Elimination Chamber Predictions: now with 33.333% extra terrible wrestlers!

Due to a number of factors (illness, real life work, school holidays and at least one unexpected trek through the Amazon in search of the fabled golden skull of Mezzakin the Unwise) these predictions will be a more compact and bijou affair than usual. Compact and bijou – can you tell I’ve been dealing with estate agents recently? Anyway, with that preemptive disclaimer out of the way and my cocktail cabinet fully stocked, let’s do the whole “predicting predetermined pretend pugilism” thing!

Well.. I *say* cocktail cabinet...

Beth Phoenix vs Tamina Snuka

A Diva’s PPV match featuring two women who can wrestle! Not only that, but Tamina has now progressed to the upper echelon of the WWE Women’s Division – a distinction shown by the fact she now has a surname. This could be a really enjoyable match, assuming they are given the time to tell a proper story, and they keep the interference (and hilarious fart jokes) to a minimum. It’s no secret that we love Beth here in the Bunker, but we’re both agreed that it’s time for a change in the run up to Wrestlemania, and that Tamina will take the belt tonight.

Rae’s Prediction: Tamina Snuka
Andrew’s Prediction: Tamina Snuka

John Cena vs Kane

This is apparently an Ambulance Match, so promises to be pretty brutal at least. Kane has experience in this type of match, in fact I’ve still fond memories of his Ambulance Match with Shane McMahon from Survivor Series 2003.

As for who’s going to win, Cena is always the obvious choice for winning a PPV match, and I have to agree that he’s probably going to win here. Unless they want Kane to interfere in the Rock-Cena match at Wrestlemania they have to bring this feud to an end soon.

Rae’s Prediction: John Cena
Andrew’s Prediction: John Cena

Raw Elimination Chamber

Definitely the better of the two Chamber matches on paper, the only wrestler in this match that I’m not a fan of is R-Truth. The idea of Jericho wrestling in the match and overtaking HHH as having the highest number of entries is pretty cool, and Kofi is bound to replicate RVD and Morrison’s spidermonkey antics from previous years. Add to that great wrestlers like Punk and Ziggler and this has the chance to be the best match on the card. As for winners, Rae has decided that Jericho will win, which is very possible. I personally think that Punk will retain here though, just because I think they’ll have him as champion at Wrestlemania. Having said that, if Rae is right that does open up the chance for Punk to get his rematch at ‘Mania, so I’ll be happy either way.

Rae’s Prediction: Chris Jericho
Andrew’s Prediction: CM Punk

Smackdown Elimination Chamber

Well, talk about extremes (and no, I don’t mean XTREME! because the match takes part inside “Satan’s Prison”) You have three really talented wrestlers in this match, people I’d be happy to watch wrestle any day of the week, in Daniel Bryan, Cody Rhodes and Wade Barrett. You have Big Show who has a role to fit and plays it well – the giant who punches people in the face will always be worth a look. And then… well… yeah, you’ve got the other two. Santino isn’t the worse wrestler in the world, and he’s ridiculously over with the crowd, so I’ve no real objection to him being in there for a while. Khali on the other hand, is a frankly bizarre choice for the match, and I can only hope that he’ll be the last to enter, only for everyone to hit their finishers and eliminate him within an minute.

As for the winner, Rae says Barrett will win (which would be amazing) but I think Bryan will retain. He needs a decisive title victory/defence and this is the ideal time. Let him go into Mania as champion to wrestle Sheamus and make everyone happy. Please?

Rae’s Prediction: Wade Barrett
Andrew’s Prediction: Daniel Bryan

A Song for Whoever: Last Tango on Telly

…..and so it ended. After six weeks of making me swoon like a chick at a Michael Bublé concert, Chris Jericho crashed out of Dancing with the Stars. Oh the sadness, and yet, the show goes on without him. My only outlet for extreme girliness on this blog was dashed away with one really lacklustre tango. I didn’t get to see the jive I knew would be awesome. I didn’t even get to use my next Chris Jericho crush-face. It looked like this:

Unfortunately I watched his tango like this:

And when I woke the next morning and realised he’d been sent home, I did this:

My ever-changing ethnicity is a blast, by the way. You should try it!

There comes a moment in every series of Strictly Come Dancing (and it appears Dancing with the Stars too) where the pack splits. There are three or four good dancers who suddenly become great. Within one episode the rest just look rubbish. Chelsea, Romeo and Hines were all amazing. The judges even brought out the ’10′ paddles! Much as it pains me to say it, Chris Jericho was the weakest performer last week.

Kendra Wilkinson was lucky in that she was given the samba and, EVEN THOUGH HER BOUNCE ACTION WAS AWFUL, she managed to shake her tits and arse with such ferocity, the judges forgot to watch to see if she was executing the tricky samba bounce action correctly. It was….eye-popping. I imagine millions of men forced to watch the show with their wives had to reach for a cushion after she had performed. Jericho was unlucky in that he was given a dance he struggled to both understand and execute the week after he’d been top of the leaderboard.  Pressure to be the best two weeks in a row is a killer. I’ll let you decide for yourselves, but to the judges (and to myself as the fourth and most important judge) it wasn’t sharp or focused enough at all.

