smackdown(lite): moving on

After the chaos of Raw, the exciting comeback and then speedy sacking of Mr. Kennedy,  sitting down to watch Smackdown felt like a snuggly cuddle from a nice boy. Thanks, Smackdown. I can always rely on you.

SD got going with Rey Mysterio, ’cause he’s from California. And they’re in California. Makes sense. He told us that, despite criticism over his choice to have a dangerous No Holds Barred match against Chris Jericho at Extreme Rules, he thought it would be ‘off the hook’. NHB would allow him to beat Jericho using the 619, 213, 323, 310 and even the 818. Oooooh, the 818 is EXTWEEEEM. What is this, a game of NumberWang?

Jericho interrupted and came out to scoff at Mysterio using that common American phrase “Off the hook”. Chris, I love you babe, but I don’t think you should be picking on Rey when you, for the second week running, have used the word ‘gelatinous’ as an insult. Not particularly offensive and, maybe it’s just me, but sometimes gelatinous things can be pleasant. Observe……

GELATINOUS

Oh, yeah, and Mickey Rourke was in the audience. Nothing more to say about that

Jericho offended Mysterio’s heritage and threatened to commit the ultimate anti-Mexico crime and de-mask him at Extreme Rules. He said he was going to expose Rey for what he really is. No need to go to all that trouble. I’ll do it for you

RMUM

It all kicked off, they started brawling and Jericho made a hasty retreat to the ramp.

R-Truth and Khali tag-teamed against Mike Knox and Dolph Ziggler. I tried to concentrate on the match but the fact that R-Truth made Khali do a hip-hop dance and rap along with him made it impossible. It was vile.

MISKDD

Ladies next. Alicia Fox finally got a match to call  her own, but it was against Melina, and the pecking order suggests that Ms. Fox is about to get boxed in to a pulp. She was accompanied to the ring by her BFF, Michelle McCool, who looked so amazing I almost gave up on life.

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I can’t compete with that. I’m not sure I even wanna BE her any more. I think I just wanna DO her. And I’m not even INTO girls.  But does that mean I wanna do myself? Someone pass me something gelatinous and I’ll find out. No, not the Jelly Fish. That’s just silly. Wait, I think I do just wanna BE her. Not only does she look amazing and manages to walk un-aided down a steep ramp in Eff-Me Heels, but JR also reminded us that Michelle has a Masters degree. That’s it. I’m dead. As a doornail.

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That's me dead. What do you mean dead people can't pout their lips? Shutup! I was actually rocking out to Paramore's 'Riot' album in this picture, but I look kind of 'at peace', right? God, my hair has grown a lot since that pic, and it was only a few weeks ago.

There’s gotta be a downside to being Michelle McCool, hasn’t there? Oh yeah, she’s shacked up with the Undertaker.  Imagine all that eyeliner spread over the pillowcase in the morning! Ok, I am restored.

Riiiight, so yeah, there was a match going on too. I was correct, Alicia got her head handed to her.  Michelle jumped in at the end to help her out but got distracted by the Women’s Title belt and started glaring at it like someone just told her it was ok to eat a Breakfast Baguette. It’s so NOT ok, by the way. Shame on me. Melina snatched the belt back and Michelle indicated that she was coming after it.

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After a backstage promo from John Morrison and a PPV promo for the Jeff/Edge ladder match, Jeff ran in to the arena sporting a flashy new blonde hair-do. Ok, that’s it. I’m going blonde again. Not anywhere near as Marilyn Monroe as I used to be, but I AM going to be blonde again.

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He spoke for a few minutes about how ladder matches are his comfort zone, and left. I don’t know how anyone can feel comfortable throwing themselves off a ladder, but whatevs. As Jeff groped at fans lined along the ramp, Umaga started wobbling down it, whipping strap in-hand.  JR said “Jeff Hardy showing some restraint there and some intelligence, staying away from a Samoan with a leather strap.” So that’s why I keep being whooped by Umaga’s leather strap. I should show some restraint and stop poking him with a stick. I’m so unintelligent. I wish I was more like Jeff.

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Jeff left and John Morrison joined Umaga in the ring. LOOOOONG match. Although, for an Umaga match it was pretty good. Morrison carried him. Not, literally, he’s not John Cena. But John Morrison’s immense athleticism made it worthwhile, and I never would have thought they’d have complimented each other in the ring. Umaga was DQ’d for using his Samoan strap and it was looking like ‘lights out’ for Morrison, who found himself suspended upside-down from the turnbuckle. Have no fear, Shamen, your new bromance buddy, CM Punk, will save you.

BRIEFCCMU

Punk ran in, hit Umaga in the face with his plastic briefcase and sent him packing. Briefcase to the cranium! Briefcase to the cranium! The ref released Morrison, Punk took his shirt off (YESSSSS) and………. OMG, he’s STILL wearing those dusky blue trunks. Honey, give them to me. They must need washing by now. I’ll even hand wash them if you’re that worried about shrinkage. The things you do for love, eh?

You know what you need when you’re in a rage? You need Todd Grisham to shove a microphone in your face. Which is exactly what happened to CM Punk. Reading between the lines, it’s not looking so hot for Punk at Extreme Rules. Allow me to summarise the interview in table form:

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And then he looked straight in to the camera, spoke directly to me, and I was TOTALLY in his hotness corner again.

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Not that I was ever in Umaga’s corner but, you know, it was looking dodgy for a moment there.

Cryme Tyme fought Shelton Benjamin and Charlie Haas, but I doubt you want to hear about that, so I’ll skip. It was boring. Benjamin got the cover. Eve and Layla finally tried to settle their differences in the ring because, you know, the dance-off, the arm-wrestle and the baby powder in the hair event didn’t do the job. It was horrible. HO-RRI-BLE. The winner was Eve, but the medals should actually have been awarded to Jim Ross and Todd Grisham, who both managed to keep talking through the ‘match’.

“This is a hair-pulling, fingernail scratching type match.” = SHIT

Backstage, Edge and Chris Jericho were supposed to be preparing for a tag-team match against Rey Mysterio and Jeff Hardy. But Edge and Jericho had a little tiff and Chris did the whole “if you’re not gonna apologise you can sleep by yourself tonight” thing and pulled out of the match.

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Edge was left standing alone in the ring and Rey Mysterio’s music hit. Edge was going to have to manage this one by himself. Rey did his usual thing of touching foreheads with the masked kids along the jetway and gave his purple mask fringe to the penultimate child in the row. He moved on to bump noggins with the last kid, but the REALLY BIG BOY attacked. For about half a second I really thought a fan was slapping Rey, but I soon realised that had this ACTUALLY happened, the wrestle peeps on Twitter would have been talking about it when I woke up on Wednesday morning. It was in fact Chris Jericho dressed up like a Mysterio super-fan.  Chris Jericho: teeny-tiny enough to pass for a child.  Jeff ran in and tried to help, but things were looking bleak for Rey and he was carted off with his mask in tatters.

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So it appears that Edge and Jericho were in cahoots (I love that word) and were hoping to take Mysterio out, leaving the match void. But they hadn’t banked on Jeff Hardy agreeing to continue with the match as a two-on-one. The match went as expected, with Edge pinning Jeff for the win. But Edge wasn’t done and dragged a giant ladder in to the ring, rolled Jeff in between the two sides and squashed him like a fly under a swatter.

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GAME ON!

smackdown(lite): plaid, cupcakes and champagne

I won’t lie to you, last Friday’s Smackdown was a little lacklustre. It was inevitable really. For what must be the first time ever, Smackdown reigned supreme at a PPV. I imagine all the SD folks downed a few martinis and threw lots of smug looks across the dancefloor at the Raw roster. All apart from CM Punk that is, who had a mango mocktail. One of the nice things about not affiliating myself with one particular brand is that I can jump ship when one goes bad and make babies with the other when it gets all seductive. From now on this will be referred to as Brand Whoring. So, Smackdown, despite not fully lighting my fire this week, I forgive you. Just for the time being. I’ll probably swing back the other way at some point. I’m fickle like that.

