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I always forget to post these, so this one covers the past few weeks of awesome crowd members. I’ve picked four fans who deserve to be celebrated.

  • Ah yes, the elusive touch of a wrestler’s hand. Anyone who ever went to an autograph signing, bought front row tickets for a wrestling show or rushed to the barrier during a show to press the flesh with a Superstar/Diva understands the thrill of reaching your hand out and feeling their hand grab at yours. Not that I would know. Ahem. You might think this silliness would temper with old age. Not so. As this gentleman of a certain age proves, touching Kelly Kelly’s hand is as exciting in one’s later years as it is as a teenager. Bravo to you, sir. I bet he didn’t wash his hand for a week after this encounter. On second thoughts, as being that close to Kelly might cause some men to relive the experience at home later, I really hope he washed his hands afterwards.
  • I know Raw and Smackdown like to feud over which brand is superior, but I like to think they all love each other when the cameras stop rolling. With this in mind I thought it was ever so nice of Natalya to buy a ticket and sit up in the Raw crowd a few weeks ago. She even dropped her usually nasty character and surrounded herself with a selection of young children. She was spotted here cheering for her fellow Smackdown roster-mates, R-Truth and John Morrison. Natalya is Mary Poppins. Who knew?

  • Serious, serious, serious times on Smackdown. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again; if you’re not having fun watching wrestling, why bother? This dude was caught several times holding up his home-made SPEAR sign, and not once with a smile on his face. The whole purpose of the SPEAR-SPEAR-SPEAR thing is to have a laugh while repeating the same word over and over again at inappropriate moments. Smile and the world smiles with you. It’s fun. I promise.

Actually, nobody in this picture looks happy.

  • Ah. This one was actually requested by one of the readers.

I know everyone spotted this guy during the Stone Cold hosted Raw. I’ve mentioned before how much I detest a melancholic wrestling crowd.  A great show can be ruined by a bored crowd and a terrible show can somehow seem more entertaining if the audience really throw themselves into it. So, congratulations to this gentleman on enjoying himself so overtly throughout. And I mean REALLY enjoying himself. Just a little tip to all men though; if you happen to be going to a show in a warm arena, a shirt with some form of sleeves is generally considered appropriate attire. Especially if plan on doing this……

I know a vest might keep you cool under all those lights, but unless you’re Randy Orton, armpits are never a good look.

ecw(lite): don’t worry my child, i have not forsaken you…

I’m back. yes I realise that most of you won’t have even noticed the lack of ECW recaps, but real life got in the way for a while over Xmas. So, what’s happened over the last few weeks?

1. General Manager (and, quite possibly, the “Insatiable One” Brett Anderson sang about) Tiffany introduced the ECW Homecoming tournament to crown a Number 1 Contender to face Christian at the Royal Rumble. This tournament featured current ECW stars and previous ECW Champions fighting for a place in next week’s Battle Royal (well, tomorrow actually due to laziness on my part.)

“Tiffany is 110% fit. Brett & Tiffany 4 Ever…”

Previously Kane, Vance Archer, Evan Bourne, Matt Hardy, Yoshi Tatsu and Ezekiel Jackson have all qualified, so tonight sees the last two places being filled.

2. The Ruthless Roundtable continued to fall apart, leaving us at the point (after more double-crosses than Terry Funk has on his ranch) where Ezekiel Jackson and William Regal are together, and Kozlov has been dismissed as the weak link.

3. Tommy Dreamer was retired by Zack Ryder. I’ve never been the biggest fan of Tommy Dreamer, but he obviously loves the business (and his new @THETOMMYDREAMER twitter account is pretty amazing)

Anyway, on with the show – and who do we have opening the show? ECW Champion Christian – and everyone loves Captain Charisma don’t they? Nobody would consider interrupting him while he’s giving one of his little promos would they?

Oh, of course...

Everyone’s favourite crotch (and by everyone I mean one particular Welsh girl) and hairy preacher CM Punk is on ECW this week (along with reformed retard Luke Gallows) to fight The World’s Soggiest Man Mark Henry for the last slot in the Homecoming Battle Royal. For those of you who care about these things, we’ll get to the colour of his trunks later on. For now, I would just like to point out that CM Punk seemed slightly on the “tired and emotional” side for his promo, blurting out lines like:

Looks like all Punks, this one's actually partial to cheap cider

Match one, and it’s the penultimate Homecoming qualifier between Shelton “Support Breast Feeding” Benjamin and Chavo Guerrero. But first, it’s time for one of the empty boasts that the WWE seems to be so fond of.

