A Song for Whoever: Jeff Hardy & Edge Edition

Boss Lady Ray: I had my part of this post all worked out last night. I hadn’t typed it up but I’d written it in my head. I was going to dedicate a bangin’ tune to the Miz for reminding us so perfectly that it’s him defending the WWE title against John Cena at Wrestlemania, not The Rock. Then Jeff Hardy went and screwed up his career again at the TNA PPV last night. I was torn. We hate TNA and I didn’t want to give it more coverage than it deserves. I certainly didn’t want to be one of Jeff Hardy’s enablers by rewarding his bad behaviour.

Ray

But when I scanned through my Twitter feed I couldn’t quite resist this one. So this is my one and only piece of advice for all the sobbing Jeff Hardy fans. Stop. Stop expecting him to change. Stop expecting him to be what he was ten years ago. He never will be that good or that clean again. He’s going to screw up over and over again and he doesn’t care whether he breaks your heart or not. Jeff will show up at work drunk/high/stoned on whatever he’s slurped/injected/smoked/inhaled again. Stop being shocked by it.

Think of Jeff Hardy like a loser boyfriend (or girlfriend). Your friends hate him and tell you to cut him loose. You mother rolls her eyes ever time you try to sing his praises. He lets you down, messes things up, embarrasses you in front of your colleagues by turning up at your work Christmas drinks already boozed up to the eyeballs. Why don’t you cut him loose? Because you love him. You think you can change him. You remember how great he used to be and you know that person is still in there; you just need to help him ‘find himself’ again. You just need to figure out why he keeps pressing the self-destruct button and make sure he doesn’t go there again. Good luck with that.

Really, you’ve got two choices. You can keep hoping Jeff Hardy will turn over a new leaf and stick with it, absorbing the fact that people will think you’re crazy for doing so. This means not complaining when he gets thrown off a show for being high as a kite again. Or you can stop calling yourself a Jeff Hardy fan and bypass the heartache. Not that I was exactly a fan when Matt Hardy finally got himself fired from WWE after making a total arse of himself on YouTube, but unfollowing the Hardys and all their enabling cronies on Twitter made my feed a much nicer place to be. I suggest you do the same.

It’s taken me all morning to find this song in my brain’s musical archives, but it’s finally popped to the front. This is the most perfect ‘stop-caring-about-Jeff-Hardy’ song on the face of the earth. Let it work its magic and, well, stop caring.

Sidekick Andrew:Back in February, somebody on the wrestling forums over at www.somethingawful.com posted a picture of Brodus Clay in his original FCW gear. As originally pointed out by Boss Lady Ray in her NXT Series 4 post, Brodus Clay looks like a cartoon or video game character already, so I decided to Photoshop said picture (this is what I do to pass the time):

Now, I often forget that the majority of people are either a) younger than me or b) not quite as geeky as me. As such (or maybe due to my lack of photoshop skill) there is a chance that the “joke” isn’t immediately apparent. For those of you who might not know, it’s supposed to look like King Hippo, a character from the Nintendo “Punch-Out” video games series (starting with DX member Mike Tyson’s Punch Out. There’s always a wrestling connection if you look hard enough).

Anyway, I posted this photoshop on the Something Awful forums and was encouraged to tweet it to Derrick Bateman, which seemed like a good idea. Bateman liked it, asked me to add a couple of things and then retweeted the finished product. I was happy, he was happy, we forgot about the whole thing…

Fast forward through the mists of time with me to this week’s Smackdown. Exciting wasn’t it? Kaitlyn! John Cena! HHH! The much teased reunion of Edge & Christian! Can you guess which I was most excited for? I mean… it’s been ten years since Edge & Christian teamed up together. Ten Years! And they had been teasing this since Backlash 2009! The answer’s pretty obvious really…

If you didn’t watch the show, the whole reason Edge & Christian teamed up was to take on Alberto Del Rio and Brodus Clay, after Edge had words with the two of them at the start of the episode. Amongst the words Edge used to describe Brodus Clay? Yep… “King” and “Hippo” :(

Now, I’m not saying that Edge definitely saw my photoshop previously. I’m not suggesting Edge follows myself and Bateman on Twitter, or that the two of them held some shadowy meeting in a backstage corridor to discuss this. But I am going to dedicate this song to you Edge…

new mnw: the post-mortem

Leading up to Monday, I was asked by several people how I felt about the new and supposed Monday Night War, which was about to begin between the WWE and TNA. For the most part I kept my answer brief and vague because I didn’t really have an opinion. When in doubt, say nothing until you’re sure of where you stand. Admittedly, I don’t always play by that rule, but having nothing to go on but hype and anticipation, I wanted to see what happened first. Also, I was pretty new to wrestling when the original Monday Night Wars were drawing to a close. I didn’t fully appreciate what was happening until much later.

Raw was guest hosted by Bret Hart this week and it was a huge deal. After twelve years of hurt feelings, bruised egos and ever-increasing dollar bills hanging like a carrot from a stick, Bret Hart finally returned to the WWE and it worked. It was exciting. The fact that I was as excited as I was took me by surprise. I wasn’t just worked up about Bret’s return, I was actually looking forward to Raw as a whole. That hasn’t happened too often lately. I’ve mentioned before that Bret Hart is one of the very few wrestlers I remember as a kid. I have no overt  affection for him but, to a point, he is my oldest wrestling crush.

