A quick thank you

I’m not one for pleasantries here on the blog. Boss Lady Ray, for all her whip-cracking ways here in The Bunker, is much more emotional than my flinty northern heart will allow. But I was genuinely chuffed by the response to our Birthday Giveaway. It’s nice to know that so many people want some free stuff from us enjoy the blog around the world. You made both myself and Ray happier than a tortoise eating a strawberry…

…which I think you’ll agree is pretty damn happy.

We will be posting the winners on Monday, but I just wanted to take the opportunity to thank you all for reading, and especially for saying such nice things. So to Balard (sorry we don’t quite have the budget of the WWE), Achema (Danke Schön), Lauren (good luck with the blog), Zarushi (Merci Beaucoup), Abby (it’s always cake time round The Bunker), Tyler (less twitter, more blog!), Hel (many more years? Do you not realise how old and decrepit I am?), Jenna (between you and me, Ray is still cheering on Cena, just very quietly), Shoaib (Nov 2009! That’s when I started! Can I have a raise Boss?), Kellee (I’d add a chicken joke here, but that would be childish), Joey (glad we help you to “keep it up”, weirdo), Cat (Woo Woo Woo We Are Fully Aware Of It), Sarah (Diolch yn fawr), Charlie (Have a great time at King of Trios *seething jealousy*), Daniel (Santino has excellent taste in comedy), Steven (don’t tell anyone, but I think the runner up prize is the better one), Rachel (hopefully the big “2″ won’t be the “terrible twos”), Jason (is Radford as cool a place as it sounds?), Lacy (a good boyfriend will always let you read first), Sarah (thank you very much), Sean (Love? Blimey… cheers mate), Kim (Punk’s pants again! I’m beginning to think I might have to bring Crotch Watch back.)

To all of you, thanks for being so awesome (and letting me type the longest sentence I’ve ever done on here). That’s it, I promise I’ll go back to my curmudgeonly old self from now on, taking the piss out of Matt Hardy whenever possible.

March Birthday Giveaway! – now closed

March is our birthday month. Hooray! The final Raw before Wrestlemania will be our second birthday. We can hardly believe another year has passed. It seems like only yesterday we were celebrating being one year old. Now we’re toddling around and looking forward to going to blogging nursery school.

We’ll do a few more birthday related bits later in the month but, even though it’s the blog’s birthday, we wanted to give something back to the readers to thank you for supporting this site. This is our first ever reader giveaway. The prizes are as follows:

That’s right, we’ve put our hands in pockets and bought some lovely presents. One person will win a copy of Chris Jericho’s new book Undisputed, a DVD copy of WWE Fatal 4-Way 2010 (which includes our favourite match of 2010), a CHIKARA Sampler DVD and a Wrestlegasm blog post dedicated to the winner’s favourite wrestler. Four runners up will win one copy of the CHIKARA Sampler DVD each.

All you have to do is leave us a birthday message including your hometown and country in the comments section of this post before midday (UK time) on Monday 28th March 2011. We’ll let you know who the winners are. Now the boring bit……

THE RULES

  • For postal tracking purposes this giveaway is only available to those resident in Europe, USA, Canada, Australia and New Zealand. We apologise but entries received from outside these territories will not be valid.
  • You must enter a genuine email address when commenting. It will stay anonymous to other commenters. If we cannot make contact with you on the email address you comment with within 10 days of the giveaway closing, your prize will be reallocated to another entrant.
  • The giveaway will close at 12:00pm (noon) UK time on Monday 28th March 2011. Entries received after this time cannot be considered.
  • Only one comment per person.
  • Winners will be chosen at random.
  • Prizes are non-negotiable.
  • Ray and Andrew’s families are not permitted to enter.

GUEST POST WEEK: the mentor steps in

Hello, Readers!

Your friendly neighbourhood Honourary Dean of Wrestlegasm, (fake) Matt Striker, here. You don’t hear a lot from me, but I guarantee you that since Ray offered me this post, I’ve been working hard behind the scenes, mentoring her daily on how to be a better blogger and just generally how to be a better person. That Andrew undermines my good work at times, but I’m certainly making progress and doing the best I can when I’m not jumping back and forth across the Atlantic.

