My WrestleMania 33, according to TEW 2016

In case you weren’t satisfied with the real WrestleMania 33.

WrestleMania 33 has come by and gone quicker than you can say “Sable deserves to be in the WWE Hall of Fame”. But if you’re looking for some more Mania fun slash shenanigans, then I simulated my own version of WrestleMania 33 on my TEW 2016 simulator. Read below for the results of the show.

Welcome to WidowMania 33!

PRE-SHOW
Pre-Show Match 1:
Smackdown Live – Sami Zayn vs. Samoa Joe
Samoa Joe has had a problem with the success of former Intercontinental Champion Sami Zayn, resulting in unpredictable attacks on the redhaired fan-favourite. Sami has fought back against the Destroyer, and the two looked to settle their differences at the Grandest Stage of Them All.
WINNER: Samoa Joe via pinfall

Pre-Show Match 2:
Raw – Alberto Del Rio vs. Shinsuke Nakamura
Ever since Shinsuke debuted on the Raw roster, Alberto has taken exception to the strong fan following of the Japanese superstar. Nakamura defeated Del Rio in his main roster debut, but Del Rio wasn’t about to let the same mistake happen again.
WINNER: Alberto Del Rio via pinfall

Pre-Show Match 3:
Interbrand – The Fabulous Moolah Memorial Battle Royal
Following the success of the first ever Women’s Rumble, WWE gave the inaugural Fabulous Moolah Memorial Battle Royal the greenlight, the female counterpart to the Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal. Superstars from Raw and Smackdown Live will compete to see who would be the first trophy holder.
WINNER: Nikki Bella from Smackdown Live

Pre-Show Match 4:
Interbrand – The Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal
The Raw roster had banded together for this battle royal to make sure one of their guys won the trophy, even with lingering problems between them. The Smackdown Live roster were looking to make sure that both trophies came to the blue brand.
WINNER: Braun Strowman from Raw

MAIN CARD
Match 1:
Smackdown Live – Smackdown Tag Team Champions The Usos (Jey Uso and Jimmy Uso) vs. The Revival (Dash Wilder and Scott Dawson) vs. Bad Influence (Christopher Daniels and Frankie Kazarian) vs. Breezango (Fandango and Tyler Breeze) in a four-way elimination match for the Smackdown Tag Team Championships
The Usos were the inaugural Smackdown Tag Team Champions, and are now in their second reign after defeating Bray Wyatt and Erick Rowan. The Smackdown tag team division want to put up a credible challenge to the Samoan champions in this elimination-style match.
WINNERS: The Usos via pinfall over the Revival to retain the Smackdown Tag Team Championships; Bad Influence were first eliminated, followed by Breezango

Match 2:
Raw – Chris Jericho vs. Kevin Owens
Former best friends turned bitter enemies go into battle as Y2J takes on KO. This incredibly physical rivalry will finally culminate at WrestleMania after many backstage assaults and in-ring brawls.
WINNER: Chris Jericho via pinfall

Match 3:
Smackdown Live – Shane McMahon vs. Cody Rhodes w/ Brandi Rhodes
Cody Rhodes feels that Smackdown Live Commissioner Shane McMahon has been treating him unfairly, and took his frustrations out on him. Thinking he wouldn’t retaliate, Rhodes was surprised when McMahon fought back, and challenged him to a match at WrestleMania.
WINNER: Cody Rhodes via pinfall after a distraction from Brandi

Match 4:
Raw – United States Champion Finn Balor vs. Cesaro vs. Sheamus vs. Neville for the United States Championship
Currently the longest reigning champion in WWE, Finn Balor has beaten every challenger thrown his way. Now facing three formidable opponents, the Irish champion looks to retain his championship at WrestleMania.
WINNER: Finn Balor via pinfall on Neville to retain the United States Championship

Match 5:
Smackdown Live – The Wyatt Family (Bray Wyatt and Erick Rowan) vs. Zack Sabre Jr. and Dolph Ziggler in a Steel Cage Elimination Match
Dolph’s problems with the Wyatts looked to hinder him as the numbers worked against him, so he called in back-up in the form of main roster debuting Zack Sabre Jr. Bray now has his opponents trapped in a steel cage with no escape, and Rowan is more than happy to serve his master.
WINNER: Dolph Ziggler via pinfall on Bray Wyatt; Erick Rowan was first eliminated, followed by Zack Sabre Jr.

