What? Already? Bloody hell, it’s only the Over the Limit predictions

I have to question the logic of cramming in an extra PPV in the month after Wrestlemania. Considering the amount of sales they expect for ‘Mania, a bit of breathing space might be nice. Still, I’m sure they know what they’re doing. This weekend is the second Over The Limit PPV, and just looking at the posters for the two years you can see how much times have changed. Daniel Bryan on a Pay Per View poster? Surely the true harbinger of the rapture…

Sidekick Andrew: First up, the obligatory Divas match for the “butterfly emblazoned title” (© wwe.com) Brie is inexplicably Divas Champion (a fact I had to enlighten Boss Lady Ray with, which should give you an indication of how successful a champion she is) and Kelly is looking for her first title. Of course, this is really about one person, and one person only…

Yep, pretty sure Kharma is making an appearance and saving this match from being as awful as it promises to be. Seriously, with Beth, Natalya, Kharma and Gail on your roster, Brie bloody Bella and Kelly Kelly are the best you have to offer? Sheesh… Anyway, I’m going to go with Kelly winning the title, after Kharma comes out and distracts Brie long enough for Kelly to sloppily pull off a roll up.

Boss Lady Ray: It’s true. I, chief person in charge of being frustrated at the treatment of the Divas Division, had to ask the Sidekick who currently held the title. Times is bleak. I actually don’t think either will win the match. I’m guessing Kharma will interfere and end it early. Kelly and Brie can finish it another time. More importantly, I’m desperately hoping Beth and Natalya come out to beat Kharma down. UHH. I’m getting excited just thinking about it. I know WWE people read this blog (hah!) so let’s make it happen, people.

Sidekick Andrew: Hmm, I’ll confess I’ve not been watching as much WWE as I perhaps should have been. Over than Tough Enough, Superstars and Z! The True Long Island Story we’ve been (slowly) working our way through King of Trios over the last couple of weeks instead. As such, I’m not sure what’s going on with these two. I saw Chavo doing guest commentary on Sin Cara’s match the other week, and they had a very manly handshake in the ring afterwards (complete with FORESHADOWING)

While I don’t have much interest in the reasons for this match, I am looking forward to the actual match itself. Sin Cara is pretty exciting, and I’m looking forward to seeing how he performs on a PPV setting after his slightly shaky Raw matches. Chavo is a pretty safe pair of hands for him to go against, seemingly bringing the best out of the newer guys on the roster (I believe he had Daniel Bryan and Rey Mysterio’s first WWE matches.) Pretty sure Sin Cara is winning this one though. If WWE are wanting to push him then a PPV win would be a nice start.

Boss Lady Ray: Unlike my slack colleague, I have been making an effort to watch WWE programming of late. We’ll discuss this at your appraisal, Andrew. I do, however, agree that Sin Cara’s got this one sewn up. He was such a huge acquisition and he’s not had the brilliant start everyone was expecting. Chavo’s a loveable dork and happy to put anyone over. It’s a perfect marriage.

Sidekick Andrew: I have absolutely no idea what’s going on here. I know R-Truth is supposedly a heel now, which means that everyone hates him…

Wakka Wakka!

I’ve literally nothing else to say about this one, other than I want Mysterio to win and that I’m looking forward to the Divas match more than this one.

Boss Lady Ray: You see, if Andrew had been watching Raw (which admittedly he’s always avoided) he’d know that R-Truth is rather hilarious as a heel. He’s still mad as a box of frogs, what with his krayzee-eyez, his waffle about kicking pets and hateful hospital food, but Truth is significantly more interesting now than when he’s winning the crowd over with his low-rent rapping. He keeps telling us he’s going prove his worth, so I think Truth will take this one in rather violent fashion. I’m still holding out for a promo to rival this one though:


Everything was falling apart around him. And he seemed helpless to halt the collapse; he could only witness it, completely impotent, snatched up and gripped by processes too powerful for him to understand. (Philip K Dick)

Sidekick Andrew: That was a bit geeky wasn’t it, quoting sci-fi authors – but then I’m writing on a wrestling blog so the “cool” ship has pretty much sailed I’m afraid. The Corre is slowly collapsing under the weight of thousands of unsold t-shirts with that terrible logo on. Jackson has been ex-communicated in that particularly gangland method of kicking the crap out of him then tipping a wheelie bin full of invisible glass bottles on top.

Much as I love Barrett, and all local bias aside, I think Jackson might win this one. He needs the push much more than Barrett at the moment, and this could be the time for the Corre to implode completely. Slater messes up costing Barrett the title somehow; Barrett turns on him; Slater’s hetero life partner Gabriel jumps in to interfere; end of the Corre. In fact, you could say… Corre no More! Get it! It rhymes and everything! Ah well, as the Space Pirates would say, “if you don’t get it, just forget it.”

