TLC: The Results Show

We’re starting a new tradition at Wrestlegasm. Whichever of us loses the Pay Per View Predictions competition has to write up the results show. I fear I may be writing a lot of these over the next year. But I won’t complain. [Sidekick Andrew Edit: this seems a perfectly fair distribution of duties to me. I write the predictions posts, you begrudgingly write the results show in a sulk because you lost] Now that Strictly Come Dancing has finished, my life feels somehow devoid of knee-trembling Results Shows. I’d like my portion of the TV licence fee to be used to pay Claudia Winkleman to come round and give me weekly cuddles until it’s back on telly again.  But enough of people flouncing about in brightly hued Spanx and heavy make-up, let’s talk wrestling.

Oh. Wait....

Once again WWE failed to listen to our suggestions regarding the running order of TLC, starting with the Intercontinental Triple Threat between Dolph Ziggler, Kofi Kingston and Jack Swagger. Any time you give Kofi and Dolph something high to jump off, then chuck in Swagger’s power (the gutwrench bomb variety) and Vickie’s hellcat screech, you’ve got a party on your hands.

It had a spot of danger, tension and like any good drama, a few shenanigans. While Dolph lay splayed on the mat recovering from a big fall, Kofi and Swagger snatched at the belt like two dads grabbing at the last Tickle-Me Elmo in the toyshop. At this point both Andrew and myself were sure that one of us had predicted correctly. But as the boys panicked, they fumbled the belt to the ground where bleach-boy was waiting to clasp the belt between his jaws and run off with it. Survival of the fittest! [Sidekick Andrew Edit: in every sense of the word. Rawr! Oh my, sorry about that... but Xmas is the campest time of the year] Good for Dolph, but bad for us in the Wrestle Bunker. Nobody likes a nil-nil draw.

Next up was the match I was dreading. The first ever Divas Tag-Team Tables match. Try wrapping your mouth around that after a generous glass of Baileys. [Sidekick Andrew Edit: Giggitty] Obsessed as I am with chintzy homewares, this was not the time or the place to see Beth Phoenix and Co. ‘setting the table’. I was genuinely nervous. In fact, I took a sharp intake of breath as it began and forgot to exhale. Andrew had to keep reminding me to breathe, as I was sure the appearance of Cath Kidston oilcloth tablecloth was just a moment away.

As the match progressed, however, I remembered how my lungs worked and enjoyed the match more than any other Divas match throughout the entire year. It was like someone had finally listened. Four women, one match, solid wrestling, a mildly hardcore stipulation, an eye-popping finisher and a crowd who didn’t use it as an excuse to empty their bladders. I was so proud. Will it be a watershed for the Divas? I won’t hand my heart over just yet, but we were extremely happy . Also we predicted correctly. YESSSSSSSS! [Sidekick Andrew Edit: I'm also blindly hoping this signals a shift in the standard of women's wrestling in the WWE. Recent releases notwithstanding, the fact that the WWE have been prepared to take chances on smaller guys like Bourne and Bryan is hopefully a sign that they are happy to use people who may not fit their usual mode but do have a good wrestling ability. Whether this will cross over to the women and we could see someone in a similar style to Awesome Kong or Hamada crossing over is perhaps a pipe dream, but a pretty exciting one all the same]

After that they did an ‘impromptu’ tag match between Santino & Koslov and Justin Gabriel and Heath Slater. We both swiftly picked the current title holders to win, but it was nothing but filler. Wade Barrett and his cronies got involved and turned it into a big mess. On the plus side, bonus Wade Barrett and trendy facial hair. Hey Justin! Urban Outfitters called. They said you’re not cool enough to have that beard. Give it back! [Sidekick Andrew Edit: I assumed Justin Gabriel's beard would be some homely South African girl, but I was wrong]

Andrew and I are a little embarrassed about this one. My frequently mentioned longing for HHH to return to re-enact the moment I properly got back into wrestling (Summerslam 2007) skewed how we saw the Sheamus vs John Morrison match ending. We’d convinced ourselves that anything involving Sheamus was all about bringing HHH back. We scoffed at the idea that John Morrison could contend for the WWE Championship, completely ignoring the idea that he’d be facing the Miz if he pulled it off. I even mentioned how far the Miz had come compared to Morrison in my predictions. We feel silly. But if nothing else we’ve learnt that Sheamus shouldn’t be allowed to be in any more ladder matches. [Sidekick Andrew Edit: Yep, we were pretty silly not to realise the potential Miz/Morrison feud, but on the bright side just think how much The Miz will destroy him in promos]