His moment of recompense with Shawn Michaels over the Montreal Screwjob at the top of the show was fascinating. It was like that family member you fell out with at so-and-so’s wedding coming up to you at some other family function and offering to make peace. When I first started watching wrestling, one of the things I loved about it was that you were never truly sure what was real and what was being played out for a storyline. It was neorealism before neorealism was cool. Often the lines were blurry, mixing genuine personal events with fictitious storylines. That still goes on but with the arrival of social media, secrets are harder to keep under wraps. One slip of the fingers on someone’s iPhone and a whole month of feuds could be blown. But it was different when I started watching. Ahhh life before the internet. Remember? Yeah, I’m struggling too.

The opening gambit where Shawn and Bret agreed to bury the hatchet without bringing it down on each other’s heads felt real. It fed off real emotions, yet you knew a story had been penned and agreed in advance. The whole show had a flow it’s been sorely lacking in recent months. Even down to the way The Miz entered the ring while Maryse was leaving. And that’s something that can continue regardless of whether Bret Hart is there or not. It wasn’t all wonderful. They could have done a lot more. But if Bret Hart’s got a floating contract to run until after WM26, the potential for interaction with young talent, specifically The Hart Dynasty, might still exist.

Moving on to less congenial television, TNA iMPACT was painful. I’ve made no effort in the past to hide the fact that I always find it painful to watch TNA. It sets my teeth on edge more than once every single week. It’s not that their wrestlers are bad. In most cases they’re pretty talented. Their Women’s Division alone is stacked with excellent workers and strong characters. But the lack of effort that goes into the production makes me want to yank my hair out from the follicles. Even little things drive me to distraction; the incessant crowd noise and awful acoustics, just for a start.

I explained how I felt about Hogan’s signing to TNA when it first blew up. I haven’t changed that view in the past couple of days. No, I don’t like him. I think he’s an awful figurehead for any company and he signifies everything I don’t want new fans of wrestling to buy in to. There’s no doubt his name is still a draw, but unless TNA make plans to progress the young talent begging for structured storylines with equally worthy wrestlers soon, they’ll do nothing but re-hash old feuds between wrestlers who can’t make the matches believable any more. The older statesmen should be used to put the younger talent over. If they refuse to do that, the whole company will become famous for being nothing more than the free night-bus for those with nowhere else to go.

TNA bookers are like magpies,  picking up every mildly sparkling free agent available but with no plans for how they might polish them to a brilliant shine. It was anticipated that Hulk Hogan’s debut on iMPACT  would force the show to be largely about him. But the fact that he’s making the entire company about him and his grotesque friends is appalling, and I still believe Dixie Carter will regret having him on board. At the very least I think she’ll regret giving him so much power. Eric Bischoff less so. He understands business. But Hogan’s there for a retirement party and a pay-cheque. I’m all for ‘jobs for the boys’. We all like to look after our friends, but this level of  nepotism is pathetic, both creatively and in a business sense. If I never see Brian Knobbs’ hideous face again, it’ll be too soon.

I have my own views on Jeff Hardy and Ric Flair’s bookings on Monday night and they revolve around loyalty. I’ll keep them to myself unless anyone actually wants to know what I think. Otherwise, hey, they’re both free to work for who they please. Who am I to be their moral compass? If Ric Flair needs to pay his electricity bill, it’s not for me to say he can’t keep his heating on at night. But purely on a booking level, they make no sense. Jeff’s in court for drug offences soon and Flair can’t possibly have anything to offer in-ring.  Use what you’ve got. Seek out your best assets and plug them to the hills. It’s not rocket science. Don’t grab at everything left on shell because it’s a brand everyone recognises. Have the self-confidence to turn people down from time-to-time. If the good stuff gets sidelined because the ‘names’ want an undeserved slice of the airtime pie, you should be outraged.

TNA are akin to teenagers having sex. All the mechanics are there and they’re sure they know how to do it, but they’re nervous, over-enthusiastic and they rush their way through the parts they should linger on. There was something very mature and confident about Raw this week. And I recognise the irony in calling any show with a  Hornswoggle segment ‘mature’, but it managed to deliver a well balanced show in a methodical and experienced manner. It was easy. It had rhythm and a gripping ending. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve shouted at the screen watching Raw too. But Raw’s problems are largely creative. They can easily be fixed. Also, WWE has other brands and business off-shootsto fall back on if one element of its product isn’t working.

There’s no doubt that TNA put their stamp on the industry on Monday night. In many ways, I admire their pluck, the fact that they had the courage to stand up to Vince McMahon and demand his attention. It certainly worked.  But to sustain the momentum they kickstarted this week, TNA are going to have to try harder. The novelty factor will wear off very quickly; not just for the viewers but I suspect for several of the newly signed roster too. Hulk Hogan in particular.

(I will recap Raw in the usual way before the end of the week. I promise I haven’t lost my sense of humour. Honest, guvna!)

smackdown(lite) under a straight edge spell

I don’t know if it’s because the heat CM Punk generates under my skin is now making him appear in my dreams (true story) or whether it’s my triumphant return to gym training, but the Straight Edge lifestyle is starting to look like a viable option. I mean, it’s not such a massive leap. I don’t do drugs. ( I could still chug 8 ibuprofens a day, right?) I haven’t smoked since I was 17. The only thing left would be alcohol. How hard could that be? I can go without most of the time, and if I need a sneaky tipple I can totally hide bottles of champagne at the back of the toilet without Punk finding them. And, since he appears in favour of poisoning his skin with multi-coloured ink,  I could still get that teacup tattoo I’ve been thinking about getting (Again, true story.) Maybe I need to think about this some more. In the meantime, I’ll just enjoy the view from the start of this week’s Smackdown, where Punk vowed to ‘end’ Jeff Hardy in the hope of putting a stop to our filthy ways.

