead of Hogan. Hogan was so ego driven that he flew the plane full of success and money and fame right into the damn ground. Would Sting have done the same? No. WCW survives and continues to thrive. It eventually pushes WWF out of business.


2)     Sting rubs off on Nash and Hall in a more positive way as their go-to-guy. Hall doesn’t fall into a deep spiral of alcohol, drugs, and depression. Nash focuses on being good at wrestling and not being a backstage bully. The rest of the locker room buys in in a similar fashion because Sting cares more about the company than his own career. You don’t see a bunch of guys flameout and ruin their careers.

3)     The Kliq becomes a band of friends that includes Sting, so WCW gets the talent of Shawn Michaels, Triple H, etc. and takes off more than WWF (WWE) ever could have. Instead of having WWE be the monopoly and put out iffy programming over the course of the next 15 years (like it has been) due to lack of competition, WCW continues to put out a great product full of action and compelling storylines. Sting understands how to produce the best stories and makes all the right decisions.

4)     Hogan, McMahon, and Vince Russo, all broke and out of work, contact Dixie Carter and Jerry Jarrett and start TNA Wrestling. It fails worse than it actually has over the last 10 years. Hogan goes on a reality show. McMahon rides the coattails of his wife’s political career. Russo… who cares?


5)     WCW eventually becomes the billion dollar corporation that WWE currently is and dominates the entertainment industry for years to come. All because of Sting.

6)     Quick Thoughts: Ready to Rumble never happens. Goldberg continues being a monster. Stone Cold, Undertaker, The Rock, Mankind, etc. all have great WCW careers. ECW survives when purchased by WCW. Chyna doesn’t completely self destruct. WrestleMania continues under the WCW banner. Wrestling becomes much more socially acceptable.

Obviously this is only one hypothetical scenario. Things could have gone much differently, for better or worse. But, if given the choice, knowing what they know now, I would imagine Eric Bischoff and Ted Turner wouldn’t mind seeing how things would have shaken out with Sting as the top guy, as he should have been, instead of Hogan.

I’m sure, if you love wrestling like I do, you would have enjoyed seeing what could have been as well.

nWo 4 life.

(Disclaimer: I was always a WWF/WWE guy. I still am. This “what if” world could have changed that. But I’m fine with the way things turned out.)

Joseph Williams: What about the WolfPac?

Admission: I don’t think I ever was nor am I as big of a wrestling fan as Alex and Warner. But when we first began discussing the origins of the nWo on an e-mail thread, it took me back. My memory is a bit fuzzy, but the joy of my middle-school years keeping up with WCW all the time and WWF occasionally had never been more clear.

This topic is especially relevant to me because my first-ever experience (outside of my early movie reviews) working on a website was when two friends from church approached me about an idea of an nWo WolfPac website. I hardly knew what they were talking about, but some limited experience playing some SNES wrestling video games (WCW SuperBrawl Wrestling, WWF Royal Rumble, and WWF WrestleMania The Arcade Game) made me aware of who was who. This website proposal corresponded with an invitation to my little league team to come witness Memphis minor league, Saturday morning wrestling live at the local NBC affiliate’s station. Jerry Lawler and Dave Brown were there, as was Jerry Lawler’s on and off-screen lady friend Miss Kitty. Needless to say, I was intrigued and I was hooked. If I remember correctly, this all happened around late 1997 into early 1998.

I read internet message boards to keep up with WCW and WWF. I watched Monday Night Nitro and then WCW Thunder. After all, I could honestly convince my mom that WCW was the more “family-friendly” of the two at the time. My friends and cousin and I would get together once every few months to buy the PPV with our lawn-cutting money and order some pizzas to enjoy the show. We always loved the outdoor events, especially Bash at the Beach. We heard about the legends of 1996 that changed the game. I rented the VHS tape from Blockbuster. I witnessed it first hand.

I love Warner’s “What If” Scenario above and I can’t necessarily disagree with any of it. But, in retrospect, I don’t know if I’d give up any of the good, the bad, and the ugly. Sure, it was annoying when things got out of control. Sure, Vince Russo’s Vince McMahon complex ruined WCW. Sure, Hogan’s ego got the best of him (which made his alter-ego, Hollywood Hogan, all the more wonderful and fun to hate). But there was a lot of magical wonder in those couple years of the late 1990s. Sure, there were less fortunate times as well (Disco Inferno’s Campaign to Join the WolfPac or WolfPac Sting which taught me at a young age to be careful what you wish for because it may have been better when Sting was in black and white, lone wolfing it against the nWo from the rafters.)

