A Song for Whoever: Christian & Randy Orton Edition

Sidekick Andrew: There’s only been one story apparently worth discussing this week, at least according to the more vocal areas of the “Internet Wrestling Community” (God, I hate that phrase.) It wasn’t the amazing episode of Superstars that aired this week. It wasn’t The Rock’s birthday, or the surprisingly great Extreme Rules PPV. It wasn’t even the fact that Thursday was the anniversary of the death of Raymond Kessler, the Haiti Kid.

Rest in peace little man...

Nope, this week all anybody would talk about (despite the fact that IT INVOLVED SPOILING BLOODY SMACKDOWN FOR ME) was the fact that Christian lost his World Heavyweight Championship to Randy Orton after two days (or five if you go by broadcast date.) Apparently this was the worse thing that the WWE have ever done, and act which would persuade many fans to stop watching altogether – which is pretty telling given that this was a company who have run incest and necrophilia angles over the years.

Yep, that's the Head of New Talent Development

I promised Boss Lady Ray I wouldn’t go on a rant about this, so I won’t. Suffice to say that I whole-heartedly feel that wrestling (as usual) overreacted to something that really had no significance in the long run. Christian won the title will the help of Edge’s interference, a fact that seems to have been forgotten by most complainants. The WWE have given him the title once, they’ll give it him again: and hopefully this time he can win it clean and it will mean more. Also, the wrestling fans in the audience at these events (as opposed to the wrestling fans sat at home moaning on twitter) love Randy Orton – the guy gets a bigger pop than pretty much anybody on the Smackdown roster since he was drafted. The WWE are just giving the fans what they want, if not what the internet fans want.

So internet fans, this week’s Song for Whoever is actually dedicated to you rather than Christian & Orton. In fact, as you’ve had such a heart-rending experience we’ll give you a few songs. You’re welcome…



Celebrating the nuptials of HRH Prince William and Miss Catherine Middleton

Yes, it may have escaped your attention during the incessant media coverage of Extreme Rules this week, but there was also a Royal Wedding planned for this weekend. By the you read this the rather low key affair will be all over, and we can get back to being swamped by coverage of yet another gimmick PPV from the WWE. And, sticking with tradition, we’d like to share our thoughts, predictions and well wishes for all involved.

Sidekick Andrew: It almost seems sacrilege to discuss this match on such a heartwarmingly romantic weekend, celebrating as it does the break up of one of our favourite WWE couples. No, not that kind of couple, although I’m sure if you search hard enough in the darker recesses of the internet you can find crudely photoshopped images and tawdry scribblings discussing just that.

We’ve long been fans of LayCool here at The Bunker. Despite a rather shaky start during the infamous Piggy James angle, we soon came to appreciate the comedy genius of Layla in particular. Through their genius internet-baiting role as NXT Pros to their run as “BFF Champs” they’ve been consistently entertaining characters. They may have even influenced our choice of XBox LIVE mottos, depending on how sad that revelation makes us sound.

Anyway, before I embarrass us anymore I should reveal that I want Layla to win this “Loser Leaves Smackdown” match. This is partly due to the fact that I don’t like Michelle McCool anywhere near as much as I like Layla. However, if I was going to be all “internet wrestling community” about it, I would say that McCool seems the type to buy into the whole A-Show/B-Show nonsense and would want to be on Raw facing the likes of Kong and Phoenix. And let’s face it, she has the influence to get what she wants…

Saturday Morning Edit: What? Loser leaves WWE? Really? Oh well, despite the fact that the overdubbing only managed to remind me of the infamous “I have to go now. My planet needs me.” line from The Itchy and Scratchy and Poochie show, I suppose this lends a degree of gravitas to the match. I think the (Scott Stanford approved) Boss Lady is right on this one, and someone will interfere. Having said that, as it’s a No DQ, No Count Out match, I’m sticking with Layla to win, but due to interference
McCool will have an argument to stay with the WWE.

Boss Lady Ray: When this was a ‘Loser Leaves Smackdown’ match, I was pretty sure Layla was staying on Smackdown, with Michelle trotting off to Raw. However, after watching Smackdown and hearing the hilarious and atrocious dubbing of Michelle McCool replacing “Smackdown” with “WWE”, I’m inclined to think neither of them will win. If ever there was a clear sign from them on high that Kong/Kharma is about to debut in the WWE, this is it. My guess is that Kharma will interfere with the match and they’ll both be disqualified, leaving the two of them gainfully employed. Who knows? Maybe it’ll bring them back together. Here’s hoping. I supposed it’s No DQ though, they’d both have to be unfit to continue. A small price to pay to keep your job.

Flawless?

Sidekick Andrew: “Country Whipping Tag Match?” Yeah, I’ve no idea either. I’ve just checked the match description on wwe.com and they offer no help whatsoever. Admittedly I’ve been rather lax with my WWE watching over the last couple of weeks, so there’s always a chance that they may have explained this in meticulous detail on TV. I can only assume it’s something to do with butter maybe? Although the idea of these four wrestling in butter brings forth an uncomfortable mix of Deliverance and Last Tango in Paris – a mental image I could have happily gone to my grave without ever experiencing…

I think everyone can agree that unlike the previous match, we’ll all be happy to see the partnership of Cole and Swagger fall apart on Sunday. Swagger deserves better, and let’s be honest – Cole outstayed his welcome after the first appearance of his gong on NXT. Having said that, I think Cole and Swagger will win, with Swagger getting the pin (or more likely submission.) This will cause Cole to get all stroppy as he wanted the glory. As I explained to Boss Lady Ray across the boardroom table during our discussions, this can only lead to “PUSH – PUSH – PUNCH – PUNCH – GUTWRENCH POWERBOMB” and the end of the Cole-Swagger partnership at last.

Boss Lady Ray: I just want it to be over. This storyline should be have been drawn to a close at Wrestlemania. Michael Cole’s ego has been on the puff-up since Daniel Bryan gave him a smack way back on series one of NXT. This really has to be the moment where Cole eats his humble pie, shuts up and lets the people in the ring be the stars. King and JR to win with Swagger sticking the GUTWRENCH POWERBOMB! on Cole after it’s all done. As for the whipping thing, I have no idea, but if it does involve butter I’ll be skipping the toast and having cereal for my breakfast the next morning. Bleurgh.  

Sidekick Andrew: This Falls Count Anywhere match could be great. Cody’s a great wrestler and Rey always pulls out the stops at PPVs. The fact that it’s Falls Count Anywhere gives Mysterio chance to jump off something tall to get a victory, and much as I would like Cody to win I think Rey will get the pin.

Actually, you know what? Despite the fact I am pretty much looking forward to this match, I can’t actually come up with much to say about it. We’ve seen these two go at it a few times now, and there’s only so much to talk about. Instead, here’s a completely irrelevant video of another short flippy masked guy we really like here in The Bunker:

Boss Lady Ray: Being that Rey Mysterio is moving to Raw and possibly winding down for a break, I’m going to go with Rey. With Cody staying on Smackdown the feud needs to end and it’ll be a nice farewell to SD if Mysterio wins. Cody Rhodes was the surprising winner in the Legacy split and with himself, Ted DiBiase and Randy Orton all now on Friday nights, there’s potential for something interesting between Ted and Cody in particular. It’ll be a Rey Mysterio spot-fest, but hey, let him enjoy it.

Sidekick Andrew: Hmm… Wrestlegasm favourite Punk vs the Most Boring Wrestler in Christendom, Randy Orton. I don’t think anyone has dropped in estimation as much as Orton, not since Powell Motors revealed “The Homer”

Now that my obligatory Simpsons reference is out of the way, I’ve a feeling that Punk will take this one. After all the rumours swirling around this week about Punk wanting a break and not signing a new contract yet, this could go either way. There’s a possibilty the WWE could decide to punish him and give him a loss so that he doesn’t feel like he’s indispensable. But I think they’re more likely to give him the victory as an incentive to keep him. A Last Man Standing loss is particularly embarrassing for a wrestler: being unable to answer a ten count is almost up there with an I Quit loss and I just can’t picture Punk being down for that long. Orton, on the other hand, is a big fan of the rest hold and slow action – so there’s always a chance he’ll just not realise the time has passed letting Punk get the win.