I'm in this picture. I'm just out of shot. Like, to the south a little bit ;) Ok, I'll stop now. I'm being far too disgusting already.

I'm in this picture. I'm just out of shot. Like, to the south a little bit ;) Ok, ok. I'll stop now. I'm being too disgusting already.

Teddy Long wasn’t having any of this tripe. Despite Punk’s suggestion that Jeff was unlikely to even show up at Summerslam, Teddy announced that Jeff would not just be there for his match at the PPV, but would also be there in Edmonton to say a few words that night. Punk objected to every word out of Teddy’s mouth, which cued Jeff. Geez, that North Carolina sunshine is STRONG! Looks like Matt Hardy’s tan from last week has rubbed off on his brother.

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A few brief syllables of defiance later, Jeff was retreating from the ring, Punk grinned like the evil, clean living genius he is, and Teddy was back in his office to take a call from Mr. McMahon. Apparently, even though he’s way injured and shit, Mr. M demanded that Jeff fight on Smackdown that night. Still on probation, Teddy had no choice but to agree and put young Hardy in action against The Hart Dynasty in a 2-on-1 tag match. Yawch.

Back in the ring, Finlay was up against Dolph Ziggler. In my experience, it’s probably best to leave a Belfast boy alone when he’s in a bad mood. I mean, Dolph Ziggler did keep Finlay away from reaching the Summerslam Intercontinental match on Smackdown last week. But still, Dolph is back for another helping. All was moving along nicely until Mike Knox, who gets creepier with every inch his beard grows, interfered with the match by thumping Finlay on the back of the thigh with his very own shillelagh. As you do.

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Dolph capitalised on Finlay’s agony and pinned him for the win. Dolph disappeared but Knox stuck around to do some additional damage to Finlay. As you know, usually I dig medical terminology, but spoken from the mouth of Mike Knox the words sound terrifying. I’m sure I had a nightmare where I was being chased by someone with that voice once. *shudder* In times of trouble, thank God we have JR to come up with exactly the right words.

Thanks, Mr. Ross.

Thanks, Mr. Ross.

From something genuinely scary to something that’s supposed to be, but isn’t. A whole week has passed since Kane drug dragged Ranjin Singh out of the arena in *insert last week’s location at your leisure* and it appears he’s still being held hostage in some random boiler room. Urgh.

Over in the ladies’ locker room, Maria and Melina were doing more girl-talk stuff, agreeing that Maria would change her tartan top for a leopard print one ‘because Dolph likes leopards’.  Excellent deduction. But I hear on the grapevine his favourite big cat is the puma. Just a little heads up for ya there Maria. Following a further discussion about romantic hotels on the beach in LA, Layla appeared to rain on their parade. That’s right, there’s nothing like a Brit to bring a couple of perky Americans down with her cynicism. Atta girl! She announced that Michelle McCool would be back on Smackdown next week, but Melina was in the mood for a scrap and challenged Layla to a fight that night.

Reserving the right to be in a bad mood since 1776.

Reserving the right to be in a bad mood since 1776.

Enough silliness, let’s have another match – John Morrison vs CM Punk. Awesome! AWE-SOME! No jokes, no perving, it was brilliant. Punk was totally immersed in being a badass and how John Morrison never cracks a rib doing that core twisting, I have no idea. He must do lots of pilates or yoga in his spare time. This could easily have been a PPV match, so next Sunday has an awful lot to live up to. Punk put the GTS on Morrison and took the win, giving him an extra elbow to the face after the bell had tolled. It’s those little touches that take you from heel to super-heel. I thinks I loves you, CM.

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Following another ridiculous hostage video from the boiler room, where Kane still had Ranjin Singh tied to a chair, it was time for the match Melina made for herself with Layla earlier in the show. With Gail Kim gone and Michelle McCool hurting, they need to start putting Natalya to work on a Friday night. Being cheerleader for her family members is a total waste of her ability. Step it up! The Melina/Layla match was far better than I was expecting. I wasn’t too keen on Layla at first, but only because they stuck in that lame dance off/arm wrestle thing with Eve Torres. She’s actually pretty good.  She took some pretty nice hits. Besides, I should be pulling for my compatriot anyway. Shame on me. Melina did some mighty impressive flexi- stuff and snatched the win.

I bet Melina and John Morrison do some awesome tag team pilates.

I bet Melina and John Morrison do some awesome tag team pilates.

Next, Big Show vs JTG, which wasn’t much of a match but any time I can listen to Jericho do commentary is fine by me. He joined JR and Todd Grisham while Big Show made light work of his opponent. My favourite line was when Jericho alluded to the fact that he’d had a sore throat last week, which was why he lost his match. “Do you know what kind of toll that [a sore throat] takes on a man?” He was feeling tremendous this week. Ah the healing power of the Canadian air. Big Show took the match and various other shenanigans went on around the ring. Things are shaping up beautifully for Summerslam.

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Down in Kane’s red dungeon, we found Ranjin Singh suspended by his ankles (yeah, for real). Khali came to the rescue and released him from the rope, but then Kane appeared and proceeded to beat Khali with a tube fashioned from the inside of a toilet roll and some aluminium foil, leaving both for dead. It’s ok. I’m sure the janitor will inform the authorities when he gets off his cigarette break.

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Jeff Hardy, nursing injuries sustained at the hands of  CM Punk last week , was forced to take D H Smith and Tyson Kidd on. The match itself was ok and it allowed a Canadian crowd to crow for their own, but it was all a nice little set-up for a brilliant ending. The Hart Dynasty took the match, leaving Jeff even more battered and bruised than before. The pin was closely followed by the appearance of CM Punk who, with a determined look in his eye, marched up to Jeff, kneed him in the face and elbowed him repeatedly in the neck.

