A Song for Whoever: Mr. McMahon Edition

BOSS LADY RAY: Sometimes when we write these posts I have plenty to say about a particular happening, but it takes ages to find a song that fits as well as I want it to. Other times, a perfect song jumps to the front of my internal jukebox within just a few seconds of thought and I don’t need to give it too much introduction.

When Triple H relieved Mr. McMahon of his duties on last week’s Raw, it was surprisingly touching. Well, apart from the whole “I love you, Pop.” thing. That was freakin’ hilarious. But do you know what tugs on my heartstrings more than grown men crying? OLD men crying. It’s killer. Somehow, this once immortal powerhouse of a man, a captain of industry no less, looked terribly small and insignificant standing in the ring having just lost his empire.

So for HHH (not Paul) and Mr. McMahon (not Vince) here’s a crushingly apt song to sum up that awkward moment when your son-in-law fires you. “The show is over. Say goodbye.” Ouch! Here comes the Triple H Era…..

More Than a Feeling: CM Punk at Money in the Bank

I haven’t had much sleep. I took myself off to bed at 9:10pm last night with the hope of sleeping until Money in the Bank started at 1am. This didn’t happen and was largely down to the fact that I was too excited about the show to drift off.  By my calculations, I had about 90 minutes of uninterrupted sleep beforehand and didn’t fare too well afterwards either. The ending was so thrilling that when I returned to bed at 4:20am with the sun starting to rise and a stupid smile on my face, I found it impossible to sleep. It seems there is no natural antidote to adrenaline. Lord knows when I finally dropped off, but I know I was awake again not long after 8am. And now, in the early evening, I look and feel like death warmed up in the microwave, incurring the physical consequences of spending the night on North American time. I don’t regret a thing. What I experienced watching Money in the Bank was worth its weight in insomnia related nausea and under-eye luggage. It must be love!

I spent the first hour I was ‘awake’ trying to think about how I might express just how incredible last night was; writing whole paragraphs in my head and forgetting them the second I dotted them with a full-stop. I then turned to music and asked again….how do you explain something that’s bigger than a feeling and so much more important than a few wrestling matches? This was proceeded by 30 minutes of me playing Boston’s More than a Feeling on a loop, while treating the neighbours to my own unique, croaky brand of power ballad vibrato. “I closed mah eyes an’ ah slipped er-way-y-y-y-y-y-y.”

The show as a whole was the best of the year – better than the Rumble and definitely better than style-over-substance Wrestlemania. Every single match was booked to make the fans happy, which is almost unheard of. Both Money in the Bank matches were outstanding and, being the born-again indie kid that I am, seeing Daniel Bryan win the Smackdown briefcase was a massive surprise and a win I reacted to with…..

But if we’re all honest, we were only truly interested in one match – CM Punk vs John Cena. I had mixed feelings about this match. I never want anyone to become ill or burnt out just for the sake of my entertainment. I don’t expect wrestlers to be circus animals, jumping every time someone cracks a whip because they have no other choice than to keep going. But I have to admit that the idea of Punk leaving left my heart a little heavy.  Over the past few years I’ve fallen in love with Punk in the most wonderfully organic way. He was ‘just there’ for a long time, then I liked him, then I loved him…unconditionally. And despite what our blog archives will tell you, it really has nothing to do with the fact that he filled those tiny lavender trunks so impressively. The fact that I fancied the pants off him was a lovely bonus. He was just special. When Killswitch Engage’s crunching guitar rang out around countless arenas, I stopped what I was doing and paid attention – partly to swoon and sigh with my chin in my hands like a 1950s teeny-bopper, and partly because I knew that whatever was about to happen would indubitably be good.

Myself and Andrew had dipped in and out of Twitter throughout the show. In the early hours of the morning, feeling like you’re at a PPV party can be the stimulus you need to stay awake, but it can also be a distraction. There’s nothing more annoying than missing a brilliant, bone-crushing move because you were refreshing your Twitter feed at the time. As the promo video for the main event began, we decided to turn Twitter off and concentrate on what had the potential to be one of the most historic hours of wrestling in years. And so began a little experiment we’ll call ‘How many times can Ray’s stomach flip over in an hour.’

It began with the entrance. With that first rabid eruption of appreciation from the hometown crowd, synching perfectly with the initial scream in the entrance music, it  felt like my tummy was being stirred with a giant spoon, spinning back the other way and sending a shiver up my spine when Punk reached to the ground, looked at his imaginary watch and declared it was most definitely clobbering time. I can’t remember the last time a single wrestler caused that kind of crowd reaction, and as he marched down the ramp to the ring I started getting a little emotional. I promised myself I’d stay dry-eyed until the end, but as Punk plonked himself cross-legged in the middle of the ring, my bottom lip started to tremble and I declared out loud that “I love wrestling so much!” There have been so many moments where I’ve exclaimed the exact opposite (even as recently as a few weeks ago) but here I was brushing real tears away from the corners of my eyes, pressing my lips together tightly and more in love than I ever knew I could be – with Punk and with wrestling. It became even more intense when he jumped back to his feet, flew over to give him mum a kiss and whipped the crowd into even more of a frenzy.

The ‘BOO’ John Cena entered the arena to was so hostile I almost felt sorry for him, although it felt pretty awesome too. John’s not accustomed to being the bad guy, but for one night we entered an alternate universe where he felt the full brunt of an unappreciative crowd. John’s no stranger to hostility though. If he could survive a roasting from an old-school ECW crowd, he could cope with this. By this point I could feel my heart beating hard and fast in my chest. I didn’t even need to put my hand on it, I could just feel it pulsating far faster than it ever should be at gone 3am. I had no idea where all this was coming from, but had to concede that I loved wrestling even more than I had admitted to and was more than happy to roll with this glorious feeling.

