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…

Sunday Musings

I was going to write a humorous summary of Wade Barrett’s appearance on Daybreak today. Nothing makes me feel more smug than non-wrestling bods interviewing wrestlers, desperately walking the journalistic tightrope of curiosity vs ignorance. The idea of Adrian Chiles snarling and spitting “Wrestling is fake though, isn’t it?” at Wade Barrett would have been worthy of a whole post in itself. Christine Bleakely trying to look interested in any man who isn’t Chiles or pretty-faced boyfriend Frank Lampard would have been great, especially when faced with wonky nosed Barrett. At least they could have discussed their shared interest in over-tanning.

If you’re not lucky enough to be British and have no clue what I’m babbling on about, Adrian Chiles and Christine Bleakely are a platonic TV couple who jumped ship from their daily evening show on the BBC (where they were great) to front a daily morning show for more cash on ITV (where they are terrible). Adrian Chiles just isn’t made for being seen in the morning and Christine Bleakely makes me not want to look in the mirror myself in the morning.

Evidence

Unfortunately, Wade Barrett was bumped from Friday’s show. They needed room to cover the atrocious earthquake and subsequent tsunami in Japan. That’s fair. They’d be hauled over the coals for chatting away with a home-grown wrestling superstar while thousands of people were suffering at that very moment. Having said that, they did find time to run a segment where five, yes five, grown adults sat around and chuckled at the fact that the Ken doll has a new haircut. It went on for some time. This was before speaking with their Hollywood reporter live via satellite to ask for an update on that washed-up actor who has been dominating Twitter with his incoherent musings. (I’m deliberately not saying his name.) Nice to know you’ve got your priorities straight, Daybreak. So Wade recorded a British radio interview to be broadcast next week and jetted off to Germany for more promotional work before I’d even caught glimpse of him on local telly.

Now what am I going to talk about? I could tell you about the dream I had last night where CM Punk dumped me for Kaitlyn while we were on holiday in Cornwall, only to find myself crying on Stephen Merchant’s shoulder, but that’s not very interesting. The truth is, it’s actually been a very busy week for both of us. It’s definitely been one of those weeks where real life has taken priority over blogging. We even had to skip our sacred ‘watching Smackdown in pyjamas’ on Saturday morning. Sad times. We did manage to watch CHIKARA’s Anniversario Elf show on Thursday, which was unsurprisingly fantastic, and we squeezed WWE Superstars in on Friday afternoon. Unusually, I’ve only just got round to watching Raw and Smackdown. Smackdown on a Sunday is wrong. It is to be watched on Saturday mornings in pyjamas with the Sidekick or not at all.

I’m not going to recap either show and the post I might have written about Michael Cole’s interruption of the Raw Divas match on International Women’s Day has already been written rather wonderfully elsewhere. More on that in a few paragraphs time. But something quite profound struck me while my eyes jogged through today’s Raw/Smackdown marathon, and that is that this really is a watershed in WWE programming. At least, I hope it is.

The forthcoming Wrestlemania is the pulling-out-all-the-stops Wrestlemania. They’ve brought legends back, others are probably on their last trot around the paddock and a young and overly stacked roster are salivating at the prospect of being moved up. Obviously, Wrestlemania is the money spinner; the one chance WWE has to draw in PPV buys from people who don’t bother for the rest of the year. Unabashed carrot dangling is expected, but what they’re doing here can never be done again, at least not without people saying “Meh. You’ve done this already. Show me something else.” If you’re going to this Wrestlemania, soak it in.

The Rock’s reappearance sent tingles down my spine, but he definitely won’t be a regular feature once ‘Mania’s done. Austin will always be around in some form, but if he values the use of his lower body he’ll never wrestle again. Trish Stratus is ultimately back to plug her own yoga business. The Undertaker’s body is so broken I’m worried he won’t even make it to his Wrestlemania match with HHH. Triple H has made no secret of the fact that he loves his backstage role and would be fine if he disappeared again. Shawn Michaels is indirectly involved in the Taker/HHH match and will be in Atlanta to be inducted into the Hall of Fame.

