the welsh are coming: an update

In the post I wrote on Sunday I suggested that if BarrrrmmmMason Ryan was allowed to speak Welsh in his promos I might cry. On last night’s Raw he was allowed to use his mother tongue. OK, so it was very brief, but I wasn’t expecting it so early on. Did I cry? Not exactly. But that’s about as happy as wrestling can make me and it started my day off with a massive, happy contraction in my chest. And if you missed it…….

If you’re wondering, he was just saying that CM Punk WON’T be eliminated. So shutup, Husky Harris! (I added the shutup bit for effect. But that’s what his eyes were saying.)

It has come to my attention that world geography is escaping some people across the pond. No, Wales is not in Ireland or Scotland and DEFINITELY not in England. Here is a diagram to help you.

To be a little more specific, Barri Mason is billed as being from Cardiff, as am I. Or as CM Punk pronounces it “Carr-duff, Wayls.” Not technically true though. It wasn’t even true when they billed him as from Rhyl for a brief time when he joined FCW. He’s actually from a tiny little town in the North West corner of Wales called Tramadog. It’s so Welsh nobody speaks English unless they really have to. So now you know.

Mae’r arholiad yn cychwyn mewn un munud.

the welsh are coming! – mason ryan arrives

I said it would happen. Didn’t I say it would happen?  Almost a year to the day I wrote this post about Barri Griffiths, he appears on Raw. And if you’re not sure who that is, he’s now going by the name ‘Mason Ryan’. Still none the wiser? Fine. It’s this guy.

He made it. My Welsh-speaking Welshman from Wales made it to the big-time and I’m so unbelievably proud that I felt a little bit sick with excitement when I heard the news on Tuesday morning. I logged into my Twitter account and saw this:

I ran across the Wrestle-Bunker hallway and ordered Sidekick Andrew to tell what had happened. He showed me this:

I cried. No, not really. But I was absolutely thrilled. After a year of trawling the internet looking for FCW downloads so I could watch him wrestle in his new guise, he’s moved up to Raw. After a year of tweeting Steve Keirns to get FCW on YouTube, I can leave the poor guy alone. After a year of crossing my fingers, toes and other unmentionables hoping Barri would be in the next series of NXT only to be disappointed every time, he’s done it!

Sidekick Andrew continuously said “Don’t worry, I’ve a feeling he doesn’t need NXT. They’ll move him straight up. They made him FCW champion really early and he’s been on overseas tours already.” I wanted to believe it, but I worried that he’d be future endeavoured before he’d even had chance to grace my television screen. Actually, do cut FCW guys even get future endeavoured? That doesn’t matter any more. If you’ve been living under a rock this week, here’s how it went down……

CM Punk, now the leader of New Nexus, had a match against John Cena. John was back for the first time since Christmas and the crowd bellowed and hollered liked children just given a bag of Haribos after a fortnight without a sugar-hit. Nexus were banned from ringside for the match and Punk’s posse were worried. He, on the other hand, was not.  Let’s be honest, CM Punk can take Cena any day of the week.  Flexibility and speed beat slow and chunky every time.

Proof!

This goes on for a while and despite a brief comeback from Cena, he never really made a dent. Had I not known how this ended I would assumed that after Punk dominating the match, Super-Cena would dust off his hands and take the win. No. Both boys were splayed on the canvas  when a large gentleman in a vest, jeans and fetching tan slip-ons jumped up on the apron to point and shout at Cena.  Some random member of staff made a futile attempt at dragging him down by the leg, but this was never going to work. Barri was on a mission.

With Cena duly distracted, Punk was able to crawl up to his feet and kick him in the head. Nice. Delirious that his plan had come together, Punk held his arms out and invited  a celebratory kick to the gut. Barri obliged.

Barri was now FURIOUS and channelled his rage into slamming Cena into the mat. This is what all Welsh people look like when you spill their pint. Take note if you’re planning a weekend away.

The rest of the Nexus fellas ran in, unsure of who this person was and if his strange, foreign ways should be trusted. But Punk liked him. He liked him a lot. In fact, they way they eyed each other up I wondered if a man-snog might be in the offing.

Then Barri dropped to his knees, lowered his head and…..(behave yourselves)…..raised his arm so Punk could induct him into the New Nexus with an elastic armband.

Then it ended with Barri’s face as the final shot. That’s huge! That’s like getting the drums at the end of Eastenders.

Mae hen wlad fy Nghadau yn annwyl i miiiiiiiiiiiiiiii

So anyway, he may be some random stranger who genuflected in front of CM Punk at the end of Raw to you, but this was seriously significant news in my homeland. Well, kind of. They did a piece about him on BBC Wales Today, Wales’ nightly news programme. I didn’t think much of the report. It all seemed rather generic and strung-together at the last minute. I would suggest that the BBC hire me to run a weekly segment called Barri Watch. It could be sandwiched between the sport and the weather report. Lucy Owen could hand over to me:

This is Lucy Owen.

Then I could hand over to local legend Derek ‘the weather’ Brockway.