So what have I learnt from these six weeks? I’ve learnt that despite ABC making a surprisingly good job of copying the UK show, I still prefer the British version. The incessant gimmicks killed it for me. The show is about people who’ve never danced before trying to learn how to ballroom dance in 12 weeks. THAT is the gimmick. There’s no need for Guilty Pleasures Week, American Week, Grieve for your Deceased Relatives Week, Dance with your Pet Week blah-blah-blah. It’s patronising if you do it every week. Having said that, if any wrestlers *cough*Edge*cough* decide to be a contestant next series, I’d be more than happy to drool over it a second time.

Thanks for indulging me with these posts. Thanks for letting me swoon, talk about pretty dresses and comment on dancing like the armchair expert I am without a single “THIS HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH WRESTLING!!!!1!!1″ comment. So, wrestling fans, as you’ve been so kind you can have Chris Jericho back now and I’ll go back to writing about sweaty wrestlers. But before I check my girly self at the door, one more indulgence. This one’s for the jive I never got to see, and also because it’s a bloody miracle we’ve run this feature for so long without me choosing a single Bublé track. I guarantee there will be more. Enjoy!

Dancing with Jericho: Part Five

Depending on how you feel about my Dancing with the Stars posts, you’ll either be really pleased or really disappointed this one is much shorter than usual. This week was American Week and apart from our Chris Jericho making a lovely job of the Viennese waltz, the whole show was a giant puke-fest of gaudy Stars & Stripes inspired outfits, outrageously inappropriate music and displays of patriotism so overt it would have made me bilious even when I was at the height of my love affair with the USA. So rather than subject both myself and the faithful readers to a 1500-word sociological commentary on patriotism, or a huge rant on how much I hate the need for random gimmicks on this show, I’ll just say nice things about Mr. Jericho’s dancing.

There. I’ve cheered up already. As I explained previously, the Viennese waltz incorporates waltz steps with rotations around the dancefloor. Clearly those 18th Century Austrians liked a challenge. Just like Simon Cowell on X-Factor, the judge everyone wants to impress is Len Goodman. If you get a wink of approval from Len, you know you’re doing it right. Chris Jericho was feeling the pain of not getting more than a seven from Len and asked Cheryl to help him achieve it. He did this while speaking in a mock English accent. It was more Ozzy Osborne than Len Goodman, but I’ll keep him out of the Dick Van Dyke Club for Awful British Accents because I like him so much.

Not only was Chris feeling the pressure of dancing to  America the Beautiful, he was also incurring the wrath of the dreaded Viennese waltz motion sickness. His nausea is represented in this dainty move:

What’s most pleasing is that Chris is fed up of coasting through the competition in the middle of the board. He’s ready to start reaching for the big glitterball and win this bitch! Or in wrestling terms, he wants to get bumped up from being a mid-carder to main eventing for the big titles.  Let’s waltz Viennese style…..

Even though I’m saving the upgraded crush-face for another dance in protest against a truly terrible episode, Jericho was pretty special during this dance. Dreamy, even. To make the Viennese waltz look effortless takes a lot of skill and control. He definitely pulled it off. Bruno and Carrie Anne thought it was fantastic and Len gave a tentatively positive judgement, ending in “Yow’ll ge’t an ayt when yow dee-zerve an ayt.” And if you understood that, I applaud you. Score time!

Sit tight, darling. I’ve got a good feeling about these scores.

Yay! Very well deserved indeed. The American people clearly agreed. Our hero has sailed through to week six, while lovely Petra Nemcova went home. Next week is apparently Guilty Pleasures Week. How this will translate to the dancing, I have no idea. I suspect it will involve Kendra Wilkinson slutting about in a tiny samba skirt and getting upset the following week because people were looking at her legs. The great news is that Chris Jericho will be the first celeb this series to do a tango. Time for him to bring back his serious, Latin face, and for me to dust off the Chris Jericho crush-face I refused to pull out this week. More dancing, less faffing next week. PLEASE!

Dancing with Jericho: Part Four

We hope you enjoyed our pre-King of Trios interviews immensely, but we recognise that not all our readers are familiar with the likes of Green Ant and Co. Don’t panic. Let me appease your unfamiliarity with the glorious spectacle that is Chris Jericho on Dancing with the Stars. Oh and before I cover you in sequins and feathers, you’ll be thrilled to know that Chris made a video from his training room this week in which, as well as appealing for DWTS votes, he announced that he’ll be returning to the WWE once the series is over. Sit tight, kids. He’s on his way.

