Play it Again Philip

22 06 2016

Philips DVD Player

This past Saturday, I bought a brand new DVD player. Not much in the extraordinary I understand: people buy DVD’s and DVD Players all the time; so why is mine so special? Well, I say this, because, the previous DVD Player I had I received all the way back in November 2005. Yes, I have had the same DVD Player for nearly exactly 11 years. Yet again, maybe not the most extraordinary thing out there to talk about, but given the time I had it for and had become acclimatised too, plus the panic and nerves I created in buying a new one, I thought it could be an interesting blog post (if anyone is interested in history of personal items belonging to other people, sort of like those posts I wrote last year about my Bed).

New Bed with Bedding

Back in 2004, I got into watching Pro Wrestling. Every Saturday morning for a time I would watch WWE Smackdown on Sky One. As time passed by, I bought some WWE DVD’s to watch, however the only DVD player in the house was down stairs, and it was hard to watch any WWE event on DVD on the DVD Player as other people were not necessarily a big as a fan of WWE as I was. After several months, I decided to buy my own DVD Player, and put it in my room with my TV. So, the day after my birthday, I bought one from Currys, took it home, hooked it up to my TV and was able to watch programming. I cannot remember much about that player, except the title screen showed bubbles, the manufacturer started with an S and it had this blue streak across the front of the machine. That machine was pretty problematic as it would not play some DVD’s, would majorly struggle with others, and by October (less than 5 months after buying it), the machine packed in and had swallowed one of my DVD’s (WWE Armageddon 2004). My Mam took me to Currys, but they could not fix it, and the following Monday when I returned, they were able to take out the disc, but the machine had already totalled. As I still had the receipt, I was able to swap it though, and under the advice of a store clerk, I bought the Philips Machine, which worked brilliantly for over a decade.

Philips DVD Player 2

The machine was a nice silvery colour, and the controller was short and fat, but easy to control. It was a wonderful machine. I remember the week I picked it up, going to Currys with the old one after College, swapping it over, watching some DVD’s on it, then breaking my Knee Cap the following Saturday. It’s not the DVD Players fault, it just happened within a few days of each other. Anyway, it was good and I liked it. Back then I had an old TV which my family had previously rented before buying which I then utilised for my room. It was perched on a table which I still have, and the DVD Player was next to it. The early history of the machine was tumultuous as there were some scart issues. The old TV had only one Scart Plug, so over the years when I got more items requiring a socket, I would have to switch from one to the other, which weakened the connection, so it was hard for it to sit in the socket properly, which was even harder when the TV would get shoved aside, which would cause colour issues. At one point I bought a multi scart from Comet which I was assured by a store clerk would work well, but did not, and it was covered by those ridiculous small prints that once the package was opened could not be returned; I wasted some good money on that thing. Eventually however, I received the old downstairs TV (a JVC), which was bigger and had multiple scart sockets, so problem solved in the long-term.

The TV

What followed was many more entertaining and wonderful years of watching DVD’s, until just a few weeks ago. I had begun to re-watch the first season of Arrow on DVD. After playing the episodes, the DVD Player would struggle to reload the menu screen. I just thought that may be due to the disc being a previously used copy, but it just got worse. A couple of weeks ago, I decided to watch Hellboy, but the machine really struggled to load the DVD, it took forever. I cleaned the disc best I could, but once again struggled. I was able to watch it in the end, but I decided to run a test, if it was the DVD, or the player. I took out my DVD copy of Pacific Rim, something I had only run in the machine twice, meaning the disc was still relatively new. I put into the machine, and it did not load. The player was really good for loading a disc in less than about 12 seconds, after 30+, it did not load. I tried to empty the machine, but it even struggled with opening the tray. Luckily I was able to get it out. I then took the DVD downstairs and put it into one of the Players down stairs, and the disc loaded in seconds without a hitch (once I put it in the right way). I tried one more time a week or so later, and it was the same result for the Philips. I did not bother trying it down stairs; it was obvious the machine was dying.