Unfortunately, my excellent Life Coach methods don’t seem to have stretched to Ray’s organisational skills yet. SIGH! She may have done well to get this week’s Guest Post Week off the ground, but she also completely forgot to arrange for someone to recap the incredible Fatal 4-Way PPV. It was an awesome show which really should be recapped for posterity. To quote Ray herself “It was a show for fans of wrestling, not ‘wrestling fans’.” I taught her everything she knows. Anyway, I received this string of text messages earlier today……

Matt Striker is a fine gentleman and never one to leave a lovely Welsh daffodil in distress, so here I am. By the way, she insists I call her that. She was getting upset that I was constantly calling Layla my ‘Little English Muffin’. Relations between the English and Welsh aren’t rosy, so I obliged. After all, a sobbing student is an inefficient student. Eat your heart out, Will Schuester!

You may have spotted in that run of cell phone messages that today is my 36th birthday. Happy birthday to me! I am a little annoyed at having to work on my birthday, but Ray and Andrew are throwing me a party in the Wrestle Bunker later tonight. I’m told Ray is doing a special rendition of To Sir With Love, so it’s all good. Besides, Ray had to work on her birthday last week, so I guess it all evens out in the end.

Incidentally, as a birthday gift I gave Ray a DVD of the greatest movie ever made – Wise Guys. This comedy gold stars Danny DeVito and……moi! Yes, yours truly was a thespian back in the day, treading the boards of….errrr…… Newark alongside one of the finest comedy actors of our time. Don’t believe me? Here is the beautifully besuited seven year-old Matthew Striker acting everyone else off the screen.

Great days! But that’s enough about what a stupendously good-looking boy I was (and still am). We should get to Fatal 4-Way, which took place last Sunday liiiiiive on payyyyyy per viewwwwww. I LOVE saying that!

The man who appears on our paychecks stepped out to introduce Drew McIntyre, one of the brightest young stars in the WWE. Drew was set to face Kofi Kingston in an attempt to claw back his Intercontinental Championship. These two worked beautifully together, playing with our emotions at each of the several broken pinfalls.

The match took a bizarre turn when the official in the ring was knocked unconscious and Drew insisted that terrified Smackdown GM Teddy Long step into the ring to officiate. Teddy pulled on his striped shirt but refused to play Drew’s dastardly game to help him win. While the sinister Scotsman scolded Teddy, the suspended Matt Hardy showed up to cause a disturbance. A Twist of Fate later and The Chosen One found himself under the weight of Mr. SOS long enough to lose the match.

FAVOURITE THING I SAID DURING THIS MATCH

“Say what you want about Drew’s attitude, it’s McIntyre’s acumen which cannot be denied.”

Following this we had a Divas Fatal 4-Way match, which was a little tricky to commentate on while being stuck next to Jerry Lawler. I persevered, however, mentioning possible submission tactics, winning strategies and so on whenever I could get a word past King’s creepy squealing. Never let it be said that I, Matt Striker, objectify our wonderful Divas. Vickie Guerrero, on the other hand, is another story. Raaaawwwwr!!!

The ladies worked solidly throughout, leaving the vixen-like Alicia Fox our new Divas Champion.

A surprise to most, I presume. I’ll bet that Zack Ryder is wishing he’d stuck with Ms. Fox now. Maybe her success would have rubbed off on him. Associate yourself with successful people and you too will be a success. Just one of the many life rules I’m trying to get Ray to live by.

FAVOURITE THING I SAID DURING THIS MATCH

“Ohhhhhh! The jumping bomb angel double stop!”

My commentary colleagues may have scoffed when I used this to comment on a Gail Kim move, but they’re just jealous of my superior wrestling knowledge. Bow to me, peasants!