Making babies with Smackdown

Making babies with Smackdown

Anyway, rather than try to give you a detailed recap, I think I’ll just speak about some of the more obscure things I noticed this week. My mind wanders. A LOT.

So, we got started with Edge, wearing an awesome plaid shirt. For real, I LOVE them.

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For a couple of years now I’ve been searching for the perfect plaid shirt. Not as easy as it sounds. Stretch-less cotton, buttons, more than my fair share of breastage, a busy pattern…. it’s a nightmare. When I eventually find one that fits without exposing my undergarments I may laminate it and put it in a cabinet for prosperity. Wait, that would defeat the purpose of the search. I digress. This is how not to wear plaid…….

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Teddy bitched at Edge for his illegal win against Jeff Hardy at Judgment Day. Edge retaliated but then the Pied Piper of Wrestle World, Jeff Hardy came out and bit back. He pulled out the old ‘say-the-name-of-the-town-you’re-in’ trick and whipped the crowd in to a frenzy. When he took a poll of the audience to see if they wanted to see him fight Edge that night (DUH! OF COURSE) they all dutifully replied. Either with YEAH of HELL YEAH. I’d have have loved if someone with a little quick wit had come out with something like this………………………

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Next up, Cryme Tyme (OMG they’re actually going to wrestle) teamed up with John Morrison to take on Ricky Ortiz, Shelton Benjamin and Charlie Haas.  Ortiz was referred to as the Richard Simmons of the WWE for his motivational speaking skills. I would like to make a pact with the commentary team…. YOU never mention Richard Simmons again, and I promise to always say nice things about Todd Grisham. The mere mention of that man makes me want to vomit. He gives me night terrors. Simmons, not Grisham.

Josh Matthews interviewed Melina about the number one contender match between my number one girl-crush, Michelle McCool, and my favourite Cool Asian, Gail Kim. Alicia Fox came to deliver a message from Michelle, called her ‘cupcake’, and then all I could think about was this……

A cupcake, not Melina. I want cake about 80% of the time.

A cupcake, not Melina. I want cake about 80% of the time.

Also, I was pretty sure Melina was going to plant a Glasgow Kiss on Alicia, but she just went with a regulation bitch-slap instead. At least she didn’t follow Maryse’s lead and blast her fro with Glow by J-Lo or something. SIDENOTE: I thought about Michelle McCool when I was doing sit-ups in the gym tonight. I figure I probably worked 50% harder thanks to her. Or rather, my embarrassment at NOT looking like her spurred me on. On to the match…….

Pretty good, actually, even on a lacklustre show. Ah, that would be because there was NO women’s match at JD. They were a little fresher than the guys. Michelle pinned Gail for a shot at Melina’s belt.

That's what I look like when I close my eyes.

That's what I look like when I close my eyes.

Moving on swiftly, JR interviewed Rey Mysterio from afar. What, they couldn’t put them in the same room? I REALLY wanted to take the mick out this, but I can’t. Rey Mysterio is too sweet to make fun of, so he gets a really thick sarcasm immunity shield. And anyone who makes the dreams of small children come true kind of has a piece of my heart without even asking. I won’t recap the whole interview, but if you’ve ever wondered why Rey wrestles in a mask, it’s your lucky day. Reasons include:

  1. hiding hideous scales on face  (aww, don’t be so hard on yourself, nothing a little exfoliation couldn’t clear up.)
  2. tipping the nod to heritage. it’s all about the roots, babeh.
  3. symbol of hard graft.
  4. it looks cool.
  5. it gives super powers.
  6. not Rey Mysterio without it.

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Thinking about buying a mask now. The sales pitch worked. My mask-less face is SOOOO uncool.

Back in the ring CM Punk is up against Chris Jericho. In CROTCH WATCH news, Punk was wearing the same trunks he wore at Judgment Day – the dusky blue with tangerine coloured Chicagoan stars.

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Umm, Phillip, I hope you washed those….wearing them twice in THREE days and all. I told you to leave your laundry in the basket by the washing machine so I could do it for you while you were training at the gym.  I did promise I wouldn’t put them on the hot cycle and shrink them again. Your suggestion that I purposely made them two sizes tighter is an outrageous accusation. I only meant to make them ONE size tighter.

The match wasn’t awesome but it was pretty solid. Hey, you know what I was wondering this week?  I was wondering if Punk refuses to let anyone place alcohol in his house. I mean, if he had a girlfriend who drank, would he object if I she left a bottle of champagne or two in his fridge? Would that be a deal breaker? Would prospective girlfriends have to quit drinking to pass his love test? Just wondering. See? TOLD you my mind wanders.

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Not my real fridge. I just wish it was.

The match ended with the arrival of Umaga who, in the words of JR, began “lashing Punk like an animal.” SO. MANY. DIRTY. JOKES. MUST. RESIST…… at least until Extreme Rules has actually taken place. By the way, while he was away nursing his injury (whatever it was) Umaga was sent to to finishing school and has been given some elocution lessons. He speaks now. Who knew? It’s soooo My Fair Lady. I can totally see Professor Higgins playing up to Umaga’s Eliza Dolittle.

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I skipped R-Truth v Dolph Ziggler, so you’ll have to find out what happened there elsewhere. If you actually care about that match, you’re probably on the wrong website. On to Edge v Jeff Hardy. Again. But with a twist. The winner gets to choose the stipulation for the Extreme Rules PPV in three weeks. The match itself was fine and was won by Jeff.  Can you guess which stip he chose? You want a clue? Alright……

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Actually, that sounds AWESOME. I loves me some ladder.

Now, I’m off to consider whether I can bring myself to recap last night’s Raw without punching my fist through a wall in frustration, and to ponder whether I should write the public love letter to Randy Orton I’ve been mulling over for the past couple of weeks. Tough call. I’m going to have to sleep on it. Night-night!

Judgment Day: Stars, Straps and Tantrums

Alrighty, I know this is pretty late. But some stuff’s been going on this week.  I’m sure you don’t want to hear my tales of woe, so I’ll move on. Much as I was tempted to skip recapping this PPV,  I don’t really want to leave any storyline gaps, so here I am.  And it’s not like I gave you nothing this week. I did present my much promised opinions on the Women’s Division. Hopefully by the end of this holiday weekend, I will be all caught up and will have redeemed myself with the regular readers.

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By now, even if you didn’t watch Judgment Day, you’ve probably found out that it wasn’t the most spectacular PPV to ever demand £14.95. But there were a few bright spots.

MATCH ONE: CM Punk v Umaga (Winner)

The hometown boy took on Umaga in a match of revenge. Poor Punk. He leads a clean-living life, plays by the rules, doesn’t cause Mr. M any mischief, and this is the best they would give him.  Come to Ray, sweets. I’ll give you a consolatory squeezy-hug. And look, he went to the trouble of having some new trunks made for his homecoming too. Dusky blue with orange stars. The stars of the Chicago flag, apparently. You learn something new every day.

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BEST MOMENT OF THE MATCH

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When Punk jumped over the top rope and splashed Umaga over the mats. I LOOOOVE when he does the jumping stuffs.

By the way, what is WRONG with this girl?

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Doesn’t she KNOW that corner spot in the best position in the whole arena? When CM Punk was writhing in pain all over her corner, it appeared it was all she could do to stop herself from screaming “EEWWWW. Boy-Juice! Get offa me!” Silly girl. TOUCH HIM! PAT HIM ON THE BACK! At least whisper some sweet words of encouragement in this ear.

WORST MOMENT OF THE MATCH

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When Umaga kicked Punk in to the turnbuckle and smooshed his pretty face with his giant rump. Bad. Painful. And too much Umag-ass. Safe to say he will never be the subject of CROTCH WATCH.  Yeuch!

SIDENOTE: When Todd Grisham thanked all the people watching around the world “….and those in the United Kingdom on Sky Box Office.” I may have thrown my arms in the air, whooped and shouted “THAT’S ME”. Yes, you are correct. I am a loser.

