strangers, angels and outdated barriers: mickie james’ debut album reviewed

Somewhere in the midst of the horribly written Piggy James storyline, I heard that Mickie James was releasing a Country music album. In fact, some even thought her musical endeavours beyond the WWE were the reason for her being thrown into the storyline.

Wrestling rumours aside, I genuinely hoped the album would do well. Following her recent release from the WWE, however, I began to worry. Women who’ve left wrestling for the music industry don’t generally have a history of massive success. A back-up plan is always desirable. I really wanted to like the Strangers and Angels album, but looking at her former colleagues’ past performances, I feared it would be disappointing. For that reason, I almost didn’t want to listen to the album.

If there’s one thing I can’t lie about, it’s music. I can’t pretend something sounds great when it’s total tripe. I can’t plug an album which doesn’t make the grade just because I like the person behind it. So to review this record I had to divorce myself from who Mickie is and how fond I am of her, considering it solely as a debut album. If not ‘divorce’, at least separate temporarily.

The debut single, Are You With Me, is about as subtle as a sledgehammer. It might as well be a more delicate, female version of Trace Adkins’ Rough & Ready. The Southern clichés are littered throughout like country life checkpoints. The first verse alone mentions Chevy trucks, American manufacturing, cornbread and kicking it out in the sticks. She even rhymes ‘Southern Drawl’ with ‘Hey Y’all’. First singles are difficult to balance though. They’re about making a mark and establishing an identity. In Mickie’s case it was about presenting herself rather than a wrestling character. It was about saying “Hey! Look! I’m a regular country girl just like you!” If nothing else, it’s catchy and swims around your head after just a couple of plays, regardless of whether you want it to or not. Also, first singles aren’t necessarily representative of an entire album; so for me it started at track two – Hollywood Movie Moment.

While the second track was co-written by Mickie and is likely to be more special to her, musically it’s missing something. Maybe it’s my own personal annoyance at the use of ‘Marilyn Monroe’ as a lyric which irritated me; the worst ever being in Kelly Rowland’s Stole, the lyrics to which don’t make any sense, by the way. It should be Stolen! I digress. Hollywood Movie Movement is fine but it lacks any real punch. From I Call the Fight onwards though, the album starts to pick-up. Gentler and bristling with background mandolin, the third track feels richer than the first two, as does the title track. Strangers and Angels would not sound out-of-place being sung from the lips of more established country-ballad singers such as Reba McIntyre or Carrie Underwood.

Overall this is a solid record. It has several formulaic and somewhat generic moments, but sticking to popular Country themes is hardly a criticism in reviewing a Country album. It combines traditional slide-guitar heavy tracks in Fallin’ Over Again and When You Come Home Tonight with bouncier offerings in Dumb Bitch, Make Me Feel Like a Woman and I’m No Good at Pretending. The chorus to Freedom Song is so catchy I happened to wake up singing it one morning this week after hearing it just three times.

Vocally Mickie isn’t at all bad, but she isn’t the strongest singer on the circuit either; not when compared to the enormous lung capacity of say Kellie Pickler, Hillary Scott or Jennifer Nettles. This may have been a problem some four or five years ago but Taylor Swift, who has arguably the most recognisable voice in Country music at the moment, doesn’t produce the most powerful vocals either. She trades more on her personality and an overall performing package, which opens the door for others to do the same. Mickie could certainly tap into this.

Musically Mickie has done well and clearly she’s worked with some quality producers and writers. On first listen, by the time I was two-thirds the way through, I actually forgot I was listening to ‘Mickie James: Wrestler’. I found myself listening to it on its merits as a piece of music. My reservation with this album does not lie with its musical content however, but in whether Country radio will back it or shun it completely. Without radio airplay and video airings on CMT and GAC, the novelty will wear off rather swiftly. A quick search for ‘Mickie James’ on both CMT.com and GACTV.com brought back no results.

I came late to Country music. Before maybe ten years ago, I thought it consisted of Dolly Parton’s bosoms, Kenny Rogers’ beard and nothing else. Then a good friend made me a mixtape of some modern Country music. For all the kiddies reading, mixtapes existed before playlists. They were better. That’s all you need to know. Anyway, having fallen deeply in the love with Phil Vassar’s voice I became rather enthralled with contemporary Country music. I have since taken more trips to Nashville than I have fingers. Its passion for music is completely infectious.

What took me a long time to understand about Nashville, were the unwritten rules about musician/artist conduct and image. When I started listening, Shania Twain’s bare midriff was still a bone of contention for some of the more traditional executives on Music Row. Things have obviously progressed significantly since then. To draw back the younger audience is was rapidly losing, Country had to modernise and quickly. But the wholesome, family friendly notion it holds on to so firmly even now might be where Mickie James’ music career stumbles.

Yes, Mickie has a ready-made fan base in wrestling fans, but wrestling fans can sometimes be fickle. There’s no guarantee they’ll be around to buy her second record in such huge numbers. To really make strides in the Country, she’s going to have to answer some awkward questions about her early past. Will Nashville and country radio really accept a woman who has a dubious photoshoot floating around the Internet? A former wrestler? Wrestling may be a Southern obsession, but it doesn’t necessarily translate as a wholesome business to be involved with. Sara Evans never fully recovered after she aired her family’s dirty laundry in public, and she was already an established artist. Personally, if I enjoy someone’s music, I couldn’t care less what they did in their past or what their private life may hold. It doesn’t interest nor bother me. But Mickie has some big and outdated barriers to break through in Nashville, none of which relate to her music.  If she succeeds, however, nobody will be more thrilled than I. The very best of luck to her!

wrestlegasm’s top 10 female wrestlers – part 1

Contrary to what you may have been led to believe, based on my unabashed man-crush on William Regal, I am not only heterosexual but also married. Being married to a woman who doesn’t watch wrestling whilst being a fan of women’s wrestling can lead to a few raised eyebrows at the least, not to mention a number of disparaging comments. While this can be excused (and even expected) during something such as the lingerie matches or gravy bowl matches of old, or during a Kelly Kelly match; sometimes even a depraved character such as myself enjoys watching a women’s wrestling match for the actual wrestling.