Saturday Morning Edit: OK, I’ll admit Orton looks good with his new beard, and I enjoyed his little smiley promo at the start of Smackdown last night. Is it just me, or does he have a look of Beckham with that stubble? Anyway, doesn’t effect my prediction, just thought I’d mention it.

Boss Lady Ray: My inherent wish to see CM Punk win is never far away when making predictions. There’s a good reason why I’m losing 2-5 in our little competition. But even though it goes against every fibre in my body, I think they’ll give this one to Orton. They’re on different brands now, so it has to come to a close, and I never really dug it as a feud anyway. It’s hard to know what plans they have for Punk. It’s even harder to know whether the rumours that he’s not planning on renewing his contract are true or not. But I think Punk’s work for the next few months lies with Mason Ryan.

Those big hints of tension between them lead me to think Mason may be about to cost his boss the match on Sunday, leading to a run that finally puts Mason over. They made him FCW Champion amazingly quickly, to the point where he even mentioned that he wasn’t sure he deserved it so soon. Modesty is a Welsh trait. They also excused him the embarrasment of appearing on NXT like the rest of the FCW roster. They’ve got plans for Mason Ryan and this might just be the push they’re waiting on. If that’s the case and Punk’s about to bring him up, I may need to watch those matches alone in a darkened room.

Ray: Asian Edition


Sidekick Andrew: I have no idea why Morrison is suddenly in the main event scene. I like the guy as a wrestler, but he still can’t talk and I can’t quite picture him as champion. Of course it could be worse, R-Truth could still be involved in the match.

Thanks for that John, I almost feel bad for saying you shouldn’t win now. Almost. I suspect that the reverse of this will happen before the match itself, and Truth will take down Morrison backstage or on the entrance ramp. Morrison and Truth can then carry on feuding all they want, without muddying the title race on Raw. That leaves Cena and Miz to have a Cage Match by themselves: a match which should be good fun. I think Miz will win this one, despite not having Alex Riley at his side anymore after the draft.

I think Miz has earned a legit title defence without any outside interference to make him look like the champion, rather than someone who needs help to win everytime. Cena can afford to lose now and then without losing any credibilty or fans, and he genuinely comes across as someone who is happy to put over new talent, so that’s what I hope happens.

Boss Lady Ray: Andrew’s prediction is very logical. This is why he’s winning our little predictions competition 2-5. But I’m going to go out on a limb and say that Morrison will win. I KNOW! It’s ridiculous! He can’t string more than two sentences together without fumbling the order of the words and it definitely looks like they’ve put him there so he can start something more long running with Truth. But I’ve decided that’s a bluff. Yes, Miz absolutely deserves a clean win over Cena, but since when is wrestling logical and generous? I’m not saying Morrison will have it for long but….actually, this prediction is completely ludicrous. I’ll stick with it to see if I’m cuckoo or a genius.

Sidekick Andrew: Here’s a strange one. Whoever wins, this definitely has the chance to be the match of the night – these two in a Ladder Match should steal the show. Also, both men deserve a win – Christian is long due another title run, and Del Rio won the Royal Rumble only to lose in the opening match at Wrestlemania.

Of course, Del Rio has been drafted to Raw now, so the chances of him winning are pretty slim, but that needn’t effect the quality of the match at all. Knowing the winner (or assuming you know the winner) doesn’t always lessen your enjoyment of the actual match. So, although I think it’s reasonably foregone conclusion that Christian will get the belt, I’m still really looking forward to this match and I think it’ll be something pretty special.

Boss Lady Ray: I agree with everything my esteemed colleague said. Christian will most likely win, but I’m more excited about watching what promises to be an outstanding wrestling match.

So there you have it. Feel free to add your own predictions in the comments box if you so desire. Real predictions only. If you’ve read spoilers and want to look big and clever by getting everything right, you’re only cheating yourself. Oh and if you’re wishing you could eat your tea off those gorgeous plates…… so are we!

raw(lite): the winds of change

If you’re here thinking “Hey! What gives? Where’s the Extreme Rules recap?” Sorry. I’m not doing one. A week has gone by and the draft has changed the landscape of the rosters to the point where most old feuds are over. So it seems a little silly to go back over it. I did enjoy it a lot more than I expected to though. Considering that such little promo was done, somewhat as the result of the Raw roster being stranded in Northern Ireland, there were some great matches. If you missed it, you can read how I felt about the Women’s Title match here. For now, let’s move on to the drafty edition of Raw.

We started with a tag-team title match. At Extreme Rules, ShowMiz had to run a gauntlet of three teams and found themselves having to defend their titles on Raw. If you cast your mind back a few weeks, Bret Hart was supposed to come out and declare that ShowMiz were the greatest tag team of all time. He dutifully completed this task, then presented the next generation on Harts to prove the statement wrong.  They had a fantastic match, which saw the titles change hands when Tyson Kidd locked Miz into a Sharp-Shooter, forcing him to tap out.

And about time too.

Relations between Miz and Big Show weren’t so good. In fact, I’d say their partnership was pretty much over when Big Shown socked Miz right in the jaw.

Time for a draft pick match. Arch-enemies Eve and Maryse were forced to face Team LayCool in a Raw vs Smackdown match, leaving the winner with a diva draft pick. This being a three-hour show, the match went on for much longer than the usual 2.7 seconds allowed for Divas matches on Raw. But Maryse and Eve spent so much time arguing over who should be in the ring at any one time, they dropped their guard and lost the match. So, which lady would be switching to the blue brand?

I deliberately chose this picture because the caption almost covers those shoes. Not good.

Jerry Lawler wanted to slash his wrists at the loss of his favourite perv-bod and Matt Striker scoffed at how he’d be able to perv at her bod on Friday nights from now on; which was weird considering Mr. Striker had mentioned several times during the match how much he values intellect in a woman. Having said that, I think Kelly gets a rough deal sometimes. It’s not her fault Raw do nothing with her. Her wrestling has improved a fair bit over the last year, so maybe being under Beth Phoenix’s wing will take her even further.

Ok, another draft pick match courtesy of Evan Bourne and CM Punk. I’m jumping ahead a bit here, but you already know how this draft panned out, so it doesn’t matter. I’m really disappointed Evan Bourne wasn’t drafted to Smackdown, particularly after watching this match. He’s swallowed up by the big egos of Raw and I can’t see him ever getting the time he deserves. Evan’s jobbing to main eventers continued as CM Punk took the win, earning Smackdown another draft pick. Of course, this was achieved by the second appearance from a mysterious masked man in a Straight Edge Society hoodie. Both Andrew and myself think we know who it is, but for the sake of being surprised, I won’t say for now. Just enjoy the song that runs through my head every time he appears on the screen.

Seriously, where else could you get wrestling and musical theatre in one place? And who, pray tell, did Smackdown draft over?

Oh alright then. Come here and I'll give you a little cuddle. It's a hard life.

Doesn’t seem like an exciting pick, but I guarantee you, come Smackdown it’ll be VERY important.

At Extreme Rules, the HHH vs Sheamus match didn’t quite go as planned. Sheamus hunted Trips down before the match started and caused him some hurt in the hallways.  This lead to many a serious-times look from the commentators and several updates on Triple H’s condition throughout the show. Even though HHH made a valiant attempt at returning, Sheamus still left the show victorious and left The Game in some serious pain. On Raw, Sheamus came out to crow about his victory and claim a title shot. The newest good-guy in town begged to differ.

With no guest host and John Cena still the WWE Champ, someone had to decide upon who should be the No. 1 Contender. John came out, still on a high from retaining the title, and did one of his ace comedy bits. You know the ones. The ones you don’t really want to like, but secretly you’re thinking “What a pro!”