But those wonderful times with the nWo splitting apart into factions, The Outsiders hitting back at Hollywood Hogan, spraypainting fools all over the place. Ahhh… those were the times. And it all started at the game-changer at Bash at the Beach 96 that would forever leave a mark on the world of pro wrestling. The forces at work (selfish, creative, capitalist, the whole nine yards) that led to Mr. Pro Wrestling turning into a master villain… it could have turned out differently with Sting. But would it have turned out better? Looking back with fond memories and lots of laughter and wishes of finding that old Yahoo! GeoCities WolfPac tribute website I helped put together… I doubt it.

Knee Jerk Reactions to the Beale Street Music Festival Lineup 2013

Today the lineup for the annual Memphis in May Beale St. Music Festival was announced. And like most years, it’s a hodgepodge of artists from every genre imaginable. Some great, some good, some bad, some pathetic.

To see the full lineup, click here.

Here are a few brief thoughts.

(Relatively?) Excited to see:

Friday – Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros, Shannon McNally, The Wallflowers, Don Trip, The Joy Formidable

Saturday – The Black Keys, ZZ Top, The Roots, Dwight Yoakam, Patti Smith, Mavis Staples, Star & Micey, Ryan Bingham, Big Boi

Sunday – The Flaming Lips, The Smashing Pumpkins, Phoenix, Gary Clark Jr., Deer Tick

Every year, there are bands that inevitably play at the same time causing festival goers to make a choice. Here are a few scheduling conflict predictions:

Friday – I see Don Trip playing on a stage before The Deftones and Alice and Chains, likely interfering with The Joy Formidable or Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros as they will probably go on before Bassnectar closes that stage down. The Wallflowers will probably also play at that same time before Sheryl Crow and Hall and Oates finish up on their stage.

The Black Keys

Saturday – The Black Keys will close down a stage after a set from ZZ Top. The Roots will close down a stage after Big Boi. Mavis Staples will hopefully play before ZZ Top, but I could see her and Jerry Lee Lewis getting their own stage. Gonna have to choose between quality rock n’ roll and quality hip hop that night.

Sunday – Flaming Lips and Phoenix will close down a stage. Hopefully they won’t put The Smashing Pumpkins on a stage with Public Enemy and Papa Roach but instead will opt to put them with The Black Crowes. Either way, you won’t be able to see The Smashing Pumpkins and The Flaming Lips/Phoenix. The Pumpkins will interfere with one of those two acts. Odd that there’s a solid metal feel on Sunday, a day reserved for more laid back acts. Interested to see where they stick Gary Clark Jr. Will he be with The Flaming Lips and Phoenix or with The Black Crowes and Deer Tick?

Overall, I’m pretty apathetic towards this year’s lineup. If you go back and read my thoughts after last year’s festival, you will see that the whole process frustrates me year after year. We can’t attract (read: pay) enough big name/up and coming acts to compete with the other major summer music festivals, so we get what quality acts we can and then rely on people whose careers have been in the crapper for years to attract some die-hards and sentimental festival goers (see Cracker, Gavin DeGraw, Papa Roach, Public Enemy, The Deftones, Alice in Chains…). Then the festival gets loaded down with teenagers and people who don’t know how to behave in public and it ends up creating what I would equate to a war-zone. Not the ideal situation, but if you want to see some decent music, sometimes dealing with all the riff raff and mud and vomit and drunk folks can be worth it. And it is very inexpensive compared to other festivals nearby.

If I had to make a prediction for my attendance, I will probably say I’ll go at least one, maybe two of the three days with a heavy lean towards Saturday and Sunday. I’ve never seen The Black Keys live and the fact they will likely play on the same stage with ZZ Top is enough to merit me buying a ticket for at least that day. Sunday will be interesting with Phoenix and The Flaming Lips, but I could see the draw of an afternoon nap being more enticing than seeing The Lips for the umpteenth time while also knowing I will probably get a chance to see Phoenix for the first time later on down the road.

Here are what I would consider the don’t miss acts:

  • Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros: great live show, lots of energy, tons of fun, very weird.
  • The Black Keys: have to assume they know what they are doing as they are arguably the biggest rock band to hit the mainstream in the last 10 years.
  • The Flaming Lips: prepare to be amazed/completely freaked out at their shenanigans.

Here’s to hoping for next year…

Grade: C-

Update – 11:14 AM

The Black Keys and ZZ Top will be playing on different stages at the same time. In my opinion, this is a horrible decision. Those two bands need to be on the same stage. It’s a no-brainer.



By Joseph and Seth

Depending on which of us you ask, you’ll get a very different answer to the question of how much of a villain Gaston (from Beauty and the Beast) actually is.  To provide some context, the two of us have debated (for many, many, many hours on road trips, at dinners, and any other time a snide, button-pushing comment can open up an all-out debate) how villainous Gaston is for months.  It first began when we watched Beauty and the Beast on Blu-Ray. Then, when the movie was re-released in theaters in 3D, we couldn’t resist going to see it and the debate continued.