As March is Women’s History Month (a fact that, perhaps ironically, was brought to my attention by wwe.com) Ray has been kind enough to allow me to do a brief write-up on my Top 10 favourite women wrestlers. These are all women that I feel have a huge amount of wrestling ability, and get by based on that rather than how good they might look in a bikini. Having said that, I don’t mean to imply that any of these women wouldn’t look good in a bikini – I’m still a bloke after all.

A couple of pointers before we start. First of all, this list is only including current wrestlers. The reason for this is that I hope that at least some of you may have your interest piqued enough to look up a few matches by these women. If they are still wrestling it gives you something to look for in the future. Also, this list only contains ten wrestlers, primarily for two reasons.

1.    It’s a traditional number for lists, and I am nothing if not a traditionalist
2.    I’m quite lazy, so couldn’t be bothered doing write-ups for more than ten

Unfortunately, confining the list to only ten current wrestlers does mean that a lot of great women have to be missed out; women like the hugely influential Trish Stratus, Lita (who was partly responsible for my resurgent interest in wrestling back in my twenties, the criminally misused and underrated Molly Holly, the always enjoyable Vimto-loving national treasure that is Jetta, and my guilty pleasure Mickie Knuckles to name a few. That’s without even going back and looking at managers such as Sunny or Sherri Martel, or older stars such as The Fabulous Moolah or Mildred Burke. That being said, the ten wrestlers listed should be enough to get you interested, and if you do enjoy any of the videos linked then I’ve done my job.

Also, the more well known the wrestler, the less I’ll be writing about them. Let’s be honest; you’ll all be pretty familiar with, for example, Mickie James’ work in WWE – but you might not be as familiar with Cheerleader Melissa’s pre-TNA career. So I’ll be concentrating on the wrestlers and aspects of their careers that you will hopefully be able to learn a couple of bits from.

Historically wrestling promotions haven’t treated women with the greatest of respect, although a lot of indie promotions still pay women more than men as they apparently “perform the double duty of wrestling and being eye candy.” The WWE (and, as much as I hate to admit it, TNA) have both upped their game lately in this regard, but companies such as CHIKARA and Ring of Honor have generally treated female wrestlers just as well as their male counterparts for longer. Unsurprisingly though, it’s still the all-female promotions that are the best places to watch women’s wrestling. Chicago-based Shimmer is probably the most successful and best known but there is also an all-women promotion currently starting up in the UK called Pro-Wrestling Eve which looks promising (and not just because they listed me as a Follow Friday on Twitter once) so they could hopefully be one to watch. The other “current” all-female promotion is Wrestlicious; which, despite featuring a number of very talented female wrestlers (including two from my list and one current WWE star) I find very hard to recommend.

Of all the wrestlers on my list, LuFisto will probably be the most controversial. After all, this is a woman who regularly competes against men in deathmatches (a “privilege” she had to fight for.) For those of you not in the know, deathmatch wrestling is a predominantly male orientated niche, involving a multitude of weapons such as barbed wire, fluorescent light tubes and the like.

Born Genny Goulet in Quebec, Lufisto debuted in 1997 and, after working the usual role of valet, became the first woman to win a male championship title in Quebec, winning the ICW Provincial Championship (just one in a string of firsts) In 2002 she was booked to compete for the Canadian Blood, Sweat & Ears promotion in the main event against a male wrestler called Bloody Bill Skullion. Unfortunately the Ontario Athletics Commission would not allow the match to go ahead, due to a rule banning women from wrestling men in Ontario. This would essentially ban LuFisto from wrestling in Ontario, as there was a dearth of female wrestlers who were working the same style as her. After lodging a complaint with the Ontario Human Rights Commission, LuFisto managed to get the regulation dropped, allowing her to forge a successful career in Ontario, before moving back to Quebec to wrestle for the NWA and set up “Onyx and LuFisto’s Torture Chamber” – a wrestling school at which she is co-head trainer.

LuFisto has gone to find success in the United States as well as Canada, becoming the first ever female Combat Zone Wrestling Iron Man Champion, as well as the first woman to compete in both the CZW Cage of Death match and the CZW Best of the Best tournament. She has also had a series of acclaimed matches for the Shimmer promotion, including twice being named #1 contender for the Shimmer Championship.

In June 2009, alongside Stephane Bruyere, LuFisto set up the NCW Femmes Fatales promotion in Montreal, helping to create an extra market for female wrestlers in Canada.

Warning: the following video does involve some deathmatch clips and blood, so if that’s not something you want to see – don’t watch it.


Former valet of Matt “Evan Bourne” Sydal, and current head trainer for all-female promotion Shimmer, Daizee Haze is the next entry on my list. Trained by ex-WWE & ECW star Kid Kash and current Chikara and ROH star Delirious, Daizee Haze’s gimmick is that of a “hippy-stoner” – a tribute to her hippy dad who died when she was 15.

After debuting in 2002 for the Missouri-based Gateway Championship Wrestling promotion, Haze became Matt Sydal’s manager in both IWA Mid-South and Ring of Honor in 2004. Despite women’s wrestling not being common in ROH at the time, Haze entered into a feud with Allison Danger (random fact: Allison Danger is the sister of ex-ECW star Steve Corino and the wife of current Chikara star Ares, as well as being the co-founder of Shimmer.)