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MATCH TWO: Jack Swagger v Christian (Winner) – ECW Championship

BEST MOMENT OF THE MATCH

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When Christian undressed Swagger at the end of the match. At first I thought it was just wrestling getting even more homo -erotic than it usually is. Especially after Jack Swagger  “grabbed a handful of Christian’s tights.” But no, apparently it’s considered bad form in the collegiate league to compete with your straps down. Hmm. I never knew that. This PPV may not have been all that memorable, but it was certainly educational.

WORST MOMENT OF THE MATCH

There wasn’t one. I LOVED this match. LOOOOOVED!

SIDENOTE:  I know Josh Matthews gets a lot of shit for not being the best commentator, but  I like him. It’s kind of nice to see younger guys having a crack of the commentary whip. And I only just noticed that ECW has the best looking announce team across all three brands.

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You’d think I might have noticed that sooner. I mean, look at the competition. My favourite commentary line of this match came from Matt Striker when he said “Look, anyone that’s ever had a bad back in the morning can imagine what it must feel like to have a 6ft 6″ All-American bearing down on you.” Ya know, I’ve never given it much thought before, but now that I have the visual, I kinda like it.

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Nice to see some of the Chicago Bears in the crowd, although, Greg Olsen looked like he couldn’t wait to get home.

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I gots mad love for football (Go Ravens) and hockey (Go Predators)but I struggle with basketball (HATE the thuggery) and baseball (don’t understand it), so this has been an annoying week for me with the whole Denver Nuggets debacle. I’m dreading Next week’s Raw and Smackdown. It’ll be crammed full of cheap jokes. I’ll come back to baseball later. On with JD. ======================================================

MATCH THREE: Shelton Benjamin accompaniedby Charlie Haas v John Morrison (Winner)

BEST MOMENT OF THE MATCH

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When John Morrison kicked, punched, swung around and swept the legs of Benjamin. It. Was. AWESOME. And so was his finishing move.

WORST MOMENT OF THE MATCH

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Any moment involving Charlie Haas. There was no reason for him to be there other than to be Benjamin’s personal cheerleader. No women’s match but Haas gets an airing? Poor show, WWE. Poor show indeed.

SIDENOTE:  I think I’m finally getting why Morrison is so revered. Not the sexy shamen stuff, but he is a little bit awesome. And he’s A POET. WOW! Maybe we should get him in the ring with Jeff Hardy for a poetry battle. Like Eminem in 8 Mile, but more cultured.

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I was waiting for the next match when The Miz made an appearance. NOOOOOO! Don’t subject me to this. PLEEEASE. Hold up, is this the first Raw appearance so far? Whoa. Anyway, he dissed Cena….again. And dissed the crowd…..again. Then he ripped the piss outta Chicago….. ’cause there’s no better way to make someone hate your guts than to talk trash about their home town. He then went to on to challenge and throw verbal crap at Alfonso Soriano who, apparently, plays for the Chicago Cubs. I don’t know ANYTHING about baseball, but he seems like a friendly guy. Poor thing. He looked a little heartbroken. At least he smiled. Take note Greg Olsen.

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Michael Cole got it spot on for the next arrival to the ring. Some Italian whaling hit and “You never thought you’d be pleased to see Santino, did ya?” You daaaamn right, baby! Santino did his usual condescending comedy, brought out his bicep guns and a fight ensued. The crowd booed and yayed like it was a pantomime and then Chavo ran in to take out Santino. Huh? Oh, Edge told him earlier in the show that he’d let Vickie down by not defending her honour against Santino’s pig jokes. *sigh*

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MATCH FOUR:  Rey Mysterio (Winner) v Chris Jericho – Intercontinental Championship

Jericho did a promo just before going out in to the ring and used the following words:

Controversy, Conspiracy, Vilified, Chastised, Parasitic, Gelatinous, Tapeworms and Intercontinental. So you know how THAT went. By the way, sweetheart, you know I love you so I feel able to say this – time for a new hair-do. When this starts happening…….

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GO SHORTER! Kiss-kiss!

BEST MOMENT OF THE MATCH

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When Jericho was finally able to drag Mysterio in to the Walls of Jericho and the crowd went nuts. And I thought everyone was waiting for the 619. LOTS of Chris Jericho fans in Chi-town.

WORST MOMENT OF THE MATCH

NOTHING. It was the best match of the night. They’re both a couple of grafters so we shouldn’t have expected anything less. Beautiful!

SIDENOTE: I know Rey Mysterio’s always all about the kids, but how sweet was it when he gave that kid his necklace. You can’t buy that kind of excitement.

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My favourite quote from JR was when he said “Chris Jericho has been called many things, including an angry man in a suit!” Yawch! I remember, once, when I had PMS, I was wearing a cardigan, and someone called me an angry girl in a cardigan, and it HURT SO BAAAAAD!

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MATCH FIVE: Randy Orton (Winner) v Dave Batista – WWE Championship

Hold the phone, are we really almost two hours in and this is the first Raw match? Congratulations Smackdown. You just graduated!

BEST MOMENT OF THE MATCH

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When Randy Orton’s IED kicked in and he started throwing the kind of tantrum small children throw in the middle of the supermarket when they want a lollipop but can’t have one. I love when he does that viper thing and starts crawling around on his fists. It’s a little bit sexy.

WORST MOMENT OF THE MATCH

Times is hard in the financial sector

Times is hard in the financial sector

It pains me to have to do this, but it was when Ric Flair came out to rescue Dave from a three-pronged attack from Orton, Rhodes and DiBiase. I’m the first to admit that wrestling doesn’t hang in the realms of reality, but seriously, a man in his 60s beating up three men in their 20s? Please don’t insult my intelligence. I know I’m a sucka, but not THAT much of a sucka.

SIDENOTE: Retired is, as retired does. That is all.

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MATCH SIX: John Cena (Winner) v Big Show

BEST MOMENT OF THE MATCH

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When John lifted Big Show on his shoulders. I know he’s done it before, but it makes me feel all warm inside when he does his extraordinary displays of brute strengh.

WORST MOMENT OF THE MATCH

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Pretty much everything else. It was painful. Horrible, horrible and, oh yeah, horrible.

SIDENOTE: Why why why did they make us watch this match? Big Show can’t hang with John. They’re bad for each other. This whole feud is ridiculous and pointless. Hey, you, yeah you, Lawler, you know before the match when you said “this is the one I’VE been waiting for.” You’re an effing liar!

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MATCH SIX: Jeff Hardy v Edge (Winner) – Heavyweight Championship

BEST MOMENT OF THE MATCH

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When Edge took a groin to the face, tried to slam Jeff down but was countered when Jeff slipped over Edge’s head and flipped him over the other way. It was a wicked move.

WORST MOMENT OF THE MATCH

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When Matt Hardy ran in from the crowd and knocked Jeff over, losing him the match………L.A.M.E

SIDENOTE: Something didn’t work heree and I think it’s because they didn’t build the feud for long enough. I can’t bear when they’ve only got three weeks between PPVs. It’s almost as if they’re afraid of building stories that don’t lead up to Wrestlemania or Summerslam or Survivor Series. I’m lucky. Because of the ungodly start times, some of my PPVs are free.  For people who have to pay for every one, they’re running too often. So everyone loses.

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Heroines Wanted: Apply Within

Back in the day, when my love affair with wrestling was at its climatic peak, there were three kinds of women in the WWE/F. These were the times when, in my eyes, it could do no wrong. Every twist and turn delighted me and I overlooked even the most ludicrous storylines. Ah, memories. As I said, there were three kinds of ladies back then.

1) Girls Who Look Like Boys (The Chynas)

You remember them, right? Overdeveloped, manly, muscle machines with chins that would put Edge to shame.  They usually got to work with the guys, because physically they were evenly matched. We’ll call them The Chynas.

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2) Pretty-Girl Wrestlers (The Trishes)

The women who seem able to maintain their femininity but still manage to pull off hot-shot, eye popping wrestling moves. Like Trish Stratus. We’ll come back to Trish later.