On the other hand, if you did get the reference, you've now got "na nanana na... Space Pirates!" stuck in your head

Boss Lady Ray: I have no children and yet I know the theme tune to Space Pirates. I need to get pregnant so I can justify my unrelenting enjoyment of children’s television. Clearly I’m made for motherhood! Anyway, I’m going to disagree with the Sidekick on this one. The Corre is definitely on its way out, but I think Wade’s keeping the title and ditching his cronies for good. The Corre hasn’t worked that well and Wade needs to get back to ticking ‘World Domination’ off his to-do list before he misses the boat.

Associate with men of good quality if you esteem your own reputation; for it is better to be alone than in bad company. (George Washington)

Sidekick Andrew: I’m pretty sure the only word to describe this match is going to be “ewwwwwwwwwwwwwww.” The match itself won’t be that great, although as long as Lawler gets the win and we can put an end to Cole wrestling I’ll be happy. I’ll be happy for Lawler to carry on feuding with Swagger or something, but just stop Cole’s involvement… please?

My biggest issue with this match though is the stipulation – a “Kiss My Foot” match where the loser must kiss the winner’s foot. As far as I’m aware, this has been done once before in the WWE with Lawler and Bret Hart, which does make me wonder just how much Lawler likes feet (if you know what I mean.) I did manage to find footage of a Kiss my Foot match in FCW between Katie Lea (later WWE’s Katie Lea Burchill and TNA’s Winter) and Milena Roucka (later that really flexible girl running from Rey Mysterio’s uncle in the amazing Wrestlemaniac) but that probably appeals to a completely different market coughTurtlecough

Casting aside images of attractive women flexibly kissing each others appendages for a moment, do we really want to see Cole kissing Lawler’s foot? His sixty two year old wizened goblin trotter, sweating and stinking from being cramped inside a tight boot and wrestling under hot lights for 10 minutes or so? Does anybody really enjoy that kind of thing? Kissing dirty feet?

oh... right... eww...

Boss Lady Ray: Oh! Bloody brilliant! I’ve spent ages trying to rid this blog of sinister search terms and now they’ll all be swarming over here like zombies running at a fresh human. Sod off, you creepy foot freaks! Be ashamed of yourselves. *SHUDDER*

I keep saying that Lawler will win because I’m so desperate for Cole to stay in his commentary seat and stop interrupting Divas matches. Using the skill of reverse psychology I’m going to predict Cole to win. I really can’t lose. Either this feud ends, which is preferable, or I win a point in the predictions competition. Win-win.

Sidekick Andrew: No points for guessing who Boss Lady Ray is pulling for in this match. On the one hand we’ve got current Tag Team Champions Big Show and Kane, not exactly two of her favourite wrestlers. On the other team we have CM Punk, a man that the Boss has an almost ridiculous crush on (especially in those lavender trunks.) He’s teaming with the best that Wales has to offer.

Mae fy hofrenfad yn llawn llyswennodMae fy hofrenfad yn llawn llyswennod!

Only joking (please don’t sack me Boss!) He is of course teaming with the “chainsaw temper and menacing muscle” (wwe.com again) of Mason Ryan. Now, I think even Ray will admit that Ryan is still slightly green in the ring, but even so I think he and Punk will take the titles. Ryan, with guidance, should be absolutely fine in tag matches with Punk, rather than being unfortunately exposed in singles competition. All he needs to do at first is look menacing and occasionally clothesline someone, and I’m sure he could do that pretty well. Basically, I have an overwhelming vision of Punk holding the title at the end of match with a massive shit-eating grin plastered across his face. Although, admittedly, this weekend should have taught both me and Harold Camping not to trust in visions.

Boss Lady Ray: Speaking of visions, I’m just recalling that dream I once had where Tom Jones showed up in his own version of a referee’s outfit.

I was tempted to suggest that Mason would cost he and Punk the match, but I just can’t do it. Punk needs a new title and I really want to see Mason win his first. This is love, lust and pride versus a couple of old geezers I’ve never much cared for. No contest. Punk & Bazza to win. Can we please hurry up with these? Tom Jones has just thrown some bubble-bath in the hot-tub and I want to get in on that action. HUH! *Jones-esque hip girations*

Sidekick Andrew: Randy Orton vs Christian: or, as we have taken to calling it in the Bunker, Vince McMahon vs The Internet. I’ve already written briefly about the frankly hysterical uproar when Orton beat Christian for the title, so I won’t go back over old ground. Suffice to say that Orton’s retaining the belt this weekend. There is definitely an argument to be made that the amount of complaints from fans and blogs online might make the WWE think that they made a mistake and that the title should go back to Christian. It might make Vince reconsider his apparent belief that Christian isn’t a draw and shouldn’t be in the main event scene. It might make him realise that the vast majority of the internet have lost interest in Randy Orton and… his… interminably… slow… delivery, both in ring and on the microphone.

It might do all this, if Vince McMahon cared even slightly what the internet thought.