Haze went on to have great success in both ROH and it’s sister promotion Shimmer, although she has never held the Shimmer Championship. Haze also appeared in TNA on a few occasions in 2003 alongside Matt Sydal, at one point losing a mixed tag match against Julio Dinero and Alexis Laree (the future Mickie James.) Haze also took part in the Wrestlicious tapings as Marley Sebastian, although as that episode hasn’t been broadcast yet who knows how embarrassing it may be…


The first really well known wrestler on my list, Mickie James will be well known to you all from her huge successes in WWE. However, she had already had a reasonably successful career on the indie wrestling circuit as Alexis Laree. An ex-dancer, James debuted as a valet for KYDA Pro Wrestling at the age of 20, going on to manage Tommy Dreamer to win the KYDA Pro Heavyweight Championship.

After making the move from valet/manager to wrestler, James continued to train, attending camps at Dory Funk Jr’s Funking Conservatory and the original ECW dojo run by Taz. Like many of the women on this list, James worked for ROH for a while, before joining TNA and becoming a member of Raven’s “Gathering,” a stable also featuring Julio Dinero and CM Punk. Whilst there she became the first, and to date only, woman to take part in a Clockwork Orange House of Fun match (and yes, I am well aware how stupid a name that is for a match.)

James eventually (after an apparent 2 years of phone calls and tapes being submitted) signed a WWE developmental contract in 2004, being placed in the then developmental territory Ohio Valley Wrestling. After a year of mainly tag matches (and a much-coveted Halloween Costume Competition victory) James was entered into a tournament for the OVW Television Title, defeating Mike Mondo (later Mikey of the WWE’s Spirit Squad stable) in the first round, before being beaten by Bobby Lashley (then wrestling as Blaster Lashley) in the second.

After feuds with both Beth Phoenix and Shelly Martinez (ECW’s Ariel), James left OVW and started a very successful stint as Trish Stratus’ obsessive fan, a role which soon moved onto the lesbian stalker angle we all know and love. This angle culminated in a very enjoyable Wone’s Championship match at Wrestlemania 22 in which Mickie won the title.

Following this, James had a numbe rof sucessful feuds against the likes of Lita, Melina and Beth Phoenix, before recently being thrown into the now infamous (at least in Wrestlegasm circles) “Piggie James” angle against Michelle McCool and Layla. Ray has covered this particular angle in much more detail than I will, suffice to say that when James recovers from the staph infection that’s keeping her out at the moment, we’ll be hoping for a slightly happier ending to that feud.


While arguably better known to a wider audience for her recent stint in TNA as both Raisha Saeed and Alissa Flash, Melissa Anderson (a second generation wrestler) has had a successful career for promotions like Chickfight and Shimmer. After training under Christopher Daniels and Bryan Danielson, Melissa’s cheerleader gimmick came about after she was a valet for an Ice Hockey themed tag team known as the Ballard Brothers (and yes Ray, I’m aware that there are no cheerleaders in Ice Hockey)

After having her debut match on her 17th birthday, Melissa was chosen to train in Japan alongside Taylor Methany from WWE’s Tough Enough program. This led to a certain amount of internet exposure for her, thus ending her valet career and transforming her into a full time wrestler. Melissa went on to perform at the first 10 Chickfight tournaments, defeating ex-WWE star Jazz to win Chickfight 5, and British wrestler Eden Black to win Chickfight 7. Melissa also had a couple of suns with Canadian promotion Extreme Canadian Championship Wrestling, feuding against Natalya Neidhart (then Nattie Neidhart) as well as having a try-out match on WWE Heat against Victoria in 2006.

Melissa has also appeared for Shimmer at all of their events to date, even competing in their first ever Hardcore Rules and Last Woman Standing matches against MsChif. This feud spread across Shimmer and the UK-based Real Quality Wrestling, although the Melissa and MsChif eventually formed a tag team, taking on the likes of sara Del Rey and Awesome Kong.  It was in 2008 however, that Melissa gained her first international TV exposure, accompanying Awesome Kong in TNA as Raisha Saeed. Although her first few appearances were in managerial role, at 2008’s Lockdown Saeed and Kong had a steel cage tag match against Gail Kim and ODB. This led to a number of tag matches, eventually culminating in the tournament to determine the first TNA Knockouts Tag Champions. During this tournament the team fell apart, leading to a match against each other with Kong won; essentially ending the team for good.

Melissa returned to TNA in May 2009, having a “try-out” match as Cheerleader Melissa defeating Daizee Haze. A number of sporadic losing appearances, now under the name of Alissa Flash, eventually led to a win over Cody Deaner due to the interference of a number of other Knockouts. Alissa Flash didn’t score her first unassisted victory until November, although as TNA neglected to use her again after that match, she requested and was granted her release in January 2010.

Now known as Tara in TNA, I’ll stick with Victoria through personal preference. Originally a body-builder and fitness model, Victoria (born Lisa Marie Varon) met Chyna who encouraged her to get in touch with WWE to train as a wrestler. After training with then developmental territories Memphis Championship Wrestling and Ohio Valley Wrestling, she debuted on Raw as one of the Godfather’s “Hos”    before entering a feud as Trish Stratus, somebody she had met earlier while working as a fitness model. This earlier meeting was to be used in the WWE to build the storyline, with Victoria being a demented character out for revenge after Trish had apparently betrayed her during this previous career.

Victoria went on to defeat Stratus for the Women’s Championship at Survivor Series 2002 in a hardcore match, although the feud continues through to Wrestlemania XIX when she dropped the title back to Trish in a triple threat match.  Later that year Victoria took part in the first ever Women’s Steel Cage Match in WWE where she defeated Lita. After this, and entering into a feud with then Women’s Champion Molly Holly, Victoria turned face. After regaining the championship by beating Molly, their rematch at Wrestlemania XX was a Hair vs Title match which Victoria won, leading to Molly Holly being shaved bald.

