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!

GUEST POST WEEK: superfan friday- part two

[Never let it be said that we here at Wrestlegasm.com are not a forum for discussion. After my (allegedly) interminable and indefensible insulting insinuations regarding the talent and appeal of a certain member of the Smackdown roster, we received an email from a reader named Brandi asking for a chance to challenge my opinion. While I would have happily deleted said email and continued to criticise him at my leisure, unfortunately the "Boss" in Boss Lady Ray isn't simply an honorofic and she demanded that we allow Brandi her right of reply - Andrew]

I first saw Matthew Moore Hardy in 5th Grade when he broked into Raw and attacked Edge backstage for fooling around with his skank Lita and I was instantly in love. Matt looked so hot and dangerous and that was it, why did Lita pick stupid Edge over Matt anyway she must be stupid.

Matt was in a team with his baby brother Jeffrey “Jeff” Nero Hardy AKA The Charismatic Enigma AKA Team Xtreme and they were the best tag team of ever all time winning Tag Team Titles and they used to have Lita in their team but they got rid of her because she was a ho and wanted to marry Kane and have his baby!

Anyway she didn’t have his baby because of Snitsky but it WASN’T HIS FAULT – LOL!!! so she went with Edge and was even more of a ho so Matt came back and hit him and I saw that as I said at the beginning. Matt also was Matt Hardy: V1 which is short for Hatt Hardy: Version 1 which is a computer reference  I learnt and when he was Matt Hardy: V1 he was followed by Shannon Moore who was the Prince of Punk and is in Total Nonstop Action Wrestling now.

When he was Matt Hardy: Version 1 he also did a lot of Matt Facts so all of the fans that he called followers of Mattitude could know even more about our idol. These Matt Facts were like Matt Hardy’s bedtime is 4 am Matt likes english muffins (Layla LOL!!!) Matt only drinks lowfat chocolate milk Matt Strongly Dislikes Mustard Matt’s pants are a size 34 in the waist Matt is miserable when dieting Matt sleeps in the nude (ZOMG!!!) Matt lost his virginity at age 17 (I’m 17!) Matt occasionally cheats on his diet. There are too many to type here (my wrists are sore now ROFL) but they are all at Ron’s WWE Site here .

Here are some handy hints that I read when I wanted to be a better Hardy fan

1. Learn about Jeff and Matt  Hardy. You can’t be a true fan if you don’t know who they are. In addition to Wikipedia you can search with Google for more information on them. Always be safe on the Internet. (Good advice, the internet is dangerous with pedos and terrorists and there is lots of information about Matthew and Jeff although I have told you all the good things now – LOL!!!)

2. Convince your friends that they are the best. (Like I am doing now with you guyz LOL!!!)

3. Read all the books on them even if you don’t like reading because if you are really their fans it won’t matter if you don’t like to read it’s on them and there life so it should interest you. (I *hate* reading sooooo much but I read The Hardy Boys: Exist 2 Inspire in one go and it is dedicated to our mother in heaven and our father on earth because their mom is dead :( but their dad is alive)

If you follow these facts and watch all of Matt’s videos for his fans on youtube and follow all his tweets on TWITTER.COM/MATTHARDYBRAND and reply to him with drawings of him you can be a big Hardy fan (but not as big as me LOL!!!)

In the words of the Sensei of Mattitude, the Angelic Diablo, Matthew Moore Hardy thank you so very much for reading and thank you to Ray for letting me say how much I love Matt Hardy and screw you to Andrew for being so stupid and not seeing how awesome he is

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.

aehtgtsfst

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”!!!!

mhbucmp

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.

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.

ihyihym

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!

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?

raw(lite): hubcaps for frisbees

It’s 2am on a Tuesday morning. What was I doing? Pretending to sleep. What was Birmingham, Alabama doing? Cheering at Monday Night Raw. Randy Orton is in the ring, his foot-soldiers are firmly by his side and the steel cage has been lowered around the ring. Let’s get cracking.

The tormentor of Mexican reporters everywhere explained once again how he planned on dealing with big Dave Batista at Extreme Rules. Tactics will include grinding Dave’s face against the metal (ouch), slamming the cage door in to his face (yaaawch) and running him face first, no, HEAD first in to every side of the cage over, and over and over again. Say over-and-over again for me, Randy.

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Randy went on to inform us, and Dave, that he’d arranged with Vickie Guerrero that there would be  a steel cage match that night. He flipped a coin to decide whether Batista had to face Cody or Ted. Cody’s up. Despite looking terrified at first, he remembered he had to live up to his daddy’s cage match reputation and sucked up his angst.  Randy verbally patted him on the head and told him everything was going to be ok. Then he gave us a demonstration on how to walk through a door. Where has this man BEEN all my life?  He began wrapping up the promo but just as he raised the belt in to the air, someone decided they had something to say.