Boss Lady Ray: If the whole purpose of giving Randy Orton the title so soon after he was drafted was so that he could become the face of Smackdown, it doesn’t make any sense to take it away again. I’ve no doubt that Christian will get it back again, but I’m not sure it’s happening before Summerslam. And if you think WWE panders to fans whining about who has the title, you’re dreaming.  Randy to retain.

Sidekick Andrew: Really? REALLY? Does anyone think Miz is going to take the title back this weekend? Much as I like The Miz, the idea of Cena saying “I Quit” is pretty unthinkable. He’s been in three previous I Quit matches (against JBL at Judgement Day 2005, Orton at Breaking Point 2009 and Batista at last year’s Over the Limit) and come out on top each time. Even wwe.com admit that the words I Quit “have never been in his vocabulary.”

Cena’s retaining the title. They’re not going to take it off him this quickly, even if the internet want Miz to get to it back (see above.) Much as I would love to see the show go off air with Miz holding the title aloft and Cena having quit, it seems very very unlikely to me.

aww...

Boss Lady Ray: Yesterday when we discussed this in the Wrestle Bunker, I was all about Cena keeping the title. No way was Miz getting it back. I even did a sassy finger snap and a head bob to confirm my confidence. Today I’m not so sure. I’m going to say that neither will quit and someone will interfere. Who and for what reason, I have no idea. The Rock? HHH? Soapy Tom Jones? I’m just going on a hunch. An instinct. But we all know how terrible my instincts are. It’s amazing I’ve made it through the first disc of L.A. Noire!


smackdown(lite): bikini trimmer at the ready

Smackdown was left in the position of having to rescue Raw AGAIN this week! I’m concerned for Smackdown. It’s so perfectly balanced at the moment. Too much pressure to be the only show firing an all cylinders every single week might tip it the other way. Raw, you better start pulling your weight because I don’t want to have to check Smackdown in to The Priory suffering from ‘exhaustion’.  Maternal worry over, let’s get to the show.

It all got going with CM Punk, now a proper heel, back in the ring with another brief vilification of the audience. Much as I enjoyed the nuances of when he fell somewhere between being good guy and bad mofo, I’ve kind of been waiting or REAL HEEL PUNK to emerge. Announcer Justin introduced Jeff Hardy for a match between the two for the Heavyweight Title. Biggest belt of the show on FIRST? This match can’t be going anywhere. It wasn’t. The anger between them was so intense it took every striped official in the building, a couple of dudes in golf shirts and Teddy long to separate them.

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Just as it looked like things were cooling off, Vince McMahon showed up in a delightful shade of duck egg blue. OH MY GOD, has he actually realised Smackdown is the superior brand? No. Apparently, Teddy Long is still on probation and Vince was most upset that he appeared to have lost control of his roster. To ensure that the title match went off without a hitch, Mr. M announced there would be a special guest enforcer, who shall currently remain nameless, and the match would take place later on to allow everyone some time to regroup.

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Once the boss had left, Jeff flew at Punk again and they were prised apart. Again. Sheesh. What a start! Think we need some coolness to take things forward. Ahhhh, John Morrison. He of the well insulated ankles. He’s a trooper for coolness! Morrison was taking Tyson Kidd on again (first one was on Superstars. I missed it). Great match. I even managed not to focus on my overwhelming need to take a bikini trimmer to the confusing strip of pointy fuzz across Kidd’s hairline.

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It was even-stevens to begin with, but Morrison allowed to Kidd to take the lead, before turning things around and sticking the Starship Pain across his face for the win.

Cryme Tyme and Eve explained the word ‘pretenda’ to us in antother edition of ‘Word Up’,  which lead neatly in to a Jesse v Charlie Haas match. Jesse is going by the hip-hop inspired name of Slam Master J. I don’t know what to say about the match, but I do know that……

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Jesse Slam Master J won.

On we go, and it’s time for the fatal-fourway to decides Rey Mysterio’s Intercontinental opponent at Summerslam. Rey brought a booster seat out and joined JR and Todd in the commentary corner and…… hold on…..before we go any further…. what is wrong with this picture?

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First of all, Rey can’t possibly hear anything through those headphones with his mask on, unless he’s cut some sneaky little holes in the sides. Secondly, what’s happened to his chin? Did he ALWAYS have a miniature beard-bun there? Don’t move, I’ll get the bikini trimmer back out the bathroom cabinet.

R-Truth, Mike Knox, Finlay and Dolph Ziggler fought it out and it turned in to another wicked match. Even Knox looked good.  Dolph pinned Finlay for the win and went over to give Rey a slap. Finlay, grumpy that he lost to Ziggler, grabbed Dolph’s dorky hair and tried to pull him back in the ring.

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You must keep your eye on Rey Mysterio at all times. Look away for a second and he’ll be round your neck in a heartbeat, as Dolph found out. The Rey Mysterio shaped scarf will be available from WWE Shop when the Autumn rolls in.