This is Derek 'the weather' Brockway

The report they put together was quite humorous actually. The sports dude referenced Hulk Hogan, The Rock and Stone Cold Steve Austin as he lead into the report:

Then during the report they spoke with Barri’s super-proud mam and dad:

Ah yes. Now I see where he got that tropical tan and raven hair from.

Who were apparently watching:

Yep! Wrestlemania! Not Raw. Which their son was on. Silly BBC Wales Today.

But my favourite bit was after the report where the sports dude and Derek discussed their favourite wrestlers. Sports dude liked Big Daddy, Derek Weather liked Giant Haystacks. What they were trying to say was……

Oh how we all laughed.

I’m poking fun, but I actually love Wales Today and they were thoroughly proud of our Barri. Not nearly as proud as I am, but still, they glowed.

So what happens next? Tricky. My expectations have already gone through the roof. In my mind, and maybe his parents’ too judging by that news report, he’s already headlined Wrestlemania and won every belt possible. I’m guessing he’ll hang around in the Nexus for a while and, realistically, as long as he appears in the Rumble that’ll already make my wrestling year. Oh and he hasn’t spoken yet. Assuming they’ll let him at least take part in a few promos, there’s a good chance I’ll cry when I hear his accent. If they let him speak in Welsh, I’ll definitely sob.

Three final points:

  • Yes, he looks a lot like Batista. You’ll need to get over that.
  • In case I haven’t already laboured the point enough, he’s not American or Canadian. He’s not even English. You may refer to him as Welsh or British. Anything else is inaccurate.
  • I will try really hard to retrain my brain to knowing Barri Griffiths as Mason Ryan. I can’t promise I’ll succeed.

This post is dedicated to Sarah.

Happy New Year!


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

JUSTLIKETHAT

Our second rosette goes to……..

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

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

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

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

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

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

Our third award goes to…….

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

(Click above for awesome tunes)

TLC – CrazySexyPredictions

Well, after last month’s predictions for Survivor Series went reasonably well, it’s time for a new PPV already. This time it’s the second ever TLC show, and a card that hopefully promises some great matches. The Intercontinental Title match and Mysterio vs Del Rio matches in particular look great on paper.

As an aside, as a designer I really like the style of that video and would gladly watch 3 hours of that instead given the chance. Anyway, on with the predictions (and this time we might actually find out which one of us is better at predicting this nonsense.)

Sidekick Andrew: This could be interesting, assuming the WWE actually let the women wrestle. People have commented that this is a direct response to TNA having Mickie James and Tara in a cage match recently, and if that’s the case then this might be the best thing TNA have ever done. The prospect of these four having a good tables match, especially with wrestlers as good as Beth and Natalya, is an exciting one.

Having said that, the WWE preview for this match mentions the fact that Beth has returned to “clean house” and “set the table” while mentioning how Natalya now holds the “Butterfly Title” – none of which bodes well. The fact they took the belt off Lay-Cool and gave it to Natalya, certainly one of the best female wrestlers in the WWE, was apparently a good omen. However, scrapping the Women’s Championship in favour of the Divas Title, and then referring to it as the Butterfly Title shows a worrying lack of respect.

Anyway, that’s a rant for another time. As for this match I’m predicting Beth and Natalya to win. Much as I’ve enjoyed Lay-Cool I think it might be time for them to go their separate ways, and this could be the way to help split them.

Boss Lady Ray: My first reaction to hearing about this match was excitement. You mean there’s a gimmick PPV and the women don’t have to skip the gimmick? Thrilling. Then when we discussed our predictions yesterday I was a little less confident that our four ladies would be allowed to have a true tables match. Then Andrew pointed out that the WWE.com preview mentioned ‘setting the table’ and I said a word I only save for the most extreme, angry situations. If this match turns out to be anything even slightly akin to the Extreme Makeover match earlier in the year, I might actually cry. I mean it, WWE, If I see even a single tablecloth tomorrow night, a little part of me will die. Oh and I’ll be sending you my dry cleaning bill for when I try to get all the salt water out of my cuffs too.

Having said all that, I do believe Natalya and Beth will win. With Michelle winning her Slammy this week and Layla now more than capable of standing on her own two feet, a parting of the ways may definitely be on the cards and a loss could move things along.

Sidekick Andrew: It’s no secret that we in the Bunker are big fans of Alberrrrrrrto, and this could be a great match. I’d be happier if it was a ladder match though, rather than a “Chairs match” (or, as wwe.com describes it, an “explosive chairs” match, bringing back memories of that Japanese tournament with Cactus Jack and Terry Funk.)

These two have shown they work well together, which is hardly surprising given their mutual lucha libre heritage, so I’m looking forward to seeing what they come up with this time. I’m just not sure what the addition of chairs will help provide, especially given the (entirely justified) distaste for chairshots in the WWE at the moment. Maybe they’ll channel NXT and have a quick game of musical chairs half way through the match? As for a prediction, I think they’ll give this one to Mysterio, but I wouldn’t be surprised if Del Rio snaps and attacks Rey after the bell making all the childrens cry.