Victoria soon turned heel again though, leading Vince’s Devils (Victoria, Candice Michelle and Torrie Wilson) against the likes of Ashley Massaro and Trish Stratus. Victoria’s character was boosted soon after by her more vicious nature coming through, legitimately breaking the noses of Candice Michelle and Michelle McCool, as well as the jaw of Beth Phoenix (in her debut WWE match). After retiring from the WWE in January 2009, Victoria has continued training in Mixed martial Arts and has returned to pro-wrestling as part of TNA, winning the Knockouts Title 3 times to date.

So that’s it for this part. A couple of very well known wrestlers, and 3 who might not so familiar to you. Hopefully you’ve learnt a little and enjoyed the videos. I’ll be getting the second part (Ranks 1-5) together very soon, but if you have any questions about women’s wrestling I’ll be happy to access the secret geek part of my brain and see if I can help.

that’s quite enough, thank you

On last week’s Smackdown, Mickie James was ‘reduced to tears’ when Michelle McCool and Layla interrupted her match against Natalya by cutting her clothes to pieces with some dressmaking scissors.

I didn’t like it, but I made a joke of it and chalked it up as another lame Diva storyline that might end up with Mickie beating Michelle McCool for the Women’s Title somewhere down the line. But this week the silliness didn’t just continue, it became infuriating. To the point where I feel embarrassed for the women involved.

The main premise was that following a pitifully short but victorious match against Layla , Mickie James was pointed in the direction of the titantron by her opponent. There she was met with a pre-recorded cartoony video of Michelle McCool referring to Mickie as ‘Piggy James’. McCool proceeded to sing her own version of ‘Old McDonald Had a Farm’, replacing McDonald with McCool and singing that Mickie was the newest piggy on her farm. This left Mickie James to walk out of the arena dejected and in tears.

I’m not stupid. I’ve watched wrestling for a long time. I understand that this is a work. All professional wrestling in the ‘sports-entertainment’ stable is based on very basic principles.  There is a good guy/girl, a bad guy/girl, and ultimately good will prevail over evil. How and when each feud reaches that conclusion is down to the creative team, but the story will reach the same conclusion almost every time. Mickie James will, no doubt, get her revenge on Michelle McCool and Layla, we’ll all cheer and the story will be done and dusted. But there’s something more important going on here and I’m concerned about what it means for women in the WWE.

The most obvious reason for this storyline is that Mickie James’ shift from Raw to Smackdown during the recent Divas draft was down to the fact that she has become overweight. But that theory makes no sense. Firstly, I saw Mickie James in person a couple of weeks ago. She isn’t even close to being overweight. She looks incredibly healthy. You could possibly say that her work rate has very marginally decreased, but I would be more inclined to attribute that to the lack of time given to Divas matches than to Mickie’s actual wrestling talent.  Also, Smackdown is by far the superior wrestling show. Its mainstream media profile may be lower than Raw, especially since the introduction of the celebrity guest host feature, but among the wrestling community Smackdown has rarely missed the mark in recent months and I look forward to it more than any other brand. If being drafted to Smackdown is such a punishment, why would Beth Phoenix, debatably the most talented female wrestler in the entire company, be drafted at the same time? All indications were that Smackdown would be the place to go for strong, exciting female competition. Unfortunately, this is turning out to be painfully untrue.

I’m not too worried about Mickie James’ state of mind. Wrestlers are actors. They can summon up tears in the same way they can limp up the ramp with a fake knee injury. And I suspect Mickie had to agree to this storyline before it got started. But what worries me is that all Creative can come up with for these talented women is a sniping, catty, bitchy feud revolving around clothes, weight gain, the importance of physical appearance. Gender stereotyping in its purest form. Very little importance is placed upon the actual wrestling. I’m all for jokes and silliness. This website is based on just that and if you’re not taking wrestling with a pinch of salt, you should probably navigate to a different form of entertainment. Whether you’re a fan or a superstar you certainly need tough skin, however deeply involved with this industry you happen to be.

But what message does this ‘piggy’ story send out to the kids who watch wrestling? Personally, I preferred when wrestling was targeted at adults. I came to it during the Attitude Era when anything was fair game. As an adult, I found that exciting. But if WWE are making the shrewd business move of marketing their product to children, they need to think more carefully about how children might interpret the storylines they throw out there. When I watched Mickie’s entrance I was happy to see this little girl in the crowd.

It’s nice to see girls cheering for girls as well as the male wrestlers. But I wonder what she made of seeing Michelle McCool’s nursery rhyme based attack on her heroine. You’re a fat pig, you should feel ashamed and cry about it? I wouldn’t want any daughter of mine exposed to that. Of course, Mickie will eventually overcome the bullies and deliver a message of positivity. But this feud isn’t sitting comfortably with me at the moment. Women in general are bombarded with negative media and fashion industry messages concerning physical beauty, largely that physical beauty equals personal success and anything less than airbrushed perfection is failure. To a certain extent, physical appearance is an important theme within wrestling for both men and women. Wrestling’s connection to the bodybuilding and fitness industries suggests that a certain level of fitness and muscle tone are required as standard. But women within the WWE are held to higher physical standards than men. Men get away with carrying extra pounds in a way that women do not.

