Sidekick Andrew: Bit of a strange week this week, the usual post-Wrestlemania blues combined with Ray having a week off work and a client sending me a virus mean I haven’t watched as much wrestling as I would have liked. Still, we managed to watch the amazing first episode of Tough Enough and, well, you should know by now what we thought.
Among the many, many highlights in this first episode, one contestant stood out to me as the most annoying. Not Ariane, bless her. OK, the fact that she picked Melina vs Alicia Fox was pretty hilarious, but that’s a reference that’s as overdone as Charlie bloody Sheen. At the end of the day she had no experience or knowledge of wrestling, but she made for great reality TV so she earned her paycheque. No, the contestant that really annoyed me was Michelle Deighton.
In case you don’t recognise him, that’s her husband Jonny Fairplay, a Reality TV contestant who was employed briefly by TNA as a wrestler. Not only employed by them, but also famously bragged about how overpaid he was at a time when they were paying their Knockout champion Taylor Wilde such a pittance that she had to work in a Sunglass sales kiosk in a mall to make ends meet.
“I signed a $150,000 contract with TNA Wrestling for a year. I ended up 8 appearances for 40 minutes. Then I signed a second contract and they didn’t use me. So, I’d like to thank them for $300,000 for 40 minutes’ worth of work.” Jonny Fairplay
By the way, the above quote and the Taylor Wilde information come from this great article which is recommended reading for any wrestling fan.
I’m not here to slag off TNA today though, I’ve never been one for shooting fish in a barrel. This is about Michelle and her “11 years experience.” OK, first things first, she’s 25 years old. Avoiding the obvious misogynistic lines about her looking far older, that would mean that she started wrestling at 14 – not impossible, but not overly likely. Next reason to dislike her? Her MySpace page is called Glamazon1. Glamazon-bloody-1! Of all the people to draw comparison to, Wrestlegasm favourite Beth Phoenix is definitely not the one to choose.
Now, I’m no wrestler. I’ve never had a second of training in my life, but I do read a lot about wrestling. There’s not many wrestler autobiographies that I haven’t read, and they all mention that when you start training you focus on learning how to bump and how to run the ropes. After eleven supposed years of wrestling experience, you’d expect someone to be able to run the ropes correctly. From my admittedly third hand knowledge, three large strides at most should get you from one side to the other. What you shouldn’t do is powerwalk gingerly across the ring like Santino Marella minus the trombone impression.
So, Michelle, here’s to you. This song, as well as being one of my favourites, seems to explain how you spent most of the 11 years of your supposed wrestling career. Enjoy…