cool britannia week: part four

….. otherwise know as raw(lite): four davids and a funeral

This week’s Raw came from the glorious setting of the O² Arena in London. You know what that means, right? British stage set time! I was quite impressed that it was a little understated this time around. The enormous flag and double-decker bus remained, but this time the phone-box was replaced with a Mini-Cooper, complete with a Union Jack painted on the roof. What could be more British? Should we tell the Americans that the Mini is owned by the Germans now? Best not.

This may have been a very British show, but it had a very American guest host. David Hasselhoff was in charge and he throughly enjoyed himself. We are quite fond of The Hoff in the UK. Not only because he kind of lives here now, but also because we like people who are able to poke fun at themselves. The Hoff is most definitely in on the joke that is himself.

Despite the nausea inducing promise of Baywatch inspired Divas match later on in the show, the first match of the night was Maryse vs Eve for the Divas Championship. As is the norm on Raw, it was painfully short, but it ended with Eve pulling off a brilliant bridge pin, finally swiping the title from Maryse.

Clever.

It’s about time Eve got some recognition for being one of the few proper athletes in the company. Hoorah!

So, the ladies vacated the ring and were followed by ShowMiz.They started bleating about how they’re the greatest tag team that ever was.  A bold claim indeed, but I had a feeling it wouldn’t just be the London crowd who disagreed.

Bret begged to differ and ran through several tag teams who he believed were higher up the pecking order. Being the big-mouth he is, Miz refused just to roll over and take it, so he went on to suggest that he would quite happily smack The British Bulldogs in their stupid faces if he’d had the chance. All of this was done in the phoniest English accent I’ve heard in some time. It was worse than Matt Striker’s when referring to Layla. Even Dick Van Dyke would be ashamed. Miz’s awful accent was punished with an appearance from the Hart Dynasty. Many options were put out on the table regarding how they might solve this disagreement and much discussion took place…….

…. but it was eventually agreed that Miz and DH Smith would have a match that night. If Mr. Smith won, the Hart Dynasty would get a tag titles match at Extreme Rules. If Miz won, Bret Hart would have to come out and declare ShowMiz the greatest tag team of all time the following week. And all that was before the match even started.

Unfortunately, despite a solid match and a sincere hope from myself that the Hart Dynasty would get a PPV match, Miz pinned David for the win. It seems having such chunky thighs means you can’t move out of the way too quickly.

Well, for me anyway.

I wasn’t well enough to recap last week’s Raw, so I wasn’t able to tell you anything about David Otunga’s guest host spot. I’ll just say MEH and be done with it. This week, it appeared that Otunga and his fellow David (Batista) were the best of pals. Batista was back in his favourite Ralph Lauren tank top and seemed to have acquired a pair of RayBan Wayfarers. A little ‘summer 2009′ but whatever. This apparent buddydom soon turned sour though. Batista suggested that Otunga get him a cup of coffee. LIKE A BITCH!!! Ok, he didn’t say ‘like a bitch’ but it was implied with an icy stare.

On his way to grab the java, Otunga ran into The Hoff, who was flanked by The Bellas. After some banter between the two where, again, initial congeniality was mistaken for friendship, The Hoff set Otunga up with a match against John Cena. He even asked KITT to confirm how long it might take for John Cena to win.

Next we had Evan Bourne vs Carlito, which was solid and pleasing because Evan Bourne actually got to win a match. I read some rumours earlier that WWE are thinking of bringing the Cruiserweight Belt back soon. It would certainly jazz up some of these mid-card matches, but they’re probably just rumours. I’ll take them with a pinch of salt.

John Cena against David Otunga was up next and, as that clever black car from the 1980′s had suggested, John made very light work of the rookie. Batista was furious that John was showing off his prowess so successfully, so he ran out with the intention of  bringing Cena down a peg or two. Turns out he just wanted to take his clothes off and get his weekly quota of bare chest in before the show ended.

After flexing about a bit, Dave just turned around and left. LIKE A BITCH!!!

You may have heard that HHH has a minor neck injury, so he’s sitting these few weeks out to be ready for his match against Sheamus at Extreme Rules. No Game action to mention this week. Sheamus, however, was given a few minutes to talk himself up without interruption. Of course, he hadn’t anticipated that The Hoff would send Kofi Kingston out to do some damage in Triple H’s place. They had a match. It was alright. Kofi won by DQ when Sheamus punched him in the stomach with a TV monitor.

Randy Orton had a match against Batista later that night and Josh interviewed him about what we could expect from the match. It was a standard answer from Orton, but my main concern was why Josh felt the need to use so much bronzer while on British soil. We’re all painfully pale. Just blend in with the locals, Josh.

Speaking of over-tanning, this was followed by the inevitable  Divas Baywatch Babe match, with David Hasselhoff watching from his lifeguard station and Santino as guest referee. I won’t insult your intelligence by telling you all about it. The picture covers everything.

Batista and Orton had their match, which was decent, if a little lumbering. Randy was about to tie up the loose ends when Jack Swagger ran out to attack Randy. The match was deemed over and as Swagger triumphantly left the arena, Cena whacked him from behind and made an attempt at suffocating Dave. Not even a bevy of refs could prise them apart.