I’m not opposed to female feuds. On the contrary, I want to see more made of the exchanges between the women on the roster so that fans will start caring about the matches. I want that snowball to start rolling. But the methods and ideas currently used within these storylines are both lazy and outdated. Batista and Rey Mysterio’s current intense battle is based upon the breakdown of a long-standing friendship. CM Punk’s fight with R-Truth is based on the fact that Punk claims to be morally and socially superior to Truth. His feud with Jeff Hardy ran along similar lines. Mickie James’ feud with Michelle McCool is based on the suggestion that she is fat and her two bullies aren’t. There is no clever characterisation. No depth. No narrative. It’s insulting. Not necessarily to Mickie James, because she can take it on the chin, but to the audience. Women care about physical appearance above all else, right? So let’s just throw that out there and spend the rest of our time coming up with clever insults for CM Punk to chuck at the audience. It’s so very wrong.

According to a piece I read on Diva-Dirt.com earlier today, the piggy storyline also pertains to some concern among WWE management that Mickie James has an interest in pursuing a career beyond the company. If this happens to be true, I wish her good luck. A wrestler’s career is short and could be ended at any moment by serious injury. The in-ring career of any wrestler, male or female, will not take them through to their pension. A back-up plan is required. Today’s young, college educated talent have a Bachelor’s degree and in some cases a Masters degree to fall back on. I doubt we’ll see Dolph Ziggler and John Morrison ripping each other to pieces on an overseas tour into their late fifties and sixties. They have options. Flair and Hogan do not.

Female careers in wrestling are even shorter. The importance placed on youthful looking women within the WWE means that their shelf-life is significantly shorter than that of their male counterparts. The Undertaker, Triple H and Shawn Michaels are all headlining well into their forties. Can we say with any confidence that Michelle McCool, Mickie James and Layla will still be wrestling into their forties? There are all kinds of issues concerning why women don’t reach positions of prominence in the workplace, not just in wrestling but in the Western workplace as a whole. One argument, for example, is that women are more likely to leave their jobs when starting a family and are less likely to return to full-time work until after their children reach school age than their male equivalents.

These issues are far too complex to discuss here, but it’s interesting that Lillian Garcia recently left the WWE because she was getting married and wanted to start a new chapter in her life. Vickie Guerrero took several months off work because she felt she was travelling too much and needed to spend more time with her children.  We rarely hear of male superstars taking this kind of action. Two of the WWE’s most popular Divas, Trish Stratus and Lita, both left to forge successful careers in other industries. If Mickie James’ career aspirations lie elsewhere, why should she be denied that opportunity? WWE seem to have few plans to develop their women’s division, yet as soon as one of its most popular female stars expresses the tiniest indication that she might leave, they object. Like I say, I’m only responding to a rumour I read elsewhere, which may be untrue. But if it is true it’s extremely bad form and I’d like to see them give Mickie and her female colleagues a reason to stay, rather than punishing them for wanting to leave.

I don’t often write long, serious posts such as this. My mission statement has always been to look on the lighter side of the industry and find the comedy in the product the WWE put out there. But sometimes seemingly small developments make me angry and I have to get them off my chest. This has been one of those occasions. Normal, comedic service will resume with the Raw and Smackdown recaps.

girliest post ever. sue me.

I may have taken a beating from my supposed comedy allies yesterday, pffft, but I also received a brilliant gift from one of Wrestlegasm’s loyal footsoldiers, Jenna.  Whenever you’re down, there’s always something on YouTube to turn things around. This arrived in my inbox wrapped in a pretty pink bow. Watch it. Then come back to me.

REASONS THIS VIDEO SHOWERED ME IN SPARKLY HAPPY DUST:

  • It includes the man I’d like to spend the night with (in the biblical sense) – CM Punk.
  • He’s dancing.
  • He’s singing.
  • It includes the woman I’d like to be – Mickie James.
  • She’s dancing.
  • She’s singing.
  • It includes the man I’d like to spend the night with (in the ‘drinking and telling old stories til the sun comes up’ sense) – Chris Jericho
  • He’s dancing.
  • He’s singing.
  • They’re singing a song from a MUSICAL. I love musicals. In my head I am Elphaba to Kristin Chenoweth’s Glinda.
  • Mickie’s singing sounds about as tuneful as my singing. Which explains why I’m only a Broadway star in my head.
  • Punk  doesn’t know the words or the melody to one of the most well known pop/musical songs of all time, which proves that he truly is a boy of rock.
  • Ironically Chris Jericho, who is in an actual rock band, knows every single word and rescues Punk when the karaoke machine dies. Jericho clearly played Danny Zuko in his high school’s Christmas production of Grease and loved every second of it. Jericho, you old ham. Stop making me love you.
  • Mickie James manages to look cute AND hot at the same time. Damn you, Mickie James. It’s the holy grail of female dressing.
  • Punk swears like a trooper at the end. Which should not appeal to an intelligent woman, and yet, when HE effs and blinds, it sounds cool. Shoot me!
  • Just generally it’s sweet to see them all enjoying themselves. Don’t get me wrong, Punk and Jericho are incredible heels. But it’s nice to see them smile when it’s not at the end of sermon about the evils of prescription drugs or a declaration that everyone is gelatinous.

Ah, I feel all warm and fuzzy inside now. I might just go and watch Grease, do my best Olivia Newton John impression and pretend CM Punk is my Danny.

“You bett-er shape up, ’cause I neeeed a maaaa-ann. And my heeeeeart is set on yoooou!”

superstars: spreading my love around

It’s fair to say that this blog steers towards the mainstream. It touches on the ECW brand and occasionally mentions Superstars, but generally this is a Raw and Smackdown stronghold. Well, this was spotted  by the fine people who make WWE Superstars. Yes, WGN America emailed me this past week to say “Hey! Ray! How comes you ain’t gots no love for Supahstahs? We’z da coolest show on WGN!” Ok, so it didn’t really read like that . But WGN America did actually get in touch with me to point out that I’m giving WWE Superstars the cold shoulder. Sorry!