After all the unnecessary added emotion of last week’s show, the fourth week of Dancing with the Stars promised a respite from having to dance to songs which remind contestants of their departed mothers and the like. This was Classical Week. A live orchestra, brighter lights, louder crowds. I initially thought this was the DWTS equivalent of Blackpool Week, where the remaining couples travel up North to the spiritual home of ballroom dancing, eat chips from polystyrene trays and coo over the honour of dancing at The Tower. Not so. Classical Week is exactly what it says on the tin. There’s an orchestra to provide live renditions of masterpieces by Tchaikovsky, Bizet etc, and well-known classical stars to belt out operatic favourites. I love this idea. One of my main gripes about both Strictly and DWTS is the incessant use of inappropriate music. I despise seeing people quickstepping to Katy Perry.

Romeo danced first, with a paso doble. As I mentioned last week, this is the bullfighting dance. Generally, the choreography is built around the male dancer being the matador and the female dancer being his cape. Sometimes she can be the bull instead. It requires feist and aggression. Romeo did quite well. He managed to summon up plenty of anger, although his bizarre basketball dribbling step was far too silly. Stop with the gimmicks, American Strictly!

Kendra Wilkinson did a Viennese waltz. This is much like a standard waltz but the steps are carried out while spinning and rotating around the dancefloor. It regularly causes motion sickness. It seems strange they’re bringing it in so early in the competition and before they’ve done a regular waltz. Anyway, Kendra continued her trend for annoying me. First she gags while listening to Time to Say Goodbye, which happens to be one of my most favourite songs of all time. Not a good start.  Then she proclaims that she thought all the ballroom dances were over. No, darling. Then, on hearing that Time to Say Goodbye is sung in Italian, she immediately decides she’s going to make the Viennese waltz the “Mafia waltz, baby” – complete with gangster outfits. I give the eff up. Bruno has a conniption because she ‘kills the dance’, Len sympathises with her novice status and Carrie Anne suggests she’s afraid of elegance.

Exactly.

Sugar Ray Leonard made a sloppy job of his Viennese waltz and ended up being sent home. Petra Nemcova, despite being one of the loveliest girls there ever was, danced a surprisingly spirited paso. The Karate Kid turned his standard waltz into a depiction of Romeo and Juliet. He did a stunning job. I still don’t believe he’s 49, by the way. He looks younger than I do and I’m, ooh, decades younger than 49! Nothing I’d seen so far, however, was better than Hines Ward’s paso doble. In fact, I believe I said “Blimey, that was a bit good!” out loud. There was nobody else in the room at the time. See? They should absolutely hire me as the fourth judge.

From something that pleased me greatly to something that divided me. The chick from the Disney Channel pushed my buttons again. Shocker! They danced to the music from Harry Potter and their outfits were suitably spooky. Fine, no problem with that. But while the way she danced was outstanding, the choreography was odd and definitely not very…..Viennese. At one point Mark looked like he was about to dry-hump the dancefloor. Len took umbrage with this and started shouting about how they should have respected the 300 year-old dance. Stop inflating your ego, Mark, and teach this girl the dances the way they’re supposed to be. It’s not about you.

Look how angry they made Len!

If you’ve read the first part of this post, thank you. I appreciate this is a wrestling blog and the only person you care about in these dancey posts is Chris Jericho. Like I said in the very first one, it’s rare that any of my other interests combine with wrestling. It’s usually a very solitary entity.  For humouring me so diligently I’ll curtsey at you in a big puffy dress. You know I write these posts while in full ballroom clothing and make-up, don’t you? It makes my critique feel more authentic. Alright, I’ve bored you long enough. Shall we proceed to Chris Jericho’s very swoonworthy paso doble? I had high hopes for Chris this week. If there’s one thing he knows it’s how to get angry, aggressive and ferocious. He is, after all, the man with a lion’s heart. RAWR!

Brilliant Paso-Face

In training, Chris isn’t being feisty enough. Cheryl regularly has to ask him to be angrier. Come on, Chris. You need to stop being the fun-loving ayatollah of rock & rolla and start channelling the arrogant, disdainful bastard you were after your heel turn.

There you go. Much better.

Dressed in bronze and with a newly grown beard and moustache for full Spanish effect, our boy was ready. Let’s paso doble……..

I repeat….

RAWWWWWWRRRRR!

Just to make sure we knew he was only playing at being mean, Chris proceeded to grab at one of the plastic vines on set and pretended to swing across the dancefloor.

Always with the tomfoolery

Carrie Anne and Bruno loved it. They said his connection to music was superb. Well he is a rock star, doncha-know. By the way, the music was In the Hall of the Mountain King by Edvard Grieg, if you’d like listen again and pretend you’re doing the dance with him. Only sad people would do that though. *COUGH*SHIFTY EYES*. He did an amazing job. There were a few moments where Chris’s movements didn’t seem quite sharp and snappy enough, and Len thought he’d lost a bit of the paso attitude towards the end. Otherwise, rawr.