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3) The Fluff (The Keiblers)

I doubt this category really needs any explanation, but basically the girls who look drop-dead gorgeous but have extremely limited wrestling skills. Stacey Keibler:  Hot pins, bad at pinning.

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Fast forward to today’s bizarre state of WWE affairs and one category, The Chynas, has completely disappeared. Times have changed. Vince McMahon and his production staff’s job is to make money. They seek to pinpoint the most bankable trends in popular culture and apply them to their own product. We live in a celebrity obsessed world. For women, you’re not accepted if you’re not the perfect height, the perfect weight, the perfect amount of pretty, just the right amount of sexy. If you look like this……..

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…..you’re not marketable any more. Not to men or to women. That’s why these women have slipped away from the limelight. I haven’t lost any sleep over it. It always kind of bothered me that they were the only ones who got to hang with the boys anyway. Even back in the late 90s when overdeveloped female wrestlers were the norm, they still had to battle for recognition. I’m still not convinced that Chyna would have been involved in any main eventing had it not been for her dalliance with Triple H.

The Trishes, however, have soared. They fit the current bill. Gorgeous creatures that girls want to be and boys was to do. I’m talking Beth Phoenix, Gail Kim, Natalya, Melina, Mickie James, Michelle McCool, Maryse, Maria etc. (SIDENOTE: If I change my name to something starting with an M, can I join the Trishes?). Their athleticism is awesome and I will argue all the live long day that it is equal to that of the best performing men in the company. I would kill for just an ounce of it. In some cases their fitness is probably superior to some of the male wrestlers. Women are held up to different physical standards to men. It’s alright that some of the guys have a paunch. It’s never perceived as ok for women the lose their training grip.

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The Keiblers are still there.  Occasionally it bothers me, but not that much. It would be great if every woman employed by Vince McMahon had a fantastic, athletic, in-ring presence, but not everyone is made for taking bumps. They play their roles just like everyone else. The trend seems to be to get all women in to this middle ground of beauty and athleticism. Some just excel at being beautiful but can’t pull off top moves. And that’s fine. The fact that they’re out there trying and giving it their best to entertain makes me really happy. And who could possibly hate Kelly-Kelly anyway? She’s so damn cute. She’s like a cupcake with pink frosting and a cherry on top.

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Lacey, your boyfriend's not thinking about you right now.

I don’t even mind that guys drool over them. It would be wholly hypocritical of me to be insulted by that kind of behaviour, being that I have a segment in my Smackdown recaps which charts the weekly colours and contents of CM Punk’s trunks.

So what’s my problem? My problem is that when it comes to storylines, screen time and ring time, the women of the WWE are second class citizens. This is not a feminist rant. I just want to see the ladies getting a fair crack of the whip.  They are skipped over on several Pay Per Views, they have significantly less time in the ring, bearly enough mic time for us even to know what their voices sound like and non-existent storylines. It’s disappointing and an insult to the intelligence of those us interested in more than just the fact that Maryse wants a man who takes regular showers.

I sometimes wonder if the writers don’t give the women any storylines because they don’t believe anyone would care. Nonsense. People don’t care RIGHT NOW because there are NO storylines. Everyone knows that when wrestling/sports entertainment is good, the balance between dramatics and athletics is bang on. At the moment, there are NO female storylines and a tiny blot of athletics.  It doesn’t work.

A short while ago, Trish Stratus threw a cat among the pigeons when she expressed that the WWE Women’s Division is currently disappointing and that there are too many women on the roster all round. She also suggested they should concentrate on developing just a couple of women rather than spreading things too thinly over more talent. She’s got it partially right. I do NOT think, however, that there are too many women in the division. There are just too many women without a public persona or an identity. The matches have no context.  With no context, who cares who wins and loses? They’re just pretty, sexy girls grappling with each other. The pendulum is swinging all out of whack. There’s no balance between context and action, and no balance between the investment in to the men and the women. And by investment, I’m not just refering to financial investment. I mean, time and recognition too. The Women’s Division is not taken seriously at all. That’s a real shame, because the potential for business, sporting and entertainment expansion is huge, and completely untapped.

I’m going to use the Smackdown from 8th May as an example. Teddy Long, Rey Mysterio, Chris Jericho and Jeff Hardy spent 14 and a half minutes setting up a match between Jericho and Hardy to take place at the end of Smackdown. Almost 15 minutes of a two hour show, just talking. And it was great. It was entertaining and it began preparing the ground for the PPV matches between Mysterio and Jericho, and Hardy and Edge.  The entire Hardy/Jericho match on that particular Smackdown lasted almost 20 minutes, by the way.

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On the same show Gail Kim and Michelle McCool wrestled extremely well for five minutes. But that was it. No promo, no mic time, and with no purpose.  And that was a good week.

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Later in the same show, Cryme Tyme emceed an arm wrestle between Layla and Eve Torres. Why? It had no meaning. And apparently neither woman seemed allowed to speak. Cryme Tyme spoke on their behalf. It was infuriating and utterly pointless, and it was given just as much time as the McCool/Kim match.

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Wrestlemania. The grandest stage of the them all. The highlight of the wrestling calendar. Millions of people watching around the world. And who won the Miss Wrestlemania contest? A man in a skirt and a wig with a chin strap. I get the joke. Really. I do. But what a waste. Santino Marella is a great comedian. He’s a natural. I’ve laughed with him at certain points through this whole Santina story. But seeing Beth Phoenix chasing him/her around for the past six weeks is a major let-down and a shameful waste of her talent. She is one of the most accomplished female athletes in the company and yet her skills are bearly tapped in to.

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Maybe the WWE believes that female fans wouldn’t support female superstars if they upped their profile and marketed the directly to women. There is this odd myth that all women hate each other and that ladies will only cheer for male wrestlers. That’s incorrect. Those women do exist, but I’d be unpleasantly surprised if they made up the majority. If the female fanbase really is 40% of the entire WWE Universe, give us the same role models and heels the male fans have. Build feuds. Create identities and heroines. Give us characters to look forward to seeing and discussing and supporting. There are some amazing women in the WWE. It would make my day to see little girls wearing Mickie James t-shirts. Those shirts don’t exist.  Little girls wear Jeff Hardy shirts because WWE promotes him to that market. Promote the women to women and young girls and I guarantee it will get a favourable response.  Allow young girls to see the female wrestlers succeeding in the same way and at the same level their male counterparts do and it will give them a work ethic to aspire to.

I can’t speak for any of the female talent. I don’t know them. I haven’t met them. Even if I did I highly doubt they would be so unprofessional as to air any personal grievances in front of fans. But it’s got to be frustrating for them, hasn’t it? As a woman, the lack or interest the WWE shows in its Women’s Division sometimes makes me feel like it doesn’t care about me either.  So, apart from the obvious, why should I keep coming back?

Smackdown(lite): bromancing on a friday night

After all the chit-chat on last week’s Smackdown, this week we went straight in to a match.  It was John Morrison & CM Punk vs Charlie Haas and Shelton Benjamin.  Apparently, John personally selected Punk to be his partner. I could recap the match in full, because it was pretty excellent, but a far more interesting development has occurred. No, it has nothing to do with CROTCH WATCH (he wore the black with the fuchsia stars again, by the way). It is the dawning of a new Bromance. Man-hugs and bromantic looks to the max. Look, look, look!

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Oh, I wish CM Punk would wrap his hand around MY hair and whisper sweet nothings in to MY ear. (Middle row, far right)

As I said, it was a great match, which was put to bed my Morrison’s acrobatics on to Haas. Oh and one of my favourite moment was JR calling the instant replay like it was a display of figure skating. He might as well had said  “Watch this… tuck axel, triple salco, double lutz. Beautiful swan-like arms. Innovative. Risk-taking.” Ok, that move is actually called the Starship Pain. But my description sounds prettier.

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Moving on, Chris Jericho, in a repeat of his whining from the week before….and the week before…. umm, anyone else getting a bit bored with this? I love Chris from the depths of my heart and he’s great at what he’s doing, but I’m not digging this persona any more. Anyway, he’s taking Rey Mysterio on at Judgement Day tonight, so they had to do a spot of promotion for their Intercontinental Championship match. There I was, waiting for Rey to pop out from behind the curtain, but hold the phone, he’s sent Edge out in his place.

