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I don’t think y’all understand how stoked I am to finally be able to watch this in full. I’m so excited about the new NXT. If you haven’t seen it yet, DO SO RIGHT NOW. Trust me. You won’t regret it.
I’ve been looking for something to get me ‘back into wrestling’, and I think I’ve found that something. Last week’s inaugural episode of the new NXT felt fresh and different and unique and I managed to sit through the entire episode without fast fowarding a single thing (RAW Recap excluded). I don’t remember the last Raw or Smackdown I can say the same thing about.
I’m still not sure if my undying love for Husky makes me biased, but Bray Wyatt just gets better and better. I can’t fucking wait to see him debut in the coming weeks. I don’t know much about a lot of the other wrestlers who featured in the first episode, but I was impressed by all of them. I’ve seen nothing of Conor O’Brian’s work bar his weird I’m-a-rat-shtick from NXT4 (which I hated), but he and Kenneth Cameron look fucking badass as The Ascension.
I think Dusty makes a great General Manager and the combination on commentary of J.R. and William Regal is absolute nirvana after two hours of Michael Cole and Jerry Lawler shitting in your ears. This is the perfect platform to usher in a new era of wrestling. I get to see some of the performers who I already know are great (Bray Wyatt/Antonio Cesaro/Kassius Ohno/Paige/Dean Ambrose (eventually?)/etc.) in all their glory, while simultaneously witnessing the greatness of others for the very first time, all without the pressure that comes with competing for air time with the top-tier guys on Mondays/Fridays. It’s an exciting time to be a mainstream wrestling fan.
Anyway, if you’re in the market for something new and want legitimately interesting and unique characters with huge amounts of potential, tune in next week. Make this show a success, if not for the sake of your favourite underrated WWE employee,
at the very least for me and my desire to continue fapping to Husky in HD.
When it comes down to it, there was four years of build up for that match and it payed off beautifully. I love that they incorporated Shawn this year because he deserves the applause and the congratulations just as much as the other two do.
I’ve said it 100 times already, but I thought that match was perfect. Absolutely no flaws for me. Granted, I’m still feeling the post-Wrestlemania high so I need to rewatch it and see how I feel, but really, when it comes down to it, wrestling is meant to be experienced in the here and now. It’s not designed to be analysed later on. I felt something at the time and that was their goal and they more than just achieved it, they sucked all the emotions out of me until there was nothing left.
I can’t imagine that there is a wrestling fan who didn’t enjoy that. It had everything there is to love about this business. There was drama, there was emotion, there was entertainment, there was wrestling. The Undertaker has perfected the art of kicking out at the last second. Nobody does it better. Like I said earlier, I go into every ‘Taker match at Wrestlemania expecting him to win. I don’t even question it anymore. But the second the match starts, all of that melts away and I’m left with the kind of pure excitement that was really only reserved for watching wrestling matches as a kid. It’s escapism at it’s finest.
The use of dialoge throughout the match was harrowing, and the ending was the ultimate catharsis. Shawn helping ‘Taker up, and then the two of them helping Hunter up. The ultimate display of respect, as called by JR (the only person who could have announced that match, by the way).
That hug between the three of them on the entrance ramp is going to be burnt in the mind of every fan watching tonight. It’s going to become one of those rare iconic wrestling images that makes you shiver when you see it because you remember exactly how you felt when you were watching. If that truly was the end of an era, I can only hope that the next generation of performers were taking notice. That is how you wrestle.
I don’t even remotely care about Kane/Orton so I guess I’m going to spend the next x minutes silently raging to myself about what just happened.
I’m more than totally okay with Sheamus winning the title. In fact, it was probably over-due and he is extremely popular right now so it makes sense. But Daniel Bryan is the actual best wrestler in the world. You might not be able to brand him as the best talker or the most charasmatic or the crowd favourite, but you will always have that. It makes sense to open the show with something big but not too big, but 15 seconds? You have the best wrestler in the world open the show in a 15 second match? What an unbelievable waste of talent. That could have been a fantastic, intense showdown between two extremely talented up-and-comers.