Then he made a No. 1 Contender match for later that night.

With the exception of Rey Mysterio and possibly DiBiase, the next draft pick match was a case of ‘how many midcarders can we squash into the ring at one time in a Rumblesque match’. The two big guns found themselves alone in the ring, with DiBiase finally winning Raw some draft picks. Santino marched past to give his winning team-mate a fanfare, but found himself swiftly brought to the ground, just to ham Ted’s heeliness up a bit. So, which three Smackdown names are transferring to Raw?

So I suppose that’s the end of Edge & Jericho, right? Unless, of course, Jericho gets drafted to Raw. *shifty-eyes* Speaking of Chris Jericho, he was up next against Christian. After a brief moment where he was shown-up  once again by Heath Slater, Jericho regained some of his dignity by winning the match. Another draft pick for Smackdown. This time is waaaaas…..

Easy, Matt Striker. Such an excitable young man.

Matt Striker gets excited about EVERYONE, but moving to Smackdown will be great for Kofi. He’s fallen out of favour since his fantastic feud with Randy Orton. This will give him a whole bunch of new opportunities. From here, the draft picks kept on coming. Our World Heavyweight Champion Jack Swagger beat new Red Team recruit, John Morrison, allowing Smackdown to draft Christian.

Since ECW ended, Christian’s been kind of lost on Raw. On Smackdown, he can main event again like he should be.

Backstage, Ted DiBiase had just made Carlito an offer he definitely could refuse. But what was it? Well, judging by the offer he made to R-Truth just  moments later, he was on the look-out for a house boy. Someone to carry his bags, cook and clean for him, and generally be his paid man-servant. How very 19th Century! R-Truth thought about it for  a moment, bitch-slapped Teddy round the chops and left him mildly humiliated.

Seriously, WWE? THIS is the road we're going down. This can't end well.

Back to the draft and Hornswoggle vs Dolph Ziggler. I won’t bore you with the details, Hornswoggle won by count-out, but Dolph made sure he was duly hurt before leaving.

Raw’s draft pic was….

Our final match of that night was that No. 1 Contender’s match for the WWE Title between Sheamus and Randy Orton. But someone else felt they had been overlooked. Who?

The three competitors couldn’t agree on who should be allowed in the match, so John Cena just came out and made it a triple threat. Simple. They had their match. It all looked as if Randy was on course for another run against John, but Randy’s everyone’s favourite boy these days. We can’t have face-on-face action. Randy delivered an RKO to Sheamus, but just as he got back to his feet, Edge appeared from nowhere and speared him into oblivion. Dave capitalised on Randy’s misfortune by throwing his arm over the speared one and claiming not only the match but also that No.1 Contender’s spot. It should come as no surprise that Edge’s guest on The Cutting Edge tonight is Randy Orton.

Following the main draft, there was a supplemental draft where the following roster members changed colours:

TO RAW

The Hart Dynasty
Ezekiel Jackson
Goldust
Great Khali

TO SMACKDOWN

MVP
Cody Rhodes
Chris Masters
Chavo Guerrero
Rosa Mendes

At first, I thought Smackdown had been short-changed; especially losing both Edge and Jericho. But having seen last Friday’s Smackdown, I honestly think it’ll be better than ever. They have leaders in Punk, Undertaker, Rey Mysterio and Christian, and they have a bevy of new talent begging for airtime. ‘The Main Event Show’ (otherwise known as Raw) may struggle. The amount of people they need to fit into 90 minutes of airtime is almost unfathomable. We’ll have to sit back and see how it all pans out. Ah I love the draft. It’s like being given a clean sheet of paper. Onwards and upwards!

playing with boys: in search of the elusive intergender match

A few weeks ago, Michelle McCool was billed as being in an intergender match on WWE Superstars. I was excited. This would have been real progress for the WWE. When I asked which male Superstar she’d be opposing, I was unfortunately informed that it was a match against Beth Phoenix. It was billed as an intergender match to fall in with the Glam-a-Man moniker that Team LayCool had attached to Beth Phoenix. I was disappointed. I love Beth Phoenix, but the dashed promise of the elusive boy vs girl match was a slight letdown.

I got to thinking about why the WWE are so afraid of pitting women against men. On the surface, it’s obvious. This is the PG era, where all WWE programming is produced to be child-friendly. The mere mention of violence against women, even a choreographed wrestling match, would be unacceptable. It would be wholly hypocritical of a company so geared towards entertaining younger viewers to be seen to condone men hitting women.

At Christmas I began playing the Smackdown vs Raw 2010 video game. It doesn’t have the facility to allow intergender matches. As in the shows themselves, mixed tag matches are the closest you can get.

When a male competitor is in the ring, you have to make sure your female competitor tags her male partner in. If you’re playing as a male Superstar and strike one of the Divas, even accidentally, you lose immediately by disqualification. Though, curiously, if you’re playing as a woman and hit a man, you aren’t disqualified. On the 19th April episode of Monday Night Raw, while Luke Gallows and CM Punk beat Triple H down to have his head shaved, Serena was encouraged to kick him. But in no way could Triple H have retaliated against Serena.

Even on TNA, which likes to suggest that it is anti-PG by having half its roster spill their own blood on a weekly basis, there is still a certain awkwardness towards men and women fighting each other. During TNA’s tour of the UK this February, guest writer Toni reported on how Hamada had practically begged Amazing Red for a match, which he seemed loathed to give her. Amazing Red eventually fought and beat her, but only after displaying an obvious conflict of conscience at being in a match with a woman.

IMG: Property Wrestlegasm.Com

I fully understand why the WWE would be nervous of pushing the matter in the current litigation climate. Wrestling struggles to maintain a respectable reputation at the best of times. It doesn’t need an over-zealous parent filing a lawsuit against the company because their son broke their daughter’s sternum copying a move he saw Chris Jericho put on Gail Kim, for example. Bad publicity indeed. But the real contradiction is not Violence Against Women vs PG Programming; it’s Reality vs Unreality.

Professional Wrestling is something of an alternate universe. Wait. That’s putting is mildly. Wrestling is a complete alternate universe where the rules of real life do not apply. This is a world where Rey Mysterio can take on the Big Show and win. A place where seemingly random people run up to CM Punk in the middle of a show and demand that their head be shaved to rid them of their toxic sins. A universe where people are carried out of arenas on spinal boards and carted off in ambulances, only to reappear an hour later with a sledgehammer in their hand to finish the job they started earlier in the show. It’s a world where you can physically and verbally abuse your boss and still have a job in the morning.

If we all have enough sense to understand kayfabe, why should the rules be different for intergender matches? Can’t John Cena’s ‘Don’t Try this at Home’ video cover all aspects of the content?

Ok, so my brother never listened to such advice when we were kids. I was regularly the victim of a Stone-Cold Stunner. But if it’s an adequate disclaimer for anything that happens during the show, why not let it be a disclaimer for intergender matches too? If reality played any part in wrestling, Rey Mysterio would win less matches, the police might like to speak with Mr. Punk to ensure that he’s not taking advantage of vulnerable members of society, Triple H would still be in traction permanently and The Hart Dynasty would have been fired the day after Wrestlemania 26.

Women and men fighting each other should be no more of a concern than placing a 5’6″ man in the ring against a 7’0″ man. It’s not like when Annika Sörenstam asked to play in a Bank of America Colonial golfing tournament on the Men’s PGA Tour, and there were genuine concerns as to whether she would be at a physical disadvantage playing against men. Wrestling is a scripted form of entertainment without the need for real world logic.

Just yesterday I was watching a 2007 CHIKARA match where Icarus, Gran Akuma and Brodie Lee took on Cheech, Cloudy and Sara Del Rey. Sara Del Rey did not seem out-of-place in any way. She was just another performer who played an incredible part in the match. She was not treated any differently because she was a woman. In fact, Brodie Lee won the match by lifting Sara up to his 6’7″ shoulders and slamming her into the canvas for the pin. Nobody thought of it as a guy beating up a girl. Nobody feared that Sara had been abused in any way when he rolled her over and shouted in her face. She just happened to be the competitor who lost the match.