Match 6:
Raw – Raw Women’s Champion Sasha Banks vs. AJ Lee vs. Eve Torres vs. Charlotte Flair for the Raw Women’s Championship
The Boss has shown a different side of her recently, turning her back on the WWE Universe. After a triple threat match between AJ, Torres and Flair ended in a no contest, Stephanie McMahon declared that Sasha would defend her title in a fatal four way.
WINNER: Eve Torres via pinfall on Sasha Banks to become the New Raw Women’s Champion

Match 7:
Smackdown Live – Ryback w/ Smackdown Women’s Champion Eva Marie vs. Randy Orton
When John Cena defeated Ryback and Randy Orton to become the no#1 contender for the World Championship, Ryback blamed Orton for the loss and took out his anger on the Apex Predator. The two main eventers will finally clash at WrestleMania, with the devious and cunning Smackdown Women’s Champion Eva Marie on the outside.
WINNER: Randy Orton via pinfall

Match 8:
Raw – Raw Tag Team Champions The Dudley Boyz (Bubba Ray Dudley and D-Von Dudley) vs. Avalon (Hugo Knox and Jon Cutler) w/ Satisfaction vs. The Club (Karl Anderson and Luke Gallows) vs. Enzo Amore and Big Cass for the Raw Tag Team Championships in a four-way ladder match
The Dudley Boyz have reigned supreme on their division for the past four months, and with the debut of Satisfaction’s new team in Hugo Knox and Jon Cutler, the Raw tag team division looks to shake up, culminating in this high-stakes ladder match.
WINNERS: The Dudley Boyz via title retrieval to retain the Raw Tag Team Championships

Match 9
Smackdown Live – Intercontinental Champion Baron Corbin vs. Dean Ambrose for the Intercontinental Championship
Dean Ambrose defeated the Miz to become the #1 contender for the Intercontinental Championship, and Baron Corbin looked to injure the Lunatic Fringe and make sure he didn’t make it to WrestleMania. But Ambrose is here, and looks to take the title from Corbin once and for all.
WINNER: Baron Corbin via pinfall to retain the Intercontinental Championship

Match 10
Raw – Brock Lesnar w/ Sable vs. Bobby Roode
When Bobby Roode first challenged Brock Lesnar at WrestleMania, the Beast Incarnate and his wife Sable thought it was a joke. Roode wouldn’t take no for an answer, and got into a verbal war with Sable until she finally accepted on Brock’s behalf. Beating Roode in tag team contests, Lesnar was confident he would make short work of Roode at WrestleMania.
WINNER: Bobby Roode via pinfall

Match 11
Smackdown Live – Smackdown Women’s Champion Eva Marie vs. Paige for the Smackdown Women’s Championship
Eva Marie has managed to avoid the women of the Smackdown Live by using her client Ryback to her advantage, faking injuries, and choosing to defend her title in Bra and Panties matches. Then-Raw superstar Paige won the first ever Women’s Rumble, and crossed over to Smackdown to shut up Eva Marie for good. With Ryback banned from ringside, how will Eva Marie fare on her own?
WINNER: Paige via pinfall to become the New Smackdown Women’s Champion

Match 12
Raw – Roman Reigns vs. Triple H w/ Stephanie McMahon
Triple H cost Roman Reigns a shot at the Universal Championship when he distracted Roman in the Royal Rumble long enough for Seth to capitalise and toss him out. Roman is out for revenge, and the Cerebral Assassin is more than happy to give him what he wants.
WINNER: Roman Reigns via pinfall

