raw(lite): dare i even dream?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Heroines Wanted: Apply Within

Back in the day, when my love affair with wrestling was at its climatic peak, there were three kinds of women in the WWE/F. These were the times when, in my eyes, it could do no wrong. Every twist and turn delighted me and I overlooked even the most ludicrous storylines. Ah, memories. As I said, there were three kinds of ladies back then.

1) Girls Who Look Like Boys (The Chynas)

You remember them, right? Overdeveloped, manly, muscle machines with chins that would put Edge to shame.  They usually got to work with the guys, because physically they were evenly matched. We’ll call them The Chynas.

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2) Pretty-Girl Wrestlers (The Trishes)

The women who seem able to maintain their femininity but still manage to pull off hot-shot, eye popping wrestling moves. Like Trish Stratus. We’ll come back to Trish later.

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3) The Fluff (The Keiblers)

I doubt this category really needs any explanation, but basically the girls who look drop-dead gorgeous but have extremely limited wrestling skills. Stacey Keibler:  Hot pins, bad at pinning.

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Fast forward to today’s bizarre state of WWE affairs and one category, The Chynas, has completely disappeared. Times have changed. Vince McMahon and his production staff’s job is to make money. They seek to pinpoint the most bankable trends in popular culture and apply them to their own product. We live in a celebrity obsessed world. For women, you’re not accepted if you’re not the perfect height, the perfect weight, the perfect amount of pretty, just the right amount of sexy. If you look like this……..

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…..you’re not marketable any more. Not to men or to women. That’s why these women have slipped away from the limelight. I haven’t lost any sleep over it. It always kind of bothered me that they were the only ones who got to hang with the boys anyway. Even back in the late 90s when overdeveloped female wrestlers were the norm, they still had to battle for recognition. I’m still not convinced that Chyna would have been involved in any main eventing had it not been for her dalliance with Triple H.

The Trishes, however, have soared. They fit the current bill. Gorgeous creatures that girls want to be and boys was to do. I’m talking Beth Phoenix, Gail Kim, Natalya, Melina, Mickie James, Michelle McCool, Maryse, Maria etc. (SIDENOTE: If I change my name to something starting with an M, can I join the Trishes?). Their athleticism is awesome and I will argue all the live long day that it is equal to that of the best performing men in the company. I would kill for just an ounce of it. In some cases their fitness is probably superior to some of the male wrestlers. Women are held up to different physical standards to men. It’s alright that some of the guys have a paunch. It’s never perceived as ok for women the lose their training grip.

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The Keiblers are still there.  Occasionally it bothers me, but not that much. It would be great if every woman employed by Vince McMahon had a fantastic, athletic, in-ring presence, but not everyone is made for taking bumps. They play their roles just like everyone else. The trend seems to be to get all women in to this middle ground of beauty and athleticism. Some just excel at being beautiful but can’t pull off top moves. And that’s fine. The fact that they’re out there trying and giving it their best to entertain makes me really happy. And who could possibly hate Kelly-Kelly anyway? She’s so damn cute. She’s like a cupcake with pink frosting and a cherry on top.

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Lacey, your boyfriend's not thinking about you right now.

I don’t even mind that guys drool over them. It would be wholly hypocritical of me to be insulted by that kind of behaviour, being that I have a segment in my Smackdown recaps which charts the weekly colours and contents of CM Punk’s trunks.

So what’s my problem? My problem is that when it comes to storylines, screen time and ring time, the women of the WWE are second class citizens. This is not a feminist rant. I just want to see the ladies getting a fair crack of the whip.  They are skipped over on several Pay Per Views, they have significantly less time in the ring, bearly enough mic time for us even to know what their voices sound like and non-existent storylines. It’s disappointing and an insult to the intelligence of those us interested in more than just the fact that Maryse wants a man who takes regular showers.

I sometimes wonder if the writers don’t give the women any storylines because they don’t believe anyone would care. Nonsense. People don’t care RIGHT NOW because there are NO storylines. Everyone knows that when wrestling/sports entertainment is good, the balance between dramatics and athletics is bang on. At the moment, there are NO female storylines and a tiny blot of athletics.  It doesn’t work.