This is the fundamental difference between mainstream, primetime wrestling and independent wrestling. Assumed social responsibility and feared lawsuits aside, women in the WWE and TNA aren’t valued in the same way that women are in independent wrestling. The Divas match at this year’s Extreme Rules Pay Per View was so incredibly insulting that I only continued to watch it because I knew I would have to recap the PPV for this blog. The prospect of a Women’s Title match on a Pay Per View should have been thrilling. Instead, I just peeked from behind a cushion while Beth Phoenix and Michelle McCool fought it out in an ‘Extreme Makeover’ match. This was basically a standard extreme rules match but in place of trash cans, chairs and tables, the ladies had to hit each other with ironing boards, mops, brooms and buckets. They also sprayed each other with hairspray and were allowed used of a large table of make-up akin to that laid out for a grooming challenge on America’s Next Top Model.

I’m amazed they didn’t send Beth Phoenix out dressed as Rosie the Riveter and Michelle McCool dressed as an aproned 1950s housewife. If Creative were concerned about placing the Divas in a match requiring an extreme stipulation, couldn’t they just have gone with a LumberJills match or, even better, a ladder match? They certainly could have ditched the idea of a dumbed-down extremes rules match. The only good thing to come out of this was that Beth Phoenix went away the new and very deserving Women’s Champion.

I’m all for irony. It can be fun. But for this match to have been ironic, it would have needed something opposing to be compared to, and there is very little in the WWE which doesn’t pander to outdated stereotypes. The Raw brand is particularly guilty of this – sending the ladies out to compete in ballgown matches etc. I’m not even saying that women shouldn’t have feminine gimmicks. Strong characterisation is key in all professional wrestling. But when one of the few women in the WWE who looks slightly different to the rest has her face plastered in lipstick because she doesn’t fit the standard physical mold, there isn’t much hope of any genuine intergender matches any time soon.

At least Beth Phoenix was allowed to enter the Royal Rumble this year. I’ve mentioned before that while her dalliance in the ring with CM Punk during the Rumble match was short, it was truly exciting and especially memorable.

It seems to me that intergender matches, when done well, are the sign of a confident and respectful franchise. Until WWE begin respecting and trusting the women on their roster to pull off quality wrestling matches and allow them to be more than just supplementary to the male stars, I can’t see women being pitted against men. I was informed last week that Creative are discussing ways of strengthening the division. Whether this is true or not is anyone’s guess; especially a week after they released both their poster-girl in Mickie James and one of their edgier female wrestlers in Katie Lea. It’s difficult not to be cynical, especially when people like Jim Ross have their reservations about a positive future for the women of the WWE, but I’ll hope for the best. Once you start expecting less than the best, there’s no impetus for those in charge to change anything.

raw(lite): almost as important as my birthday

It’s been a busy week round these parts. The lofty business of higher education and facilitating the graduation of the kiddies under my wing has been hectic beyond any kind of hectic I’ve ever experienced.  An Everest type mountain of paperwork, so many digits my eyes started shivering, and almost impossible deadlines that were so tight they made my heart beat faster (not in a good Jeff Hardy in a falling towel sort of way – Thanks Adam & Matt). On the plus side, the chaos was punctuated by my birthday, which was made even better by the personal birthday card and message from my John. He even recorded a special message for me. Wondering why he didn’t say my name? He did. ‘Champ’ is his cute nickname for me. Listen…..

(click n play)

jcbdaycard

I’m coming to get some, John. I’m coming!

Soooo, another event almost as important as my birthday took place this week. Yes, a special 3-hour Raw that wasn’t just Raw, because it had Smackdown and ECW matches on it too.  Like a Pay Per View, but not, ’cause it’s  free. Huh? Let’s give this strange hybrid a whirl, shall we?

It’s Raw, so who’s the first person out? Oh, Chris Jericho. According to Jericho, Raw has gone in to a tumultuous tailspin since he left. Well, I wouldn’t go that far, Chris, but……. Anyway, he couldn’t go on without insulting the crowd in his usual adjective heavy manner. This week’s Jericho Jibe is brought to you by the phrase “All of you [the crowd] are still the same ignorant, insipid, bulbous manatees you’ve always been.”

manatee

Charlotte residents, according to Jericho. Cuter than Ric Flair, anyway.

He went on to diss Rey Mysterio which, of course, was answered but the playing of Booyaka-Booyaka-619! Good lord, I do love when Rey’s all fired up and angry. Raaaaawr! As soon as the bell tolled he tripped Jericho, leaped on to him and began the onslaught.  But Chrissy-boy was not over-n-out. I know people are getting a bit bored with these two together, but seriously, they are awesome rivals in the ring. AWE-SOME! Mysterio jumped from the top rope on to Jericho, but Chris managed to grab him and started pulling his mask off again. Worried about being exposed further, Rey grabbed at the mask and  lost his concentration, giving Jericho the cover.

vlcsnap-848244 copyKnow what I feel like now? A Josh Matthews and Randy Orton interview. Well, whaddaya know, here’s one right now. I love when I get what I want.  I’m not entirely sure what happened in the first part of the interview, because I was Googling ‘How tall is Josh Matthews?’ and was shocked to find out he’s 7″ taller than me. Which means that Randy would be REALLY EFFING HUGE stood up against me. NIIICE! If I ever get one of those “Please welcome my guest at this time…….” jobs, I’m gonna need a little box to stand on. Like when Vickie had to do scenes where she was stood next to Big Show.

Anyway, Randy was kind of mean and Josh being a sweet little thing, John Cena (fresh from recording my birthday message) came to the rescue. He told Josh to run along and took Randy on himself. John suggested that the WWE Universe would like to know why Randy is such a gutless, spineless, disrespectful Grand Wizard of the Baby Oil Boys’ Club. He also went on to suggest that, as Randy seemed to have forgotten there were FOUR people contesting for the WWE Championship now that Batista was out of action, maybe all the oil he rubs on himself was starting to rot his brain.

Ok, first of all, this whole scene =

vlcsnap-871000 copy

Secondly, Grand Wizard? Baby Oil Boys’ Club? Too easy, John. WAY too easy. But that doens’t mean I’m not gonna do this………………..

rogmbobc

Moving on, Mr. McMahon had an announcement to make and, apparently, it wasn’t to announce the new GM in the wake of Vickie G’s resignation. Ok, here’s where my timezone problem chimes in and stops me from getting the full impact of this whole thing. In theory, if I had avoided being on the internet for the whole of Tuesday, I could have watched Raw after work and experienced its dramatic events the same as everyone in North America. But asking me to stay away from the information super highway for  a full 24 hours is like asking Barack Obama to stop being charismatic for 24 hours. Ain’t gonna happen. So I’ll do my best to act surprised, but I can’t promise successful faking. K?

Vince McMahon, looking even more tangerine coloured than usual, appeared on the Titantron and announced that he had sold the Raw brand to a currently unnamed bidder.

Convincing performance? Send my Oscar via FedEx. Thanks.

Convincing performance? Send my Oscar via FedEx. Thanks.

Faced with the trauma of knowing that Raw had been sold to a mystery wealthy person, what else could they do but send out an ECW title match to refocus the mind. Christian (who is the owner of my fave theme music in the whole company BTW) made his way out, closely followed by current champion, Tommy Dreamer. Oh, right, I skipped Extreme Rules. He won the belt and a contract extension at the PPV. All caught up? Good. Christian put up a good fight, but Dreamer capitalised on Christian’s niggly ankle and pinned him, keeping the belt for another week.

Dave Batista successfully underwent major bicep surgery this past week to repair the injury he suffered at the evil hands of Randy Orton and a steel chair. Yah. That was it. Randy did it. He didn’t have the injury already. Honest.