Once John was satisfied that Dave was dead, he counted him out for ten.

Tomorrow’s Raw is guest hosted by the cast of the new MacGruber movie. Thanks to airspace over most of Europe being closed due to the Icelandic volcano eruption and a large number of the Raw roster being stranded in Belfast, next week’s Raw could be the longest movie trailer ever seen on television. Triple H better get over this neck injury. QUICKLY!

cool britannia week: part two

Twitter rumours started circling on Monday that The Miz would be on yesterday’s episode of Blue Peter and, guess what, it turned out to be true! As this blog is read by people from all over the world, I should explain the British institution that is Blue Peter. It’s a magazine-type TV show for children which has been running since 1958. The presenters cook, they go on global adventures, they make things out of milk cartons, they present factual reports, they launch charity appeals etc. Special people are given a Blue Peter badge, which is very difficult to come by. Truth be told, every kid secretly wanted a Blue Peter badge. I know I did. Actually, I still do. One day, one day. Anyway, it’s good wholesome fun which no parent could possibly object to their children watching.

If the WWE wanted to send a wrestler to appear on Blue Peter, you’d think they might send an Evan Bourne type. In fact, Evan Bourne is so cutesy, he could actually be a Blue Peter presenter. He’s clean-cut, friendly and isn’t afraid of heights. Perfect. But to add a touch of dynamite to the show, WWE sent The Miz along. I wondered how he’d come across. Would he be The Miz we all know on Raw, verbally battering anyone who crosses his path? Would he be grumpy that he’d been sent to appear on kids TV? Would he break character and be Mr. Nice? I was intrigued, so at 4:35pm I turned to BBC1 to gauge just how Mizzy he’d actually be.

Yep, he was a total pro and I may have swooned a little. Every time he came on the screen I was inexplicably excited. I’m far too old for all this nonsense, but there was something wonderful about my childhood and my adult obsession coming together in one show. Miz started off by gloating about his newly acquired Blue Peter badge:

That badge means he can get into the special dinosaur room at the Natural History Museum for FREE! Lucky sod!

After being welcomed to the show by one of the overly familiar pets:

Miz went on to give the boys, Joel and Andy, a lesson in trash talk. It went a little something like:

Then the show cut to a report on the production of marmalade.

On returning to the studio, Miz was asked to do a little commentary for the boys’ thumb war:

Then we went to one of the best things I’ve seen on TV in some time. The lady of the group, Helen, didn’t take to The Miz quite as well as the guys had. She had the difficult talk of making a thumb war ring out of a pizza box. Classic BP! It started well. Miz followed Helen’s instructions and handled his first sticky-back plastic like a professional.

Unfortunately, it all started falling apart when he started taking the piss and suggested that he was doing a better job of the craft project than she was. She told him to behave himself, to which he responded along the lines of “Don’t you boss me around. I’m a WWE Superstar! I boss people around here, missy!” She replied with“Hey! It’s my make-area, mate!” Uh-oh. I sense tension. The banter continued with Miz behaving like a child; refusing to pay attention and move on when instructed.

Helen screwed up her ring-ropes made of string and Miz took it upon himself to point and laugh. She was not impressed!

She also declared that she wanted 'this American' removed from her make-area. Thems fightin' words!

I feel this display was actually an insight into how Miz picks up girls. Helen was having none of it and punished him by playing in the ring with action figures that weren’t his own.

The lady has the last laugh.

PS—–> There’s no advertising or product placement allowed on the BBC, Miz. We Brits have to purchase a licence to watch television. You should not have said the word ‘Mattel’. Very sneaky.

That was the last we saw of the Miz. This segment was followed by a report on roller derby and an appearance from ditsy pop starlet Diana Vickers. Joel and Andy probably took him out for a beer afterwards. I don’t think Helen will be welcoming his back any time soon.

Love you, Miz! MWAH!

Update: This segment is now available on YouTube, so if you’re outside the UK and don’t have access to the BBC iPlayer, you can watch it here. You’re welcome!

cool britannia week: part one

[Just because poor, sickly Ray doesn't have a WWE tour show to attend, it doesn't mean that the lovely readers have to miss out on some Cool Britannia Week posts.  With this in mind I have invited regular reader Joey to cover the Raw house show which took place in Liverpool on Sunday evening. Joey is a huge supporter of the blog, so it was great being able to give him his tiny slice of the Wrestlegasm pie.  I'll go back to sobbing into my photo album from the last show I went to now. *WEEP*. Enjoy! - Ray]

Hello there! I’m Joey, an avid Wrestlegasm reader and total WWE Nerd. Before I begin I would just like to say what an honour and privilege it is to have the opportunity to write for the site. The work Ray and Andrew do is tragically underrated and, whilst I can give it my best, nothing can compare to their fantastic work.

Anyway… ZOMG! I got to go to a house show in Liverpool! Let me give you some Joey House Show History… the last time I went, John Cena was a heel and the late Eddie Guerrero was still frog splashing stunned opponents. I was also so high up I couldn’t see the ring and I actually got a nose bleed (even though my Dad says it was through picking my nose too much). This time round I got a damn good seat which was just a few rows back from ringside. It was amazing to be so close to the stars that I could touch them, but it’s a good job I was sat where I was, considering the restraining order that Cody Rhodes filed against me.