A short while ago, Trish Stratus threw a cat among the pigeons when she expressed that the WWE Women’s Division is currently disappointing and that there are too many women on the roster all round. She also suggested they should concentrate on developing just a couple of women rather than spreading things too thinly over more talent. She’s got it partially right. I do NOT think, however, that there are too many women in the division. There are just too many women without a public persona or an identity. The matches have no context.  With no context, who cares who wins and loses? They’re just pretty, sexy girls grappling with each other. The pendulum is swinging all out of whack. There’s no balance between context and action, and no balance between the investment in to the men and the women. And by investment, I’m not just refering to financial investment. I mean, time and recognition too. The Women’s Division is not taken seriously at all. That’s a real shame, because the potential for business, sporting and entertainment expansion is huge, and completely untapped.

I’m going to use the Smackdown from 8th May as an example. Teddy Long, Rey Mysterio, Chris Jericho and Jeff Hardy spent 14 and a half minutes setting up a match between Jericho and Hardy to take place at the end of Smackdown. Almost 15 minutes of a two hour show, just talking. And it was great. It was entertaining and it began preparing the ground for the PPV matches between Mysterio and Jericho, and Hardy and Edge.  The entire Hardy/Jericho match on that particular Smackdown lasted almost 20 minutes, by the way.

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On the same show Gail Kim and Michelle McCool wrestled extremely well for five minutes. But that was it. No promo, no mic time, and with no purpose.  And that was a good week.

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Later in the same show, Cryme Tyme emceed an arm wrestle between Layla and Eve Torres. Why? It had no meaning. And apparently neither woman seemed allowed to speak. Cryme Tyme spoke on their behalf. It was infuriating and utterly pointless, and it was given just as much time as the McCool/Kim match.

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Wrestlemania. The grandest stage of the them all. The highlight of the wrestling calendar. Millions of people watching around the world. And who won the Miss Wrestlemania contest? A man in a skirt and a wig with a chin strap. I get the joke. Really. I do. But what a waste. Santino Marella is a great comedian. He’s a natural. I’ve laughed with him at certain points through this whole Santina story. But seeing Beth Phoenix chasing him/her around for the past six weeks is a major let-down and a shameful waste of her talent. She is one of the most accomplished female athletes in the company and yet her skills are bearly tapped in to.

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Maybe the WWE believes that female fans wouldn’t support female superstars if they upped their profile and marketed the directly to women. There is this odd myth that all women hate each other and that ladies will only cheer for male wrestlers. That’s incorrect. Those women do exist, but I’d be unpleasantly surprised if they made up the majority. If the female fanbase really is 40% of the entire WWE Universe, give us the same role models and heels the male fans have. Build feuds. Create identities and heroines. Give us characters to look forward to seeing and discussing and supporting. There are some amazing women in the WWE. It would make my day to see little girls wearing Mickie James t-shirts. Those shirts don’t exist.  Little girls wear Jeff Hardy shirts because WWE promotes him to that market. Promote the women to women and young girls and I guarantee it will get a favourable response.  Allow young girls to see the female wrestlers succeeding in the same way and at the same level their male counterparts do and it will give them a work ethic to aspire to.

I can’t speak for any of the female talent. I don’t know them. I haven’t met them. Even if I did I highly doubt they would be so unprofessional as to air any personal grievances in front of fans. But it’s got to be frustrating for them, hasn’t it? As a woman, the lack or interest the WWE shows in its Women’s Division sometimes makes me feel like it doesn’t care about me either.  So, apart from the obvious, why should I keep coming back?

Raw(Lite): If it wasn’t for those pesky kids…..

Ok, I’m starting to think something dodgy is going on around here. First I get a horrible migraine that takes almost a week to recover from, then I get a cold, and now I’ve got an inflamed eardrum that’s retaining fluid. This is not only causing severe pain but also sending my balance off and making me feel like I’m walking on a trampoline, even on hard ground.  Has my water supply been spiked with some kind of disease? I’m starting to wonder if another blog similar to my own is trying to kill off the competition. Not pointing my finger at anyone, but you know who you are.