Strange as it seems, I hope this last hoorah is a way for all those legends to say goodbye.  When I started watching wrestling, all these people were at the top of their game. They were wrestling to me. They were the reason I watched. This loaded Wrestlemania card should be where they say thank you, step aside and let the young roster flourish. Yes, The Rock pulls out the most incredible promos. He always will. He’s the best. But I don’t think he necessarily shows the other performers up. Wrestling is a totally different game now and I don’t think Jim Ross was fair in telling the younger guys to shut up and stop complaining about having to share the ring with their predecessors.

It’s got to be frustrating for them and I don’t buy into the idea that today’s wrestlers are less of a draw than Rock and Austin. The output and the audience have changed dramatically. If you still want the Attitude Era and profess about how much you hate the PG era, wrestling has left you behind. You can’t compare current individual performers with those from 15 years ago because they’re working in an entirely different environment. It’s not disrespectful to acknowledge that this is a whole new ballgame. Without balls. Well, some balls, but…..never mind. You get my drift.

I’m genuinely proud of the young performers and how their media savvy selves are embracing their roles inside and outside the ring. The way Dolph Ziggler sold his faux firing on Twitter, for example, was brilliant. The current mix of former collegiate athletes, second or third generation competitors and indie stars is actually a nice mix. They don’t always use them properly and I’d like to see more indie guys being brought up, but then, I’m a born again indie geek. I would say that.

Once, Wrestlemania’s over, I hope WWE have the courage and the confidence to leave the past as it stands and put some faith into their current roster. I’m quite comfortable with Rock, Austin, Shawn Michaels, Undertaker, HHH and Trish Stratus limiting their appearances to biennial pops, leaving Edge, Christian, Mysterio, Jericho and possibly even Cena to be the elder statesman. If you feel you’d be left wanting without the people brought back for Wrestlemania 27, I’ve a feeling you might find the next 18 months or so rather painful.

Before I sign off for the day I just wanted to mention the excellent work going on over at Fair to Flair. I caught up on the latest posts this morning and it’s really inspiring work. It makes me want to be a better wrestling blogger. There are very few places where you can read intelligent, thought-provoking writing on professional wrestling without the aggravating, smarky, ‘wrestling fan’ rubbish, but you’ll definitely find it there. If any project deserves to prosper, it’s Fair to Flair. I mentioned earlier that the women’s post I might have written has already been written brilliantly elsewhere and that’s where you’ll find it. Click here to read and enjoy.

We’ll be back tomorrow with our latest Song for Whoever and hoping real life gives us a break this week. Happy Sunday and if you haven’t entered our second birthday giveaway yet, you’re missing out. Click here to win excellent prizes. They’re on us!


Wrestlegasm Best in Show Awards: Part Two

Welcome back to the Wrestlegasm Best in Show Awards. Now you’ve tasted the best preserves and chutneys the region has to offer and managed to pull yourself away from the display of amusingly shaped vegetables we can get on with my part of the ceremony. I’m assuming that you have all enjoyed Boss Lady Ray’s post at the weekend? You did? Excellent. On we go then…

Tempting as it was to give this award to Curt Hawkins, the sudden realisation that nobody actually watches Superstars and won’t have seen any of his fun matches against Trent Baretta meant otherwise. Instead, this award goes to the man who has inspired underwear choices throughout the land…

No… not those, although obviously that is now de rigeur for any self-respecting DIY enthusiast (and please feel free to add your own euphemism if you must.) Dolph Ziggler, resplendent in what I am reliably informed is “snow-leopard”, has been one of the highlights of this year. Consistently putting on great matches through 2010, Ziggler went from being one of the two starting entrants in the Rumble in January (lasting less than three minutes), to winning the Intercontinental Title in July and holding it for the rest of the year, appearing at every PPV for the rest of the year.

He has been compared to Mr Perfect on here before, and he certainly has the confidence, the look and the ability to be a main eventer in 2011. He’s made a start with his World Title shot against Edge at the Rumble this year, and if that’s not a sign of improvement since last year I don’t know what is. Of course, a lot of his heat can be attributed to his relationship with Vickie Guerrero. On paper going from Maria to Vickie last year might have looked like “trading down” but in retrospect it was a genius move.