Truth is, it’s a timing thing. I would love nothing more than to recap every WWE show, but I haven’t got the time to cover everything. Also, I may be wrong, but I don’t think Sky Sports have picked Superstars up yet. It’s only a matter of time, but still. We Brits have to make alternative arrangements if we want to watch the show. Let’s just say, we’ve all got very good American friends and leave it at that.

So, as I’ve been stood up for the gym tonight (postponed til tomorrow) here’s a brief recap of last week’s WWE Superstars.

wwesuperstarssmlogo (1)

David Hart Smith/John Morrison

I have to confess, I have a soft spot for David Hart Smith. I don’t love him madly or anything, but I want to see him become a star. It probably has a little something to do with his dad, but he’s also a brilliant talent. I’ll dare anyone who fancies a challenge to point and laugh at his acid pink knee-pads.

dhstjmpkp

The match against Morrison was superb. Whether it was the suped up Canadian crowd, a readiness to move up the ladder or a combination of two, DHS definitely seemed to up his game. John Morrison is like Rey Mysterio and Chris Jericho – he’s generous. He allows youngsters to shine but still looks fabulous himself. By the way, they were leather pockets on the back of his tights, right? He didn’t just cut two holes out of his backside, did he? Because those pockets were totally the same colour as his bronzed skin. Just sayin’.

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A Starship Pain and a flick of the hair later, John Morrison had taken the match.

Goldust/Sheamus

I don’t know what’s more distracting – the fact that every scrap of Goldust’s skin is obscured from view (Why? What kind of scales and sores is his hiding under there?) or the fact that way too much of Sheamus is on show. Damn. I think that boy was EXTRA pink this week. And I thought John Cena was afraid of the tanning booth.  Much like Jim Ross, I can always rely on Josh Matthews to come up with the perfect words.

Perfect, Josh. Perfect.

Perfect, Josh. Perfect.

I was expecting to have to feign enthusiasm for this one, but it was actually pretty good. The crowd appreciated it too, which should be no surprise being that Canadian fans love technicalities. Goldust pinned Sheamus for the win after almost 15 minutes of quality competition. Nice!

Mickie James + Kofi Kingston/Rosa Mendes + Carlito

I missed Mickie James on Raw last week, so it was cool to see her show up on Superstars. And I have to agree with Jerry Lawler. What on EARTH was going on with Carlito’s hair? I’m trying to remember what it reminded me of…….

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Yes.

Another enjoyable match. Rosa has a way to go, but Superstars is the perfect platform for her. How often does Raw have time for a  match like this? I guess that’s premise of Superstars though; to give decent TV time to those who usually have just bit parts. After a typically strong performance by all, it came to an end when Carlito put the Back-Stabber on Kofi, after he botched one of his high-flying leaps to the top rope.

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You’re welcome, WGN America. Kiss-kiss.

raw(lite): bespoke suits and amateur tanning

The jury’s still out on the whole guest host thing. It’s a shrewd business move and I’m not necessarily against it, but it would have been nice to see a few more former wrestlers getting a night with the mic. Jobs for the boys and all that. For me, ZZ Top hosting was hideous. But I’m really not a fan of theirs so it felt kind of pointless.

Everyone loves Shaq. Even people like me who get turned off by the whole bad boy thuggery of the NBA and get sick of hearing about King James. So I was certainly looking forward to this one. He didn’t disappoint. In fact, Vince should keep him on the books and snap him up the minute he hangs his high-tops up for good.

Shaq was eager to get to work straight away and set up a 5-man Beat-the-Clock challenge up. Whichever fella beats their opponent the quickest becomes number one contender against Randy Orton at Summerslam. But, oh dear, looks like the be-suited genius that is Chris Jericho has a little beef with Shaq. If someone gets a poster made of Shaq kissing Jericho’s forehead, make me a copy at the same time? I’ll put it up in my office and look at it in moments of general malaise and aggravation. How they both kept from cracking thoughout that segment is beyond me. And the crowd’s spontaneous chanting of CHRIS-TI-NA (Shaq’s new moniker for Jericho) made my heart smile.

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Shaq flicked Jericho away with one finger, so Chris decided to introduce him to his new tag-partner. It would appear that just 24 hours in the company of Chris Jericho has rubbed off on Show. Ooooh, look at him in his stylish bespoke suit.

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Ok, so pretty much every piece of clothing Big Show owns is going to be bespoke. I doubt even High n Hefty or Lofty n Mighty or whatever those shops are called stock Big Show Size as standard. The verbal slanging match between Show and Shaq ping-ponged back and forth beautifully as Shaq challenged Show to a match. Show wriggled his way out of it with a wordy theory on why he would not accept the invitation. Oh and…………

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Shaq was determined to make the tag champs fight SOMEONE that night, so he put Cryme Tyme in front of them, leaving the champs to scuttle away up the ramp.

With that hilarity done and dusted it was time for some fisticuffs and the first man jostling for that number one contender spot was Mark Henry, up against Carlito. Bad luck, Carlito. You drew the short straw on that one. Carlito decided to implement the tactic of flying kicks and piggybacks in the hope that he could topple Henry and keep him down long enough for the pin. But just like a really huge Weeble, Mark Henry rolled back to his feet again and smooshed Carlito in to the canvas. You remember Weebles, right? Those freaky, egg shaped people that always swung back up no matter how much you knocked them down?

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Looks more like a chubby CM Punk weeble than Mark Henry, but you get the idea.

Mark Henry wrapped his hands around Carlito and finished him off in 6 minutes, 49 seconds.

Moving on and the brand new Diva’s Champion, Mickie James, brought Kelly-Kelly and Gail Kim along to take on Beth Phoenix, Rosa Mendes and Alicia Fox. This is exciting. No. REALLY! First off, Beth is back and without even a whiff of Santina. Second….err….off (?) a storyline involving Mickie and Beth is a female feud I think people will actually get behind.  Mickie has always held a special place in my heart. Her feud with Trish Stratus was brilliant. I’d love to see something that big again. Do it!

