A Song for Whoever: Jeff Hardy & Edge Edition

Boss Lady Ray: I had my part of this post all worked out last night. I hadn’t typed it up but I’d written it in my head. I was going to dedicate a bangin’ tune to the Miz for reminding us so perfectly that it’s him defending the WWE title against John Cena at Wrestlemania, not The Rock. Then Jeff Hardy went and screwed up his career again at the TNA PPV last night. I was torn. We hate TNA and I didn’t want to give it more coverage than it deserves. I certainly didn’t want to be one of Jeff Hardy’s enablers by rewarding his bad behaviour.

Ray

But when I scanned through my Twitter feed I couldn’t quite resist this one. So this is my one and only piece of advice for all the sobbing Jeff Hardy fans. Stop. Stop expecting him to change. Stop expecting him to be what he was ten years ago. He never will be that good or that clean again. He’s going to screw up over and over again and he doesn’t care whether he breaks your heart or not. Jeff will show up at work drunk/high/stoned on whatever he’s slurped/injected/smoked/inhaled again. Stop being shocked by it.

Think of Jeff Hardy like a loser boyfriend (or girlfriend). Your friends hate him and tell you to cut him loose. You mother rolls her eyes ever time you try to sing his praises. He lets you down, messes things up, embarrasses you in front of your colleagues by turning up at your work Christmas drinks already boozed up to the eyeballs. Why don’t you cut him loose? Because you love him. You think you can change him. You remember how great he used to be and you know that person is still in there; you just need to help him ‘find himself’ again. You just need to figure out why he keeps pressing the self-destruct button and make sure he doesn’t go there again. Good luck with that.

Really, you’ve got two choices. You can keep hoping Jeff Hardy will turn over a new leaf and stick with it, absorbing the fact that people will think you’re crazy for doing so. This means not complaining when he gets thrown off a show for being high as a kite again. Or you can stop calling yourself a Jeff Hardy fan and bypass the heartache. Not that I was exactly a fan when Matt Hardy finally got himself fired from WWE after making a total arse of himself on YouTube, but unfollowing the Hardys and all their enabling cronies on Twitter made my feed a much nicer place to be. I suggest you do the same.

It’s taken me all morning to find this song in my brain’s musical archives, but it’s finally popped to the front. This is the most perfect ‘stop-caring-about-Jeff-Hardy’ song on the face of the earth. Let it work its magic and, well, stop caring.

Sidekick Andrew:Back in February, somebody on the wrestling forums over at www.somethingawful.com posted a picture of Brodus Clay in his original FCW gear. As originally pointed out by Boss Lady Ray in her NXT Series 4 post, Brodus Clay looks like a cartoon or video game character already, so I decided to Photoshop said picture (this is what I do to pass the time):

Now, I often forget that the majority of people are either a) younger than me or b) not quite as geeky as me. As such (or maybe due to my lack of photoshop skill) there is a chance that the “joke” isn’t immediately apparent. For those of you who might not know, it’s supposed to look like King Hippo, a character from the Nintendo “Punch-Out” video games series (starting with DX member Mike Tyson’s Punch Out. There’s always a wrestling connection if you look hard enough).

Anyway, I posted this photoshop on the Something Awful forums and was encouraged to tweet it to Derrick Bateman, which seemed like a good idea. Bateman liked it, asked me to add a couple of things and then retweeted the finished product. I was happy, he was happy, we forgot about the whole thing…

Fast forward through the mists of time with me to this week’s Smackdown. Exciting wasn’t it? Kaitlyn! John Cena! HHH! The much teased reunion of Edge & Christian! Can you guess which I was most excited for? I mean… it’s been ten years since Edge & Christian teamed up together. Ten Years! And they had been teasing this since Backlash 2009! The answer’s pretty obvious really…

If you didn’t watch the show, the whole reason Edge & Christian teamed up was to take on Alberto Del Rio and Brodus Clay, after Edge had words with the two of them at the start of the episode. Amongst the words Edge used to describe Brodus Clay? Yep… “King” and “Hippo” :(

Now, I’m not saying that Edge definitely saw my photoshop previously. I’m not suggesting Edge follows myself and Bateman on Twitter, or that the two of them held some shadowy meeting in a backstage corridor to discuss this. But I am going to dedicate this song to you Edge…

nxt series 4: late to the party

Last week I asked you to pray for me in case I had to watch NXT for a Striker-fix. On Tuesday morning when I was informed that Jerry Lawler was still firmly lodged in his commentary chair, I prepared myself for the yellow brand. You see, Andrew and I couldn’t quite face another series of NXT. We watched adoringly through series one. Then absorbed every episode of series two without missing a beat. We were totally on board with this Wild and Young lifestyle they were peddling, even if the majority of it was a combination of Total Wipeout and Wheel of Fortune with a bit of bonus wrestling chucked in.

Then series three came. How wonderful – a whole series of NXT dedicated to the Divas. It seemed so….progressive. We had always wanted there to be a Divas-only show of some sorts. It was a marvellous idea, until it all went wrong. They didn’t just fill it with the usual NXT silliness, they made it so embarrassing we didn’t even watch the final few episodes. And it wasn’t just that they didn’t care. They cared so little they made their indifference part of the storyline. Michael Cole reached a new level of aggravating hobgoblin and the show was cancelled on US TV. It was still available on some channels, but with the US audience forced to watch online (if at all) and the catch-up videos region-locked, series three of NXT just fell off the radar for us.