Mmmm. Iodine-y.

Mmmm. Iodine-y.

But all this means the WWE Championship is up for grabs and so important is its capture that we were graced with a countdown clock leading up to the match. Phew! I would have missed it had I not had the clock on the screen. Mr. RKO, John Cena, Big Show and the newly returned Triple H batttled it out to take home the belt. Eight minutes after the bell ding-ding-dinged, Big Show was bearing the brunt of everyone’s attack and it looked as if John was going to pin Show for the title. But he hadn’t counted on Randy Orton slithering his way under the ropes. Randy slammed John in to the turnbuckle, put a beautiful RKO on Big Show and pinned him. He grabbed at the belt like a kid grabbing at his new Tonka Truck on Christmas day and triumphantly made his way up the ramp.

vlcsnap-87837 copyAlright, with the WWE championship in the hands of, well, anyone, it was time for Vince to tell us who he was selling Raw to.  It waaaaaaaaaaas *drumroll*…..

Donald J. Trump. Yep. Him. Billionaire dude. Legendary businessman. Head honcho on the American version of The Apprentice. Had it been Alan Sugar I might have been happy, but I was initially furious. Like I said in my last audio post, I like to see non-wrestling jobs go to people with a connection to the industry. It’s the wrestling tree of life. I was annoyed that someone with no connection other than a much publicised Wrestlemania Battle of the Billionaires which ended with Vince being scalped a few years ago, had been given such a high profile role. But, after listening to the business and marketing pitch on episode 3 of Kick-Out!! Radio this week, I concede that my stance was a little naiive. Must learn to engage my brain before speaking.

Donald Trump, who managed to look even more orange than Mr. M, will just be a figurehead for Raw. It’s not like he’ll be the GM, popping up on every show. He’ll appoint a general manager and things will swiftly move on. And, I wonder how Shane and Stephanie feel about this? Aren’t they heirs to the company? Will they be happy that daddy dearest sold off their inheritance? Doubtful. Actually this could be more interesting than I originally thought.

vlcsnap-104589 copy

This whole segment was followed by Mickie James vs Rosa Mendes. Rosa wrestles? Really? Good for her. If ever you thought WWE doesn’t care that much about the Women’s Division, your fears were confirmed when it created a nothing match and put it right after the biggest announcement in weeks.  It was almost like saying, we’ll put something on nobody will care about so everyone at home can have five minutes to digest and debate D. Trump’s “purchase” of Raw. Sometimes I feel like giving up on this crusade. But I won’t.  Mickie won, Maryse did a hair swirl, Mickie tried to kick her in the face and Maryse ran away laughing.

Feeling like the crowd needed some light relief, we returned to join Goldust and Hornswoggle in the ring, shooting t-shirts in to the audience with one of those mascot machine gun thingies. Aww. Nice guys. But they were rudely interrupted by The Miz, as per usual, so I went out to take a whizz. Which is why I’m not sure what else happened in this part, but it ended up with The Miz knocking Goldust out and shooting Hornswoggle in the knackers with the t-shirt missile launcher. I get the feeling this ain’t over.

imyrimytsAnyone else need a break from Raw? Yeah, me too. Let’s Down some Smack with Edge, Punk and Jeff.  There I was thinking that the two big events this week were my birthday and the Trump topic. But there was something else. Something really special I didn’t think I would be welcoming back so soon. Yes, it’s the majestic return of CROTCH WATCH. If you’re new here and unfamiliar with CROTCH WATCH, it all started when CM Punk started wearing some rather skimpy, lavender tinted trunks. So taken with them was I, that I began monitoring Punk’s choice of trunks on a weekly basis. Purely for fashion purposes of course. But, he soon stopped wearing the light coloured trunks and I took the hint that I was being inappropriate, putting that segment away in the back of my knicker drawer until he decided he missed the attention.

It appeared it only took two weeks for him to miss my perving and he came out this week in WHITE TRUNKS. WHITE! Everyone knows that people who wear white bathing suits (and wrestle trunks) WANT to be noticed in the groinal area. How lovely to know he really did enjoy being the object of my affections after all.

So. Yeah. There was a match too. It was actually the best match of the night. I love you, Smackdown. Despite all the ‘over-egging the pudding’ in the Raw storylines, Smackdown still managed to pull an awesome match out of the bag without a ridiculous fanfare. Beautiful.

Edge ran at Punk to try and take him out with a spear, but Punk did an amazing jump over his head and Edge took Jeff out instead. Punk threw Edge in to the turnbuckle, and was running at him when Edge managed to push him over the ropes, damaging his knee on the steel steps as he fell. The medics came to Punk’s aide while Edge and Jeff continued in the ring. Jeff stuck a Swanton on him and went in for the pin, but Punk managed to get back on his feet, dragged Jeff out and pinned Edge to keep his title. Oh my god. AMAZIIIING!

edcmpsotrotyakewtshmh

Now a return to Raw. Or is it ECW? Oh, it’s both. The Hart Dynasty v Primo and Carlito. And we had the pleasure of listening to Rhodes and DiBiase at the announce table. They rendered the match pointless by interrupting it. What a waste of The Hart Dynasty. Was that the first time we’ve seen them outside ECW? I think so. Shame.

Know what else was a waste of time? The 16-man Battle Royal*. It was like they were saying, we’ve got loads of Raw guys who didn’t get a pop this week, so we’ll put 16* men in the ring and let Triple H win. He’ll only end up taking his revenge on Randy at The Bash anyway. But wait, the new boss-man has something to say. Trump decided that he didn’t want to wait for The Bash. Orton v Triple H would be on the next Raw. That gives me hope of something different for The Bash. My feelings of hope are often way off kilter though.

* I know it was 10. But there were so many faces I couldn’t keep up  with who was there. It was a joke that went over most people’s heads. It’s ok. I know I’m not very funny. Thank you to those who took the time to email me to tell me I got it wrong. I know. It was deliberate.

smackdown(lite): sleeping with a punk

It’s fair to say that Smackdown had its fair share of drama at Extreme Rules. I’ll do my best to work in what happened, otherwise it just ain’t gonna make sense.

First person to the ring, CM Punk, with the heavyweight belt around his waist. Yes, you are correct. Punk cashed in his Money in the Bank contract at Extreme Rules. But not against Edge. Against everyone’s favourite Fonzy…..Jeff Hardy. SHOCKER! IT WAS AMAZING! I LOVED IT! Punk turns heel then. Or does he?  He didn’t seem too mean and menacing standing in the ring.  He even said “That doesn’t make a bad guy.” True heels don’t CARE that you think they’re a bad dude. In fact, they WANT you think they’re a bad dude. I’m confused.

Anyway, Punk went on to say that he plans on bringing some dignity back to the belt. But as he spoke some music hit. Can you guess which music it was? Correct. Go on, you know you want to play it.

I kid. But yes, it was Jeff and uh-oh, he ain’t happy. In fact, he’s so furious he didn’t concentrate when he was getting dressed and pulled on some jeans from the 1986 dress-up box.

vlcsnap-2157621

They argued the toss about whose fault it was and Jeff demanded his rematch THAT NIGHT. But someone else had something to say. Edge butted in and was made to feel wholly unwelcome by his two colleagues. Well, at least they agree on SOMETHING. Oh, I should say, Punk had an amazing match with Umaga at Extreme Rules which subsequently left Umaga unemployed. Hence the new feuding.

The tustle went on and Edge tried to claim that CM Punk was trying to emulate him. Errrrr, yah, cause they look sooo alike, right? Nope. He claimed that Punk’s Straight Edge lifestyle was named after him….. yeah, sure, a 30-year old lifestyle movement was named after a wrestling character. Whatever gets you through the night, sweetie.

edcmjhmctri

Edge thinks Punk is crushing on him, Jeff wants Punk to be crushing on him, Jeff hates Edge but Punk's really crushing on John Morrison. (Not in the triangle.)

