Earlier this week, Wrestling Inc. reported that the Vince McMahon and the WWE issued a mandate that the “talent” cannot “engage with outside third parties.”

“Some of you are engaged with outside third parties using your name and likeness in ways that are detrimental to our company. It is imperative that these activities be terminated within the next 30 days (by Friday October 2). Continued violations will result in fines, suspension, or termination at WWE’s discretion.”

Vince McMahon – WWE Official Statement

My understanding is that the reason for Vince to issue this proclamation was because of Lana promoting “Bang Energy” drink on her instagram account, according to Dave Meltzer.

The controversy, along with this mandate, from my understanding, is that Vince McMahon says the company owns the real names of the WWE talent along with their fictitious names. My understanding is that WWE talent are independent contractors, not employees of the company. I imagine that many of them use third-party platforms such as Twitch to earn additional revenue.

Obviously, I do not know the language written in the contracts; it seems foolish to give away the rights to your legal name to a company you don’t own. Otherwise, how legal is WWE’s position to enforce such an edict? Social media, through third-party platforms, is another way for talent to expand on their brand by building their following.

In my opinion, I can see where WWE would have an issue with talent promoting unsanctioned products using their WWE alias or WWE facility; however, I don’t know where the company can impose ownership over someone’s name and brand unless the contract gives them the right.

This is an interesting development.

Faded Pages

Last night, I read the news regarding the layoffs at DC Comics, DC Universe, and DC Direct. My understanding is that Warner Media is focusing on the media entertainment aspect of the business. Due to this change, roughly 600 employees were laid off, including DC Comics Editor in Chief.

As a child growing up, Saturday morning cartoons and comic books fulled my imaginations. Despite my mother not wanting me to read them, I took every opportunity to read the books my friends brought to school. I loved reading both DC and Marvel books, such as Spiderman, Fantastic Four, Iron Fist, Powerman, Black Panther, Doctor Strange, X-men, Batman, Wonder Woman, and Superman. I even liked reading Stan Lee’s “Soapbox” at the end of each issue.

As an adult, I bought and collected a lot of comic books. The comic book industry, in the 1990s, re-invigorated my interest when Marvel brought on Todd McFarlane, Jim Lee, and Rob Liefeld. They did some fantastic art and page-by-page storytelling. Marvel Comics’ “Heroes Reborn” was terrific, in my opinion.

In 2008, after Disney bought Marvel, their film division launched “Iron Man” in theaters. This was a significant milestone for comics and the entertainment industries because the movie captured the level of imagination found in comic books. Marvel went on to produce several hit films while DC searched for their respective place in cinema. Eventually, AT&T bought Time Warner, who owned DC Comics. More money was invested in their movie brand to compete with their rival. Now, DC has produced some excellent and profitable films, including Wonder Woman, Shazam, and Aquaman.

There is a rumor that Marvel Comics will do their layoff soon. Comic books don’t generate the same level of revenue as comic-based films. It appears that the media moguls don’t want to continue investing in this medium. It is a sad reality that an industry, which inspired my childhood dreams, is fading away.

Leap of Faith

It takes one bad experience to leave a negative impression; the year contains a plethora of moments covered in darkness and angst. It is relentlessly delivering failures and disappointments. The summit of difficulty; the opportunity for success is infrequent. It is pushed by people to achieve their idea of a potential that holds no interest for me.

The moments are different, and yet nothing has changed. It is challenging to plan for the future when threats and weaknesses consume the savings placed in the present. Too much focus on the wants of desire instead of the will for survival. How do you get out of a situation that has no way out?

Fight or flight? There comes the point to walk away from the craziness, accepting the consequences; leaping into the wilderness. I believe that good things happen to those who persevere.

WWE Storytelling Needs Improvement

WWE struggles with storytelling. The most recent example is Becky Lynch. This story was months in the making; Becky Lynch’s character set out to reclaim the WWE SmackDown Live Women’s Championship belt.

Becky was the belt’s inaugural title holder. Since losing the belt, she has been fighting for opportunities to reclaim it. Her journey led to matches that culminated with a non-title victory over the champion, Carmella; the victory earned Becky a title match at Summer Slam 2018 against Carmella.

Now, the plot twist. Charlotte Flair returned from hiatus and negotiated an opportunity for a championship match against Carmella. The problem, this opportunity put her against Becky Lynch. Why is this important? Becky and Charlotte are best friends in this story and best friends don’t screw each other. This is the problem introduced to the story. Becky’s character can either remain steadfast or change based on this problem.

The championship match at Summer Slam introduces the turning point. Becky, Charlotte, and Carmella fight for the title. Carmella, the villain, utilizes tactics to provoke a fight between Becky and Charlotte. Given that Becky’s character is annoyed with Charlotte these tactics are effective and the two engage in combat. By the end of the fight, Becky is in position to win however, Charlotte ends up pinning Becky and wins the title.

This is the reason that Becky’s character changes. Charlotte snatched a victory away from Becky, her best friend. The motivating factor for Becky now is “Betrayal”. Becky turns heel and establishes Charlotte as her enemy.