I should let it be known now that I am a total Raw fan. I very rarely watch Smackdown, which I guess is one point in favour of brand separation. I like Raw because it’s tongue-in-cheek, it’s storyline driven and it doesn’t pain me too much to watch (although some of the Guest Hosts have made me scratch my head). Raw gets a lot of heat from the fans but I love it.

So, perhaps I should get on with the bloody point? We began with the lights going down and Justin Roberts stepping into the ring. It was interesting seeing him up close, he’s not that tall and it looks like he wears make up. Not that I want to start rumours or anything. Make up aside he did a great job of getting the crowd worked up, which wasn’t hard really as it was mostly John Cena-loving kids. I swear to God, there was more orange in that arena than there is on a WAG night out. The lights came back up for the first match and with that the engines got started for us to fly Air Bourne.

The match was to be Evan Bourne (who is a LOT smaller in real life) versus Chavo Guerrero. The match, I must admit, wasn’t very impressive. The crowd didn’t seem that interested at all and it was, sadly, full of clumsy mistakes. I am going to put that down to the rigorous travel the Superstars have been doing recently, but it was a shame to watch as they tried to act their way out of it. The submission moves placed on Bourne were awkward as, for some reason, Chavo found it hard to keep grip of Bourne. There were moments where Bourne was just lying on the mat screaming in pain. The match did pick up however, once Bourne started going up top. They dragged it out and every time Bourne went up top, there were deep breaths around the arena. Eventually Bourne finally hit Air Bourne for the win.

Evan a good time.

Once the crowd had eventually gone back to their seats (every time a Superstar appeared/exit, everyone would rush to the rails to get a photo) Justin got ready to introduce the next match… after wiping foundation off his collar (just sayin’!). He first introduced Captain Charisma himself, Christian who looks absolutely gorgeous. Christian took his time going from turnbuckle and then Justin introduced his opponent. Dos Caras. Yeah, me neither. Now I have no issue with WWE pushing new stars but, seriously, I paid £50 to see my favourite superstars, not some greasy newbie. This isn’t NXT, fools! Anyway, after sending a swift complaint email on my iPhone (I joke), Christian and Dos thingybob stopped messing around. They were playing to the audience where Christian would raise his hand and the crowd would cheer then Dos Whatever would raise his and they’d boo. It went on for literally 4 minutes. No joke. I was already annoyed and they made it work. Us Brits aren’t complainers so I kept my upper lip stiff and tried to enjoy the match. The match was actually quite good and Dos Carararara whatever showed great skill and pulled off some good moves. It wasn’t his night though. Christian hit the Killswitch and it was goodnight for Dos Thingy.

I've no idea, Christian

Christian proceeded to celebrate and was thanking his peeps when Sheamus came out of nowhere and kicked Christian. By nowhere, I mean nowhere. I was completely surprised, as was the rest of the crowd, including one kid who screamed “noooooo” really loudly. It was hilarious. Sheamus milked the shock for all it was worth and then took to the mic.

Pale Male

He told everybody that they were losers like Liverpool & Everton. This got the reaction it was meant to as an arena packed full of scousers booed to their hearts’ content. The most hilarious part was the fact that Everton Striker Yakubu was sat in the audience. I know this isn’t strictly wrestling but I’d like to vent my frustration here. Yakubu turned up to the show late flanked by a bodyguard, being a popular player on the team he generated a lot of attention. When it got to the interval, a few people went up to him to ask for photographs and autographs. Rather than grant their wish and then enjoy the show, Yakubu ignored them and his bodyguard ushered them all away screaming at young kids that “he is here for the show”. I find this absolutely disgraceful and poor form. Yakubu then left the show early once again flanked by his guard to a chorus of boos. It was glorious.

Back to the wrestling. Sheamus continued milking the crowd and then announced he’d do to John Cena what he did to Christian and take back the WWE Title. This was both a good and bad thing because the main event billed was Triple H v Cena for the title. It has been much discussed on the interweb that Triple H is actually suffering a neck injury and hadn’t been to previous shows. This was later confirmed to me after the show by one of The Sun’s wrestling reporters (I know, I’m so connected) who said that Triple H is resting but should be at the Raw Live show on Monday. Fingers were crossed. Sheamus left and Justin, who looked even more tangerine than before (I reckon he topped up), got back in the ring.

“Please welcome at this time, Chris Masters” and with those words the crowd went dead. Chris Masters doesn’t really excite if I’m honest but he did look amazingly muscular. He challenged any Superstar from the back to come out and take part in the Masterlock Challenge. Then that familiar upbeat jig music started and out came Hornswaggle. It was actually really funny to see ‘Swaggle’ stare down Masters and, as you could probably predict, Hornswaggle ran around the ring and took down Masters. I was laughing like an idiot. I guess I’m easily amused.

Uh-oh.