All this testosterone is just lovely, but I could really do with tagging on to some girly chit chat. Ah, here we go. Maria and Melina are talking it up in the corridor.  Melina was all praise for how happy Maria appears to be these days but, as one of her BFFs, she wanted to make sure Maria was 100% certain Dolph was the right guy for her. Well, let’s be honest, he is kind of a prick, right? But Maria made it clear that his in-ring persona is not who he is with her. Hmm.

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Melina ain't convinced. Neither am I.

Oh Maria. It’s ok. We’ll be here when that horrible, sexy boy breaks your heart, k? kiss-kiss.

With Cryme Tyme getting a push to meet Jericho and Big Show at Summerslam, it was time for some PPV promo. See, Raw? That’s how you do it. Cryme Tyme’s match got more promo than Cena/Orton this week. Ridiculous! Anyway, you have to be pretty awful not to pull off a brilliant match with Jericho. JTG did not disappoint.  And I loved the ending.

Jericho stuck the Codebreaker on JTG and left him lying off the apron, under the ropes.  Jericho went in for the pin, but with his opponent still under the ropes, the ref refused to award the win.  Jericho finally agreed to drag him back inside the ring but in a moment of lapsed concentration, JTG flipped Jericho over and snatched the win, racing up the ramp with Shad at his before the enraged Jericho could do anything about it. Jericho’s exaggerated anger made me laugh out loud.

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Next, The Great Khali was up against Ricky Ortiz. This match felt redundant even before Ortiz was errrrm made redundant. It lasted just a few seconds and I guess it’s there to build this feud between Khali and Kane, but I’m struggling to summon up any kind of enthusiasm for it. The best thing about it was that Singh the Sidekick got dragged from the arena by Kane, only to have Todd Grisham recap it by saying……

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JR corrected his grammar by saying…….

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Oh, Todd. Even with all your mistakes, I still kind of love you. They may actually be the reason I love you. Though, not as much as I crush for        Josh Matthews. He’s little, I’m little, it works better. You understand.

I need a main event to refresh me after that last “match”. Jeff and Punk prepare to enter the ring, but we need to introduce the special enforcer first. Who could it be? Who could it be? Actually, if you follow the right people on Twitter you’d have figured it out already. A certain main eventer’s brother who had broken metacarpals, was complaining about the chaos of being in the hustle and bustle of New York this week. He was looking forward to getting back to North Carolina. If you can’t work that one out, you’re either really new to wrestling or I question whether your marbles are all in their bag. The special guest enforcer was…………….

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Matt Hardy, who looked awesome with that bitchin’ face tan, made his way to the ring. But who would he favour? Has he buried the hatchet and let the brother-on-brother violence go or will he be in Punk’s corner? Judging by the number of alcoholic beverages in Matt’s twitpics, I guessed the former, but what really happened?

The match was ok. I’m not entirely in favour of putting matches on weekly shows when we’re about to see them at a PPV, but Teddy Long slapped a Tables, Ladders and Chair stipulation on it for Summerslam, so that juices things up a bit. Punk was all set up for the pin when Matt Hardy dragged the ref out of the ring, forcing Punk to tell Matt off.  Distracted from the job in hand, Punk was pulled to the ground by Jeff, and was 1,2,3′ed out of the match by big brother.

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Punk wasn’t done. Now incensed that his win was scuppered, he returned to the ring with a steel chair to finish Jeff off.  Brutal! Punk smiled his way back up the ramp but was met at the top by Teddy, who announced the aforementioned TLC stip. Punk told Teddy to go and check on his poster boy and the crowd were left chanting TLC TLC TLC.

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I feel like someone just massaged my temples with warm fingers. Thanks, Smackdown. You’re the bestest!

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.

smackdown(lite): now that’s how you make a wrestling show

Remember last week when I got all puffed up and tearful about the car crash television that was Raw vs The Denver Nuggets? The reason it got me so wound up was that it worried me that someone might have chosen that particular night to start watching wrestling for the first time and would have thought it was representative of wrestling programming in general.  For the complete opposite reason, I shall be holding on to last Friday’s episode of Smackdown, so that when anyone asks me why I enjoy wrestling I can give them a copy. Kind of like when my sociology tutor asked if she could keep my research project on British Soap Operas as Social Eduction so she could show it to future students on how to execute a media and society project. I’m still proud of that one. But enough of my personal triumphs from the distant past. Let’s go down some smack.

The blue Smackdown trucks rolled in to Memphis and appeared to have picked up a few accessories along the way. The arena was littered with ladder after ladder after ladder.  It looked like a cubist painting from the turn of the 20th Century. If Pablo Picasso were alive today he’d be in heaven. All those straight lines and obscure angles. I imagine his rendition might look something like this.

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I call it, Sea of Steel. (Title stolen from Jim Ross). PS> If you do the 'right-click, save-as...' on this picture, please credit it back to wrestlegasm.com. Thanks.