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Anyway, I won’t let stabbing ear pain stop me from bringing you the LOLz you’ve been waiting for, so here goes. This week’s Raw was hilarious. And yes, you guessed it, in all the wrong places. Our main event storyline was like an episode of Scooby Doo. Don’t understand? You will. Actually, let’s have a spot of music just to create the correct atmosphere for this week’s Raw……

We got started with LG introducing my robot man, Randy Orton, who has his usual two robot helpers at his side. He told the crowd they were cowards and cooed over the fact that he had put a halt to the McMahon era.  He went on to discuss the fact that Vickie G. had put a ‘no contact til Judgement Day’ ruling over Randy and Dave. But where there’s a will there’s a way and, as Randy himself said “just because we can’t touch, doesn’t mean we can’t talk!” Sounds like a tagline on a promotional poster for phone sex.

Batista decided he did want a chat and made his way to the ring. I’m surprised he didn’t just call Randy on his mobile and ask what he was wearing. No, wait, that was just me. Anyway, to Dave’s surprise, despite not being second or third generation, Randy invited him to join Legacy. Whaaaa? Dave was stunned. DiBiase decided to play his part in the recruitment drive and explained that being kicked in the head by Randy Orton pretty much saved him from a life of mediocrity. They look like those scary people who stand in the street shouting about how the Lord wants to save my soul from sin and lead me away from temptation.  Yah. Good luck with that. I just ate three Jammie Dodgers in a row, in a week where I’m supposed to be eating healthy. Temptation resistance – not my bag.

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For a brief moment I almost believed that Dave was about to jump the corporate fence and join Legacy. But then he told Randy he hated him/despised him/loathed him (delete as appropriate) and believed Randy had misunderstood the difference between Help and Hurt. YEEEAH!  LOVE IT! It looked as if they might get it on right there and then, but a big screeching EX-CUUUUUUUSE MEEEEY interrupted proceedings. It went round the houses but what eventually came out if it was that Dave had to fight the Priceless boys. If Dave won he could have Randy all to himself that night. If Ted and Cody won, it would be a 3-on-1 handicap match like last week. I think. It’s all a bit convoluted.

So that match happened and Dave was disqualified for using a chair. Silly Dave, this ain’t no hardcore match. So now he has to take on all three of Legacy. Well, you’ve only got yourself to blame, sir.

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So after that it was time for the women. Oh no. I thought Maryse couldn’t get any more annoying. WRONG! She’s even more irritating when she speaks French. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not some kind of Francophobe or anything, her Frenchness just seems to enhance my irritation. Just flick your weave and move aside, please. Jillian, her partner, was already in the ring, so we just needed an entrance from Twitter addict, Mickie James, and Regulation Hottie, Kelly-Kelly. It was all fairly low-key, Kelly-Kelly did lots of backflips, but it all kicked off when Maryse and Mickie got in the ring together. Before that Michael Cole gave us a few interesting Maryse facts – apparently she can cook, she likes Guns and Roses and she likes men who bathe regularly. Fascinating. Grab those bars of soap, boys, you’re in with a shot! Mickie did her thing, pinned Maryse for the win, looked after baby Kelly, then got straight on her iPhone and thanked all her Twitter fans for their support. Aww. Bless.

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Certainly seems that way.

Alright, you’re probably waiting for the Scooby Doo part, right? Oh, ok. Well here it is anyway. IT. WAS. AMAZING. I may even have squealed with excitement. It started a little something like this……..

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Backstage Chavo railroads Vickie in to making John Cena prove he’s not faking his injuries in a match against The Miz. HUH? We’ll see how that pans out later. King and Michael Cole got in the ring to do the hard sell for the PPV, but nobody could concentrate with Scooby Rhodes missing. The saga continued…..

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After that high-class comedy drama Carlito took on THE Brian Kendrick. Kendrick won and vowed to find himself a partner to challenge Carlito and Primo for the Tag Team Titles. So after that the Big Show galumphed to the edge of the announce table to watch John Cena take on The Miz. John, looking more like his normal self (yes, I released the real one back in to the community) saluted the crowd and fiercely entered the ring. Hi, honey! And then my heart sank. Never before has such a bitchin’ guitar riff made my nose scrunch up and my brow furrow.  Here comes The Miz.  He’s that kid you used to babysit who repeated everything you said just to piss you off. He’s the dude in college who thought being a smart-ass to the lecturer would impress the ladies. He’s the….. you get the idea.

vlcsnap-8383239 copyT-shirt (minus my adaptation) available via  palmercash.com, my fave t-shirt shop.