Thankfully we were more successful at predicting the Championship match than the Number One Contender’s match. Admittedly, when the match was restarted we bellowed statements along the lines of “NOOOOOOO! Not Orton again!” and “We can’t be this bad at predicting! We just CAN’T!” We weren’t. Orton needs some time off and Miz lived up to his own hype. And I STILL HAVEN’T GOT MY T-SHIRT! Argh! [Sidekick Andrew Edit: Incidentally, I seem to have come into the possession of a women's fit "Hello, I'm Awesome" t-shirt if there's any takers? It turned up at the bunker last week but I don't remember ordering it]

The Divas match was the most significant of the night, but the most complete match was the Fatal Fourway between Kane, Edge, Alberto Del Rio and Rey Mysterio. The great thing about multiple TLC matches is that even those without the ability to do high-flying leaps from the top of ladder can fill in with a few chair swipes and some breathless climbing. With this in mind, this particular combination of competitors was a perfect amalgamation of breath-taking and breathless. [Sidekick Andrew Edit: Yeah, what she said. I'm a sucker for a spotfest, and this was essentially a semi-MitB match and easily match of the night for me]

Once again though, we were incorrect in predicting the outcome. I was getting so sad that I ordered the Sidekick to do his Tango face to cheer me up. [Sidekick Andrew Edit: I may have got confused and done my Dr Pepper face instead] It looks something like this:

Andrew would also like it known that before they changed this match at the last-minute, he chose Edge to win. I would like it known that at this stage he predicted as incorrectly as I did. [Sidekick Andrew Edit: Oh cheers boss. Happy bloody Xmas to you too!]

Big Show, dressed as Santa, shilled his awful movie, then stripped Cody Rhodes down to nothing but his y-fronts and tie. If it’s all the same with you I’d rather not remember the details. [Sidekick Andrew Edit: What's so bad about having pants with Sunday on them anyway? Although, if they'd said Friday I'd have been concerned that Cody was a dirty stop out]

At the very least, the fact that our predictions stood at 2-2 heading into the main event made for a tantalising end to an otherwise poor performance by your Wrestlegasm team. After the speed and excitement of the Fatal Fourway, a John Cena match felt a little heavy and lumbering. But having both predicted different winners it held our attention, if only to know which of us had the monthly bragging rights. CM Punk donned Matt Striker’s sweaty headset to commentate, and we all know the power of Punk commentary. He’s that final sprinkling of seasoning that makes everything better. Although I’d have been happier if Lawler or Cole had disappeared rather than Striker. You can’t win ‘em all!

Things I observed during this match:

Upturned steel stairs would make an excellent display cabinet for household knickknacks.

The appeal of the chair necklace never gets old:

When I brought a stack of chairs to the ground in IKEA, nobody cheered for me:

I also learnt that Andrew is an annoying winner and that I am very bad loser. No wait, I already knew that second one. [Sidekick Andrew Edit: I am so smart. I am so smart. S-M-R-T!]

So there you have it. I now have to suffer a month of Andrew peacocking about the Bunker demanding I make him toast and hot Vimto ‘because he’s the PREDICTION KING!’ Feel sorry for me. If you want to follow our progress throughout the year, you can view our lovely counter to the right of the page. [Sidekick Andrew Edit: I am the PREDICTION KING, however it is Xmas so we can forgo the Vimto. Bring me a Bailey's. In fact, I am a generous and kindly king, so get yourself one as well. Let's get Xmas in the bunker started!]

This Results Show may not have had as many sequins and sparkles as the Strictly Results Show, but on my way to the kitchen this morning in something of a sleepy daze, I fell into the Bunker Christmas tree and now I’m covered in cheap glitter. That counts, right? As this month’s loser I could even do my ‘Last Dance’ for you, with bonus sobbing and sad smiles from Bruce Forsythe. No? Ok then. Merry Christmas to you too, misery-guts.


