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Y&R’s Jason Thompson Delivers The ‘Power Performance of the Week’

Courtesy/CBS

It was Jason Thompson’s (Billy) time to have a standalone episode on The Young and the Restless and this past Tuesday, Thompson shined in a performance that took an emotional toll on his character of Billy Abbott and for many in the viewing audience.  The last time we saw Thompson given anything near this; was actually his first episode on The Young and the Restless when Billy was hovering between life and death and as he confronted his family, they did not hear what he was saying to them.

Now in September of 2019, Billy has been overcome with grief over the death of his daughter Delia and getting revenge against Adam (Mark Grossman) that he developed an alternate personality who is the tough guy who would do things Billy in his right mind could never set out to do.

Photo: JPI

In the episode, Billy (who is still in a cabin) admits to Victoria that what Chloe said about him is true . He lured Adam to the route where Delia died and tried to kill him.  Billy reveals that there is a whole other Billy who takes over, who wants to punish people, and does some very bad things.  Victoria urges Billy to confront that part of himself.  Since he has not eaten in several days, she leaves him behind at the cabin to go bring him back some food.  And thus ,the standalone episode begins to really kick-off.

Alone, Billy closes his eyes and in tears, sees a more grown up version and vision of Delia.  But she is not happy with him.  While she says she understands why he went after Adam the first time after her death, she does not understand why years later he is still trying to kill him.  Delia explains that going to heaven is beautiful; but he will never be reunited with her if he continues to have malice in his heart and soul.  Billy is devastated that his beloved daughter, who he grieves so much for, is disappointed in him. But then, so too is Jack!

Next, Billy envisions Jack (Peter Bergman) in the cabin with him, and Jack really hits Billy below the belt and tells him what a miserable failure he is and calls him “weak”.  We then see the character switch and the gum-chewing alter ego pushed to the brink and so that Billy fights back.  Jack continues to barrage Billy and then Billy shouts, “Screw you, Jack!”  Billy thinks Jack’s jealous of him. Jack hollers, “Who are you!? Pick one and be done with it.”  It was a difficult to scene to watch, because Billy while battling his demons, he is hearing such terrible things inside himself from those he loved; like his older brother.

Photo: JPI

Then, comes his mother, Jill (Jess Walton)! All of a sudden she appears and is also extremely hard on Billy, and she tells her son that Victoria can do better than him, and that as a partner for Victoria he is an absolute dismal failure.  Jill really kicks him by saying that he always ends up back in the gutter with a mountain to climb.

All of a sudden, an evil Phyllis (Michelle Stafford) emerges in front of Billy.  She really plays up his addiction to gambling, entices him to a poker game and he loses, which further sends Billy spiraling.  He becomes more agitated as she laughs in his face.  Next, Adam appears shouting at Billy, “What is going on in your skull?”  Billy replies, “I’m not a monster.” Adam says, “Neither am I.”  Then, viewers see Adam strangling Billy, but then it is revealed that Billy is being strangled by the alternate version of himself in a fight for power and control.

Photo: JPI

Just then, Victoria (Amelia Heinle) returns as Billy battles with himself and remembers those who just ‘visited’ him.  Billy comes up with the inner strength to throw off the alter and not give in.  Finally, Billy punches him and the alternate Billy sort of melts away. Billy confesses to Victoria he doesn’t want that part of himself to ever return, and if there is anything good left in him it is because of her.

Throughout the hour, Jason Thompson illustrated once again why he is one of the finest actors in the genre, delivering an extremely complex performance and taking the gut-punches thrown at him by the other actors through their characters while taking the audience along with him and Billy’s inner struggle.  Whether you like the storyline, or not, you cannot take away from what Thompson did through his work in a performance that could have easily been just as powerful in a stage play in a theatre, as it was on TV.

What did you think of Jason’s ‘Power Performance of the Week”? Share your thoughts via the comment section below.

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Jason did an absolutely stunning job. I loved the whole thing. His scenes with Victoria were amazing too.