Beautiful! Even if I do say so myself. But that’s enough about art. Mainly because without the crutch of Wikipedia I know absolutely nothing.

Edge made his way through the maze of metal and called Jeff Hardy out to join him. Jeff made an impossibly long entrance to the ring, slipping some skin to all the kiddies screaming at him as he went. Well, he IS the Pied Piper of Wrestle World. Everyone dances to his tune. Not that I’m calling wrestling fans rats or anything. Oh, I think I need a new metaphor. I should prob go back to Fonzy. After ducking under every ladder in his path, Jeff  arrived in the ring but exclaimed that he would be decidedly more comfortable on top of a ladder and began climbing.

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Edge accused him of peddling false bravado and pandering to the sheep in the audience. No, Edge. RATS, not sheep. I’ll send him a copy of this for his birthday…….

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Edge continued and made sure Jeff knew that every time he made an attempt to reach for the belt at Extreme Rules he’d be there to knock him back down again. BOOO! He climbed to join Jeff at ladder height and they had a good old chin-wag about who would be victorious at Sunday’s PPV. Jeff explained that his free-spirit would be his salvation but Edge got all NUH-UHH, and whacked him across the temple with the suspended title belt. Not content with a mere slap to the head, he tipped Jeff over and he went flying down to the ground, his fall only broken by the ropes. But as JR so diligently reminded us, those ropes are made of encased steel, so not much of a soft landing after all.

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Great opener. What’s next? John Morrison v Shelton Benjamin. I love watching these two. They’re pacey, creative and so athletic is makes me ashamed of being so unathletic. No, it’s not just Ms. McCool who makes me feel like that. It was a great, solid match and I don’t think I’ll ever get tired of seeing the Starship Pain. AMAZING! But the most shocking moment of the match was the revelation from JR that the quadricep is the biggest muscle in the body. WHAT? I thought it was the Gluteus Maximus. Your ass is bigger than your thighs, right? He then went on to say that he remembers that from his anatomy days. Oh, you must be trained doctor then. My apologies Dr. Ross. No offense, but if I’m going to believe the medical ramblings of a Dr. Ross, I’ll stick with this one.

Look at the girl in the background who is supposed to be dead but is actually George out. George Clooney: So handsome he raises women from the dead.

Look at the girl in the background. She is supposed to be dead but is actually checking George out. George Clooney: So handsome he raises women from the dead.

Moving on and Chris Jericho was roaming the backstage area, which means he’ll be calling us all gelatinous again within a couple of minutes.

He strutted his way out to the ring, as he does, and began slamming Rey Mysterio and the audience. Ok, he didn’t say ‘gelatinous’ again, but he did use the words ‘zombies’ and ‘web of deceit’. COOL! But just as Jericho asked us if we’re fully clear on what he was trying to say, some music started playing. R-Truth? R-Truth is facing up to Jericho? I was not expecting that. He did his whole ‘WHAT’S UP?’ thing, asked Memphis what was up, and then asked Chris Jericho what was up with him. It was lovely, comedy moment because the contempt on Jericho’s face was priceless. He had that look my mother gets when I try to explain the purpose of blogging to her.

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Jericho went on, amazed that anyone dared to interrupt him in full arsehole mode, but R-Truth bit back. Much like Umaga, he’s allowed to speak now. YAY! R-Truth told him that just because he talked down to everyone, it didn’t actually make him badass. But he promised that things were about to get bad. REAL bad. Wheee! Match, pleeeease.

I wasn’t expecting them to work well together. Not sure why. Just not one I’d expect to see on the combo menu. But it was great. To be fair though, I think I sometimes forget how great Chris Jericho is in the ring. He’s got years and years of experience and this current persona he’s been dealt makes me forget how awesome he really is. Declaration of love over, back to the match result. Truth leaped from the ropes but it went wrong, he landed awkwardly and left Jericho with the pin. Better luck next time, kiddo, but welcome to the big-time.

Then, just as Jericho reached the top of the ramp and was about to exit, Rey Mysterio came running out, knocked him down and began pummelling him straight in the face. I may have misheard, but I think JR may have said that Rey was “going Medieval on Jericho”. Medieval? Like this?

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Men in tights and funny looking headgear? ‘Cause that’s a description of wrestling, right? Ok I think I’ve got the wrong end of the sword. The officials ran out, managed to prise Rey from Jericho’s chest and it looked like the moment of madness was over. But, just as Rey was about to leave, he made a flying leap off the edge of the ramp straight at the recovering Chris Jericho. IT. WAS. AWESOME. I love when Rey Mysterio gets all fired up like that. And I love you, Smackdown.

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Next, Umaga and CM Punk were up, minus their PPV stipulation.  Curious, but I’ll assume they know what they’re doing. I think CROTCH WATCH may have made CM Punk so uncomfortable that he’s completely ignoring me now. Not only has he stopped wearing my favourite lavender trunks, but has now taken to wearing black trunks in protest.  Sorry, Phillip. I’m not such a terrible letch. Honest. CROTCH WATCH will now take a hiatus until Punk feels comfortable enough to wear his lavender trunks again. At which point the whole cycle will repeat itself.

