A Song For Whoever: Shimmer & WWE Superstars Edition

BOSS LADY RAY: Just a quick one this week, as we’ve got a lot of posts to share with you during this Wrestlemania/blog birthday week. As you know, we’re active champions of our fellow countrymen and women on this blog. Our cooing over Mason Ryan, Wade Barrett and Layla, for example, is unflinching. With this in mind, this week’s song is dedicated to the UK-born ladies who made their Shimmer debuts this past weekend; namely Rhia O’Reilly, Britani Knight and Saraya Knight. We love seeing Brits do well, but we especially love seeing the ladies prosper. Lord knows it’s difficult enough for girls to get ahead in wrestling. Well done, ladies. We’re proud of ya!

SIDEKICK ANDREW: It’s not all good news though. This week also saw the confirmation that WWE Superstars has been cancelled by WGN America, leaving it no TV home. Now I realise that most people don’t watch Superstars, but it has become a very close second behind Smackdown in my WWE TV of choice recently.

People don’t seem to watch Superstars because you don’t get the big names on there each week. But what you do get in place of your John Cenas, HHHs and Undertakers is a group of mid and lower card wrestlers making the most of their limited TV exposure by putting on really fun matches. Over the last few months we’ve had a really fun feud with Curt Hawkins (yes, that Curt Hawkins!) and Trent Baretta, a short series of great William Regal and Darren Young matches (yes, that Darren Young!) and the rennaisance of Chris Masters and Tyler Reks – two guys I couldn’t have cared less for until recently. That’s not to mention current Wrestlegasm favourite Zack Ryder (or, as my favourite commentator Scott Stanford calls his team with Primo, Long Island Iced Z and Primo Colada.)

See? That’s something else you’re missing out on! Rather than having to sit through the interminably dull meanderings of Jerry Lawler and Booker T, or the confusingly genius annoyance that is Micheal Cole, Superstars has commentary from the amazing Scott Stanford and Jack Korpela (the man who “has your back” in the “Please buy our PPV on Sky Box Office” videos) as well as Matt Striker (and you know what we think of Striker here in The Bunker)

If you listen carefully, you can hear Boss Lady Ray swoon at the wink

Anyway, the long and short of it is Superstars was great and you didn’t watch it. Because you didn’t watch it, it’s been cancelled. Cause and effect people… you don’t know what you’ve got ’til it’s gone.

PS. The main event from Superstars last week was a really fun Mixed Tag match that you should probably watch. Click here and see what you were missing out on. You can thank me later.

the dean’s office is open

A couple of weeks ago I mentioned that I was tempted to make Matt Striker the patron saint of Wrestlegasm.Com. Not being affiliated with any particular religion myself, that’s not going to work. But I have decided that Wrestlegasm.Com needs some kind of mentor. A beacon of light to guide the poetic way, if you will.

For that reason I am hiring Matt Striker as the Honourary Dean of Wrestlegasm.Com. For legal and taxation purposes I am obliged to inform you that I haven’t actually hired Matt Striker and that he is unaware of this honour.  Right, now down to some reasoning.

“Why Matt Striker?” I hear you cry. “Isn’t he just the ECW colour commentator who stands in for the veteran broadcasters when they become ill or find themselves kicked in the head or whatever?” Well, when you put it like that, yes.  But he’s so much more than that. Allow me to elaborate on why Matt Striker and I should be BFFs.

  • This may be a wrestling blog, but what it really happens to be is an ode to popular culture. I am obsessed by popular culture. Professional wrestling may make up the bulk of the content, but the glue that holds all those wrestle pieces together is made up of song lyrics, movie references, characters from popular literature  and obscure television moments.  Matt Striker’s commentary is littered with all these things and I take great pleasure in spotting each one. I especially enjoy his musical references.  See? We do the same thing. He’s just paid a lot of money to appear on television and travel the world talking about wrestling and dropping Janet Jackson song titles in when nobody’s looking. I sit in my living room in front of the television while blogging about wrestling and dropping Mike Skinner lyrics into my blog. One of my best moments was when I applied lyrics from Fit But You Know It by The Streets to a Drew McIntyre and Mike Knox picture and a Canadian spotted it.  I didn’t know Canadians liked The Streets!

It was awesome. I’m sure Matt Striker felt exactly the same way when he referenced various Morrissey/The Smiths song titles in some recent  PPV commentary. Although, his audience is a tad larger than mine, so he had more chance of them being picked up.

  • Alliteration. You may have noticed that I use a lot of it. In fact, it was poked fun at in LOL, Wresslin’s epic ego crushing guest post. Alliteration is my deliberate attempt at making a violent and aggressive sport seem like a pretty piece of poetry. See what I did there? Striker loves his alliteration too. Though, he does it far more successfully than I do. When I hear him call Mickie James “the dangerously adorable Diva” my heart sings.

That’s the thing I love about Striker above all else; his use of words. In an interview with Marvel.com in the early part of this year, he said:

“Ah, the perfect word! So elusive yet so rewarding when used properly,” praises Striker. “I have words and phrases that I almost immediately associate with a Superstar. ‘Serpentine’ is great for the Boogeyman, whereas, poetic license allows me to use ‘Working Class Hero’ for Tommy Dreamer—and again, these words and phrases just fit. I am fortunate that I have the vocabulary at my disposal but there are also times when ‘mean’ works just as well as ‘ornery’ or ‘belligerent.'”

You can read the full interview by clicking here. Even I found it interesting and I know very little about comics.

  • He’s made mistakes and has upset a few people. Haven’t we all? I mean, you wouldn’t believe how many times I’ve put my foot in my mouth. I’m getting better as I get older, but still, I’ve had my moments.  And you also wouldn’t believe the number of mean jokes I type only to backspace them away again. My bad-taste barometer is functioning a little better as I go along. Matt’s barometer hasn’t always been bang-on. The Steve Irwin comment comes up a lot. Ouch. But people with flaws are endearing, right? Well, that’s what gets me through the day anyway.

Look, I don’t agree with his general political stance or with his religious beliefs, but I don’t   have to. I don’t agree with the politics of some of the people closest to me.  It  doesn’t make me love them any less. I’m a proud liberal. We could have some interesting debates. Particularly concerning Matt’s views on flaunting sexuality. You work in wrestling and you find overt sexuality offensive? Really? We need to discuss. He’s an intriguing character and I enjoy the way he uses language, so he  gets to (faux) oversee proceedings on this website.

  • We both came from the education sector. Correction: I still come from the education sector. He happened to leave for the sake of wrestling. Further correction: Matt was in a position where he didn’t have much choice but to leave. But who knows how true that is? It’s on Wikipedia.
  • He’s overcome some big-time personal embarrassment, made all the worse by previous statements about the importance of proper ‘family values’. That kind of major scale embarrassment has never happened to me, but if it did I like to think I would summon up some of Matt’s resolve. Stuff happens, the world gets over it. If you don’t know what I’m talking about, see here.

So this has been just a brief explanation of why Matt Striker is Wrestlegasm.Com’s Honourary Dean. How long will he remain the Dean? Probably until he says or does something that gets him fired or that deeply offends me. I’ll weep for a week and will then be forced to hold interviews for a new Dean. Let’s hope that doesn’t happen. But while Dean Striker is in post, I shall look to him for inspiration when I’ve got blogger’s block and am wrestling with whether anyone will spot the bizarre Doors lyric I’m photoshopping into a John Morrison picture. Welcome back to the Cardiff Wrestle Bunker, Dean. Your office is just down the hall from mine. Milk and sugar in your tea?