I have been very vociferous about my intolerance of Thompson in the role of Billy Abbott…hardly ever held back.
WOW!! If I could only eat my words about his acting prowess, I would—- He gave me the goosies with that performance—not only was his acting, as the lost, confused desperate and helpless father, man, brother, friend and ‘husband’, superlative; but, by Jove( LOL), Thompson looked as pained as his heartfelt performance. His delivery was top-notch, his expression was unmistakably en pointe …..his eyes hungry and hopeless !!
Fantastic show of talent, Jason….Encore, s’il vous plait!!

Nothing that has went down is his fault he plays what Is given to him !!! We really need including myself to stop blaming and attacking actors for what comes on screen they are doing their job

I will always support him he got a raw deal at GH because nobody could accept the character of Robin leaving they took that out on Jason he did not deserve that abuse so let’s support him now he has poured his soul into making Billy his own

@Kay…I agree Thompson was treated oh so shabbily by GH, and not just at the very end of his contact. His character’s downfall began a rapid descent when Patrick was paired with that ludicrous babysitter in a plucked-from the Disney Channel storyline that was force-fed on the audience throughout one of the worst couplings ever to materialize in Port Charles. Not only was the actress in question absolutely horrible, but the entire scenario made Patrick look utterly ridiculous…..especially when he was far more logically suited to Robin’s BFF, the Lovely Liz, or later, presumed widow, Sam…both of these ladies were age-appropriate and actually had chemistry with Patrick. To this day, Drake Jr.’s time with Sabs remains one of the sorriest chapters in GH history, and quite frankly, it has nothing to do with Robin’s absence, at least, not from my perspective. Personally speaking, I can take or leave KMcC’s character, as she lost all appeal for me once she matured beyond that adorably precocious moppet we knew way back when. Hence whether she was part of Patrick’s life, or not, mattered none to me….I just desired for him to move on from Robin’s so-called “death” with a palatable partner who actually knew his late wife and honored her memory because they had actually shared her life in Port Charles. Instead, we had a wannabee Cinderella tale that usurped the tragedy of Robin’s untimely passing as an excuse to prop the princess-style fantasies of a bubble-headed student nurse with a magical stethoscope. Just the thought of it still makes me want to hurl….

I totally agree Celia. I hated the idea of the DID storyline at first, but end result was great! Billy met his demon and battled it! Now, the next storyline with Victoria being arrested for Victor’s supposed death – we know he ain’t dead, got a not again response. She just went through this with J.T.! Give the girl a break! As always, good post Celia!

Thank you, Lew…..your posts are none too shabby, my friend!! LOL.
It has nothing to do “taking direction” as Kay suggests, but rather my antipathy for Jason; which is never fair. I simply am not a fan of the actor. I won’t hide that fact—-
However I will give one his/her due when deserved. I have never seen so much emotion emanate from Jason’s pores, as it were.
Harry described Billy’s inner turmoil succintly and with heart. His dueling “selves” had to make an appearance in order to save Billy—-or who was truly locked inside—-the climactic emergence was painful to witness—that’s how ‘fantabulous’ Jason was.❤️

Jason Thompson was nothing short of brilliant in playing the internal conflict which exists between his dueling selves. Not only was his acting spot on, the writing and direction was as well. At one point Billy was battling (wrestling) with Adam and the camera pans from behind Adam’s head, and suddenly it is evident that Billy was mirroring Adam’s every move. In fact, it looks like Adam is a mirrored reflection of Billy. Then Adam dissolves into Billy and it becomes clear to the viewer that Billy is really wrestling with himself.
This is a case where great acting merges with great writing and direction.
Bravo to all of those who created this soap opera masterpiece–we so see little of this these days.

Well said agree I think he is dealing with his own guilt

Jason’s performance was riveting. Best daytime performance in years. Writing was much better than usual for all the characters involved. Peter Bergman also stood out.

Jason’s acting was extraordinary – that was so Emmy worthy!!!!

Total awesome and believable. He owned his character.