Philips DVD Player Controller

In the end, I decided to buy a new machine. The Philips I had for all that time was a very good machine and had served me well, but even I knew it was time to say goodbye. I did some pre-checking in PC World and Currys, before then deciding that this past Saturday would be the day I would buy a new machine. It was quite handy too as I had been in town before purchasing it to get some books, and watch Princess Mononoke at The Dukes. I went into Currys and had a look. It was nerve-wracking as for one I did not want to spend too much, but two, because the TV was old, it would need some form of old connection as standard in order for me to be able to use it (and three, having previously bought a terrible Matsui from Currys many years ago, was hoping to buy something not so terrible). While I was in Currys I did ponder whether it would be best to get a new TV too, but given my current employment status (desperately looking for work) I knew I would have to raid my savings to buy a new one. So for now it was just the DVD Player. In the end and with some help, it came down to 2 machines, a Sony and a LOGIK. Knowing it would be better to get a more trusted brand, or at least one I had heard of, I went originally for the Sony as it had the Yellow White Red connections in the back, but when someone in the shop said that strangely the box might not contain those cables, I thought in that case I would buy the LOGIK as it had a Scart Connection too (although did not come with the cables, but I could still use the one from the Phillips) plus the coloured connectors and USB (and HDMI I think). After purchasing it plus buying some other bits and bobs quickly, I brought the machine home, and soon after set to work plugging it in.

Philips and LOGIK DVD Player Controller's

It was relatively straight forward in the end, just swap out the Philips, plug-in the LOGIK and then test it. Yeah, pretty simple. When it came to testing it which was simple enough, I knew I needed something good and clear to test it with. The TV is not HD, and frankly I do not care about HD, but I still wanted a clear enough picture. So, I chose the film AKIRA. AKIRA is of course the animated Japanese film from the late eighties, and knowing due to the film’s high sophisticated choice of colouring, knew it would be ideal to test it with. And it worked absolutely fine. It loaded very quickly, and it was a clear picture.


The controller is a lot thinner than the old one, but still easy to use, and unlike the Philips, does have an open/close button. Once I watched a little Akira, I tried it again a couple of times later, watching an episode of The Detectives, and the video diary of Tim Vine (from one of his DVD’s). Altogether, I like my new DVD player. It’s thin and black and fits nicely where the old one used to be. It’s black so fits in with the Virgin Media box sitting comfortably on top (both are very light, but did not fancy placing the player on top the box, as it’s wider), is quick, and very easy to use. So turns out I did not have to worry so much. So, so far so good. Will it last another 11 years, I don’t know, but as long as it lasts a good comfortably long period, I won’t need to worry about buying another one for some considerable time. So, all in all: good.


GENEPOOL (Pop Quiz Hot Shot: What is the above title a line reference too that most people get wrong)?


14 04 2016


In walked the opponent,

His eyes glaring,

The audience cheering.

He walked down the ramp,

And into the waiting ring,

Awaiting the ding.

First a blurry of fists,

Tenderising him like he was chops of lamb,

Before connecting with the slam.

One, Two Three it was over,

The champion with the belt held high,

Before waving the crowd goodbye.


More Reasons To Watch WWE

29 02 2016

WWE Logo

Back in 2014 I wrote a piece about WWE suggesting that there was not much left to watch about it other than about 3 Wrestlers; AJ Lee, Paige and Sting. Well since then a lot has happened that has brought me a lot of joy and entertainment since then. While this may not have returned me to diehard fan status, there is a lot more interest in it for me once again and so I thought I would do a quick post highlighting all the good stuff recently and that there is in WWE right now. It’s not exactly an additional post; it’s more just a list of things as to why WWE is worth keeping an eye on.


Paige: One of the things that always grabs my attention in WWE is Paige. Not just because she is British and it’s great to see some British Wrestlers in WWE, but also because she is a very good wrestler, and storylines surrounding her are always enjoyable, and is one I like to keep up to date with.