I was all ready to call the Smackdown Fatal 4-Way match when Chris Jericho appeared in the ring. Ray, Andrew and myself have all been noticing how very lost Jericho’s been since moving to Raw. The Mental Mastermind should come back to Smackdown, where he flourished. But it’s not for me to suggest draft picks to my superiors. Jericho’s soliloquy (read some Shakespeare, kids) was followed by the appearance of one of the most fearless high-flyers we’ve seen in the WWE in some time – Evan Bourne.

The two had an enthralling match which made me miss being in the ring myself. I believe we’re witnessing what could be a spectacular run for Evan Bourne. Wait! I got another text message from Ray…. here we go:

That pretty much covers it, right?

FAVOURITE THING I SAID DURING THIS MATCH

“Shine on, Evan Bourne. Shine on.”

Said in celebration as an almost surprised Bourne pulled off what could be the greatest win of his career to date. Mark it in your planners, folks. Or whatever piece of modern gadgetry you rely on to function.

After this impromptu union of young buck and experienced veteran, we moved on to the much anticipated Smackdown Fatal 4-Way match. As you can imagine, any match involving the devilish CM Punk, the surprisingly powerful Rey Mysterio, the accomplished Jack Swagger and the might of Big Show could be nothing but epic.

The match ran along with the momentum of a runaway freight train until Kane’s path of rage lead him to the PPV arena. Nobody wanted to feel the wrath of the Big Red Monster. Luke Gallows sneaked out to help CM Punk run out of sight, while Kane picked off some of the other competitors. All this commotion allowed the miniscule Mysterio to trap Jack Swagger and apply the 619 before hearing the 1,2,3. Anything is possible when you have faith, little one. Yes, that is another one of Ray’s morning mantras.

FAVOURITE THING I SAID DURING THIS MATCH

“CM Punk is Mansonian, he’s Koreshian, he’s a master manipulator.”

….because I love the idea of stumping you with adjectives you’ve never heard before.

Shall we take a break from the 4-ways and move to the US title match? I won’t spend too much time on this Miz/R-Truth match. It’s almost time for my first glass of birthday champagne and I need to finish writing this. Miz retained his belt. End of match analysis.

FAVOURITE THING I SAID DURING THIS MATCH

“We call that move the kitchen sink, ’cause there’s really nothing left after that!”

[BOSS LADY RAY'S EDIT: Really?  REALLY?]

REALLY! Now keep that champagne on ice. I’ll be right with you.

The Miz’s victory was followed by a family affair. The Hart Dynasty took on the Usos + Tamina in what turned out to be one of the sleeper matches of the night. I was particularly impressed by Natalya and Tamina’s performances. They’ll certainly shake up some of our more….. modelesque Divas, given the opportunity. It was the ladies, in fact, who finished this match. Natalya pinned Tamina following a tumultuous Tornado Clothesline, to keep the tag belts in Hart hands.

FAVOURITE THING I SAID DURING THIS MATCH

Actually the most awesome things to come from my lips during this match were my intermittent Jimmy Snuka impressions. I’m amazing! Listen back again if you get the chance.

Before we move on to the main event, a quick POP QUIZ. Who is the most handsome man in this picture?

I'll give you a clue, it's not anyone in the direction I'm pointing.

OK, on to the Raw Fatal 4-Way match between…..DAMN! Look at the time! My perfectly spherical champagne bubbles are diminishing by the second. I can cover this match in just one sentence, which is how I so cleverly described it at the event:

“It’s Cena’s psyche vs Randy’s shoulder vs Sheamus’ rage vs Edge’s experience.”

Those vicious NXT graduates began attacking everyone watching in the locker room, which distracted those in the ring. The mob invaded the arena and I made a very quick exit. My ribs have taken quite enough punishment for the time being. Once the chaos began to subside, Sheamus took his opportunity and snuck back to the ring, making the pin to be the new WWE Champion. John Cena was crushed.

Poor guy!

I don’t know what happened after that. I was long gone. And I should be gone now. I hear music. Byeeeeeee…..

HAPPY 1ST BIRTHDAY TO US!