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)

xmas round-up

Sooo I am indeed back in Britain and making an attempt at recapping the past week or so’s wrestling events. I can’t promise it’ll be any good but considering a) It’s Christmas Eve  b) I had the travel-day from hell yesterday and c> I’m battling jet-lag, you’re lucky to have anything at all,  so be grateful. I could be stuffing my face with shelled nuts, Twiglets, purple Quality Streets and tea, lounging in my new t-shirt and slippers, and flicking the TV between The Chronicles of  Narnia and the Jimmy Stewart marathon on TCM right now. Actually, I’m doing all those things…. but I’m also recapping wrestling events. For you. I’m lovely

First, the travel report: I left Nashville heavy of heart but was buoyed by the number of random strangers who took pity on my tears and wished me a Merry Christmas in both Nashville and Charlotte airports. There was the college boy who sat next to me on the first flight and discussed literature with me, the Starbucks dude in Charlotte who offered to re-write my name on my red cup because he misspelt it, the young American guy who asked me if anyone would kill him if he called football ‘soccer’ in London….. the list goes on. America, you’re very nice.

But my Christmas spirit was stretched to the limit yesterday.  I settled into my seat on the Transatlantic portion of my journey to (hopefully) sleep through most of it, but there was a mechanical problem with the toilets on the left hand side of the plane and we were left on the runway for two hours…..and not so much as a drink of water or a packet of pretzels offered. We finally got going but we were very late. On landing I got through passport control quickly but the sluggish baggage handlers took a full hour to start despatching our luggage, so I missed the bus I’d booked to Cardiff by 20 minutes. I was then charged £5 for the privilege of printing a new ticket on the 11:40am bus and hanging around Gatwick Airport for a further two hours. Finally on the bus, I was informed that the M25 was chocker and that it may cause severe delays. To cut a long story short, thanks to that and a snow induced 40mph speed limit on the M4, I arrived back in Cardiff at 6:30pm – exhausted, starving and with my spine shaped like a shepherd’s staff. Joy to the mother effing world!

Possibly somewhere near Oxford

Ok, wrestling. The last recap I gave you was the Smackdown before TLC, so let’s start there.  As you know, I usually watch PPVs alone and in the early hours of the morning. Being in America meant I could watch it with company and in a sensible timezone. Although, sharing the show with five other people, two dogs scrapping to be Alpha-Male and four cats, it was a struggle to keep up with all of Matt Striker’s quips. Nevertheless, quite a few titles changed hands that night so I’ll run through them.

Despite nobody believing it would happen, Sheamus beat John Cena for the WWE Championship, and it appears that my Celtic blood is thicker than the deep waters of love that I swim in for John Cena, because I shouted……

…..when John accidentally launched himself through that trestle table.  And in further ‘blood is thicker than water’ goodness, Drew McIntyre beat John Morrison for the Intercontinental Title. Ooooh my blood felt so thick, though that may have been the calorific South-Eastern US diet clogging my arteries with every delicious mouthful of double-loaded baked potatoes and BBQ pork ribs. Nom. Back to the Tokyo diet after Christmas.

Helps you work, rest, play and have severe chest pains.

DX beat JeriShow in the TLC tag-match, which meant that Jericho and Big Show had to go their separate ways.  YAY! But that also means DX will be around until at least Wrestlemania.  BOO! Jericho face turn now? Go on. It’s my Christmas wish!  Not all the titles were dropped though. Michelle McCool retained over lovely Mickie James…..

Mickie, your boots are wicked but you left the price tag on. It's ok, I don't think anyone noticed.

……and Christian kept the ECW title in the first match of the night. It was epic enough to feature much later in the show. There was real blood and everything.

The Undertaker almost lost to Batista, which I was chuffed about, but then Teddy Long stomped out and ordered that the match should restart, giving Taker the win.

SIDENOTE: The set was Ikea-tastic.

Oh yeah, Randy Orton beat Kofi Kingston in the only non-title match of the night. I was in a pro-Randy living room and got carried away with the Viper enthusiasm, cheering for the glossy one at every possible opportunity.

No problem, sweetheart.

So that was the pay per view. The following Monday was a three-hour Raw to incorporate The Slammy’s; where the most accomplished superstars of the year take home a glistening piece of plastic and the audience disagrees with the choices like they actually mean something. Dennis Miller guest-hosted and totally bombed with his climate change denial jokes. I could go into lots of detail about the show but, even though I didn’t think it was as bad as most, it was pretty dire so I’ll just comment on the actual Slammy winners.