The match itself wasn’t that special. They both pulled out their usual, signature moves. It was odd not seeing some guy in a humbug shirt running around, the ref being Vickie Guerrero watching via video backstage. John proved that he was fit enough to wrestle, but then Vickie frighteningly appeared on the titantron and claimed that she did not believe he had a chance against Big Show.

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Huh? Excuse ME? Does that mean the match at Judgement Day is off? Or maybe it just means the end of THIS match? This whole show is getting way too confusing.  John, also feeling confused, was pounced upon by The Miz and finished off. *sigh* Oh and The Miz cleared his sinuses on John’s back too. Nice. I thought they just did that in rugby.

On to something just as confusing, some more Scooby Doo action……….

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Yikes. I hope Scooby Rhodes really does have this taken care of. Back in Vickie’s office there’s more Santina nonsense. Chavo and Vickie decided to test for boner reactions by making Rosa give him/her a good luck kiss. When the reaction was overly amorous, Santino covered it up by claiming to be a lesbian. Oh please. Come on. How long are they going to string this out? Poor Beth Phoenix. She’s the best female wrestler in the entire company and she gets caught up in this silliness.

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I wish Santino wasn’t such a successful comedian. Maybe then they’d have canned it earlier. Anyway, Beth and Santina wrestled, with Santina winning again. I get the joke, but can we please wrap it up with a bow and send it packing at Judgement Day? Grazie!

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In the back, Josh Matthews harassed a dejected John Cena for an interview on how he’s going to muster up the strength to compete at JD. John gave a lovely speech about how, in spite of his injuries and coming up against sad/bad times, he planned on doing what he does best – adapt, overcome and go out to win. “Ahhhhh”, I was thinking. “Cena’s back”. Then just as Josh tried to recap, John came back to make sure his point was clear.

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Hey-laaaa, hey-laaaa, my Cena’s back!

Back in the ring, M.V.P is hosting his first VIP Lounge segment on Raw. Not that I’ve been invited to many VIP lounges, but seems kinda lame to me. Anyway, M.V.P attempted to lure William Regal to the ring by insulting his manhood. It worked. I think last week I  might have given the impression that I don’t like Regal. Not true. In fact, I’m pretty proud that a man with a Blackpool accent (albeit a slightly posh version) is on mainstream  international TV with a load of Americans and Canadians. Good on yer, loovleh.  Back to the action…… Montel told Regal he was boring, Regal insulted Americans (but it’s soooo easy to dooooo!)  and Matt Hardy decided to throw his pouting chops in to the mix.   He was closely followed by Kofi Kingston, who began ripping at Hardy. Chavo delivered a message from Vickie which said that Kofi and M.V.P would be tag-teaming against Regal and Hardy IMM-E-DI-ATELY!

Not a bad match actually. Although Matt Hardy just looks wrong wrestling in jeans. Eveny my John bearly pulls that off. And seeing Regal wrestling properly again was nicer than I had expected. M.V.P flipped Regal and pinned him for the win. Kingston and M.V.P? Future Tag Teamers? Maybe? Probably not. They have too much going for themselves individually. They look cute together though. Like Andre Agassi and Steffi Graf on Inside Sport.

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Ok, so, with Scooby Rhodes and Shaggy DiBiase taken out of action by The Animal in the haunted arena, Orton had no choice but to try and unmask the evil fairground owner by himself.  You’re keeping up with this analogy, right? I actually just realised that my title doesn’t correlate with what happened at the end of Raw. Oh well, too late now.  Batista ripped Randy to shreds and even the late appearance from Ted and Cody couldn’t save him. So, he kinda DID get away with it, DESPITE those pesky kids. I really should have thought it though. Nevermind. You still love me, yeah? Good. Phew!

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See you after Smackdown, lovelies.

Raw(lite): win and you’re in

A change, Sheryl Crow said, does us good. Although, if you listen to the rest of the lyrics from that song I think she may have been wasted when she wrote it. Anyway, yes, change. Instead of the usual 15 minute superstar/GM sermon to kick off Raw this week, we went straight in to a match. Randy and Shane to be precise. Well, we’ve seen them in the ring together so much lately, it’s not like we needed an introduction anyway.

