Category Archives: General

NXT Takeover The End

Apparently this NXT Takeover isn’t just The End, it’s The End of the Beginning. That’s what they called it at the start of the show, anyway. Inconsistent name aside, I’ve been looking forward to this one more than any Takeover since the one with the Bayley versus  Sasha Banks Iron Man Match..

The  first match of the night was Tye Dillinger versus the debuting Andrade “Cien” Almas. Dillinger had some really silly looking entrance attire. Almas was apparently well known in the indies but I didn’t know anything about him. They said he was a masked luchador before now, which is cool. Overall, neither of these performers meant much to me going in.

Very technical match early on and fun to watch. There was a lot of showing off from Almas. Possibly too much. I don’t think it worked for the live audience any more than it did for me.

Almas got the pin, which led to a partial standing ovation and a lot of boos. This was a great first showing for Almas and, while we still don’t know much about him, I think we can look forward to some great matches from him in the future.

Up next was the NXT Tag Team Championship match between the challengers The Revival and the defending champions, American Alpha. American Alpha won the titles from The Revival at the last Takeover, so this has been brewing for a while. The audience was all for American Alpha.

Right from the start, they played up the wrestlers against brawlers aspects of their characters. Fantastic match. This is what tag team wrestling should be. After a lot of back and forth, The Revival scored a pin making them the firs-ever two-time NXT Tag Team Champions. I did not expect that.

After the match, two big guys dressed in all black came out and attacked American Alpha. Paul Ellering, WWE Hall of Famer, then joined them on the ramp. This is going to be big.

The next match was Shinsuke Nakamura versus Austin Aries. I couldn’t call this one. Both are very over with the audience, though I think Aries has the potential to be a great heel.

The audience seemed mostly behind Nakamura, and even continued his entrance music after it stopped playing. It didn’t take long for me to realize I overestimated support for Aries.

After the best match I’ve seen from either of them yet, Nakamura scored the pin for the win. I wouldn’t be surprised to see this continue between these two, assuming neither move up to the main roster with the WWE brand expansion.

Following Nakamura versus Aries was the NXT Women’s Championship match between Asuka and Nia Jax. This was probably the match a lot of people were really looking forward to. I think these two performers are the future of the NXT women’s division going forward, with all the others who have been called up to the main roster over the past year (and I don’t think it’s long before Bayley and maybe some others join them.)

Asuka is always fun to watch in the ring and I believe Nia Jax is going to be the best women’s heel the WWE has ever had someday. She’s not there yet, but it’s coming.

The match started just about how you’d expect with their very mismatched sites. Asuka went in with a game plan which didn’t go how she’d like and Jax just tried to be overpowering (which usually works well for her.) As the match progressed, we saw Asuka focusing on submission maneuvers and Nia Jax targeting Asuka’s back.

The match was surprisingly short before Asuka scored a pin to retain the title.

Finally, we came to the main event of the night: Samoa Joe defending the NXT Championship against Finn Balor (who Joe took the title from not all that long ago) in NXT’s first-ever steel cage match. 

Oddly enough, that was the match I got least into of the night. I wouldn’t call it bad, it was just far less exciting than I would have liked after how high the bar had been set going into it. The match was back and forth all the way through before Samoa Joe finally captured the victory over Finn Balor. You may recall that’s the outcome I predicted after the previous episode of NXT.

I read after Takeover went off the air and Finn Balor got up to go interact with fans some, the audience began chanting, “thank you, Balor,” and “see you Monday.” Obviously, a good portion of the audience is expecting the same thing I am: Finn Balor getting called up to the main WWE roster sooner than later. He’ll be a welcome addition there. I expect he’ll join up with former Bullet Club stable mates in The Club. After all, if they’re going to be feuding with John Cena and The New Day, they’re a man short.

Recap
Andrade “Cien” Almas (NXT debut match) defeated Tye Dillinger.

NXT Tag Team Championship Match: The Revival defeated American Alpha to become the first-ever two-time NXT Tag Team Champions.

Shinsuke Nakamura defeated Austin Aries.

NXT Women’s Championship Match: Asuke defeated Nia Jax to retain the title.

NXT Championship Steel Cage Match: Samoa Joe defeated Finn Balor to retain the title.

Predictions
Not much to say here, really. Obviously, American Alpha is about to go into a feud with whoever this new team Paul Ellering brought in is. I wouldn’t be surprised if that concluded at the next Takeover and we see American Alpha drafted up to the main roster during the brand expansion before the end of it.