Nobody can get boos like Vickie, and she has definitely helped Dolph’s cause. But more importantly, and as we have been saying here for a while now, he has the ability to put on great matches every time. Surely 2011 will be the year that Dolph Ziggler puts behind his slightly embarrassing past (from Kerwin White’s caddy, through the Spirit Squad, up to his weird fetish for introducing himself backstage) and become one of the major stars of WWE?

VERY BRITISH NODS OF APPRECIATION go to Cody Rhodes, Layla and Frightmare. Cody has come on leaps and bounds this year. His “Dashing” gimmick is deliberately annoying and works perfectly, and he seems to be a much better wrestler suddenly. Whether that is because he’s no longer being dragged down by Ted DiBiase and Randy Orton (or worse, Hardcore bloody Holly) or because he’s just trying harder I don’t know. But I now look forward to Cody Rhodes matches, which I couldn’t say this time last year.

eww

Layla also gets a nod, not just because she’s rather fetching in those skin-tight dresses, and not just because she said she liked my photostory that time. She has got better and better this year, and let’s be honest: anyone that can make Michelle McCool watchable is deserving of some kind of reward. The last nod though goes to Frightmare. I know… I know… you’ve never heard of him. Trust me, he’s ace. Frightmare primarily wrestles for CHIKARA and this year won their only singles title, the Young Lions Cup. A relatively short wrestler, who only speaks in gibberish, Frightmare is one of the most exciting young wrestlers at the moment, to the point where he was named Rookie of the Year by Pro-Wrestling Illustrated last year. He’s basically Mysterio, back when Mysterio was exciting:

We were tied on this one, so channelling the indecisive spirits of Masterchef judges John Torrode and Greg Wallace we have decided… dramatic pause… mood-setting strings… dramatic pause… camera focussing on each in turn… dramatic pause… to put you both through! Matt Striker and Ultramantis Black share this award, due to their sterling work on commentary through the year.

Striker was an obvious choice for the Boss Lady, given that she’s obviously completely smitten with him. Oh, and he works here of course, so there’s a touch of nepotism involved. Hey, it’s not what you know… it’s who you know. Having said that, Striker is pretty awesome on commentary. His constant pop culture references (especially in his Smiths period) as well as his innumerable, and frankly nonsensical, nicknames for wrestlers have made him a favourite here in The Bunker. Well, I suppose those pictures of him posing with an ironing board might have helped as well…

As for Ultramantis Black, he was my choice. Again, a member of the CHIKARA roster, Ultramantis Black is possibly the funniest commentator of all time. He happens to be a pretty nifty wrestler too, but as a commentator alongside Bryce Remsburg or Larry Sweeney he makes every match more enjoyable. Hell, the bloke would get the award simply for the fact he managed to throw a Simpsons reference in there…

VERY BRITISH NODS OF APPRECIATION goes to Punk (again!) partly for his excellent work on Raw, but mainly for his work on NXT and especially Superstars alongside Scott Stanford. Again, I know you probably don’t watch Superstars but you’re really missing out – in fact Scott Stanford may be in the running for this award next year

Here he is imagining throttling Jerry Lawler and usurping his crown

This was definitely the year that wrestlers embraced the unknown pleasures of micro-blogging. From the first, tentative steps of early adopters such as @IAmJericho and @mikethemiz, the WWE in particular really got behind twitter, to the point of advertising the Rookies’ twitter accounts on NXT. While both myself and Boss Lady Ray follow far too many wrestlers on twitter, none gave us as much entertainment this year as Matt Hardy.

Ha! No capitals! In your face Hardy!

From his inane ramblings about grapes to his constant YouTube videos berating the WWE and boasting of his wealth, Matt Hardy used twitter to help end his WWE career and to alienate a number of fans. Not only was his self-belief delusional at best, but Hardy made a point of lying to the very fans he claims to love.