The match was strange. I wasn’t sure what I wanted to happen. We had decided not to make any predictions for it because we wanted to just absorb whatever they had in store. The downside to this was that I had no clue what a good or bad outcome would feel like. All I knew was that every time John pinned Punk, I gasped loudly and held my hands to my face. Every time that pin was reversed I lifted my shoulders to my ears, sunk my nails into the leather of the couch and held my breath counting “1, 2..awww.” And it got worse. I watched the time ticking away, knowing that the further into this thing we got, the more chance there was of that three-count actually ending with the bell ringing.

The defining moment for me was late in the match when Punk dove through the middle of the ropes to land on a dizzy John and reached up to high-5 his mum. He had his two best friends and other family members whooping and hollering across the barrier and a crowd whose noise levels refused to quit. After that I was lost to the match, carried along entirely by the pacy back and forth between the two like a rip-tide I couldn’t and didn’t want to fight. STFs, failed attempts at making John Go to Sleep, duelling crowd chants, wobbly top rope leaps, raised shoulders and quivering hands trying desperately not to spank the mat and submit – I loved it all and responded to each with a new swear word of increasing obscenity. It seems I swear a lot when I’m that excited.

When Mr. McMahon and John Laurinaitis turned up, my mood changed. For all I praise the McMahons and the brand of wrestling they pump out every week, if they ruined this for me I would not be a happy bunny! I believe the expression I used was “DON’T FUCK THIS UP! PLEAAAAASE!” When Vince called for the bell, my “NOOOOOOOOOOOOO!” could have woken people three streets away, but they didn’t mess it up at all. John indicated that he wanted everything to be legit, the GTS did its job for the first time all match and the three-count finally hit the three with both John’s shoulders down.

I reached up and punched the air above my head repeatedly, pyjama sleeves flopping around in the downdraft. I think I just figured out what I wanted to happen. Even when Vince marched Alberto Del Rio out to cash in his MITB contract, I knew he wasn’t going to get it. They had given Punk the moment he deserved and there was no going back. I revelled in the euphoria of it all as Punk blew a vacant-faced Mr. McMahon a kiss and disappeared into the Chicago crowd, reaching their hands out to touch him as if some form of messiah was passing among them.

Then that little green logo appeared in the bottom left corner of my screen and it hit me that he was gone.

Remember that scene in Titanic where Rose is floating around in the freezing Atlantic and she has to blow a whistle and scream for the lifeboat to collect her? And remember how she barely had enough breath to make a sound? I felt like that. I don’t want him to go. I wanted to drag him back and force him to stay. I wanted to promise that everything would be OK if he just stuck around. At 4:00am I was exhausted and emotional enough that this all made perfect sense. It all seems a little ludicrous now. WHISTLE-WHISTLE-WHISTLE. COME BAHHHHCK! COME BAAAAAAHHHHHCK! WHISTLE-WHISTLE-WHISTLE. COME BAHHHHHHCK!

For the next 30 minutes I rested my head into the back of the chair with what can only be described as a gorgeous post-coital floatiness. I don’t really mind what you loved about it, as long as you did love it. Whether you loved it because Punk was sticking it to the man, or that John Cena proved his immeasurable worth, or that Vince allowed himself to be ridiculed in the name of narrative, or because of the cacophony of sound coming from the audience, that you saw an incredible wrestling match, or just (like me) that you felt moved seeing your favourite performer reach their full potential for the very first time – it all works. All I care about is that you felt that same tingle under your skin that I did. And if you didn’t, we need to talk. Sometimes you have to give yourself over to the story, even if you know the ending will make you sad.

I suppose now that Punk’s having a holiday I need a new person to direct my affections to towards, eh? Hey, Colt Cabana. How you doin’?

raw: breathe, hold it, release

Remember last week when I said the jury was still out on the whole guest hosts on Raw thing? Well if most of the reviews of last night’s show are anything to go by, the jury has had enough instant coffee and stale bagels, has returned to the courtroom and has sentenced the segment to life imprisonment without the possibility of parole.

Some of the reviews I’ve read have been beyond angry, with talk of group boycotts and sighs so heavy they were audible from space. First of all… BREATHE. Breathe, hold it, then release and allow your shoulders to slip down from your chin. Secondly, let’s try to put things in perspective. WWE is implementing an idea that most people don’t seem to like, right? It’s happened before. Many times. It will pass. I lost faith in wrestling a few years ago too. But I came back. And I never quite resisted the niggling urge to check on who was winning the matches every week.  I’m as passionate as the next person about wrestling. The number of hours I dedicate to this blog just for the hell of it should bear testament to that. But getting so wound up it makes you lose your lunch is not the answer.

It has been acknowledged almost everywhere that last night’s show was bad. Really bad. In fact, while watching it on Sky+ tonight I felt compelled to tweet this……

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Ted DiBiase Snr’s hosting was good. How can bringing a legend back to work with his son and integrate himself in to a storyline ever be bad? Seth Green was kind of cool but the plugging of his Robot Chicken show took the shine off some of it for me. At least he seemed to enjoy it. He actually looked like a cute little boy living out his dreams. And that wasn’t a height joke, just a general observation. ZZ Top was gastly. They appeared to have no interest in the business and were CLEARLY there to promote their 3 millionth tour. Shaq, I will admit, was great. He had personality, delivered comedic lines like a pro, integrated in to the storylines but didn’t overshadow the wrestling. He just became part of it.