I expect Nia Jax will go on to feud with someone new, possibly Carmella or Alexa Bliss, while Bayley returns to chasing Asuka for the Women’s Championship. I do expect that will be short lived, however, as Bayley is almost sure to be getting called up to the main roster very soon. Maybe she’ll even start chasing the title there right away. That could lead to friction between her and Sasha Banks and give us a couple more great matches from them before Sasha claims the WWE Women’s Championship at Summer Slam, as I hear is the plan. 

I’m unsure what other women will get called up during the brand expansion, but the main roster will definitely need to pad their women’s roster if it’s going to be split in two. Carmella seems like an obvious choice, since Enzo and Big Cass are already there, but I’m not sure if she’s ready. The coming expansion could also be part of why Alexa Bliss split from Blake and Murphy. I’d love to see her on the main roster and being more active all around.

I expect Finn Balor is now done with NXT. A lot of people seem to expect him to show up at RAW tonight. I don’t. I think he’ll get a little time off and show up to aid The Club at Money In The Bank (though I don’t think we’ll see any titles change hands on that front.)

As Bobby Roode (I hear they may be going with Rude?) is now with NXT, I wouldn’t be surprised if we say him enter into a feud with Austin Aries, since I’m told they were two of TNA’s best before jumping ship.

Nakamura is going to go on being an entertaining crazy person. This isn’t so much a prediction as it is a wish list item, but I’d really like to see him have at least one good match with Tye Dillinger, who I think I am becoming a fan of. I read Hideo Itami may be coming back to NXT before long, being nearly recovered from whatever the injury that took him out was. If that’s true, I would not be at all surprised to see him feud with Nakamura at some point, maybe frame it as a rivalry between Japanese wrestling styles or something. Or maybe I’m way off base on that one, as I know next to nothing about Itami.

I’m really not sure what’s next for Samoa Joe.

And that’s all for now. Sorry this one got up so late but it was a lot more to write and I got busy. I still made sure to get this up before this week’s NXT so I can try to keep this a regular thing. I will continue to give my thoughts on matches, but I’m going to try to focus more heavily on the story and how they go about crafting a narrative in the serialized format.

Check my About Me page at the top for all the places you can find me online. I’ll pretty much always be glad to talk about wrestling or probably just about anything else. You can join in the global conversation by using the hashtag #WWENXT or just #NXT on social media. You’ll find me tweeting there when I watch NXT and usually the other WWE shows, though the main roster pay per views are usually the only things I watch live, due to my real life schedule (and that may be changing if the rumor of two pay per views per month after the brand expansion is true.)

What To Say On A Monday

In case anyone cared, the Preditors & Editors Readers’ Poll is now closed. It actually has been for a few days. Of course, if you cared, you’d already know that. They haven’t released the official results yet, but I’m pretty sure my Cyberpunk Writers group took the top in the Writers’ Discussion Forums.

We are now less than a week from the premier of the new series of The X-Files and the Royal Rumble. I’m looking forward to both.

Whatever they do with The X-Files, I’m sure it will be at least as good as the last season or two of the original series. Hopefully it’s even better. I like what I’ve seen of the cast they got, beyond the people from the original series. I only wish they’d gotten Robert Patrick back to play Doggett, if only in a bit part, since they have Reyes coming back in some capacity.

Just yesterday, my girlfriend and I finished watching through all of the original X-Files series. It was quite the experience and took us several months. I wish things had gone differently toward the end, but it was clear the show was faltering.

About the Royal Rumble… I’m looking forward to the intercontinental title match probably the most. Dean Ambrose and Kevin Owens are two of my favorites right now and their matches are usually entertaining to watch. Either way that one turns out, I’ll be happy.

As for the Royal Rumble match itself, I’m not sure what to think. Making it a heavyweight title defense kind of screws with things, especially where Wrestlemania is concerned. I’d love to see someone unexpected come out on top, especially Stardust, but that’s not likely to happen. I hope they won’t be so lame as to hand the title to Brock Lesnar when he just came back…or, really, to ever let him have it again. Or be around. Lesnar is awful. The Big Show winning would be really cool. Give him a Royal Rumble win and one last title range as he (apparently) approaches retirement. Maybe have that lead to an I Quit match or something. But, if I had to make a prediction, I’d say Roman Reigns will win to retain his title and that will set in motion a feud between him and Lesnar, which will culminate at the main event of Wrestlemania.

In any case, since the pay per view is less than a week away, I’m sure they’ll do something to make RAW tonight interesting.