They both bitched about whose show it was and argued over the apparent timetabling clash. Edge called out Jeff, Chris re-called out Rey, but what we actually got was  Teddy Long to shut their yaps. Apparently the show belongs to US, the WWE Universe.  Yey! But I don’t remember being offered stock options. Vince, call me please.

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Filed under things I pretend to understand but really don't.

Anyway,  what REALLY killed the conversation was Teddy’s announcement that Jericho and Edge had to face each other that night.  Next time an opening for a General Manager opens up, I might submit my CV. Seems like a pretty easy job, coming out at opportune moments and telling hot boys to STFU. Piece o’cake.

Next up, Jeff ‘The Fonz’ Hardy against Ricky ‘Tony Robbins’ Ortiz. Yeah, ok. I’ll go along with it.

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Grisham and Ross made me laugh this week.  When Todd suggested that “Ricky Ortiz  has a laid back, West Coast, persona.” JR bit back with ” I don’t see anything ‘laid back’ about this match. I don’t see him sipping on any lattes!” Because everyone knows that’s what people in California do all day, right? Just sit around outside cafes with their miniature poodles, wearing free designer shades, sipping on non-fat-dry-soy-decaf-lattes…right? Well that’s what The Hills would have us believe anyway. It’s real as long as I believe it’s real DAMMIT!

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Ok, back to the action and out of my Hills dreamworld….. Ortiz did surprisingly well against Jeff but you KNOW Jeff’s not gonna lose to some new pipsqueak. Swanton Bomb for the win. Time for a bit of JD promotion. Josh Matthews jumped under the ropes to ask Jeff a few questions about his plans for Sunday night. I see he hasn’t taken my advice to try some long-lasting foundation. Ok, if you don’t like the Revlon, try Estee Lauder Double-Wear Light Foundation. About three times the price of the Revlon but MUCH stronger and less cakey. And it’s got an SPF too.

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The Jeff Hardy Love-In continued. A cry of “YOU’RE THE GREATEST” came from the crowd, Jeff paused, pointed to the adoring dude in the crowd and said “YOU’RE the greatest!” I swear to GOD, Jeff could kick a puppy and people would STILL cheer for him at the moment. I’m such a sucka for a nice guy.  Fudge the bad boys, you’re always in safe hands with a polite and appreciative young man. He went on to state in no uncertain terms that he plans on being the owner of some waist metal by the end of Sunday. *SWOOOON*

Speaking of swooning, I think I may be developing a girl-crush on Michelle McCool. I kind of want to be her. Actually I’d just settle for her stomach and hair, but the rest would be nice too, if anyone with cosmetic surgery qualifications is reading.

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So Michelle and Alicia Fox took on Gail Kim and Melina. Oh. Right. Melina. She was drafted over how many weeks ago? Bout time they put her to work. Another really good women’s match on Smackdown. Things are definitely looking up. Melina ended it all by jumping on Michelle’s back, flipping herself between her legs and holding her down for the 1, 2, 3. Fantastic.  Take note Raw, Smackdown is way ahead of you.

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I’m not normally in the habit of throwing my support behind redneck Asians (JR’s label, not mine), but if Jimmy Wang Yang wants to linedance all over Dolph Ziggler’s head, hey, I’ll give him a round of applause.  RUBBISH MATCH. Really. Just to rub salt in to an open wound of a match, Ziggler won. And just when I thought it couldn’t get any worse, The Great Khali came out and pulled Ziggler out of the ring. Bleurgh all round. NEEEEEXT.

I think I would have preferred staying with Ziggler and Khali than witness what happened next.

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I have no words. At least, no words I can write without WordPress suspending my account. Let’s try this again and hope for a better result…… NEEEEEEXT! R-Truth and Mike Knox. Again? Well, alright then.  It’s significantly better than the last two segments anyway.  R-Truth made his usual way through the crowd and Knox met him in the ring. Not a terrible match but not great either. At least there was a reversal in the result this week. R-Truth took it with a strange corkscrew move to the head  (but not as nice as John Morrison’s Triple Salco).

Rey Mysterio did a little Spanish promo for his match against Jericho and, because Lawler and Cole got to do it on Raw, JR and Todd Grisham got in the ring to run through all their Judgement Day matches. Ready for some main eventing? Nah, me neither. Can’t say I was really looking forward to the Edge/Jericho match.  It just seemed like an excuse to put them both to work without doing the PPV matches a few days too early. It trundled along fairly smoothly. Nothing out of the ordinary or unexpected. But then bedlam broke out and the whole place erupted. Here’s how it went down…….

Edge was about to make Jericho eat some steel chair when Jeff Hardy came to spoil his party.

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Jeff was about throw himself on to Edge from the top rope, but when Jericho interfered he switched angles and humped on to HIM instead.

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After a brief pause CM PUNK came running out with a referee at his side, to try and cash in his Money in the Bank contract for the THIRD week running. AAARGH! I need to catch my breath….. hold on…….mmm ahhhhh mmmm ahhhh mmm ahhhh. Ok I can breathe now.

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Just as Punk got in the ring Umaga appeared and tried to foil his third cash-in, but Punk whacked him over the noggin with the briefcase and sent him flying. Just to make sure he really HAD knocked Umaga out, CM Punk leaped from the ropes and landed on the chunky one. He vented his frustration by shouting loudly.sdjdpr4

Back in the ring, Jeff and just thrown himself at Edge, has knocked him towards the announce table and has pushed him in to the crowd.

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In another part of the crowd, Umaga has found his feet and is pummelling Punk in to a pulp. A small girl touches Umaga and seems shocked that his skin in sweaty.

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Hold up, where’s Jericho? Oh there he is, slinking up the ramp. Rey Mysterio doesn’t let him get off so lightly and attacks him from behind.

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All three matches continue as Smackdown goes off the air, and I make an attempt at recovering from my first decent Wrestlegasm in WEEKS. Bring on the Judgement.

FAVOURITE CROWD MEMBER OF THE SHOW

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I know I chose a child in last week’s Smackdown recap, but they generally have the most honest reactions. This one says “Daddy, who the hell is this man and why are his eyeballs so large?” I also like that he’s wearing a John Cena shirt.

Smackdown(lite): Everybody hates chris

Back to the old routine and this week’s Smackdown kicked off with Theodore Long in the ring, celebrating Rey Mysterio’s triumphant return to the Smackdown flock. You know what I love? Genuine smiles. Not faux wrestling smiles, but real ‘I’m so happy to be here’ ones. Jeff Hardy did one at the end of last week’s  Smackdown and Rey did one at the beginning of this week’s show. It makes my heart smile.

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But the love-in was rudely interrupted by (according to Grisham) a buzz-kill. Depends on the kind of buzz you’re into, know what I’m sayin’? Anyway,  jealous Jericho made his way to the ring to complain about the fact that Mysterio was now the new SD poster boy again and HE wasn’t.  Chris and Teddy exchanged PLAYAs and PLAYERs, Chris abused the crowd and Rey told him to SHUT UP. Uh-ohhhh! Then he said something in Spanish which I didn’t quite catch, but he did talky-talky-hands so I figure he was telling him to shut his trap in Español. Rey couldn’t handle any more waffle, so he turned and began exiting the ring. Jericho yapped at him but as he left Rey passed the baton on to Jeff Hardy. Oh dear, it’s a relay. Everybody really does hate Chriseverybody-hates-chris copy

By the way, how cool did Jeff look, swaggering down to the ring in civilian clothes, pushing his thumbs through his belt loops and tipping nods of coolness to the crowd? It was like Fonzy had just arrived. And that Southern accent. *SWOON* It makes me miss Tennessee sooo much. (Yeah, I know he’s from N.C, but it’s the closest thing I’ve got). Jeff pretty much told Jericho it was time to put-up or shut-up and told him he wanted to fight him that night. If Jericho won, the title match at Judgement Day with Edge & Jeff would become a three-way scrap for the belt. Jeff told Chris he would expose him for the loser he really was, Chris swung a punch and missed, Jeff slapped him and took off his coat *wolf-whistle*, Jericho left the ring and Teddy confirmed the match. Sweet!