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The match itself was brilliant. Really. I know other people have said it, but it could easily have passed for a PPV match. I do wonder if they’ll have enough juice in the tank to improve upon the SD match. I know they’ll have the strap match stip, but still. I’ll make a recommendation. If the PPV match does fall short, let’s not complain. We’ll look back on this one and remember they know how to do better. Deal? It was all moving along beautifully but I figured it would probably go Umaga’s way in the end. NOOOOPE! To my immense surprise CM Punk, who my dad refers to as ‘weedy’, picked Umaga up across his shoulders, held him there and then dropped him like a sack of spuds in to the mat, pinning him for the win. OH. MY GOD. You know what’s coming, right?

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John Cena might be a tad pissed off that Punk stole his bit, but sod that. You know what’s better than a big muscly guy who can lift heavyweights above his head? A slightly less muscly guy who can do the same thing. Because that makes him kind of intriguing and surprising. SWOOOOOON!

After all that wrestlegasming (new word) I need a women’s match to give me a few minutes to calm down. Oh, whaddaya know? There’s one coming up next. What a coincidence. :D Michelle McCool, Alicia Fox and Layla(why?) were taking on Melina, Gail Kim and Eve Torres(I see) with Maria as guest referee. MARIA! SWEETHEART! Where’ve ya been, darlin’? I’ve missed you. Maria was wearing a rather fetching referee’s outfit, a little sexier than that worn by the guys.

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I’ll let you in on a little secret. I often think ‘If I worked for the WWE, what would my role be?’ Wrestler? Errm, no. My body ain’t perfect enough for that.  Commentator? Nah. I’m not quick enough. I doubt anyone would understand me anyway. When I get excited my accent gets a bit incoherent. Ring announcer? Possibly, but my entrance announcement for Randy Orton might go a bit like “OH MY GOD, Randy’s coming out, people. Ooooh, he’s so MEAN looking. RAAAAWR!” Fail. I usually settle for referee, but in a cute little dress similar to Maria’s, but more this kind of shape…….

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…..a bit vintage-y, but with black and white stripes of course. Right, so, the match. I LOVE the whole Hollywood paparazzi thing they do for Melina and Co. It seems minor, but it’s the fine details make all the difference.

Pretty good match. I thought Gail Kim was particularly wicked this week. When are we going to have a women’s match at a PPV again, Vince? It’s been AGES. TOTALLY unfair. I’d love to see Michelle McCool and Gail Kim in a big PPV match. It would be awesome. But one of them has to swipe the belt from Melina first. Someone sort this out for me, please? Thanks. The match was actually won by my fellow country-woman, Layla. I’m not really getting this, but whatever. Nobody in the company seems to care what happens to the women anyway. I’m pretty sure it’s all done randomly.

And just to sadden me even more, Great Khali is up next against Dolph Ziggler. Gag me with a spoon! I could not care less about Khali, and Dolph Ziggler looked like he just emptied three bottles of baby oil over his chest.

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But I did just realise this week (thanks to a pic in WWE magazine) that he used to be in the Spirit Squad, which made me point and laugh more than usual. Actually, I think at some point I might start liking Ziggler. I’ve got a feeling in my bones. I’m just not ready to give in yet. Khali won. That’s all you need to know.

Final match of the night was a Champion v Champion match – Rey Mysterio v Edge. More awesomeness ensued and Edge made the pin. Just as Rey was looking like he’d had enough, Edge added insult to injury and dragged a ladder from under the apron. As he prepared to put Rey’s lights out for good, Jeff Hardy ran in with a steel chair, whacked Edge down, set the ladder up in the corner of the ring, gave a nod and a wink to the crowd and performed a 15ft leg drop from the top of the ladder. I actually shouted “YEEEEEEAH!” when he did it.

JHLDONEYEAH

FAVOURITE CROWD MEMBER OF THE NIGHT

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This lady, right after CM Punk lifted Umaga. She’s got the head-tilt going on, she’s touching her hair. That’s the look of swoon. I’m with ya, darlin’. The dude sitting behind her is obviously an Umaga fan.

See you after the extremities, guys!

Backlash: sweeping the big janitor’s broom

Following Wrestlemania is a tough gig. If the WWE were a Hollywood red carpet, Backlash would be the poor soul who has to step on the velvet five seconds after Angelina Jolie arrived. After the most sought after ‘event’ has arrived, everything else is kind of a let-down.

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But Backlash does serve a purpose.  It serves as one of those wide janitor’s brooms, sweeping away the dead feuds and fights, and making way for a brand new year.  Yes, you’re right, I AM feeling very philosophical today. Backlash turned out to be surprisingly good. Let’s see how it all panned out.

