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We're all familiar with the Hotline Miami's, Hollow Knight's, and Celeste's of the world. These are some of the indie games that hit the big time. Of course, for every one of these games, there's 100 other indie games that have been glossed over, relegated to a spot in a digital store few people will ever find themselves in. I wanted to bring attention to some of these lesser known indie games. I'm going to order them according to Metacritic Critic Ratings. Some of the games at the bottom have pretty low critic ratings. I personally disagree with the low scores of these games, but it's only fair that you hear from more than just me. Keep in mind that games with only one or two User Ratings on Metacritic will not show the score. A game needs at least three User Ratings on Metacritic before the score will be shown. This is not the case for Critic Reviews. Price will contain the U.S. PlayStation Store link to the game. 1. Hayfever
Description: Hayfever is a precision platformer that revolves around a mailman propelling himself using a number of different allergens that act as power-ups. A lot of the platforming is aerial and typically has you catching allergens mid-air to perform maneuvers in quick succession. It's not an easy game by any means, but it has oddly relaxing music to accompany the rather intense platforming. There are also letters to collect in each level to steepen the challenge and some secrets to discover too. It takes an hour or so to get used to the aerial platforming, and this is one of the few 2D platformers played better with the analog stick rather than the D-Pad. But letters that seemed unattainable to me at the beginning of the game became much simpler by the end, as I had mastered the controls and physics of the game. I don't expect everyone to love this game, but I have to agree with the one other guy who played it that gave it a 9/10. After putting 25+ hours into it, I am still eager to replay it soon.
Completion Time: ~8 Hours
Extra Content: It'll take another 8 hours or so to collect all the letters and probably about 6 hours or so to beat the Hard World, which features an additional 28 remixed levels. There are also secrets to uncover, but they don't net any in game progress and only work towards your trophy completion. Finding these secrets will probably vary more in time because they are hidden, but expect them to take a few hours to find. Just to clarify, letters are an expanded test of your platforming skills and are all in clear view of the screen, while secrets are a test of your observation skills and take a little more digging to find. The platinum trophy is a fair and rewarding challenge that took me about 25-30 hours to get.
Description: Valfaris is one of the best run & gun games I've ever played. You play as Prince Therion who returns to his home planet of Valfaris on a quest to kill his father. It's themed around a fictional planet and has a gross alien vibe coupled with heavy metal music. The music doesn't override the other audio in the game, and it does a nice job of upping the ante when you're fighting a boss – of which there are many. You're equipped with a primary gun, a more powerful mana-based gun, a sword, and a shield that can block with mana or parry. There are a number of weapons to acquire throughout the game, and the guns in particular do a great job of feeling different. You’re able to upgrade your weapons with Blood Metals. Some Blood Metals are found in plain sight, others are rewarded for defeating a tough enemy, and some are given for going off the beaten path. These upgrades typically just up the firepower but will sometimes introduce a secondary move to your weapon. There are checkpoints every two minutes or so, and most bosses will have a checkpoint just before them (only the weaker bosses come after a gauntlet of enemies). The game is a little hard at points, but overall it strikes a nice balance of feeling accomplished for overcoming the challenges without getting overly frustrating.
Completion Time: ~8 Hours
Extra Content: There are a few secrets to find throughout the game that are off the beaten path, though I was able to find 2/3 of them on my first playthrough. I found all but one weapon as well. The replayability comes from New Game+, which allows you to take all your upgraded weapons into a harder version of the game. Since the weapons all function a bit differently, this can be lots of fun. Getting the platinum trophy is somewhat difficult.
Description: The premise of the game is a fusion of side scrollers and oldschool fixed screens that teleport you to the opposite side of the screen when you pass through one side - think Pac-Man, arcade Mario Bros., or Balloon Fight. You will find obstacles in your path that are impenetrable in a typical side scroller, but can be overcome by holding a button to turn the screen into a fixed screen that allows you to pass through one side and out through the other end. This is a totally unique take on a puzzle platformer I haven't seen before, and all five worlds bring something new to the table. For example, World 2 will flip you upside down when you pass through a screen, allowing new types of challenges as a result. There's more emphasis on the puzzle elements than the platforming.
Completion Time: ~2 Hours
Extra Content: There is a New Game+, but from what I could tell from the beginning it wasn't a whole lot different. Still, there's a trophy for completing New Game+ and some other fun trophies. Unfortunately, like many early generation indie games, this one has no platinum trophy.
Description: This game revolves around using two square characters who fling themselves from one end of the room to the other to reach an exit. You must position yourself in such a way that you use each character's body to get around the level. Each world introduces a new mechanic to keep things fresh. The whole game is played only using the two analog sticks (the d-pad and face buttons work, but the two analog sticks are best, in my opinion). It can also be played in local co-op, however with how often you have to fling yourself around, coordinating the correct movements to the other player would be exhausting, and it is easier to experiment yourself.
Completion Time: ~3.5 Hours
Extra Content: There's really no extra content, but $4 for what's almost a 4 hour game isn't bad. There is an easy platinum trophy however.
Description: This is actually a sequel to the Steam exclusive Horizon Shift, which sports a different aesthetic and isn’t quite as good from what I’ve read. Horizon Shift ’81 mimics the look of a fixed screen shoot ‘em up from the early 1980s but comes with a few twists of its own. Your ship is positioned in the middle of the screen on a horizontal line rather than the bottom, and you have to flip between sides to deal with enemies coming from both the top and the bottom. The line can be broken in different places – leaving a gap where you can fall to your death – by asteroids and certain projectiles. This is where the expanded moveset comes into play: you can jump between gaps and also over enemies who attach themselves to the line. Enemies on the line can also be taken out with a horizontal shield bash that regenerates after a few seconds. There is a boss after every five stages, some of which will actually bring the line down to the bottom of the screen, while others retain it in the middle. Horizon Shift ’81 has a number of customizable settings that change everything from the aesthetics, to the difficulty, to the checkpoint/lives system, to the speed of the game, and more. The two main modes are a choice between three lives with a checkpoint before and after every boss, or a checkpoint at the beginning of every level but only one life.
Completion Time: ~3.5 Hours (Normal Mode on Arcade Style)
Extra Content: There are a number of ways to customize your future playthroughs, and there’s an unlockable boss rush mode after finishing the game. The few trophies are relatively easy to obtain. There is no platinum trophy for this game.
Description: Daggerhood's main hook is the use of its sword teleportation mechanic. You throw your sword with a button, and you press the same button again to teleport to where the sword is. While this is a mechanic that has been seen in some Metroidvanias, I haven't seen a tight, linear 2D platformer make use of this mechanic before. Each level has a number of collectibles and some small side sections as well, but for the most part the path to the finish is clear - it's just the execution that's the tricky part. Add in teleportation portals to make things even trickier.
Completion Time: ~2.5 Hours
Extra Content: As this is a Ratalaika Games published game, the platinum trophy only takes about 1-1.5 hours to achieve. You can get it well before you even finish the game, which is a shame because the game had all the makings for a fun platinum trophy. There are tons of collectibles in each level, and each level records your time. So there is a lot here to extend to the playtime.
Description: Usually with Metroidvanias, I expect a long, difficult game that's difficult to navigate. Momodora: Reverie Under the Moonlight is a counter to those ideas while still maintaining the exploratory nature of the sub-genre. The plot is pretty simple and doesn't feature a ton of story, but there are a few NPCs you talk to throughout your quest. The combat is also fairly simple, but the boss fights you engage in are all great. Without much weapon customization, it's stripped to the basics of dodging enemy attacks while trying to get a hit in. It makes for a game that's easy to get into and instantly start enjoying. All of the areas are visually appealing, some more than others, and each of them lasts shorter than you'd expect. The game is only around 3-5 hours, but it feels like you've played so much more in that time. Some games only really start to take off by the time this game finishes.
Completion Time: ~4 Hours
Extra Content: Getting 100% map completion should only take an hour or two of cleanup. I did miss an optional boss on my first playthrough. There are also items to discover, and the trophies give fun challenges to extend the life of the game. Unfortunately there is no platinum trophy for this game. One cool thing I liked was that beating a boss without getting hit at all gives you a useful item. It also features New Game+, allowing you to carry over most of your items, making the game more difficult, and changing up enemy placement.