No! Really? WORLD Wrestling Entertainment ran more shows in Europe than the US NATIONAL Basketball, Hockey, Baseball & Football organisations?

To introduce the match is the new(ish) ECW ring announcer, Savannah. She’s still pretty green, but she makes the effort at least – when the last time you saw Tony Chimel or Justin Roberts dress up to co-ordinate with the competitors?

Shelton’s always worth watching, and Chavo’s probably just happy not to be stuck with Hornswoggle, so this match was pretty enjoyable, if quite short. Predictably, Shelton won to join the Homecoming Battle Royal tomorrow. But Chavo got to wrestle Brian Danielson before Raw last week so he can’t complain too much. Now there is only one spot left in the Homecoming, to be filled by either CM Punk or Mark Henry.

Who is that mystery man? Sarge? Rosemary the Telephone Operator? Mark Henry?

After a brief video recap of Tommy Dreamer’s retirement last week, Zack Ryder came out with Rosa Mendes and literally wasted a few minutes talking some nonsense about how he “stopped the heart” and “destroyed the soul” of ECW. I wonder what Tommy Dreamer thinks about Zack Ryder now?

Really… you should be following @THETOMMYDREAMER

Time for yet another chapter in the ongoing love triangle that is the Ruthless Roundtable. Ezekiel Jackson (accompanied by the ever-dapper William Regal) going up against Vladimir Kozlov. I’m beginning to think that the real reason Jackson hates Kozlov is because Kozlov’s dressing gown says “Sambo” on the sleeve. He might as well have a Robinson’s Marmalade Gollywog pinned to his shorts…

Now, perhaps unsurprisingly, this wasn’t the best match of the night. But justice prevailed and the Guyanese Goliath defeated the Racist Russian, following which Regal took the opportunity to let Kozlov know he’s a disgrace, and that they were finished with him. Hopefully they are finished with him, and Regal and Jackson can move on to someone slightly more talented to feud with.

Finally it’s time to watch a Raw Superstar take on a Smackdown Superstar in an ECW  main event (because obviously nobody would tune into ECW just to watch ECW guys wrestling.)  Let’s get the whole “What colour trunks was Punk wearing” issue out of the way straight away.

Yellow

Interestingly, I’m surprised that Luke Gallows doesn’t have a CM Punk beanie hat; because I do, and I’ve never even met the bloke…

Another fun match, playing off the strength of Henry compared to the speed and kicks of Punk, and ended with a well done interference from Gallows that wasn’t as much of an insult as these things so often are. Despite Mark Henry “hulking up” towards the end, Punk managed to get the win and the last slot in the Battle Royal (come on, did you really think Mark Henry was going to fit in that little silhouette?)

Don’t they make a lovely couple?

Favourite Fan this week? Well, much as I enjoyed the mildly dated “Jelly Belly Layfield” sign somebody had inexplicably brought along, it was nothing compared to the DX-loving Marvin the Martian.

andrew’s ecw(lite): i want fight sex man!

I watched this week’s ECW at approximately 37,000ft on a 52” HD TV, sat in the plush leather seats of my private jet, while chowing down on the finest cuisine imaginable and sipping on the most expensive champagne on earth.

Sorry, I’ll start again. I watched this week’s ECW at approximately 2ft on a 32” crappy hand-me-down TV, sat in the torn leather seat of my cheap couch from Argos, while chowing down on Roast Beef Monster Munch and sipping slightly too warm cans of Carling lager. Somehow my life doesn’t seem quite so jet-set as Ray’s, but then she is the boss so it’s only right I suppose.

First of all, good news! No Abraham Washington show this week. The show starts instead with Josh Mathews in the ring, with the ECW title hanging above the ring (and Mathews managing to use the word “literally” correctly for once). Josh was interrupted by proud US citizen Kozlov calling out Jackson after last weeks events.

I love Double-Double-E and I love little flag.

Jackson came out to fight, quickly followed by voice of reason, Ruthless Roundtable ruler Regal. Regal split the two up, falling to his knees in supplication and almost shedding tears in his attempt to get Kozlov & Jackson to kiss and make up.