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Yes, there were 13 WOOOOOs and 15 PUNKs in Ric Flair’s response to Randy’s promo. I counted. Randy reminded Ric that he was retired and was not legally permitted to take part in any in-ring fight or his pension fund may be jeopardised. But Ric didn’t want any old in-ring wrestling match. Oh noes, he wanted a car park brawl. (That’s a ‘Parking Lot Brawl’ for any Americans reading). Randy accepted and warned Ric that his days were numbered.  Cody, you’re up, buddy!

The personnel dispersed and Dave Batista joined little Cody in the ring. Cody clung to the turnbuckle as The (caged) Animal smirked right in his face. Being half Dave’s size, Cody Rhodes was struggling. Randy came out cage-side to see if he could put a little pep in Cody’s step, but even his posturing, grimacing and general clawing at the steel couldn’t save his little puppy. Naaaw! Bless.

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Time for something really silly over in Vickie’s office. Big Show was bleating to Chavo and Vickie about the fact that he’d been paired up with chief prick, The Miz, against John Cena and a currently unnamed partner. They convinced him that all would be well and decided it would be a good time to draw a name from a pair of velvet wrestle trunks to see who John’s partner would be. By some amazing fluke, the name drawn was Chavo Guerrero. Wow! Whodda thunk it?

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By the way, has anyone noticed Vickie’s fabulous taste in aesthetics? There’s nothing like a Van Gogh street scene and black leather seating to give that sophisticated air of….oh, I dunno….. dentist’s waiting room.

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From one lady to another, Kelly-Kelly bounced her way to the ring and this dude made a proposal with his fan-sign.

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Thank God he chose to paint an engagement ring and not a different kind of ring, or Linda McMahon might have had to explain away another awkward mess.  By the way, man, nice penmanship and all, but I don’t fancy your chances. I mean, LOOK at her!!! Mickie James joined Kelly in the ring and she was closely followed by their opponents, Beth Phoenix and Maryse. Rosa Mendes floated around in some leather trousers so she could distract the ref at an opportune moment. It was all over disappointingly quickly and ended with Maryse sticking a DDT on Kelly, pinning her for the win. Look at Rosa. Remember when you were in high school and there was always a pipsqueak girl who wanted to be in your group of friends, despite the fact that everyone left her out of everything in the hope she’d just go away? Rosa is that girl.

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Next up, Carlito and Primo were taking on Matt Hardy and William Regal for the tag-team belts. YAAAAWN. Matt used his arm cast to try and take out Carlito but slipped and whacked his own partner instead. Own-goal, I believe. Regal dropped and Carlito capitalised with a pin to keep hold of the belts.

This was spotted…………….

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and the camera moved back to the ring post haste. Ssshhh, if we don’t about him everyone will just forget.

For the third week running Ric Flair, who was pacing up and down the car park looking for hubcaps to frisbee at Orton’s head, had a verbal altercation with his fave beefcake, Batista. Ric explained how much he missed being the Nature Boy (I’ll be taking about that all serious-like in a near future post) and told Dave if he called him ‘The Man’ once more he’d vomit. Now THAT would be a show. Go on, Dave. Say it! After an emotive speech, Ric managed to convince Dave that brawling with a man half his age was totally do-able and asked him not to be a hero and rescue him from the evil clutches of Randy Orton. Gotta be honest, I wouldn’t want anyone to rescue me from the grope grip of Randy Orton either.

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It’s been a while since we’ve seen a Man-Hug moment. The boys have been reather un-huggy of late, so huge thanks to Dave and Ric for enabling  me to resurrect this bit.

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Back over in Vickie’s sophisticated office Regal and Matt Hardy informed her that they have arranged a match between her and SantinO Marella for that night. Vickie went all mentalist and started yelling in Spanish, which she only does when she’s REALLY freakin’ out. But it was ok, the guys had a plan to make it work, which Matt whispered in Vickie’s ear. She seemed whole-heartedly on board.

Finally back in the ring and it’s time for The Miz to do his annoying pre-match gamble about how he’s what, like, 347-0 against John Cena or something? He informed us that John’s supposed penchant for corporate selling-out put him in the same category as Spongebob, The Jonas Brothers and Hannah Montana. Ok, so Spongebob is silly and The Jonas Brothers are far too miserable looking to be pop stars, but what’s wrong with Miley? To quote Britney, and God knows I never thought I’d say THAT, she’s NOT.THAT. INN-O-CE-ENT! Do a Google image search for Miley Cyrus. You’ll see what I mean.

And look, she’s a wrestling fan too…….

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I have no words.

Let’s try and forget that image and talk about the match….. It was fine. You know. Not blow your brains out brilliant, not absolutely awful either. John was not looking too healthy and The Miz wanted him, not LITERALLY, I mean he wanted the pinfall himself. But Big Show wanted in too and tried to persuade The Miz to tag him back in. But it was no dice, and when The Miz turned to go and throw himself at JC, Big Show swung his ginormous fist at The Miz to clear the way.