Justin ‘Day Glo’ Roberts got back in and announced that the next match would be a Triple Threat match for the WWE Diva’s Championship. I was actually excited to hear that the Divas would be having a proper match and not given some stupid stipulation. It was to be Maryse v Eve Torres v Kelly Kelly and I’ve never seen so many adult men rush forward as much as they did. The match was actually brilliant. It has been a long, long time since I’ve seen such a fantastic match but it became clear that the match may have been a rehearsal for Raw as Kelly Kelly spent most of her time outside the ring. Eve did a fantastic job and even risked going up top with a gorgeous moonsault that could possibly rival Lita. Maryse was victorious, however, and managed to keep hold of the title.

I know a few people that’d give you a sports massage, Kelly

Justin Orange then set us up for the next match; a two on one match. I knew who was going to be wrestling. My stomach began to flutter with butterflies as the Legacy music hit. This was my chance, what should I do? Do I risk arrest, jump over the barrier and snog Cody in the hope he’d fall in love with me or do I stay in my seat and just enjoy the show. I’m currently writing this review from my Lawyer’s office… I lie, I did the right thing and stayed in my seat. As you probably could’ve guessed Legacy aren’t popular so my cheers went completely unheard.  The boys took to the mic first to work up the crowd. They said that everyone was pretty much stupid but I knew Cody didn’t mean me, he loves me too much to say that. Right? RIGHT?! Ahem, sorry, anyway Cody was carrying some jazzy red head gear and he explained that this was a result of Orton’s Punt and Wrestlemania. He went on  to say that the audience would never see an RKO again once he and Ted were done with Orton. With that, Voices blasted out and the crowd went wild. I mean WILD, it was deafening. Orton took his time getting to the ring, skulking down the aisle with his eyes transfixed. I took the opportunity to take lots of pictures of Cody so much so I had to replace the batteries. The crowd continued to go wild and the match got underway.

I was bitterly disappointed by the Orton/Legacy match at ‘Mania so this was a chance to get another viewing and at ringside too! The match was actually pretty epic, Legacy pretty much beat up Orton until he went into Viper mode and cleared house quite spectacularly. It was an absolute honour to see them wrestle live and DiBiase and Rhodes have clearly come on since we first saw them and have turned into incredible, interesting and extremely sexy wrestlers. There was even an element of storyline thrown in as Rhodes walked away from the ring leaving DiBiase to wrestle alone. Cody came back though and, after a short while, DiBiase returned the favour allowing Orton to rip off his head brace. Orton eventually hit the RKO for the win and that was the end of that. Nothing else happened. OK. I lie. Half way through the match, the crowd had gone a little silent so other members started chanting for Orton and it got loud again. Thinking I wouldn’t be heard, I decided to yell “I LOVE YOU CODY”. I decided to do this at the very moment it went quiet again. I was mortified. Everybody looked and I pretend it wasn’t me. Either way it was a fantastic match and a real testament to the work of all involved.

This is the only photo I took that had anyone other than Cody in it.

Next up we had Regal v MVP. I’ll be honest, it was a dull match. Regal is fantastic but the match was hampered by the fact that Regal is loved by English fans so he was cheered as was MVP so it just didn’t create any sort of buzz at all. It ended a bit like this:

Wonder when Danyl Bryan gets it from!

Next up was the interval. The temperature in the arena was extremely hot which resulted in me being charged £6 for two waters. I wasn’t happy, especially after a kid ran into me and knocked one out of my hand. When we returned Justin Roberts was ready and waiting in the ring like an amber traffic light. He said the next match would be for the Unified Tag Team Titles. Three title matches in one night? Brilliant! The familiar music of ShowMiz played out and they made their way to the ring. I must say that I am really pleased with the way The Miz has come on. He’s clearly dedicated to improving his game and his partnership with Show is brilliant. This match proved to be the funniest of the night. The Big Show is actually quite comedically brilliant. The Miz started off by saying that Liverpool hadn’t had any champions in years and asked the crowd if anyone had ever been number one in what they’ve done. Pretty much everyone put their hand up but Miz ignored it and carried on with his amazing mic work. He then gave his legendary line “because we’re ShowMiz and we’re…” he gave it to The Big Show to finish and Show brilliant delivered a non-committal “awesome?”.

Have a guess what I was looking at.

The match began with Mark Henry and Kofi Kingston and I quickly realised that The Miz is rather attractive. I know that’s nothing to do with the match but it’s important to add. There were some great moves on display but the real fun began when Mark Henry and Big Show got in the ring. Big Show began by attempting a few “stretches” against the rope. The two then linked up and Big Show grabbed Henry’s hair. The ref broke it up to which Show challenged the ref “he was pulling MY hair” and the ref had to point out that Show didn’t have any. Pure comedy gold. The match ended up with Show punching Kofi Kingston for the win. Kofi played it out really well and the ringside doctor even jumped in to give it some reality.

It’s OK, he’s fine ya’ll

Finally we got to the main event. The anticipation was unbelievable. The crowd knew what was coming and the energy literally made the hair on my neck stand up. Sheamus came in first and the best part of that was referee Mike Chioda bobbing his head up and down to Sheamus’ music. Then, it happened. John Cena’s music hit. It was electric and Cena really felt it. He actually looked genuinely emotional looking at the sea of orange around the arena and even Sheamus cracked a smile, which he quickly replaced with his trademark scowl.