Last night’s show came off worst because it was a two hour advertisement for a movie. Aside from the fact that Dr. Ken and Jeremy Piven were annoying and irritated me enough that I had no choice but to skip the odd end of segment, their shameless plugging of Piven’s new movie release (no, I’m not saying the name) was vile. When I want to watch an infomercial or ‘paid programming’, I will. When I sit down to enjoy a wrestling show, that’s what it should be.

I’m no dummy. I know how big business works. You scratch my back and I’ll scratch yours etc. A little kickback never hurt anybody. In truth, it kind of makes the world go round. The problem last night was that Vince McMahon was scratching Piven’s back, but he wasn’t returning the favour. And this is why the guest host bit has gone off the rails. They’ve lost sight of the content of the show, which was struggling even before this, and have fallen under the spell of dollar signs and hopeful links with the Page Six set. Watching low-grade celebrities act out boyhood fantasies about flying off the top rope at a wrestling superstar in return for a couple of hours of half-arsed tv hosting is not attractive to regular viewers. Wouldn’t we all like to be in the position to buy ourselves in to Raw or Smackdown for a night? Do any of us have that kind of clout? Nope. It makes us feel bad.

Look at how much time was spent last night showing clips from ESPN and various other mainstream media outlets on Shaquille O’Neal’s involvement in last week’s Raw. It’s as if they’re trying to impress and recruit non wrestling fans, while ignoring the dedicated followers they’ve already got. It’s like when banks bombard prospective customers with magnificent mortgage rates while offering nothing to its existing customers.

It’s like one of those romantic comedies where the girl spends every minute trying to snare the hot, sexy new guy in the office, while the loyal, male, best friend waits in the wings for her to cry on his shoulder when it all goes wrong. You know how those movies end, right? The girl ultimately realises that the new guy is a shallow flash in the pan and the old friend is the guy she will always be able to depend on.  Once Vince loses his hard-on for Hollywood and appoints a new, permanent GM, all will be well again.

On the plus side, at  least Sergeant Slaughter will be guest hosting next week. So light some candles, put on that pan-pipes album you got from your Granny for Christmas and just relax. In a day or so I’ll do one of my usual Raw recaps, cutting out as much of the guff as possible. Believe it or not, there were some sneaky little moments worth going back over. Don’t believe me? Well, you’ll have to keep checking back to see what they were then.

raw(lite): he came, then he left

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

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

THINGS YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT THIS WEEK’S RAW

BEFORE THE BASH

Catchy, eh?

  • Trump’s Da Boss

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

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  • John-Boy’s a Farmer

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

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  • The Miz is a Puss

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

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  • Lemony Kick-It

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

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  • SD Trumps Raw

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

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

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  • Prelude to Crap

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

  • Song for Santina

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

  • Regrets, dear?

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

  • The King Ain’t Dead

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

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  • The Penny Drops

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

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  • Shut Your Trap

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

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  • Most Aspirational Stat Evah!

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

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

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

you be trippin’. That is all.

  • Get offa my Randy

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

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FAVOURITE CROWD MEMBER OF THE NIGHT

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

raw(lite): almost as important as my birthday

It’s been a busy week round these parts. The lofty business of higher education and facilitating the graduation of the kiddies under my wing has been hectic beyond any kind of hectic I’ve ever experienced.  An Everest type mountain of paperwork, so many digits my eyes started shivering, and almost impossible deadlines that were so tight they made my heart beat faster (not in a good Jeff Hardy in a falling towel sort of way – Thanks Adam & Matt). On the plus side, the chaos was punctuated by my birthday, which was made even better by the personal birthday card and message from my John. He even recorded a special message for me. Wondering why he didn’t say my name? He did. ‘Champ’ is his cute nickname for me. Listen…..

(click n play)

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I’m coming to get some, John. I’m coming!

Soooo, another event almost as important as my birthday took place this week. Yes, a special 3-hour Raw that wasn’t just Raw, because it had Smackdown and ECW matches on it too.  Like a Pay Per View, but not, ’cause it’s  free. Huh? Let’s give this strange hybrid a whirl, shall we?

It’s Raw, so who’s the first person out? Oh, Chris Jericho. According to Jericho, Raw has gone in to a tumultuous tailspin since he left. Well, I wouldn’t go that far, Chris, but……. Anyway, he couldn’t go on without insulting the crowd in his usual adjective heavy manner. This week’s Jericho Jibe is brought to you by the phrase “All of you [the crowd] are still the same ignorant, insipid, bulbous manatees you’ve always been.”

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Charlotte residents, according to Jericho. Cuter than Ric Flair, anyway.

He went on to diss Rey Mysterio which, of course, was answered but the playing of Booyaka-Booyaka-619! Good lord, I do love when Rey’s all fired up and angry. Raaaaawr! As soon as the bell tolled he tripped Jericho, leaped on to him and began the onslaught.  But Chrissy-boy was not over-n-out. I know people are getting a bit bored with these two together, but seriously, they are awesome rivals in the ring. AWE-SOME! Mysterio jumped from the top rope on to Jericho, but Chris managed to grab him and started pulling his mask off again. Worried about being exposed further, Rey grabbed at the mask and  lost his concentration, giving Jericho the cover.

vlcsnap-848244 copyKnow what I feel like now? A Josh Matthews and Randy Orton interview. Well, whaddaya know, here’s one right now. I love when I get what I want.  I’m not entirely sure what happened in the first part of the interview, because I was Googling ‘How tall is Josh Matthews?’ and was shocked to find out he’s 7″ taller than me. Which means that Randy would be REALLY EFFING HUGE stood up against me. NIIICE! If I ever get one of those “Please welcome my guest at this time…….” jobs, I’m gonna need a little box to stand on. Like when Vickie had to do scenes where she was stood next to Big Show.