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With The Miz out cold Chavo leaped in to the ring and pinned him for the win. The crowd went nuts for Chavo who, in his role as Vickie’s sycophantic nephew, doesn’t get much of a chance at big-time matches these days.

John was none too pleased that Chavo had stolen his pin and slammed him in to the mat. There was a further tussle between John and BS which left John unconscious too. When does this Big Show/John Cena storyline end again? Whenever it is, make it snappy! PLEASE!

Fresh from the senior prom, MVP was preparing to face Kofi Kingston to hold on to the United States Championship. It began with a polite meeting of the mutual appreciation society, but soon dissolved in to a slanging match and then an AWESOME wrestling match.

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I wasn’t sure where it was all going at first. I was wondering why everyone on the interwebz were so excited by it when I got up on Tuesday morning. The crowd were seated and silent. But as it progressed it really did turn out to be fantastic.

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Yep, we have a new United States champion.  Congratulations, sir. I feel like I want to reward Kofi with something. Because, you know, winning the match, the belt and the title just isn’t enough. He doesn’t fall in to my swoon worthy gentlemen category, but what the hell…………….

Play it and do some chair dancing for the remainder of this post. Wind ya waaaist, people.

From a great match to a great mess. William Regal and Matt Hardy’s evil plan to take out Santino Marella was about to come to fruition. I won’t bore you with the details. It was physically and emotionally painful to watch. Who knows what complete and utter tripe they’ll churn out at the PPV tomorrow night. Just know that the match ended like this.

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Looks like Batista defied Flair one more time and called him ‘The Man’ again. Well, Ric DID promise he’d vomit if he did it again. Speaking of Flair, his Fight to the Finish was about to kick off in the car park. (See what I did there?)

Ok, so it started with a game of Hide & Seek. Off screen, Randy had already stood in the corner with his eyes covered and counted to 100.  Ric had scuttled off to hide.

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Anyway, let’s be honest, the fight didn’t set me on fire. We all know Ric Flair isn’t supposed to be doing this stuff. But I would like to thank him for ripping the chest area of Randy’s shirt open. It made up for the nonsense. Wait, is that one of the $45 Top Rope t-shirts? It seemed to rip open awfully easily. I won’t be wasting my money buying one THOSE then . Shoddy products or set-up to rip when Flair touched it? The decision is yours.

And then, because people paid good money to see a main event, they shuffled their way in to the arena. By the time they made it to the ramp, the oldest player in the game was not looking too clever. Randy had full command. The King said “Right now, this is especially difficult to watch.” Not really, Jerry. It’s actually hilarious to watch. Randy finally ripped off the scraps of fabric hanging from his arms and got back to work. But as Flair looked like he was finished for all time, he did a bit of a mule kick and caught Randy in the knackers. Obviously, being a girl, I have no idea how painful this is, but I did grab at my crotch in sympathy. And I have it on good authority that it’s the most painful thing a man can experience. So you have that and we have childbirth.

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Back to the match and Randy’s manhood was still causing him some trouble, giving Ric the opportunity to capitalise.  There seemed to be a lot of blood, but it could have been jam or ketchup or hot chili sauce from when they collapsed in to the refreshments table in the car park.

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Flair put Randy in a figure-4 and the rest of Legacy came to the rescue. They dragged him in to the steel cage which, by some coincidence, had been lowered back over the ring. They were meant to have some fisticuffs in the car park, right?  This was not an official match, right? Ha. It ended up with Ric and Randy locked in the cage with Dave watching on in despair.  Even if he could get in, he made a promise not to be a hero and save him. Poor Dave. He was just trying to protect his pal from some serious geriatric abuse.

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Randy did his “My IED is kicking in now” face and Batista shouted through the barricade that he was going to break Randy in half. If he did break him in half, which half would I want to keep? Tricky. Both are impressive. Oh well, it’s not going to happen anyway.

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Shall we have some Smackdown next, folks?

scripted reality: why wrestling and the hills are more alike than you think

I know what you’re thinking. Wrestling is a semi-sport where beefy people beat each other up, self-harm for audience entertainment and perspire inelegantly in PVC trunks. The Hills is a TV show about a group of flouncy, LA rich kids who insist that we share in every sordid detail of their privileged lives. They cannot possibly be connected.

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But, the WWE and The Hills are more alike than you might think.  On Tuesday, I was catching up on all the latest WWE gossip at PWTorch.com when I came across a story about former WWE Diva, Torrie Wilson, appearing on the American version of I’m a Celebrity Get Me Out of Here alongside Spencer Pratt from The Hills. Being in the UK, I don’t have access to this show. Even if I did I doubt I’d watch it. I can bearly bring myself to watch the British version, mainly because they choose celebs so obscure I don’t know who they are. And that’s saying something because I’m quite obsessed with popular culture.