The match was your typical Cena match, he got beaten up for a long while and then turned into Super-Cena, much to the happiness of the crowd.

We believe in you, John!

I also have a lot of respect for Sheamus after this. He did a fantastic job and I regret my original pessimism regarding his ability. After the match the crowd were going crazy and John took to the mic to thank everybody. One idiot in the crowd yelled “fuck off you wanker” which was completely misjudged especially considering all the kids. Cena handled it well and told him to show more respect. He then started a battle of the cheers by telling the crowd that Dublin were a louder audience. Nothing gets scousers more riled than competition and the arena went crazy. Job done.

All in all it was a fantastic event a real tribute to the hard work and dedication of the Superstars, Divas and the entire crew. I was apprehensive to go to the show alone as usually the only thing I do alone is shower and go to the toilet. I will, however, be making a journey to Raw in November when the WWE returns to Blightly. This ends my recap! Thank you everybody for reading.

Thanks, Cena.... now can I have your shirt?

cool britannia week: springtime edition

That’s right, folks. The WWE are back in Blighty once again. I can’t quite believe it’s been six months since they were last here. Time flies, eh? Sadly for me and the rest of the Welsh wrestling fans out there, Vince McMahon decided not to send his troops in to do any shows in Cardiff on this trip. Sad times! But all is not lost. As I write this, Sidekick Andrew is sat in the Manchester Evening News arena, patiently awaiting the appearance of the Smackdown roster.  I’m super-jealous! But hey, watching Antiques Roadshow in your pyjamas is almost as good as watching live wrestling, right? Andrew will tell you the tale of his trip to Manchester later in the week.

In addition and not to leave Raw feeling lonely, one of our most regular readers, Joey Guy, is currently at the Raw house show in Liverpool hoping to catch a glimpse of Cody Rhodes sans-trunks. Joey too will be telling you all about how his night in Merseyside went. Something tells me that Joey and Andrew’s reviews will have a slightly different feel.

As well as some house show action, you’ll also get full recaps of the TV tapings in London and obviously some catch-ups from last week’s business. I’ve fallen a little behind. Sorry. But for good reason, I promise.

There is also an opportunity for YOU to get involved with Cool Britannia Week. If you’re a British based wrestling fan going to the TV tapings and you see yourself on TV, send me a screencap or tell me how to spot you and I’ll bestow upon you the honour or being one of our Favourite Crowd Members of the Week. Also, if you’re going to one of the many Superstar/Diva signings up and down the country, or just going to a house show, send your pictures to wrestlegasm(at)gmail(dot)com and we’ll see if we can feature your pictures on the website. DON’T BE SHY!!!! Please be sure to include your name and the location of the show/signing.

In the meantime, sit back, enjoy the week of posts coming your way and we’ll do our very best to keep you entertained British-style!

HAPPY 1ST BIRTHDAY TO US!

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

That's how it looked as a newborn.

That's how it looked as a newborn.

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

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

BLOG WAR ’09

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

Total coincidence. I swear.

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

CROTCH WATCH

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

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

ADVENTURES IN AUDIO

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

THE DEAN

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

Not my fingers, BTW.

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

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

COOL BRITANNIA WEEK

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

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

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

NO LONGER AN ISLAND

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

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

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

AND SO….?

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

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

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

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

cool britannia week: part seven (fin)

FCMOTW

So this is it, the final post within Cool Britannia Week and what a week it’s been for British WWE fans. It was brilliant, wasn’t it? I was super proud of all people from around the country who travelled to Sheffield and formed a formidable TV audience for Raw, ECW and Smackdown this week. As Jim Ross would say, ‘the world was watching’ and you did a  fabulous job. Nothing kills a wrestling show more than a crowd who thinks they’re too cool to mark out. You proved you weren’t too cool. Wait, that came out wrong. But you know what I mean.

I was really hoping that at least one of the UK based fans I follow on Twitter would get on TV so I could post pictures of them in my Favourite Crowd Members of the Week spot. I don’t think many managed it, but if you did let me know when you were on. Someone who did get on TV, not just on one show but on both Raw and Smackdown was Mr. Nero1000. He and his crew were spotted by the cameras having a dance to Kofi’s entrance on Raw and poppin’ to R-Truth’s entrance on Smackdown. Also, according to some of the Twitpics I saw this week, they managed to get a few snaps taken with some of the wrestlers too. Jammy. Very jammy indeed. Jealous.

So, I salute you Nero1000 and Co. It’s tough enough managing to get on TV for one show. Getting on two deserves an award. I bestow this Favourite Crowd Members of the Week award on you now. It brings you great power and esteem. Be humble and keep being awesome. In other words, don’t eff it up! BRAVO!