After various elimination matches, John Cena was crowned Superstar of the Year. Much as I love him, he wouldn’t have been my first choice but as John Cena currently holds superhero status, hardly surprising. The “Oh My” award went to Michael Cole for vomiting shellfish over Chris Jericho’s shoes at the Smackdown 10th Anniversary party. I can still smell that acid soaked shrimp from here. I’ve witnessed far too many drunken spewings over the past week, so I’ll move on swiftly.  Bad memories. The Divas had a match. In ballgowns. Really! And while Maria won Diva of the year (?!?!??!?!?) my lady-based award goes to Layla, for Most Inelegant Entrance to the Ring Ever Witnessed. Having the ladies wrestle in party dresses was silly to begin with, but choosing an impractical frock and having to be picked up and rolled into the ring by Michelle McCool was actually quite funny. Still in the fashion realms, despite all those lovely dresses, outfit of the night went to Dave Batista.

Amazing!

Amazing!

CM Punk won Shocker of the Year for retiring Jeff Hardy, but the Hardy Clan countered; Jeff taking Extreme Moment of the Year for his performance at Summerslam. Sheamus took Breakout Star of the Year, which was fair enough, and the about-to-part ways JeriShow took Tag-Team of the Year. Most obvious award of the night went to Taker and Shawn Michaels for their Wrestlemania match. I read somewhere that while Triple H and Randy Orton were waiting backstage to follow this match, Hunter turned to Randy and said “We’re fucked!” He alluded to just that as he handed that golden resin over to Shawn for Match of the Year. The only worry was that Shawn suggested that he and the corpse should go at it again at WM26. No. Don’t spoil my fantasy that the WM26 main event will be Rock and Cena. My pants might just explode if that happens and I know you all want to see my undies blown to smithereens!

KABOOOOM!

So that was Raw. I’m not going to lie, I watched last week’s Smackdown on the plane to London late on Tuesday night so I’m a bit sketchy on what happened. I was drifting in and out of sleep and trying not to nudge the guy next to me while he slept. I’ll do Smackdown in picture form.

Dave paid homage to Lady Gaga

Rey looked super-trendy in a plaid shirt and a Vuitton-esque mask

Punk started to look a bit crazy

Maria and Mickie did what I'll be doing tomorrow

Vickie wore a very nice dress

Jericho showed Punk how to do good beard

Khali returned. Bleurgh!

The Hart Dynasty did some nice mic work

Regina George and Gretchen Weiners had their traps shut

The toughest girl in school hurt the most popular girl in school (That reminds me, I REALLY need a box of hair dye!)

Dave did a CM Punk Krazy-Eyez impression when Rey Mysterio became World Championship N1C against the Undertaker

In other news….. Bret Hart is returning to the WWE :o, Mike Tyson will be guest-hosting on 11th January :o, Tribute to the Troops was lovely, Crotch Watch is still outstanding (I know, don’t hate me) and Andrew has been skiving while I’ve been out of the country. But he has got little kiddies to look after so I’ll forgive him.  There’s still time to cover this week’s Raw and Smackdown before the next ones so I’ll get to them a day or so after Christmas.

Oh, I almost forgot to tell you about the Wrestlegasm Staff Christmas Party. Before I jetted off to the land of the free, we had a knees-up at the Cardiff Wrestle Bunker. Andrew got the train down from upt’ North and Matt Striker flew in from New York. Actually, Matt Striker flew back to America with me on my first flight, but he lived it up in Envoy while I sulked in coach. He wasn’t very happy that I’d lined the entire bunker ceiling with mistletoe, forcing him to kiss me constantly. Andrew didn’t seem to mind that part, but we did get into a huge fight when we disagreed over whether Fosters was a superior cheap lager to Carling or not. I was cheerleader for the Amber Nectar, while Andrew favoured the British brew. Matt Striker had to separate us before the punches got too serious but he soon became ensconced in the brawl himself when he suggested we all drink wine. WINE! Anyway, we all get very drunk. Striker whipped his manhood out again, I took lots of pictures and Andrew threw up on my satin pumps Michael Cole-style. Messy night! But we all love each other, so there was no awkwardness the next day. Although, I’m pretty sure Striker deliberately left me sitting at the back of Economy on that flight!

Back in the realms of reality, I wish you all very merry Christmas and an exciting 2010. I certainly plan on making it a great one and I hope you do the same. Excuse my sentimentality but it’s Christmas Eve so….. from the bottom of my heart thank you so much for visiting this website, commenting and emailing me. I had no idea so many people would ‘get it’ and I’m thrilled that it’s been successful. A big Christmas kiss under the mistletoe for Andrew for ‘getting it’ more than anyone else, for joining me on the Wrestlegasm journey and for being a fab mate. I’m also splitting a kiss two ways for Adam & Matt of LOL, Wresslin‘ for calling me to war, for toughening up my skin and for being nicer than they’d have you believe they really are.  And just one more really smoochy one for Tennessee Andy, who told me I should start this thing ages ago and knew I could pull it off. MWAH to one and all!

smackdown(lite): monster love

This week’s Smackdown began with some shilling. Batista’s got a new t-shirt and so he came out sporting the Randy Orton look.