After being sent home from a European tour, Hardy stringently denied he had been – going so far as to post a bewildering video proving that he was still in the UK. It’s nice to know that Matt thinks so little of his fans that he is prepared to believe that they will not appreciate the difference in being sent “home” (ie. being asked to leave the arena and go back to your hotel) and being sent home (ie. get back to your house and up to your room without any supper Matthew!).

Now, I won’t deny that I dislike Matt Hardy, and that I disliked him before all this started happening. Let’s face it, you only have to look back through my posts on here to see that. But for him to act so unprofessionally with petty jibes at the company that made him the star he unfortunately is (and his brother, despite numerous wellness violations) seems bad even for him. The only thing I can assume is that’s what comes from a life of never having a real job, and having thousands of people chant your name.

Of course, the story did have a happy ending: Hardy is out of my life and is now on TNA where I don’t have to see him.

VERY BRITISH NODS OF APPRECIATION go to Dolph Ziggler (@HEELZiggler) for never breaking character and seemingly only tweeting about Spongebob Squarepants and Porn Stars. Also, and I’m aware we sound like squealing fangirls here, but ZOMG IT’S @CMPUNK!!!!!! Anyone who wages a war on incorrect spelling and grammar on Twitter has my undying love and appreciation.

Ahhh, the bit of the post where I have to attempt to not sound creepy while discussing my crush on somebody I have never met. You know, if Beth hadn’t returned from injury last year, this award would definitely have gone to Kaitlyn. This shouldn’t really come as a surprise, both Ray and myself have written about how we’ve fallen for her.

Still, sorry about this Kaitlyn. I’m sure you’ll be devastated by the news that Beth has returned to reclaim her place in my affections. I’ll try not to get too weird about this, but Beth is stunning. I’ve never found muscular arms so attractive before. Fortunately for me, she also comes across as a genuinely nice person out of character. Seriously, nobody ever seems to have a bad word to say about her. Whether it’s CM Punk in an interview claiming “As far as wrestling, the one person i’ve seen work as hard if not harder than me….and come from nothing is Beth Phoenix. I’ve got much unconditional love for the glamazon. She’s been through hell and back. Twice. Nobodys better.” Or co-runner of women’s wrestling promotion SHIMMER, Allison Danger (she of the John Cena reference a bit higher up the article) who had this to say:

Best of all, and the thing that helps me justify my crush beyond simply “she’s so dreamy”? She’s a great wrestler. Not a great female wrestler, just a great wrestler. Full stop. When she came out in the Royal Rumble this year, other than the Khali kiss, she didn’t look out of place at all. When she wrestled against Santino Marella on Raw back in 2008 it didn’t seem strange at all.

SWOON

Before I end up with a restraining order I should move onto the second part of the Crush Award: MAN CRUSH OF THE YEAR which could go to quite a few people if I’m honest. I’m comfortable enough in my sexuality to accept that the likes of Claudio Castagnoli and Dolph Ziggler are pretty attractive men. But for me, my Man Crush is Ultramantis Black

This might seem a strange one. For a start he’s an evil insect overlord, not the classic traits you look for in a boyfriend. Also he’s vegan, and I love Cornish Pasties, so that wouldn’t work. But he seems so effortlessly cool. His Xmas tattoos are amazing, his taste in music is pretty impeccable, his t-shirt designs are always great (to the point where I own enough to wear one every day of the working week.)

He'll even dress up to meet your parents

Well, that’s that for now. We’ll be back with a joint post next week to list the remaining winners, and then it’s Rumble prediction time where I’ll go 3-1 up!

What?

You’re not getting a song off me…

No, seriously…

Just go…

GO!

Happy New Year!


Hello! How the devil is 2011 treating you so far? Excellent? Awful? Meh? Here at Wrestlegasm.com we’re refusing to answer that question. We’re just not quite ready to embrace a new year yet. So we’re easing ourselves in by looking back at 2010 and giving our much-coveted awards to our favourite wrestle people. OK so it’s the first year we’ve handed them out so they’re not that sought after, but they’re important to us.