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Raw

Smackdown

Smackdown

==================================================================================

And there ends Cool Britannia Week. Sad, eh? I’m taking a few days off now. Mainly because you’ve had seven posts out of me this week. SEVEN! I’m not a machine. I need a little rest. Especially with Survivor Series next Sunday. But don’t panic. I’ll still recap next week’s Raw and Smackdown,and I’ve got one other thing up my sleeve. It’ll just be quiet for a few days. If you get bored you can always read one of the SEVEN posts from this past week. If you’ve already read them, why not read them again? They’re fantastic. I’m also very modest. Take it easy folks. Kiss-Kiss.

cool britannia week: part six

……. or as it’s usually known smackdown(lite).

Still in Sheffield, CM Punk got things started. I wonder if Taker let him sit side-saddle on his broomstick or if Punk had to travel up from Cardiff on the bus with all the other mere mortals. I also wonder where Punk got his impression of the British. I get the whole downing pints in the pub thing. Fair comment. But chewing tobacco? Really? I can honestly say I don’t know anyone who’s ever chewed tobacco. Yeuch! But then he invited everyone to take a good look at him and declared that he was……….

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This gem of verbal abuse went on for some time, but it ended with him announcing that he’d filed an official complaint concerning last week’s events and that he’ll be fighting R-Truth again to put an end to the nonsense. Truth came out, whipped the crowd up and claimed that he’d be filing a complaint against Punk…..for impersonating a man. WHAT?!?!?!? Punk is a WOMAN? Bloody hell. Don’t make me turn lesbian. I like boys! Speaking of boys I like, is it bad that I want Jim Ross to rest for a bit longer so that Matt Striker can stay on SD ?

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The match got started and within a couple of minutes Striker had already repeated his comparison of Punk and Johnny Cash and had made several references to his new hair growth. *HEART* The match felt short, but now that they’re kind of dropping Punk down to the midcard, I’m not surprised. You’re a main eventer in my heart, hun. After a snippet of shenanigans towards the end, Punk took the match.

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Chest beard and face fuzz coming along nicely.

Grisham spoke a bit of street-lingo and Striker told him off. “Next you’ll be Twittering and MySpacing!” Striker scoffed.

Dear Mr. Striker

Please get a Twitter account. I’ll promise not to bother you too much.

Yours hopefully,

Ray

xxxxxx

In the back, Layla made another attempt at trying to run Mickie James out of town. Why don’t YOU get outta town, Layla? And sort that accent out while you’re at it. Oh and what is Michelle McCool doing sneaking into Mickie’s dressing room back there?

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Mickie James was staying put and had a match against Natalya…..

NTAOTHD

That's it. I'm dead! I bow to your skills with pop culture references, Striker. I couldn't have come up with that one if I'd tried. You just keep delivering the lines and I'll photoshop them for you.

This should have been one of the best matches of recent months. Two of the best female workers in the company going head-to-head for the first time since Mickie’s draft to Smackdown. But it was all spoilt by a load of catty silliness when Layla and Michelle McCool swung down the ramp, cutting Mickie’s clothes up with a big pair of dressmaking scissors as they went.

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Ok, I know this isn’t real, but I really detest bullying. Bullying in the workplace is vile. This has to stop. Don’t cry Mickie James. I’m with ya! We’ll pop down to TopShop and get you some new clothes asap. TJ MAXX? Silly Matt Striker. Mickie can afford something a little more expensive than TJ MAXX. Although, the green heels I wore partly through my meeting with Kofi and Gail came from there. They’re verycute! And by the way, it’s TK MAXX in the UK. Got it? Good.

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Backstage, Josh Matthews interviewed John Morrison about his match with Dolph Ziggler later that night. Oh John. You may be beautiful but your promo skills are minging. I can’t believe I just said minging. I’m not fifteen years old. Honest! Basically John said he was going to kick Dolph harder than David Beckham and rock it harder than The Beatles. *Facepalm*

It seems they’ve finally settled on an outfit for Drew McIntyre and I’m not happy. He’s still waterproof. Boo! And maybe it was because he was on home turf this week, but I’m sure he’d been watching Billy Connelly DVDs before he came out. Could that accent get any stronger?  Not a complaint, just surprised that kind of individuality is being allowed. He was fighting Finlay, which was great, but I have to pull Striker up on something here. He said “Even here in Britain with a notorious disdain for the Irish,  Finlay still receives ovations of respect, no matter where the fighting Irishman goes.” Finlay is from Northern Ireland, which is part of the United Kingdom, along with England, Scotland and of course Wales. The Republic of Ireland is separate country. Whether Northern Ireland is British or Irish is kind of sensitive topic. Maybe you’ve heard of this particular conflict on the news. And where does this disdain for the Irish come from? Everyone loves the Irish. But it’s ok, Matt Striker, we’ll cover political geography next time you’re in my Cardiff wrestle bunker.

May or may not be the entrance to the Cardiff wrestle bunker.

May or may not be the entrance to the Cardiff Wrestle Bunker.

Drew McIntyre made light work of Finlay. But at least he actually made it to the bell this week. Unfortunately, he continued after the second bell, whacking Finlay with his own tools. The (Northern) Irishman looked like he was in trouble, the announce team even dropping down to their ‘serious times’ voices. But don’t worry, he’s ooooookaaaaaay!!!!!!

As mentioned several times, this week’s show was from Sheffield. In the North of England. So they showed a few shots of London.