Anyway, Randy was kind of mean and Josh being a sweet little thing, John Cena (fresh from recording my birthday message) came to the rescue. He told Josh to run along and took Randy on himself. John suggested that the WWE Universe would like to know why Randy is such a gutless, spineless, disrespectful Grand Wizard of the Baby Oil Boys’ Club. He also went on to suggest that, as Randy seemed to have forgotten there were FOUR people contesting for the WWE Championship now that Batista was out of action, maybe all the oil he rubs on himself was starting to rot his brain.

Ok, first of all, this whole scene =

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Secondly, Grand Wizard? Baby Oil Boys’ Club? Too easy, John. WAY too easy. But that doens’t mean I’m not gonna do this………………..

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Moving on, Mr. McMahon had an announcement to make and, apparently, it wasn’t to announce the new GM in the wake of Vickie G’s resignation. Ok, here’s where my timezone problem chimes in and stops me from getting the full impact of this whole thing. In theory, if I had avoided being on the internet for the whole of Tuesday, I could have watched Raw after work and experienced its dramatic events the same as everyone in North America. But asking me to stay away from the information super highway for  a full 24 hours is like asking Barack Obama to stop being charismatic for 24 hours. Ain’t gonna happen. So I’ll do my best to act surprised, but I can’t promise successful faking. K?

Vince McMahon, looking even more tangerine coloured than usual, appeared on the Titantron and announced that he had sold the Raw brand to a currently unnamed bidder.

Convincing performance? Send my Oscar via FedEx. Thanks.

Convincing performance? Send my Oscar via FedEx. Thanks.

Faced with the trauma of knowing that Raw had been sold to a mystery wealthy person, what else could they do but send out an ECW title match to refocus the mind. Christian (who is the owner of my fave theme music in the whole company BTW) made his way out, closely followed by current champion, Tommy Dreamer. Oh, right, I skipped Extreme Rules. He won the belt and a contract extension at the PPV. All caught up? Good. Christian put up a good fight, but Dreamer capitalised on Christian’s niggly ankle and pinned him, keeping the belt for another week.

Dave Batista successfully underwent major bicep surgery this past week to repair the injury he suffered at the evil hands of Randy Orton and a steel chair. Yah. That was it. Randy did it. He didn’t have the injury already. Honest.

Mmmm. Iodine-y.

Mmmm. Iodine-y.

But all this means the WWE Championship is up for grabs and so important is its capture that we were graced with a countdown clock leading up to the match. Phew! I would have missed it had I not had the clock on the screen. Mr. RKO, John Cena, Big Show and the newly returned Triple H batttled it out to take home the belt. Eight minutes after the bell ding-ding-dinged, Big Show was bearing the brunt of everyone’s attack and it looked as if John was going to pin Show for the title. But he hadn’t counted on Randy Orton slithering his way under the ropes. Randy slammed John in to the turnbuckle, put a beautiful RKO on Big Show and pinned him. He grabbed at the belt like a kid grabbing at his new Tonka Truck on Christmas day and triumphantly made his way up the ramp.

vlcsnap-87837 copyAlright, with the WWE championship in the hands of, well, anyone, it was time for Vince to tell us who he was selling Raw to.  It waaaaaaaaaaas *drumroll*…..

Donald J. Trump. Yep. Him. Billionaire dude. Legendary businessman. Head honcho on the American version of The Apprentice. Had it been Alan Sugar I might have been happy, but I was initially furious. Like I said in my last audio post, I like to see non-wrestling jobs go to people with a connection to the industry. It’s the wrestling tree of life. I was annoyed that someone with no connection other than a much publicised Wrestlemania Battle of the Billionaires which ended with Vince being scalped a few years ago, had been given such a high profile role. But, after listening to the business and marketing pitch on episode 3 of Kick-Out!! Radio this week, I concede that my stance was a little naiive. Must learn to engage my brain before speaking.

Donald Trump, who managed to look even more orange than Mr. M, will just be a figurehead for Raw. It’s not like he’ll be the GM, popping up on every show. He’ll appoint a general manager and things will swiftly move on. And, I wonder how Shane and Stephanie feel about this? Aren’t they heirs to the company? Will they be happy that daddy dearest sold off their inheritance? Doubtful. Actually this could be more interesting than I originally thought.

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This whole segment was followed by Mickie James vs Rosa Mendes. Rosa wrestles? Really? Good for her. If ever you thought WWE doesn’t care that much about the Women’s Division, your fears were confirmed when it created a nothing match and put it right after the biggest announcement in weeks.  It was almost like saying, we’ll put something on nobody will care about so everyone at home can have five minutes to digest and debate D. Trump’s “purchase” of Raw. Sometimes I feel like giving up on this crusade. But I won’t.  Mickie won, Maryse did a hair swirl, Mickie tried to kick her in the face and Maryse ran away laughing.

Feeling like the crowd needed some light relief, we returned to join Goldust and Hornswoggle in the ring, shooting t-shirts in to the audience with one of those mascot machine gun thingies. Aww. Nice guys. But they were rudely interrupted by The Miz, as per usual, so I went out to take a whizz. Which is why I’m not sure what else happened in this part, but it ended up with The Miz knocking Goldust out and shooting Hornswoggle in the knackers with the t-shirt missile launcher. I get the feeling this ain’t over.

imyrimytsAnyone else need a break from Raw? Yeah, me too. Let’s Down some Smack with Edge, Punk and Jeff.  There I was thinking that the two big events this week were my birthday and the Trump topic. But there was something else. Something really special I didn’t think I would be welcoming back so soon. Yes, it’s the majestic return of CROTCH WATCH. If you’re new here and unfamiliar with CROTCH WATCH, it all started when CM Punk started wearing some rather skimpy, lavender tinted trunks. So taken with them was I, that I began monitoring Punk’s choice of trunks on a weekly basis. Purely for fashion purposes of course. But, he soon stopped wearing the light coloured trunks and I took the hint that I was being inappropriate, putting that segment away in the back of my knicker drawer until he decided he missed the attention.