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After an intro which sounded like an excerpt from a Tolkien novel, it was time to get down to the serious business of belt exchange. ECW kicked everything off with Christian/Jack Swagger. Yes, I am a peep. I was looking forward to this one. I’m ashamed to say that I don’t give ECW enough of my time, but at least I get to dip a toe in to extweem waters at the PPVs.

The match was very good. There was something very amateur about it. And I mean that in the olympic sense of two men spooning and flipping each other. I like submission moves only slightly less than the high-flying-jumpy nonsense.  I think it’s all that long drawn-out touching. The match also produced some in-ring man-hugs, which you know make me all warm and fuzzy inside. They held each other so tight I started singing Johnny Logan’s Hold Me Now. Nothing like a bit of shit Irish pop from the 80s to really pep up a wrestling match.

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Christian won and the peeps went wild, including me. Who’d have thought I’d get so excited about an ECW match? Time for Captain Charisma to take his new bling backstage and receive some love from his fellow ECW buds. But wait….someone else is waiting in the wings too. EDGE. Oh My God.  Seeing the two of them together again was like opening an old photo album from a decade ago.  Amazing. And I loved the whole ‘what happened to you? bit. You used to be…I dunno…fun?’ Edge you’ve chaaaaanged. It’s kind of early in the show for this, but hey, I’ve got plenty of capacity for multiple ones…… WRESTLEGAAAAASSSSSMMM! Oooof! That was nice. What’s next?

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Uh-oh. I don’t know if I’m quite ready for another wrestlegasm yet. Chris Jericho’s  on his way to the ring. Give me a minute……. Ok, so, on the Raw after Wrestlemania Ricky Steamboat made a big, dragon sized splash. And as the WWE has a penchant for milking a good thing for everything it’s worth, almost a month on they’re still wheeling the poor guy out against Jericho. Is it just me or did Ricky lose a few clumps of hair between Raw and Backlash? He looked extra old, making my earlier claim that he was kind of sexy even more vomit enducing by the day. Anyway….fight.

It wasn’t a great match. It was, however,  very noisy. There was lots of AAAAAAAAAAAAH! OHHHHHHHHHHH! HUHHHHHHH! COME OOOOOOON! But if you think about the fact that this is a 56 year old man holding his own against a man young enough to be his son (just) it was quite impressive(ish).I suppose because the match was the end of a feud it didn’t really mean anything. It’s all finito.  Jericho twisted Ricky in to the Walls of Jericho and forced him to tap out. Chris left the ring and let the ledge have his moment in the sun.

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There was a backstage moment between Santino and Beth, but at this stage I was still boycotting their story so I closed my eyes and ears off to it.  Back in the arena Kane and CM Punk were preparing for battle. I almost cut the next part out. My infatuation with ‘CM Punk’s Junk’ has been remarked upon elsewhere in unfavourable terms.  But, well, who cares what anyone else thinks?   My mission statement warned against this kind of sexual silliness so, legally, I’m covered.

Punk is wearing the lavender coloured trunks again.  He obviously read last week’s Raw recap and wore them especially for me….being that I enjoyed them so much. Oh you’re such a flirt, Punky, but you know I love a flirt.  Mwah! So, yeah, there was actually a match too. Gotta be honest, I can’t remember much. I really was too distracted. And it was another one of those ‘end of game’ matches, allowing Kane to avenge his loss in the Wrestlemania Money in the Bank match and move on.  It was actually pretty solid throughout, and ended with Kane pinning Punk.

Much as I love the lavender shorts, they do have the disadvantage of being quite indescreet with regard to ass-sweat.  Personally, I like to think the wet patches are physical symbols of effort, but you might wanna get some Right Guard down there if you’re going to continue wearing those shorts for me, hun.

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Now on to Brother vs Brother in the ‘I Quit’ match.  I was surpised how much I enjoyed this match. I had planned for boredom and planted Glamour magazine down the side of the armchair in case I needed some additional stimulation. But who needs to know how to recreate Miley Cyrus’ cover-look when you’ve got the wrestling equivalent of Joan Rivers in the ring, in the form of the referee. Armed with a big fluffy mic in his back pocket, he annoyingly shoved it in between Matt and Jeff’s lips at every possible opportunity. At least he didn’t call either of them a fugly bitch or frighten small children with his face.

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It was all going as expected until proceedings took a sinister twist.  Matt was rolling around in agony. Then came the table, which Matt was spread across. Then, by some magical coincidence, some duct tape and rope appeared. This doesn’t look good for Matthew. Jeff tied him up like a side of beef ready for roasting. All of a sudden I’ve got a hankering for gravy.

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Then came the ladder. Uh-oh.  Followed by the most hilarious thing I’ve seen in ages. Matt, tied to a table, pleading for his life. “JEFF. I’M SORRY, JEFF. I LOVE YOU, JEFF. MATT  LOVES YOU. WE’RE BROTHERS. THE HARDY BOYS. WE CAN DO IT ALL AGAIN. DADDY WOULDN’T LIKE IF YOU DID THIS.” Oh my god, it was amazing, in such a bad way. See what I mean about the WWE being comical in all the wrong places?