So, why do i think WWE missed the mark on this story and Becky’s character? Her motivation for change is wrong. WWE scripted Becky’s promo towards her frustrations and change at the fans. She indicated that the fans betrayed her, which made absolutely no sense. Becky’s promo should have been directed at Charlotte with a clear vendetta.

Let Becky’s tactics drive fan reaction instead of forcing it through bad scripting.

United We Fall

I don’t like flying, not due to fear of heights but due to all of the travel related headaches I go through from airport check-in to crowded planes.  United Airlines has never been a favorite choice of travel for me and this latest situation just solidifies my position.

Dr-David-Dao-1-1A passenger, David Dao, on UA flight 3411 at Chicago’s O’Hare Airport with a destination of Louisville, KY was forcibly removed from the overbooked flight, https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2017/apr/10/united-airlines-video-passenger-removed-overbooked-flight, for refusing to give up his seat.  He claimed to be a physician and needed to see his patients in Louisville in the morning. Several passengers captured the incident and posted it to social media.

Overbooking by airlines is considered, for some companies, a necessity.  According to John Strickland, aviation expert, http://www.cnbc.com/2017/04/11/united-airlines-passenger-dragged-off-flight-video-overbooking.html, who states:

“Overbooking is a necessity for airlines due to different levels of no-show passengers experienced on different routes. It’s normally a highly sophisticated process based on extensive detailed statistical analysis.”

I don’t understand, if United Airlines deliberately over books a flight and paid passengers are occupying seats then why are they making these passengers give up seats?  One reason is this according to airline spokeswoman Maddie King,  http://money.cnn.com/2017/04/10/news/united-overbooking-policy/,

“Four crew members needed to board the United flight, operated by regional partner Republic Airlines, in order to work another flight in Louisville the following day or else that flight would be canceled.”

My understanding is that typically federal rules require airlines to find out whether passengers will give up their seat voluntarily through some form of compensation like a travel voucher or some gift card.  If the airline cannot persuade passengers to give up their seat voluntarily then they can bump passengers involuntarily.

oscar.munozThis is why United CEO Oscar Munoz claims his employees followed procedures, https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/apr/11/united-airlines-boss-oliver-munoz-says-passenger-belligerent, claiming the passenger was “belligerent”.   The article noted, “The US Department of Transportation said it was reviewing whether United Airlines had complied with overbook rules that require airlines to set guidelines on how passengers are denied boarding if they do not volunteer to give up their seats.”  Regardless, this situation, which follows the “leggings” incident,  is giving United Airlines a public relations nightmare.

Social media responded to the incident…viciously:




Reaction Videos and Controversies

Screen-Shot-2014-11-29-at-9.21.07-AMThanks to the FineBros, many of us are feeling slightly negative towards YouTube “Reaction” channels.  A couple of YouTube “Reaction” channels under fire belong to someone named “Jinx” and Tyrone Magnus.

I am a subscriber of the Tyrone Magnus YouTube channel, due to the recommendation from Rob Jefferson of “Comics Explained”, and I find his videos very entertaining.  A little over a week ago, someone known as GradeAUnderA posted this tweet, which makes an ambiguous claim against Tyrone.  

This sparked a couple of video responses from Tyrone, which he indicates that he has no idea what GradeA is referring to. 


For a week, we waited for GradeA’s video; during that time, Tyrone posted a third video of himself listening to a Twitch recorded stream of GradeA expressing his feelings toward Tyrone (there was a lot of name-calling).  Tyrone reciprocated with the name-calling and swore on his mother’s grave that he did nothing wrong. 

So, we waited for the alleged video; I wondered whether such a video existed.  Yesterday, GradeA posted his video. 

This video, to summarize, called out YouTube for not honoring their own Community Guidelines especially the rules associated with copyright use and it displayed information that Tyrone Magnus essentially stole money from GradeA via a Tyrone Magnus reaction video using GradeA’s content.  You must watch GradeA’s video to understand the reason.

Tyrone responded with a video, twice as long, of himself listening to GradeA’s video and commenting.  All Tyrone could say was, “He’s lying,” and at the end of the video he posted images of the direct messages between himself and GradeA, which in my opinion did not help his cause to sway the viewers.  

Here is Akasan’s response to it all.  

gradeaunderaTyrone’s last three videos, prior to his response video, provided GradeA with some very damaging content.  While I don’t know who to believe, GradeA made the most convincing argument against Tyrone and YouTube; placing reasonable doubt in my mind.  If this were a court-case based on evidence from the Prosecutor (GradeAUnderA) and the opposing argument from the Defendant (Tyrone Magnus), the Defendant is likely to receive a guilty verdict.

I believe Tyrone was overconfident.  He should have either remained silent until after seeing GradeA’s video and prepared an appropriate response video or released an apology video with plans to work things out with GradeA behind the scenes.  I have never seen so many dislikes on Tyrone’s channel and his subscriber count is dropping.  At some point, this controversy will subside however, the internet never forgets.

This is giving me a lot to think about with my own channel and social media.