Boss Lady Ray: Andrew has the honour of writing most of this post. I just add my predictions after he finishes putting it together, so it’s a cosy life for me. I’m writing my predictions on  Saturday afternoon so I now have the knowledge that this match isn’t happening quite the way it was originally planned. Thanks for saving me a paragraph, WWE. Had it remained unchanged, I would have chosen Alberto and my reasoning would have been ‘because I love him’.

Sidekick Andrew: As a match, this has “piss-break” written all over it. As a way to lead into a certain hirsute Motorhead fan to return, this has the Boss squealing louder than is strictly necessary. This match is to decide the Number One Contender for the WWE Championship, and really… do you think they’re going to give that to Morrison? No, I didn’t think so.

Sheamus will take this one, leading to him having a title shot at the Rumble only to be interrupted by some hairy bloke spitting water all over the place.

Boss Lady Ray: Ah man, I love big hairy blokes who spits water all over the place. OK, just one in particular. There’s no way on earth they’re giving Morrison arguably the biggest title run in the company. Sheamus is King of the Ring, HHH is rumoured to be returning at the Royal Rumble, Sheamus was the guy who put him out of action and Trips will want to avenge his forced absence. Sheamus will get a title shot at the Rumble and the aforementioned hirsute Motorhead fan will ruin it for him. This stuff is getting easier to predict than Eastenders*.

*This is where I’m proven to be embarrassingly wrong.

Sidekick Andrew: Now, this should be the match of the night as far as I can see. Ladder matches always bring an extra element of danger to a match, and these three guys have had some great matches between themselves recently on Smackdown. We’re both massive fans of Ziggler, and both Kofi and Swagger are impressive in the ring.

Interestingly (at least to those mildly interested in the domestic goings on in the Bunker) this was the match that generated the most debate over our hot Vimto and Welsh cakes. While we both agreed that Ziggler probably shouldn’t retain, the Boss incorrectly decided that Kofi should regain the title he lost to Dolph all those months ago. I on the other hand, using my superior male brain, think Swagger should get the belt - if only because he has a giant seagull or something… [BOSS LADY RAY'S EDIT: Superior male brain? Really? That's the last time I slave over a cast-iron hotplate making you Welsh cakes, pal.]

Boss Lady Ray: At first I figured they’d just leave the title with Ziggler. But with NXT over, Kaitlyn now busy using her brain to think for both herself and Kelly Kelly and things with Vickie and Dolph a little stale, his reign is probably over for storyline purposes. I was tempted to go with Swagger, but I’ve got ornithophobia, so I’m siding with Kofi. He’s had some great matches lately and he’s been waiting in the wings for another push for some time.

Sidekick Andrew: As you’ll no doubt be sick of me mentioning by now, I don’t watch Raw. Well, I say I don’t watch Raw… but I did watch the two King of the Ring shows which included Cena going rogue and attacking Nexus members and spilling soda. I gather however that David Otunga managed to persuade Barrett to reinstate Cena, using the logic that if he was employed by the WWE he would be less likely to attack them (you know… because if he’s in the same building every week rather than, say, signing on somewhere, he can’t attack you?)

I like Wade Barrett a lot, but I can’t see him winning this one. If WWE have decided it’s time for the Nexus to start to fragment, then it’s time for Cena and Barrett to stop feuding. And if it’s time for Cena and Barrett to stop feuding, that ain’t gonna end with Cena staring at the lights. Oh, and before you ask, yes I am fully aware that I started that sentence with the word “and” which makes me a terrible person.

Boss Lady Ray: I agree.  I do think it’s time for Cena and Barrett to stop feuding, which is why I think Barrett will take it. Cena’s been reinstated. He got to live another day and fight the good fight for the rest of his adult life. If  he loses, it won’t dent his career at all. If Wade wins, that might be just what he needs to seal his position for the next year. And, you know, I love him.  Oh, and before you ask, yes I am fully aware that I started several sentences in this post with the word “and”, which makes me an excellent person.

Sidekick Andrew: While I have said that I think King Sheamus will also be crowned Number One Contender on Sunday, I don’t think he’ll take the belt from The Miz. Miz has come too far to have a short reign, and the way he is being pushed as the new spokesman for the WWE makes me think they’ll keep him as champ through to Wrestlemania at least.

I can’t see him losing to Orton at the PPV. A tables match generally means no disqualification so A-Ri (or whatever his name is) can assist Miz, basically making this a handicap match. Plus, let’s face it, we don’t need more Orton promos with… him… speaking… very… slowly…then… looking… down… and… to… the… left…

Boss Lady Ray: Oh please. Miz’s belt-grab was so long in the making and he’s the golden boy of mainstream media promotion. There would no logic whatsoever in giving the title back to Snooze-Pants Orton. Grapple-peacock about a bit-punt in the head-get fake angry-punch the mat without letting your member scuff the canvas-RKO-zzzzzzzzzzzzz.