Absolutely amazing , 1st class acting.,

I was against Thompson taking the role of Billy. BUT, seeing how bad Miller was on GH, bad writing or not, Jason Thompson now fits the role as a more mature William Abbott. Great job on your standalone episode my friend!

Great performance..I hope he is recognized at Emmys…he is the best Billy..hope he stays..

Thompson is a good actor, but still would like to see Billy Miller return to the role. Hopefully this story line is finally OVER. Enough already!!!

Jason Thompson is incredible as Billy Abbott! Please do not bring back Billy Miller even though I love him.

Jason did an extremely wonderful job….I like his performance and how he acts!!! His character is very emotional and lovely! His scenes with Victoria and the kids are very real..he acts like they are a happy family and that is acting with your real feeling!! Jason Thompson’s character of Billy Abbott is done with extreme love, passion, and finesse!!

Yes Tracey,
As much as I love Billy Miller, no one played Billy Abbott as well as Jason. I liked him from the very beginning in this role, and thought his talents were so wasted on GH. He and Victoria look so right together, and it just doesn’t fit anymore when Victor calls him Billy Boy, although I do think he is getting a little more respect for Billy.

That was a very powerful episode. Jason/Billy did battle with his demons and the “evil Billy”. I loved the part where he strangled “himself” and the alter sort of melted away. Great job Jason!!

Behind in viewing as always. Violet is so correct when saying that “Billy Boy” doesn’t work any longer. The first preview I saw of Jason portrayed great gentleness. It was such an opposing character from the previous Billy. Is this the time writer’s are going to allow great shifts in character personas?

So much has changed.

I am somewhat appreciating “new Adam’s” acting, not his character. Did Victor learn something with his illness? In past times he often became the example of pure evil.

There have been too many changes for me too quickly. Where is the rock that holds the program together. Hope the writer’s decide.

Grown up Billy works for me. Find an unexpected real criminal in Genoa City so that Paul doesn’t have to keep arresting his friends. Glad Paul is back! Thanks!

Days Of Our Lives

DAYS OF OUR LIVES: Eric Says Goodbye to Baby Jude

The Monday, May 27th of Peacock’s Days of our Lives, picked right back up for the emotional payoff of Nicole (Arianne Zucker) finally getting her biological son, Jude, back in her arms and learning it from Eric (Greg Vaughan).

As the episode began, Eric (with Jude in tow) is at the front door of the DiMera mansion. Eric recounts Sloan’s (Jessica Serfaty) confession. Nicole (Arianne Zucker) says she knew from the first time she held Jude that this was her child. She says a parent knows deep in their soul. Eric looks at her with tears in his eyes, as he thinks Jude is now EJ’s (Dan Feuerriegel) biological son. That’s a lie into itself and EJ is covering the truth of that along with Sloan.

Eric goes on to explain that Sloan even rigged the DNA results, telling the couple that they can check for themselves with a new DNA test, but this is their baby. Once inside the living room, Eric apologizes to Nicole for what Sloan put her though. Nicole says EJ was a victim too.  She turns to EJ and insists that Sloan be arrested. He tells her there is plenty of time for that. She reiterates, “That bitch stole my baby!” But, EJ is not about to do anything about it.

Courtesy/Peacock

Eric vows he will make Sloan pay for all of her lies and deceit. Nicole asks Eric if he would like to hold Jude one more time before he leaves. Eric tells Jude he will love him more than he will ever know.

As tears stream down his face, he returns Jude to Nicole. She tells he can come over anytime to see the baby. Eric thinks it’s best for Jude to bond with his new family. Holly (Ashley Puzemis) comes in on all this and is filled-in on Jude’s “parentage.” Outside, Eric continues to falls apart.

Courtesy/Peacock

However, after getting a call from Rafe (Galen Gering), they meet outside Eric’s apartment door. When they enter, the place is a torn up and there is no sign of Sloan. All that they find is a necklace, Eric gave her for Mother’s Day.Eric realized she took off, knowing she could be caught for her crimes. Meanwhile, back the DiMeras, an overcome Nicole is in tears that she actually has her baby back.