It appeared it only took two weeks for him to miss my perving and he came out this week in WHITE TRUNKS. WHITE! Everyone knows that people who wear white bathing suits (and wrestle trunks) WANT to be noticed in the groinal area. How lovely to know he really did enjoy being the object of my affections after all.

So. Yeah. There was a match too. It was actually the best match of the night. I love you, Smackdown. Despite all the ‘over-egging the pudding’ in the Raw storylines, Smackdown still managed to pull an awesome match out of the bag without a ridiculous fanfare. Beautiful.

Edge ran at Punk to try and take him out with a spear, but Punk did an amazing jump over his head and Edge took Jeff out instead. Punk threw Edge in to the turnbuckle, and was running at him when Edge managed to push him over the ropes, damaging his knee on the steel steps as he fell. The medics came to Punk’s aide while Edge and Jeff continued in the ring. Jeff stuck a Swanton on him and went in for the pin, but Punk managed to get back on his feet, dragged Jeff out and pinned Edge to keep his title. Oh my god. AMAZIIIING!

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Now a return to Raw. Or is it ECW? Oh, it’s both. The Hart Dynasty v Primo and Carlito. And we had the pleasure of listening to Rhodes and DiBiase at the announce table. They rendered the match pointless by interrupting it. What a waste of The Hart Dynasty. Was that the first time we’ve seen them outside ECW? I think so. Shame.

Know what else was a waste of time? The 16-man Battle Royal*. It was like they were saying, we’ve got loads of Raw guys who didn’t get a pop this week, so we’ll put 16* men in the ring and let Triple H win. He’ll only end up taking his revenge on Randy at The Bash anyway. But wait, the new boss-man has something to say. Trump decided that he didn’t want to wait for The Bash. Orton v Triple H would be on the next Raw. That gives me hope of something different for The Bash. My feelings of hope are often way off kilter though.

* I know it was 10. But there were so many faces I couldn’t keep up  with who was there. It was a joke that went over most people’s heads. It’s ok. I know I’m not very funny. Thank you to those who took the time to email me to tell me I got it wrong. I know. It was deliberate.

raw(lite): orgasmic borderlines and over dressing

[I wrote this recap last night, but I was so tired by the time I got done with the writing, I fell asleep before I could do all my lovely photoshopping. So just put your brain on rewind and pretend it’s still Friday night.]

It’s Friday night, I put my pink bow PJ bottoms on at 8pm, flicked the mushrooms out of my Chinese food (because they are the work of Satan), had a semi-cold Carlsberg Export, felt sorry for myself  ’cause my jaw problems kept me from going to the gym, argued over the name of Eminem’s new single, opened another beer, failed at Guitar Hero, watched Eastenders and felt happy when Terry got sent to prison, started watching Gordon Ramsay humiliate pitiful chefs, remembered I need to recap the rest of Raw. So here I am. Don’t you just wish you had my rock & roll lifestyle? I can feel your jealousy burning through the monitor.

So, Thursday’s post pretty much told you what was bad about this week’s Raw. Tonight I will try to be a little more optimistic. I’m not gonna lie, the alcohol is helping. I am also alternating between re-watching Raw and listening to Fall Out Boy’s Folie a Deux album. Patrick Stump makes everything better.  Vince McMahon had just pushed his phoney Kroenke out of the ring and I was waiting for things to improve (’cause they couldn’t get much worse.) WROOONG! Here’s The Miz. He revealed a Cavs jersey, the crowd booed, and he declared himself 6-0 against John Cena. There I was, wondering how long it’s going to be before John’s actually allowed to retaliate, when…….

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Hoorah! Things are looking up. But before John could make it in to the ring and finally shut The Miz up, Rhodes and DiBiase started laying in to him. The Miz joined in and before we knew it, my John was being kicked in to a pile of mush. Heels = 3,  Babyfaces = 1.  Things are looking a little uneven. Oh, DAAAA-AAAVE! You’re needed. Batista came to help and managed to flatten all three bad dudes in succession. The Big Show appeared (urgh) and then Jerry Lawler. Lakers colours never looked so…..so….. stretched? The asymmetrical shoulder strap though. Very ‘on trend’, |Jerry. Love you, King. Mwah!

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With the ring cleared of nasty boys, there was nothing else to do but announce a five v five, good v bad, Yay v Boo match for the end of Raw. At this point I was really hoping the jerseys were just for graphic effect. They weren’t. Much to my disgust. I’ll come back to that later. Wait, who is the fifth good fella? You’ll have to wait to find out.

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It was time for the regular show to start. After Maryse’s dalliance last week with a can of Elnett (which they’ve totally changed the smell of, by the way) she was taking on Baby Kelly, to retain her Divas Championship.

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I was little worried for Kelly. She does a mean backflip but Maryse is a mean ole madame and I was pretty sure she’d get creamed in to the mat. But from the moment Kelly did her (better) version of the Maryse hair-flick, I knew she’d be ok. It all started to go wrong when Maryse had Kelly on the announce table and was pounding her in the face. NOOOOO! Not the face! Maryse spent too much time out of the ring and was counted out, allowing Kelly to win the match but not the belt. Damn! Kelly was furious and went flying straight at her.  Your day will come, sweetheart.