We pondered holding a glittering awards ceremony full of fake grins, dazzling ladies dressed in vintage couture, gentlemen in black-tie attire, champers on tap and the kind of canapés that look like they should be behind glass at Tate Modern, but that’s just not our style.  To be truthful, we’d have been more than happy to lie around in our Christmas pyjamas and chink our mugs of tea together when we decided who was best at wrestling in 2010. But that’s no fun for anyone but us, so we’ve settled on a happy, homely medium.

The Wrestlegasm Best in Show Awards will take the form of a very British country show. There’ll be livestock parades, we’ll be judging the produce of regional vegetable growers, there will be family events in the crafts tent and an opportunity to sample locally made cheeses, cakes and ales.

Between me and you, I've got my eye on that purple cauliflower. Phwoar!

Oh yeah, and we’ll be handing out rosettes to our favourite wrestlers too. Yep, rosettes. No two-pound statue made of solid gold for us. So jump in your wellies, pull up a haystack and I’ll grab my megaphone. Incidentally, there’s only one award we disagreed on, so even though I’ll announce these first four awards, you can be sure that we discussed each category thoroughly and agreed on each winner unanimously. Let us begin……

The first foals to pass through our paddock are the newcomers; the young whippersnappers who just want you to remember their name. There was a fine crop of youngsters on the scene this year. We swayed back and forth over the thorny issue of what ‘Newcomer’ truly means, but we eventually settled on Wade Barrett.

Yes, he’s British and yes we’re very proud of him, but we genuinely couldn’t think of anyone who’d come so far or had made such a massive impact in such a short space of time in 2010. This time last year he was puttering about in FCW with nobody but the diehards able to pick him out of a police line-up.

That's him, officer. The one with freckled chest, ravishing curls and a curved nose.

But that all changed when Wade got called up to NXT and was mentored by Chris Jericho. Admittedly, his first sartorial attempts dampened our spirits, but it soon became apparent that with superb mic skills and solid wrestling ability, he was a sure-thing to win series one of NXT, which he did. Fast forward just a few months and he’s headlined Pay Per Views with John Cena, he’s lead a brood of reprobates to world (WWE) domination and has everyone watching knowing exactly what his name is. You’ve come a long way, kiddo. Enjoy that rosette. Wear it with pride.

VERY BRITISH NODS OF APPRECIATION also go to Kaitlyn and Alberto Del Rio. OK, yeah, we know that Kaitlyn isn’t the most fabulous wrestler in the Divas locker room. She needs a lot of ring time before she’ll even get close to being great. But we recognise ace comedy timing when we see it and that’s enough to get us through for the time being. And the thighs. Oh the thighs.

We really wanted to give Alberto Del Rio a rosette. He’s one of the best things to happen to Smackdown in ages, especially since CM Punk departed for pastures red. But he’s not technically a newcomer. He’s something of a legend south of the US border, so he might be a newbie in the WWE, but he’s certainly not just learning his craft . We needed to mention him though, just to say how much we love him and how much we enjoy pretending to honk our horns on our plastic steering wheel every time he drives to the ring.

JUSTLIKETHAT

Our second rosette goes to……..

This award didn’t really need much debate. CM Punk’s ability to hide the fact that he has a heart, berate his friends in public, run a dictatorship in several guises and stand in the centre of a packed arena without flinching while a 16,000-strong angry mob boo and jeer all makes him top-dog in the villain stakes.

We particularly enjoy when he breaks the hearts of the innocent and unassuming, like when he gate-crashed Miss Mysterio’s birthday party several months ago and delivered a menacing rendition of a happy birthday to the poor child. It was the stuff nightmares are made of.

But all is well. No need to hide behind your sofas and be afraid, kiddies. Dastardly as Punk is, we know that as soon as he steps out of character he’s a thoroughly lovely guy.

PROOF! By the way, that Make-a-Wish video makes me weep every time. Damn you, wrestling. Stop being nice. It makes me love you more.

And that’s what makes a great wrestling villain. You want them to be horrible people on your TV, then glorious human beings in real life. We salute you, CM Punk. Enjoy your hand-made rosette and treasure it the way Miz treasures his Blue Peter badge. I made it with own fair hands with floristry ribbon, PVA glue and glitter.