Oh Len

Kirstie Alley finished the show with a waltz, during which she lost her shoe and put it back on while sat on the floor. She had also picked up a hip injury during the week, which scuppered part of her training time. This woman is the queen of haphazard dancing. Next week Chris leaves the Latin alone and goes back to Ballroom with his Viennese waltz. Assuming it’s a traditional one, I can tell you in advance that I’ll definitely be upgrading the Chris Jericho crush-face. I’m getting an attack of the vapours just thinking about it.

Dancing with Jericho: Part Three

As the Sidekick explained yesterday, last week we were all about getting over our Wrestlemania jetlag and cooing over the triumphant return of Tough Enough. But there’s one more thing we need to address before we start a whole new week of…. entertainment; Chris Jericho’s ever so sad tribute to his mum on Dancing with the Stars. God, I love when Canadians say mum instead of mom. It feels familiar and homely yet still foreign. Know what I mean? The Brits will understand.

This week, as well as having to learn an elaborate dance routine, contestants also had to dance to a song which meant something important to them “emotionally speaking”. My first reaction to this was to roll my eyes and scoff. Oh America. Must you try so hard to make everything a soppy, tear-drenched drama? We don’t do this exercise at all on Strictly Come Dancing. Stiff upper lip and all that, old-boy. To ask the celebrities do it in their third week of dancing also seems ludicrous. They’ve barely begun to think of themselves as dancers, now you’re going to make them even more nervous because there’s a personal connection to the dance? Oh America. On the plus side, this will at least teach them that they need to feel connected to every dance they do, much like X-Factor contestants are implored to connect with the lyrics of every tune they bark out.

The implication is that they’ve been given the freedom to choose any dance they like. Not so. My cynical guess is that they’ve been given the dance but they get to choose the music. The schedule of who dances what in which week is far too complicated to allow them to choose whatever dance they feel. Alright, let’s get on with this thing before I start getting into the muddy waters of televisual trickery.

Wendy Williams decides to dance to a song about how she got started in the media. i.e. radio. She cries a lot during her training video but considering some of the other heartbreaking stories coming up, she doesn’t raise even a tiny tickle in the corner of my eye. Her foxtrot is clumsy and far too loose. Chelsea Disney annoyed me further in her training clip by complaining again that the judges didn’t like her jive the previous week. SHUTUP! IT JUST WASN’T A JIVE! She decides to dance a Cha-Cha-Cha to a song written for her and about her by her ex-boyfriend. I wanted to hate it, but I couldn’t. It was brilliant. She was brilliant. The judges loved it, as did I, the fourth and most important judge. You see what happens when you play by the rules, kids?

Chris Jericho tiiiiiiime! Up until this point the show had been full of merriment and frivolity. That’s enough of that. Put your serious faces on right now! I had quite a fragile week, last week. It’s nothing I want to discuss, but let’s just say that it wouldn’t have taken much prodding to make my eyes leak. This was bad news when Chris Jericho chose to dance a rumba to Let it Be in tribute to his now passed away mother.

Don't let his tomfoolery convince you it's going to be a happy dance.

If you’ve read Chris Jericho’s first book you’ll already know the story of how his mum got into an accident and became wheelchair-bound. If you haven’t read it, shame on you. Thankfully, Chris retold the story for everyone unaware of his personal tragedy. It breaks my heart to see grown men cry at the best of times, but especially one I’m very fond of. It triggers an intense maternal instinct to nurture. This isn’t going to end well for my tear-ducts.

As if by magic, a stool and a park bench have appeared in the middle of the training room for ‘Story Time.’

Chris, choking back the lump in his throat, tells the story of the accident, how much his mum enjoyed dancing and how much she loved the song he’d chosen. I’m slightly concerned that he’s dancing a rumba. The rumba is the most intimate of all the dances. It’s a dance of love. It’s not the floaty, romantic love of the waltz or the foxtrot, but an I-NEED-TO-HAVE-YOU-RIGHT-NOW love. But it can’t be slutty. I absolutely loathe this word. It makes me gag. But it has to be sensual. If you’re not watching it and fanning yourself with your hand by the end, they’re doing it wrong. It’s also the most difficult dance for the male celebs. They spend a lot time out of hold and they find the vulnerability and intimacy of it uncomfortable. Cheryl decides that they’re going to make it soulful rather than sensual. Good call. I mean, who wants to be sensual for their mum, right? *gag*

I think I can watch this without weeping….until he mentions the fact that this week he’ll be announced as Chris Irvine instead of Chris Jericho. He’s being his real self FOR HIS MUM! Oh dear. I’m already sunk. Time to dance. And by the way, kudos to the set designers here for their part in making everyone sad.

Excellent mood setting. I really like that sideboard, by the way

He places the stylus on the record, presses a finger-kiss on his mum’s photo and hot-foots it down to the dancefloor. All of a sudden I miss the crackle of vinyl. Let’s rumba…….