This is a special Wrestlemania because, thanks to The Rock, it is going to have a much, much larger percentage of ‘casual’ fans and ‘former’ fans than usual. This is your chance to hook them again, to show them why they should want to become invested in these new guys, and you give them that?
Shame. I genuinely hope the other three main events are beyond excellent and well paced to make up for it.
Happy International Women’s Day, everybody :)
I almost feel a bit guilty posting about wrestling today because it’s such a backwards, woman-shaming industry even now.
But even in an industry that hates the ladies it employs, there are a lot of really talented people who occasionally get the chance to shine even if they have to do some disgusting/degrading things to get in that position.
Trish Stratus is one of my favourite wrestlers of all time. She is without a doubt my favourite female wrestle of all time. I know she wasn’t the best but she was somebody I watched growing up, somebody I saw improve enormously, somebody who was dedicated and charismatic and entertaining. This isn’t my favourite match of hers (that would be Trish/Mickie from WM22) but it was the main event of Raw.
Imagine that for one second. Two women main eventing an episode of Raw on their own.
Now try and imagine that happening today.
I’m not going to sit here and preach about the ‘good old days’ because they didn’t exist. Women’s wrestling wasn’t revered during the attitude era, as much as people who submit to wrestling confession blogs will tell you otherwise. Yes, we had Trish Stratus. But we also had Trish Stratus barking like a dog. Yes, we had Lita. But we also had Lita being slut-shamed week in and week out. I’d actually wager that, despite how terrible the state of the WWE women’s division is today, it is actually in better hands now than it was 10 years ago. And honestly, that’s a really really depressing thought.
I get told a lot that I should stop making a big deal out of this. People say that I should “just get used to it, because nothing it going to change” or that I should “just stick to SHIMMER if I want good female wrestling”. And part of me agrees with that. But an even larger part makes me want to scream even louder. I want people to care about women. I want women to feel comfortable working in the wrestling industry. I want women to be treated the way that the men in this business are treated. I don’t know how I can achieve that, I don’t know if it’s even possible, but I want to try.
And if, for now, all that means is posting about and talking about the aspects of women’s wrestling that I love, then I’m going to keep doing it.
My biggest problem with the women’s division (aside from an overall lack of initiative) is that WWE doesn’t know how to build up a good female heel without relying on bitchiness/cattiness, sexuality or appearance issues. Actually, that could be said for the faces too. I guess they just don’t know how to portray their women in general.
In my opinion, the last truly good heels were Laycool. I didn’t have a problem with their gimmick because it was new and interesting and extremely well performed by Lay and Michelle. You need to have that vapid, shallow archetype in wrestling because it’s entertaining and relatable. My problem is when EVERY female is portrayed that way.
There is a big, big problem when the only way you know how to make a woman a villain is by having her act provocative and bitchy (a la The Bellas) or by having her act prudish and bitchy (a la The Divas of Doom).
Kharma is a step in the right direction. She is a monster heel who (hopefully) won’t have to rely on snide remarks about Kelly Kelly’s hair extensions to get over. AJ Lee, as annoying as she can be, is a ‘nerd’. That is her gimmick, and it is different, and that is why I like it. Even Kaitlyn planted the seeds for a refreshing ‘class clown’ type gimmick back in NXT and if she was given enough time I’m sure she could work on that even further. But the problem is that she won’t be given the time. None of those girls will be, because for some reason the men in charge of this company still think it’s a good idea for every woman to be defined by their sexuality.
Eh. I’m just sick of the generic, mindless portrayal of females in mainstream wrestling. There is so much more to hate about us than just our bitchiness. UTILISE THAT!
A lot of people talk shit about this match because it was so finisher/kick-out heavy but I don’t care, it is still one of my absolute favourites of all time. THE EMOTION. THE SUSPENSE. THE INTENSITY.