So this is it. A whole year of Wrestlegasming. Pretty cool, eh? Set the fireworks off, send me expensive gifts  and drink champagne til you feel too tipsy to walk home. Technically, I didn’t purchase the Wrestlegasm URL until 11th April, but the first posts I wrote started the week before Wrestlemania 25, so in wrestling terms, this blog is a whole year old. In the grand scheme of the internet, it’s just a baby. But I’ve seen so many blogs come and go (especially wrestling blogs) so I’m very proud that it’s not only still running, but that it’s evolved and grown within the last year too.

That's how it looked as a newborn.

That's how it looked as a newborn.

I used to have another wordpress blog where I wrote about general topics of interest; TV, sports, music, popular culture. But it never really generated much interest. It was mainly just a space for me to write about things I enjoy. I didn’t really care if anyone was reading or not. Then I  started writing about wrestling and it was so much fun, it seemed like there was nothing else for it but to set-up a wrestling blog.

I’ll be honest, I didn’t expect to run it for more than a few weeks. Writing about one topic, I figured I’d get bored quickly and ditch it. I was wrong. The thing about wrestling is that there’s so much material, it’s impossible to be bored for very long. Sure, it has slow weeks. Slow months, even. But that’s how it goes with any soap opera/sport. There’s always something new just around the corner and as a source of comedy wrestling is a comedian’s dream. Sometimes, I almost feel like a fraud. It practically writes itself. I won’t keep you here too long. I find all this self-praise a little nauseating. But I did want to have a swift look back at how we made it through this first year.

BLOG WAR ’09

If you were around at the very beginning, you may remember that this blog started with a war. Those boys over at LOL,Wresslin’ accused me of plagiarising their picture of Dave Batista and, just like many an international incident, it was founded on lies and blown way out of all proportion.

Total coincidence. I swear.

Blog War ’09 took flight and ran for a couple of months. Things got quite messy. I even found a My Little Pony head in my bed one night. *SHUDDER* I’m not entirely sure who won the war. Scratch that. I totally won, with my British wit and superior military manoeuvres. But we’re all good friends these days and even though they’re keeping a low profile at the moment, both Adam & Matt are all-round good chaps.

CROTCH WATCH

Ah yes. Crotch Watch. I have a love-hate relationship with Crotch Watch. It was certainly popular but after a while I just felt a bit silly writing about the trouser-meat the male wrestlers were packing. It all started when CM Punk wore some particularly revealing lavender coloured trunks at the end of April. Their light hue made his moistness a little more obvious than the standard black trunks. From there, I was hooked and a total sucker for CM Punk. That tiny triangle of spandex below has a lot to answer for.

Anyway, Crotch Watch has since gone to the big blogging playground in the sky, but I’ve replaced it with Strut, Pose, Turn – the new fashion segment. Here’s the first post in case you missed it. There will be a new fashion post up later in the week, but for now I like to think the spirit of Crotch Watch lives on in all of us. *weep*

ADVENTURES IN AUDIO

By the time the summer rolled around, I felt like I wanted to try something new. The natural progression seemed to be a podcast, but I was so terrified of my abilities as a host, I couldn’t even bring myself to call it a podcast. I just called it an audio post, recorded it, posted it and hoped for the best. Thankfully, the response was overwhelmingly positive and I’ve done a few more since then. I even started to enjoy them.  I’d love to record something weekly, but timing constraints don’t really allow it. All being well, I’m hoping to recap Wrestlemania in podcast form, but we’ll have to see if my body and the technology co-operate. Cross your fingers if you just can’t make it through life without listening to me chit-chatting about wrestling.

THE DEAN

Autumn into winter was a busy time, starting with the (fake) arrival of Honourary Dean – Matt Striker. I felt that I needed a mentor to guide me through this Wrestlegasm journey. So I (fake) interviewed him, gave him the job of being Honourary Dean of Wrestlegasm and helped him to move into his (fake) office in the Cardiff Wrestlegasm Bunker. I then asked him to write a little report on his first few days in the bunker. If you don’t understand the genius of Matt Striker and why he and Wrestlegasm are such a good match, you can click here. If you’d like to read his report, just visit The Dean’s Office at the top of the page.