Speaking as a Chris Jericho Irvine fan, he moved me to tears. He also made Carrie Anne smudge her eyeliner. Every second was heartfelt and at a certain point he spun Cheryl with such conviction I involuntarily held my hands to my heart and tilted my head in a way only usually executed by Disney princesses.

Speaking as the fourth judge, I agree with the other judges that his upper body was a little too rigid and it interfered with some of the fluidity of the dance. Overall it was a good try for a bulky guy and the great news, wrestling fans, is that he’s got the trickiest dance out of the way without too much bother. I was initially outraged that he ended up in the bottom two on the Results Show, but I’m reliably informed that, unlike the British version, the bottom two aren’t necessarily the two couples with the lowest number of votes.

I miss Strictly

Shall we race through the other dances? Alright then. If you insist. (YAY!) Kendra’s rumba crossed the line between sexual and sensual *gag* a little too much for me, but I think I have to accept that she doesn’t really know where that line is. Romeo lost his cool in training and claimed it’s because the song is too emotional for him. I knew this would happen when people started dancing for their deceased relatives. He also felt too emotional during the dance and made lots of mistakes. Oh America. See what you’ve done to these poor boys? Luckily, Hines Ward cheered everyone up by dancing a spectacular samba to an Earth, Wind and Fire track. I defy you not to listen to EW&F without wanting to shake something. Petra Nemcova decided to dance a waltz suitable for a real Disney princess to You Raise Me Up, for all the charity work she’s done in tsunami stricken Thailand. It was very pretty.

Sugar Ray Leonard did a Paso Doble, the first we’ve seen so far. I hated it. They gimmicked that thing to the hills and didn’t explain the dance at all. In the Paso, the man in a bullfighter and the woman acts as his cape. The choreography is built around that premise. What you’d remember about it though is that Michael Buffer got a pay-day and Sugar Ray came out with his boxing gloves on. Bleurgh. The actual judges thought it was great. We can’t agree all the time.

Just happy to be out on a Monday, to be honest

My loathing of Kirstie Alley’s self-obsession was tested this week when she danced to Over the Rainbow to commemorate the memory of her mother. She recalled how she got her big Hollywood break within the same few weeks that her mum died and her father was seriously ill. I’m a sucker for Over the Rainbow anyway, but when Maks pulled his quad, dropped Kirstie and struggled to carry on, my heart went out to them.

Aww

The Karate Kid did what I thought was a pretty boring rumba and the judges were so divided on how well they thought he’d done, they ended up squabbling.

I'm with Len

Wendy Williams was eliminated. She made some kind of excuse about having a child and a marriage and a career to hold together. Meh. Haven’t they all? You weren’t a good dancer and that’s OK. I have no idea which dance Chris Jericho is doing this week. He never replies to the tweets where I ask him. My mission to get him to reply to my tweets is ongoing. If I can get him to do it before the end of this series though, my life will be complete.

Dancing with Jericho: Part Two

The Dancing with the Stars results show is back. This means I can’t wait until Sunday to appraise you of Chris Jericho’s dancing performance. Come Sunday we’ll all be concerned with a ‘Big Dance’ of a completely different kind. Let’s jump straight in.

During the first week nobody was eliminated. This gave everyone a chance to show the other side of their dancing prowess. Whoever did Latin last week, did Ballroom this week and vice versa. Chris Jericho did a Cha-Cha-Cha last time, which meant he had to switch to a Ballroom dance this week. He was given the Quickstep. We’ll return to Chris a little later. First let’s give his dance some context.

Sugar Ray Leonard did a rubbish jive. Sure, he was enthusiastic but he was also off the beat and his moves were unfinished. I don’t know why boxers are all such bad dancers. Their job actually involves lacing together combinations of sharp movements. It’s a mystery, I tells ya! On to Kendra Wilkinson, the former Playboy chick. She’s got the Quickstep and is finding being graceful a challenge. Being ladylike is apparently very stressful. She ends up slumped in the corner sobbing about how she isn’t beautiful. Wah-wah-wah. Poor you. Maybe if you hadn’t spent five years living in the Playboy Mansion everyone wouldn’t ‘think you’re this Playboy sexy girl.’ Stop trying to manufacture your own Pygmalion story and just dance! Her Quickstep was decent considering it’s week two, and Len referred to her baps as chesticles. Game on!

Chelsea the Disney girl was infuriating. She and her partner came out dressed like circus freaks (a nod to the butchered Panic! at the Disco track they danced to) and danced something more akin to a GaGa video than a jive. You can’t just stick a few jive moves in and call it a jive. It has to embody the essence of the jive. THERE WAS NO ESSENCE. I blame the pro-dancer for getting ideas above his station so early on. Let’s move on to Mr. Jericho and his Quickstep. EEP!  Once again the Sidekick watched it before me and once again he suggested I might need to steady myself before watching for fear of fainting. He was right.