Jeff ran out of patience, eliminated Edge but shoving him out of the ring, put the Twist of Fate and then a Swanton Bomb on Punk and hollered at the crowd from the top rope.

But wait, the situation still isn’t resolved. Teddy Long came out to announce that Jeff and Edge would have to fight that night in a number one contender match. Whoever won would face Punk on Raw on Monday. Yes you read right. Raw. Seems they got bored with the brand separation pretty quickly and are mixing things up in a 3-hour Raw tomorrow.  They had a PPV 8 days previous and now they’re having a free PPV style show where Raw should be. *shrugs shoulders*

Having just left the ramp, Teddy Long made his way back to his office to find Chris Jericho looking a little too comfortable in his leather armchair. I swear, he was a cigar, a scotch-on-the-rocks and a fluffy white pussycat away from being a bond villain, just, more naked.

vlcsnap-2164372 copy

Jericho was feeling left out so Teddy gave him a match against Punk for that night. Yum!

Dolph Ziggler took Khali on AGAIN. Getting bored with this. Doesn’t feel like it’s going anywhere. Although, I’m pleased to report that after last week’s observation that Ziggler spreads too much goose fat over his chest, he seemed considerably less greasy this week. A triumph. Now, if he would just let me take the clippers to his horrible hair and ditch the camp leather waistcoat we may be getting somewhere.

vlcsnap-2173149 copy

Ziggler was under the cosh so he grabbed Khali’s interpreter dude by the mutton chops and roughed him up a bit. Khali came to save him and got counted out, giving Ziggler the win.

Next up, a womens match. Michelle McCool and Layla (accompanied by A.Fox) v Melina and Eve. Michelle’s hair looked so cool. Come on, hair. Get BLONDER! Maybe I should try getting out in the sunshine instead of staying hauled up in front of a computer all day. Well, it’s up to you, I can either write stuff to make you happy or have blonde hair. The decision is yours.

AFMMLMNHD

Layla and Eve were fine, but when Melina and Michelle were in the ring together it was AWESOME. Pleaaaaase give them a big  PPV match. They’re so good.

Untitled-7 copy

Best move of all was when Michelle managed to counter a Melina move, dragged her off her back, pull her over the top of her shoulders and shimmied her down the front to put the Faith Breaker on her. I bloody love that Faith Breaker. Every time Michelle does it I swear her victim’s face will have turned concave, and yet they come out just as pretty as they went in. Mwah!

Untitled-8 copy

PS> Please start selling Alicia’s t-shirt in the shopzone. Ta.

From female tag-teams to male couples, Shelton Benjamin and Charlie Haas v John Morrison and R-Truth. I’m just starting to realise that Shelton Benjamin is actually pretty buff. I think maybe the lightbulb on his head was distracting me from what was going on from the neck down. Nice work, m’friend.

Another brilliant match from these guys. R-Truth spinning Benjamin around by his feet and suspended from his neck was amazing. One of the things I love about Smackdown is that even the nothing matches, where nothing is on the line but pride, are a joy to watch. Ok, maybe not Ziggler and Khali….. but the rest. Morrison pinned Haas for the win and gave me my Man-Hug Moment of the week. Interesting that Morrison is often one half of a Man-Hug. I think he misses The Miz. He just wants a new BFF.

vlcsnap-2184656 copy

At Extreme Rules Jericho beat Rey Mysterio and unmasked him as promised. Mysterio left the arena before anyone could really see him. On Smackdown he walked out carrying that same mask and held it up like that famous scene from Hamlet, where Hamlet finds the grave of his old pal Yorick, holds up his skull and remembers him fondly.

Untitled-9 copy

But wait,  Jericho kind of despises Mysterio so that analogy doesn’t work. Fugetaboutit! The match was alright. Pretty good, but it didn’t really count for anything. And it was old heel vs new heel. They still cheered for Punk when he stuck the GTS on Jericho and took the match. See? It doesn’t work yet. Make him be really evil. Randy Orton evil. Now THAT would be sweet!

vlcsnap-2190667 copy

Final match of the night was Jeff Hardy and Edge for that number one contenders spot. You know, considering they had survived an epic ladders match just 48 hours earlier, they did brilliantly. Seriously, they must have had a few tasty bumps and bruises from that match. CM Punk was at the commentary table and chipped in at regular intervals.

Jeff had Edge all lined up for the cover but he made the school-boy error or standing on the ropes for some crowd adoration and gave Edge the opportunity to sneak out of the ring while he was soaking up the love. Jeff came after him but Edge managed to grab him and chuck him at Punk, who was comfortably swinging from side-to-side in his swivel chair. Furious at having his swivel fun interrupted, Punk ran at Edge in the ring and the bell was tolled for the end of the match. All three punched it out for a couple of minutes but nobody knew who the number one contender actually was. Teddy?

vlcsnap-2192925

Tiffany, yes, she of ECW fame, announced Christian vs Dreamer for Monday night, and Teddy announced a triple threat between Edge, Jeff and Punk. I am more excited about this special Raw than I am for most PPVs. I think there’s gonna be a few surprises. Keeeep watchiiing!

raw(lite): dare i even dream?

So, yeah, the first Raw after Extreme Rules which, yeah, I know, I haven’t told you anything about. Soz. But I’ll work it in to the post where I can.

We got cracking with Dave Batista, the new World Champion. Yep, he managed to survive the steel cage and rip the belt from Randy Orton’s clutches. But anyone who ventured on to the internet during the 20 hours between the end of Extreme Rules and the start of Raw knew he was only keeping the title for one night owing to some bicep surgery needed on Tuesday morning.

vlcsnap-1957823 copy

Apparently he did it for Flair, himself and for everyone who’s sick and tired of Randy Orton.  Errrrrm, I suppose that counts me out then. And just as Dave was discussing how he plans on taking Orton’s pride……………..

vlcsnap-1961001 copy

Doesn't work every time. I've tried.

Dave opened his shirt buttons, because you can’t fight with your buttons done up, fool. Randy did a strange, hypnotic, side-step dance to the ring and at the perfect moment he, Cody and Ted all pounced on Dave and beat him within an inch of his life. A venomous attack indeed, Mr. Lawler, sir.

mcolehwwd

Randy twisted Dave’s arm up inside a steel chair like a pretzel (yes, the arm he’s having surgery on) and stamped on it. He then went on to pull his weary arm until it snapped.

vlcsnap-1971966 copy

Randy stole the belt, the crowd booed, the medics came to Dave’s aide and he was carted off in an ambulance screaming for his title belt back. Sad times for Batista. For real.

Well, after all that drama we need something cheerful. Ahhhhh, Kofi Kingston. The smiliest Jamaican in all the land. That’s better. Oh, yeah, he kept his title at Extreme Rules by the way. On this week’s Raw he was taking William Regal on in a non-title match. According to Regal, HE should be United States champion because he can bring the class and style it deserves. Umm, not to disagree with my fellow countryman or anything but……

bpjcjs

Kingston pretty much creamed Regal, but hey, kind of expected. He’s a good heel though. Love you, Billy.