There seems to be a lot of  ‘let’s run in to the crowd to get them all fired up’ of late. Shane and Randy participated in this too. You have to feel for the arena staff when this happens. There they are, thinking they’ll have an easy night, then all of a sudden they have thousands of lunatics all trying to grab a swab of Randy’s perspiration to sell on ebay.

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After the crowd surfing, Shane splayed Randy across the announce table and set himself up for a leap from the top rope. But hold on, no Orton/McMahon match is complete without its supporting cast, so here come Rhodes and DiBiase to rescue Randy. The three furr-less wolves surround Shane and begin ripping him apart. Hark, I do believe that’s the cue for another member of the chorus to appear. Here comes M.V.P to save Shane from a wolf attack.  Hark again, the numbers are still uneven and two members of Team Corporate are in distress. *BING-BONG* Paging Dr. Batista-Paging Dr. Batista – you have an emergency in the ring. Please proceed immediately.

Dr. Dave answered his page and the beginning of Raw began to resemble utter carnage. Mummy Guerrero had to put a stop to this foolishness. You naughty boys, you.  She calmed things down by announcing that if the cavalry wanted to be involved in the second Orton/Shane match that night, they’d have to earn it. Dave had to take on DiBiase and M.V.P had to go against Cody Rhodes. If they win, they’re in.  An explosive start to Monday Night Raw INDEED, Michael Cole.

Quick fashion moment, courtesy of Gok Wan. If you’re short, like Mrs. G (and me) avoid T-Bar and ankle strap heels with a skirt. They cut the leg off too early and make you look even shorter. Try a nice open pump instead. They lengthen the leg.

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Back in the ring, Matt Hardy (still bleating about his metacarpals) is up against Kofi Kingston. Apparently he’s filed a formal complaint with the appropriate authorities about having to fight while injured. What? Vince allowed them to form a union? Isn’t that, like, a human right or something? Whoa!

It wasn’t much of a match. I mean, how interesting can it be with one of them being one-handed. Actually, it was more interesting listening to Cole and Lawler trying to talk about wanking without letting on to the kids they were talking about wanking. What ELSE can’t you do with your right hand in a cast? Hee-hee-hee. Juveniles. Kofi Kingston won, but Hardy used his cast to knock him out after the match had ended.

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Behind the curtain, Santino Marella is telling the obligatory Oink Flu joke to KellyX2 and then to Chavo. I tried not to laugh. Really, I did. But I couldn’t help myself. Sometimes I hate myself for loving you, WWE.

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After another Backlash recap relating to my John and Big Show, we head back behind the curtain again where Big Show is moaning to Vickie about getting a match against John Cena at Judgement Day.  She obliges and we scoot across to M.V.P, who is preparing for his match against Cody Rhodes while being mauled by the Bella Twins. Rhodes is already in the ring, and William Regal returns to the floor in the commentary seat.

Oh dear, William Regal, why must you be such an irritating nutter?And just for the record, not all British people are clueless to the phrase ‘Ballin’. Stop playing the dumb Brit, Regal. The Rhodes/M.V.P match was rolling along well but then, in an act of desperation, William Regal began offering himself as a tag partner to Cody Rhodes. When the offer was turned down he interfered anyway and tripped M.V.P, leaving Rhodes to win by count-out.  So that gives M.V.P a nice little feud with Regal for JD.

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Soooo, following that Jerry ‘The King’ Lawler introduced a sing-off to rival Smackdown’s  horrible dance-off last week. What? WHAT? Seriously, Raw, that was one of the weakest parts of Smackdown. You could have skipped Jillian and Festus crooning it out .  As it happened, my dad arrived just as this was going on. I dare you to try and defend this shit when a non-wrestling person is watching it with you. My heart broke trying to come up with something to justify it. But at least it had a modicum of comedy value.

And just to wind me up even more, all that tom-foolery was followed by a visit from The Miz. I can feel my blood pressure rising already….and not in a really pleasurable CM Punk way either. His adventures in arrogance continued as he challenged John Cena, once again to take him on. Puh-lease. John couldn’t handle it any more and came out to shut this child up. I should point out that the person you saw coming out to the ring was NOT the real John Cena. It was a life-sized action figure fashioned from resin and a skin-like silicone substance. That’s why he was walking in that awkward manner and that’s why he couldn’t defend himself when Big Show attacked. There’s only so much you can make an action figure do. Trust me, I’ve tried.