From one blast from the past to another, part two of the Beat the Clock Challenge involved M.V.P vs Chris Masters. Yep! Chris Masters! Back in the ring and clean as a whistle. I’m guessing.  Proof positive that the there is always a road back to WWE.  One thing though, if you’re gonna go down the spray tan route, you need to make sure you get it everywhere. That means lifting your arms when you stand in the tanning booth, Chris. Ask Randy to go with you next time.

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Both were out of the ring too long and were counted out. No M.V.P vs Randy Orton at Summerslam. Shocker!!!

Another break from Beat the Clock – The Brian Kendrick vs Kofi Kingston. Kendrick was giving Jerry Lawler some verbal heat when Kofi Kingston took him out with a kick in the face and ended the match.  A few days later Vince McMahon metaphorically punched Kendrick in the stomach and ended his contract.

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Back to business and it was time for Triple H to take Cody Rhodes on for his ten millionth shot at Randy. But wait, what’s this? Ted DiBiase ran out with some form of truncheon and gave Hunter a big whack on the back of the knee.

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Cody Rhodes did the most camp little run out to the ramp ever (watch it again, you’ll see what I mean) and Triple H limped out to the ring. In the words of my brother, “Triple H has got the best fake limp in the business.” But that’s probably because he’s had a lot of practice with real limps. I believe that’s called method acting.

The match trundled along nicely and I was super impressed when Triple H pulled off a dainty pilates move when he reversed Cody’s figure-4. The countdown was getting close and Triple H really needed to stop messing with his prey and finish the job. But Ted DiBiase reappeared and began doing a strange little leg dance which, with a bit more effort and a few additional spins and head flicks, he could totally have turned in to Jennifer Beals’ Maniac dance in Flashdance. If you’ve never seen it, watch. It is a thing of fitness beauty.

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Same leg movements as Jennifer. Trust me.

At first it seemed odd that DiBiase even got involved in the end of the match. There appeared to be no point to it. But all became clear when Triple H gave his Josh Matthews interview later on. More on that in a bit. Cody was pinned but after the time had expired. No dice for Hunter.

Time for some light relief, so we go to Shaq’s office where he is playing an epic game of scrabble with Santino.  I try not to smile at Santino, but I can’t help it. The Cryme Tyme boys rolled in, bumped fists with Shaq and generally loved all over each other, slipping in to Money, Money, Yeah, Yeah! But Santino felt left out so he threw a Cavs hat on at a jaunty angle, did some rapper-fingers and added his own lyrics. Careful, Tony. You don’t want that Canadian accent to slip through. The Italian’s not so easy to keep up while you’re hippin’ and hoppin’, eh?

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I won’t crush your enthusiasm by speaking about Hornswoggle and Chavo, so I’ll scoot over to the Jack Swagger/Evan Bourne Beat the Clock match. I’ve mentioned my brother a couple of times since being back from the USA, but that’s because he’s been watching wrestling with me again and it’s interesting to hear the views of someone who stopped watching wrestling because they couldn’t handle the silliness of it any more. He REALLY likes Jack Swagger and was impressed by Evan Bourne. Anyone who questions the pushing of all the new collegiate guys has got it wrong. If their hard work and new style can prick the interest of someone who abandoned wrestling can only be a good thing.

The match only lasted about three and a half minutes. Evan Bourne took the pin, so there’ll be no Swagger/Orton at Summerslam. That just leaves John Cena to beat Mark Henry’s time. Hmm. Wonder how that one will turn out?

Triple H was still fuming backstage about Ted sabotaging his match with Cody and vowed to take both of them out by himself next week.  By himself? Really? Seems like an awfully big task to set yourself. He could probably do with some help. From someone who’s refreshed by a long break, maybe? Someone to act as a tag partner? Has Hunter ever been in a tag team?

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By the way, Triple H mentioned ‘the tail that wags the dog’ in his JM interview. For a perfect explanation of this phrase, watch the Wag the Dog movie.  It’s brilliant. And it’s De Niro and Hoffman (pre-Meet the Fockers). How could you possibly lose?

The final Beat the Clock match was John Cena vs The Miz, with Randy Orton watching from the annouce table.  Not that I would ever dream of complaining, but why was Randy without trousers when he had no involvement in any matches that night?

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The Miz had already dissed various D.C. sporting teams and tried to run Cena’s clock down to force his exclusion from the BTC contest without getting hurt himself.  Didn’t work. John forced Miz to tap out with well over two minutes to spare. Randy joined John in the ring and I went all…..

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Remember several months ago when John and Randy (being BFFs and all) asked the writers if they could work together?  I wrote a post about it. John was even willing to go heel. Looks like they got their wish. And I, for one, am joyous beyond belief.

Final match of the night was Shaq’s special tag match between little and large and Cryme Tyme, with Shaq himself at ringside to keep an eye on proceedings.  All was moving along swimmingly until Show interfered with the pin on Jericho and the match had to be called off.  Shaq was furious. He whipped his shirt off and faced up to Show himself. Show had him in a chokehold, Cryme Tyme came to the rescue and Shaq rolled Show out of the ring. Jericho dashed around and started screeching at Shaq like a Jack Russell defending a Great Dane.

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Best. Raw. In. AGEEEEES. Congratulations, Shackwheel….. as Santino would say.

night of champions: swagger of a college kid

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

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

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

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

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

Jericho and Show kept the belts. Game on!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

raw(lite): he came, then he left

Due to time constraints and with The Bash looming within the next few hours, this week’s Raw reminder will be in a shorter form than usual.  You gotta do what you gotta do!