Dave was also in a selfish mood, letting the crowd know that he couldn’t care less about their constant booing. He informed them that he doesn’t need anyone and gets by quite nicely by himself. Well duh, Dave. You walk alone. We know that. After requesting a spotlight, he went on to bad-mouth the Undertaker and vowed to claw the title belt back at TLC.

Once Dave had vacated the ring, CM Punk and Luke Gallows entered and it seems Matt Striker knows something we don’t. Apparently CM Punk is Smackdown’s Surgeon General. I see. In that case……

And yes, that patient is me.

In another exercise in reverse psychology shopping tactics, Punk continued to berate Jeff Hardy’s DVD and basically suggested that anyone who allowed their child to watch it should expect a visit from Social Services. Then he stamped on it and ordered Gallows to do the same.

R-Truth and Matt Hardy, their opponents for the evening, had a response. They countered Punk’s moral sermon by handing free copies of said DVD out to the crowd from their “bag of magic”. Truth rapped his way out to the ring as Hardy played Father Christmas. Punk added his own lyrics to the rap, proclaiming that Straight Edge was ‘what’s up’! He implored the crowd not to accept the poisonous presents, but it was no use; they were already under the spell of ‘free stuff’. I know it well.

The nonsense gushing out of Punk’s mouth just wouldn’t let up, so Truth thumped him on the head with the microphone.

So this was Luke Gallows’ first official match and it was a pretty solid one. Even Matt Hardy looked good… until Gallows put the most homo-erotic finisher in the business on him and took it for himself and the Saviour.

Speaking of homo-erotica, the backstage exchange between Kane and Mike Knox was loaded with it. On the surface, it appeared that they were talking about wrestling, but the sexual chemistry between them was impalpable and what they were really saying was…….

But Kane’s shame kicked in and he clasped his big monster hands around Knox’s neck. Of course, being the creepy weirdo he is, Knox went on to discuss the euphoric enjoyment that some people garner from partaking in sexual asphyxiation fetishes. (Watch my internet traffic take a very sinister turn this week. *shudder*)

Vickie Guerrero and Eric Escobar’s break-up was just as messy this week, with neither wanting to retreat to the classy position of “the bigger person”.  Vickie put Eric in a match against Chris Jericho, which became a handicap match to include the Big Show once it was under way. Eric was demolished and conveniently left JeriShow in the ring to promote the PPV.

Drew McIntyre was back in his supermarket slacks and, as per usual, he wasn’t happy.  But this time he was extra aggravated.  Drew’s general feeling was that John Morrison’s chances of beating him at TLC were about as likely and realistic as the Loch Ness Monster and Mel Gibson’s portrayal of William Wallace in Braveheart. This was just begging for a response from John Morrison and holy hell did we get one. I was sorely tempted to change this week’s Smackdown recap and write it only on this segment. The scope for mockery was so huge my brain almost couldn’t take it. But I knew all the Punk fanatics would be up in arms, so normal service has remained.

How exactly did John Morrison respond to McIntyre’s Scottish musings? Like this……

Bahaha. Ah yes, there’s nothing more hilarious than ripping the piss out of someone’s heritage. John Morrison wandered into that territory that I usually reserve for reality TV – so bad, it’s good. His accent started in Scotland but seemed to travel all over Europe before settling on a Hollywood interpretation of Scottish. There were “blow me bagpipes” gags, there was inappropriate gum chewing and there was a cavalcade of innuendo-laden sword wielding.

John dropped both the sword and the accent and chased McIntyre out of the ring. See that cut on Morrison’s eyebrow? That’s John’s allegedly poetic and highly intelligent brain trying to escape his skull in shame.

Who wants to watch some Monster Love? No? Me neither, but it happened so I’d better cover it if only to gush over how much I love when Striker tells Grisham to read a book once in a while. Although, admittedly a book on sado-masochism is probably best avoided. And if you’re still not as enamoured with Matt Striker as I am, in reviewing the two fighters’ earlier asphyxiation conversation, he mentioned David Carradine and Michael Hutchence. I thought of doing that, then bottled it. Striker is brave, I am a wimp. So there, doubters. Oh and Kane chokeslammed Knox for the match. But Knox probably enjoyed that.