True, boys may not cry; but Regal's a man's man

At this point Shelton came out, imploring the crowd to chant “Let Them Fight”. This was actually quite notable as one of the few things that Shelton managed to avoid messing up tonight. After Regal pointed out that this confrontation was 3 on 1, Shelton was joined by Christian and Yoshi Tatsu. Yep, Yoshi Tatsu’s back on telly! After Christian called Regal “Bill” for a bit, Shelton botched a few lines, and Regal called Benjamin “sunshine” – Shelton suggested a 6 man tag for that night…

One of these women has the authority to make UK citizens fight, the other is the Queen

GM Tiffany came out, and revelling in the undeniable air of authority that her “I’m Insatiable” entrance theme creates, offered each member of the Ruthless Roundtable the choice of either the six man tag, or letting Kozlov and Jackson fight one on one.

Regal voted to fight in the 6 man tag match, and Jackson voted to fight Kozlov. Kozlov, left in the Len Goodman role, cast his deciding vote with the immortal words “I WANT FIGHT SEX MAN!”

On to the first match, and unfortunately it was Vance Archer being all “intense” again. Strangely though, this week the ring was empty before Archer got there. Could this be the end of Archer’s push? Could this be the first time he fights (and loses to) a non-jobber?

Oh... never mind

So, this one was pretty much a given, and Archer got the win, although not before Tommy managed to get some (pretty dire) offence in.

Backstage, in Tiffany’s office, the GM was talking to the Hurricane’s masked assailant and his companion; aka. The Ripper and The Beautiful Nightmare…

Gregory Helms interrupted the meeting, allowing Tiffany to channel Matt Striker momentarily and make a “Justice League” reference. Tiffany then agreed that if “The Ripper” can beat “The Hurricane” next Tuesday he can have an ECW contract. I’m a big Burchill fan (although I wish he’d get to bring back the pirate gimmick) so I’m glad they haven’t just shifted him onto Raw where I wouldn’t get to see him much.

We now move to another part of the backstage area, where Zack Ryder was feeding Rosa Mendes cakes. They were interrupted by a sweaty Dreamer; whereupon Ryder confessed that he used to be a huge Dreamer fan, but now he just wants to end Tommy’s career. This presumably means we’re moving into a Dreamer-Ryder feud (yawn), although with ECW supposedly changing tack (and name) soon, maybe this means that Dreamer will actually retire this time.

Next up is Barreta and Croft, facing a couple of jobbers again. I’ve got high hopes for these two; their match last week was pretty fun, and this week was as well. Commentators Byron Saxton and Josh Mathews spent the whole match talking about video games rather than the match, which is another indicator that maybe Striker is writing the ECW scripts.

See, it's easy

Main Event time – and the aforementioned six man tag pitting Christian, Benjamin & Yoshi against Regal, Kozlov & Jackson. Incidentally, I’ve just decided to download Regal’s entrance theme as the ringtone for my mobile – yes, I am *that* cool… Unlike the last couple of weeks, this main event wasn’t a disappointment, slowly teasing whether Kozlov and Jackson would work together. The contrasting styles of the two teams worked as well; the more acrobatic face team against the brawlers in the heel team.

One thing I did happen to notice for the first time is that Shelton has gold charity-type ribbons printed on his boots. Now we all know that red ones are for HIV/AIDS, and pink ones are for Breast Cancer – but I had no idea what gold ones are for.

According to this enlightening website, Gold is for Breast Feeding; unfortunately for any immature comments I may have wanted to make, this WWE.com article says it’s actually yellow and in support of US troops, which isn’t quite as ripe for jokes.
Eventually, it was Kozlov’s turn to walk out of the match, Jackson chasing him up the ramp and attacking him. Regal again tried to smooth things over, but this led to his team being counted out, which led Shelton to do this:

For some reason, they had left Christian’s belt hanging from the top of the arena all night after Josh’s opening promo. After Christian pulled out a ladder and climbed to retrieve his belt, Shelton did this:

That’s right, less than a week before what is arguably Shelton’s most important match ever, he nearly killed himself three times in the space of a couple of minutes. In case you can’t make it out in that second one, he managed to narrowly avoid slipping off the top rope, before the ladder nearly snapped in half when he landed on it. It’s things like this that make me like Shelton so much, and I’m desperately hoping that their ladder match at TLC will manage to keep me awake until 4am (when I have to take the kids to nursery at 8 and then work at 9). The things I do for professional wrestling…

Favourite Crowd Member of the Week? That’s an easy one this week, Rick Achberger…

Why was he the best fan this week? Well, do you  have your own action figure? You do? Really? Well OK, have you ever been on Deal or No Deal? You have? Hmm… not sure I believe you but fine. Did Edge, Randy Orton, John Cena and Bobby Lashley turn up to heckle/support you? No, I didn’t think so: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3q9YHWKDK6Q

Face it, he's a bigger fan than we are...