When series four started and I realised Mason Ryan wasn’t going to be a rookie, we decided to give it a miss. That changed this week. With my Matt Striker quota knocked down to one Superstars match, I decided to watch an episode of NXT. Andrew very kindly decided to take the televisual bullet too and watch with me. How very ‘you jump, I jump’. Anyway, a strange thing happened…..we enjoyed it! Maybe it was the absence of Michael Cole, maybe it was the fact that everything else went misty when Mr. Striker appeared on my screen (still wearing his special NXT shoes) but we didn’t have to watch through our fingers as expected.

It’s strange joining a show in the middle of a series. I’ve seen a few episodes of FCW over the past year in an attempt to catch some of Mason Ryan’s developmental matches. So the faces were vaguely familiar. I can’t say I was paying attention to much of the detail while impatiently skipping through FCW though.  We’re very late to the party on this series. In fact, we’re so late to the party, all that’s left are some dodgy prawn quiches and some flat Coca-Cola. Still, I thought it might be fun to run through this episode and record some first impressions of the remaining contestants…..

It’s nice to see that nothing’s changed on NXT. They’re still playing silly, rigged party games and pretending they’re important. On many levels, it’s quite comforting. This week it was everyone’s favourite fake punch-up – Rock ‘em-Sock ‘em Rookie Challenge. Classic!

Okay, so Johnny Curtis is invited to climb onto a podium first. We’ll call him The Looker. He’s the one where you scan the opening credits for the one boy you might favour because he was blessed with more handsome genes than the others. This involves cocking an eyebrow, doing a sideways smile and greeting him with an almost purred hellooooooooo. Also, he has R-Truth as a mentor, so he needs some kind of advantage.

The Looker has to face Derrick Bateman in the rocky socky fighty thing. We’ll call Bateman ‘Thinks-He’s-Funny’.

Between ourselves, he is actually quite funny. In preparation for this episode of NXT we watched some Bateman YouTubes and laughed. He’s in! Thinks-He’s-Funny endeared himself to the crowd by wearing a piece of cheese on his head and it seemed to work wonderfully. I’ll give it a try myself:

Double cheese

They bash each other a bit and Thinks-He’s-Funny wins. Then Byron Saxton steps up.

Byron was always enjoyable on commentary but as a wrestler he seems a little wet. He also appears to be the whitest black guy I’ve ever seen. Even more so than the fella on Antiques Roadshow.

We’ll call Byron ‘Antiques’.  His opponent is Brodus Clay. We’ll call him Bowser.

NUFF SAID!

Bowser refuses to play, mainly because he thinks the spikes on his tail will pierce the inflatable cushion or something. Antiques wins by default and goes on to beat Thinks-He’s-Funny. He looks happier than that time someone brought 300 year-old walnut sideboard to the Roadshow and it was worth £20,000. They watch the replay and Matt Striker announces they’ll have rematch. Antiques wins again.

Apparently the big NXT meme this series is to call Dolph Ziggler ‘turd’. The story goes that he changed his name to Dolph from Turd Ferguson. Riiiiiiight.  It’s amazing how little wrestling shows make sense when you haven’t been watching from the start of the series. How anyone ever gets into this nonsense is a mystery to me. At least chanting ‘turd’ at someone is slightly offensive. Better than Mr. Ziggles, right?

So Antiques and Thinks-He’s-Funny have a match. I won’t pretend I remember much about it. Daniel Bryan was in one corner dressed in a jumper and slacks, and Dolph Ziggler was being awesome in the other corner while wearing a Zack Ryder t-shirt. That’s all I need for a good time. Antiques tapped out, Dolph was angry. Bryan was ecstatic.

Then they played a game of The Price is Right. Bowser looked like he just wanted to get it over with, Antiques seemed to think it was beneath him to appraise anything that wasn’t over a hundred years old, Thinks-He’s-Funny went for the laffs and The Looker took it extremely seriously. Striker, Mathews, Grisham and Chimel were in their element. Matt Striker seemed particularly enamoured with his role as gameshow host. This made me happy. I have something of a penchant for trashy gameshows. Andrew pointed out at this point that should Striker ever get the gig hosting Million Pound Drop, I might explode. I would like to suggest that someone gets Davina McCall pregnant so we can make this happen while she’s on maternity leave.

Explosion imminent. (The answer is JLS, by the way.)

The Looker and R-Truth had an angry man-hug:

Then Looker had a match against Bowser. It was difficult to follow what was going on. Dolph was being still being awesome elbow-dropping cheese on the stage while Chris Masters encouraged the crowd to shout ‘turd’ again. Daniel Bryan was still happy.

Bowser wins the match. They both then find themselves tied for immunity. Not sure what happened after that. Matt Striker was being all cute, and officious, and over-sized cuffs, and………

Sorry. I was drifting. Antiques was eliminated. I’m told.

Maybe it is the lack of Michael Cole and maybe it is because Booker T is still sitting in Striker’s chair on Smackdown, but we think we might watch again next week. My enthusiasm for recapping it, however, ends here. I hadn’t realised how tricky writing about NXT is. I should give Andrew a retrospective pay rise for making such a beautiful job of the first three series. Well I would, if I actually paid him!