Becky Lynch: While we are on the subject of Divas; there is one recent addition to Raw who sounds promising, and while I have not seen much of her, it’s still pretty good to have someone from the UK region who is also being touted as one of top performers right now. Also she has a fantastic sounding entrance theme/titantron.

Dudley Boyz

Dudley Boyz: While it has been a while since they were last seen on TV, as far as I am aware; It’s still fantastic for such a great team, especially from the late attitude era to be a part of WWE once again; especially seeing how child friendly it all is today.

The New Day: Albeit just for the things they say to the ring and backstage, The New Day are just funny to watch, and sometimes emulate.

Sting Champion

Sting: Wrestling is so much more fun when ting has something to do with it. Yes, he has been on and off since his debut, yes he has yet to win a single match, but merely his presence is enough to set off the audience. He does not even need to fight, he could just stand in the ring staring at the crowd blankly and ominous. But that’s not to say his wrestling is not Fantastic also, he is just a one of kind person who improves something by simply appearing, anything more than that is just another fantastic bonus. Also he is due to be inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame this year.


The Undertaker: The big resurgence (along with the word Resurgence) most recently is of course the re-appearance of The Undertaker in a more substantial way other than simply appearing at WrestleMania. The Undertaker remains my favourite Wrestler to this day, and much like Sting, his appearance alone is just Fantastic, and creatures an urge, a spirit to see more of him, and when he finally does make a much bigger appearance, it was all the worth it. Well, with WrestleMania now on the Horizon, it should not be too long now.

AJ Styles: The one thing that has me more interested in WWE right now more than anything is the arrival of AJ Styles. A wrestler who I have watched for many years in TNA is now in WWE, and it’s already looking like big things are being planned for him, what with him engaging with Chris Jericho in his first match. I am hoping that this will mean a WWE Title shot sooner than later, but I don’t want his career in WWE to be jinxed so quickly, as first he really needs to build up and show that he is worth it. But if Sheamus can do it in just a few months, why not Styles? In any case, it is just fantastic that such a high calibre wrestler like Styles is now in WWE where a much larger audience can see him, although I am not too sure about his Entrance Music, as I always preferred ‘Get Ready To Fly’.

GENEPOOL (All we need now is a return from Booker T – and possibly a few others – and WWE will be even better, possibly).

WWE…..Get Ready To Fly

26 01 2016

WWE Logo

I have known about TNA Wrestling for a long time now. I think I first heard my brother talk about it probably after he heard about it in the now defunct Pro-Wrestling Magazine; Power Slam. Anyway, I have known about it for a while, and my interest began to spark when I heard that Sting was returning to Wrestling, but for them not WWE at the time. Anyway to cut a long story short, eventually TV channel Bravo began to show TNA Impact in the UK. I knew some of the wrestlers in it like Sting, Kurt Angle and Christian, but it was new ground for me and I had to learn the names of quite a few new wrestlers. Within the first episode of one, there was a guy known as AJ Styles. Upon hearing that name; you can probably see what this Blog Post is about. Anyway, as the show began to attach itself more to me than WWE, the more I began to learn about this new wrestling show and its stars, in particular AJ Styles.

TNA 2012 AJ Styles

AJ Styles was a one of a kind wrestler within the company. He was given the name Phenomenal, of which he was. He migrated between goody and baddy on a regular basis, but despite that though, his in ring talent was amazing to behold, and he stayed within this company for a very long time, switching as usual, but entertaining more than most, and was a worthy holder of the World Heavyweight Title which he held on several occasions. But then in 2013, he left the company. Now I don’t want to get bogged down as to why, but for TNA, it was a real loss. Automatically his leaving began to affect the show, and I have been saying for a long time now, that TNA really needs to bring him back. Well it appears that they may be a bit too late to do that. I found out last week rumours that AJ Styles was going to WWE. I did not know if this was true or not, but within a couple of days later, it turned out it was all true as he had officially signed with the company, and rumours beckoned of him appearing at this past weekend’s Royal Rumble…..which he did.