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Ok, time to move on. After a brief interlude, R-Truth began making his way to the ring via the crowd, encouraging people with no rhythm to get hyped up and do a bouncy hip-hop dance. I almost made the lady in this picture my ‘FAVOURITE CROWD MEMBER OF THE SHOW’ (a segment that I totally invented, Adam.) But I found a much better one towards the end of the show.

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R-Truth took on Mike Knox. The bearded one took him to the cleaners. Time for the girls to have a go.  I don’t know if this happens to guys when they watch wrestling (do tell, boys, do tell) but when I see this kind of training effort, I feel kind of ashamed of myself .  As I watched this, I was scarfing down a bacon and fried egg baguette. Thanks for ruining it Michelle McCool. Do you REALLY have to display your amazing stomach like that and make the rest of us feel inferior? Ah who am I kidding? If I looked like that I would just walk around in my underwear with a big cardboard arrow pointing at my abs. Besides, I am of the belief that your body is down to you, so I think I’ll step up the crunches this week.

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It’s been a good week for the ladies. First Mickie and Maryse were given a gimmick-free match on Raw, then Michelle and Gail Kim were given a nice little slot of time on SD. Result! Although, I’m not entirely sure why Michelle took a break during the match to do some push-ups. Show-off! And Alicia could do with ditching the screeching too. But otherwise, it was pretty fantastic.  Even better than Raw. Maybe I don’t need to write my post of complaint about the women after all. (But I will anyway). Michelle McCool set the Faith-Breaker in motion and it was curtains for Gail Kim.

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In the interview area, Jeff Hardy stepped up for a chat with old pal, Josh Matthews, about how he planned on eliminating the distraction that is Chris Jericho. A couple of rooms away and, oh no, my worst fears from last week have been realised. The hideous zebra-print fabric IS part of Maria’s new clothing line. NOOOOOOO!

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It’s ok. I still love you, Maria.  Meanwhile, Edge comes in and Teddy gives him a match that night against CM Punk. Yum! Title match? Non-Title Match? That’s for Punk to decide. Bring it on. Back in the ring, John Morrison is taking on Charlie Haas, who is accompanied by Shelton Benjamin. I feel like I’m supposed to care a lot more than I do about John Morrison. But I kinda don’t. Maybe in a year or so when he’s cut his teeth in the big-leagues. And cuts his hair. Then I might consider him mildly sexy. Shamen? Doubtful. Oh, just in case you DO care, Morrison pinned Haas and spent a couple of minutes daring Shelton Benjamin to take his shirt off.

Now on to something I DO care about – CM Hunk vs Edge (take II).  CROTCH WATCH: Lavender. You know what that means. ………………… whoa, drifted off in to a fantasy there for a moment. Ok, I’m here. They pretty much repeated the same match they had last week, meaning that it was great but I felt like I’d seen it before. Because I had. But rather than have Edge lose and risk the briefcase being cashed in, he walked away from the match, keeping his precious title intact. Punk had just about persuaded Edge to return to the ring when this happened………….

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Only the lavender trunks and some well timed clenching made the whole thing slightly more palatable than the first time around.

This was followed by Cryme Tyme and their two female puppets, Eve Torres (who I like a tiny bit) and Layla (who I should like, but don’t).  I’m  not recapping this tripe. I’m saving it for my serious post. And I can’t be bothered to recap Ziggler and Khali either. I’m nauseated by Ziggler and terrified of Khali. So I’m skipping. Lame, I know, but I’m sick enough this week…..I don’t need any more nausea.

On to the main event, which was fantastic on so many levels. We had Edge on commentary at the announce table, Jericho and Jeff Hardy in the ring and half way through the match, Rey Mysterio joined in and scooted around the ring to keep the crowd firing on all cylinders. Edge donned his headset, kids’ favourite – Jeff Hardy – bounced in and Jericho followed.  The match was rolling along nicely and Jeff was looking dominant. Jericho seemed to be edging towards the ramp when Mysterio came out to make sure he didn’t leg it, allowing Jeff to capitalise.

But by far the best thing about the whole match was Edge’s  commentary and, in particular, his snippy banter with JR. They sounded like a couple on the brink of divorce, failing at being civil in a public place. Poor Todd Grisham had to be piggy in the middle of their lovers’ tiff. It was brilliant. Favourite line from Edge? “Yes, this’ll be the only time you’ll hear me cheering and have the pom-poms on for Jeff Hardy.” I know it’s too obvious, but my photoshop senses were tingling and I couldn’t let it slide without doing this:

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That’s the scariest effing cheerleader I’ve ever seen. I think I just gave MYSELF nightmares with my OWN photoshopping. *shudder* Anyway, they began scrapping outside of the ring and Jericho threw Jeff straight in to Edge’s face, knocking him off his pedestal….literally.

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They made their way back in to the ring, Jeff almost pinning Jericho by grabbing at his crotch and dragging him down while Edge distracted him with a hissy fit at the side of the ring. He kicked out in just enough time and reversed the move, sneakily using the ropes for leverage. Edge had already stormed off and Rey Mysterio did his Justice of the Peace thing, alerting the referee to Jericho’s cheating. Jericho told Rey to keep his cherry out and, while distracted, Jeff finished him off.

Jeff and Edge did a stare-down thing, then just as Jericho regained his composure, Rey Mysterio leapt on to him from the ropes. You know, just for a laugh. Jericho did a strange kick-out AFTER he’d been pounced upon, Rey did more crab-claw-hands and Chris was left hacking his lungs up on the mat.

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FAVOURITE CROWD MEMBER OF THE SHOW

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This little girl – who looked bedazzled by her whole WWE experience. Possibly even her first WWE experience. And her little friends were cute too. Cheering along and waving their action figures in the air. Bless their little cotton socks. Ah, youthful innocence. I remember it well. Remember watching wrestling and having that starry-eyed look on your face? Oh, wait, I still do. That’s why I’m still here. Duh!

Smackdown(lite): partie deux – d’introducions

I said it was a week of introductions, didn’t I? Smackdown was no exception.  Let’s check  it out……..

We began with Chris Jericho, still playing the bad guy, still in a custom suit, still hawt. But wait, there are teeny tiny glimmers of comedy returning to his public persona. YES! I miss happy Jericho.  He started by abusing the fans,  which they, naturally, jeered. Apparently this is now his show and there’s nothing anything can do about it. Why do I get the feeling someone will come out and question that? Oh here we go, Edge, hoorah! Canada vs Canada. I love it.  Edge seems particularly calm all of a sudden. That belt must be like a jewellery version of prozac. Someone get me a really big belt – STAT.

Poor Chris Jericho. Edge gave him a verbal battering that left me wanting to give him a big, warm hug.  Yeah, because I NEVER usually wanna do that! Apparently, Jericho can take all his vocabulary words and leave because Smackdown isn’t Jericho’s to take…….it belongs to Edge. Vocabulary words? Oh, as opposed to those non-vocabulary words. Because everyone apart from Jericho just grunts and makes clicking noises with their tongue?

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Edge proclaimed himself the sultan of Smackdown, in no uncertain terms. Which means someone else is about to come out and call HIS bluff, right? Right. So which, newly drafted, hunky, Chicago native would like to take on that role? Yep, you guessed it, CM PUNK. YEEEEEEAH! Oh my god. I know I don’t have any groinal feelings for Edge, but two outta three ain’t bad at all.  Quite frankly, with Punk and Jericho talking it out you’re lucky I can even concentrate long enough to keep my fingers on the keyboard.

Back to the new guy introductions……….welcome to Smackdown, honeys.