Shawn and ‘Taker work so incredibly well together, and even though I think I might actually prefer their match at WM26 because it was a Shawn-paced match (whereas I’d call this a ‘Taker-paced match), this one will always be special because it was the first and it was unexpected and I loved Shawn’s entrance and his white take on Undertaker’s ring gear, and I loved the build up and the payoff and just everything. There were points where I genuinely felt like maybe HBK was going to do the unthinkable and end the streak and that never happens for me. This match just felt like Wrestlemania.
Shawn Michaels truly is Mr. Wrestlemania and the greatest of all time.
I love the stark contrast between this video package for John Cena shown at the Royal Rumble and the countering promo for The Rock aired later in the night.
Both were powerful, well put together and explained what these men are all about; Cena and his charity work, dedication to the wrestling business, and extremely polarizing personality. The Rock and himself. Literally, the entire thing was about how great/talented he is and how much he loves himself and it was wonderful.
If I had to choose someone to support based on these promos, it’d probably be Cena, just because of the sad, emotive music that makes it sound like he’s a puppy about to be put down unless we donate our money or something. But this works because both men are egotistical (albeit in different ways) and care more about themselves than they actually do about each other, so it makes sense to have individual video packages. I’m genuinely interested to see how they continue to build this up (if they continue to build this up). Will Rocky start showing up to Raw? Will Kane abruptly stop trying to get Cena to embrace the hate so that he can start focusing on the ‘Mania match? Will Zack Ryder cheat on Cena with Dwayne? ONLY TIME WILL TELL~
Wrestlemania is only 62 days away and I am beyond excited for the main event.
I’ve said this before, but I attribute Chris Jericho’s debut as the exact moment I fell in love with professional wrestling. I was seven at the time, so I’d be lying if I told you that I loved him for his promo abilities or ‘workrate’. Those are simply distinctions I have made in retrospect. At the time, I saw nothing more than a good looking, hilarious guy with ridiculous hair and a glittery shirt interrupting The Rock after weeks of hype. And that sold me.
That’s not to say that I didn’t notice things like in-ring psychology or technical ability, because I did (even if I didn’t yet know those terms). I enjoyed good wrestling matches, I just didn’t enjoy them nearly as much as I did the backstage interviews and storylines that preceded them. My brother would gush about the fantastic Triple H vs. The Rock match coming up on Raw and I would gush about the relationship between the two prior to it. As I got older, my love for wrestling eventually caught up with my love for theatrics, and the two met in beautiful harmony when I was about 15.
It was then that I became less enthralled by the ‘filler’ characters; the guys written solely to make us laugh and smile. I found myself drawn more towards the guys who could tell the best stories, not because management thought they were worthy of the mainevent, but just because they were good. My favourites became the wrestlers who could successfully combine all the aspects of this business that I love; and to this day, the closest thing I have still ever encountered to my ‘perfect’ wrestler is Chris Jericho.
Sometimes wrestling feuds and rivalries are designed to provide the audience with instant gratification. Sometimes, they are more complicated. They are built up over weeks, months, even years. Sometimes the motives behind the fighting isn’t explained until after the match has occurred.
Chris Jericho has never been about immediacy. His best work has always been slow-building, with an emphasis on emotion and motive. For a man like Y2J, his trajectory is far more important than yet another history-making return. He doesn’t need to add that accolade to his belt; he’s already done it twice. He would rather be new and innovative, and keep us interested. He wants us to think we know what he’s doing until the last second, when we realise that we were wrong, and that the reality is even better than what we were anticipating.
If you had told me that his return would be characterised by over the top pandering to the crowd, weeks of silence and a light-up jacket, I wouldn’t have believed you. Even now, I genuinely expected him to maintain this gimmick until at or after the Royal Rumble. Wrong again. I don’t know where this is going and honestly, I don’t want to. I’m just happy to go along for the ride.
In an era of wrestling where you can’t use the internet without finding spoilers for every event within the next month, it’s nice to be surprised. It’s nice to feel like a kid again.
- Wore a creepy mask for most of his life in order to hide the gruesome facial scaring caused by a fire that he (allegedly) set as a child (being a pyromaniac and all). Said fire also happened to kill both of his/The Undertaker’s parents.