Gratuitous America's Next Top Model Reference

Gratuitous America's Next Top Model Reference

Backstage, this happened……………..

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and over in the locker room, Batista was trying to tell Ric Flair what we’re all thinking. Lead balloon time again.

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Back inthe ring, Matt Hardy, William Regal and Kofi Kingston are scrapping it out to contend for M.V.P’s Yankee Belt next week. Kingston pinned Matt Hardy for the match. Ok, M.V.P and Kofi Kingston will be good. And they even managed to be friendly about it. Aww, they really do make a lovely couple.

So after that Ric Flair woooed his way to the ring. This can only end badly. But It does promise an appearance from Randy Orton, who was nowhere to be seen and we’re already 40 minutes in. Flair reminded us that Orton sucka-punched him and had his wicked way with him last week. Really? Had his way with you Ric? Is that available on bootleg DVD anywhere? Anyway, Ric called Randy out and HOLY HELL did he answer.

To say that Randy told Ric off is an understatement. Randy lost his temper and shut his mouth good an proper. There haven’t been too many wrestlegasm moments in recent weeks, but Randy’s angry rant delivered on all markers. To be truthful, it wasn’t just a wrestlegasm moment…. it was  borderline orgasmic. And THAT doesn’t happen that often from viewing alone. Bravo, Randy. BRA-VO, my love!

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Wait, I just got turned on by a young man shattering the few remaining dreams of  a pensioner. That’s wrong, right? Don’t answer.

Aaaanyway. Ahem. Ric slapped Randy’s face and Randy knocked him down, pummelling him in the face. Batista came to the rescue and Orton made a hasty retreat to the comfort of the ramp, leaving Dave trying to hold Flair back from retaliating. Randy gave a few parting words and just as he was about to leg it, we heard….

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KENN-E-DEEEEY

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YYYYYYEEEEEEEOOOOW! I love you, Ken Kennedy. Welcome back. I missed you. But seriously, the beard needs to go. Like, pronto. You’re just a line of boot polish away from looking like Scott Steiner. That wasn’t even a good look for Steiner. Get! Rid!

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Facial hair aside…..WRESTLEGASMMMMMM! I believe that’s called multiple wrestlegasm-ing. Ah, it’s good to be a girl. Assuming Kennedy’s new injury can be fixed relatively swiftly, Mr. K and Mr. Ohhh need to have a proper feud. It would be AWESOME.

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Oh, yeah, Kennedy was named the fifth good guy in the YAY v BOO match at the end of the show. From the sublime to the ridiculous, Santino and Mickie James were up against Chavo and Beth. Mickie pinned Beth FTW and Santino was left to choose a stipulation for SantinA’s match against  Vickie at the PPV. He chose a Hog Pen Match, did more pi g squeals and forced Vickie in to one of her patented screeches.

Backstage The Big Show reminded The Miz that he was not allowed to pin John Cena……

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You don’t really wanna know anything about Goldust and Hornswoggle v Festus and The Brian Kendrick, do you?????? Phew. Good. ‘Cause I was about to skip it anyway.

On to the final match of the night. The Five v Five.  There were varying responses to this match from the guys. Big Show struggled to keep his body inside his custom made jersey. Suck it in, honey. Suck it in like you just finished eating on Christmas Day and realised jeans were a bad option.

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Randy looked pissed off that he’d been forced to cover his chest.

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Kennedy came out to a Brett Favre joke. (Miss you, Brett…. but please stay retired this time, k?). And John Cena looked like he’d travelled back in time to his thuganomics days. Actually, his arms were rather weedy back then, so I’ll stick with present day John, thank you very much. Thuganomics-John SOOOOO couldn’t bench press Big Show. Batista took it all too seriously and came out in  full Lakers regalia. Long shorts and everything. JR said…..“Behind those iniquitous blue eyes of Randy Orton is a mind that is thinking -I have to step inside a steel cage in two weeks on Pay Per View against The Animal?” I hate to challenge Jim Ross, but what Randy was REALLY thinking was “Dave, you moron. You could have worn less clothes than that and you CHOSE to wear extra fabric? I don’t get you.”

The match was as expected. Some amazing stuff, some rubbish, but it was far more entertaining than I was expecting. Good conquered Evil when M.V.P pinned Cody Rhodes to take it for TEAM YAY!

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But the real story of this match is that when Kennedy was on the receiving end of the RKO, he suffered a fairly nasty looking wrist injury. You can usually tell real pain. They try to smile through it but the grimace can’t help but break through. I can’t find any info online that says he’s going to lose any major time away from the ring, so I hope it’s nothing that can’t be fixed with an ice pack and a healing kiss. You have to feel a little bit sorry for the guy. You spend 10 months rehabbing your shoulder only to pick up another big inury in your first match back. :(

So that WAS the Denver Debacle. After Thursday’s rant I felt a tiny bit disloyal, but there’s no point in pretending I loved Vince’s tactics when I didn’t. However, when Michael Cole said this at the end of the show….

“Well thank you WWE Universe for all your support, this week, and each and every week. Thank you everybody, and good night from Los Angeles.”

………..I felt compelled to accept the gesture of gratitude. Now, let’s just forget this every happened and move on to better things.

the dirtiest job on the internet

It’s a dirty job being a wrestling fan.  It’s an even filthier form of voluntary employment when you decide you’re going to set up a blog or website where you write about wrestling several times a week.  Justifying your devotion to a product most people don’t understand is not easy. I think that’s why wrestling fans band together so tightly and have such a close knit community. Once you get it, once you have a grip on the terminology, once you fully understand why it’s ok that they’re pulling the punches, you’re in the club. Meeting fellow wrestling fans is like skipping the pleasantries. You can just jump to a common place of understanding.