Now, what? Will EJ try to bond with Jude or not bond with Jude since he is knows Eric is the biological father? Will Sloan eventually get arrested? What did you think of the performance of Greg Vaughan and Arianne Zucker? Let us know via the comment section below. 

But first, in case you missed it, check out the Michael Fairman Channel’s conversation with the Ari and Greg  from five months back where they talk about the baby switch storyline and more.

 

 

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AEW

AEW Double or Nothing 2024: MJF Returns, Mercedes Moné & Will Ospreay New Champs, ‘Anarchy in the Arena’ Wildest Match Yet

Sunday night’s May 26th, AEW Double or Nothing, brought the once upstart wrestling organization back to its roots five years ago where it all started. The 6 hour pay-per-view was back at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas where it all started.

This year, AEW DoN was pretty spectacular, bringing with it the highly-anticipated return of MJF, two title changes, a blood-soaked cage match, and the grand finale of the three main events, this year’s “Anarchy in the Arena” between Team Elite vs. Team AEW, and this one, my friends, was the craziest, most risk-taking of them all!  Let’s take a look at some of the highlights below.

WILL OSPREAY WINS HIS FIRST AEW TITLE

Things got cooking early when the Aerial Assassin, and perhaps the greatest wrestler in the world, Will Ospreay went one-one-one or five-on-one with interference by the “Undisputed Kingdom” for the International Championship currently held by Roderick Strong. Supposedly, a member of the Don Callis family, when Callis came over to ringside to tell Ospreay to finish off and take advantage of an injured Strong, Will had a conflict of conscience which almost cost him the match. Eventually, he put away Strong and became the AEW’s new International Champion.

Photo: AEW

MJF RETURNS

Next, Adam Cole, who has not been on TV of late, and still recovering from ankle surgery, made his way to the ring. As Cole was in the ring, the lights went down and a video package was shown of MJF’s imminent return. Cole was freaking out. Then, MJF’s music hit, and out came the man himself! After Cole begs him to hug it out, Maxwell give him a low blow and then proceeds to grab the mic and deliver another epic promo.  This time, the former champ made it clear that the vulnerable person we saw during his run with Cole as bff’s is gone and the old and more focused version is back. MJF says he is now driven again by “Hate, hate, hate!”

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QWD1ocnG6pA

The big question finally was 100% answered – MJF is signed to AEW: “I don’t need a New Japan or a Vince McMahon to make MJF because MJF made MJF,” he spewed. Pulling up his pant leg to reveal the back of his calf muscle, MJF showed the camera and the crowd he has AEW tattoo’d there, and he’s “not f–king leaving.”

It should be noted that later in the show, Juice Robinson also appeared for the first time in months. Looks like he is back in action with the “Bang Bang Gang” of Jay White and the Gunns.

Photo: AEW

C-E-O C-E-O

It has been a long drawn out several months since Mercedes Mone made her debut in AEW.  Since then, she hasn’t wrestled a single match but that all changed at ‘Double or Nothing’ when she finally took on her nemesis, Willow Nightingale for the TBS Championship.

The women put on a great match and Mercedes still has all the moves that made her a superstar in the WWE as Sasha Banks.  However, the real story coming out of the ppv is what went down in the final moments of the match and its aftermath.

Stokely Hathaway and Kris Statlander appeared to distract the referee to give Nightingale time to gather herself together. However, they kept Aubrey Edwards’ attention long enough that when Willow pinned Mercedes with a three-count, the ref was out of place to count it!

That led to Mone’ capturing the title and the swerve of the night. As Nightingale walked up the ramp, Statlander turned heel, clotheslining her “friend” while Hathaway looked on with glee!

GANGREL RETURNS AND HELPS ADAM COPELAND

When Adam Copeland entered the steel cage that was laced with barb wire and other objects in a grudge match against Malakai Black, he came out to the ring in his “Brood” entrance theme. That was the pack he ran with early in his career, and that was the most violent side of his in-ring personas.