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Even Natalya's shocked. And she's been in the Hart Dungeon.

You call it ‘repulsive’, JR, I call it divine and dastardly. (Brilliant adjectives borrowed from Toni.) Jeff was in trouble and needed a friend. Thankfully, John Morrison ran in to help him out, clearing Punk out of the way and removing Kidd and Smith. But Punk was not finished and slapped Morrison across the back with a chair. With Punk the only one left standing he was free to do as he wished, so he put Jeff’s head through a chair again. Well, why not? It worked last week, right? Just as he was about to smash little Hardy in to the turnbuckle wearing his chair shaped necklace, big Hardy intervened and took Punk out of the game. IT. WAS. AWESOME”!!!!

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The ring cleared, leaving just Matt and Jeff Hardy to face each other. Boy, that NC sunshine is a curious breed. Matt seems to have totally lost his tan from last week, and yet, Jeff’s has developed three-fold. Amazing. I digress. Matt helped Jeff to his feet. With the crowd’s approval and bearly a word spoken, the previous attempted fratricide was history.

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Teddy Long made a match for next week where the Hardys and John Morrison will face CM Punk and The Hart Dynasty. Team Good Guys look like they need the presence of a lady, what with Natalya on Team Mean Boys and all. I’m quite willing to fill in. But only as long as someone tags me in to roll around with Punk. I want to Go To Sleep with him. But not really SLEEP, I mean, oh whatever. You get it. I’m all a-fluster after that ending. I gotta go.

the road to diva status

My relationship with the gym is kind of patchy. I go through phases. There have been times when I’ve been super-fit and strong, times when I’ve been shamefully lazy, and times when I’ve fallen somewhere in the middle. I don’t think I’ve been to the gym in….umm…well…. drop the five, carry the 7…..errrr…..probably close to two months. Rubbish. I know. So when the button popped off my trousers today (totally an accident of poor stitching, I swear) I took it as a sign from above.

Reckon I can get one of them there diva bodies by December? HIGHLY unlikely. But you need some kind of motivation, right? Something to aim for? Twitter has been a revelation. Seeing and hearing about how much our WWE superstars train is amazing and majorly inspirational.  Which is why I added a large number of titantron themes to my WWE playlist last week. Picturing their physical sculpture spurs me on to create my own. Whatever gets you through that hard-working hour, I suppose.

THIS EVENING’S GYM OBSERVATIONS

Brand new Victoria's Secret water bottle. Notice sad person wrestling trading cards decorating the background. Yep, that is the office of a grown up.

Brand new Victoria's Secret water bottle. Notice sad person wrestling trading cards decorating the background. Yep, that is the office of a grown up.

  • I am far fitter than I gave myself credit for. In fact, I had to hold myself back a bit. Don’t need an injury after one session.

  • Jack Swagger’s theme tune is too slow for my cross-trainer speed.

NO! Mr. Swagger. Sir. Don't hurt me.

NO! Mr. Swagger. Sir. Don't hurt me.

  • Break Down the Walls made me feel like I could take on the universe and win.

Yeah, you're right. That's the power of Jericho!

Yeah, you're right. That's the power of Jericho!

  • Listening to Maryse’s theme tune while doing sits-ups made me do an extra 40.

Ummm...ok, I'll make it 80 extra next time.

Ummm...ok, I'll make it 80 extra next time.

  • CM Punk’s theme tune is the best one for doing chest flies. A bit of senseless screaming and shouting in my ears is perfect for pushing those pads in.

Shee-ah! In my dreams.

Shee-ah! In my dreams.

  • The group of ladies taking a ‘vibration class’ in the corner of the gym looked bored to tears. I mean, I’m sure sprawling yourself out on a big vibrating cushion is highly stimulating, but is that more satisfying than working hard enough that you can shift your pin down to a heavier weight? Don’t answer that! Guys, just do normal gym work. Once you get past the first bit it’s AWESOME.

  • The first rule of vibro club is nobody talks about vibro club. Whoops.

  • You’re only allowed to join the vibrating cushion club if you wear ALL BLACK. It’s the vibro law.

  • My gym buddy, Emma Monkey, caught me doing an involuntary shoulder dance and head bob to Jeff Hardy’s theme music, while racing the clock on a static bike.  I may also have been pursing my lips in between  mouthing the lyrics, but I’m not admitting to that. Once my performance was pointed out to me (from way across the gym) I figured I’d go the whole hog and do this……

Yes, people gave me evils.

Yes, people gave me evils.

I might let you know how Diva Status is getting along from time to time. Next step, stupidly long hair extensions.

smackdown(lite): bikini trimmer at the ready

Smackdown was left in the position of having to rescue Raw AGAIN this week! I’m concerned for Smackdown. It’s so perfectly balanced at the moment. Too much pressure to be the only show firing an all cylinders every single week might tip it the other way. Raw, you better start pulling your weight because I don’t want to have to check Smackdown in to The Priory suffering from ‘exhaustion’.  Maternal worry over, let’s get to the show.

It all got going with CM Punk, now a proper heel, back in the ring with another brief vilification of the audience. Much as I enjoyed the nuances of when he fell somewhere between being good guy and bad mofo, I’ve kind of been waiting or REAL HEEL PUNK to emerge. Announcer Justin introduced Jeff Hardy for a match between the two for the Heavyweight Title. Biggest belt of the show on FIRST? This match can’t be going anywhere. It wasn’t. The anger between them was so intense it took every striped official in the building, a couple of dudes in golf shirts and Teddy long to separate them.