Over in the locker room the pack of hyenas, wild dogs, wolves, snakes, whatever they are were pawing at the WWE title belt, pleased that their job to take Dave out had been done. But the bravest little boy in the company, Josh Matthews, popped up out of nowhere and asked Randy to explain his  deplorable actions. None to pleased to see Mr. Matthews, Randy explained that all we need to know is that he planned on using his automatic rematch clause that night and if Dave failed to show up, he’d take the title back by forfeit. EEEEVIL!

vlcsnap-1981871 copy

Alright, it’s lady time. Kelly-Kelly v Maryse with Mickie James joining Jerry and M. Cole on commentary. I was gonna make a comment about Mickie’s strange choice of dress (not from Maria’s collection, I hope) but she’s got such a lovely voice I decided not to put my fashion head on and rip it to pieces. Lawler wanted to rip it to pieces too but for a whole different reason. Oh, Jerry. Bring your voice down an octave and breathe.  Is it just me or is Kelly-Kelly getting better in the ring? Me thinks the lady’s been practicing. Unfortunately, she lost. Maryse flicked her hair several times and Mickie gave her dagger-eyes.

vlcsnap-1901803 copy

After a reminder of the Hog Pen match between Vickie and Santina at Extreme Rules (did we HAVE to have a reminder? My eyes are burning.) Josh Matthews had jumped over to Vickie’s door to ask her if it was really true that Randy was getting his rematch that night. True story. And she informed us that she had a big announcement that would change the face of Raw forever.  Ooooh, what could it be? Ok I already knew but I like to play along. Then we jumped over to The Miz and Maryse having another ‘moment’. Not sure what’s happening here but I’m actually starting to enjoy their little banter together. What’s happening to me?

vlcsnap-1990692 copy

Goldust, Santino and Festus (accompanied by Hornswoggle) took on Chavo, Jamie Noble and The Brian Kendrick in a three-man tag.Yep, that happened. Santino pinned Noble for the win.

vlcsnap-1993579

Back to The Miz, who rudely interrupted Lillian’s intro with this guitar riff. I hate to admit this, but maybe, just maybe, I’m starting to get The Miz. At first he was just annoying, but maybe, just maybe, I get the joke now. God, help me.  He went on another rant, calling every John Cena fan a ‘Cena Apologists’. Whaaa? Anyway, John came out,  you know, smiling, looking cute, the usual……

vlcsnap-1995300 copy

…and prepared to take The Miz on. But just as we were about to get going “Weeeeeell, it’s the Big Shooooow!” URGH! Big Show. Please. LET. IT. GO.  Go and find another feud so I can care about John Cena matches again. Thanks. The Miz disappeared after one kick and Show put a sleeper hold on John. AGAIN. But wait, The Miz made his way back in to the ring, and whacked Big Show across the back with a chair. What? Miz turning face? Oh. No, it’s ok. False alarm. He just wanted John to himself. Well, he IS on a promise from Maryse now, know what I’m sayin’?

vlcsnap-1997062 copy

Big Show scared The Miz off for the second time, leaving John and Show in the ring. End this please.

M.V.P fought Matt Hardy in kind of  nothing match. M.V.P won.

Now Vickie has an announcement to make. The crowd booed her down the ramp and Lawler and Cole made their own pig-jokes. Aren’t you grown men? So, big announcement. After being humiliated in the Hog Pen match, she had decided to quit the company. Her real reason for quitting is that the travelling schedule is forcing her to spend too much time away from her daughters. Fair enough. I mean, she’s a single mother, her kids need her, she’s taking a break. I really think that’s all it’ll be though. She’ll be back at some point.

But then the whole thing took a slightly sinister twist. It looked as if Edge had come out to apologise for asking her for a divorce during the Extreme Rules show. But he went on to say that having quit, she now had no power and was ultimately worthless. It really should have stopped there. I know Vickie’s a big girl and all, and I’m sure he gave her a big hug once she got backstage, but…. She-Beast? Dry-heaving after kissing her? Harsh! The jury’s out on that one.

vlcsnap-1999863 copy

Backstage Josh Matthews, who is certainly earning his money this week, interviewed John Cena about his match. I hadn’t really noticed it up against Randy and Vickie, but stood next to pinky-skinned Cena, Josh…..

Just get a clean tissue and gently take if off in a circular motion. Works for me.

Just get a clean tissue and gently take if off in a circular motion. Works for me.

Carlito and Primo took on the Priceless boys, Ted pinned Primo and Randy joined his victorious children in the ring. They waited patiently for Batista to arrive for the title rematch but, obviously, he wasn’t coming back with a broken ulna, right? Or was he? Lillian announced Dave but he didn’t show. His music played, but he didn’t show. Randy called for the 10-count and bristled with excitement. But on the count of eight, the ambulance that took Dave away started reversing towards the arena door. What’s gonna happen? What’s gonna happen?

vlcsnap-2006413 copy

Did his nose get bigger or did his hair get smaller?

AAAAAAH! He’s back. Ok, when Triple H disappeared several weeks ago I was glad to see him go.  I was getting sick of him. So it shocked me how excited I was to see him come back. Maybe it was because it was unexpected, maybe it was because I now tend to avoid rumour mills and I didn’t know he had plans to return so soon. I actually thought he’d be away a little longer and return with Shawn as DX for a while. But Dave’s much needed bicep surgery must have forced him back sooner, I assume. When ‘Time to play the game’ started playing, I got a fluttery little feeling in the pit of my stomach. I believe that’s called WRESTLEGASMMMMMM! I think I’m done being mad at him now. I might even get my Triple H trading card back out of my desk drawer at work and allow him to sit next to the other fellas.

Cody ran at Triple H with a chair, but chair vs sledgehammer kind of has an obvious winner. Hunter ripped his shirt off (sweet) and slammed Randy around the arena. He left him on his face in the ring……

vlcsnap-2008836 copy

….but the crowd still wanted more and began chanting for a pedigree. He obliged. Oh my god, does this mean Raw is about to get good again? Dare I even dream?

smackdown(lite): now that’s how you make a wrestling show

Remember last week when I got all puffed up and tearful about the car crash television that was Raw vs The Denver Nuggets? The reason it got me so wound up was that it worried me that someone might have chosen that particular night to start watching wrestling for the first time and would have thought it was representative of wrestling programming in general.  For the complete opposite reason, I shall be holding on to last Friday’s episode of Smackdown, so that when anyone asks me why I enjoy wrestling I can give them a copy. Kind of like when my sociology tutor asked if she could keep my research project on British Soap Operas as Social Eduction so she could show it to future students on how to execute a media and society project. I’m still proud of that one. But enough of my personal triumphs from the distant past. Let’s go down some smack.

The blue Smackdown trucks rolled in to Memphis and appeared to have picked up a few accessories along the way. The arena was littered with ladder after ladder after ladder.  It looked like a cubist painting from the turn of the 20th Century. If Pablo Picasso were alive today he’d be in heaven. All those straight lines and obscure angles. I imagine his rendition might look something like this.

picassoladders copy

I call it, Sea of Steel. (Title stolen from Jim Ross). PS> If you do the 'right-click, save-as...' on this picture, please credit it back to wrestlegasm.com. Thanks.

Beautiful! Even if I do say so myself. But that’s enough about art. Mainly because without the crutch of Wikipedia I know absolutely nothing.

Edge made his way through the maze of metal and called Jeff Hardy out to join him. Jeff made an impossibly long entrance to the ring, slipping some skin to all the kiddies screaming at him as he went. Well, he IS the Pied Piper of Wrestle World. Everyone dances to his tune. Not that I’m calling wrestling fans rats or anything. Oh, I think I need a new metaphor. I should prob go back to Fonzy. After ducking under every ladder in his path, Jeff  arrived in the ring but exclaimed that he would be decidedly more comfortable on top of a ladder and began climbing.

vlcsnap-8138126 copy

Edge accused him of peddling false bravado and pandering to the sheep in the audience. No, Edge. RATS, not sheep. I’ll send him a copy of this for his birthday…….

ppoh

Edge continued and made sure Jeff knew that every time he made an attempt to reach for the belt at Extreme Rules he’d be there to knock him back down again. BOOO! He climbed to join Jeff at ladder height and they had a good old chin-wag about who would be victorious at Sunday’s PPV. Jeff explained that his free-spirit would be his salvation but Edge got all NUH-UHH, and whacked him across the temple with the suspended title belt. Not content with a mere slap to the head, he tipped Jeff over and he went flying down to the ground, his fall only broken by the ropes. But as JR so diligently reminded us, those ropes are made of encased steel, so not much of a soft landing after all.

vlcsnap-8140782 copy

Great opener. What’s next? John Morrison v Shelton Benjamin. I love watching these two. They’re pacey, creative and so athletic is makes me ashamed of being so unathletic. No, it’s not just Ms. McCool who makes me feel like that. It was a great, solid match and I don’t think I’ll ever get tired of seeing the Starship Pain. AMAZING! But the most shocking moment of the match was the revelation from JR that the quadricep is the biggest muscle in the body. WHAT? I thought it was the Gluteus Maximus. Your ass is bigger than your thighs, right? He then went on to say that he remembers that from his anatomy days. Oh, you must be trained doctor then. My apologies Dr. Ross. No offense, but if I’m going to believe the medical ramblings of a Dr. Ross, I’ll stick with this one.