Mickie James and Maria tagged against Michelle McCool and Layla in preparation for Mickie’s title match against McCool at tonight’s PPV. It was fairly uneventful apart from the fact my love for Matt Striker was tested once again when he suggested that WWEShop.com should start selling the Piggie James t-shirts. He said he’d like to wear one. Although, not the camisole vest type ones. You know, I would be willing to overlook the awful slogan if Striker wore one of those tiny little vests. Love is blind. Love is blind. Love is blind.

Just imagine......

Mickie and Maria won. I expect the Mickster to recapture the Women’s title tonight.

Batista needed a warm-up before his chair match against Taker at TLC and Rey Mysterio wasn’t up to much, so they had a match.  Ironically, it was better than their Survivor Series match. MUCH better. It wouldn’t do much for a super-heel’s ego if he lost in his last match before a title shot, so the natural order of things dictated that Dave must win and win convincingly.

After the bell ding-ding-dinged, we witnessed the return of the chair necklace. We haven’t seen that for months. Not since Punk and Jeff.

I'm pretty sure the Freedom at TopShop brand does them. Hint-hint.

But the natural order of things also dictates that the good guy needs to jack up the hero-worship before a PPV, so the lights went down, Mysterio vanished and the Undertaker appeared as if from nowhere to put his challenger in his place with some wicked sucker-punches. I knew those MMA gloves would come in handy at some point.

Catch you on the other side of a few ladders,some chais and a collection of card tables.

raw(lite): the seven year itch

I watched this week’s Raw at approximately 37,000ft on a 52” HD TV, sat in the plush leather seats of my private jet, while chowing down on the finest cuisine imaginable and sipping on the most expensive champagne on earth.

In the real world, I did indeed watch Raw at 37,000ft. Unfortunately, I was watching it on my 4 year-old laptop’s 17” screen, was sat in some well worn pleather seats at the back of economy, was chowing down on Chinese chicken and egg fried rice with an identity crisis and drank tonic water…. because I refuse to pay for gin on a flight that was already very nicely priced. I was especially against paying for any extras after the airline charged me an additional $55 just for checking a second bag on an INTERNATIONAL FLIGHT! You suck, US Airways. On the plus side, the plane was only about two-thirds full, so there was plenty of room to spread out. Wait…. they had all those empty seats and they STILL charged me more money for a half empty hold-all? Mercenary sods! Anyway, here’s my photographic evidence…..

…… and here begins the Raw recap.

This week’s show came from Dallas and was guest hosted by Mark Cuban; owner of the Dallas Mavericks, part-owner of HDNet, all-round business guru and former Dancing with the Stars contestant. So, you can imagine which accolade impressed me the most. Cuban is quite an exuberant character and promised to be a stellar guest host but, quite frankly, after last week’s show it only had to be passable to look fabulous. After introducing himself and putting his stamp on the show, Cuban announced that John Cena and Sheamus would be meeting in a press-conference type confrontation later in the show. And then, because he’s all about giving the people what they want, he brought the champ out for a warm-up match against Carlito.

It appeared that Carlito had jobbed his last job to Cena last week. Most were pretty sure he was about to be wished well with his future endeavours. Not so. He came back for more. As John was disposing of Carlito once more, Sheamus showed up with the intention of interfering. But Mark Cuban, who happened to be watching from ringside with The Bellas, cut him off at the pass to avoid any early pummeling. This triggered the release of several security monkeys in black golf shirts to protect the billionaire. Montgomery Burns releases the hounds at the touch of a button, Mark Cuban has a constant supply of security monkeys.

Now you know what Matt Striker does on his day off.

This out-of-ring action only served to distract John from his match, giving Carlito a rare moment of superiority. It didn’t last. John stuck the Attitude Adjustment on him and finished it, which pleased the boss.

By the way, what are The Bellas now? WWE's resident escorts, pimped out to every guest host to use as they wish?

Speaking of pimps and subservient attendees……………..

Randy wanted a word in Cuban’s ear. He still can’t let go of the idea that he’s due another title shot. Dude. Seriously. You’ve had loads! He even threatened Cuban with a repeat of what happened in 2003 (RKO).

So much money, such bad hair. Doesn't compute.