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The real John Cena is crashing at my place while he recuperates. He’s not an easy patient to take care of.  He wants to get back in the ring so he can do some damage to the Big Show. But I’ve reminded him that he’s gotta take it easy. He can have his revenge at Judgement Day. Until then I’ll continue applying calamine lotion to his burns, will carry on changing his bandages at regular intervals and will keep bringing him miniature animals to cuddle. They cheer him up, even though he still looks a bit sad in this one.

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Sooooo, back in the realms of reality, Jared the Subway Guy is announcing the Mickie James/Maryse match.  HUH? Oh, Subway is the sponsor. Ok. You know, sometimes I’m really glad I know a little bit about America, or Jared would have gone straight over my head. Anyway, This was a really solid match. I love when they give the women a few minutes just to wrestle. No gimmicks, no silliness, no…errr…..lady-boys? Just some proper wrestling. Mickie James made a flying leap at Maryse’s face and pinned her for the win.

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Back to the boys and Batista is taking on Ted DiBiase for an opportunity to join their personal leader in the final match of the night. It was looking like Dave had the upper hand being that, ya know, he’s twice Ted’s size and all.  He had him in the corner of the ring….almost looking like he was trying to angrily hump him. But then he got a bit over-excited and was disqualified. NO, not THAT kind of over-excited. Don’t be filthy! Uh-oh. It’s looking like Shane is going to be outnumbered in the ring. DOH!

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Carlito beat ‘The’ Brian Kendrick (well if Lillian can do it, so can I) and we’re at our main event of the night – Shane versus ALL of Legacy. Ooh. Bummer.  Shane was psyching himself up in the hallway when Dave came to apologise for leaving him all on his lonesome. There may have been more to the conversation but the giant, pulsating vein running up Dave’s arm demanded my attention. Kind of like when you’re talking to a guy wearing an awful toupee and all you can think about is the mop of horse mane slapped on their bonce.What did he do….swallow a pack of Gummi Worms the wrong way? Eeek.

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Down in the arena, Team Cyborg are making their way to the ring.  There is no purpose for this next picture other than to admire Randy Orton’s thighs. You could crack walnuts with those thighs. Actually, you could even crack Brazil nuts….and they’re the bitchiest of all the nuts to crack. Even my Dad commented on the fact that Randy’s got “very impressive quads”.  And he works in medicine and sports, so he knows his muscle groups.

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This match reminds of the episode of Friends where Monica’s boyfriend Pete (the millionaire businessman) decides he wants to become a UFC fighter, just for the hell of it. (Click here for the clip).  In theory, Shane should end up looking like this…….

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But we all know that the WWE isn’t like real life. In fact, it isn’t even as real as Friends…and that’s about as big a fantasy as it gets. Shane held his own pretty well considering it was a three against one handicap match. But it all started going wrong when Shane tried to put Randy through the announce table for the second time that night and missed by a mile, injuring himself in the process.

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From then on in it was downhill for Shaney-boy. Not only did his right ankle fall victim to a ‘steel’ chair, it then fell victim to dun-dun-duuuun…. the ‘steel’ stairs. At this point the officials decided Shane had received enough punishment and separated Legacy from their prey.  It was looking like it was all over when Dr. Dave answered his pager again and ran in to rescue the boss. Legacy got down low and scuttled away like the pack of smooth-skinned dogs they are. Batista beat himself up for not being there to protect Shane O’Mac. Popping veins ahoy! Poor ole Shane was wheeled out on a gurney and Chief-Robot-Randy reminded Dave that his JD was coming. And I don’t mean he was gonna mix him a Lynchburg Lemonade. I believe I just lost my heart to a nutcracking robot.

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Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m off to watch Smackdown in bed with a box of tissues. BECAUSE I’VE GOT A COOOLD. I swear, your minds practically LIVE in the gutter.