So the thing you need to know about the Quickstep is that it’s elegant, fast and you have to be extremely light on your feet. You pretty much have to dance as if you’ve got springs in your shoes like Tigger’s tail. This means if you’re muscular, chunky, bosomy or you’ve just got a fat arse, you’re going to find this dance tricky. Chris Jericho should find this dance tricky. He, however, seems to have a fantastic teacher. A good teacher will pace the dance so the celeb doesn’t look like they’re flagging. This is also a very smiley dance. You need to grin like it’s your wedding day even if your shoulders are about to crumble from holding the posture too long. I have no fears for our guy in that department.

First of all, the outfit was hot. Didn’t I tell you last week his Ballroom outfits would be sexier than the Latin? Vintage elegance rocks my world.

Swoon

What about the perma-smile? Let’s see how he’s doing there…….

Poifect

And the dance? Oh my. The dance. He was wonderful. I’ve watched it more times than I care to admit even to myself and each time I grin like a child on Christmas morning. When I decided to start recapping Chris’s dances, I promised myself that I’d be honest. If he was terrible, I’d say so. I wouldn’t let the fact that I love him dearly and that he’s one of my wrestling heroes colour my critique. I can honestly say, hand-on-heart, that he made a brilliant job of the Quickstep. Considering this was his first Ballroom dance there’s a good chance Jericho will go a long way in the competition. Great news, wrestling fans!

The audience were in raptures. Mrs. Jericho and Jericho Jr. were ecstatic and Maryse, who appeared to be the only wrestling groupie sent by them on high in Connecticut this week, was especially impressed (even if she did look a little….plonked.) Go Team Canada! I’ll come back to “the little guy in the dapper suit” at the end for a very good reason.

For now let’s marvel at the fact that Len Goodman wore Chris’s hat out of admiration. Len never wears anyone else’s hat. In this confusing world of sparkles and spray-tan, that is a mark of respect.

As for the scores……TWO EIGHTS IN WEEK TWO, PEOPLE! This bodes extremely well indeed. I think you’ll allow me one more EEEEEP!

I’ll quickly fill you in on the rest, although I won’t hold it against you if want to bail now that I’ve covered Jericho’s dance. Petra Nemcova did a surprisingly decent jive. Surprising because the jive isn’t the easiest dance for tall people. It’s tight, compact, fast and with snappy foot flicks. If you’ve got long legs it takes a lot of control to stop yourself looking like Bambi on ice. Incidentally, being short and chunky, Jericho’s jive is going to be AMAZING. America, make sure you keep voting long enough for me to see his jive. I’ll never forgive you if I don’t.

Once again, Kirstie Alley spent the entire VT (which stands for Video Tape) talking about how much weight she’s trying to lose. For some reason the audience are just as obsessed with Kirstie Alley as Kirstie Alley is. I don’t get it. Considering her frame she did a pretty good Quickstep, although not nearly as good as the studio audience would have you believe.

That's enough about me. What do you think of me?

Psycho Mike stomped through the jive with the co-ordination of boozed-up freshers high-fiving each other. He ended up being sent home this week. Apparently he’s not as popular in America as his charisma suggested.  I worried for Romeo when he asked if the Quickstep was a sexy dance. No, no and no. Also, this look doesn’t say Quickstep, does it?

He was better than expected, but I question making them Quickstep to any song from Grease. Grease = jive. Wendy Williams struggled with boob-ache during her training. Get this woman some bespoke corsetry, DWTS! She had a good go but it was more Slowstep than Quickstep. The Karate Kid’s jive was so full of energy I wanted to jump up and join him. Len was right. He pushed too hard and it was far too hectic, but he’s a very good dancer. I’d be shocked if he wasn’t there at the end.  Hines Ward, who I think might be one of the sleeper contestants, did a lovely Quickstep. Very impressive indeed.

So that was this week. More Chris Jericho Dance-Watch next week (with everything else chucked in for good measure). I mentioned earlier that we’d come back to Jericho Jr.  I suggest you read Chris’s blog post on his dance this week. If you don’t involuntarily go awwww and it doesn’t make you love him a little bit more, we’ll never be friends. After this week’s dance, the Chris Jericho Crush-Face has been upgraded to this:

Dancing With Jericho: Part One

Much as I would love to scrutinise every tiny detail of Dancing with the Stars in comedic fashion (seriously, you have no idea) I must remember that this is a wrestling blog and you’re probably only interested in Chris Jericho’s performance. Even then I might be pushing it. Trust me, if I could get away with blogging DWTS in detail here every week, I definitely would. It’s not often my two worlds come together, so please humour me if I go off on a dancing tangent from time-to-time.