After beating each other senseless and bloody, it appeared that House of Black members Buddy Matthews and Brody King were going to join forces with Copeland on the outside of the ring, when both he and Black escaped the cage for a few moments. However, it was swerve on a swerve and the men beat down Copeland instead. To save the day, the lights go dark. Next, out from a carved out section of the ring comes Gangrel, who hasn’t been seen in a years. He comes to the aid of Adam and the two secure the win for the Rated-R Superstar.

Courtesy/AEW

ANARCHY IN THE ARENA

The Elite with Matthew Jackson and Nicholas Jackson (The Young Bucks) along with Kazuchika Okada and Jack Perry vs. FTR (Dax Harwood and Cash Wheeler), Bryan Danielson and Darby Allin.

The match (if you can call it that) was all over the arena, from the rafters, the concessions stands, the ring ramp, to the parking lot and more. The funniest part is the use of theme music just playing while the guys beat each other up all over the arena. However, Matt Jackson wanted Darby’s music to stop, As EVP’s they demanded the AEW technical team, put on The Young Bucks theme instead. Then, Danielson cut off the Bucks’ theme to play “Final Countdown” until Matt Jackson cut it off citing the over $200,000 in licensing fees this it is going to cost AEW to use it. Hilarious.

Photo: AEW

As the match disintegrated, Jack Perry attacked CEO and AEW GM Tony Khan in the guerilla position backstage, and dragged him out to the stage, only Darby Allin saved Khan by setting Perry on fire with a flame thrower!

Some of the other gnarlier moments occurred when The Young Bucks hogtied and hung up Allin by his feet (for what seemed like an eternity) and then crushed his already broken nose that he suffered from being hit by a bus the other week in real-life! As the match went on, fans were scared for Darby and began chanting “Check on Darby.”  Eventually, Perry pinned Danielson to secure the win and end this classic and outrageous match.

Photo: AEW

In other key matches:

“Timeless” Toni Storm retained her AEW Women’s Championship defeating Serina Deeb

Swerve Strickland retained his AEW World Heavyweight Championship defeating Christian Cage

Orange Cassidy beat Trent Berretta

Chris Jericho beat Hook and Shibata to retain the FTW championship.

Jon Moxley bested Konosuke Takeshita in IWGP Heavyweight championship eliminator

OVERALL GRADE

AEW Double or Nothing 2024 edition gets an A- for keeping it moving through a very long show; that provided something for every type of wrestling fan and delivered in the storylines as well. It also opened the door to new feuds, plus how the major returns will alter the landscape in the months ahead.

What do you think of AEW Double or Nothing 2024? Favorite moment or match? Excited for the in-ring return of MJF? Comment below.

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Recaps

WWE King and Queen of The Ring 2024: Cody Rhodes Defeats Logan Paul to Retain Title; Liv Morgan Wins Women’s Title, Gunther and Nia Jax Crowned

On what seemed on paper as a probable underwhelming Peacock and WWE premium live event, was far from it.  Emanating from Jeddah, Saudi Arabia on Saturday, and streaming early in the day or morning the U.S., the 2024 edition of King and Queen of the Ring set up some major storylines heading into SummerSlam in August and even before then.

The main event saw the Undisputed Universal WWE champion, “The American Nightmare” Cody Rhodes battle United States Champion, Logan Paul. But here was the catch, after manipulation by “The Maverick” and his “team”, only Rhodes’ belt was on the line.

Photo: WWE

“I’M CODY RHODES, BITCH”

In the lead up, Paul surrendered his brass knuckles to ring announcer, Michael Cole, so he couldn’t use them, but as predicted, there was more than one pair and more than one way for Paul to get the knucks into the ring, thanks to his entourage, led by Jeff his manager at ringside.