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Makes perfect sense.

Everyone loves a good contract signing; mainly because it usually ends in carnage. Rey Mysterio was still wearing black to represent the death of his friendship with Batista. Dave, however, seemed to have cheered up a bit, wearing a white shirt and stonewash jeans. It’s the outfit of new but evil beginnings.

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They signed the Survivor Series match contract straight away, but Dave wanted Rey to sign another contract. This one stated that Dave would not  be held legally responsible for whatever happened during the match. Rey refused. Dave started going all Randy-Orton-IED, so Rey gave in and signed the bloody thing. Then he flipped the table into Dave and walked off up the ramp.

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Bye Daaaave!

Right, time for another match and it happened to by new favourite boys, Dolph Ziggler vs John Morrison. Ooooh, look at Dolph with his new waistcoat.

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A hard working match on both sides. Kind of a repeat of what I saw in person the night before. Great stuff. I could watch them all day long. And not just for aesthetic reasons. Sweet that Striker alluded to a little John Morrison envy. You’ve got nothing to be jealous of, Matt. John Morrison may be a high-brow creative, writing deep and meaningful poetry. But I’d take obscure references to awful 80′s television over rhyming couplets any day of the week. Both Morrison and Ziggler were counted out together, meaning the Intercontinental Championship stayed with John Morrison. Ach! Just give it to Dolph already.

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There's no reason for this picture. I just liked it. For aesthetic reasons. PS----> Last night I dreamt I met Dolph and he made me a cheese and pastrami sandwich. My healthy eating regime must be making me crave cured meats. And Dolph Ziggler.

Beth Phoenix destroyed another nobody. I think I’m the only person not enjoying these matches. This is my blog, so I choose to skip it. Booo me to the hills if you must.

Surprisingly, the Chris Jericho vs Undertaker match was the first time they’ve ever met. And it was AWESOME! I’m glad they gave it a reasonable amount of time too. At least, as much as they could allow on a two-hour show (minus ads). Having something that spectacular on Smackdown gives me high hopes for Survivor Series. Ok, I’m definitely asking for next Monday morning off work now. Everyone’s on great form at the moment. It won’t be the same if I watch the next day. The match ended when Taker put the Hell’s Gate on Jericho, forcing him to tap out. Big Show came out to give Jericho a hand, followed by Kane in an act of brotherly love.

Mr. McMahon announced that these four would face each other in a tag match on next week’s Smackdown. And look, he’s obviously in Sheffield and not on a pre-recorded clip done in Connecticut because……..

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Kane set the ring on fire and Lennie helped George out of the arena.

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If Matt Striker can reference Hemingway and Dickens, I can reference Steinbeck. :P

cool britannia week: part five

…….. or as it’s usually known raw(lite).

I suppose now that my few days with the WWE boys and girls are suitably recapped, it’s time to get back to reality. Technically, the TV shows are unreality, because they’re based on characters and running storylines. Maybe the time where I was actually in the same room as them was the only reality. Oh bugger it! I can’t do existentialism on a Sunday afternoon. Let’s travel upt’ north to Sheffield and get back to the story.

Apparently, nobody in America knows who Ricky Hatton is. I suspect that was why this week’s (American) viewing figures for Raw were the lowest of the year. But you know that this tells you? This is basically what Raw’s viewing figures would be without the guest host bit. So rather than shit all over Ricky Hatton, why not think about THAT! Eh? To be honest, I don’t care about viewing figures. This is still Cool Britannia Week, I LOVE Ricky Hatton and on this one occasion, I’m going to say SCREW YOU, AMERICA! It’s not our fault you didn’t understand a word that came out of his mouth. PS—> I still love you , America, I’m just feeling very proud of my blood this week. I’ll make it up to you next week when I go New York City crazy.

Nice to see WWE have splashed out a new set for this round of UK shows. Last time they were here the did this…..

There was also a red phone box which I spotted during the Smackdown recap. And this time around they did……..

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Wait.....

Ricky Hatton was introducing himself and the show when JeriShow decided to interrupt. As they do. There was a bit of banter and then Jericho called the Queen a hypocrite. Orrrff with his head! Actually Jericho, we may be under monarchic rule, but it’s not like we get much choice in the matter. And by the way, who’s on Canadian bank notes?

$20canada

Just sayin'.

Ricky told him to start speaking a language we could understand and I cheered. In my armchair. YEEEAH! After Jericho’s rebuttal Ricky told him he was just a guy with a bad haircut and he should get out of his face. YEEEEEEAH! Ricky set a match up between JeriShow and DX, then as the bad guys were getting a bit antsy, DX came out to give Ricky a hand. I swear to God, if Michael Cole says “CalVary” instead of “CaValry” once more I’ll blow a gasket. There was a bit of a scrap, which scared Jericho and Big Show away.