We can’t look at Jericho’s dance alone. In the interest of giving it a context, let’s quickly run through the rest of the celeb contestants. Surprisingly, I was able to identify more of them than I expected. I was a little harsh on Dancing with the Stars last week, but having at least one contestant where I genuinely care about how well they do makes all the difference. It’s never going to be as good as Strictly Come Dancing, but if it does nothing else but tide me over until the premium British version starts in September, fairly-do’s. If there’s one thing I do know, it’s that Chris Jericho was made for this outlet of flamboyant pageantry.

I can’t tell if he’s had his teeth bleached or if the DWTS spray tan is so strong it’s making his teeth glow.

Chelsea something-something, who is a Disney Channel chick I only vaguely know, does a passable foxtrot. She appears to be in love with her pro-dancer already. I don’t know these dancers so I have no idea whether Ballas prefers girls to boys, but they cut a cute figure nonetheless. They’re followed by Wendy Williams. Apparently she’s a talk show host with breasts to infinity. In my experience of this show she’s the token accomplished older woman representing for all the ladies of a certain age. She isn’t very good. I know that Hines Ward is an American football player from when I used to be quite adept at selecting WRs in fantasy NFL football. For a meat-head more used to being squashed into Astroturf he makes a remarkably fine job of the Cha-Cha-Cha.

Then we moved on to supermodel Petra Nemcova. She is the kind of girl who is usually automatically hated for her immense beauty, until she mentions she’s a victim of the Thai tsunami. Damn you, heartstrings! She does a rather fine foxtrot. Romeo is the kid who thinks he’s too cool for school, which is annoying. They also make him dance to a song named after him, which inflates his ego further and makes him doubly annoying. I may learn to like him. Sugar Ray Leonard is so frustrated at how bad he is that he starts sobbing during training. Typical perfectionist boxer. I should warn him that boxers don’t do well in this competition. Remember Joe Calzaghe, Britain? Whew, that was a tough few weeks gripping tightly to my Welsh flag. Sugar Ray was very clunky across the dancefloor but was saved by the fact that he danced to my Huey Lewis karaoke song. I was watching Sugar Ray, thinking of MJF. Diversion tactics.

Kendra something-or-other is a former Playmate determined to show you that she’s left the Mansion behind to become a classy broad. This might have been more successful if she hadn’t laced every phrase she uttered with innuendo, hadn’t pulled a stripper-face while she was dancing and, errrr, hadn’t given Heff her comp tickets!

All kinds of wrong.

I can’t speak about the Karate Kid. He revealed during training that he’s 49. That makes him biologically old enough to be my dad. This is more confusing to my tiny mind than a Brian Cox lecture on the concept of gravity.

Alrighty, now the reason you’re here. Chris Jericho is dancing! Wheeee! And we’re into the campness of it all immediately:

Look at me! I'm a wrestler. She is a dancer. We are wrestling each other. Then we will dance together.

I’m assuming his partner, Cheryl Burke, is one of the more popular dancers judging by everyone’s reaction to her. Watching his training video made it almost impossible to hear what either of them were saying. The female wrestling groupies in the audience whooped and hollered in such a squally, ear-piercing manner I sighed and muttered SHUT-UP through gritted teeth for the entire VT.

Cor, you can't take wrestling chicks anywhere.

During training Cheryl is concerned that Chris’s muscular frame :CROWD-SCREEEEEEAAAAAAM: is going to work against his fluidity as a dancer. She is particularly worried that he doesn’t seem to have a neck and teaches him how to keep his shoulders down. Ah the pitfalls of all those hours in the gym trying to beat HHH at trapezius development. To the Cha-Cha-Cha……

A face full of nerves. Bless.

Chris is dancing to Should I Stay or Should I Go by The Clash. I have to keep reminding myself that it’s the dancing that’s important and not the house-singer’s atrocious attempt at an English accent. Joe Strummer must have been spinning in his grave. If Jericho manages to stay in the competition a while, we may be seeing him dance to a plethora of botched rock classics.  The same sentiment will be applied to every outfit he wears for each Latin dance he takes on. He’s a wrestler and a part-time rock star; this means black pleather shirts with detachable sleeves to tantalise the female contingent in the crowd, accessorised with cheap, studded jewellery.

Meh. We’ve seen plenty of Chris’s stellar arms over the years. Personally, I feel I’ll be swooning more when he turns up in his ballroom tux next week. The dance itself was pretty good for a first attempt and Chris was probably the only contestant who could jump through streaming fireworks and legitimately be able to say “Yeah, I do this for my day-job.”

Break the walls down etc.

In my role as a professional Strictly DWTS viewer, I agreed with the judges. They let Cheryl do a lot of the work and Chris’s bulk hampered his movement in places, but with a little more flexibility he’ll be a great dancer. In my role as a Chris Jericho fan and speaker for the wrestling people I say HE WAS AMAAAAAAAZZZZZIIIIIIINNNNG! I was so proud. It’s like watching one of your own family doing well. I’m very excited for his ballroom dance next week. Not just for the ballroom outfit, but to see Chris do his romance face.  Sidekick Andrew’s suggestion that I practice my Chris Jericho crush-face was excellent advice. It came into play the second he addressed Len Goodman as ‘sir’. Anyone who treats Len with the respect he deserves is a winner in my book.