The Miz has got it all and, as I pontificated over my breakfast omelette this morning, you can help someone to improve in the ring, but you can’t teach charisma. This is why his former tag-partner John Morrison is struggling to claw his way out of the mid-card, while Miz is defending the WWE Championship. Incidentally, if it could just stop snowing long enough for my Miz t-shirt to be delivered from the Royal Mail depot where its being held against its will, that would be ace. I paid the customs charge five days ago and people need to know I’m awesome. Thanks.

Sidekick Andrew: Dear WWE. I like Kane a lot. I have liked him for a long time now. I liked him when he was silent and masked. I liked him with his weird robot voice box thing. I even liked him when he was teaming with Rob Van Dam and Rob bought him Hungry Hungry Hippos. I also like Edge. I liked him in The Brood with the Fattest Vampire in the West (copyright White Wolf Game Studios.) I liked him when he reeked of awesomeness and played the kazoo and made Christian wear a chicken suit. I liked his transformation into sleazy sex god rock star. I even liked it when he beat up that laptop.

So why oh why do I hate this feud. Oh yeah, that’s it… it’s because the “face” has kidnapped an elderly man and has routinely humiliated and tortured him, making his son believe that he was severely injured or even killed on numerous occasions. The “heel” on the other hand has been distraught, to the point where he has begged tearfully for the safe return of his father, the only person to ever show him genuine love and affection. Stupid stupid stupid…

Hopefully Edge wins this, stops messing about with Kane and Paul Bearer and goes back to being great.

Andrew’s Saturday Morning Edit - OK, so after all that the WWE decided (again) to change the matches around a bit at the last minute and throw Mysterio and Del Rio into the WHC match. That’s a shame, not just because I can’t be arsed making a new graphic but also because I was looking forward to their match. Still, a Fatal 4 Way TLC match has the potential to be really fun, like a mini Money in the Bank match. Strangely enough, I think this favours Del Rio more than Mysterio so I’m torn between Alberto or Edge winning the match and gaining the title. Hmm…I’m going to go with Del Rio, if only because the extra smugness factor of his entrances will be amazing to watch

Boss Lady Ray: As previously mentioned in this post, I’m the second predictor, which means I have the luxury of predicting this match as it actually stands. When it was just Kane and Edge I was going to go with Edge, with the Undertaker somehow getting involved. I hadn’t got as far as considering exactly what he’d do when they changed the match.

My gut feeling is that Edge will win this one, still with some kind of appearance from the Undertaker. But something’s telling me to take a cheeky punt on Del Rio. Mysterio’s due the break he was promised about a year ago, Kane’s floundering a bit and had the title for far too long, Edge could happily retain but Del Rio’s been getting such a massive push lately, it’s hard to imagine he’ll be without some kind of waist-bling for much longer. Also the smugness. Imagine how loud those horn beeps would get!

—————

Well, that’s what we think. As with last time though, we want to know what you lot think will happen. Disagree with our picks? Let us know in the comments. Think that Hungry Hungry Hippos was a silly gift for Kane? Let us know in the comments. Foreign and want to know whether a “hot Vimto” is a steamy fruity drink, or a steamy, fruity sexual reference? Let us know in the comments (and you have my pity, you’re really missing out. Nothing warms the cockles like a good hot Vimto)

survivor series 2010: the predictions

 

 

In a bold and visionary move (and not in any way just vaguely plagiarised from Razor over at Kick-Out) we have decided to start posting our predictions before each PPV. This way you can all see just how incredibly perceptive and intelligent we are when it comes to blindly guessing the results of a pre-scripted event. Of course, chances are we’ll both do really badly and you’ll lose all the respect (hah!) and credibility (hah again!) that we have built up over the last year and a bit.

Anyway, this is a pretty simple post. We’ll waffle on a bit about each match and then make a prediction at the end. Hopefully some of you will be interested enough to leave your predictions in the comments section – we’d love to know how the Wrestlegasm readers think some of the matches will go.

DISCLAIMER: Neither of us have watched Raw in its entirety for a few weeks now, and we are writing this before Smackdown has aired. So if anything really obvious happens on SD that would affect our predictions then, to paraphrase the much missed Snitsky, “it wasn’t our fault”.

No of course we don't. You were just a cheap throwaway joke. Sorry

OK, on with the predictions, starting with…

Andrew: As you may be aware (especially if you read this last week) I don’t watch Raw, so I’m not 100% sure how accurate any of my predictions for their matches will be. Having said that, this Nexus/Cena storyline has been going on long enough that even I have a rough idea what’s going on. I would be surprised if Barrett doesn’t win on Sunday, giving Cena chance to escape Nexus and start on the road to beating Barrett for the title further down the road. Whether Cena will help Barrett to win or not, I’m not sure. But I can definitely see our favourite Preston wrestler looking incredibly smug on Raw with the belt draped over his shoulder.
WINNER: WADE BARRETT