Spoiler alert: (not concerning the plot of the film… we’re going to assume you’re a good American and have seen it already) We have not come to a compromise or an agreement in any way. That is why we bring the argument to you here on The Wise Guise, to comment and vote in a poll about Gaston’s true nature.

We’ll begin our arguments to you with Seth’s opening argument.  We’ll proceed with some past arguments between us, and then we’ll let your voting and comments decide.  Odds are though, neither of us will give any ground to the other’s arguments.  We’ve happened upon one of the most underrated debates and divides of our time.

Seth’s Opening Arguments:

Picture this: The year is 1760, and you live in a poor provincial town somewhere in France. All your life you’ve been exceptional at everything you try. A master hunter and sportsman, you have the undying respect of everyone in town. Then disaster strikes. Word reaches you that a monstrous beast is terrorizing your town. Two people, including the girl you love, have been abducted. You don’t know when or where the beast will strike again, and the townspeople are terrified and panicking. A natural born leader, you take it upon yourself to lead an expedition of 50 men to protect the town.

These are the real-life issues that faced the character, Gaston.

I want to say first off that Gaston is not a good guy. He is arrogant, selfish, and tried to put Belle’s father in an insane asylum (not cool).

What I am saying is this: Gaston didn’t do anything throughout the entire movie that even compares to the atrocities committed by our hero. The Beast, with his bipolar fits of rage, threatened Belle constantly, withheld food from her, and kept her as his prisoner. Like Gaston, the Beast tried to lock up Belle’s father – only he actually succeeded.

Why are we so quick to judge Gaston for going after the Beast? Given the circumstances, would any of us do anything different when it came to protecting the town? Do we just sit by and let the Beast abduct people at will?

For all his faults, in the end Gaston was merely trying to rescue Belle from a terror that was all too real. A terror that she herself couldn’t possibly have even recognized.

Once again I would like to reiterate that Gaston is not a good guy. But is being selfish and arrogant enough of a crime that we should condemn him to death? I think not.

Joseph’s Counterargument:

Luckily for us, Disney gave us even more secondary evidence into the dark soul of Gaston when they adapted the Academy Award-winning film for Broadway.  There, they adapted Gaston’s pigheaded proposal to Belle into song.  Claiming that Belle will be his property? Saying women only have uses on occasion and are limited to childbearing and childrearing? Listen, I’m pretty conservative and you are too. But this is offensive even to us!

After comparing himself and Belle to his pair of thighs, Gaston continues his self-centered ways.  Look, I can look past some of Gaston’s mistakes.  Yes, he was the strongest man who had to seemingly protect the town. Sure. BUT, when does he begin to become morally culpable beyond just being a frat star chauvinist?

Some (me included) would argue it’s when he begins to lead by instilling fear in the populace, being less than honest in getting Belle’s father committed, and leading a mob against the Beast.  But even if you concede that Gaston is just trying to protect the town, you simply cannot defend him during his showdown with the Beast.  As a society of fallen creatures searching for redemption, we must give credit to the journey of change each character is on. And no place is this distinction convicting Gaston as a horrid villain clearer than at the end of the film in the final fight scene.  At this point, regardless of past sins, the Beast redeems himself.  He turns the other cheek.  He has mercy on Gaston.  It’s clear to Gaston, at this point, that he won’t have Belle.  But he’s delusional.  Driven by his own narcissism and need for controlling the world to be exactly as he wants, he attacks the very being that JUST MOMENTS BEFORE had mercy on him.  Like the wicked servant in the parable who was given grace by his master only to turn and condemn someone who owed him, Gaston went after the beast.  There is no greater example of pure human blindness to his own fallen condition.  And, like that, in a moment, he falls to his death… certainly not due to the mercy shown him by the Beast, but by his own choices and actions.

Seth: I’m not even going to address arguments based off a Broadway play adaptation (or any other adaptation) of the movie. I’m talking about the Gaston from the animated film.

You seem to hinge your argument on the final moments in the movie, and that’s fair. This is a tough one, as these are difficult decisions that Gaston himself no doubt wrestled with. The thing is, I cannot fault his actions at Beast’s castle.

In the final moments of the film some say the Beast allowed Gaston to live, but if we think about it, what kind of life has he given him? He gives Gaston a life where he and his townspeople would forever be under the Beast’s dominion. We’ve already seen what horrors the Beast put Belle and her father through, and Gaston understood that surrender here meant a lifetime of terror for every man, woman, and child in his town.

This puts Gaston in an impossible position. Although his life was spared, he realizes that failure is not an option for the townspeople. He did not fight with honor, and in the end the fatal blow to the monster cost him his life. He did what he had to do, and he paid the ultimate price for it.

Joseph: But now I’ll present to you more past debates between Seth and I that took place in an e-mail thread.  This debate has been in person and on the worldwide webs. It transcends normal categories.