Realising that Jeff wasn’t about to retreat, Matt shouted out ‘I QUIT’ and the bell was tolled. But that didn’t stop he of the purple locks. He jumped over the top of his ladder and planted his posterior on his brother’s breast-bone. There’s nothing like family, eh?

Randy Orton did a little piece to camera and back in the arena The Great Khali was carrying his colossal carcus to the ring. Christ, if I wasn’t reviewing this shit I SOOOOOO would have fast-forwarded this next segment. See all the pain I put myself through for my readers? I’m a trooper. Much as I tried to resist it, I did laugh. Even though in my head I was saying “Don’t laugh. It’ll only encourge them to keep churning out this bollocks.” Santino Marella, as far as comedy performances go, is actually really good. But the stories they give him are beyond irritating. The Rock managed to be funny without dressing like a lady. I tried not to laugh when Santina declared her love for Jim Ross, but I couldn’t help it. And when Khali ripped Santina/o’s top off, leaving her/him running out the arena clutching her/his  boobs/moobs I actually LOL’d. What’s happening to me? Thank god my old-skool ECW DVDs arrived today. I need a reality check.

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Next up we have the match I was kind of dreading. I was just so bored with the whole Macmahon-Family-Masturbation-Moments that I wasn’t sure I could bear any more. AAAAnd I’m pissed off that Shane ignored my advice to wear less clothes. Purely for wellbeing purposes, of course. You know, sometimes I wonder if Randy Orton is actually human. Remember when he first appeared on our screens with a bad haircut and slightly chubby in the face? I swear he went away and Vince sent him back as a cyborg.  Seriously, did you see the way Legacy walked to the ring? I’m convinced if you sliced open Orton’s chest an array of sparking wires and cables would pour out.

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Anyway, the match wasn’t that bad. In places it was pretty good, especially towards the end when it was just Hunter and Randy in the ring alone. In fact, when Randy jumped in the air, threw his arms around Triple H’s neck and dragged him to the ground I may have just leaped from my armchair and said “YESSSSSS!”. Not that I was involved or anything. A kick to the head later and it was all over.  I always feel slightly uneasy when they bring the paramedics in. I know it’s all for dramatic effect, but still, it makes my tummy feel strange.  And the way Lawler, Ross and Cole drop their voices down an octive. They do the serious-times voice. Don’t like it. Apparently Triple H is going to have a nice little holiday now. Good. He’s been getting on my nerves.  It’ll give me the chance to miss him.

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Ok, here we go. Last Man Standing. Edge. John Cena. I’ve been crushing on this match for weeks so it better not disappoint.  It didn’t. It. was. awesome. Punch after kick after drop after count. Just when you thought they had taken their last breath, they stumbled to their feet again. It all really started kicking off when Edge cleared the announce table and set John up for a drop through the table. But in a counter move John flipped Edge in to the crowd, dropping his oily form on top of an ‘unsuspecting fan’. Notice how nobody helped the ‘fan’ up to his feet? ha.

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Edge DID make it to his feet, so on we go. But not back to the ring……….they then started scuttling through the hyperactive crowd,  followed by the referees. From the crowd they moved to the arena lobby, where there seemed to be an alarming number of people shelling out for overpriced nachos and hotdogs while this was going on. Errrrm. Hang on a minute here. I don’t know how much the tickets for Backlash cost, but who would go and buy snacks  while the main event was going on? Even if you weren’t a fan of either dude, wouldn’t you at least want to see the headlining match? Strange people.

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They re-entered the arena, conveniently finding themselves at the top of the ramp. John dropped Edge in to the hard stage and Edge cracked John with something that just fell in to his hand. It was a carefully positioned hard-hat. Don’t you just hate when construction workers leave their shit lying around? Anyway, Edge whacked John with a chair, but the babe made it back up again, picking Edge up across his shoulders as he went. But just as he was about to go for another drop, Big Show appeared. Whaaaaaa? Oh yeah, he was involved in the same Wrestlemania match. I forgot.

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In more adventures in randomness, Big Show lifted John by the neck and slammed in to a large side-stage spotlight thing. I love the idea that someone was sat under the ramp with a big, red, GO button to press when John hit the sugar-glass, so that a big puff of smoke would fly up. And I love that it was set up to have flames coming out the back for authenticity.

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The flames were extinguished and with “John Cena covered in shards of glass” he was counted out, giving Edge the much pursued title. See? Told you it was awesome.

And by far the best thing of all was when Christian, Kofi Kingston, Finley and CM Punk (so concerned at John’s condition) came out in their off-duty-wrestler-outfits to see what they could do to assist the medics. Thank god Punk was there to do up that final strap on the stretcher. I mean, seriously, what would the paramedics have done without Dr. Punk’s expertise? I love you WWE.

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