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

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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.


FCMOTW

I keep forgetting to do these. Mainly because I’m so fixated on the wrestle action I forget to scan the crowd for awesome people. But on last week’s Smackdown this lady jumped out at me and I was reminded to salute those fabulous people who actually try and enjoy themselves at live WWE events.

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Rey Mysterio bounced out into the arena, this lady’s son (I am assuming) has no reaction whatsoever, but she leaped from her seat and waved her arms in the air like she just didn’t care. Well done, m’dear. I suspect any children in my future who have no interest in wrestling will also suffer the cruel fate of being forced to watch grown men in tights throw each other around a bit. What am I saying???? Of COURSE, my children will like wrestling. As if any babies spawned from CM Punk would have no interest in wrestling!

Actually, the best part of this picture is the lady in the bottom left with the ‘is it over yet?’ look on her face. It was a great Smackdown last week, missus. I think Lee Ann Womack is sitting behind you. Follow her lead!

I also want to give a quick round of applause to these three Bostonian ladies from a couple of weeks ago…

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…who went to the effort of making custom t-shirts, danced and cheered their way through the Decade of Smackdown celebrations and who made the very slick move of bringing a boyfriend along (right of picture) to drive them home at the end of the party. Yes, he’s embarrassed to be seen with them, but I don’t think they care. Bravo!

-

FCMOTW

Wrestling fans are passionate people. We get involved in storylines, feel an overwhelming sense of pride when we get our guys to the numero uno spot on the Twitter trending topics, feel duped when our heroes lose matches and rejoice as if it was US in the ring when they win.  This past week, two people stood out from the crowds.  They are…..

fcmotw1

This guy, who was absolutely FURIOUS that Evan Bourne beat Jack Swagger on Raw, taking him out of the Beat the Clock challenge. His angry cries of NO NO NO and his definite arm movements made me smile. He’s obviously a huge Jack Swagger fan. Either that or he really hates Evan Bourne. Either way, the fact that you care so deeply about a match between two young guns is admirable, sir. Bravo!

————-

fcmotw2

We were all pretty stunned when CM Punk finally went full-on heel on Smackdown this week and unexpectedly beat the shit out of Jeff Hardy. But this lady seemed especially disturbed and upset. If you’re reading this, don’t worry, I can almost 100% guarantee that as soon as Jeff was fake-stretchered out of the main arena, he and Punk shared a man hug and a strawberries and cream frappuccino. No more sleepless night, ok? Good.

raw(lite): he came, then he left

Due to time constraints and with The Bash looming within the next few hours, this week’s Raw reminder will be in a shorter form than usual.  You gotta do what you gotta do!

For those of us in the UK, commercial free television is nothing new. The most powerful broadcaster on this island, the BBC, is entirely free of advertising. Ok, so we’re legally obliged to buy a TV licence for the privilege, but I believe it makes for better television and radio. Still, Raw is shot in dollar land, where advertising is the bread and butter of all broadcasting.  So I understand the excitement. Seriously though, America, do you have to have SOOOO many ad breaks? It kills my buzz. Anyway, here are the …..

THINGS YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT THIS WEEK’S RAW

BEFORE THE BASH

Catchy, eh?

  • Trump’s Da Boss

Yes, that’s right, Donald Trump now owns the Raw brand and kicked his tenure off with a full ticket refund to everyone in the crowd who kept their ticket stubs. Those who threw them away on their way in to the arena probably needed some of this….

shockposition

  • John-Boy’s a Farmer

John Cena who, despite making a triumphant return to his charismatic, funny  ‘old self’ came out in his most ghastly merchandise line yet. Not in any way inspired by a certain world-famous farming equipment brand. No. Not all. And call me a cynic, but I don’t think it’s any coincidence that it was launched in Pack-land. Home of the Green and Gold. I shall discuss this rant about this further in the next audio post.