VERY BRITISH NODS OF APPRECIATION go to Wade Barrett and Claudio Castagnoli. Both displayed a significant amount of menace this year, but they didn’t quite get us to believe they would genuinely kick us in the head and smirk while they left us bleeding the way Punk would.  Maybe next year fellas.

Our third award goes to…….

We spent quite some time reminiscing over this year in wrestling, considering which storylines stood out in our memories and trying to decide whether we should choose a WWE story or something from an indie promotion. Then we had one of those Oprah lightbulb moments. There was one story which started in the WWE, seeped out into the indies, then found its way back to WWE again – the Nexus invasion story.

The first series of NXT had drawn to a close. Interspersed with half-decent matches and a handful of boys who looked like they could be real stars, they’d had to take part in silly beer-barrel carrying contests and obstacle courses which involved a pop-drinking section. They were made fools of, but hey, they were rookies. What did they expect? Then on Raw everything changed. The downtrodden newcomers invaded Raw and attacked everyone in sight. It was authentic enough to be truly shocking. How often does WWE genuinely surprise you to that jaw-dropping level?

The real story came when Daniel Bryan/Bryan Danielson was fired for choking Justin Roberts with his own tie. Nobody knew whether it was genuine or a work and it was the first time in a long time that everyone seemed to have an opinion. Andrew and I are never normally ones to jump on the rumours and lies bandwagon, but even we felt like it was big enough that we needed to comment on it.

Bryan Danielson returned to the indies a conquering hero, where he was revered for being the boy who broke the WWE. He made countless appearances in smaller promotions, including a CHIKARA show where he was showered in neck ties. We Must Eat Michigan’s Brain was actually one of the most enjoyable shows of the year for me.

Anyway, he resisted the urge to sign with TNA and as if by magic, Bryan Danielson morphed into Daniel Bryan again and made an even more triumphant return to the big-time at SummerSlam to damage the now dominant Nexus faction. Was the whole thing one very clever story? There are various opinions and one day we’ll get all the details, but either way it was certainly the most defining story of the year. If you manage to mix script and reality to the point where nobody’s sure where one ends and the other begins, that’s dynamite.

I’m going to ask Bryan to accept the rosette on behalf of everyone involved. Round of applause everyone.

The final rosette to be awarded during the first installment of this three-post event is……

I tried hard to think of someone else to take his place this year. I tried not to make it predictable and obvious. But it’s still CM Punk. We’ve had a tough ole year, me and Punk. His ever-changing appearance, particularly during those dark ‘long-beard and lucha mask’ days, really shook my faith. The whole Straight Edge Society, megalomania, shaving the heads of his followers stuff was a challenge. And when he disappeared to Raw and got injured I did a big, sad face, the likes of which I hadn’t done since the end of MasterChef.

But we got through it. He lost the hobo-beard. He got himself a lovely little haircut. (I am of the opinion that there isn’t a man alive who can’t be improved by a short-back-n-sides. Take note HHH.) Even though he was injured he did some brilliant commentary on Raw and actually made Raw cool. Then just as he started slipping into face territory, he took over the Nexus. Genius child. Never change again.

GIRL CRUSH OF THE YEAR: Layla. I do truly love Beth Phoenix and if she told me to switch teams with her, I’d be too afraid to say no. But I also love a girl who knows how to make people laugh. Layla was tasked with making Michelle McCool likeable and she succeeded. She’s the girl I’d most like to swap bodies with, she’s improved significantly in the ring and she has that kind of comic timing you just can’t learn. You either got it or you ain’t. One of my favourite things of 2010 is still when she planted a big snog on Kaval and “Took one for the teeeeeam.” Big kisses to you, dear heart.

Now, my section of this awards event is over. That’s a good thing because speaking through this megaphone for some 1500 words has been quite tiring. The next four awards will be presented by Andrew within the next week and the final ceremony will be a joint effort after that.  Before I go though, don’t think that because our awards ceremony is quaint and small-fry that we don’t have celebrity guests to provide a musical interlude like all the fancy award ceremonies. I’ve invited an old friend to sing a song I’m dedicating CM Punk. Sing along if you know the words. It’s a classic! Don’t forget to stick around after she’s done for the junior gymkhana and the pig parade. Jars of my home-pickled ginger are also available for purchase in the food tent.