Ray: Picture the scene. Wade Barrett sits alone in a dark, empty room. The shadows from his broken nose switch from one side to another as a solitary light bulb hangs perilously above his head. He wrings his hands together as he tells you you’re too simple to understand the might of the Nexus. Well not me, Wade. I am not too simple to understand that you wouldn’t be the only person in the promo video if they weren’t going to make a star of you at Survivor Series. Also, I feel somewhat obliged to tip Wade. Anything else would feel like going to an international sporting event and singing the other team’s national anthem. Predict from the heart!
WINNER: WADE BARRETT

Andrew: I’ve a feeling this one will also be a title change, with Edge getting the win, the belt and his awesome God-pyro back. I’m expecting some kind of Undertaker/Paul Bearer/Urn-related shenanigans to be involved, with the “Ultimate Opportunist” taking advantage for a cheap win.
WINNER: EDGE

Ray: Let’s face it, Kane was only ever made champion to facilitate the whole ‘who beat my brother into a coma?’ thing. And then the ‘let’s bring Paul Bearer back for old time’s sake’ thing. Followed swiftly by the ‘let’s bury the Undertaker alive in a grave made of polystyrene and resin’ thing. It was never about Kane being a fabulous champion. Time to lay this story to rest (sorry) and move on.
WINNER: EDGE

Andrew: Much as we both love Alberto Del Rio here in The Bunker, I’m sensing a Team Mysterio win after Del Rio walks out on his team (again!) leaving them to take the loss against Rey and Big Show. Plus Mysterio’s name is (kind of) mentioned in the title of our favourite Simpsons episode, so I’ll give him the benefit of the doubt.
WINNER: TEAM MYSTERIO

Ray: I feel I may regret this one. Andrew makes a good point. But I’m under the Del Rio spell. Despite logic, every time those trumpets pipe up and he blasts the horn of his Rolls with all the arrogance of aristocracy, I’m won over. I’m even convinced he may be angling for an invite to Will and Kate’s marital toff-fest next year.
WINNER: TEAM DEL RIO

Andrew: While I find it very hard to get excited (or even interested) in this match, I’m going to predict some kind of mass Nexus interference leading to a DQ victory for Santino & Kozlov. Barrett, Slater & Gabriel celebrating on Monday’s Raw with all three belts seems like too good an image to ignore – even if they will then be attacked and chased off by Cena…
WINNER: KOZLOV & SANTINO

Ray: Easily the least interesting match of the night. It seems fitting that if I have Barrett winning, I should make it a clean sweep for the boys in black and yellow. I think Sheamus will interfere somehow, leading me nicely to my prediction for the final match in the list (Sheamus/Morrison). Cor, it’s like it’s all been worked out in advance or something.
WINNER: NEXUS

Andrew: First prediction is that this should be match of the night. Kaval is obviously a great wrestler, and Ziggler has repaid the affection that Ray and myself have paid him by having consistently enjoyable matches including his recent run against Daniel Bryan. Having said that, I’m picking Kaval for this one. Ray mentioned that she always makes her predictions from her heart, and I would love for Kaval to start a title unification feud against Bryan
WINNER: KAVAL

Ray: There I was saying that I always make my predictions from the heart and here I am doing the opposite. Much as I would love to see Kaval win, I’m not sure they’re quite ready to give him that push or move Ziggler in another direction. I think there might be a bit of juice left in that love triangle nonsense yet. But psssst! Kaval! If you prove me wrong, I’ll secretly be quite pleased.
WINNER: ZIGGLER

Andrew: Going from the heart is trickier in this one as we’re both fans of LayCool and Natalya. Having said that, Layla is a surprisingly good wrestler when she’s given chance, and I’d be happy for LayCool to split up now (especially if McCool having to skip the recent European tour to look after her husband are true and she needs take more time off.) I’m hoping for Natalya to win this one, then feud with Layla for a while until Beth Phoenix comes back. Then I can sit and mark out as Natalya and Beth feud for the title… well, a man can dream can’t he?
WINNER: NATALYA

Ray: I just want Beth Phoenix to come back. OK, I don’t just want that, but it’s started to feel like everything in the Smackdown women’s division is waiting with bated breath for the Glamazon to storm in and take everyone out. I do think it might soon be time for Layla and Michelle to part ways, but not before Ms. Phoenix comes back to buddy-up with Natalya. Then again, maybe that will happen at Survivor Series. Queen of wishful thinking.
WINNER: LAYCOOL

Andrew: Yeah, I’ve no idea what this is all about. Hang on a sec, I’ll just check wwe.com… What? They’re fighting over Santino! Why are they… but… Santino has Kozlov on his team! Why would he need John Morrison? Meh…
WINNER: MORRISON

Ray: Sheamus is just hanging around waiting for Triple H to come back and take his revenge for ousting him all those months ago. John Morrison is just, well, hanging around. So why not let them have a little match over a pretend Italian man to keep themselves amused while waiting for something better to come along. A bit like the way firefighters play poker in between fires.
WINNER: MORRISON

Right, that’s what we think. What about you lot? We like to think that Wrestlegasm reader’s are smarter (and smarter) than the normal wrestling fan, so if you get a couple of minutes feel free to let us know your predictions in the comments below and we’ll mention the closest results on the blog.