Description: Ultra Hat Dimension follows Bea through a series of rooms in a palace on a quest to undo the magical spell that has made the mythical Spluff creatures want to attack one another. There is a little bit of backstory via one sentence thoughts from Bea in between levels, but nothing major here. The gameplay revolves equipping four different types of hats and using them to evade or push Spluffs around to retrieve the key and reach the door. Each Spluff dons one of four different hats which effects their behavior towards other Spluffs and you. You will be punched one tile back by every Spluff unless you’re wearing the same hat as the Spluff. Spluffs interact with one another differently depending on what hat they’re wearing in a rock, paper, scissors kind of way – they may punch a Spluff back one space, get into a scuffle that allows you to get close to them without wearing a hat, or they may temporarily disable them in a way that allows you to access the space the Spluff consumes within eight moves. There are undo and reset buttons included that allow you to quickly rewind mistakes. There are some clever puzzles accompanied by catchy tunes and a charming pixel art aesthetic. The difficulty is about average.
Completion Time: ~3 Hours
Extra Content: Since this is published by Ratalaika Games, getting the platinum trophy can be obtained after only clearing 2/3 of the levels. There are a few custom maps on the PC version of the game but no additional content on consoles.
Description: Remothered: Tormented Fathers feels very old school in its design philosophy - no weapons outside a few self defense items and distraction items. You go back and forth in the mansion and have to learn the layout and where things are to proceed. You have to manually select the key item from your inventory to use on triggers (but a key icon is still shown to guide you a little). The sounds in this game do a great job of evoking tension, and I appreciate that the stalkers don’t seem to teleport, so if you can get away from them, you’ve earned your freedom for awhile. This is the first game in a loosely connected trilogy, with the second one due later this year.
Completion Time: ~6 Hours
Extra Content: There are some collectibles you can go back for, but not a whole beyond that. Unfortunately there is no platinum trophy for this game, and you'll probably get most of the trophies - if not all, except the collectibles one - on your first playthrough.
Description: Reverie is a mix between Zelda’s gameplay, Earthbound’s aesthetic and humor, and a New Zealand folktale – the legend of Maui and the Giant Fish. Instead of the more traditional sword and shield style fantasy, Reverie instead opts for items and tools a modern boy is more likely to find in his possession, like a cricket bat, a yoyo, and a nerf gun. Similarly, the first dungeon is grandpa’s basement, where you’ll square off against a giant hedgehog and a tumble dryer. That said, the game does get more fantastical with the last two locations, particularly the last one. It’s a relatively easy game overall, though the fourth and especially fifth dungeon offer up a moderate challenge. The indie scene has produced a lot of Zelda-like games in recent years, but this is the only one I know of that isn’t your standard medieval fantasy.
Completion Time: ~5 Hours
Extra Content: There are feathers to collect, mini games to play, and a combat focused bonus dungeon to beat. That said, a lot of this stuff is easy to stumble upon in the main quest, so you’re probably looking at about two or three hours’ worth of content after beating the game to complete everything and get the platinum trophy.
Description: Inertial Drift's distinguishing characteristic is its employment of the right analog stick for drifting. This takes a little getting used to, but it feels great once you get the hang of it, creating some exhilarating moments when perfecting corner turns. The game has 10 unique tracks + 10 reversed tracks, 16 vehicles, and four separate story arcs. Each story arc is only a couple of hours long and features a different protagonist with a different vehicle. Since you’ll be racing on the same track a few times, there are a few gameplay variations that differ from just reaching the finish line at the end, such as racking up a certain number of points that are acquired through longer drift times and other means. There's quite a bit of dialogue between races, and in the races themselves characters will frequently dish out positive commentary on your performance in the form of text in the top left hand corner of the screen. The game's aesthetics are a fusion of anime and synthwave. I've heard many fans liken the game to the manga Initial D, though I'm unfamiliar with that series myself.
Completion Time: ~3 Hours (for 1/4 Story Arcs)
Extra Content: There are a number of different modes including a Story Mode, Challenge Mode, Grand Prix Mode, Arcade Mode, two player Split-Screen, and Online, as well as a Tutorial. Completion of challenges in Challenge Mode allows you to unlock new vehicles for the other non-Story Modes. Grand Prix Mode allows you to race using different characters/vehicles through a connected set of challenges, while Arcade Mode is for one-off races. I wouldn't recommend this game for online play as the user-base is pretty small (hence it being overlooked) and you're unlikely to find a match. Getting the platinum trophy is fairly difficult.
Description: This is an action platformer that emulates arcade games from the latter half of the 1980s, but it is probably most reminiscent of Super Ghouls 'n Ghosts. The creator, Locomalito, states that the soundtrack uses the true arcade sound of the YM2203 chip. The game is hard, but the checkpoints are never more than a minute or two apart, and the lives' system/continue system has no penalties outside of locking you out of trophies. This is a very boss dense game - in the ~4 hour run-time it takes to complete the game, you fight 19 bosses. The handful of weapons and items you pick up helps lend variety to the combat, and no two boss fights feel the same.
Completion Time: ~4 Hours
Extra Content: The game has two endings. Most players will get the bad ending the first time around and be locked out of the final stage (which is the longest stage in the game). You do have to play through the game again to get the good ending, but you'll likely do it in half the time. If you want to see all the major content on your first go around, I recommend looking up how to get the good ending before you play the game. As far as trophies are concerned, the platinum trophy is very difficult to obtain. If you like an extreme challenge, this one's for you.
Description: Pato Box follows an anthropomorphic duck boxer on an adventure through a stylistic noir comic book world. “Pato” is a Spanish word that translates to “Duck” in English (the game was developed by a Mexican studio). The boss fights are heavily inspired by Punch-Out’s gameplay, but there are levels outside of these fights to help differentiate it. Most of the levels can be selected in any order you choose and typically serve as a leadup to the boss fight. Bosses are usually introduced by a cutscene followed by some dialogue taunting Pato Box. The levels play entirely differently from the fights, but the themes of the level match those of the bosses. The levels will employ various elements of evasion, stealth, exploration, and a few time-based mini-games. The casino level, for example, will have you walk around the casino looking for chips and punching the slot machines to earn enough to pay entrance to the fight, while the food factory has you evading stompers, sawblades, and butcher knives as you work your way through the level. There are variety of things to find throughout the levels: tokens for decorations in Pato Box’s room, backstory on the boss of the level and the world, and tips on how to win the upcoming fight. The fights themselves lock Pato Box in the middle of the screen, allowing you to block, juke left or right, and perform a low or high jab to the left or right. The game foregoes a HUD in favor of a visual representation of your health via scars on your body, which I thought was a nice touch. While the levels and bosses play pretty differently from each other, they’re weaved together by a dark and intriguing story that follows Pato Box’s quest for retribution against an evil corporation.
Completion Time: ~7 Hours
Extra Content: There’s an Arcade Mode that lets you replay boss fights and some collectibles to find in the main campaign. The trophies are very difficult, and many ask you to beat a boss without taking a single hit.
Description: The Count Lucanor’s story is very fairy tale-esque – more like a classic fairy tale as it can be pretty dark and grotesque at times. On his 10th birthday, Hans chooses to leave his mother in a quest for wealth. After some walking and conversation with NPCs you find along the way, you stumble upon a large mansion and find that the count of this mansion is looking to pass his wealth onto an heir who can prove himself worthy – “worthy” in this case being the one who can figure out the count’s name. From here, you are tasked with adventuring through the mansion and solving environmental puzzles in a nonlinear way to acquire the letters that spell the count’s name. There is a survival horror element to the game, as you are unable to attack the enemies in the mansion and instead must crawl under tables and find other ways around them. You can place candles around the mansion to light it up to help you better evade enemies, but your usage is limited (though you can find more).
Completion Time: ~4 Hours
Extra Content: There are five different endings and some puzzles/rooms you don’t even have to do. This could double your playtime – maybe even more if you don’t use a guide. The platinum trophy requires every ending and a few other things but is pretty easy to get if you use a guide.
Description: The Bunker is an FMV point & click adventure, meaning it features real actors and environments just like a live action movie. Many of the actors involved have been in high profile movies/TV shows as well, including The Hobbit, Game of Thrones, Star Wars, and Penny Dreadful. The game takes place in a fallout shelter and follows the last survivor as he tries to find a way outside following the death of his mother, after living 30+ years in the bunker. The gameplay has you solving puzzles and finding ways to proceed to the next area. The story is the focal point of the game though, and it frequently switches between the past and the present to tell its story. There’s a good juxtaposition between the lively past and the lonely present that makes you question how the protagonist ended up as the last survivor. There’s only one narrative choice to make in the game, and it comes at the very end. The game also works in handheld mode with touchscreen functionality if you'd prefer to play it that way.
Completion Time: ~2. Hour Completion Time*
Extra Content: You can replay the game and try to find all the collectibles. Most of them give more background on the story. You can trigger the ending you did not choose the first time around by simply reloading the last checkpoint, so there is no need to play through the whole game again to unlock it. Getting the platinum trophy is fairly easy.