In other entertainment news, The Flash and Arrow are back this week. Legends of Tomorrow premiers, too. This is going to be a good week.

Finally, onto writing. That’s probably what people reading this are actually most interested in anyway, right? Well, I’ve mostly been slacking off. I’ve got a story started which I may make into a serial to be posted here, on Watt Pad, or maybe published in Phase 2 Magazine. I won’t make any decision on that until I’ve written quite a bit more of it.

I have an idea for a short piece, probably flash or maybe even just a vignette, if you’re picky. It’s a tribute to Lemmy of Motorhead. I’ll probably throw in a nod to Wayne and Tera Wray Static, too. I’ll probably be giving it to Far Horizons, since that’s where the idea started, but it will probably eventually find its way here.

I’ve been slacking off thus far this month, but serious reading for the 5th issue of Phase 2 Magazine and the first omnibus starts now.

And that’s all for today.

First Blog of the New Year

We’re already 12 days into 2016 and I haven’t even posted here yet. Shame, shame. But what did you expect, really? I’ve just got a little to talk about today.

I, myself, and I, as Dark Futures, am nominated in a number of categories in the 18th Annual Preditors & Editors Readers’ Poll. I won’t go on too much about that here, since I already wrote extensively about it on the Dark Futures site. I will, however, talk about a couple of these in particular.

The first being my Cyberpunk Writers Facebook group being nominated in the Writers’ Discussion Forum category. [linky] I started that group a bit under a year ago and it has grown like mad. There are very nearly 700 members in total and probably 20 or more who are regularly active at any given time. I spend a fair amount of time trying to make the group the best it can be, so you could say I’m proud of it. Vote for it. What’s even cooler is it’s currently in the lead, even beating out at least one much larger group. A much larger group which has banned me. Twice. So take that, ya jerks! Vote for it. Vote for it. Vote for it.

Second, look at this:

Cover - Web Friendly 2

That right there is the cover art of the second issue of Phase 2 Magazine. It’s awesome and was done, as always, by my friend Jason Miller. All of the covers he’s done for me have been awesome but we agreed this is the one we thought was best received by other people. That’s why it’s nominated in the Magazine/e-zine Cover Art category. It’s awesome, you know you like it, and you should vote for it. It’s there and ready for your vote. So go do it.

Like I said, you’ll also find me and Dark Futures and Phase 2 in a number of other categories but there’s no need for me to go through all of that right now because I already did that.

There’s probably not a lot of anything else of importance to talk about, so I’ll just go through some things quickly.

The first season of Ash vs Evil Dead ended a couple of weeks ago. You may remember I wrote about that show after the first episode. The season was solid all the way through. I had a big, stupid grin on my face for most of the finale. The ending was…well, it wasn’t an ending. I’m glad the show has already been renewed for a second season because it is very much needed. That said, the ending didn’t seem forced to try to get a season two. It made perfect sense for the world and the characters involved, so I don’t have any real complaints. I just want more. I also want to see Amanda return for season two, but I don’t know how likely that is.

I wrote a cyberpunk retelling of the Edgar Allan Poe story, The Facts in the Case of M. Valdemar. I think I’ve mentioned that here before. Anyway, I got it finished and submitted and it will be appearing in an upcoming anthology from Punk Writers Press. Go me. I’m not in love with how it turned out, but they seemed to think it was good enough and that works for me.

New X-Files starts on the 24th. My girlfriend and I have ten episodes left of the 9th season in our watching of the entire old series, so we’ll make it with no problem. I’m stoked.

Unfortunately, the new X-Files premiers during the time of the Royal Rumble, which is lame. We’ll still watch both. I don’t have much for thoughts going into the Royal Rumble at this point. I haven’t even seen all of RAW from last night because the stream was messed up. I did see Kalisto is the new United States champion, though, which is awesome. He deserves some time with every belt for the performances he’s been giving lately.

Aaaand, that’s all for now.

Where I’m At

Not that I have many followers to notice, but I haven’t been posting to this blog very regularly. I have been spending more time at a computer actually getting things done, though, so it’s safe to say you’ll be hearing (or not) more from me in the coming year. I’m not ready to commit to a regular posting schedule or anything, but maybe we’ll get there, too. Writing and publishing, not only a blog but also fiction, can feel like a constant uphill battle with ADHD but I get there.

My main focus at the moment, and what I should really be doing right now, is wrapping up the details for Phase 2 Magazine issue 4. I have stories accepted and mostly just editing and formatting remain. I’m waiting to hear back on contracts from a couple of writers but if they don’t get back to me in time for this issue, they’ll just get bumped to the next or to the first omnibus (releasing early next year.) I’m planning a Wednesday release for the issue, either way.

As for that omnibus, I’m going to aim for a minimum of 50k words. I’m hoping to go closer to 70k, but we’ll see how things work out. It will include all the stories published in the first four issues of Phase 2 Magazine as well as content which will only appear in the omnibus. I might run one of those stories on the Dark Futures website as a bit of a preview. Again, we’ll see. Also about the omnibus, Jason Miller has completed a painting for the cover. You can see it on Deviant Art right here. He seems worried it’s too graphic or potentially offensive. I don’t think he needs to worry about it. What do you think?

As I blogged about before, I’ve still been following Ash vs Evil Dead. I think it’s the best damn thing on TV right now. I’m sad there’s only one episode remaining. Maybe after it’s done and I rewatch it all, I’ll write about my complete thoughts on it.

I’ve also been following the WWE, as I have been since Stephen Amell feuded with Stardust in August. That feud seems to be making a return, too. I’m hoping we’ll see another Amell vs Stardust match of some kind (the last one was a four man tag match) at Royal Rumble next month, though I’ve seen some people predicting they’ll save it for Wrestlemania, since the last one was so popular. If they do that, it would be especially great to see Stephen Amell just in the Royal Rumble match itself. I don’t expect that will happen, and he obviously wouldn’t win, but it would still be fucking awesome.

Also on that note, my girlfriend and I attended WWE Monday Night RAW live at the Target Center in Minneapolis last week. I haven’t even uploaded any photos from it to my personal Facebook page, so I have none to share right now but probably will eventually. The next time the WWE is coming back to Minnesota is March, but that’s an off night WWE Live event, so I don’t think I’ll bother to go. If I’m going to take the night off work and spend the money, I’d like to at least see the big stars. Granted, most of my favorites are closer to mid card, but still.

Anyhow, in bad news, my water heater stopped working a few days ago. Fortunately, my mother lives only about a mile away and I’ve been able to shower there. It’s just inconvenient. Hopefully that will get fixed soon. If you want to help, go buy Dark Futures and Phase 2 stuff from Amazon so my bank account will get a boost at the start of next month!

In better news, I’ve easily written more this month than I have in the preceding several combined. I hope to continue this trend. One of the things written this month was a bit of flash fiction written for a writing contest in the Space Opera: Writers group on Facebook. I may post that here eventually, but it got a little rushed, so it may see another revision first.

I also completed a story which was for an upcoming Writerpunk Press anthology and is a cyberpunk (or probably more specifically post cyberpunk) retelling of Edgar Allan Poe’s The Facts in the Case of M. Valdemar. It uses a character I had developed for a WIP (but now possibly put to rest) novella and fits in the cyberpunk setting I’ve been very gradually developing over the past couple of years. I intend to write a lot within that setting. Hopefully I do.

I’m currently working on a story I hope to submit to the Altered States 2 anthology, but I think I got a bit carried away with the outline and it could turn into something longer instead. We’ll just have to wait and see.

And, finally, as always, I’ve been keeping up with the Cyberpunk Writers Facebook group I run. Activity died down a bit around Christmas but it’s starting to come back around.

That’s all I’ve got for now. This has been a general update on me and what I do. Is there anything in particular you’d like me to cover next time? Anything you’d like to discuss that I’ve mentioned here? I’d love to hear from you. We can talk in the comments here or my About Me page will tell you where else you can get a hold of me.

Force Friday

This past Friday (September 4th) is what is being called Force Friday. It was the release day of all the new Star Wars stuff. That’s toys, some games, costumes, general merchandise, and even a few books.

I’ve already purchased the audio book for Chuck Wendig’s Aftermath, which is set after Return of the Jedi and will serve as the start of a lead in to The Force Awakens. I’ll be listening to that just as soon as I finish Dune.

If particular interest among the toys was a remote controlled Millennium Falcon quad flyer — basically a full on drone. I think I would enjoy owning one of those far more than a grown man should but I managed to resist the temptation to buy it. First of all, the price tag is a bit out of my reasonable budget. Assuming I don’t want to eat all ramen all month, that is. I believe it was about $110. Second, it was made by Air Hogs and I heard their stuff is not the most durable. In a month of so, I will read some reviews of it and reevaluate if I may want to save my pennies to acquire one.

So it looked like I was going to make it through Force Friday without buying any toys that I have no actual use for but want nonetheless. Of course, I’m weak and I could not allow that to happen. Apparently Micro Machines are making a comeback and there is a Star Wars ship blind bag made buy them. I picked one of those up. I gave a few packs a feel before deciding on one that felt particularly flat, hoping it would be a Millennium Falcon. It wasn’t, but I’m not disappointed. I could think of worse ways to spend $2.49+tax than this:

image

And that’s all I’ve got to say for now. Did you buy anything on Force Friday? Let me know in the comments.

What To Expect

It has been a few days since this site launched and since my first post, so by now I feel like I owe any potential audience a little more. I was cut short last time and didn’t get around to letting people know just what to expect from this site. I’ll do that now.

First of all, this will be my personal blog. That’s the main thing, really. I’ll talk about the things I want to talk about because I can. That may be rants, or announcements, or just about anything.

Something which will probably make a regular appearance here is announcements. I’ll announce here when I sell a story, when anthologies or zines with me in them release, and that sort of thing. I’ll also probably post about anything I edit and release with 19th Day, Dark Futures, Phase 2, or whatever else. In this sense, this will be much like a blog of any other writer.

Reviews, or at least my disorganized thoughts on things, will also probably be a fairly common thing around here. If I really like a movie, game, book, or whatever else, I like to tell people about it. It can spread the enjoyment and grow the overall support for the thing I like, which will help it continue.

Thoughts on ongoing things I like will also be pretty common. The big thing here will be comic book based TV shows. Arrow, The Flash, that sort of thing. Because of my schedule, I don’t get to watch these things live so I won’t have a recap up the next morning or anything, but usually within the week I’ll probably have something to say about the most recent episode and where I think the story is going. Trying to figure out what’s coming is one of my favorite parts of watching a series. Pro wrestling (WWE) will also fall under this heading to some extent, but I’m not likely to post about that as regularly.

Eventually, I may host some blog tours or do some interviews. That’s likely a ways off, though, and nothing I’m putting too much thought into at the moment.

Any questions? Anything you’d like to see here?

Introduction

My name is David Stegora and you have, most likely through clicking a link I posted somewhere, found your way to my new blog, Anomalous Monologue. (Say that five times fast.) This will be the place, for the foreseeable future, where I will post about things which interest me, announce my publications, and that sort of thing. In other words, this is where I will talk to myself in cyberspace.

As this is the first real post on this blog, I feel an introduction is in order. I’m probably not going to say much that you couldn’t learn from the about me section linked at the top of this one, but who really clicks those links, anyway?

As previously stated, my name is David Stegora. I’m a writer, or so I’m told. I often feel the situation is more similar to me continuing to make up stories and write them down, the way I did for Dungeons & Dragons when I was a kid, I’ve just gotten better at it and people even occasionally pay me to do it.

I am also Editor-In-Chief (a title which I gave myself) of something called Dark Futures Literature LLC or DarkFuturesFiction.net. That’s something I started in 2012 when certain aspects of my life situation changed and I found myself with more money and more time than I previously had. Yes, that’s a fancy way of saying I became single.

I’m sure I’ll give a more thorough accounting of the history of Dark Futures at some point in the future. For now, let’s just say this: I started out knowing almost nothing. I learned a lot. Things changed. Then, Phase 2 Magazine was born.

Which brings us closer to the present. Phase 2 is still going (in fact, the third issue was just released) and I am still its editor (another title which I gave myself.) I’m proud of how it progresses and of each individual issue. Readership is relatively small, but growing, and I feel like I’m doing something worth doing.

More recently, I have taken on a new project, though it has yet to really gain any traction. That is 19th Day Proofreading. I want to use my experience editing for Dark Futures and learning as a writer to provide a cheap proofreading and basic editing service to people who can’t afford to hire a seasoned professional editor, or just need basic work done for something. I’d also like to make a few extra dollars to go toward improving Phase 2, buying copies of books, and that sort of thing. I’m available for hire directly (just check out the link above) or through Fiverr. If you’re interested in hiring me directly, mention this blog post when you contact me before the end of the month, I’ll double your order (up to an additional 6,000 words).

All in all, I think this has been a decent introduction. I will return before long to discuss what can be expected from this blog in the future and then to commence with that plan.

Watch This Space

Welcome to anyone who happens to find this blog earlier than I intended. My official launch date is September 1st, but I wanted to make sure to get things in order before then. Up along the top of this page you should be able to find whatever information you’d like until I get things going properly tomorrow.