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Just as it looked like things were cooling off, Vince McMahon showed up in a delightful shade of duck egg blue. OH MY GOD, has he actually realised Smackdown is the superior brand? No. Apparently, Teddy Long is still on probation and Vince was most upset that he appeared to have lost control of his roster. To ensure that the title match went off without a hitch, Mr. M announced there would be a special guest enforcer, who shall currently remain nameless, and the match would take place later on to allow everyone some time to regroup.

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Once the boss had left, Jeff flew at Punk again and they were prised apart. Again. Sheesh. What a start! Think we need some coolness to take things forward. Ahhhh, John Morrison. He of the well insulated ankles. He’s a trooper for coolness! Morrison was taking Tyson Kidd on again (first one was on Superstars. I missed it). Great match. I even managed not to focus on my overwhelming need to take a bikini trimmer to the confusing strip of pointy fuzz across Kidd’s hairline.

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It was even-stevens to begin with, but Morrison allowed to Kidd to take the lead, before turning things around and sticking the Starship Pain across his face for the win.

Cryme Tyme and Eve explained the word ‘pretenda’ to us in antother edition of ‘Word Up’,  which lead neatly in to a Jesse v Charlie Haas match. Jesse is going by the hip-hop inspired name of Slam Master J. I don’t know what to say about the match, but I do know that……

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Jesse Slam Master J won.

On we go, and it’s time for the fatal-fourway to decides Rey Mysterio’s Intercontinental opponent at Summerslam. Rey brought a booster seat out and joined JR and Todd in the commentary corner and…… hold on…..before we go any further…. what is wrong with this picture?

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First of all, Rey can’t possibly hear anything through those headphones with his mask on, unless he’s cut some sneaky little holes in the sides. Secondly, what’s happened to his chin? Did he ALWAYS have a miniature beard-bun there? Don’t move, I’ll get the bikini trimmer back out the bathroom cabinet.

R-Truth, Mike Knox, Finlay and Dolph Ziggler fought it out and it turned in to another wicked match. Even Knox looked good.  Dolph pinned Finlay for the win and went over to give Rey a slap. Finlay, grumpy that he lost to Ziggler, grabbed Dolph’s dorky hair and tried to pull him back in the ring.

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You must keep your eye on Rey Mysterio at all times. Look away for a second and he’ll be round your neck in a heartbeat, as Dolph found out. The Rey Mysterio shaped scarf will be available from WWE Shop when the Autumn rolls in.

All this testosterone is just lovely, but I could really do with tagging on to some girly chit chat. Ah, here we go. Maria and Melina are talking it up in the corridor.  Melina was all praise for how happy Maria appears to be these days but, as one of her BFFs, she wanted to make sure Maria was 100% certain Dolph was the right guy for her. Well, let’s be honest, he is kind of a prick, right? But Maria made it clear that his in-ring persona is not who he is with her. Hmm.

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Melina ain't convinced. Neither am I.

Oh Maria. It’s ok. We’ll be here when that horrible, sexy boy breaks your heart, k? kiss-kiss.

With Cryme Tyme getting a push to meet Jericho and Big Show at Summerslam, it was time for some PPV promo. See, Raw? That’s how you do it. Cryme Tyme’s match got more promo than Cena/Orton this week. Ridiculous! Anyway, you have to be pretty awful not to pull off a brilliant match with Jericho. JTG did not disappoint.  And I loved the ending.

Jericho stuck the Codebreaker on JTG and left him lying off the apron, under the ropes.  Jericho went in for the pin, but with his opponent still under the ropes, the ref refused to award the win.  Jericho finally agreed to drag him back inside the ring but in a moment of lapsed concentration, JTG flipped Jericho over and snatched the win, racing up the ramp with Shad at his before the enraged Jericho could do anything about it. Jericho’s exaggerated anger made me laugh out loud.

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Next, The Great Khali was up against Ricky Ortiz. This match felt redundant even before Ortiz was errrrm made redundant. It lasted just a few seconds and I guess it’s there to build this feud between Khali and Kane, but I’m struggling to summon up any kind of enthusiasm for it. The best thing about it was that Singh the Sidekick got dragged from the arena by Kane, only to have Todd Grisham recap it by saying……

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JR corrected his grammar by saying…….

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Oh, Todd. Even with all your mistakes, I still kind of love you. They may actually be the reason I love you. Though, not as much as I crush for        Josh Matthews. He’s little, I’m little, it works better. You understand.

I need a main event to refresh me after that last “match”. Jeff and Punk prepare to enter the ring, but we need to introduce the special enforcer first. Who could it be? Who could it be? Actually, if you follow the right people on Twitter you’d have figured it out already. A certain main eventer’s brother who had broken metacarpals, was complaining about the chaos of being in the hustle and bustle of New York this week. He was looking forward to getting back to North Carolina. If you can’t work that one out, you’re either really new to wrestling or I question whether your marbles are all in their bag. The special guest enforcer was…………….

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Matt Hardy, who looked awesome with that bitchin’ face tan, made his way to the ring. But who would he favour? Has he buried the hatchet and let the brother-on-brother violence go or will he be in Punk’s corner? Judging by the number of alcoholic beverages in Matt’s twitpics, I guessed the former, but what really happened?