If you’re reading this I suspect you are a regular WWE viewer. If not, why are you here? No, really, I’m curious. Let me know. Be honest, how many times has someone scoffed at the fact that you watch wrestling.  Loads, right? I wish I had a tenner for every time someone had said “Huh-huh-huh you know it’s not real don’t you, sweetheart?”  What? Really? You shattered my  dreams. Oh My God, I totally thought Triple H was away from the ring because Randy Orton put him in hospital. WANKERS! Sorry, but I can’t stand it when people who know nothing about wrestling try to tell ME all about it

I get even more wound up when they take the piss out of the fact that I’m a woman who enjoys wrestling. “Huh-huh-huh you only watch it to gawp at the blokes’ arses don’t you, darlin’. ” Erm, it’s a bonus, but NO, I watch it because I love it for the amazing athleticism and the entertainment value. The hot men are a really nice addition. TOSSERS!

This week’s Monday Night Raw really tested my mettle as a WWE super-fan. What has now been dubbed the ‘Denver Debacle’ took a trashy turn and I wasn’t even sure I wanted to recap Raw this week out of protest. But there were a few gems of brilliance, so I’ll recap them separately in one of my raw(lite) posts tomorrow. So yes, the Denver Debacle.

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I know everyone is all caught up by now, but basically Raw was supposed to be live from Denver this week. Unfortunately, a ‘real sport’ (basketball) decided it needed the Pepsi Center for the 4th game in the NBA Play-Offs. Obviously, this was a double booking of epic proportions and a little shameful on the part of the Nuggets’ management for having no faith in their team.  I really think the NBA should have made alternative arrangements, but that wasn’t to be. They had the power to boot Raw out of the arena, and they did.

I don’t normlly shake my pom-poms for basketball. Two reasons. The first is that I hold a grudge against my PE teacher in high school who told me “Rachel, rwyt ti’n chwarae pel-fasged yn dda iawn ond rwyt ti’n rhi fur i ymuno â’r tîm.” BITCH! And for those of you who don’t speak Welsh she said “Rachel, you’re very good at playing baskeball but you’re too short to join the team.” BITCH! I also hate the general thuggery of the NBA. The fact that young boys aspire to this shallow, materialistic, arrogant lifestyle makes me feel a little sickly and it detracts from the actual athletics.  When I took part in the college bracketology thing in March I chose my teams based on location, school colours and how cute the mascot animal is. Anyway, what I’m trying to demonstrate is that I don’t care about basketball or the NBA Play-offs. Mission accomplished.

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Gayest mascot in college. (Sorry, Pat)

Now, despite the fact that WWE lost this particular battle, the whole thing could have been handled in a professional business-like manner, right? No. Not according to Vince McMahon. He could have just sued Stan Kroenke’s ass for all it’s worth. Nope. He turned the whole thing in to a giant, puff-ball of promotional crap that made wrestling appear ridiculous and made wrestling fans look like unintelligent morons.  Basketball, American Football, Hockey and Baseball rolled their eyes, shook their heads and basked in the validity of their own sports.

Forced out of the Pepsi Center, WWE could have moved to Invesco Field so that the good people of Denver could still see the show they paid for. They could have moved to a town nearby so that those who already had tickets would have had the opportunity of travelling a reasonably short distance to the show. They could have taken operations to MSG, who offered to house them. But going to New York, staying in Denver or moving to a nearby town would not ‘damage’ the Denver Nuggets. Instead of being grown, professional  adults and doing what was best for the fans, WWE chose the low road and played childish games that nobody found particularly entertaining. I can’t believe I’m saying this, because I whole-heartedly advocate not taking wrestling too seriously……but SERIOUSLY, WWE, GROW THE FUCK UP!

I knew things were going to be bad when Vince appeared on ESPN waving a Kobe jersey and challenging Kroenke to a steel cage match the week previous.

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This week’s Monday Night Raw was held at the Staples Center in LA. Home of the Lakers. The first 15 minutes (minimum) of the show were spent with Vince supposedly humiliating a bad E. Stan Kroenke lookalike in the ring. The only thing that may have made it mildly funnier would hve been if they’d had John Cena dressed like Kroenke. The lookalike they hired looked kind of like an ugly version of John’s George Peppard from his Bad, Bad Man music video.

And d’you know what the ultimate insult was? The fact that the E in E. Stan Kroenke stands for Enus. Enus sounds like……. And THAT’S the joke. Vince McMahon almost said penis. OH MY GOD, he nearly used an anatomical term on TV. You know who finds that funny? 10 year old boys. And Lakers fans. Why would they complain? They get some wrestling they didn’t expect to have and they get two hours oF bagging out their basketball enemies. Perfect. For them.

For those of us watching at home it was painful.  The Jack Nicholson, David Stern and Jerry Buss lookalikes in the crowd were silly and getting the heels to wrestle the good guys wearing Nuggets (BOO) and Lakers (YAY) jerseys in one big brawl at the end of the show looked so ridiculous I almost couldn’t watch.

Thankfully, the middle parts of Raw were passable and there were even a couple of wrestlegam moments. Yes. REALLY. But I’ll save them for tomorrow. Something to look forward to.