Cuban wasn’t budging and ordered that Randy take Kofi Kingston on again that night with himself as the guest referee.  Cody Rhodes bad-mouthed the Mavs and went on to challenge Cuban to a match. No dice! And just to exert his authority even further, he put Randy’s two rent boys in a match against Evan Bourne *sigh* and Primo. Sadly, the bad boys were too much for our facey heroes and took the match. Cuban wasn’t happy and so decided to bring his security monkeys back out to eject them from the building. Now that’s some serious power. I wonder if he does that in everyday life. Like, if his maid misses a spot while polishing the sideboard.

You know, Raw hasn’t been the same since Lillian Garcia left. Justin’s a good guy, but Lills managed to steady the ship that is HMS Raw and be a beacon of calm in the chaos. I miss having a sultry voiced lady at the helm. Oh. Wait. They’ve found a replacement.

Maybe not.

Maryse and Gail Kim had a decent but impossibly short match, letting us all know that Maryse was indeed back and coming after Melina’s Divas title. Kelly announced the healed one as the winner, but that wasn’t enough for Maryse. She wanted to be known as ‘the next Divas champion’. Kelly refused to say it, there was a load of pushing and shoving, then Maryse started beating K² up. Thankfully for our newest ring announcer, Melina ran out to save her perfectly tanned skin and Maryse scuttled away.

What? That's what friends do. I'd want her to tell me if my tights were laddered or if my skirt was tucked in my knickers. It's girlie code.

DX did a paid advertisement for their Christmas themed merchandise, Hornswoggle launched his own illegal version of the DX t-shirt, there was some general Star Wars discussion, the tree was trashed, arguments ensued, punches were thrown and…. oh it sounds exactly like Christmas at my house.

Michael Cole and Jerry Lawler confirmed the exciting news that Sky Sports had extended their contract to broadcast WWE activities in the UK for a further five years. Great stuff! Until Michael Cole said “I know the United Kingdom is keeping its eye on one of its countrymen, that’s Ireland’s Sheamus.” Oh Michael Cole. Do you do these things on purpose?

Next, we had Kofi vs Randy, with Mark Cuban guest-reffing. With Rhodes and DiBiase ejected from the arena, there was no chance of any interference. It turned out to be a pretty good match. Who would’ve thought wrestling on a wrestling show would be such a big hit? AMAZING! Randy Orton’s continued fall from grace perpetuated as Kofi pinned him and Cuban called it. This feud carries on at TLC.

Aww. Don't cry! :( *HUGZ*

The Miz and Mark Henry had a match for the United States Championship but I have nothing to say on that. The Miz kept the belt. That’s it. I did do a Miz impression when the lady at the check-in desk told me I had to pay that extra $55 for my luggage. Take note kids: saying REALLY? REALLY? REALLY? in someone’s face is annoying and does not win their favour. Anyway, all these real wrestling matches on Raw are messing with my head. Although, the remnants of my jetlag might have something to do with that.

Next a second round of Diva action. Good lord, Raw, what are you? TNA? I’m so confused. Pleased, but confused. While we waited for the arrival of Eve, Hornswoggle, Jillian and Chavo, we got a peek at Chris Masters having a chat with Mark Cuban. Wow! Chris Masters with clothes on. A revelation!

Eve and Jillian carried the match beautifully, with Eve winning it for herself and Hornswoggle. But things got messy when Chavo tried to do some damage to Horny after the match was over. Chris Masters jumped in the ring, pulled his shirt off and flexed his pecs with the same confrontational passion as the New Zealand rugby team doing the Haka. Then he put Chavo out of action and endeared himself to Eve. Uh-oh. Jack Swagger won’t be pleased with Masters moving in on his crush. Never trust your lady alone with a man who has dancing pectorals. It makes us go a bit silly.

See that look on Eve's face? That's how I look ALL the time while watching wrestling.

As decided last week, Chris Jericho had to face DX all by himself which, as you might expect, was a tall order for the little fella. Big Show couldn’t stand idly by as his buddy got beaten up, so he came to the rescue, starting it off by nutting Michaels. They have a TLC match on Sunday so various, large climbing implements were brought out to finish the job. I particularly enjoyed the DX panini they assembled.

Now on to the finale – the opportunity for John Cena and Sheamus to say whatever they like about each other before their big title match on Sunday.   There was a lot of chatter, but basically it went like this.

After the carnage, Mark Cuban decided he wasn’t going to stand for this young punk taking over his show. Bad move. After much pacing back and forth from one leg to the other, Sheamus kneed that foolish billionaire in the belly and slammed him through a table. Then some random basketball players chased Sheamus up the ramp and John took his top off.