Upon hearing that he did enter, I found a video online proving this, and I was really excited. Finally, AJ Styles had arrived in a company where I would be able to see him in a more regular spot. Now though is where the questions begin to arise, as to what WWE is going to do with him. People who have jumped from TNA in recent history have not had such a great time, where as in TNA they were on top of their game, only for WWE to hold them down in a way that makes WWE look like they are just using them to prevent the major competition from gaining. So, as for AJ Styles it brings into question if such a talented performer is going to receive a similar treatment. Right now I am confident that won’t happen given b his WWE Debut. He was announced by the name AJ Styles and not by a fake name. The Audience saw him, and cheered so loudly for him, plus the commentators talked about him in such a positive way. Plus his Debut was done correctly, by having him alone with Roman Reigns in the ring, giving him a similar debut to that of Sting in 2015.

As to what WWE is going to do with him in the future is still in the question phase; his debut at the Royal Rumble provides a positive start for such a talented performer. It will really come down to the next few weeks and months as to what happens to AJ Styles in WWE, but I am hopeful, as his appearance in WWE makes it a lot more interesting now. With any hope, he will replace and put John Cena in his place, because come on, AJ Styles is a lot better than John Cena.


The Undertaker And Me

18 11 2015

Undertaker 2

This coming Sunday marks a very special moment in the history of Professional Wrestling. At this year’s up and coming WWE Survivor Series event, the whole world of Professional wrestling will celebrate the anniversary of the debut of one of the greatest Professional Wrestlers in the entire history of Professional Wrestling. This week marks the 25th anniversary of the debut of The Undertaker. Now for those of you who have no idea what I am talking about, well; The Undertaker is a Professional Wrestler (real name Mark Calaway) who for the past 25 years has been wrestling for the WWE (World Wrestling Entertainment). Anyway to mark such a momentous moment in Pro Wrestling history, I wanted to do something special, but couldn’t figure out what. So in the end I decided to do just a post on what The Undertaker has meant to me; because well, from the moment I started watching WWE, he was there from the beginning and throughout that time, and even when I began to watch other Wrestling promotions like TNA (Total Nonstop Action), he has remained my favourite.

WWE Logo

I have always known about Pro-Wrestling. I remember when my brother used to watch videos of WCW (World Championship Wrestling) events on VHS and it starred notable wrestlers like STING. I also remember watching this Hulk Hogan cartoon thing when I was younger too. Even when WWF at the time was making a mark on Sunday Afternoon television on Channel 4, I remember seeing my brother watching it. But at no time during any of this was I interested in it. In 2003 my family got Cable TV for the first time, and on SKY One they used to show Wrestling programs, but I was not interested then either. This changed however in July 2004 when just before I was about to go away on a camping holiday in Clapham, I just watched it. And I liked it. I remember seeing wrestlers like Kurt Angle back when he was Smackdown General Manager and Eddie Guerrero in his bouncing car. One thing that stood out for me though was when JBL (John Bradshaw Layfield) was talking smack about being champion and then The Undertaker walking out and challenging him for the WWE Championship; uttering the words “You, Me, Summerslam”. From that moment I was hooked, and when the camp finished I couldn’t wait to turn on the TV back home and find out what was going on. I soon became a big fan, and the Undertaker was my favourite. There were other wrestlers that I also liked including Booker T, Eddie Guerrero and Rob Van Dam, but the Undertaker always shined through, and whenever he came out to the ring, it was an Amazing moment to watch. Smoke filling the walkway, his music coming on, after the famous single bell toll.

A few months later I even got to go and see WWE live when Smackdown was shown Live in Manchester at the MEN Arena for the first time. I can still remember going with my Mam and Brother, going into that packed building and seeing so many wrestlers fighting amongst themselves. And lo and behold, I also got to see The Undertaker wrestle right in front of my eyes as he went 1 on 1 with Heidenreich. That part wasn’t shown on Television, but just seeing him there was amazing. As time went by I cheered for him on TV and got angry when he lost matches, particularly when it involved a Championship. His appearances on the TV shows were on and off, but I still hung in for hope, hoping he would come back soon.

TNA 2012 Manchester Arena

By this time I was a regular viewer of WWE Smackdown on Sky One but struggled after that when it moved to Sky Sports, which my family did not have. Thankfully a new show in the shape of the WWE Experience came on Sundays so I could somewhat keep up. Eventually however, we got Sky Sports and I was able to get back into it. By the end of 2005; after a long and lengthy rivalry with Randy Orton came to a close, during Christmas that year I received a copy of Tombstone: The History Of The Undertaker on DVD. Throughout the Christmas holidays (which was a big help as I was in a Zimmer Frame at the time) I watched nearly the entirety of the DVD (still have some extras to watch). Some of the matches it included were the Hell in a Cell match against Mankind and a match at King of The Ring against The Rock (also one of my favourite Undertaker Entrances).


Professional Wrestling is like a soap opera, and stories need to be followed by the audience, and some of the time these aren’t all that inviting and you can begin to waver from them. And when your favourite character is not around as much, it can be hard to keep going. For a while I was, throughout 2006 with some appearances from The Undertaker as he wrestled people like Mark Henry, plus another chance to see The Undertaker as well as Kane in Manchester again. Then followed by his successful victory at the Royal Rumble, his rivalry with Batista and his runs as World Heavyweight Champion. That is all good and fun, but eventually things began to wrap down, and in 2008, TNA debuted on the now defunct uk channel Bravo. With a new and fresh wrestling show to watch which in turn was also at the time at least a lot more exciting and featured stars like Jeff Jarrett, AJ Styles, Kurt Angle, Abyss and of course STING, my interest in WWE began to waver. The Undertaker was still a part over at WWE, but as time marched on, he began to be seen less and less, and ultimately as the years went by, just came down to 1 appearance at Wrestlemania a year. Things though began to change, and my interest in WWE and the Undertaker sparked up a little bit as for a period of 4 years faced 2 other Great Wrestlers in HBK Shawn Michaels and Triple H. While I wouldn’t watch any other part of that company except for either interest or by accident, I would keep informed of those matches, and while I did not get to see those shows, I really wanted to see those matches. Still haven’t.

TNA 2012 AJ Styles

TNA at the time for me was going off leaps and bounds producing far better shows, including 2 far better live shows back in Manchester with stars like Sting and Hulk Hogan on show at the last one I went to see (check out my photos). As for WWE, that quickly became boring due to the constant of John Cena being champion all the time. Soon though as TNA began to get into issues, the product started to lose its effectiveness on me. For the last few years on both promotions it’s been a feign interest. Things have begun to change recently, while I hope TNA will go back to the way it became, WWE is starting to look good again with Wrestlers like Paige lighting up the entire Diva division, and interesting new stars like The New Day, plus returned legends like STING (first time in WWE), Brock Lesnar and the Dudley Boyz making WWE the place to be. But, I always have a soft spot for my favourite Wrestler; The Undertaker. I was shocked like many when he lost to Brock Lesnar at Wrestlemania a few years ago (I thought it should have been someone like Goldberg), but his sudden recent return to fight back Brock Lesnar has got me geared back into WWE a bit.


My fascination with wrestling is still in me down there. I have become a fan of Total Divas, but for the most part I am now a casual observer. Sure I will watch the odd video, and still listen to the Wrestler’s Entrance music on YouTube, but, I am a more casual observer. However, there is always one thing that will get me watching WWE. Yes, his career is now starting to wane, and I feel like his retirement is now going to be a lot sooner than later, but, even when he does decide to go, he will remain a true legend in the sport of Pro Wrestling. There will always be a part of me that longs to see the Phenom; The Undertaker once again.

GENEPOOL (Apologies if this post seems scattered, it was more just a brief overview of me and The Undertaker. Maybe I’ll do one when he gets inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame… promises).

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