Paul punched Rhodes in the ribs with them. Later, Rhodes accidentally knocked the referee out thus when he had Logan beaten with a three-count following a Cross Rhodes, no one was there to count three. Next, Paul delivered a low blow and was just about to use the brass knuckles again. All of a sudden at ringside, guest announcer, Saudi Arabian actor Ibrahim Al Hajjaj held on to Paul’s foot and kept him from punching out Rhodes.

Cody then had the opening he needed to deliver three Cross Rhodes and after the final one, he says to Paul, “I’m Cody Rhodes, Bitch!” and the rest is history. Rhodes retains the biggest prize in the WWE.

Photo: WWE

LIV MORGAN’S REVENGE TOUR CONTINUES

The opening bout saw “The Man” Becky Lynch defend the WWE Women’s Championship against Liv Morgan, who has grown more nasty of late. After coming in second on three various occasions which would have led her to title shot, she has managed to secure one here. But not before, injuring then champion, Rhea Ripley and sidelining her.

However, Dominik Mysterio played into the outcome of the match. Earlier in the show, Mysterio revealed he flew to Saudi Arabia to ensure that Morgan didn’t leave with Rhea’s championship.

Photo: WWE

During the back and forth match between Becky and Liv, Mysterio suddenly appeared at ringside when Lynch had Morgan in a Dis-Arm-Her submission hold which ultimately distracted her. Later, he throws chair into the ring for Lynch to use. However, she started arguing with Dirty Dom, and just then. Liv took advantage of the situation and hit a DDT on the chair and then her Oblivion maneuver and it was lights out for Becky. Liv Morgan became a WWE champion for only the second time in her career.

KING GUNTHER AND QUEEN NIA

With the Q&K winner’s getting a title shot at SummerSlam, Gunther bested Randy “The Viper” Orton in what was a grueling match. However, the ending is marred in controversy. Gunther pinned Randy Orton after kicking out of on RKO because he punched the “injured” knee of Orton, which happened at the hands of the Bloodline on Friday Night SmackDown.

From the camera angle, it was clear that Orton’s left shoulder was not down on the mat, so it appeared like a mess-up. However, it seems odd that Gunther made no effort to ensure the other shoulder was down, leading one to believe a rematch or a fatal three-way may be on the horizon. Triple H took to social media afterwards and said the referee’s decision stands.  So where will this lead? Stay-tuned.

Photo: WWE

Nia Jax beat Lyra Valkerie to become your new ‘Queen’, even though the young upstart delivered a strong performance. However, Jax was just too big and too savvy. When Lyra attemped to flip under Jax for a powerbomb off the top rope, Nia was able to gather her footing on the second rope and slammed herself upon Valkerie, butt down, onto her chest  When Jax sat down on top of Valkerie it was with arms-folded for the victory.

Photo: WWE

After Triple H gave Jax the ‘Queen of the Ring’ crown, Nia taunted the crowd as did Gunther when he was crowned ‘King.’ Looks like it could be Nia vs, Bayley at SummerSlam, and as for Gunther, he said he wanted to go for the WWE Championship which is currently held by Damian Priest. But for how long? Triple H announced that Drew McIntrye is medically cleared to face Priest in Drew’s home country at Clash at the Castle in just a few weeks for that very championship.

Photo: WWE

SAMI ZAYN SAUDI ARABIA’S HERO

The hometown crowd in Jeddah was all about Sami Zayn who hails from the Middle East.  Zayn was defending his Intercontinental title against Chad Gable with Otis at ringside and Bronson Reed. The match had plenty of heat from the crowd. Things broke down late in the match when Gable wanted Otis to clothesline Zayn. Otis hesitated, so when he finally decided to do what Gable said, Zayn ducked out of the way and Gable got the brunt of it, leaving the former tag partners at massive odds. That allowed, Zayn to pin Bronson and retain his championship.

OVERALL

The matches were solid. So, we are giving this PLE an A, with the best match of the night Cody vs. Logan, and Gunther getting a title shot he deserves, shoulders pinned down of Orton’s, or not!

What did you think of the 2024 WWE King and Queen of the Ring matches, results and storylines? Comment below.

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