Raw(lite): partie une – d’introductions

This is actually the second time I’ve written this post. I had almost finished it when my laptop decided to throw a wobbler. Once it rebooted only a small portion of what I had written had saved. I was CRUSHED. And, oh dear, two recaps to write before the next Raw. Whoops. Time hates me. And huge thanks to the universe for giving me a full-power migraine last night, scuppering my writing plans. I had flickering lights and everything. It was disco-time in my head. Anyway, I am now making a recovery so I’ll make an attempt at recapping Raw (for the second time) and will try to remember all the hilarious jokes I cracked first time around. You can’t just summon up that kind of spontaneity, ya know. I’m an artist.

With Backlash out of the way this week’s Raw and Smackdown were an opportunity to move on, start afresh and introduce old faces to new brands. It really was a week for introductions, and it felt like stepping outside on a beautiful Spring day and filling my lungs with fragrant, clean air. And how often can you really mention the words ‘wrestling’ and ‘fragrant’ in the same sentence?

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Raw kicked off with Mouth-Almighty (Vickie Guerrero) in the ring, sporting some new hair extensions.  She introduced Randy Orton, who did the robot and made his way to the ring, flanked by Tweedle-Dee and Tweedle-Dum. Gotta be honest, I thought he milked the entrance a bit, but hey, I’d rather that than Triple H.

Randy swelled his own ego with a rousing speech of hatred. I think maybe the management realised that we’ve become quite fond of Randy in recent weeks and we needed to hate him again.  What better way to make someone hate you than batter their self-esteem.  Apparently, those of us in our twenties and younger hope for big things, huge success, we have big dreams, but in the end the odds are we will amount to nothing. YYYYYYYAAAAWCH! Randy, why you hurt me like that? What have I done to you? See, now I just wanna prove you wrong. And the outlook is in even bleaker for people in the thirties and older. Chances are they already ARE nothing. :( But as long as Randy is a success, that’s all that matters, right? Hate him enough now, do ya? Yeah, me too. BOOOOOOO! Mission accomplished, writing team.

Vickie fawned all over Randy like a giddy teenager and went on to announce that the winner of the Big Show/Batista match that night would be number one contender for Randy’s belt at Judgement Day.

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We were then reminded that we, fans and fellow supa-stahs, were obliged to respect Mr. Orton’s achievements.  But then he was conveniently interrupted by some tick-tocking. M.V.P. When he came out I was thinking ‘meh’. By the time he left, I was a fan. I’m such a sucka. I play right in to Vince’s hands every time. So, a challenger for Randy Orton. Cool. DiBiase stepped up and encouraged Montel to leave while he had the chance. And his response…. “Break yo-self, lackie, Randy didn’t give you permission to speak. So I ain’t going nowhere. Dig this Randy, I don’t have a couple of Abercrombie and Fitch models to do my talking for me. “ YEEEEEEAH! Sorry, but you know I couldn’t resist this.

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M.V.P offered himself up on a plate to Randy, Cody whined, Randy whispered sweet nothings in Vickie’s ear, she confirmed that Randy and Montel would get it on on Raw that night….and no, Vickie still can’t pronounce Orton. Enunciate, baby.

First match of the night was Brian Kendrick vs Kofi Kingston. That’s right, I left out the ‘THE’, what are YOU gonna do about it, doll-face-ache? Pretty decent match.  I like Kingston. I’m looking forward to a couple of years from now when he will be main-eventing. Yes, King, it is exciting to watch Kofi Kingston.  He pinned Kendrick FTW.  After a recap of John Cena’s dive in to a 7000w searchlight (oh, that’s what it was), we take a trip backstage with Vickie and Big Show. Don’t pretend you didn’t say EEEWWWWW! in your head.

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It may very well get awful lonely on Monday nights, but I’d rather be lonely every night than, ya know.  Good call, Vickie. Professional was definitely the way to go.

From the slightly ridicuous to the absolutely abominable. SantinA Marella, Kelly-Kelly, Brie Bella and Mickie James Vs Beth Phoenix, Rosa Mendes, Jillian and Maryse. You know what? At some point, when I have a little more time, I’m going to break the habit of a lifetime and do a serious post about the women of the WWE. And unlike the ladies, it won’t be pretty. It’s getting to the stage where I almost can’t stand it any more. The whole ‘match’ was gross. This pretty much sums it up. Bleurgh!