Look at the girl in the background who is supposed to be dead but is actually George out. George Clooney: So handsome he raises women from the dead.

Look at the girl in the background. She is supposed to be dead but is actually checking George out. George Clooney: So handsome he raises women from the dead.

Moving on and Chris Jericho was roaming the backstage area, which means he’ll be calling us all gelatinous again within a couple of minutes.

He strutted his way out to the ring, as he does, and began slamming Rey Mysterio and the audience. Ok, he didn’t say ‘gelatinous’ again, but he did use the words ‘zombies’ and ‘web of deceit’. COOL! But just as Jericho asked us if we’re fully clear on what he was trying to say, some music started playing. R-Truth? R-Truth is facing up to Jericho? I was not expecting that. He did his whole ‘WHAT’S UP?’ thing, asked Memphis what was up, and then asked Chris Jericho what was up with him. It was lovely, comedy moment because the contempt on Jericho’s face was priceless. He had that look my mother gets when I try to explain the purpose of blogging to her.

vlcsnap-8145125 copy

Jericho went on, amazed that anyone dared to interrupt him in full arsehole mode, but R-Truth bit back. Much like Umaga, he’s allowed to speak now. YAY! R-Truth told him that just because he talked down to everyone, it didn’t actually make him badass. But he promised that things were about to get bad. REAL bad. Wheee! Match, pleeeease.

I wasn’t expecting them to work well together. Not sure why. Just not one I’d expect to see on the combo menu. But it was great. To be fair though, I think I sometimes forget how great Chris Jericho is in the ring. He’s got years and years of experience and this current persona he’s been dealt makes me forget how awesome he really is. Declaration of love over, back to the match result. Truth leaped from the ropes but it went wrong, he landed awkwardly and left Jericho with the pin. Better luck next time, kiddo, but welcome to the big-time.

Then, just as Jericho reached the top of the ramp and was about to exit, Rey Mysterio came running out, knocked him down and began pummelling him straight in the face. I may have misheard, but I think JR may have said that Rey was “going Medieval on Jericho”. Medieval? Like this?

mef

Men in tights and funny looking headgear? ‘Cause that’s a description of wrestling, right? Ok I think I’ve got the wrong end of the sword. The officials ran out, managed to prise Rey from Jericho’s chest and it looked like the moment of madness was over. But, just as Rey was about to leave, he made a flying leap off the edge of the ramp straight at the recovering Chris Jericho. IT. WAS. AWESOME. I love when Rey Mysterio gets all fired up like that. And I love you, Smackdown.

vlcsnap-8149555 copy

Next, Umaga and CM Punk were up, minus their PPV stipulation.  Curious, but I’ll assume they know what they’re doing. I think CROTCH WATCH may have made CM Punk so uncomfortable that he’s completely ignoring me now. Not only has he stopped wearing my favourite lavender trunks, but has now taken to wearing black trunks in protest.  Sorry, Phillip. I’m not such a terrible letch. Honest. CROTCH WATCH will now take a hiatus until Punk feels comfortable enough to wear his lavender trunks again. At which point the whole cycle will repeat itself.

Untitled-6 copy

The match itself was brilliant. Really. I know other people have said it, but it could easily have passed for a PPV match. I do wonder if they’ll have enough juice in the tank to improve upon the SD match. I know they’ll have the strap match stip, but still. I’ll make a recommendation. If the PPV match does fall short, let’s not complain. We’ll look back on this one and remember they know how to do better. Deal? It was all moving along beautifully but I figured it would probably go Umaga’s way in the end. NOOOOPE! To my immense surprise CM Punk, who my dad refers to as ‘weedy’, picked Umaga up across his shoulders, held him there and then dropped him like a sack of spuds in to the mat, pinning him for the win. OH. MY GOD. You know what’s coming, right?

punkumagainshwg

John Cena might be a tad pissed off that Punk stole his bit, but sod that. You know what’s better than a big muscly guy who can lift heavyweights above his head? A slightly less muscly guy who can do the same thing. Because that makes him kind of intriguing and surprising. SWOOOOOON!

After all that wrestlegasming (new word) I need a women’s match to give me a few minutes to calm down. Oh, whaddaya know? There’s one coming up next. What a coincidence. :D Michelle McCool, Alicia Fox and Layla(why?) were taking on Melina, Gail Kim and Eve Torres(I see) with Maria as guest referee. MARIA! SWEETHEART! Where’ve ya been, darlin’? I’ve missed you. Maria was wearing a rather fetching referee’s outfit, a little sexier than that worn by the guys.

vlcsnap-8163860

I’ll let you in on a little secret. I often think ‘If I worked for the WWE, what would my role be?’ Wrestler? Errm, no. My body ain’t perfect enough for that.  Commentator? Nah. I’m not quick enough. I doubt anyone would understand me anyway. When I get excited my accent gets a bit incoherent. Ring announcer? Possibly, but my entrance announcement for Randy Orton might go a bit like “OH MY GOD, Randy’s coming out, people. Ooooh, he’s so MEAN looking. RAAAAWR!” Fail. I usually settle for referee, but in a cute little dress similar to Maria’s, but more this kind of shape…….

41-OlP+gb9L._SX280_SH35_

…..a bit vintage-y, but with black and white stripes of course. Right, so, the match. I LOVE the whole Hollywood paparazzi thing they do for Melina and Co. It seems minor, but it’s the fine details make all the difference.

Pretty good match. I thought Gail Kim was particularly wicked this week. When are we going to have a women’s match at a PPV again, Vince? It’s been AGES. TOTALLY unfair. I’d love to see Michelle McCool and Gail Kim in a big PPV match. It would be awesome. But one of them has to swipe the belt from Melina first. Someone sort this out for me, please? Thanks. The match was actually won by my fellow country-woman, Layla. I’m not really getting this, but whatever. Nobody in the company seems to care what happens to the women anyway. I’m pretty sure it’s all done randomly.

And just to sadden me even more, Great Khali is up next against Dolph Ziggler. Gag me with a spoon! I could not care less about Khali, and Dolph Ziggler looked like he just emptied three bottles of baby oil over his chest.

vlcsnap-8170371 copy

But I did just realise this week (thanks to a pic in WWE magazine) that he used to be in the Spirit Squad, which made me point and laugh more than usual. Actually, I think at some point I might start liking Ziggler. I’ve got a feeling in my bones. I’m just not ready to give in yet. Khali won. That’s all you need to know.

Final match of the night was a Champion v Champion match – Rey Mysterio v Edge. More awesomeness ensued and Edge made the pin. Just as Rey was looking like he’d had enough, Edge added insult to injury and dragged a ladder from under the apron. As he prepared to put Rey’s lights out for good, Jeff Hardy ran in with a steel chair, whacked Edge down, set the ladder up in the corner of the ring, gave a nod and a wink to the crowd and performed a 15ft leg drop from the top of the ladder. I actually shouted “YEEEEEEAH!” when he did it.

JHLDONEYEAH

FAVOURITE CROWD MEMBER OF THE NIGHT

vlcsnap-8177437 copy

This lady, right after CM Punk lifted Umaga. She’s got the head-tilt going on, she’s touching her hair. That’s the look of swoon. I’m with ya, darlin’. The dude sitting behind her is obviously an Umaga fan.

See you after the extremities, guys!