For those of us in the UK, commercial free television is nothing new. The most powerful broadcaster on this island, the BBC, is entirely free of advertising. Ok, so we’re legally obliged to buy a TV licence for the privilege, but I believe it makes for better television and radio. Still, Raw is shot in dollar land, where advertising is the bread and butter of all broadcasting.  So I understand the excitement. Seriously though, America, do you have to have SOOOO many ad breaks? It kills my buzz. Anyway, here are the …..

THINGS YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT THIS WEEK’S RAW

BEFORE THE BASH

Catchy, eh?

  • Trump’s Da Boss

Yes, that’s right, Donald Trump now owns the Raw brand and kicked his tenure off with a full ticket refund to everyone in the crowd who kept their ticket stubs. Those who threw them away on their way in to the arena probably needed some of this….

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  • John-Boy’s a Farmer

John Cena who, despite making a triumphant return to his charismatic, funny  ‘old self’ came out in his most ghastly merchandise line yet. Not in any way inspired by a certain world-famous farming equipment brand. No. Not all. And call me a cynic, but I don’t think it’s any coincidence that it was launched in Pack-land. Home of the Green and Gold. I shall discuss this rant about this further in the next audio post.

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  • The Miz is a Puss

John Cena flipped the coin over and called The Miz out for a change. After much cuteness and frivolity, John got serious, gave The Miz a match at The Bash and warned Miz that his days were numbered. Oooh. It was deliciously perfect. Welcome back, John. The Big Show was obviously killing his good times. Favourite line? “You’re not a reality show ‘has-been’. You’re a WWE never was!” BUUUURN! Miz got rattled, punched John when he wasn’t looking and ran. Puss.

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  • Lemony Kick-It

Vince was left with the back-up limo (Trump had Road Force One), which happened to be a total lemon and broke down a hundred yards from the arena. Don’t you just hate when you have to use the back-up limo? So much less comfy than the best one. Vince made the poor little driver carry him down the street on his back.  Yah, ’cause that’s so much less humiliating than WALKING to the arena. Vince’s weight caused the driver to drop him so Vince kicked him in the arse. Nice guy!

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  • SD Trumps Raw

For the second week running, despite claiming full brand separation, there was a Smackdown match on Raw. I can only assume it was a ratings thing. They must have figured that the audience for Trump Raw would be larger than usual with the news of The Donald’s involvement causing a buzz in the mainstream media. What better way to impress than to bring your (real) superior brand in give off a good impression to first time viewers.

Jeff Hardy , Khali and Rey Mysterio beat Jericho, Edge and Ziggler when Jeff pinned Ziggler. Punk, being a nice guy, came to celebrate with Jeff, but he pushed him away like a lover who had been caught cheating. Oh, yeah, Punk wore clothes.  I sulked.

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  • Prelude to Crap

Cody Rhodes beat Primo in a prelude to what will undoubtedly be a tag-team belts win for Rhodes and DiBiase.I didn’t mind them so much when they first started hanging off Randy’s coat-tails……now…meh! Some sort of illegal crap will go down and the Orton Groupies will grab the titles ar The Bash. Talk about putting all your eggs in one basket. Prove me wrong. Please.

  • Song for Santina

Santina was fired. About two months overdue. Let’s celebrate with a song even more annoying than the actual character. Bet you don’t make it past the first 20 seconds.

  • Regrets, dear?

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Maybe it’s not all about da monaaay after all, Mr. M?

  • The King Ain’t Dead

That’s right, the King of Kings redeemed himself, remembered his job is not to be a corporate lackie and wrestled his oversized heart out. As did the delightful Randy. Best match they’ve had. Better than Wrestlemania even?

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  • The Penny Drops

You know how Vince McMahon is a smart businessman? Not so much. It turned out that Trump was giving money away and cancelling advertising contracts in the hope that Vince would buy Raw back for double the price. Oh Donald, you wiley fox. And I thought you were just a puffed up ball of orangey powder. The plan worked. The real Vince McMahon is indeed  great businessman, orchestrating this whole angle with hardly anyone knowing about it until the night of the show. But why so short? Ok, so I wasn’t exactly on board from the beginning, but there was a lot of mileage in that there storyline. I’m aware that I’m whining a lot today. I’m tired. I was up late and got up early. I’z grumpy when I’m tired. Donald bitch-slapped Vince, it all kicked off and they had to be separated by some burly looking security.

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  • Shut Your Trap

Rosa Mendes lost to Mickie James and Maryse got all pissy, telling Rosa to shut her yap while she tried to compose herself. Is it just me or are Maryse’s jubblies (thanks, Gok Wan) getting more plastic-y by the week? I don’t even care about boobs that aren’t my own and yet, I cannot look away. (?)

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  • Most Aspirational Stat Evah!

You know how much I live the WWE ‘Did you know…? stats. This week was the best ever. Check it out.

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Yep, because quantity is ALWAYS better than quality, right guys? Sweethearts, I love you enough to spend my life recapping your shows, but it’s not the size of your product that counts, it’s what you do with it. An hour of True Blood does not equate to an hour of Raw. We cool? Good. I love you. Mwah!

  • If you think I’m gonna recap another Cena/Big Show match….

you be trippin’. That is all.

  • Get offa my Randy

Just as Randy Orton was leaving the arena, Triple H whacked him, proper mobster style. At first it looked like he was gonna give Randy the lonely man in prison treatment against the back of his car, but he just dropped the boot door on him. Phew! REALLY! Writhing in agony, Triple H made it clear that their feud was SOOOO not over.

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FAVOURITE CROWD MEMBER OF THE NIGHT

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The KFC buckets. For managing to get in so many camera shots and for showing such dedication to the show. Bravo, bucket of grilled chicken, bravo indeed.