The match was ok. I’m not entirely in favour of putting matches on weekly shows when we’re about to see them at a PPV, but Teddy Long slapped a Tables, Ladders and Chair stipulation on it for Summerslam, so that juices things up a bit. Punk was all set up for the pin when Matt Hardy dragged the ref out of the ring, forcing Punk to tell Matt off.  Distracted from the job in hand, Punk was pulled to the ground by Jeff, and was 1,2,3’ed out of the match by big brother.

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Punk wasn’t done. Now incensed that his win was scuppered, he returned to the ring with a steel chair to finish Jeff off.  Brutal! Punk smiled his way back up the ramp but was met at the top by Teddy, who announced the aforementioned TLC stip. Punk told Teddy to go and check on his poster boy and the crowd were left chanting TLC TLC TLC.

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I feel like someone just massaged my temples with warm fingers. Thanks, Smackdown. You’re the bestest!

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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…..

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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!

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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.

smackdown(lite): hugs, ponytails and gbh

What with Shaquille O’Neal hosting an epic episode of Raw this week, Smackdown had a lot to live up to. But was Smackdown worried? Nah! Course not! It knows it’s still awesome without all the bells and whistles of the flagship brand.

Jeff Hardy kicked things off with a rousing speech about how his Night of Champions win over Preachy Punk wasn’t just a personal victory, but a victory for everyone’s right to choose their own lifestyle.

Wrestlegasm.com does not endorse the misuse of recreational or prescription drugs.  If you're an adult, however, booze and fags are legal, so go knock yourselves out! Do not hold me responsible if you wake in bed tomorrow with someone you don't know and no longer thinks is hot. YOUR fault!

Wrestlegasm.com does not endorse the misuse of recreational or prescription drugs. If you're an adult, however, booze and fags are legal, so go knock yourselves out!

While Jeff was soaking up the crowd adoration, we were treated to a clip of a tender moment shared between Jeff and Punk after Night of Champions went off the air. The match had ended,  both Jeff and Punk stood in front of each other, and in an act of gentlemanly conduct, Punk held his hand out to Jeff. Jeff walked away, began sliding out of the ring, but then returned and shook the dejected Punk’s hand. Punk dropped his head and left the ring broken hearted. Oh God! How badly did Punk need a hug? I wanted to crawl inside the screen, press the side of his head to my bosom and tell him everything would be ok.

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I've been waiting for AGES for a reason to use this picture.

Moving on, it’s been a productive week for Cryme Tyme. First they get to kick it with Shaq and take Jericho and Big Show on during Raw, then they join Twitter and experience just ho demanding the public can be, and then they went on to claim a brilliant victory over The Hart Dynasty on Smackdown. This left them as number one contenders against Show and Jericho at Summerslam. BIG. WEEK.

Sidenote: There’s something very evil about Natalya. In a good way. She is the mastermind behind the Hart operation, with Tyson and David carrying out her devious plans. Very Lady Macbeth.

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As CT celebrated their week from heaven, Jericho and Big Show decided to rain on their parade and came to remind them they had no chance whatsoever against them ar Summerslam.  Jericho tried to explain further just how amazing they are as a tag team, but was interrupted by Shad, who compared to with Han Solo and Chewbacca. Brilliant! He then went on to try and communicate with Big Show in Wookie. Double Brilliant! The king of dead-pan didn’t get the joke……….

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…… and even though he tried to bite back, Cryme Tyme had a full tank of insults to throw back, courtesy of Mr. O’Neal.  Jericho and Show had the final word, but this sets up for an entertaining month ahead. Bravo, WWE. This totally works. What DOESN’T work, is the bad remix/combo track/whatever of Big Show and Jericho’s entrance music. Few missed beats there, guys.

I wasn’t really feeling the women’s match this week. Not sure why. Maybe it’s because, having defended the title at NoC, you would expect there to be some progression in the McCool/Melina storyline.  But it didn’t really materialise. At least on Raw, with the absence of Maryse, they started something new. Anyway, McCool and Melina were strong (especially the flexi-batics at the end). Their students,  Eve and Layla,  seem to be improving. Wax-on-wax-off, girls. Keep it up!

Back in Josh Matthews’ interview den, CM Punk swung in for a chat and was back on the whole Straight Edge thing again. He said he wants EVERYONE to live a Straight Edge lifestyle. Apart from me, of course. I know he’d turn a blind eye if I cracked a bottle of champagne when the two of us have dinner. Aaaand back in the real world, he also said he wanted to take on the winner of the Jeff Hardy/John Morrison match.

Next up, Dolph Ziggler was teaming up with Mike Knox to face Rey Mysterio and Finlay. At first I thought Dolph had gone for a haircut and became quite excited at his new, shorter locks. I like men with really short hair. And I’m not just saying that ’cause my boyfriend has no hair. It’s the truth. Unfortunately, it turned out to be one of those hideous little ponytails. Shame! Maria, how could you let your man walk out like that? Bad girlfriend!

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Great match though. An excellent performance by all. And I was TOTALLY involved in the high pace of the ending. When I’m watching a show alone and I still shout Oooh! Aahhhh! Yeaaaah! Take that, Bitch! at the screen, it’s a cool match.  I’d like to see some verbal battles between Dolph and Rey next week, please. Thanks.

John Morrison did a little promo where he tried to knock Kofi Kingston off the top spot as smiliest boy in the company and then we were in to his match with Jeff. Poet vs Poet. Artist vs Artist.

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Pretty.

Actually, Khali and Charlie Haas fought before the big match, but it was so rubbish I won’t bore you with it.