a sad panda and lots of kisses

Back when Matt Striker was on the ECW roster he used to do a video bit on WWE.com called ‘Best Week, Worst Week’, where he would select public figures who’d had, well, the best and worst week. He also used to write excellent blogs and answer viewers’ questions. Sadly, this all fell by the wayside when he was shifted to commentary. Depending on how you feel about Striker’s commentary, that’s either a good thing of a bad thing.
Two WWE entities who had a startlingly good and bad seven days, so I figured I’d pay homage to Striker (because I don’t do that enough already) and do my own scribbled version of Best Week, Worst Week. And while we’re at it, Jamie Keyes, you weren’t actually due to be eliminated from NXT this week. But “seducing” Striker was a step too far.
You’re not fooling anyone with that flower in your hair, pal.
To steal words from Tina Fey’s notebook (because I don’t do that enough already either):
“I had never felt this feeling before. I could hear my heartbeat in my ears. My stomach felt like it was about to fall out my butt. I had this lump in my throat like when you dry-swallow a big pill. I hated [Jamie]. I hated her!”
But that’s quite enough of my worrying and feral need to attack a woman smooching a man who isn’t even my man. We should probably get to the bones of this post.

Worst Week

John Cena. Obvious, I know. But he who fights the good fight at all times has had his foundations rocked this week. It’s been a rollercoaster akin to that new ride at Alton Towers that I can’t remember the name of and might just be making up for the sake of it. Things started going wrong at Hell in a Cell, where our hero had to beat Wade Barrett to force the Nexus into going their separate ways. If Cena lost? He had to jump the fence into bad guy territory and swap his purple clobber for the black & amber. Seems unlikely, right?
And yet, unlikely things do happen. The ring was invaded by two fans, who were clearly Husky Harris and Michael McGillacutty. The officials were distracted and Cena lost the match. Of course, if all the people in the arena had actually taken the time to watch NXT, they might have recognised the assailants and not spent the next 20 minutes pulling expressions like this:
Seriously, unless you’re too young to fully grasp the concept that professional wrestling is predetermined theatre, you should not be pulling these expressions when John Cena is forced to buddy up with the baddies.
This is acceptable.
This is not.
24 hours later, things weren’t improving for our hero. John was forced to join Barrett & Co. in the ring and read out a statement in which he declared himself under Wade’s wing. Don’t worry, kids. He did it in a solemn, monotone manner so as not to indicate that he was enjoying himself in any way.

asformyfansihopeyoustandbymebecausethefactofthematterisyou’reeithernexusoragainstus
Now part of this posse of wrong-doers, Cena had to start playing the part. He was told to choose a tag partner and go at it against Evan Bourne and Mark Henry. Apparently, the proper etiquette for choosing someone to tag with these days is to step right up into their face as if about to plant a passionate kiss on their chops and not say a word.
Good to know for the next team building away day in the Bunker.
The match got under way but Tarver was not happy. Shaking your opponent’s hand before a match is very un-Nexusy. And the good behaviour didn’t end there. Tarver stepped into the ring to show Cena how to be mean but found himself being mauled by an extra-shiny Mark Henry. After a while, John felt he should probably help Michael Tarver by offering him a tag. But as soon as Tarver held his shaking hand out for salvation, John pulled it away, stuck his hand in his denim pedal-pushers and pulled out a pen. What?
Ahhhh. Gotcha.
While Cena pressed the flesh with the audience and made insignificant pieces of craft card suddenly worth mega cash, Tarver was suffocated by Mark Henry’s belly. “The happiest loser ever seen” decided that being part of a group wasn’t quite for him and John announced that, if he had to remain a member of the Nexus, he planned on destroying it from within. The ultimate non-conformist, Michael Cole? Not quite.
Cena went on to make mince-meat of Michael Tarver and absorbed the adoration of the bellowing crowd through every pore of his perfectly smooth skin.
Nice of Hulk Hogan to buy a ticket and cheer John on.
This rabble-rousing was not missed by the still anonymous GM. Michael Cole stepped up to his podium and announced that if John couldn’t fall into line and follow Barrett’s orders, his contract would be terminated. For good. Pretty sure that’s illegal, but still, EEEK!
Cena was a sad panda, so he skulked off to consider his future. You know what everyone needs when everything they’ve ever known is hanging by a thread? Josh Matthews with a microphone on the end of his wrist.
A quick appearance from Harris and McGillacutty and Cena was on his toes chasing them to the locker room. He should have known better. His new boss was waiting with his henchmen to quiz John on his anti-Nexus behaviour.
Later on it was announced that there would be a 20-man Over the Top Rope Battle Royal to determine the NoC for the WWE belt. Basically, Barrett wanted it and if John didn’t act as his personal bodyguard throughout the match, there would be consequences. It’s tough having a boss who doesn’t think you’re the greatest thing since sliced bread, eh John? Welcome to real life!
The Battle Royal did its work. The professional jobbers fell on their swords and, as if it had been decided beforehand, John and Wade ended up with just each other to eliminate. Cena was in a sticky situation. Eliminate Wade and he’d be the people’s champion, the number one contender and would be safe in the knowledge that he didn’t compromise his principles. Downside? Well, he’d be fired. Kind of a bummer. So what did John do? He did what all of us do when we’re frustrated at work….
1) Get angry and butt heads with the boss…….
2) Consider making a fuss……
3) Then just do what they tell you to do anyway.
Keep smiling, John-boy. You will overcome. Of that I have no doubt.