John does his best thinking with his top off. And so do I. Wait, I mean I think better when JOHN'S shirtless. Not when I'M shirtless. Never mind.

raw(lite): this is raw, not the real world

I avoided watching this week’s Raw for a couple of days. The reviews were so awful that I just couldn’t face the agony of it all. Were it not for this blasted blog I’d have avoided watching this particular episode all together. But, I am never one to  let you people down (often) so I bit the bullet and watched. Kind of like when I get my eyebrows done. I know it’s going to sting, but it’s an unavoidable necessity.

Raw started with the longest PPV promo ever. Ok, scratch that. There’s always some smart-alec who counters my outrageous claims with a random stat. But it was over 17 minutes long which, even with Triple H and Jericho in the frame, was still a struggle. Although, I did enjoy when Show and Jericho had a pash in the middle of the ring.

Melina and Gail Kim came out and the cameras swung backstage, where Maryse was explaining to Josh why she beat Melina up last week. She fumbled her way through her speech, Jillian sang one word and Josh just looked confused.

Bad promo number two aside, I do like Maryse, so I forgave her. She (with very little help from Jillian) won the match.

They look like half the girls I saw out in Cardiff last night. But with more clothes.

Ok, something to get worked up about. The fastest rising star in wrestling. The soon-to-be main eventer – Sheamus.  So, what’s he going to do to turn the heat up on this tantalising tug-of-war with John Cena? Kill a professional jobber.

Oh. I see. There's a table. It was PPV PROMO! Duh!

This happened….

Weird

….. and then Verne Troyer, the guest host, magically appeared on a stool at the top of the ramp.  This guy, with his diminutive stature and child-like voice, kind of makes you want to say AWWWW, CUUUTE. Don’t do that. He appeared on Celebrity Big Brother a couple of years ago and, even though I skipped most of that televisual tripe, from what I saw he was a pretty annoying and slightly creepy guy. The Miz came out to have a go, but luckily for the little guy, Mark Henry came out to save him. Verne announced a match between the two for later in the show. See? Told you he was annoying.

Ok….. Kofi Kingston vs Randy Orton……here we go….. a match! Oh. Wait. I was a bit premature there……

and then……

They did eventually start a match but Kofi was so damaged by the two earlier sneak attacks at the hands of Rhodes & DiBiase, he couldn’t perform to his full capacity. Randy won, got sweaty, did an Undertaker impression and got off on his immense power.

Back in Troyer’s den, Jillian decided to entertain him and his gamer buddy, MVP, by doing a Beyonce impression.Mark Henry did his best Jay-Z impression. I didn’t end well for Beyonce.

It seems I was bit confused last week. I thought Sheamus and John Cena were signing a contract for TLC. Seems it’s a contract for a title match at any time. John arrived at the arena in a flashy car, walked his way to the ring with a frown and waited for Sheamus to show his face. But Carlito had just dragged himself out of bed to tell John that everyone on the roster hates him.  The forgotten one took an emergency bite of his apple but he took too long over chewing it and found himself well and truly John Cena’d out of the ring.

Chew faster. John's coming.

Sheamus showed up, John got uncharacteristically angry and the Celtic Warrior backed off. It was like one of those David Attenborough programmes where the young, upstart lion tries to take control of the pride, but the alpha lion bares his teeth and frightens the cub away.

It seems Mark Henry’s earlier attempt at being Jay-Z got his musical juices flowing, so he came out with MVP and Verne to do some rapping. He’s no Jay-Z. In fact, he’s not even a half-arsed R-Truth. Although, he did rap the line that seemed to sum this whole show up.

All in all it was a successful evening for the WSM. He silenced the most annoying Diva on the show, he started a new hip-hop career (albeit a bad one) and he won his match against The Miz. Good times!

I was waiting with fear for Little People’s Court, as mentioned last week. It seems they scrapped it. Thank heaven for small mercies.

Triple H and Jericho had a match. They set it up during those epic 17 minutes of promo at the beginning. If Trips won, Big Show would have to face both members of DX next week. If Jericho won, Shawn would have to face both members of JeriShow next week.  I think. I don’t know. I lost the will to live after about eight minutes. I won’t spend too much time on it. It ended like this.

Guess who lost.

So, America. Ricky Hatton’s Raw was the worst of the year, eh? EH? EH? No, didn’t think so. See? Things can always be worse.