(Click above for awesome tunes)

an equal opportunities crush

You may have noticed, following the first episode of the all-Diva series of NXT, that my Sidekick had something of crush on Kaitlyn. Ok, not ‘something of a crush’, it’s a giant, pulsating hubba-hubba of a crush. At that point I was still to be convinced. In fact, I did an eye-roll every time she was mentioned. Now? Cue the new Wrestlegasm-family crush. I am now fully on board the Kaitlyn Express.
Considering Kaitlyn was the understudy of NXT, waiting in the wings should serious injury, family tragedy or a sudden sacking (kerching) occur, she is having the biggest impact of any of the girls, all thanks to the fact that she’s hitched her wagon to Vickie Guerrero. That’s a metaphorical wagon, by the way. Vickie’s been compared to enough farmyard animals to last a lifetime.
Being at Vickie’s side has afforded our favourite newbie a major Pay Per View appearance, something none of the other ladies were able to secure, and some key dalliances with LayCool and Dolph Ziggler.
Assuming the NXT brand is slowly ebbing away never to be seen again, it must be quite the ego boost to be placed in the lifeboat and sailed to the safety of storylines away from the sinking HMS NXT.
If you’re not watching NXT  (I’m assuming most people aren’t) the drip-feed story that will likely end in Kaitlyn snaring Dolph and stealing him away from his sugar-mummy means that if you’re watching Smackdown, or even if you just decided to watch Night of Champions, you know who she is. And it doesn’t matter how obvious it is that the story will play out the way I expect it to. Being able to predict the end of a storyline never stopped me watching Eastenders. Although, I won’t be fully satisfied unless Vickie gives a Princess Diana-esque ‘there were three people in this relationship’ interview to Josh Matthews. What do you mean Vickie can’t do coy and unassuming?
Demure and regal. To be fair, HHH had just revealed that Edge and Alicia had been smooching during a wedding planning rendezvous in front of the viewing public.
It started during episode two of NXT when a mixed tag win with Dolph prompted this:
Followed by this:
Then at Night of Champions Kaitlyn failed to contain her concern when Dolph was flung from the ring at the hands of Kofi Kingston and was swiftly shooed away by her boss:
Although I was slightly disappointed that Dolph’s new neckwear wasn’t a fashion-related rouse to hide some of Kaitlyn’s love-bruises.
Don’t dress like that. You look like a knob. Sorry….even more of a knob than usual.
But things really started gaining momentum on this week’s Smackdown, when Kaitlyn innocently (ahem) helped Dolph back to his feet after another fall outside the ring.
As you can imagine, Vickie took umbrage with such physicality and made it known in no uncertain terms that her rookie’s heavy lifting services were not required. Kaitlyn, understandably frustrated with her older mentor’s unnecessary insecurities, pushed Vickie to the ground, turned on her strappy heels and left the arena.
Oh…
…no…
…she…
…di’ent!    (Don’t pretend you didn’t say that and wave your finger in a sassy manner.)
I genuinely want to see what Kaitlyn does next, which is a triumph considering the panning that this series of NXT has received.
Much to Andrew’s relief after swooning over her mic work and her feminine form, Ms. K does show some wrestling promise. Is she incredible? No. But then none of them are. They’re still learning. At least she appears to have some genuine athleticism. You don’t get quads like that just prancing about in pretty dresses and without a punishing squats regime. And if you can hold your own while sharing a turnbuckle with LayCool, you must be doing something right, even if that love-in did end on a sour note.
With the exception of Aksana, who is awesome because she’s in on the joke that is ‘herself’, the rest of the NXT ladies are pretty bland and forgettable. Seriously, if A.J. does one more Mickie James jump I’ll throw my slippers at the telly. If I want to see what Sarah Silverman looks like on a sugar rush, I’ve got YouTube. Oh and we’re not perturbed in the slightest by the fact that our favourite gal was first to be eliminated from the game of Musical Chairs on this week’s NXT. If we were her, we’d lose to deliberately to get the hell out of there too.