jcrmower

  • The Miz is a Puss

John Cena flipped the coin over and called The Miz out for a change. After much cuteness and frivolity, John got serious, gave The Miz a match at The Bash and warned Miz that his days were numbered. Oooh. It was deliciously perfect. Welcome back, John. The Big Show was obviously killing his good times. Favourite line? “You’re not a reality show ‘has-been’. You’re a WWE never was!” BUUUURN! Miz got rattled, punched John when he wasn’t looking and ran. Puss.

rersrd

  • Lemony Kick-It

Vince was left with the back-up limo (Trump had Road Force One), which happened to be a total lemon and broke down a hundred yards from the arena. Don’t you just hate when you have to use the back-up limo? So much less comfy than the best one. Vince made the poor little driver carry him down the street on his back.  Yah, ’cause that’s so much less humiliating than WALKING to the arena. Vince’s weight caused the driver to drop him so Vince kicked him in the arse. Nice guy!

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  • SD Trumps Raw

For the second week running, despite claiming full brand separation, there was a Smackdown match on Raw. I can only assume it was a ratings thing. They must have figured that the audience for Trump Raw would be larger than usual with the news of The Donald’s involvement causing a buzz in the mainstream media. What better way to impress than to bring your (real) superior brand in give off a good impression to first time viewers.

Jeff Hardy , Khali and Rey Mysterio beat Jericho, Edge and Ziggler when Jeff pinned Ziggler. Punk, being a nice guy, came to celebrate with Jeff, but he pushed him away like a lover who had been caught cheating. Oh, yeah, Punk wore clothes.  I sulked.

wddmwbily

  • Prelude to Crap

Cody Rhodes beat Primo in a prelude to what will undoubtedly be a tag-team belts win for Rhodes and DiBiase.I didn’t mind them so much when they first started hanging off Randy’s coat-tails……now…meh! Some sort of illegal crap will go down and the Orton Groupies will grab the titles ar The Bash. Talk about putting all your eggs in one basket. Prove me wrong. Please.

  • Song for Santina

Santina was fired. About two months overdue. Let’s celebrate with a song even more annoying than the actual character. Bet you don’t make it past the first 20 seconds.

  • Regrets, dear?

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Maybe it’s not all about da monaaay after all, Mr. M?

  • The King Ain’t Dead

That’s right, the King of Kings redeemed himself, remembered his job is not to be a corporate lackie and wrestled his oversized heart out. As did the delightful Randy. Best match they’ve had. Better than Wrestlemania even?

hhhroaref

  • The Penny Drops

You know how Vince McMahon is a smart businessman? Not so much. It turned out that Trump was giving money away and cancelling advertising contracts in the hope that Vince would buy Raw back for double the price. Oh Donald, you wiley fox. And I thought you were just a puffed up ball of orangey powder. The plan worked. The real Vince McMahon is indeed  great businessman, orchestrating this whole angle with hardly anyone knowing about it until the night of the show. But why so short? Ok, so I wasn’t exactly on board from the beginning, but there was a lot of mileage in that there storyline. I’m aware that I’m whining a lot today. I’m tired. I was up late and got up early. I’z grumpy when I’m tired. Donald bitch-slapped Vince, it all kicked off and they had to be separated by some burly looking security.

botbfr

  • Shut Your Trap

Rosa Mendes lost to Mickie James and Maryse got all pissy, telling Rosa to shut her yap while she tried to compose herself. Is it just me or are Maryse’s jubblies (thanks, Gok Wan) getting more plastic-y by the week? I don’t even care about boobs that aren’t my own and yet, I cannot look away. (?)

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  • Most Aspirational Stat Evah!

You know how much I live the WWE ‘Did you know…? stats. This week was the best ever. Check it out.

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Yep, because quantity is ALWAYS better than quality, right guys? Sweethearts, I love you enough to spend my life recapping your shows, but it’s not the size of your product that counts, it’s what you do with it. An hour of True Blood does not equate to an hour of Raw. We cool? Good. I love you. Mwah!

  • If you think I’m gonna recap another Cena/Big Show match….

you be trippin’. That is all.

  • Get offa my Randy

Just as Randy Orton was leaving the arena, Triple H whacked him, proper mobster style. At first it looked like he was gonna give Randy the lonely man in prison treatment against the back of his car, but he just dropped the boot door on him. Phew! REALLY! Writhing in agony, Triple H made it clear that their feud was SOOOO not over.

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FAVOURITE CROWD MEMBER OF THE NIGHT

chicken bucket

The KFC buckets. For managing to get in so many camera shots and for showing such dedication to the show. Bravo, bucket of grilled chicken, bravo indeed.