Description: A Tale of Paper takes direct inspiration from Little Nightmares, sporting the same sideview camera angle and minimalist narrative. It’s a little less creepy and has the interesting twist of transforming into a variety of different origamis on the fly: from a little alien creature, to a frog, to a ball, to a paper airplane, etc., all with the push of a button. You’ll use a combination of different origami shapes to overcome the obstacles in the area, and you’ll be accompanied by some gorgeous sceneries in the process. The gameplay is pretty easy in both its platforming and puzzles, making it an easygoing, movie-esque kind of game. While the story is minimalist, it results in a satisfying conclusion, and it really feels like you’ve been through quite a journey even with the short runtime. The game evokes the feeling of being a tiny specimen in a larger-than-life world – Toy Story 2 is probably the most apt comparison I can make. Outside of Little Nightmares, I haven’t played another game quite like this.
Completion Time: ~1.5 Hours
Extra Content: I got seven of the eight origami collectibles in my first run-through. The trophies also only offer a few extra things to do, but I’d recommend reading the list of trophies before you play the game if you want to get the relatively easy platinum trophy.
Description: If you liked Detroit: Become Human or Until Dawn, Late Shift will be right up your alley. This game is a bit different from both those titles in that it's an FMV, with the gameplay solely consisting of the choices you make. You receive prompts at key moments in the story on what you want your character to do next, and this effects the outcome of the game. It plays more like Black Mirror's Bandersnatch, though this game came before it. The story follows an everyman who gets tangled up in London's criminal underground just as a result of being in the wrong place at the wrong time.
Completion Time: ~1.5 Hour Completion Time*
Extra Content: There are 180 choice points and 7 different endings. There is a platinum trophy, and I only got 4 out of 21 of the trophies on my first playthrough. There are a number of different routes to take with the game.
Description: SINNER: Sacrifice for Redemption is a Soulslike boss rush - there are no levels and only small area before each boss to practice your moves. There are eight bosses, the first seven allowing you to fight in any order, each representing the seven deadly sins. You are equipped with everything the game has to offer from the beginning (except for the New Game+ weapon they give you), and instead of becoming more powerful, you gradually lose things with each boss you defeat, hence the “sacrifice” in the title. It’s like a reverse RPG. Each boss has a different sacrifice associated to it – one may deplete your throwing items’ usage, while another will deplete your health and stamina. Picking the best order to fight them in adds a little strategic thinking to the game, as you may be more dependent on your large health and stamina bar more than your throwing items’ usage, for example. The game is fairly difficult, so your victories over each boss feel very gratifying when they do come.
Completion Time: ~5 Hours
Extra Content: There is New Game+ that offers you an additional weapon. The trophies task you with a few things you have to pull off in battles, and the platinum trophy is pretty easy to obtain.
Description: Verlet Swing’s aesthetic is as intriguing as its gameplay: you are tasked with grappling and swinging yourself across these vaporwave styled levels without hitting anything. The levels are all very short, but you’re likely to play many levels dozens of times before even finishing it… just to get a 1/4 rank. The ranking system is actually very cool, in that it encourages you to find alternative paths or sometimes just building up more momentum to get to the end faster. Most levels do seem to have a set path, but at the same time, with the proper grappling of the mechanics, you can forge your own, which is a game in itself.
Completion Time: ~7 Hours
Extra Content: There’s an in game challenge menu that mostly recycles a lot of the base game content – though there’s a particularly funny one that switches the perspective to third person to play as a knockoff Spiderman. You can also go back and try to get the best possible time for each level. Getting the platinum trophy is extremely hard and I believe is at 0.1% completion.
Description: Neon Drive is a challenging rhythm game with a synthwave aesthetic and appropriately matching music. The objective of the game is to evade the obstacles coming at you by transitioning between four lanes at the right moment using either two of the face buttons, D-Pad, or shoulder buttons. Personally I found the shoulder buttons worked best. The game will occasionally transform you into other vehicles that mix the gameplay up a bit - one notable example is when you turn into a plane and transition between eight lanes in a 360 degree orientation. There are only eight levels that are all about three minutes in length if you were to beat them with no deaths, with two checkpoints and two health points that regenerate between checkpoints. While this all sounds very generous, most of these levels will still take you dozens of tries, though the life reset is almost immediate so you can get back into the action right away.
Completion Time: ~3 Hours
Extra Content: There are two harder difficulties, an endurance mode that sees how long you can go without dying, a free run mode that allows you to play through the game without reset (only unlocked after beating each level), and online leaderboards. The trophies are very hard to get, and there is no platinum trophy.
Conclusion My top 5 on the list in order would be the following: (1.) Hayfever, (2.) Valfaris, (3.) Cursed Castilla: (Maldita Castilla EX), (4.) Momodora: Reverie Under the Moonlight, and (5.) Bleep Bloop. Have you played any of these games? What are some other overlooked single player indie games? If you’re looking for more indie games to play, see my post here:
Hi everyone! I am working non-stop provide the best research and analysis regarding DraftKings (NASDAQ: DKNG). I originally posted my overall investment thesis on the company a few weeks back and now I am breaking down and analyzing the latest news and developments regarding DKNG! And no, it is not the ticker symbol for Donkey Kong. DraftKings in my opinion, is the best pure play investment if you want some exposure to the sports betting, iGaming, and daily fantasy sports space. They're founder led (3 founders to be exact) and they're invested into the company themselves right alongside all of us shareholders or potential shareholders. Within the last week, there has been some exciting developments regarding DraftKings. I will share them below: DK Gift Cards Are Live! You can buy a DK gift card as a stocking stuffer for Christmas if you want. I’m really excited to hear this news. It’s only going to increase the brand awareness of DK and that’s what we want. According to the press release on DK’s investor relations website, they’ve partnered with InComm Payments to facilitate the launching of the gift cards. InComm payments is a global leading payments technology company that has a network of retailers that DK will be able to leverage through this partnership. Convenience stores like 7-Eleven, Speedway and Dollar General are just some of the many convenience stores in Incomm Payments’ network that DK will be able to leverage. For now, the gift cards will be offered in $50 and $25 denominations. The great thing about this to me is that they’ve beat their competitors to this. That shows managements initiative and ability to get things done which I complimented when I first picked this company. As of right now, you’re not going to be seeing any “FanDuel” (boo FanDuel *thumbs down emoji*) gift cards in the stores. Tim Richardson, the Senior Vice President at InComm Payments was quoted as saying “DraftKings will benefit from having its brand present in tens of thousands of Incomm Payments’ retail partner locations across the US”. Overall, good news for DK. New York State – Getting desperate? Do they need some online sports gambling revenue? I want to make this clear before I write about this topic – sports betting is already legal in New York state. The problem is, it’s only legal in brick and mortar (retail) locations. Just under a dozen upstate casinos can operate brick and mortar sports books at the moment. In typical DK fashion, they’re already active in a casino in New York State. DK offers in person brick and mortar sports betting through the Del Lago Resort Casino in Waterloo, NY. My news update I’m sharing is that it appears New York state might be considering expanding to online sports betting too due to a budget shortfall they’re experiencing (they need more tax revenue). This news came out on Wednesday, 12/16/20 during the day time. Governor Cuomo had a press conference during the day. The press conference was primarily focused on giving an update on the COVID-19 pandemic in New York state. During the presser, the topic of New York state’s budget shortfalls came up. As a possible financial solution, Cuomo said “Are there other ways to get revenue? How about marijuana? How about sports betting?” He’s referring to the possible tax revenue that could be collected if sports betting offerings were expanded beyond just the brick and mortar offerings. What if every New Yorker could place a sports wager from the comfort of their own home on their cell phone? The battle for legalizing online sports gambling in New York has been going on for years. Governor Cuomo has always been opposed to it. One of the reasons Gov. Cuomo has cited in the past is that he thinks a constitutional amendment would need to be made to New York state law to allow for mobile sports betting in the state. However, one state representative from New York that has been pushing hard for online sports gambling begs to differ. In response to Cuomo’s comments in the presser earlier that day, State Senator Joseph Addabbo said that there would be no constitutional problem with mobile sports betting because the servers could be placed on site of grandfathered in physical casinos. Addabo said that New York state’s need for revenue is “real and immediate” This is a situation to keep a close eye on. The impacts of legalizing mobile sports betting in NY would be substantial for DK as it would open the population of 20 million people in NY state the opportunity to place wagers on the DK Sportsbook app through the comfort of their home. I imagine it wouldn’t be too difficult for DK to mobilize once they get the green light for mobile betting as they already have the standing relationship with Del Lago Resort Casino for in person betting. The Michigan Gaming Control Board (MGCB) granted DK a provisional license to conduct online gaming and sports betting in the state of Michigan For this update I also want to be clear – retail (brick and mortar) and mobile sports betting are already legal in the state of Michigan. It’s just that there’s a lot of yellow tape for Sportsbooks like DK to navigate within a state even after sports betting has become legalized. This provisional license provided by the MGCB was provided to DK and 14 other sportsbooks (including rival FanDuel) on Thursday, December 10th last week. Now there are just a few more regulatory requirements that DK has to meet in the state of Michigan before they can go live. According to http://www.michigan.gov, “Before launch happens, the platform providers must complete additional regulatory requirements including independent testing of platforms and games and MGCB approval of their internal controls, which ensure gaming integrity. The firms also must secure occupational licenses for certain employees.” You can read the full article on Michigan’s government website here. Knowing that DK has a knack for being quick to mobilize once they’re given opportunities in respective states, I fully expect them to pass these last few tests with flying colors. The DK Sportsbook app has already been available in the state of Michigan for “free to enter” games. Once they pass the last few requirements, actual wagers will be allowed to be placed. And money will be allowed to be made! Another promising sign coming out of the state of Michigan, is that on November 30th, 2020, DK became an official sports betting partner of the Detroit Pistons, the NBA basketball team in Michigan. DK Chief Business Officer, Ezra Kucharz, was on the record after the deal closed saying “As our first professional team activation in the state of Michigan, we are thrilled to join forces with the Detroit Pistons ahead of our pending market introduction”. In my opinion, I anticipate we’ll be seeing DK online sports betting in Michigan some time in early 2021. This concludes my update and analysis on DraftKings. TL:DR
Draftkings now offers gift cards and you can buy them in convenience stores (first sports betting company to do so)
DraftKings received a provisional license to conduct sports gambling in Michigan
Governor Cuomo of NY said he would consider legalizing "mobile sports betting" to raise additional tax revenue
If you would like to read my original deep dive and analysis on DKNG, you can check it out here:
(SELLING) HUGE LIST SALE: Mixed New, Newer and Old titles, divided to HD, 4K, Collections & TV Shows categories. Thanks for looking at my list. Have a good day.
NOTE: Please READ... 1.) Will reply to potential sale and inquiries as soon as i can (working with my real job most of the day. 2.) All titles are sold as split whenever possible, so please redeem what you pay for. 3.) Asterisk signs doesn't means anything, its just my own indication as to where i file the codes. 4.) Redemption site & format is indicated besides every title, all MA eligible titles is labeled with (MA), (MA or iTunes/ports) or (iTunes/ports), meaning they all port to all services if available. While, titles with labels (Vudu), (iTunes) or (vudu or iTunes) doesn't ports MA and stay on the service it was redeemed. Stay Safe Folks.... This post specials: 10% off for above $10 transactions. Thanks 4K UHD: *13 Hours:The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi 4k (vudu/iTunes) $6 *1917 4k (MA) $7 3 From Hell** 4k (vudu or iTunes) $6 *Abominable 4K (MA) $7 *American Made 4k (MA) $5 *Annihilation 4k (vudu or iTunes)$6 Apocalypse Now** [3 versions] 4k (vudu or iTunes) $6 *Apollo 13 4k (MA) $7 *Aquaman 4k (MA) $7 *Blade Runner 2049 4k (MA) $6 *Bumblebee 4k (iTunes) $3 *Casino 4k (MA) $6 *Deadpool 4k (iTunes/ports) $4 Detroit** 4k (iTunes/ports) $5 *Dirty Grandpa 4k (vudu) $5 *Eddie the Eagle 4k (iTunes/ports) 7 *Escape Plan 4k (vudu/iTunes) $5 *A Few Good Men 4k (MA) $7 *Glass 4k (MA) $7 *Goodbye Christopher Robin 4k (iTunes/ports) $7 *Gremlins 4k (MA) $7 *Hacksaw Ridge 4k (vudu or iTunes) $5 *Hidden Fugures 4k (iTunes/ports) $4 *Hitman Agent 47 4K (iTunes/ports) $4 Home Alone** 4k (MA) $7 *Independence Day: Resurgence 4k (iTunes/ports) $4 *Jaws 4k (MA) $7 *Joy 4k (iTunes/ports) $5 *Logan 4k (iTunes/ports) $4 *Logan Lucky 4k (iTunes) $3 Mad Max: Fury Road 4k (MA) $6 *Mamma Mia: Here We Go Again 4k (MA) $6 *Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials 4k (iTunes/ports) $5 *Midway 4k (vudu or iTunes) $6 Ms Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children** 4k (iTunes/ports) $5 *Morgan 4k (iTunes/ports) $7 *Night at the Museum:Secret of the Tomb 4k(iTunes/ports) $4 *Overlord 4k (iTunes) $3 *Rambo: The Fight Continues 4k (vudu or iTunes) $5 *Red Heat 4k (vudu or iTunes) $6 *Robinhood 2018 4k ( vudu or iTunes) $5 *Straight Outta Comptom 4k (MA) $6 *Snatched 4k (iTunes/ports) $4 *Snitch 4k (vudu) $6 *Spiderman Homecoming 4K (MA) $6 *Spiderman into the Spider-Verse 4k (MA) $7 *Straight Outta Comptom 4k (MA) $6 *Terminator 2: Judgement Day 4k (vudu or iTunes) $5 *The Blue Brothers 4k (MA) $6 *The Boy II 4k (iTunes) $4 *The Dark Knight Rises 4k (MA) $7 *The Incredible Hulk 4k (MA) $7 *The Natural 4k (MA) $6 *The Purge: Election Year 4k (MA) $5 *Universal Soldier 4k (vudu) $6 *Waterworld 4k (MA) $8 *Why Him 4k (iTunes/ports) $4 *X-Men: Apocalypse 4k (iTunes/ports) $4 HDx SECTION: *American Heist (vudu) $3 *Best of Enemies (iTunes) $3 *Better Living through Chemistry (iTunes/ports) $3 *Beyond the Reach (vudu) $3 *Blockers (MA) $4 *Darkest Hour (MA) $4 *Deep Blue Sea 3 (MA) $5 *Dragon Heart Vengeance (MA) $4 *Freeheld (vudu) $3 *Getaway (MA) $3 *High Life (vudu) $4 *Hope Springs (MA) $3 *I Am Vengeance (vudu) $4 *Ice Age (MA) $4 *John Wick 1 (vudu) $3 *John Wick 2 (vudu) $3 *Justive League vs Fatal Five (MA) $4 *Justice League: Throne of Atlantis (MA) $4 *Lara Croft: Cradle of Life (vudu) $5 *Last Knights (vudu) $3 *Legend of Oz: Dorothy's Return (MA) $4 *Misconduct (vudu) $3 Once Upon A Deadpool** (MA) $6 *Parental Guidance (MA) $4 *Passengers (MA) $3 *Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters $4 *Philomena (vudu) $4 *Phoenix Forgotten (MA) $5 *Puerto Ricans in Paris (iTunes/ports) $3 *Risen (MA) $4 *Runner Runner (MA) $3 *See No Evil 2 (vudu) $3 *Sex Tape (MA) $4 *Son of God (MA) $4 *Spiderman 3 (MA) $4 *Spiderman into the Spider-Verse (MA) $4 *Spy (MA) $4 *Stand Up Guys (vudu) $3 *Tammy (MA) $3 *The Boy (iTunes/ports) $5 *The Condemned 2 (vudu) $3 *The Day After Tomorrow (MA) $6 *The First Purge (MA) $3 *The Greatest Showman (MA) $4 *The Hateful Eight (vudu) $4 *The House (MA) $4 *The Judge (MA) $3 *The Kitchen (MA) $4 *The Marine 4: Moving Target (MA) $4 *The Night Before (MA) $4 *The Perfect Guy (MA) $3 *The Prince (vudu) $3 The Sisterhood of the Travelling Pants 2 (MA) $4 *The Turning (MA) $5 *Unbroken: Path to Redemption (MA) $4 Where'd You Go Bernadette (MA) $6 *Woman in Gold (vudu) $4 *Wilson (MA) $5 *Wonder Woman (MA) $3 *Zero Dark Thirty (MA) $3 $2 and Under: *2 Fast 2 Furious (MA) $2 *Barbie: Spy Squad (iTunes/ports) $2 *Book Club 4k (iTunes) $2 *Get Out (MA) $2 *Hunger Games (vudu) *I See You (iTunes) *Jurassic World (MA) $2 *Kidnap (MA) $2 *Pitch Perfect (MA) $2 *Star Trek into Darkness* (vudu) $2 *Star Trek Beyond (vudu) $3 *Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (MA)split $6 *The Bye Bye Man (MA) $2 *The Corrupted (iTunes) The Fate of the Furious (MA) $1.5 The Fate of the Furious Extended (MA) $2 *The Last Witch Hunter (vudu) $2 *The Mummy 2017 (MA) $2 *The Perks of Being a Wallpaper (iTunes) $1.5 Venmo, CashApp, PayPal Friend n Family and Amazon GC accepted. Comment what title you are interested in and i will send u chat message as soon as i can. Thanks
The next Detroit: The catastrophic collapse of Atlantic City
With the closure of almost half of Atlantic City's casinos, Newark set to vote on gambling and casinos or racinos in almost every state, it seems as if the reasons for the very existence of Atlantic City are in serious jeopardy. Israel Joffe Atlantic City, once a major vacation spot during the roaring 20s and 1930s, as seen on HBOs Boardwalk Empire, collapsed when cheap air fare became the norm and people had no reason to head to the many beach town resorts on the East Coast. Within a few decades, the city, known for being an ‘oasis of sin’ during the prohibition era, fell into serious decline and dilapidation. New Jersey officials felt the only way to bring Atlantic City back from the brink of disaster would be to legalize gambling. Atlantic City’s first casino, Resorts, first opened its doors in 1978. People stood shoulder to shoulder, packed into the hotel as gambling officially made its way to the East Coast. Folks in the East Coast didn't have to make a special trip all the way to Vegas in order to enjoy some craps, slots, roulette and more. As time wore on, Atlantic City became the premier gambling spots in the country. While detractors felt that the area still remained poor and dilapidated, officials were quick to point out that the casinos didn't bring the mass gentrification to Atlantic City as much as they hoped but the billions of dollars in revenue and thousands of jobs for the surrounding communities was well worth it. Atlantic City developed a reputation as more of a short-stay ‘day-cation’ type of place, yet managed to stand firm against the 'adult playground' and 'entertainment capital of the world' Las Vegas. Through-out the 1980s, Atlantic City would become an integral part of American pop culture as a place for east coast residents to gamble, watch boxing, wrestling, concerts and other sporting events. However in the late 1980s, a landmark ruling considered Native-American reservations to be sovereign entities not bound by state law. It was the first potential threat to the iron grip Atlantic City and Vegas had on the gambling and entertainment industry. Huge 'mega casinos' were built on reservations that rivaled Atlantic City and Vegas. In turn, Vegas built even more impressive casinos. Atlantic City, in an attempt to make the city more appealing to the ‘big whale’ millionaire and billionaire gamblers, and in effort to move away from its ‘seedy’ reputation, built the luxurious Borgata casino in 2003. Harrah’s created a billion dollar extension and other casinos in the area went through serious renovations and re-branded themselves. It seemed as if the bite that the Native American casinos took out of AC and Vegas’ profits was negligible and that the dominance of those two cities in the world of gambling would remain unchallenged. Then Macau, formally a colony of Portugal, was handed back to the Chinese in 1999. The gambling industry there had been operated under a government-issued monopoly license by Stanley Ho's Sociedade de Turismo e Diversões de Macau. The monopoly was ended in 2002 and several casino owners from Las Vegas attempted to enter the market. Under the one country, two systems policy, the territory remained virtually unchanged aside from mega casinos popping up everywhere. All the rich ‘whales’ from the far east had no reason anymore to go to the United States to spend their money. Then came the biggest threat. As revenue from dog and horse racing tracks around the United States dried up, government officials needed a way to bring back jobs and revitalize the surrounding communities. Slot machines in race tracks started in Iowa in 1994 but took off in 2004 when Pennsylvania introduced ‘Racinos’ in an effort to reduce property taxes for the state and to help depressed areas bounce back. As of 2013, racinos were legal in ten states: Delaware, Louisiana, Maine, New Mexico, New York, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, and West Virginia with more expected in 2015. Tracks like Delaware Park and West Virginia's Mountaineer Park, once considered places where local degenerates bet on broken-down nags in claiming races, are now among the wealthiest tracks around, with the best races. The famous Aqueduct race track in Queens, NY, once facing an uncertain future, now possesses the most profitable casino in the United States. From June 2012 to June 2013, Aqueduct matched a quarter of Atlantic City's total gaming revenue from its dozen casinos: $729.2 million compared with A.C.'s $2.9 billion. It has taken an estimated 15 percent hit on New Jersey casino revenue and climbing. And it isn't just Aqueduct that's taking business away from them. Atlantic City's closest major city, Philadelphia, only 35-40 minutes away, and one of the largest cities in America, now has a casino that has contributed heavily to the decline in gamers visiting the area. New Jersey is the third state in the U.S. to have authorized internet gambling. However, these online casinos are owned and controlled by Atlantic City casinos in an effort to boost profits in the face of fierce competition. California, Hawaii, Illinois, Iowa, Massachusetts, Mississippi, Pennsylvania and Texas are hoping to join Delaware, Nevada, New Jersey and the U.S. Virgin Islands in offering online gambling to their residents. With this in mind, it seems the very niche that Atlantic City once offered as a gambling and entertainment hub for east coast residents is heading toward the dustbin of history. Time will tell if this city will end up like Detroit. However, the fact that they are losing their biggest industry to major competition, much like Detroit did, with depressed housing, casinos bankrupting/closing and businesses fleeing , it all makes Atlantic City’s fate seem eerily similar.
CreateYoureReality NFL Week 13 Analysis and Picks (Speed run)
Week 12 Recap: Meh, not our worst showing this year, haha. How can I be so spot on with game predictions, but still be struggling in my singles plays this season. Very curious. Putting a pin in it to think about, however... Let's move on! Singles (8-17 -12.87u) Parlays (0-4 0u)All Free Bets Teasers (0-1 -4u) BBDLS(0-6 -2.2u) Sunday Games Detroit at Chicago: Lions just fired coach and GM. Chicago has Mitch back. It seems the Lions can't win games without Galloday and Swift. It already appears Galloday is out. Swift is questionable and even if he plays should carry a limited snap count. Chicago essentially starting their playoffs with this game. Does it continue? Cincinnati at Miami: Bengals starting Brandon Allen again. He didn't look horrible last week, however without a 105yrd kickoff return for CIN, that games 4th quarter wouldn't have been nearly as close as it was. Miami brought back the FitzMagic last week and he delivered an ABC performance against the struggling Jets, keeping Miami in the playoff contention with an outside shot at still winning the AFC East. While my algo has them with an almost 90% chance of winning, it only has them covering the spread around 42%. Indianapolis at Houston: Colts had a hard fall last week, giving up the divisional lead to the Titans. Houston is playing much better now but suffered the loss of two players to suspension this week. My algo has this one closer to a 24-25 IND and thinks Indy only covers 34% of the time. Might even put a little sprinkle on the Texans. Jacksonville at Minnesota: Jacksonville played tough last week and is sticking with Glennon. Minnesota has an opportunity to be .500 for the first time this year and an outside shot at the playoffs. Cook and Theilen are back and I expect Min to get the win here. However, Algo only likes a MIN cover 39% of the time. Las Vegas at New York Jets: One would expect the Raiders to take care of business against the winless Jets, however last weeks blowout loss vs. the Falcons doesn't instill the most confidence .Also, last years similar spot and loss is a little scary: " Las Vegas (6-5), in a battle with Miami, Indianapolis and Baltimore for the final two wild card spots in the AFC, were in a similar position last season. And that 3-7 Jets squad thumped the 6-4 Raiders, 34-3, as quarterback Sam Darnold played arguably his best game as a professional, going 20-of-29 passing for 315 yards, two touchdowns and no interceptions while also rushing for another score. " Carr traveling East for a 1pm game 🤔 The Jets have decided to roll with Darnold as long as he is healthy. My algo has this as a projected 27-20 LV with a cover% of only 54. A little worried on this game as I could easily see the Raiders winning 31-13, but also see them losing 20-17. Maybe the play in this one is the Under😏 New Orleans at Atlanta: Divisional rematch of two weeks ago. For some reason, just like last year, the Falcon's defense played horribly in the first half, but decides to show up for the second half of the season. They were a little lost in the first match up, but I expect them to have a better defensive showing this time around. NO is 2-0 with Taysum starting. I expect their defense to continue to perform, especially against a divisional rematch. However, I don't think Taysum will fair as well this time around. ATL +3.5, @ home, in the rematch, plus no Brees? ALGO favors ATL points, and the Under. Might even drop some sprinkles on the cupcake. Cleveland at Tennessee: BIG match up here. Two playoff contenders in the same conference. Both have amazing running games. Cleveland gets back Miles Garret this week. Tenn might be getting back Humphries. My algo has this as TEN -3.5 and a cover of the 5.5 only 36%. You know that means we will be looking dog here. More excited to watch this game and check out 3 of the top 5 running backs right now. (Maybe only 2, but Hunt is pretty ok) Might be worth a little sprinkle on the cupcakes! New York Giants at Seattle: Giants HAVE won 3 in a row, and their defense is looking decent. However, those wins have come against Washington, Philadelphia and Cincinnati -- teams with a combined record of 9-22-2. (and cincy could have been a loss if Burrow didnt go down) Seattle is rounding into Superbowl form and on top of their defense starting to gel, get Chris Carson and Carlos Hyde is back after injuries sidelined both for a month. While I expect Seattle to win almost always, their M.O. is winning close games. So double digit points is not something I will look at against a defense capable of scoring. LA Rams at Arizona: Rams horrible loss last week. It's like Shanahan just knows how to out coach McVay. Arizona hasn't really won a game (besides a last second hail marry) in a month. If they were a playoff contender, they should have taken care of New England last week. Majority of $$ on AZ right now, yet the line opened at -1 and has climbed to LA -3 in most spots. RLM on the minority always has me looking that way. Eagles at Packers: Eagles have looked like trash. Packers have shined like gold. My algo has this only GB -5.5 so as the line climbs higher, I can't help but look at Philly. Their perception is trash, however their defense is decent. Tied for second in sacks this year and 5th in 3rd down completion percentage. (their defense vs opponents offense) If this was a normal year I would LOVE some philly sprinkles. New England at LA Chargers: I am going to avoid this game. I personally love Bill B and this year have taken a liking to Justin Herbert. The line is almost nothing so I can't see much value here in a coin flip game. Denver at Kansas City: Primetime divisional battle. Does anyone give Denver a chance to Win this game? Outside of Mahomey getting taken out of the game and a ton of penalties giving DEN great field position for a ton of scores...No. But also, how often have you ever seen me ride double digit lines. If it is, it is the dog. And do I step in front of the KC pain train? No. Skip Mon/Tue games: Leans on PIT ml, SF ml, DAL spread I have 30u of FB to use this week. You know they are going in the parlay section :D Singles (76-103, -38.03u)
What A Day: GSA It Ain't So by Sarah Lazarus & Crooked Media (11/18/20)
"You're going to play gotcha questions with me?" - Sen. Cory Gardner (R-CO), asked if he thought Joe Biden won the election
Don't Wayne On My Parade
Eleven days after the election ended in decisive victory for Joe Biden, Republicans’ continued performance of uncertainty about the outcome is as appalling and dangerous as it is unrelentingly embarrassing.
On Tuesday, the two Republican members of the Wayne County Board of Canvassers briefly refused to certify the election results in Michigan’s largest county, for a very valid reason that definitely wasn’t “Detroit has a lot of Black voters and we don’t think their votes should count.” (Against all odds, a white man in a polo shirt summed up this stunt best.) The Republicans reversed course on Tuesday night, for a very badass reason that definitely wasn’t “reporters started finding all the racist memes on our Facebook pages.” As a cherry on top, Donald Trump missed the memo and congratulated his would-be coup enablers on their courage, after they had agreed to certify the results.
His hopes of stealing away Michigan’s electoral votes dashed, Trump has turned to Wisconsin, a state he lost by more than 20,000 votes. The Trump campaign has filed a petition for a recount, but only in Wisconsin’s two largest, most Democratic-leaning counties, for a very solid reason that assuredly wasn’t “we’ve been through this, that’s where all the young and Black voters are.” That partial recount cost the campaign $3 million, but if you can pay Rudy Giuliani $20,000 a day to rattle off conspiracy theories at an exasperated judge, what’s a few million dollars to lose Wisconsin again?
As profoundly dumb as all of this is, it is also incredibly corrosive. It’s no particular surprise that Trump fired DHS’s cybersecurity director Chris Krebs for the crime of debunking his lies about the election having been stolen from him, but it deserved immediate, unanimous condemnation. Instead, Democratic lawmakers have spoken up, while Republicans, with a few half-hearted exceptions, have sat on their hands. What will it mean for future elections that a defeated president fired an official who safeguarded this election’s integrity and then told the truth about it, and a whole political party said “sure”?
Republicans might be blowing up democracy in slow-motion, but at least most of them aren’t pretending to agonize over it.
Sources who have spoken to General Services Administrator Emily Murphy say she’s been struggling with her unilateral decision to delay the presidential transition, and feeling like she’s been put “in a very difficult position.” Boy have we got great news for Emily: This one’s actually super simple. There’s no real doubt about who won the election, so you can just go ahead and sign that piece of paper! Get a marketing job and move to Paris! You’re free!
Each of Trump’s far-fetched coup maneuvers has flopped, but way too many Republicans have been happy to give them a whirl, and there’s no reason to think they wouldn’t try again in an election with closer margins. Whatever surreal elements of this year we eventually shove down the memory hole for our collective sanity, that fact can’t be one of them.
Look No Further Than The Crooked Media
On today's Keep It stream, Ira, Louis, and Aida discuss Candace Owens and Ben Shapiro's fervor over Harry Styles wearing a dress on the cover of Vogue: "The hilariousness of 'bring back manly men.' Where do you want them brought?" Watch and subscribe → youtube.com/crookedmedia
Under The Radar
Donald Trump just gave the worst possible job to a former speechwriter who was fired for having white nationalist ties. The White House dismissed Darren Beattie in 2018 after it came to light that he had spoken at a white-supremacist conference, back when that was something the Trump administration could still be shamed about. Beattie then took a bunch of taxpayer money from Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL), in a violation of House rules. Following that proud interlude, Trump has welcomed Beattie back into the administration fold with an appointment to the Commission for the Preservation of America’s Heritage Abroad, which was established for the specific purpose of preserving the memory of Holocaust victims. Sixty-three days until the Inauguration.
One of the biggest takeaways from this election has been “Latino voters are not a monolith,” and while much of that analysis has focused on Florida, it’s just as true everywhere else. In Texas, Trump became the first GOP presidential candidate in a century to win Zapata County, which is more than 94 percent Hispanic or Latino. Dissecting the result the requires understanding the specific character of South Texas, where most Spanish-speaking residents self-identify as Tejano. Most consider themselves American above all else, wouldn’t identify as people of color, and have positions on gas and oil, guns, and abortion that are closely aligned with the Republican Party. The Trump campaign recognized and effectively targeted that specific community, and Democrats will need more than generic messaging to win it back.
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Is That Hope I Feel?
A federal judge has blocked the Trump administration’s policy of using the pandemic as an excuse to turn away migrant children seeking asylum at the border. Pfizer now says that its vaccine actually seems to be 95 percent effective, and, implicitly, that Moderna can eat its shorts. Pfizer plans to apply for emergency use authorization from the FDA within days. The FDA has issued emergency use authorization for the first at-home rapid coronavirus test. Tiara Mack has become the first openly LGBTQ Black person elected to the Rhode Island state Senate, at age 26: “I'm going to be unapologetically Black, I'm going to be unapologetically queer, and I'm going to be unapologetically young, and I'm going to push back against the system that tells us we don't deserve justice now.”
Going through old issues of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter and posting highlights in my own words, continuing in the footsteps of daprice82. For anyone interested, I highly recommend signing up for the actual site at f4wonline and checking out the full archives. • PREVIOUS • 1987 FUTURE YEARS ARCHIVE: The Complete Observer Rewind Archive by daprice82
The Bunkhouse Stampede Finals and Royal Rumble are in the books, and as a head-to-head it’s best described as a stalemate. Neither show is what Dave would consider among the best cards he’s ever seen, and from the perspective of a tv viewer they were about what you’d expect. No strong overall lineup for either, and what was delivered wasn’t spectacular either. WWF had the edge in glitz, but not as much as usual because of the live factor meaning they couldn’t rely on post-production editing tricks. Here’s a sentence that describes a typical Raw today: “The three-hour show had too many replays and looked like it may have dragged in spots if you were there live.” Dave’s gotten some word from people who were there for the Bunkhouse finals live, and all rated it terribly as a live experience. From the tv viewer perspective, though, it was better than Starrcade despite some major issues (Dave says they owe the audience an explanation for why the Rock & Roll Express and Steve Williams were absent, as well as for the lack of Mike Rotunda vs. Sting which was pushed on WTBS half an hour before the show).
Dave’s tired of writing a lot of the same complaints about NWA, but they do seem to be responding to fans. They’re going to start showing the finishes to matches that go off the air on the following week’s show and have made changes to the announce desk. Jim Ross did a great job on ppv and toned back on calling every match an all-time classic like he did at Starrcade. But there were eight no-shows among the wrestlers and on Thursday night they had a terrible show in Los Angeles. Most of the no-shows were guys they pulled from the card to save money on flights. The Bunkhouse Finals were advertised with a 7 pm start time, but many of the tickets had 8 pm printed on them, and the show itself actually started at 6:35. Pm and ended at 9 pm, so those arriving at 8 missed most of the show. Not all the no-shows can be blamed on the promotion (Mighty Wilbur got injured, Rock & Roll Express appear to have up and quit), but some kind of explanation needs to be made for the fans. Between all that, getting chants of “Refund” after the Stampede and Dusty getting booed (which fans watching on tv heard) when he won the finals, NWA has significantly hurt its position in two of the biggest markets in the country in LA and New York. They’re making changes, slowly, but some changes need to be made or they’re going to sink. NWA fans come for action, but you can’t get the kind of action the fans want with the schedule they’re running (contrast to WWF which can get by with less action because their guys are seen as stars and the fans want to see the stars). Doing cross-country double shots on weekends is killing NWA, and they need to make new stars. Turning Flair face, since he’s more popular than almost anyone else, isn’t even something to do right now because Luger’s turn is in full throttle and they don’t have a heel to take up the slack. They could turn Dusty heel and have him feud with the Road Warriors, but they won’t.
In the past few weeks, NWA has managed to lose several guys they really shouldn’t have. Terry Taylor is gone apparently because the office had it in for him because of when he left the promotion in 1985. Big Bubba Rogers had become a good worker and had a great gimmick going, but WWF poached him. Rock and Roll Express apparently quit because they were unhappy about their push (though Dave thinks despite their ability and work, they’ve been on borrowed time for nine months now). Dave gives Steve Williams 50/50 odds of coming back and just kind of gestures to UWF as explanation. Sean Royal quit, and Chris Champion, Eddie Gilbert, and Brad Armstrong are all but disappeared. And more are looking to get out. Dave hates writing all this stuff about what Crockett’s doing wrong on the front page, especially when he’s been talking about it for months, and especially because he’s a fan of the NWA. He wouldn’t classify himself as a fan of WWF, but they’ve earned his respect with what they’ve done to take the business to another level and in the next two months he expects them to blow the whole wrestling business wide open. But WWF’s success isn’t the reason for NWA’s problems. WWF doing counterprogramming has made Crockett earn less money than he would have unopposed, and Dusty probably books himself the way he does because he knows WWF won’t steal him (spoilers: WWF gets Dusty in just over a year) and it’s hard to leave the limelight, but WWF isn’t the reason for most of Crockett’s issues.
According to the newspapers this morning, Wrestlemania IV will take place in Atlantic City’s Convention Center. Capacity is 16,000. There were rumblings of Vince being close to a deal in Vegas for either UNLV Gym or Caesar’s Palace, so Atlantic City’s a surprise. Wrestlemania is going to be more focused on ppv than closed-circuit this year, apparently. But most of the audience can’t get ppv, so they’ll still need closed-circuit in major cities.
Two weeks after Wrestlemania will be the Crockett Cup. Place is to be announced, and Dave thinks it’s high time Crockett re-establishes working relationships with at least one or two other North American promotions in order to help make the Cup a big event. They just don’t have the talent roster this year to get away with doing otherwise.
A correction on Starrcade: Dave reported a 6.6 percent buy-rate, but the reality was a 3.3 percent buy-rate. Dave heard they got 20,000 buys and just assumed it was of the 300,000 homes available on cable, but forgot to factor in the 300,000 homes it was also available in via satellite. Dave’s received reports that there were 6 million potential homes for the Bunkhouse finals, but that seems high to him. Even matching the buyrate of Starrcade at that number would mean over $3 million in gross revenue, and Dave doesn’t think they were remotely close to that.
- Anyway, Dave goes through the Bunkhouse finals. An estimated 7,000 were in the arena, and the dark match was Sting and Jimmy Garvin beating the Sheepherders by DQ. Nikita Koloff retained the NWA TV title against Bobby Eaton in a 20 minute draw. -2 stars. Larry Zbyszko beat Barry Windham for the Western States Title, with the match starting slow and getting very good in the last ten minutes. 3.5 stars. Road Warrior Hawk beat Ric Flair by DQ in the NWA World Title match. 3.75 stars. Dusty Rhodes won the Bunkhouse Stampede finals. Lots of blood, a lot of guys going the distance you wouldn’t expect to have the stamina to do so (the match was 26 minutes long), and it was exactly what was promised and was good stuff. 3 stars.
- As for the Royal Rumble, the crowd appeared to be nearly sold out with almost 18,000 in attendance. Ricky Steamboat beat Rick Rude by DQ. Heavy with rest holds and stalling before the final two minutes had them trading near falls constantly and getting good heat from it. 2 stars. The Jumping Bomb Angels won the WWF Women’s Tag Titles from the Glamour Girls in a 2/3 falls match. They started behind with Judy Martin getting the first fall, then the Angels won two straight falls with each Angel pinning Judy Martin (sunset flip and double missile dropkicks, respectively). It was a good match, but not great - the Angels missed a lot of moves and seemed to be out of shape. 3 stars. Jum Duggan won the Royal Rumble, last eliminating One Man Gang. The match was much better than Dave anticipated, and the match went on roughly at the same time as the Bunkhouse finals match. Better camera work in it, and Dave notes that WWF seems to have fudged the two minute intervals after a bit. 3.5 stars. The Islanders beat the Young Stallions (Paul Roma and Jim Powers; Dave’s nickname for them is The Barbie Dolls) in two straight falls. He makes a weird joke about a submission actually working on a pushed guy (Haku submitted Roma with a Boston crab) making him go out for “Oriental food” afterwards because it was so surprising. I’m too confused to even know what to make of the line. 2.5 stars.
Outside the matches, Royal Rumble had some other stuff. Andre and Hogan had a contract signing for the Main Event, where Andre slammed Hogan’s head into the table and pushed the table onto him. Dave’s amazed people buy Hogan as a face, because there’s just something naturally dislikable about people who act the way Hogan does and he thinks Vince could probably get Lee Harvey Oswald over as a face. Dino Bravo attempted to set a world bench press record. Of course, the weights were as legit as the half a million dollars Dusty supposedly won, but Bravo’s supposedly able to bench over 600 lbs legit. Jesse Ventura helped him with “715 lbs” and then claimed he didn’t help at all (the Road Warriors are scheduled to bench on the 30th and were originally planned to use legit weights, but they’ll have to use bogus weights to keep from looking weak next to WWF’s monsters now). Anyway, now they’ll bill Bravo as unofficial bench record holder, and that should get him heat because of the obvious cheating.
Next up then for WWF is The Main Event on February 5. Dave’s told not to worry about Andre, because his back is in much better shape than last year. He and Hogan are practicing daily and have worked out the gist of the match. Dave says you can be sure to expect Ted DiBiase to interfere somehow on the 5th.
Stampede is continuing to do good business and nearly selling out all their big shows. Chris Benoit and Great Gama get 4 stars (from Trent Walters, who I guess submitted the reports for the matches in Edmonton) for their Commonwealth Title match from January 9 in Edmonton.
[Stampede] Jason the Terrible has been made an “honorary member” of Bad Company, Bruce Hart and Brian Pillman’s tag team. So now in addition to the hockey mask he’s also got sunglasses over the hockey mask and a bandana and a black leather jacket. The whole getup is hilarious.
Do you remember Central States? Mike George won the WWA World Title tournament on January 23. They had 800 fans. Match ended on blood stoppage.
Speaking of blood, Keiji Mutoh is headed to Puerto Rico.
Tatsumi Fujinami and Kengo Kimura won the IWGP World Tag Titles from Yoshiaki Fujiwara and Kazuo Yamazaki on January 18. Riki Choshu and Super Strong Machine were originally slated to face the tag champs, but Choshu injured his knee and had to miss the match. Dave expects Choshu and Machine to face Fujinami and Kimura on February 7. He then goes on about how bad Choshu’s luck has been lately. Dave thinks he was supposed to win the tournament, except the Maeda shoot happened, and he was definitely supposed to win the tag titles (the match was scheduled for his hometown and New Japan actually does nice things for wrestlers in front of their home audiences). And with all the work they’ve put into getting Choshu on tv, it’s surprising they’ve phased him down the card so much from where he was.
Lots of stuff about Vader’s look in New Japan. On December 27 he wore long tights and had Road Warrior Hawk’s hair, and it didn’t get him over at all. On January 4 he had a mask and full bodysuit to hide his size. January 11 saw him ditch the bodysuit and keep the mask. The evolution of a mastodon, I guess.
Antonio Inoki began negotiations with Fuji TV after TV Asahi scheduled NJPW tv to move to midnight Mondays, and TV Asahi caved. They’ll now be on a 5 pm Saturday time slot. It’s not as good as their old Monday evening slot, but it’s not a death slot like midnight Monday.
Akira Maeda turned down NJPW’s plan to have him go to the U.S. Also, he and NJPW are fighting over his contract. They offered him a new contract for 1988 with a 15% pay cut and he’s not willing to sign it.
There are rumors that Inoki will wrestle Koji Kitao (the sumo wrestler mentioned a few weeks back) at the Tokyo Dome in April. Kitao is 24 years old and 6’5.5”, weighing 345 lbs. The story of his exit from Sumo is he apparently lost his temper and started kicking one of his sponsors (who is 92 years old) and the knocked his stable master’s wife through a sliding door. Dave’s been told if this match does happen, it could draw very big. Kitao is denying he’s going into wrestling (nope). Kitao was made a yokozuna in 1986, just before he turned 23, because the sumo hierarchy felt they needed a new young star to create interest in the younger generation of fans. But Kitao liked the party lifestyle and didn’t care for tradition, and sumo does not tolerate that. But you can’t demote a yokozuna, and that made him controversial (it would turn out that most of this was made up because Kitao’s stablemaster didn’t like him and felt he was underperforming and wanted him out - more on Kitao’s sumo years here if you want to read it). Turns out sumo is kind of worked too, though not as much as pro wrestling.
All Japan is promoting a “Martial Arts Olympic” show on April 2 at Sumo Hall, to feature all kinds of stuff. Tiger Mask II and Giant Baba will team against some foreigners, Japan Women’s Pro Wrestling (the group running against AJW) will have two matches on the show (Miss A vs. Harley Saito and Rumi Kazama vs. Xochitl Hamada). There will be boxing, kick boxing, the original Tiger Mask Satoru Sayama’s “shooting” sport he invented, shoot boxing (boxing + wrestling with gloves), and more. The whole show is being billed as a memorial service to Ikki Kajiwara, who created the Tiger Mask cartoon and comic.
When baseball season starts, All Japan’s tv will be moved to 10:30-11:30 pm Sunday nights. Usually they get moved to Saturday afternoon during baseball season, and this shift will lose Baba lots of money and viewers.
While Crockett and McMahon ran big shows on January 24, Giant Baba met with their rivals in Las Vegas. Baba’s plan in the U.S. is to send his guys, as well as Bruiser Brody, Abdullah the Butcher, Jimmy Snuka, Stan Hansen, and Terry Gordy to smaller promotions to help them fight against the big two.
Dave finally saw Hennig vs. Tiger Mask II. Not terrible, but no heat and little action, he thinks. Meanwhile, John Tenta’s improving well, and Baba seems high on Akira Taue, though he’s so new it’s hard to guess what kind of future he has.
[AJW] Yukai Omori’s retirement show will be on February 15. This was announced after her January 15 world title match with Chigusa Nagayo, where she said if she couldn’t win the title she was ending her career. They went 32 minutes to a double count out in the ring after both collapsed.
[Memphis] Lawler vs. Hennig for the AWA Title on January 18 had Lawler’s ring on the line as well. Hennig promised to give his dad the ring if he won, and Larry Hennig was there. The Axe helped Curt win, and Curt gave him the ring, but Lalwer stole it back.
Memphis local prelim wrestler Jerry Bryant has been diagnosed with Lou Gehrig’s disease.
Global Wrestling in Florida somehow turned what was an awful live show on January 22 into a good tv show. They taped on Friday night and by Sunday had it polished up into a good looking product. The miracles of post-production. Issues with the live show included starting 30 minutes late, long delays between matches, the ring mic not working, and bad wrestlers. What they lack in wrestling talent, though, they make up for in knowing how to make a tv show that’s on the level of World Class and better than Crockett or AWA.
Continental (Alabama) did a bench press contest between Lord Humongous (not Sid, but Gary Nation) and Doug Furnas. They fudged the weights here, as Humongous did 645 lbs and then Furnas did it twice (his best in competition has been 600) before Humongous pushed the bar down on Furnas and “injured his ribs.”
Apparently the Observer was mentioned positively in the Detroit News by Justice B. Hill in the January 17 issue.
Since Dave started writing this issue, he’s been flooded with fans writing about the Bunkhouse finals. The reaction he’s gotten has largely been negative, with those there live being extra negative about it. Crockett really needs to reserve three hours for the next time they do ppv - going too short pisses the fans off, and ppv viewers expected the show to last past 9 pm. Another difference between WWF and NWA is that WWF always gets their hottest acts on the mic at some point during ppvs and big live specials (twice in the case of Hogan and DiBiase at Royal Rumble), while at Starrcade they didn’t have Flair, Dusty, or Cornette talk once. Instead Jim Garvin gave the worst promo of his career, Michael Hayes was quiet for the first time ever, and they shoved Steve Williams and Nikita Koloff on the mic for some reason. At the Bunkhouse Finals they had no interviews, and getting mic time for Flair or Dusty or Luger while they set up the cage would have been a big help. More of Dave wondering when Crockett will realize they’ve killed the credibility of their world champion and thus killed the drawing power of the belt.
Michael Hayes has apparently quit Crockett and everyone expects him to go back to World Class. And if Steve Williams doesn’t come back, they’ll probably just forget about the UWF Title entirely rather than doing a unification match.
A couple letters this week requesting that Dave keep up the coverage of wrestling in Japan. Another couple letters praising how good Stampede has been lately. Canada and Japan, bringing us the best in wrestling.
Another letter writer asks Dave to realize how offensive it is to refer to a wrestling match as “a total abortion” and to consider that he’s probably offended many female readers of the newsletter. Dave apologizes and says he’ll stop using the term, before doing a “well, actually” bit. It’s a kind of weird response. Judge it for yourselves.
I apologize for that one and will quit using the term. Actually the term abortion for a bad match is a business term just like jobber, mark, babyface and the rest. But there are a few business terms (mainly for ethnic wrestlers and ethnic fans) which are in bad taste that I don’t use, so I’ll add that one to the list.
Tickets for Wrestlemania IV go on sale January 30. The best 2000 seats in the Convention Center are being reserved as freebies for casino high rollers. And as a heads up, this is the location it does take place at. They called it Trump Plaza Hotel and Casino during the show, but it’s the same building. More on that as we get to Wrestlemania.
If Dave can find the space next week, he’s going to talk about whether or not “30 minute matches which ‘tell a story’” work for today’s fans. He really enjoyed the Windham/Blanchard match on tv but there was no crowd reaction, so he’s beginning to wonder if this is even a style that resonates anymore.
Everyone’s asking Dave for predictions about Hogan vs. Andre. So here’s his prediction (and he is way off on many parts of this):
DiBiase will interfere and Andre will pin Hogan on 2/5, however Jack Tunney will prove he can’t be bought and hold the title up so Ted doesn’t get the title, and order a rematch in a cage at WM4 so Ted can’t interfere (and also so Andre can lose without doing a job). Hulk will win on a fluke, and they’ll run Hulk vs. Andre over the summer in your local cities after Hulk gets back from playing Hulk Hogan in the movies.
”There was a clip in Detroit about Hogan, saying that ‘he’s nice[r] than Kirk Gibson, but not by much.’” Gibson’s reputation is of being a total asshole to fans, especially kids.
Crockett is billing FlaiAnderson vs. LugeWindham on Feb. 6 as the first time Flair goes against Lex anywhere. It’s forgivable to forget Lex’s Florida days, but they’ve got FlaiBlanchard vs. LugeRhodes booked for February 2.
Apparently Road Warrior Hawk’s neo-nazi line is just a quote from The Breakfast Club. Okay. So I guess the first letter writer was mishearing him and he’s saying “Neo-maxi-zoom dweebie”? TVtropes gives us this, from the October 3, 1987 episode of NWA World Championship Wrestling: HAWK: "WELL, Tony Schiavone, There Are Two Kinds Of People, as far as me and Animal are concerned. Clamheads and Neo-Maxi Zoom Dweebies." (the Road Warriors consider themselves the latter). And corroborating with the WWE Network, yeah, the line comes through pretty clear. Network 4 minutes in, and yeah, he’s not calling himself a neo-nazi. Definitely an error by that letter writer, and what a weird line for Hawk of all people to utter.
THURSDAY:WWF’s Big Four are born; The Main Event; Rock & Roll Express, Michael Hayes, and Steve Williams update; Tenryu wins all the awards in Japan; and more
NOTE: This is FAKE HOCKEY. To talk about actual hockey, go to the latest Daily Discussion thread Trade Deadline Tonight will continue TONIGHT! The /hockey Trade Deadline Game is back for day 2! Starting today at 8:00 AM MT trading is officially open again. Trading will run until Thursday, January 30th at 6:00 PM MT. You are not late! You can still sign up at http://www.tdgdb.com When you are traded, change your flair on hockey-related subreddits and spend the week from January 31st through February 7th cheering for your new team. Here are this year's reporters, the people who will make things up break news of trade negotiations:
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