Best Week

You’d think the person who had the Best Week would be Wade Barrett, right? I mean, in March he was begging for the big-time in FCW and here he is barking orders at arguably the most well-known face in wrestling. Fun times for our compatriot. But ‘Best Week’ goes to a show rather than a single person. That show is……NXT. It was great and…..nah I can’t do it. It’s Smackdown.
Last week it was a big, fat, ugly Raw-fest to celebrate the show’s move to SyFy in America. Dear Raw, do not infect my beloved Smackdown with your Raw germs again. Thankfully, it wasn’t just back to normal this week, it was better than normal.
Edge came back to his spiritual home, the Dudebusters got back on TV, Kaval did lots of clever kicks, the Dolph/Vickie/Kaitlyn lust-triangle took a new turn, and Rey Mysterio and Alberto Del Rio pulled off one of my favourite non-PPV matches of the last few months.
Bravo, Smackdown. With your snazzy new graphics and more favourable theme tune, I think I want to kiss you. Lots.There’s only one thing which makes me want to play hard-to-get and save those kisses for our next date.
Why is Michael Cole commentating on Smackdown?!?!?! Must his insipid, interfering voice be heard on every show now? Cutting Matt Striker off mid-sentence while you’re having a love-in with Jerry Lawler during a PPV is one thing, but cutting him off on his own show is just bad form. GO. AWAY. NOW. Get rid of Cole, Smackdown, and you’re on a promise for next week.

-

It was only when I started going back through all the shows from the past few months that I realised just how long it’s been since the last fashion post. And yes, I do go back through everything for these posts. Ded-i-ca-tion! Think about it…there’s been a major draft, some amazing PPVs, some of the roster were deported, and then they were allowed back in the country again. Some of the roster married each other, some big names have parted ways with the WWE (some voluntary, some by force), new stars have been made, new champions have been crowned (kind of), the first series of NXT finished, a new one began and the Nexus became part of the wrestling furniture. It would be impossible to run through every clothing related happening since Wrestlemania, but I’ll try to pick out some of the most memorable. You might need to go and get some tea and biscuits before you get stuck into this one. ‘Tis a long’un.

You better take a good look at that banner above the first paragraph, folks. Not only because we’re redesigning the site at the moment, but also because since I last did a fashion post, our favourite oiled fashion disaster has retired. Dave Batista, I miss you and your double-deni. Although, when I saw Big Dave covering up in a high-necked top and a cat-burglar hat a few weeks before he departed, I figured his time left with us was short.

The beginning of the end.

So, there’ll be no more near-naked Batista, sitting in the middle of the ring, sulking because things didn’t go his way. Let’s take a moment to remember…..

So what now for Dave? Rumour has it that he’s opened up an exclusive cocktail bar for select members of the community in Manhattan. I wish him all the very best.

Thanks, Adam.

As one veteran says goodbye, a new breed of superstars comes to the fore. Such is the circle of life. The Nexus may not have been around for long, but they feel like part of the family already. Look at them there in their cheapo t-shirts:

Their transformation from FCW wannabes to PPV hijackers was quite astonishing. Let’s take Justin Gabriel, for example. He was so cute before he turned bad. There he was with his dimply smile, ironed black hair and Matt Hardy inspired shirts.

Aww. Bless.

A couple of months, an evil streak later and……

Please note, as a face he wore white trunks and as a heel they’re black. Apparently, encasing your junk in white PVC means you’re angelic and wrapping it in black plastic makes you eeevil. Also the highlights and asymmetrical haircut. They’re eeevil too. Wade Barrett has only improved since winning NXT. He’s ditched the oversized winter coats and looks ever the illustrious leader:

It’s no wonder he beat David Otunga to the NXT trophy. Especially when Otunga decided to cover his head in stick-on plastic diamantes for the final show:

Dude! NO!

Otunga’s look hasn’t changed much since his rookie-hood, but Darren Young has had a major make-over. Personally, I’m not sure which is worse, so I’ll leave you to decide:

As for Heath Slater, he looked like a cock before he was on NXT, during and after.

Mmm. Ginger beard and girlie shades. Yum.

Our next batch of rookies don’t seem to display such extreme fashion guises. In fact, they’re fairly normal looking. Well, normal for wrestlers anyway. I mean, check out how miserable Kaval looks at having to wear his mentors’ home-made merchandise:

But don’t let grumpy-chops fool you. In his spare time, the man with the deepest voice I ever did hear likes to do a spot of catalogue modelling;

Look at all that smizing! Tyra would be so proud.

