As you probably gathered from the last “Match This!”, I’m a big fan of the WarGames format and was quite excited about the NXT show featuring it. What I didn’t know then was that my favorite match wouldn’t be the main event or either title match.
The Road Warriors (Hawk and Animal), Paul Ellering, Dusty Rhodes and Nikita Koloff vs. The Four Horsemen (Ric Flair, Tully Blanchard, Lex Luger and Arn Anderson) and The War Machine (The Big Boss Man)- WarGames match, NWA The Great American Bash Tour July 31st, 1987
Though I can’t remember what movie I went to see, I’ll never forget the reaction to one of the trailers that played before it. For about two minutes, they watched the trailer for Devil, as they had the others. That was until a name appeared on screen: M. Night Shyamalan. At that point, the audience began to boo and laugh.
Team WWF (The Rock, Chris Jericho, The Undertaker, Kane and Big Show) vs. The Alliance (“Stone Cold” Steve Austin, Kurt Angle, Rob Van Dam, Booker T and Shane McMahon), Winner-Take-All Elimination Match, WWF Survivor Series November 18, 2001
Crafting a sequel to any successful film is a daunting task. Fan expectations can be high, bizarre and even unreasonable. This is a weight that a creator must ignore to a certain extent in order to produce something of value. Perhaps the key to a good sequel is taking the established world and then throwing something unexpected at it. Think The Empire Strikes Back and The Dark Knight. Both take their prequels and throw a few more wrenches into the works. Respect is maintained for the previous work but the audience is provided with a more complex narrative created by both films, or as many as the line maintains. In the best case scenario, you end up with work that shatters the perception of the original and improves on it. Creating a sequel to a great film, which doesn’t necessarily have room for improvement, must be even harder.
Back in 2011, I wrote a piece for Sequart about the nature of continuity and the many techniques that Marvel and DC had used to remedy the problems that come with it. While it isn’t the most complex essay I’ve ever written, I couldn’t help but return to it as DC’s Rebirth books have dominated the comics’ scene for the last year or so. Actually, in the piece I assumed that DC was about to embark on an initiative more similar to Rebirth than that of the actual New 52. We cover more about the confusion surrounding the intent of that initiative in the second episode of Season Two, which you can watch here on the site. At the end of the Sequart piece, I came to the conclusion that continuity was an endorsement of the fan base, a way of telling the reader that their interest was appreciated and that their time had not been wasted. As time has passed, my belief in this has only grown.