Match 13
Smackdown Live – World Champion AJ Styles vs. John Cena for the World Championship
AJ Styles has been a fighting champion, defeating the likes of Samoa Joe, Dean Ambrose, Ryback and Randy Orton to retain his gold. John Cena has beaten AJ before, and challenged AJ to one more match at WrestleMania to see who is truly the Face that Runs the Place.
WINNER: AJ Styles via pinfall to retain the World Championship

Match 14
Raw – Universal Champion CM Punk vs. Seth Rollins w/ Satisfaction for the Universal Championship
After winning the Royal Rumble thanks to Triple H, it was no surprise that Seth Rollins bid his time to strike on the new Universal Champion in CM Punk. With only a short title reign under his belt, the Straight Edge Superstar looks to continue his run by defeating the 2017 Royal Rumble winner in the main event at WrestleMania.
WINNER: Seth Rollins via pinfall to become the New Universal Champion

Yeah. Pretty sure my Mania was better than the real one. Soz Roman.

– by Noah La’ulu

#LauluCruise2017

I only just realised that I hadn’t written about my first cruise ever. Tl;dr – it was amazing.

Along with going on an amazing six-week holiday with Miss Kate, I had another holiday to go on only a few months later. Daddy wanted all of my family to get together and go on a family holiday – our last official family holiday was in 2011 – so not only was it going to be a great bonding experience for everyone, but it was going to be my first time going on a cruise.

On February 14, my family and I boarded Royal Caribbean’s Explorer of the Seas, ready to spend the next eight nights on board. Not only was my immediately family attending – myself, my two parents, two brothers, two sisters, two sister-in-laws, a niece and a nephew – but we also had extended family and other friends with us, so in total, there were about 30 of us on board.

Instead of going through my days in chronological order and listing what I did daily, I’m just going to tell you everything I had done on the cruise in general.

First of all, it’s important to mention for anyone with a beating heart that food is free (with the exception of some specialty restaurants, but honestly, why would you pay to eat when almost everything else is free)! The only time I ever paid to eat was when I ate at Johnny Rocket’s, which was only a $7USD surcharge fee, and then everything on the menu was yours for the taking.

Each morning, I would go to the Windjammer Marketplace for breakfast, which is the Explorer’s version of a buffet. I can’t tell you about the variety of foods they had there for your first meal of the day, because I only ever ate hash browns and croissants; if I was feeling a bit adventurous, I’d chuck a tub of yoghurt on there as well.

While everyone in my family were free to do whatever they wanted during the day and night, we always got together at 6pm in the Sapphire Dining Room for family dinner. this was the Explorer’s version of fine dining. I’m not a fan of fine dining, really; I prefer a burger and fries over some overpriced salad that takes up a quarter of the plate. But God damn, the Sapphire Dining Room was outstanding! The food was great – and there was always one or more choices for vegetarians – but what made this dining experience really great was the service. My family had the absolute pleasure of dining with our waiters Ikomang and Imade, two lovely gentlemen from Indonesia who spared no expense in making sure our time with them was always 11/10.

The types of activities on board cater to everyone also: there is trivia and gallery viewings for the more introverted; there is ice skating and rock climbing for the physically adventurous; and there’s karaoke and outrageous game shows for the attention hogging types (me). I can’t even begin to describe the amount of fun I had on board, from playing putt putt with my nephew and niece, to playing as Novak Djokovic on Virtua Tennis in the arcade, the Explorer of the Seas had almost limitless amounts of activities to do. There were also different shows available, with ice-skating extravaganzas taking place on the ice skating rink, and broadway style shows in the Palace Theater. And if you were confused as to what you wanted to do that day, they gave out day sheets for everything that would be running that day.

I can’t speak for the other types of rooms available on board, but my two sisters and I shared a room with a balcony – because we can’t not have fresh air in our room. How gross. The room was pretty small, and the bathroom and shower left no room for me to effectively shave my legs, but when you consider the amount of time you would actually be spending in the room as opposed to everywhere else on the ship, then it was worth it. My sisters had the double bed whereas I had a hidden bunk bed that appeared from the ceiling. Great use of space, Royal Caribbean!