- Attempted to murder The Undertaker (his half-brother, who had survived the aforementioned fire) by putting him inside a casket and setting it on fire.
- Dug up his parents’ dead bodies and brought them to a wrestling show in order to torment ‘Taker.
- Can supposedly summon fire and lighting at will.
- Killed a German Shepherd with his bare hands as a child.
- Has been committed to multiple insane-asylums throughout his life.
- Was a mute for most of his life until suddenly, as an adult, he found the ability to speak (without the aid of any speech therapy or other medical assistance).
- Doesn’t like coffee.
- Once electrocuted Shane McMahon’s testicles.
- (Allegedly) killed the girl he was in love with and (allegedly) proceeded to have sex with her corpse.
- Agreed to take his mask off after losing a wrestling match, revealing that his facial scarring existed only in his mind, and all that was on his face was some poorly applied black make up (which he may or may not have put on daily).
- Set Jim Ross on fire.
- Kidnapped and impregnated an unwilling female coworker, then forced her to marry him after winning another wrestling match, before ultimately causing her to miscarry (via falling on top of her).
- Inexplicably began going crazy whenever the date May 19th was mentioned around him due to the ‘voices in his head threatening to reveal a secret’. He was tormented by an anonymous person over the date (which was later revealed as the date he killed his family in the fire), who turned out to be an impostor of himself. He then beat impostor-him up.
- In 2008, Kane began carrying around a burlap sack with a mask in it. He eventually revealed that the mask belonged to Rey Mysterio, whom he had apparently kidnapped, held hostage for weeks, and beaten within an inch of his life (but we just had to take his word for it because surprisingly WWE had never caught it on camera). He then let Mysterio go without any struggle because he was needed to fill in an empty spot in a Championship Scramble match.
- Developed erotomania for a very brief period while attempting to hold another female coworker hostage. (Thanks to Jocelyn for reminding me of this one!!)
- Beat his half-brother, The Undertaker into a vegetative state while celebrating Memorial Day together, only to nurse him back to full health while simultaneously undertaking a false manhunt to find who the ‘real’ attacker was.
- Yet again attempted to murder his half-brother, this time by burying him alive.
- (Possibly) killed Paul Bearer (his father) after pushing him off a ladder because he thought it was a mannequin.
- May or may not have become a welder while recovering from injury in 2011.
- Put his old mask back on despite clearly not needing it (because of the whole, not being scarred in a fire thing) and without acknowledging or explaining it.
- Tried to drag Zack Ryder, a man who means nothing to him, down to “hell” (aka under a wrestling ring) but was stopped by John Cena, causing him to set off an explosive in retaliation.
SOUNDS LIKE THE PERFECT MENTAL HEALTH PROFESSIONAL TO ME.
There is a lot that can be, and already has been, said about Jericho’s return now that the emotions have settled and the rose-coloured glasses have come off (or in my case, the tear-stained glasses~), but after watching it a few more times I have come to three conclusions:
1) It was not what I expected or wanted at all
2) It was entirely bizarre, but maybe that was the point
3) It was Chris Jericho, and I have been waiting for this since the second he left
That’s all, really. I don’t know anything else. I could guess, but I’d probably be wrong. Was it a face-return gone horribly wrong? Was it the work of a genius heel working the crowd? Was it a play on his previous debuts and the unwritten wrestling rule of ‘always inexplicably returning as a face after a long hiatus’? Was it just an incredibly surreal dream? (feels like the most likely scenario tbh).
I don’t know. I don’t know anything but what we saw on Raw, and let’s face it, that wasn’t much.
All I can say with any degree of certainty is that I can’t stop thinking about it. Not after it happened, not while I tried to sleep last night, not now. I’ve been thinking about it this whole time; about how it happened, what it all means, how (or if) it all relates to the ‘It Begins’ videos, what is going to happen next week. I am interested and I am curious, and more importantly, I am desperate to find out more. I guess they’ve done their job.