He reminded Edge that he took his title last year cashing in his Money in the Bank ticket to greatness. Jericho got up in Punk’s face, told him that nobody cares abooot what he has to say (love that accent), claimed he was the best in the world and suggested it would be in Punk’s best interest to skedaddle. Punk disregarded Jericho’s warning and Chris threw a girly hissy fit, called the audience recalcitrant frauds (Google it) and stormed out of the the ring gripping his imaginary, vintage,  floral clutch bag. Don’t be such a puss, Chris.

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Back in the ring, Punk attempted to speak again but Edge didn’t wanna hear it. He persevered anyway. Good for you, sweets. He made it absolutely clear that Smackdown was in a new era and that he would be fighting Edge that night, cashing in his Money in the Bank contract. YYYEEEEAAW! Bring it on! A quick tip for Punk before moving on….you need to lay off the oily hair mist. If you have fine hair it can make it a little too flat and greasy looking if you overuse it. Try a light serum before blowdrying.  You can show me the results next week. ;)

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All that was followed by a Shelton Benjamin match with John Morrison, where Morrison won. Backstage, Jericho has gotten so angry about being interrupted by Edge and Punk that he’s taken his top off while whining to Teddy Long. Well, I know that’s what I always do when I’m furious. Anyway, he’s interrupted again by the Great Khali, who I think might be one of the scariest dudes on the planet. Look at his C-shaped mug and listen to that warble he calls a voice. *shudder*.  Jericho thanked Khali for showing him some support and respect, but lost the plot again when he realised was actually telling him to get over himself. COMEDY JERICHO IS ON HIS WAY BAAAAACK! WOOHOO! Bout time too.

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Ok, all this bitchy fighting is lovely but can we have a match to hold our interest, please? Ah, a Fatal Fourway to decide who will contend for Edge’s title at Judgement Day. Fabulous.  We have Kane, Jeff Hardy, Chris Jericho and Rey Mysterio. Great match – lots going on and it managed to hold my attention throughout. Anyway, after much high-flying shenanigans, Jeff pinned Rey to contest for the title at JD. Umm, hold on, I’m confused. Last I heard, Jeff had been persuaded to sign a new contract on the grounds that he had a lighter schedule so he could recover from his ‘burnout’. Now he’s in a PPV title match? Let that boy SLEEP for goodness sake.

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So it appears that Maria has fulfilled a lifelong ambition to launch her own clothing line.  I don’t know if I’m afraid to look or super-excited. As you know, I loves my fashion. But generally female wrestler clothes tend to be, well, how can I put this……trash? I mean, they’re costumes, right? It might work for them on TV but I can’t really see me rocking up at my office in a satin trimmed lace dress with my baps spilling out over the top.

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And I do like to support the Divas in their personal ventures, especially the ladies I like. I can only hope this zebra-print monstrosity in the background there is Teddy Long’s bath robe and not an item for sale at the Maria Kanellis Store. Eek!

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In more lessons in time wasting, Cryme Tyme came out and got two of the Divas to do a dance-off for them. Errrrm, what is the point of this shit? And why the hell did it get so much air time? I despair. I really do. Isn’t this supposed to be a WRESTLING show? First of all if you can’t dance like this…..

….you’re just pulling lap-dance moves..  And secondly, why weren’t they allowed to speak? Did they really need two boys to be mouthpieces for them? I think the week for me to write my long post in defence of the women of the WWE has arrived.

Moving on, this M.V.P and Sherri Shepherd thing is kind of lost on me.  All I really know of her is that she was Judy in Everybody Loves Raymond and that she’s on The View. I’m fully aware of The View.  I’ve seen it when I’ve been in America. And I’m sure it must shown on some satellite channel during the afternoon here, but I’ve got a job. Daytime TV ain’t really my thing. We have a ghastly, trashier, British version of The View called Loose Women, if you’re looking for some background noise to slash your wrists to.

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Anyway, what exactly IS the purpose of this storyline? Are M.V.P and SS actually a couple? Is the idea that bored housewives will start watching wrestling as a direct result of this? I know more than half of what I write about here relates to admiring the male form, but that’s not enough to sustain interest.  Unless you actually love wrestling, unless you get what it’s about, unless you understand the history and love it as a (partial) sport, you won’t stick around. If all the cute boys disappeared and we were left with the less attractive fellas, yeah, I’d be less aesthetically satisfied, but I’d never stop watching. Wow! I DO have it in me to be serious.  What a voyage of self-discovery I’m on. Maybe I should be on The View.

At least Sherri Shepherd got in to the spirit and put her acting skills to good use. She was pretty convincing.

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After much theatrics, M.V.P won against Ziggler and retained his American belt, taking it to Raw from tonight.

Meanwhile backstage, Chris Jericho is still trying to find a single person willing to show him some respect. No dice. Teddy Long walked away without comment and John Morrison dared to dub Jericho a quitter. Jericho bitch-slapped Morrison and an outright catfight ensued. This forced carefully  placed random staffers to prise them apart and left CM Punk to whistle his way through the chaos.

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After what feels like a particularly long SD, we’ve gone full circle and are back where we started with Punk and Edge fighting it out. In this week’s CROTCH WATCH, my guy has plumped for the black shorts with fuchsia pink stars. Phew! That leaves me free to concentrate on the actual athletics, which were awesome by the way. Much like Orton and M.V.P on Raw, they complimented each other. And I figured that, unlike on Raw, there was nobody to run in and ruin it.  Errr, yah. Punk won the first match, declared he was cashing in his MitB opportunity and…..out of nowhere Umaga bounded in and beat Punk up. WHHHHYYYYYY? What’s HIS beef?

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But events carried on twisting. Edge rose to feet and was about to batter Punk some more with his very own briefcase when HE was beaten up by Jeff Hardy, the number one contender at JD. I didn’t know where to look next. But look, Jeff is smiling! I haven’t seen Jeff smile in ages. Awwww. Baaaaabe.*hugs*

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Backlash: sweeping the big janitor’s broom

Following Wrestlemania is a tough gig. If the WWE were a Hollywood red carpet, Backlash would be the poor soul who has to step on the velvet five seconds after Angelina Jolie arrived. After the most sought after ‘event’ has arrived, everything else is kind of a let-down.

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But Backlash does serve a purpose.  It serves as one of those wide janitor’s brooms, sweeping away the dead feuds and fights, and making way for a brand new year.  Yes, you’re right, I AM feeling very philosophical today. Backlash turned out to be surprisingly good. Let’s see how it all panned out.

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After an intro which sounded like an excerpt from a Tolkien novel, it was time to get down to the serious business of belt exchange. ECW kicked everything off with Christian/Jack Swagger. Yes, I am a peep. I was looking forward to this one. I’m ashamed to say that I don’t give ECW enough of my time, but at least I get to dip a toe in to extweem waters at the PPVs.

The match was very good. There was something very amateur about it. And I mean that in the olympic sense of two men spooning and flipping each other. I like submission moves only slightly less than the high-flying-jumpy nonsense.  I think it’s all that long drawn-out touching. The match also produced some in-ring man-hugs, which you know make me all warm and fuzzy inside. They held each other so tight I started singing Johnny Logan’s Hold Me Now. Nothing like a bit of shit Irish pop from the 80s to really pep up a wrestling match.

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Christian won and the peeps went wild, including me. Who’d have thought I’d get so excited about an ECW match? Time for Captain Charisma to take his new bling backstage and receive some love from his fellow ECW buds. But wait….someone else is waiting in the wings too. EDGE. Oh My God.  Seeing the two of them together again was like opening an old photo album from a decade ago.  Amazing. And I loved the whole ‘what happened to you? bit. You used to be…I dunno…fun?’ Edge you’ve chaaaaanged. It’s kind of early in the show for this, but hey, I’ve got plenty of capacity for multiple ones…… WRESTLEGAAAAASSSSSMMM! Oooof! That was nice. What’s next?

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Uh-oh. I don’t know if I’m quite ready for another wrestlegasm yet. Chris Jericho’s  on his way to the ring. Give me a minute……. Ok, so, on the Raw after Wrestlemania Ricky Steamboat made a big, dragon sized splash. And as the WWE has a penchant for milking a good thing for everything it’s worth, almost a month on they’re still wheeling the poor guy out against Jericho. Is it just me or did Ricky lose a few clumps of hair between Raw and Backlash? He looked extra old, making my earlier claim that he was kind of sexy even more vomit enducing by the day. Anyway….fight.