The island visits were also amazing! On my cruise, we were able to visit two countries and three islandsNouméa, New CaledoniaMystery Island, Vanuatu; and Maré, New Caledonia. Nouméa was beautiful in its own different way; it wasn’t what I expected it to be, but then five minutes down the street, it was… if that makes sense. My siblings all had ice cream from this place – which they said they had imported from France – and said it was the best dessert they’ve ever had, so there’s that? (I opted not to buy anything because why would you when the food on the ship is free). Mystery Island was actually paradise: the ocean was crystal clear and had this amazing shade of azure blue that it looked like I was staring at a postcard; the natives who visit the island to greet tourists were so adorable and friendly and had several goods and services for sale; and the sun was beaming down on the island as if we were the only place on earth. Admittedly, I didn’t get off at Maré, because I was too damn burnt from Mystery Island and everything hurt everywhere.

And finally, if you have read this far, there is the nightlife on board (yes there is nightlife on a cruise). Depending on which drink package you get – if you even choose to get one at all – then drinks on board can either be pricey, or already paid for.  The alcoholic drink package, which is around $45USD a day, guarantees virtually unlimited alcohol for the entire duration of your cruise. I suggest that if you’re a big drinker, or even if you can go through at least five cocktails a day, then this package is for you. The Explorer had several options for you if you were nocturnal or just liked a good night out – there was the casino (don’t ask me about it, I have no idea how to gamble other than playing Blackjack terribly), the Star Lounge (which was like a fancy music-playing bar) and Dizzy’s (the nightclub). Having experienced the latter two, I can say that the nightlife on the cruise was pretty damn good. And when Dizzy’s shut, you were free to head to the pool deck where the drinks would continue until the early morning.

The people you meet on board are pretty amazing as well, and if you’re lucky like me, you’ll take some friends away from your short trip. Everyone… meet my new little brother Alex.

Oh, and there was also a gym on board.

If you’re interested in doing a cruise – or you’ve done one with another company – I highly recommend cruising with Royal Caribbean. It was a pleasant 10/10 experience for everyone in my family, and I am more than excited to do another one with them.

– by Noah La’ulu

Character Profile: Jordan McMahon

To make The Heart Wants What It Wants a bit more accessible and interactive, I have constructed profiles on the main characters from this novel for your entertainment.

It is important to note that these picture bases of the characters are the most accurate physical portrayal of the character out there and not the actual character. Without further ado, here is the third character profile!

Jordan McMahon
“New Girl in Town”

Full name: Jordan McMahon
Age: 24*
Date of birth: April 24, 1990
Star sign: Taurus
Height: Five-foot-seven
Weight: A lady never reveals her weight!
Hair colour: Dark, almost black
Eye colour: Green
Occupation: Full-time carer for my grandfather Joe
Notable physical features: I have my ears pierced, and I wouldn’t mind getting a small tattoo or two if they had a special meaning.
Hobbies include: I know it sounds childish, but I LOVE playing arcade games! You could leave me at an arcade, work 9-5, come back, and I will still be there. I love spending time with my immediate and extended family, and I love doing cute things with Jase.
One day I wish to be: A mother. What girl doesn’t?
Favourite food: I LOVE Mexican food. Have you ever been to Pablo’s? AMAZING. The spicier, the better. Also, choccy milk. Can’t go wrong with choccy milk.
Least favourite food: Seafood. Or strawbee milk. Who drinks strawbee milk over choccy milk
Favourite movie: Clueless. It’s a must have for every girl’s collection.
Least favourite movie: I can’t stomach horror movies. Blood and guts… yuck!
If I could be someone else for a day, I’d be: Audrey Hepburn!
Favourite musician: Ariana Grande
Favourite song: Bang Bang by Jessie J, Nicki Minaj and Ariana Grande
Favourite book: The Harry Potter series for sure! I’m in Gryffindor and my patronus is a flamingo.
Favourite TV series: Pretty Little Liars
Likes: Playing games, having fun, not taking myself too seriously! I love spending time with my family and extended family, and I love listening to my grandfather’s stories! That man has lived, let me tell you. Also… choccy milk.
Dislikes: I hate conflict! That is not to say that I won’t engage in some if it’s needed, but I think every situation can be resolved without the need of conflict. Plus, it just makes me uncomfortable watching two people fight. Oh, and strawbee milk.
Quote to live by: “Nothing is impossible. The word itself is ‘I’m possible’!” ~ Audrey Hepburn

To purchase The Heart Wants What It Wants, click this link here for several e-book purchasing options.

– by Noah La’ulu

*Age at the time of this novel

Yes, I Am High-Maintenance and I Deserve To Be

Here’s how I turned an intended insult into a huge compliment.

For those that know me well, then you would already know the fact presented to you in the headline. And for those of you who don’t, let me catch you up to speed in the quickest way possible… I am precious: I physically cannot stay at hostels (3.5 stars are my absolute minimum for accommodation); if you don’t reply to my message within five minutes, I’ll be the first to complain about it, and will effortlessly flood your phone or inbox with messages until you do; unless it is cosplay or pop culture accessories (love my Harley Quinn Puddin’ choker), I refuse to wear jewellery that isn’t from Tiffany & Co.; and sometimes I call my father at work just to see what he’s doing.

I am high-maintenance af, and others have picked up on it. Some may intend it in a nice “but we love you anyway” kind of thing, but some people mean it as a form of insult, as in I need to change the way I am to suit them. I admit, being high-maintenance or needy isn’t necessarily a great quality to have, but I am proud of every intricacy of my personality, whether that is being bashful, loud, blunt, or high-maintenance.

As I sat down and thought to myself why others view me that way, I realised that when people call me high-maintenance, it is actually a huge compliment to my parents and their efforts in raising me to the best of their ability.

Thanks to two individuals, these siblings have lived a great life, including the addition of two sister-in-laws.

Contrary to what some may believe, when I was first born, my family didn’t have a lot. We usually wore hand-me-downs (FACT: I still have a jumper that my sister wore when she was in high-school so-and-so years ago), and we lived in a small three-bedroom house with seven humans and one canine, but I never saw the financial struggle that my parents must’ve faced, because to me, I had it all. I had somewhat loving brothers and sisters who each year grow closer and closer together; I had food on the table every morning, arvo, and evening, with plenty to spare for tomorrow’s leftovers; and we had a load of board games and a couple of gaming consoles that kept us kids entertained for days.

My father is Samoan, so we practice a tradition called “fa’a Samoa” (which you can learn more about at this link), which is loosely translated to “The Samoan Way”. I might not be completely familiar with the practice, but what I do know is that in this Samoan tradition, you give everything you have to family and friends, even the shirt off your back if you have to – especially in important times like funerals and weddings. While we weren’t rolling around in our riches, my parents often gave everything they had and much more to different family and friends, whom we often had over for dinner several days a week, to the point where I was accustomed to having up to 20 people at my dinner table on a weekly basis.

My father and mother raised me well, and gave me everything that I needed and most often, what I wanted. That is why, several years later as a 24-year-old, I can safely say that I deserve to be high-maintenance, because my needs were always met as a child, and my desires were given to me should I be deserving of them. My parents afforded me the luxuries of staying in nice hotels and enjoying the finer things in life.

So the next time someone tries to take a shot at me by calling me “needy” or “high-maintenance”, I am going to turn around and thank them for acknowledging the stellar job my parents did with me in raising me to be the man that I am today. And I am not ashamed of it.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I have to go straighten my seven-coloured-hair, because I can’t go out in public unless my hair is straightened and styled to the left.

– by Noah La’ulu