Not my fingers, BTW.

As he’s preparing for Wrestlemania, Matt can’t be in the bunker this week for the birthday celebrations. He did, however, send me one of his signed trading cards by way of a birthday card. Look:

Rumours that I bought this card on eBay a week ago are a complete fabrication!

COOL BRITANNIA WEEK

Memories, memories. The WWE tour the UK just twice a year and this time around I was able to go to two shows. This sparked Cool Britannia Week, where I recorded every sordid detail of the shows I went to, meeting Gail Kim and Kofi Kingston, the TV recaps, my post-wrestling blues and a special Favourite Crowd Members. It was an amazing week and I still can’t believe I was just six inches away from running my hand over HHH’s torso. I just couldn’t  quite stretch my arm that last few inches across the barrier.

So close, yet so far. (img: property wrestlegasm.com)

You can read all the posts by clicking here, scrolling to the bottom of the page and gliding your way back up through one of my best weeks ever. The second Cool Britannia Week takes place next month. Sadly for me, the WWE didn’t see fit to come across the Severn Bridge to Wales this time around. :( But I’ve arranged some alternatives that should make CBW II loads of fun. Besides, I’ll get to live vicariously through Sidekick Andrew, who’s popping down the road to Manchester to watch a spot of Smackdown. That leads me nicely on to……

NO LONGER AN ISLAND

It gets a bit stressful running a recap-based blog by oneself. There’s a lot of work to do and if you throw in trying to be hilariously funny every week too, it’s nice to have someone to share the load with at times. With this in mind, I started persuading my artist/designer friend Andrew that he should put his immense wrestling knowledge to good use and start recapping ECW for me. It took a lot of persuasion, but he eventually agreed to be my sidekick. He’s now part of the Wrestlegasm furniture to such an extent that I’ve forgotten what it’s like to blog alone. It’s great!

Ummm. He's very shy. And not actually gay.

Of course, ECW is no more, but Andrew now does a marvelous job of recapping NXT. We LOVE NXT!!! Also, being the complete indie wrestling geek he is, he may start guiding those of us who cling fiercely to the mainstream (including me) through the largely uncharted waters that are indie wrestling. He’s made a start by writing a spectacular new post entitled Wrestlegasm’s Top 10 Female Wrestlers. The link takes you to part one. The second part should be up towards the end of the week. You can read all of Andrew’s posts by clicking here, scrolling to bottom and reading your way back to the top.

AND SO….?

To be honest, I’m still pretty stunned that a year has passed already, so to think we’re going into year two has taken me somewhat by surprise. The hope for year two is to continue to entertain you, to try and come up with new ideas and to stay completely in love with wrestling, even when it does me wrong.  In the immediate future (meaning this week) the aim is to post something new every day until Wrestlemania, to thank you for a whole year of support. This will include some regular features, some recaps and a few of my favourite WWE moments from the past year. So, from me to you……..

Thanks for reading through a year of Raw, Smackdown, ECW, NXT and PPV recaps. Thanks for listening to the podcasts . Thanks for the piles of comments you’ve left. Thanks for following my Twitter account and making Tweeting through the PPVs at stupid o’clock in the morning so enjoyable. Thanks to the people who wrote guest posts. Thanks to Adam & Matt for being super-cool and (much as I hate to say it) teaching me about comedy. Thanks to Andrew for being the bestest sidekick ever. Just….thanks. I hope you’ll stick around for year two.  *HUGS & KISSES*

One final note. During the same time that I was getting Wrestlegasm off the ground, a fine fellow named Razor was setting up Kick-Out!! Wrestling. In blogging terms, I like to think of Kick-Out!! as my more sensible brother. If you’re looking for somewhere to read unbiased and entertaining commentary on wrestling, regular radio shows and a plethora of recaps, Razor’s your man. I know how difficult it can be to keep a blog running for a year, so congratulations to Razor on a year of fantastic content.

Actually, THIS is my final note. Sorry. Couldn’t resist!