It wasn’t a great match. It was, however,  very noisy. There was lots of AAAAAAAAAAAAH! OHHHHHHHHHHH! HUHHHHHHH! COME OOOOOOON! But if you think about the fact that this is a 56 year old man holding his own against a man young enough to be his son (just) it was quite impressive(ish).I suppose because the match was the end of a feud it didn’t really mean anything. It’s all finito.  Jericho twisted Ricky in to the Walls of Jericho and forced him to tap out. Chris left the ring and let the ledge have his moment in the sun.

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There was a backstage moment between Santino and Beth, but at this stage I was still boycotting their story so I closed my eyes and ears off to it.  Back in the arena Kane and CM Punk were preparing for battle. I almost cut the next part out. My infatuation with ‘CM Punk’s Junk’ has been remarked upon elsewhere in unfavourable terms.  But, well, who cares what anyone else thinks?   My mission statement warned against this kind of sexual silliness so, legally, I’m covered.

Punk is wearing the lavender coloured trunks again.  He obviously read last week’s Raw recap and wore them especially for me….being that I enjoyed them so much. Oh you’re such a flirt, Punky, but you know I love a flirt.  Mwah! So, yeah, there was actually a match too. Gotta be honest, I can’t remember much. I really was too distracted. And it was another one of those ‘end of game’ matches, allowing Kane to avenge his loss in the Wrestlemania Money in the Bank match and move on.  It was actually pretty solid throughout, and ended with Kane pinning Punk.

Much as I love the lavender shorts, they do have the disadvantage of being quite indescreet with regard to ass-sweat.  Personally, I like to think the wet patches are physical symbols of effort, but you might wanna get some Right Guard down there if you’re going to continue wearing those shorts for me, hun.

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Now on to Brother vs Brother in the ‘I Quit’ match.  I was surpised how much I enjoyed this match. I had planned for boredom and planted Glamour magazine down the side of the armchair in case I needed some additional stimulation. But who needs to know how to recreate Miley Cyrus’ cover-look when you’ve got the wrestling equivalent of Joan Rivers in the ring, in the form of the referee. Armed with a big fluffy mic in his back pocket, he annoyingly shoved it in between Matt and Jeff’s lips at every possible opportunity. At least he didn’t call either of them a fugly bitch or frighten small children with his face.

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It was all going as expected until proceedings took a sinister twist.  Matt was rolling around in agony. Then came the table, which Matt was spread across. Then, by some magical coincidence, some duct tape and rope appeared. This doesn’t look good for Matthew. Jeff tied him up like a side of beef ready for roasting. All of a sudden I’ve got a hankering for gravy.

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Then came the ladder. Uh-oh.  Followed by the most hilarious thing I’ve seen in ages. Matt, tied to a table, pleading for his life. “JEFF. I’M SORRY, JEFF. I LOVE YOU, JEFF. MATT  LOVES YOU. WE’RE BROTHERS. THE HARDY BOYS. WE CAN DO IT ALL AGAIN. DADDY WOULDN’T LIKE IF YOU DID THIS.” Oh my god, it was amazing, in such a bad way. See what I mean about the WWE being comical in all the wrong places?

Realising that Jeff wasn’t about to retreat, Matt shouted out ‘I QUIT’ and the bell was tolled. But that didn’t stop he of the purple locks. He jumped over the top of his ladder and planted his posterior on his brother’s breast-bone. There’s nothing like family, eh?

Randy Orton did a little piece to camera and back in the arena The Great Khali was carrying his colossal carcus to the ring. Christ, if I wasn’t reviewing this shit I SOOOOOO would have fast-forwarded this next segment. See all the pain I put myself through for my readers? I’m a trooper. Much as I tried to resist it, I did laugh. Even though in my head I was saying “Don’t laugh. It’ll only encourge them to keep churning out this bollocks.” Santino Marella, as far as comedy performances go, is actually really good. But the stories they give him are beyond irritating. The Rock managed to be funny without dressing like a lady. I tried not to laugh when Santina declared her love for Jim Ross, but I couldn’t help it. And when Khali ripped Santina/o’s top off, leaving her/him running out the arena clutching her/his  boobs/moobs I actually LOL’d. What’s happening to me? Thank god my old-skool ECW DVDs arrived today. I need a reality check.

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Next up we have the match I was kind of dreading. I was just so bored with the whole Macmahon-Family-Masturbation-Moments that I wasn’t sure I could bear any more. AAAAnd I’m pissed off that Shane ignored my advice to wear less clothes. Purely for wellbeing purposes, of course. You know, sometimes I wonder if Randy Orton is actually human. Remember when he first appeared on our screens with a bad haircut and slightly chubby in the face? I swear he went away and Vince sent him back as a cyborg.  Seriously, did you see the way Legacy walked to the ring? I’m convinced if you sliced open Orton’s chest an array of sparking wires and cables would pour out.

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Anyway, the match wasn’t that bad. In places it was pretty good, especially towards the end when it was just Hunter and Randy in the ring alone. In fact, when Randy jumped in the air, threw his arms around Triple H’s neck and dragged him to the ground I may have just leaped from my armchair and said “YESSSSSS!”. Not that I was involved or anything. A kick to the head later and it was all over.  I always feel slightly uneasy when they bring the paramedics in. I know it’s all for dramatic effect, but still, it makes my tummy feel strange.  And the way Lawler, Ross and Cole drop their voices down an octive. They do the serious-times voice. Don’t like it. Apparently Triple H is going to have a nice little holiday now. Good. He’s been getting on my nerves.  It’ll give me the chance to miss him.

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Ok, here we go. Last Man Standing. Edge. John Cena. I’ve been crushing on this match for weeks so it better not disappoint.  It didn’t. It. was. awesome. Punch after kick after drop after count. Just when you thought they had taken their last breath, they stumbled to their feet again. It all really started kicking off when Edge cleared the announce table and set John up for a drop through the table. But in a counter move John flipped Edge in to the crowd, dropping his oily form on top of an ‘unsuspecting fan’. Notice how nobody helped the ‘fan’ up to his feet? ha.

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Edge DID make it to his feet, so on we go. But not back to the ring……….they then started scuttling through the hyperactive crowd,  followed by the referees. From the crowd they moved to the arena lobby, where there seemed to be an alarming number of people shelling out for overpriced nachos and hotdogs while this was going on. Errrrm. Hang on a minute here. I don’t know how much the tickets for Backlash cost, but who would go and buy snacks  while the main event was going on? Even if you weren’t a fan of either dude, wouldn’t you at least want to see the headlining match? Strange people.

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They re-entered the arena, conveniently finding themselves at the top of the ramp. John dropped Edge in to the hard stage and Edge cracked John with something that just fell in to his hand. It was a carefully positioned hard-hat. Don’t you just hate when construction workers leave their shit lying around? Anyway, Edge whacked John with a chair, but the babe made it back up again, picking Edge up across his shoulders as he went. But just as he was about to go for another drop, Big Show appeared. Whaaaaaa? Oh yeah, he was involved in the same Wrestlemania match. I forgot.

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In more adventures in randomness, Big Show lifted John by the neck and slammed in to a large side-stage spotlight thing. I love the idea that someone was sat under the ramp with a big, red, GO button to press when John hit the sugar-glass, so that a big puff of smoke would fly up. And I love that it was set up to have flames coming out the back for authenticity.

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The flames were extinguished and with “John Cena covered in shards of glass” he was counted out, giving Edge the much pursued title. See? Told you it was awesome.

And by far the best thing of all was when Christian, Kofi Kingston, Finley and CM Punk (so concerned at John’s condition) came out in their off-duty-wrestler-outfits to see what they could do to assist the medics. Thank god Punk was there to do up that final strap on the stretcher. I mean, seriously, what would the paramedics have done without Dr. Punk’s expertise? I love you WWE.

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