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So, Jeff and John. Firstly, if you missed this match and are here for a detailed run-down on how it played out….errrm….you took a wrong turn on your Google search somewhere. Read the About page. Secondly, if you missed this match, shame on you. Look for a replay on our local TV channels, go to youtube, go to Hulu.com (if you’re lucky enough to live in America and have access to Hulu), download the torrent, whatever. Just make sure you find it. It was brilliant. And long. That’s what I love about Smackdown at the moment. They’ve got the confidence to trust their guys to put on an entertaining, pacey match without rushing to the pinfall within a few minutes.

If John Morrison isn’t headlining PPVs within a year, I’ll eat my WWE bath towel. Yes, I do own one. Two, actually. And a John Cena and Triple H  cushion. Yes, I am grown woman. What’s your point???

It all came to a climax when Morrison went to stick the Starship Pain on Jeff, but found himself doubled over in actual pain when Jeff lifted his knees at just the right moment. Twist of Fate, Swanton Bomb, 1, 2,3, game over.

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Ah-ha! But it was NOT game over. At least, not for Jeff. CM Punk strolled down the ramp, clapping as he went, and joined Jeff in the ring. He raised Jeff’s arm aloft, the crowd went so nuts they almost collapsed in cardiac arrast, and Jeff looked flummoxed.

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It looked as if Punk was about to apologise for being a buzz-kill for the past few weeks, but just as he began to speak he walloped Jeff in the head with the mic and began his “heinous assault” on Jeff. (Thanks, JR).  So just as we thought this feud might be fizzling out in favour of something new, Punk kicked it up a notch. Fantastic!

TOTALLY morally acceptable, right?

TOTALLY morally acceptable, right?

It all came to a close with Jeff requiring major medical attention and Punk ordering us to watch next week’s Smackdown, where he’ll be taking his belt back. Your wish is my command, honey.

night of champions: swagger of a college kid

Alright, so, before I get in to the matches let me just say…. POOR. PERFORMANCE. PHILADELPHIA. What was with that crowd?  They bearly managed to lift out of their seats until Jeff Hardy started Swantoning all over the place. And that was the last match! I always imagine that cities and states with a particular connection to wrestling will rock harder than other places. Maybe they were distracted by the baseball season or something. Anyway, there’s a lot of bling exchanges to get through so let’s get cracking.

15DHDPretty much every NoC recap I’ve read has said this, but it was kind of telling that Legacy’s much anticipated match with Chris Jericho and a mystery partner was on first.  First matches aren’t generally the best you’re gonna get. They’re there to make sure the people stuck in line waiting to buy an overpriced hotdog and the PPV people at home who can’t get their viewing card number to go through don’t miss the biggest match of the night.

When Jericho announced he’d reveal a new tag partner at Night of Champions, the internet tom-toms started beating and all kinds of wild and wonderful names were thrown about. My personal favourites were the Undertaker, Randy Orton and Christian. How great would it have been for Randy to go up against his helper monkeys and win? Later to lose the WWE title, of course.  And how awesome would Jericho and Christian have been? Team Canada Part Deux? Amazing. Look, I’m even making up my own wrestlegasm moments now.  Anyway, what we actually got was Big Show. Ok, so kind of an anti-climax, but he totally redeemed himself by leaving giant paw-shaped slap mark on Cody Rhodes’ chest.

If it's make-up, don't spoilt it and tell me. I like to think he gave him a really good thump.

If it's make-up, don't spoilt it and tell me. I like to think he gave him a really good thump.

Jericho and Show kept the belts. Game on!

Next up CM Punk, the Maude Flanders of WWE, wanted to confront the audience concerning their debauched, toxic ways and accused the parents (sorry, paRENT) in attendance of damaging their kids.

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It’s strange, part of me thinks “who the hell do you think you ARE, Punk? Telling ME  having a beer is tantamount to shooting heroin in my arm?’ But there’s something a little bit tantalising about a boy THAT square, even if Preachy Punk is just part of a the character. It’s almost like he’s begging to be corrupted. If he ever wants to go the other way and clink pale ale bottle necks together with someone, I’m right here.

Drank a couple of bottles of these on an empty stomach and couldn't feel my feet. True story.

Drank a couple of bottles of this on an empty stomach and couldn't feel my feet. True story.

One question though, a tattoo is ink embedded in the pigment of your skin, right? A foreign chemical under your skin? Just sayin’.

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Moving on, I don’t often give much blog time to ECW. It’s not that I don’t watch or love it, it’s just that I don’t have time to squash everything in here. I can confirm though that I am a total peep and every time Christian’s music kicks I get a funny little tingle in my fingers. We’ll call them Mini-Wrestlegasms. The match was solid and the two shared a lovely, bromantic moment when Christian took the title at the end. But you’ll have to wait til the end of the week before I tell you more about that. Man Hug Moments are now a special feature all of their own.

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Alright, so next we had a Six-Pack Challenge for the US Championship, fought over by Jack Swagger, Carlito, Primo, The Miz, M.V.P and Kofi Kingston.  It went how you might expect a Raw mid-card match to go and wasn’t spectacular, but it was energetic and seemed to turn the key in the backs of the audience for a few minutes. Especially with this ménage à quatre.

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Kofi kept the belt, which was probably a great weight off his mind, what with his dog having hernia surgery this week and all. (I <3 Twitter) I do have a bone to pick with WWE though.  What’s with all the Waffle House hate? First The Miz tells Mickie James he predicts she’ll be reduced to working as a Waffle House waitress within a few years, then Jerry Lawler describes  Jack Swagger as “tougher than a Waffle House steak”? In the interest of fairness, you could have said Denny’s or Shoney’s or IHOP or Cracker Barrel or Bob Evans. Ok, not Bob Evans. Bob Evans is freakin’ awesome.