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And just to make up a hatrick of silliness, Matt Hardy solemnly walked to the ring, cradling his broken hand and branding his brother a barbarian. Ooh so many B’s.  Apparently he ‘suffered a brutal break to his second metacarpal’.  Mmmm, medical terminology. Yum. I loves me some doctor speak. According to my deductions (meaning I asked my Dad) you would not be wrapped in a large arm cast for a broken metacarpal unless the fracture had travelled down the finger in to the hand.  He certainly wouldn’t be able to wiggle his digits so freely. Trust me, I know.  I broke my fingers during a particularly….err…passionate game of netball in high school. But whatever. I just remembered none of this is real anyway.

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Goldust appeared, looking more and more like his father every day, to fight a one-handed Matt Hardy under duress. Check out those golden jowls.  Matt, somehow, pinned Goldust and left the ring pulling ‘Oww, it hurts’ faces.

Time for a real match. Randy Orton and M.V.P.  This turned out to be a great match. No, really.  Their styles seemed to compliment each other and I was really getting in to the actual wrestling. Cheering, gasping, punching my fist for M.V.P. But then just as I was starting to enjoy the end of the Orton/McMahon debacle,  this happened (skip to 1m 55s)……

Bloody hell! Why d’you have to go and spoil it? UUUUUURRRGH! Shane, get back to boardroom and do what you’re paid to do. The party’s over. Let the talent do the wrestling. I beg of you. You can stop impressing your Dad now.

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Next up, The Miz. Google his name and he’ll have more hits than any one of us. Oh, and apparently Lauren Conrad, Paris Hilton and The Duff Sisters are in his phone and don’t know who the hell I am. I’m DEVASTATED. It’s my life’s ambition to receive a text message from Paris telling me that something is HAAAAT. Errrrrm, no. God, I know this guy is SUPPOSED to be annoying. I know he’s MEANT to make me wanna flip him the bird, but damn, it worked.

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All up in my face, challenging John Cena after he’s been thrown through glass and belittling his movies. Yawch. Ok, maybe he can have that one. But still, URGH! And where do you get off picking on Lillian Garcia? She sings the national anthem and announces everyone’s stats. WTF did she do to you, jackass? I SO want Lillian’s job, by the way. Although, I doubt I’d be able to keep my cool announcing certain people to ring.

Thankfully, this irritating segment was followed by a flick through the photo album from the recent WWE tour of Europe. It’s highly probable that I squealed a high pitched WHEEEEEEE when this came on the screen.

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Ha. That’s where I’m from. And they were in my town. Yey. And they’ve actually got my town’s name on Raw. Ha. Wait. That’s John Cena in one of those pictures. I didn’t know he was in town. I thought it was just the mid-carders. Shit. I missed John.  Well now I’m just depressed. Thanks, Raw. Thanks a lot. Just give me another match to cheer me up. Oh, Tag-Team stuff. I’m feeling too blue to talk about that, so just know that Carlito and Primo beat Jamie Noble and Chavo when Carlito pinned Noble.

I need something to make me smile again. Ah-ha, here we go. Dave Batista about to cry. Result! Little Josh Matthews went up to big Dave Batista and asked him if he felt responsible for Triple H’s loss at Backlash. Brave, Matthews. Very brave. I like your moxy. Dave did a weepy piece to camera about how he felt Hunter’s pain and would hurt Randy Orton on his behalf. Ok, I’m back. Me smiley again.

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But then Vickie Guerrero made a meal of announcing that next week’s Raw would include a match between Shane McMahon and Randy Orton. Excuse me while I choke on my own metacarpals. Something NOT to look forward to.  That news almost spoilt Dave’s match with Big Show completely for me. If it wasn’t for the fact that Dave’s trunks started riding up fairly early on and he didn’t feel inclined to re-position them, I would have turned off early.

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By the way, David, I TOTALLY blame you for Ricky Hatton’s loss against Manny Pacquiao last night. I fully believe that if you hadn’t escorted Manny to the ring and worked some kind of voodoo on my Ricky, he definitely would have won.

In a pleasurable twist, John Cena (remarkably uncut by all that glass) stumbled his way to the ramp, distracted Big Show, costing him not only the match, but also the opportunity to fight for some bling at Judgement Day. Oh John, I can always rely on you to be my hero and cheer me up the end of a bad day. Well, he DOES love me. He said so publicly last week on Superstars. Ah, I feel better now. Time to go recap some Smackdown.