Chris was followed by some radio personality called Psycho Mike who I’ve never heard of and who turns out to be a shocking dancer. Luckily for him he’s handsome and has charisma by the lorry-load so he’ll be fine. Those kind of people always hang on far longer than they technically should. He was followed by Kirstie Allie. Ah Kirstie Allie. Where dignity goes to die. She spent the entire training VT boo-hooing about how she’s either too fat or too old to compete. Stop grumbling about your fluctuating weight when you’ve made so much money from it, woman! She went on to be fantastic. No, really. She was brilliant. You sly old fox, Allie.

If you haven’t entered our second birthday giveaway yet, you’re running out of time. It ends TOMORROW! Click here to win excellent prizes, including Chris Jericho’s brand new book.

Unreal – In The Truest Possible Sense

Snooki from Jersey Shore was on Raw. Woah! And she’s going to be in a match at Wrestlemania. Double-woah! I realise there are people who think I should be using ‘woe’, and I won’t pretend it’ll be anything close to match of the year, but every Wrestlemania needs an attention-seeking celebrity guest to bring in the masses, right? Think Floyd Mayweather, Cyndi Lauper, Mike Tyson, Donald Trump…..the list goes on. I don’t really watch Jersey Shore. I would love to give you some high-brow, intelligent reason for why, but the genuine reason is that it’s the kind of inane trash I get addicted to and hate myself for wasting my life watching afterwards. So I have watched Jersey Shore, but I try not to.

The thing that surprised me about Snooki’s appearance on Raw wasn’t that she was actually very good, but that people were surprised that she pulled it off at all. The only misstep is that she hasn’t been teamed up with LayCool. That girl’s a heel if ever I saw one. Still, the whole point of the Wrestlemania celeb is that the crowd are on their side. We’ve mentioned before that wrestling and reality TV are bedfellows. Wrestling is as hyperreal as Jersey Shore. They’re both full of over-tanned, over-acting egos who blow-up at the tiniest sense of friction, pretending all along that it’s not pre-planned or scripted. The only real difference is that wrestling doesn’t hide the fact that that’s exactly what it is. Jersey Shore, The Hills, The City – all manufactured. But MTV would prefer if you didn’t know that, or at least, didn’t think about it.

Snooki stepping up to to Michelle McCool, then launching herself at Layla before arranging a future fight against LayCool and Dolph, flanked by Trish Stratus and John Morrison -  it’s all in a day’s work for this kid. It’s the kind of thing she does every day!

You see? Spot the wrestling! If there’s one thing I do know though, it’s that Melina had a little word in Snooki’s ear before she started ‘working’ with Morrison. No smushy-smushy-time, ya get me?

While we’re at it, Chris Jericho will be amazing on Dancing with the Stars for the same reason. It’s that whole ‘telling a story with your body’ thing. And before everyone starts with their ‘Hmm, wrestling and ballroom dancing are alike, aren’t they?’ posts, we beat you to it by about two years...here. Also here. What is wrestling if not an elaborate sequence of choreography where the tiniest deviation requires quick thinking to gracefully pull things back and make the slip a part of the performance? That’s before we even get to the spangly, skin-tight outfits and yet more over-tanning.

When I found out Chris Jericho was going to be on Dancing with the Stars I wasn’t that excited. This is largely due to the fact that Dancing with the Stars is the televisual poor relation of Strictly Come Dancing, the British and original version of the show. To be fair, they’ve stayed pretty faithful to the original. The set, the theme music, some of the judges and even a couple of the pro dancers are the same. But it just doesn’t feel right.

That all changed when the Sidekick showed me Jericho’s training video. I was warned beforehand to “Practice my ‘I’ve got a crush on Jericho’ face.” It’s something along these lines:

Not actually me. Although I have got a cardigan that colour.

Really though, hasn’t everyone got a permanent crush on Chris Jericho? There are very few wrestlers who everyone loves unconditionally, but Jericho’s definitely in that exclusive group. Who else would you put inside that fence? So, after deciding I wouldn’t cover his dancing antics on this blog, it took about 30 seconds of Jericho’s training video to change my mind. I’m a sucker. I’d say he’s about to rumba his way into my heart, but he’s already there anyway. I’ll do my very best to keep up. It’ll be tricky getting access to the shows from over here but I’ll pull some strings. I’m getting giddy already! Let’s watch again……

 

 

 

……and if you just can’t get enough of Chris Jericho, you can enter our second birthday giveaway to win a copy of his new book, among other wonderful prizes. Click here to enter your details. Only one more week to go!