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From one thing that makes me feel fat to another – Michelle McCool vs Melina. It’s a sad day, people. Like all passing crushes, my girl-crush on Michelle McCool has come to an end. I’m not entirely sure why, but her voice started to grate on me and, ultimately, I tend to shake my pom-poms for faces. I always fall out of love with heels after the initial excitement. (Unless they’re Chris Jericho.)  So, I was fully in Melina’s corner, despite her Smackdown promo involving her chucking foundation powder all over Michelle. Must we ALWAYS use beauty products to fight, ladies? I’m looking at you too, Maryse! My brother informs me that that’s the only way girls know how to fight. I proved him wrong by punching him in the gut………. and sweeping some Jeff Hardy inspired liquid eye-liner across his face.

The match wasn’t bad, but they’ve probably done better on Smackdown. I should know. I actually pay attention to most women’s matches. I would have concentrated a little more closely on this one but the incessant screeching kept distracting me. Kind of like watching women’s tennis. Michelle kept the title, but it’s ok Melina. You’ll get another chance. And, alright, you haven’t got any gold to hang around your waist at the moment, but you boyfriend can hold jewels IN his waist. Hmm? Feel better?

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Ok, time for a big ‘un. Triple H and John Cena try to capture the belt from around Randy Orton’s waist…..or his shoulder depending on what mood he’s in that day.  It started off kind of slow. There was all kinds of slipping under the ropes and posturing. Not that I ever complain about man parades but from a wrestling point of view… slow. But proceedings picked up and it turned in to a pretty good match. Hunter had Randy in a sharp shooter, John joined in with an STF and even the great Randy Orton couldn’t take the pain of the two of them on top of him and started tapping out. I’d be willing to give it a shot, but that’s for another day. Despite the submission, with both guys on top of him, the ref couldn’t decide whether to grant victory to John or Triple H. Tricky! The official scratched his head and consulted his mental rule book on what to do.

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But all this dithering gave the helper monkeys time to scuttle in and remove the boys from Orton’s back.  John tried to put Cody out of action, but before he could adjust his attitude Randy stuck the RKO on John’s neck and took the match. Ok, I need to sit down for a moment to recover. What? You didn’t realise I write these things standing up?

I’m gonna go and sneak backstage to eavesdrop on someone’s conversation. Oh here’s something juicy – The Miz and Maryse. The Miz made his usual advances which, after initially encouraging, Maryse shot down in flames. The line between flirty retreat and outrageous tease is fine and it looks like Maryse travelled too far in the wrong direction.  When even The Miz is turning you down, things ain’t looking too crash hot.

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It was the start of a bad night for Maryse, who went on to lost the Women’s Title to my new number one chickie, Mickie James.  The crowd were AWFUL for this match. AWFUL! And ok, it certainly wasn’t the best match they’ve had together, but apart from the odd wolf whistle and a decent cheer when Mickie took the match, nada.

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It’s funny how things change. Who would have thought a year ago that Smackdown would dominate the final two matches of a PPV and that one of them would involve a former Spirit Squad member.  But Dolph Ziggler has moved up the ladder pretty swiftly over the past few months, and even though I was suspicious of him at first (mainly because of his hair) he was impressive in this match. Ok, so Rey Mysterio is a more than generous performer. But still, I thought Ziggler was kind of special and it makes me excited about the band of college educated athletes floating round the roster at the moment.

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As expected, Mysterio won the match, taking Ziggler out with a 619 once but he’d had his fun. But he gave him a gift of a match. Welcome to the big-time, sir. By far the match I enjoyed most but, oh dear, looks like Maria might be rethinking her choice of beau. She didn’t exactly run to his broken side, did she?

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By the way, if you were as hypnotised by Dolph’s tiny, shiny shorts as I was, keep your eyes peeled at the weekend. I might have a treat for you. Wink-wink. Nudge-nudge. Say-no-more.

Final match of the night belonged to CM Punk and Jeff Hardy. Ok, listen guys. I wanted Punk to win as much as you did. You KNOOOOW how I feel about Mr. Brooks.  But all the marks need to take a Xanax (very un-Punk like, I know) and give Jeff his props.  He’s been working hard for a long time now and if you remember, he only held the belt for a few seconds before Punk cashed in his MITB contract and snatched it away. It’s not Jeff’s fault the powers that be decided to push him. He even asked for a break! It’s not his fault that kids are eating up the promos and feel connected to him.  Embrace! Rant over.

The match itself was pretty solid, as most of their matches have been, and it was awesome to see even more personality then usual from Punk. This strong Straight Edge angle has really brought him out of his shell and I LOVE it. Excuse me for going all-out girly, but there were points when my mind said things like “Oh My God, I don’t think he could look any cuter than he does right there.”

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Punk put the GTS on Jeff but failed to make the pin. And again. And again. Exasperated, Punk took his ball (belt) and went to go home, hoping he’d be counted out, disqualified and remain keeper of the gold. But Jeff was having none of it and dragged Punk back in the ring by the ear.  A few minutes and a Swanton Bomb later – the title had changed hands.

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Ahhhhhhh, it’s awesome to be back on my wrestlegasm throne. I missed ya. More before the end of the week and lots to come over the weekend.

UPDATE: As you will see from the first comment in the comments box, Maude Flanders was supposed to be Helen Lovejoy. Soz. A lapse of concentration on my part. But the dearly departed Mrs. Flanders  would not have been a Jeff Hardy fan anyway. And  you got the idea, right? No harm, no foul.   Huge thanks to my colleague, Adam of LOL Wresslin, for so graciously pointing out my error.