So, apparently Spencer had been upsetting all his fellow contestants in the jungle basecamp and had started a fierce squabble with Torrie Wilson. If I remember correctly it involved an unfounded allegation of steroid use. The PWTorch article also asked readers to identify which heel wrestler Spencer reminded them of.  I got to thinking, the similarities between WWE and The Hills really are striking. I can tell you need a little convincing, so let me elaborate.

Both the WWE and The Hills produce television which, on the surface, appears to be real. But when you apply some logic to them neither are entirely truthful or natural.  We know that when someone gets kicked in the head in wrestling, it isn’t a full force kick. Like when Randy Orton kicked Ric Flair in the skull on Raw this week. We KNOW the kick was just a scuff of the skin rather than a huge crack.  And that’s ok. We suspend our grasp of reality and get lost in the story for the duration of the show. We buy in to characters that are half real, half an exaggeration of their actual personalities. We go along with scripted storylines, we cheer and boo at heroes and villains, and we anticipate what might happen to those characters the following week.

The Hills is much the same. Yes, the people the show follows are real people. But the reality we see on the screen is a distorted, skewed and slightly manufactured version of reality. Whenever you see Lauren  meeting with Brody for lunch, they have mic-packs clipped to their jeans. They may have arranged to meet for lunch in advance, but before they could sit down to that meal, a production team has wired them up and has  set cameras up across the street to capture their conversation. It’s real, but far from natural.

The Hills also has its fair share of heroes and villains. Those of us who are fans of the show like nothing better than discussing how flaky Justin is and how Audrina is just so silly for returning to him over and over again. And when they play the “Coming up next on The Hills…..” clip at the end of every show, we almost can’t stand the seven day wait to find out what happens next in the lives of our favourite “characters”.

Also, both shows are aspirational. I have made no secret of the fact that I’d sell a kidney to look and move like Michelle McCool. I’m sure there are men who watch Randy Orton, John Cena and CM Punk and feel the same way.  Despite knowing the lives of professional wrestlers are short, painful and emotionally draining, many fans still secretly aspire to that lofty level of audience adoration.

When watching The Hills, that laid-back, wealthy, fashionable, cool lifestyle is certainly aspirational. Be honest, if you’re a woman who watches The Hills, you’ve probably secretly imagined yourself living Lauren Conrad’s life, despite knowing full well that what we see on screen is just a tiny, exciting snapshot of her actual life. After watching an espisode of The Hills I find myself thinking in their rhythm of speaking. You know what I mean. That “I know, riiiiight? Ok, so, I called Doug last night and you TOTALLY won’t believe what he said to me. Like, for real, OH MY GOD he was so mean to me.” I can’t lie, when I’ve been watching a really amazing episode of Raw (rare at the moment, I know, but still) I get a little spring in my step. I feel a bit feistier. Like I’ve got fire in my belly. It rubs off on me.

So you see, even though it seems unlikely, the ‘it’s real, but it’s not’ formula applies to two entirely unconnected TV entities and makes them bedfellows. Now, with the serious media analysis over (ha, I’m just SOOO academic), time for something a little more light-hearted to finish. PWTorch asked us to assign Spencer Pratt to a WWE heel, right? So let’s do a quick run-through of the cast to see what we can come up with. If you are familiar with The Hills, feel free to disagree with my choices and suggest alternatives. This would be a whole lot easier if the women of the WWE were given more time to develop public personas, but I covered that already in an earlier post. Let’s see what we have here……….

LAUREN

Strong, dependable, and fun. The kind of girl you want to be best friends with.

lc

She is …….

mj

Mickie James

——————————————–

HEIDI

Naive, headstrong, misses the joke sometimes and can’t do what she knows is for her own good.

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She is……

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Maria

——————————————–

STEPHANIE

Seems like she’s your friend but not always trustworthy. Watch your back.

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She is……

maryse

Maryse

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AUDRINA

A beautiful girl who you’d love to be friends with, but she has questionable taste in men.

Audrina-Patridge

She is…….

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Michelle McCool

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LO

Kind of a background friend. Not the first person you think of but always there in a crisis.

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She is…….

afox

Alicia Fox

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SPENCER

A complete and utter prick who most people would like to punch in the eye.

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He is…….

Untitled-1

The Miz

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BRODY

Charismatic, always around when needed but a little shady when it comes to the ladies.

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He is…..

Untitled-2Edge

——————————————–

DOUG

A little sleazy and full of his own inflated sense of self-importance.

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He is……

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Matt Hardy

——————————————–

JUSTIN

Manages to blow every opportunity he gets.

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He is……

kennedy

Mr. Kennedy (Sorry, Ken. Cheap shot, I know.)