Joseph: One day, in an e-mail thread to my wife, sister-in-law, and Seth, I commented: Had I seen Palmer and Seth on an e-mail thread without me, I woulda turned into Gaston (who is not as evil as Scar… who is just the worst.)

Seth: 1.) I’m glad Joseph didn’t turn into Gaston, because that poor guy’s life was tragic. The man was a hopeless romantic, condemned to the sufferings of unrequited love. A Romeo without his Juliet, his only hope was to save his town from a dangerous monster. Beloved by his countrymen, he died protecting those who couldn’t protect themselves. While some people decry his actions, there are many who understood his role.

He’s the hero the poor provincial French town deserves, but not what it needs right now. So we’ll hunt him, because he can take it. Because he’s not our hero. He’s a silent Guardian. A watchful protector. A Dark Knight.

Joseph: As for your Nolanian defense of Gaston, I present primary source evidence to the contrary:


Joseph: Let me break down this video that clearly shows that Gaston is not just a villain, but an evil one.

Seth: Lets examine this clip. I could not have chosen a better example of Gaston clearly demonstrating both his civic pride and gifted leadership abilities.


Joseph: Gaston’s violence towards a friend, much smaller than he.

Seth: Self defense. Without provocation his face was grabbed and twisted .


Joseph: Turning his back on his supporters.

Seth: Turning the other cheek. He doesn’t want to further engage the man who just assaulted him.


Joseph: Gaston smiling and loving attention from slutty blonde barmaids. (If he truly loved Belle, he’d be turning from them instead of turning from his male admirers and supporters.)

Seth: At this point in the movie, Belle has already turned him down twice. Even though he owes her nothing, he stiffens at the clearly unwanted affection from the sluts. Never making eye contact with any of them, he doesn’t acknowledge their existence.


Joseph: Could this guy be any more self-absorbed or arrogant?!?!?

Seth: Lets take a moment to realize that he has just been showered with outrageous accolades. And each one is not exaggerated and completely true. He is conceding a point, not making a declaration.


Joseph: Feeling the need to show off his strength to the extent that, once again, he punches his greatest friend/supporter, who is 1/16th his size, at most.

Seth: Up to this point, Le Beau has terrorized everyone at the bar (including Gaston multiple times).


Joseph: Beating up more of his supporters, just to show he can.  Where’s the restraint in that “silent Guardian”?

Seth: It is a massive brawl. Incited by Le Beau. It’s hard to tell the innocence or guilt of any the individuals involved.


Joseph: Actively trying to impress skanky skank-a-lot skanks by picking them up, looking up their dresses. That’s unrequited love, alright.

Seth: He distracts everyone from fighting and stops the brawl.


Joseph: Bad sportsmanship

Seth: The old man was clearly cheating. He moved his Bishop from e3 to g4. Did his Bishop suddenly become a Knight? If this was a western he would have been shot. Gaston lets him off easy.


Joseph: Does this guy have an inch of humility in him?

Seth: Once again, he concedes a point to his zealous supporters


Joseph: All about showing off, not about actually teaching his followers.

Seth: He is clearly teaching about the benefits of protein


Joseph: Can we be positive Gaston didn’t kill Bambi’s family?

Seth: He did not. Bambi’s Mom was killed two centuries after Gaston was born


Joseph: Wacky old coot? Belle’s father? A joyful inventor and innovator who embodies capitalism’s delicious fruits at its best?

Seth: His horse has a better sense of direction than he does. And have you seen his murderous chopper invention?


Joseph: Loony old man… yeah. This is a guy with true love for Belle and not one bit of lust.

Seth: The only thing his invention chopped was a hole in the side of a house. Belle’s father built a siege weapon.


Joseph: Putting his own personal achievement of goals ahead of Belle’s best interests.

Seth: He is attempting a grand gesture to win her heart. Misguided, but it is clear that his heart is in the right place.

Joseph: And if you are blind or deaf to this evil, I submit my above analysis and breakdown of this evidence.

Seth: If Gaston is guilty of anything in this clip, it is of having a good night drinking with his close friends. The clip of the Beast imprisoning Belle’s father was about 100 times worse than anything Gaston has done in his entire life.

Clayton: Alright boys, this is where I step in and leave it up to the people to vote. You’ve each had a chance to share your opinion. I thought about a simple, “Do you agree more with Joseph or Seth?” poll question. But Seth says the audience is already skewed against him b/c we’ve been trained and indoctrinated to hate Gaston. So he wanted a simple “Give Gaston a chance? Yes or no”  I think that’s a bit too much the other direction. To be honest, I really just want to know what the hell are they all drinking in that bar and where can I get some… Because of your antics I’m turning this into a Twilight-esque “Team Joseph” or “Team Seth” poll. Cheesy t-shirts with their picture and team name are optional in this case though.


Team Seth or Team Joseph?