I’m sure his mentors would wholeheartedly approve. While we’re on the topic of LayCool, let’s have some REAL TALK.

Despite the fact that they appear dressed in increasingly elaborate self-branded outfits every week, not a single piece has appeared on WWEShop.com. Although, there is a youth Divas t-shirt available, so at least little girls have something to wear to cheer on the Divas now.

If WWE want to release some LayCool Flawless merchandise, I will most definitely buy it. Ms. McCool is now Mrs. Calaway, courtesy of her marriage to a certain Dead Man. And speaking of the Undertaker, you know you’re a wrestling fan when you watch the Eurovision Song Contest and assign wrestlers to the countries competing, based on their performance outfits. Clearly Taker’s a big hit in Eastern Europe.

Sing your hearts out, Ukraine and Albania!

Let’s move on. I just admitted to watching the Eurovision Song Contest. Quick! We need a more pleasant subject. Ah yes. CM Punk. Punk has gone through quite the transformation over the past few months. His once flowing locks were shorn in the name of defending the Straight Edge Society and I spent several weeks mourning the loss of his face.

Thankfully, just a couple of weeks ago the Big Show de-masked Mr. Punk and his face (plus shaven head) were visible again. Hooray!

It was rough, but we made it through and came out the other side stronger.

Going back to the ladies, my Maryse envy has been hitting new heights lately. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t want to be her or anything, but let’s be honest, the girl fills her clothes rather beautifully. I’m not sure a halter-neck string bikini and a cropped lace top are quite suitable clothing for jiu-jitsu training. Eve has the edge in the practical clothing stakes.

But Maryse’s in-ring attire is always ace and this dress almost made me give up on life. I can’t compete with that.

But you never know, maybe I’ll go through some sort of image evolution one day and end up looking that glamorous. Bahahahaha! I couldn’t even keep a straight face typing that. Someone who did go through an image evolution though was Shad Gaspard. He ditched JTG and his urban streetwear to forge a solo career. All was looking trendy:

Until…….

Yawch! Matt Striker should have a word in his ear. That's not right.

You know, when Dave disappeared I worried that I’d have nobody to follow regarding hit-n-miss fashions. But I had not anticipated the wonder that is the cougar herself, Vickie Guerrero.

She started off in her blouse and ‘mum-jeans’, but her efforts to impress and keep up with the youthful Dolph Ziggler have been nothing if not brave. Check ‘em out:

Eeeeek! Wait. That last one was a bit dodgy. Tight dresses with zips right up the middle scream ‘street-walker’. Not even Kelly Kelly can pull that one off.

OK. Maybe Kelly.

But it’s OK, kids. In recent weeks Mrs. G’s cracked open the summer wardrobe and thrown on some rather flattering sundresses.

So all’s well that ends well. Even if she doesn’t look very happy about it. I love you, Vickie.

Sunshine seems to either bring out the best in our sense of dress or the worst. Just think of all those outfits you wear on your summer holiday that you wouldn’t dream of wearing back home. Drew McIntyre, I’m talking to you:

But I'll forgive you because you were just back from your honeymoon with Tiffany and you've had a rough time of things lately.

Sheamus could teach Drew a few things about dressing for an occasion. While stranded in Belfast as a result of the Icelandic volcanic ash, Sheamus strutted around in a mighty fine ensemble of muted colours and handpicked items. Ok, so the tie probably should be on top of the shirt, but still, he looks good, oui?

I should move on before that underlying Sheamus crush rears its ugly head. I fear that I’m a change of hair-do away from swooning for Sheamus. As Sidekick Andrew points out every time I mention it “It’s the voice, isn’t it?” Errrr, yah! Show me a girl who doesn’t love a boy with an Irish accent and I’ll show thee a liar! And while we’re on the subject of crushes I’d rather not admit to:

Yep! Zack Ryder. While he’s in his ring gear… nothing. Not even a tingle. But in his civilian clothing (as above)…. WOO WOO WOO! Although, my real reason for mentioning he of the glorious tan is to report that he’s FINALLY dropped the half-tighs/half trunks hybrid and gone for more standard trunks:

While the Long Island Iced-Z reveals a favourable increase in flesh, Cody Rhodes seems to be becoming even more naked, and it turns my stomach slightly. I mean, look….

eww

The lack of knee-pads doesn’t help and when he opts for his light-coloured boots, the boy looks practically naked. Enough. Get him some tights and a vest.

So there you have it. That’s your latest instalment of WWE clothing triumphs and disasters. I’ve learnt a few things from this trip down memory lane. I’ve learnt that I miss Beth Phoenix, Triple H and Mickie James a lot more than I thought I did, and I’ve discovered a few universal truths that will never change. I shall impart this wisdom forthwith. Never forget these important wrestling fashion rules:

  • Mark Henry in speedos is like a car-crash. You don’t want to look, but you just can’t stop yourself. You probably should look away though:
  • Jerry Lawler will always wear horrendous t-shirts:
  • Use somebody’s clothing as a weapon against them and you will be fired: