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Martin Douglas

A proud adopted son of the Pacific Northwest, Martin Douglas is an essayist, critic, and journalist specializing in the fields of music (KEXP.org, Bandcamp Daily, Pitchfork) and pro wrestling (Seattle Weekly, quite a few online zines). He's also a hip-hop beatmaker, fiction writer, disposable camera photographer, and all-around renaissance man.


Trish Adora is 2021’s Independent Wrestler of the Year

It’s December and I’m stoned, watching Trish Adora wrestle a robot. As Adora flusters Shockwave the Robot by grinding a bit in the middle of a tight waistlock, I have to double-check the frayed wires of my short-term memory to make absolutely certain I didn’t sprinkle some recently-procured magic mushroom…

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WRESTLING

78 Degrees of Wrestling: The Major Arcana of AEW (Part III: The Soul of Reason)

XV. The Devil: MJF Another obvious corollary; is there any figure in AEW more contemptible than Maxwell Jacob Friedman? And yet, there are many captivated by his spell. For starters, I must begrudgingly admit he’s a good pro wrestler—so good to the point where there are actually people out there…

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78 Degrees of Wrestling: The Major Arcana of AEW (Part II: The Soul of Will)

To read the previous installment of Martin’s exploration of the major arcana of AEW, click here.  VIII. Strength: Kris Statlander In many different contexts—obviously including pro wrestling—strength is a term used as a synonym of domination. We are conditioned to think of strength when we think of someone conquering another…

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WRESTLING

78 Degrees of Wrestling: The Major Arcana of AEW (Part I: The Soul of Desire)

Not too long ago, my girlfriend told me she described me as a witch. It was far from the first time I’ve encountered the distinction. A woman I dated over five years ago, an aura reader who self-identified as a witch herself, felt the same way. I went to get…

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Malakai Black vs Brock Anderson_2021-08-25 AEW Dynamite 228

WRESTLING

On Eddie Kingston, CM Punk, and Whether People Can Really Change

“You think you’re going to begin your life over and do it right, but what if you never get past the beginning again?” — Pete Campbell, Mad Men (“New Business,” 2015) If you’re the type of person who believes people are incapable of change, you knew it was only a…

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CM punk Eddie kingston

WRESTLING

Is “Hangman” Adam Page the Voice of a Generation? (Part 4: Death of an Heir of Sorrows)

I. Everyone Who Pretended to Like Me Is Gone When FTR rode into Daily’s Place in a custom pickup truck, “Hangman” Adam Page seemed to revel in the arrival of true kindred spirits. A tag team deeply entrenched in the art of pro wrestling (to the extent where they’re quite…

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Adam Cole, Jungle Boy, and the Depth of AEW’s Main Event Scene

The intersecting paths of Adam Cole and Jungle Boy started off as a pitch-perfect red herring. To cap off All Out 2021, after a severe beatdown of Christian Cage and his new-ish friends in Jurassic Express by the Elite, AEW World Champion Kenny Omega hopped on the house mic. In…

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WRESTLING

The Hardy Family Office as a Vibe: A Review

The idea of the Hardy Family Office is intriguing: in them, you have a motley crew of talented athletes who should be stars getting fleeced for 30% of their earnings by a ponytail. Matt Hardy’s been in wrestling long enough to remember when it actually was run by carnies, and…

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AEW Hardy Family Office

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Actually, Big E Doesn’t Need to Be More Serious

Two weeks ago, Big E—his pseudo-surname Langston colonized out of existence as he has often joked—called his shot by announcing on Twitter he was going to cash in his Money in the Bank briefcase on Monday’s episode of Raw. When he followed through on his promise by pinning Bobby Lashley,…

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WRESTLING

Powerhouse Hobbs Reawakens the Legend of CM Punk

In pretty much one fell swoop—in emulating Michael Jordan’s return to the NBA from an Major League Baseball farm team—CM Punk executed the same miraculous feat he did in 2012 when he read WWE the riot act: he made mainstream wrestling cool again. Granted, AEW didn’t need too much help.…

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Cody Rhodes and the Myth of the Heroic Executive

As Anthony Ogogo stood in the ring awaiting the biggest match of his young pro wrestling career at Double or Nothing 2021, Cody Rhodes strode to the ring as if he was defending an ideal, wearing a proud, celebratory expression and a Revolutionary War-inspired ring jacket. In the runup to…

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cody rhodes mad sad

WRESTLING

The Extremely Incremental Progress of AEW’s Women’s Division

Not to bury the lede before I even write it, but I know AEW’s women’s division is far from perfect. I’m quite aware that in spite of all the lip service and anticipation for it that AEW came in on—there was a feeling AEW would do for joshi what WCW…

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britt baker dmd

WRESTLING

Another Humble Offering for Miro’s Vengeful God

“I receive preferential treatment and I have special privileges I am God’s favorite child No good thing will he withhold from me Because of God’s favor my enemies cannot triumph over me” — DMX, “The Prayer V” (2003) The man born as Miroslav Barnyashev recently said he only lives to…

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Eddie Kingston vs Miro_2021-09-05 AEW All Out 334

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The Young Bucks’ Loaded Travis Scott-Edition Air Jordan 1: A Review

On a night where AEW delivered from top to bottom its very best night of wrestling and surprises, the Young Bucks and the Lucha Bros delivered the night’s wildest and most sensational match. In the center of the steel cage, both teams put their best foot forward to deliver a…

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Like Father, Like Son: AEW Dynamite Recap and Review

Last Week’s Notable Happenings on AEW Dynamite: Chris Jericho made it through four grueling matches in concurrent weeks to get his hands on MJF—only to be forced to tap out.  Thunder Rosa and Penelope Ford stole the show in a match with no storyline build—par for the course for AEW’s…

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Debunking the Labour Party: AEW Dynamite Recap and Review

Last Week’s Notable Happenings on AEW Dynamite: Christian Cage went to the boss (the real boss, not Our Cool Republican Boss) for a challenge for the debut episode of Rampage: an Impact World Championship match against Kenny Omega—as well as an AEW tag team title match for Jurassic Express this…

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Like Sauce and Ribs?: AEW Dynamite Recap and Review

Last Week’s Notable Happenings on AEW Dynamite Homecoming: Our Cool Republican Boss Cody Rhodes lost decisively to Malakai Black in last week’s main event, causing him to STRONGLY TEASE retirement, only for Black to smack him in the back with a crutch to close the show.  “Legit” Layla Hirsch (one…

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WRESTLING

So Subtle, Yet So Bold: AEW Dynamite Recap and Review

Last Week’s Notable Happenings on AEW Dynamite Fight for the Fallen: In last week’s main event, Chris Jericho defeated Nick Fucking Gage at his own game, in a bloody, punishing encounter that involved light tubes, a pizza cutter, and a very unhappy network sponsor. An All or Nothing elimination tag…

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WRESTLING

Return of the Painmaker: AEW Fight for the Fallen Recap and Review

Last Week’s Notable Happenings on AEW Dynamite’s Fyter Fest Night 2:  In the First Labour of Jericho, Shawn Spears was given a signature match—and lost. After the contest, MJF introduced Nick Gage(!!) as Jericho’s next opponent in a No Disqualification Match. Jericho later had a surprise of his own: the…

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WRESTLING

Pretty Nice With the Fork: AEW Fyter Fest Night 2 Recap and Review

Last Week’s Notable Happenings on AEW Dynamite’s Fyter Fest Night 1: In last week’s sorta-rushed but ultimately awesome main event, Darby Allin Coffin Dropped himself into the wooden coffin Ethan Page was sealed inside of after losing the match—causing a lot of people to try to get me to watch…

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