Just a final message for Mr. McMahon – the WWE Universe (as you have branded us) is loyal and forgiving. We want high standard wrestling and compelling storylines. No more bullshit. I can’t keep trying to explain how awesome the WWE is to people who don’t get it when all I’m trying to defend is pettiness I don’t even believe in myself.

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WWE, DON’T STOP BEING AWESOME.  SOMETIMES  YOU’RE AMAZING. BUT YOU’RE MAKING MY JOB REALLY AWKWARD AT THE MOMENT.

PS>  I wouldn’t normally do this, but in the interest of solidarity against bullshit you should read this. It’s a humorous look at the XBA Vince jokingly promised to deliver. Genius little piece of writing.  Now if you’ll excuse me, I have to go and scrub myself clean. Not for continuing to promote WWE, but for actually plugging a post written by my arch enemies in comedy. Eww, I feel dirty.


Rumour Mill: From the Mean Streets of Stamford

While my technology gets a grip on itself, I thought I’d give my opinion on a cute little story that came my way this week.

The word on the mean streets on Stamford, CT, is that  our John Cena is feeling restless. It’s ok. Don’t start doing a Jerry Lawler scream. He’s not restless as in “I wanna give it all  up to start a cake decorating business”. More, “I wanna hang out with my best bud and change my character a bit”. John Cena? A personality transplant? I’m not sure how I really feel about that, but I find the idea intriguing and more than a little arousing. And his request involves Randy Orton, which knocks the intrigue/arousal level up a few notches.

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In case you weren’t aware, John Cena and Randy Orton are best friends. They’re Bros. They love each other, in a kind of ‘if you had boobs and lady-bits I’d totally marry you, maaan’ sort of thing.  I know. It’s hard to believe, right? But apparently true.  Which goes to show just how good Mr. O is at acting bad. Or is it John acting good? No. Never. I cannot imagine John is an arsehole in real life. It must be Randy’s great acting skills. Phew! I cannot even entertain the idea that John Cena is not a nice guy. My brain rejects it.

When I first heard about it several months ago, I scoffed. No way. They are, like, ENEMIES! Randy almost killed JOHN’S DAD!!!!

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Ok, sometimes I get a little carried away with the storylines. But I didn’t quite believe it was true.  At the time Randy was getting in to all kinds of scrapes behind the scenes. At one point I thought he was in line for a big, fat YOOOOOOOU’RE FIIIIIIIRED! A real one. Maybe it was John who turned Randy around. Well that’s what I like to think anyway.They have actually been holding hands for quite some time.  They came up through OVW together. They turned their scrawny bodies in to sculpted masterpieces of manhood, together. They hoped but never expected to headline the grandest stage of them all, yep, you guessed it, TOO-GE-THAAAAAH! Awww!

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It’s kind of hard to find pictures of them together….especially recent ones.These are all I could find.

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John, I know you love Randy. As you say, he is the best performer of our generation. But there’s no need to kiss his ass. He loves you back already.  By the way, why is Matt Hardy watching?And what can he see from his side that’s putting such a big smile on his face? I need to know.

Even though there is no photographic evidence of it, I do like to imagine they split a chocolate protein shake, press their cheeks together and pout while Randy holds his camera-phone out in front of them for a quick-pic. (Pretty much like every teenage MySpace profile picture.) Kind of far-fetched but a nice little fantasy. ;)

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But to be serious for a moment (and to get back to the actual rumour) John has apparently approached the writing team asking if he can work with Randy Orton and Legacy. That’s right.  Work WITH. Not AGAINST. I’m trying to imagine it. Bad Bad John Cena. I dunno. I kind of dig the thought of him being mean and moody, but I’m not sure the production team would get on board with the wrestling equivalent of Superman turning heel. Remember  in Superman III when our hero became a baddie towards the end of the film? It didn’t fit. It feels all wrong inside.

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Maybe Randy will have to be a sweetie-pie for a while. He’s half-way to being a fan favourite anyway.  I mean, did you hear the cheers on Raw this week?  We’ve TOTALLY forgotten that we’re meant to hate him.  Observe……..

John Cena ain’t gonna be John Meana (get it?)  so the best he can hope for is that the writers let him have a play-feud with Legacy. Kind of like getting your boss to work you on the same shift as your boyfriend at McDonalds so you can flip burgers together. Speaking of the writers, you may have caught ESPN’s brief profile of Vince McMahon on Tuesday.  If you’re not in the US (same as moi) you can watch it on every foreigner’s friend, youtube.  Anyone who’s seen the Mr. McMahon DVD won’t get any new info on our favourite boss, but those writing-room meetings they sat in on. OH MY GOD. WRESTLEGASM! We NEVER get to see that.  I kind of thought it might ruin the illusion. A bit like when you see the voices being recorded in Disney films. But it didn’t spoil it. It made it better. And it made me smile when Vince asked ESPN to leave half way through. Because there ALWAYS have to be SOME surprises. Fabulous!

Just a final thing about filthy rumours. I like to pretend I don’t listen when I hear of some tabloid story that has been manufactured to sound scandalous. I’m even sceptical when fans write hate stories about when they met their heroes. We don’t always have he full facts, ergo, no judging. But the stories about Triple H being dismissive to fans at WM25 really disappointed me. Even to the point where I took down my Triple H trading card and replaced him with CM Punk . These would be the cards I buy from time- to -time to have neat little photo-cards of the fellas on my desk at work.  Yes, I’m a grown woman who buys trading cards. No, I don’t play games with them, but I do lie and tell the smarty-pants person behind the counter they’re for my nephew if they make a comment. I don’t have a nephew. I’m so cool.  Triple H, you can come back out of my drawers when you learn how to be a good boy. Oh lordy, so many jokes about drawers, so little time.

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