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The first real match of the night was Kelly-Kelly vs Alicia Fox. Melina will defend her title against Alicia on tomorrow’s Raw at MSG in NYC with RRP as guest host. So Alicia needed a tune-up match. Has someone been giving Kelly extra wrestle lessons or something? Because she was prettygood. Although, I’m not 100% sold on her plan to be a broadcast journalist once her wrestling career’s over. Judging by the way she handled the mic from the balcony at Cardiff International Arena on Tuesday, I can’t really imagine her reporting from the Gaza strip. But who am I deny a girl her dream? I’ll be happy to be proven wrong. Anyway, Alicia won the match with a scissor-kick to Kelly’s neck.

afscisskick

I need to get back to pilates class. Pronto!

Backstage, Ricky Hatton and his mini-me ran into John Cena. John was a tad put out about not being given a match that night. Ricky suggested that John needed his rest, being that he has a title belt to defend and all. Something tells me we’ll be seeing John again later in the show.

Last week Sheamus destroyed Jamie Noble. And that’s not just an adjective. He really did. Jamie Noble retired this week. :( One career ends, another takes flight. Sheamus, now on a roll, decided to beat up a ‘local competitor’ just like Beth Phoenix has been doing on Smackdown. Normally, a Celt proclaiming that he’s going to make an Englishman look like a fool would appeal to my deep-set Celtic ancestry. But as he said nasty things about Wales in Cardiff on Monday night…..

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I think you can guess how this one ended.

The Bella Twins are possibly worse at feigning interest in the guest host than Kelly, but still they were told to ask Ricky Hatton all about his current business ventures now that he’s a retired man. I didn’t know he had a clothing line. I might look into that. This was all very sensible, so Santino Marella turned up in a fat suit, because Ricky is well known for eating a lot of pies and drinking copious amounts of Guinness when in between training sessions.  See why he’s so amazing? Admittedly, he probably had too many pies before that last match against Floyd Mayweather (hate), but I largely put that defeat down to Roger Mayweather’s piss-poor training camp.  Anyway, Santino was fat. Hahaha.

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Just like all British pub dwellers, Ricky’s a bit good at darts, so Chavo challenged him to a match. It didn’t go well for Chavo. Ricky Hatton (not Ricky Fatton) set a match for the two of them up for later in the show. I get the feeling things won’t be improving for Chavo.

Over in the interview area, The Miz and Jack Swagger did a lovely bit of promo for Survivor Series (can’t believe that’s next week BTW) and then we were back in the ring for Swagger vs Evan Bourne. Oh Evan Bourne. My lollipop man. *SIGH* Swagger looked like he was going to take this match without too much trouble, but The Miz came out dressed rather nicely and with a mic in hand to get a closer look. Jack was a little distracted by his ringside viewer, took his eye off the ball and allowed Evan to take the match. Swagger’s hopes at becoming a team captain at Survivor Series were well and truly scuppered.

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Speaking of Survivor Series, there’s a few elimination matches happening there, so the promo continued. MVP was in his VIP Lounge with Mark Henry and then Kofi Kingston. Spot the guy who’s about to have an “impromptu” match.

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All their pre-PPV jollity was interrupted by Legacy. I’d say ‘spot the guy who’s about to have an “impromptu” match’ again, but they all love not wearing trousers so much it’s very hard to tell which one it might be. They questioned the authenticity of MVP’s VIP Lounge. I hate to agree with those beautiful nutters, but they’re kind of right. Those pleather sofas are obviously borrowed from Teddy Long’s office and the $50 bottle of champagne is…..well at least it is champagne. Then again, that gold foil on the top of the bottle looked remarkably like a bottle of Magners. The jury’s out.

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So they had a rumble, which ended in a bona fide match between Mark Henry (shocker) and Randy. Pretty decent. Randy won. The more we hate Randy the more we love Kofi. It’s the natural order of things. Am I allowed to love them both? Please? Randy wasn’t done. He gave Kofi a whack too but Kofi threw a few punches and frightened the baby oiled boys away. I. LOVE. THIS. FEUD!

Ricky Hatton vs Chavo was silly, but cool. And Ricky gave Chavo one hell of a wallop to the temple. Ok, so it probably wasn’t as hard as he could punch, but it sounded pretty real.

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Over in the locker room, this happened…….

Funny! By the way, John, I sent you an invitation to my party and you didn’t even RSVP. What gives?

I have to commend WWE for the excellent promotion they’re pulling out of the bag for SS. The promotion for some of this year’s Pay Per Views has been awful, but they’re really trying hard with this one. John Cena was on commentary for the DX/JeriShow match and spoke about his triple threat with DX the whole way through. Way to plug, baby!

It all came to cataclysmic end (yeah, I said cataclysmic) when Jericho failed to twist Michaels into the Walls of Jericho. Shawn countered, Big Show came to his rescue but accidentally socked Jericho in the chops. Hunter knocked Show over the ropes, leaving Shawn to pin Jericho for the win.

Just as it looked like the show was about to end, Justin announced next week’s main event. DX vs JeriShow vs John Cena aaaaand……………….

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Ohhhhhhhh! So THAT’s why Punk vs Undertaker was the first match in Cardiff earlier that night. At 7:30pm I was watching The Undertaker throw Punk in a coffin live in the ‘Diff. A few hours later he was on Raw in Sheffield. WHAT?!?!?! That’s like a five or six hour drive! How did he do that??????

BMAGIC

Or possibly………

LEGOCOPTER