Tag Archives: wrestling

I like stuff because I like stuff. OH HOW POMO.

Does everything have to be steeped in irony? Does everything you like have to come with a thousand caveats and a knowing smile? I just read this piece on the Grauniad and, naturally, it’s a bit shit. But what annoyed me most is how it assumes anyone going to these clubnights does so out of a confused sense of nostalgia, or to be a hipster, post-modern, ironic, whatever.

Not just because you can get drunk and dance like a dickhead to songs you (still) like, oh no siree. You couldn’t possibly still listen to bands like New Found Glory without explaining to every passer-by you only do so because your musical tastes are so well-developed you’re reminding your brain of how hilarious it is to listen to simpler music, like that you listened to when you were an idiotic, musically-stupid child.

You couldn’t possibly enjoy playing videogames without being an eternal manchild. You wouldn’t enjoy watching wrasslin’ without being a redneck who still thinks it’s real. You don’t eat sweets unless you can hilariously point out that you used to buy that very treat from the tuckshop. You only eat mature food. You only talk about politics, and joking is something only reserved for when you’re being totally po-mo. You should be married by 30, have a mortgage by 32, have kids by 34, work in middle management, own a Ford Focus blah de blah.

Yes, I’ve gone a bit off-piste here, but I can’t help but think it all ties in. People seem incapable of admitting they still enjoy things from their past without adding in four thousand different excuses and reasons as to why they do. Fuck dat sheeit, innit. I like Blink 182.

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Wrestling, or: why I’ve never grown up

I may have mentioned before that I am still a fan of wrasslin’. Judge as you see fit, I couldn’t give a fook. Anyway, it’s fun to see the effect the live events have on those who aren’t really into it, or haven’t really been paying attention to developments since they were a kid or whatever.

It’s just like gaming, really. People make assumptions based on whatever they think they’re supposed to assume – it’s all for kids, so it can’t possibly offer any entertainment, right? Well wrasslin’ isn’t high art, but it’s a damn good show – a spectacle, to use the lingo of the WWE.

Aside from the fake fighting itself, it’s just incredibly impressive to see how well-oiled everything is. Stage hands are constantly moving about the place, removing used pyro effects and replacing them with ones for upcoming entrances, changing the ring covers in a matter of seconds, keeping the general area free of crap, cameramen running about getting half a dozen impressive shots as it’s all going on, videos, music, stuff, everything, millions of dollars worth of shit that could go wrong and it rarely does.

That’s impressive, if not a bit boring to write about. Whatevs, I’ve already pointed out I’m not on top mental form right now.

But I got to see Diesel in the flesh on Sunday, I met Alberto Del RRRRRRRIIIIIIIIOOOOOO and Wade Barrett and Kofi Kingston jumped really really high. So yeah, I had fun and so did the people who don’t even like wrasslin’. Because it’s great. What a compelling argument I make.

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My contribution to the world of wrestling characters

I’m 27 and I still watch wrestling. Wanna fight about it? Anyway, it’s terrible – really, it is – but I still love it. The best thing about it is the breadth and depth of the characters we find in wrasslin’ across the world. They’re always so deep, so well fleshed-out and the kinds of characters you just couldn’t find anywhere else. They’re too complex.

But to challenge myself, I have decided to invent a few characters and offer them up to the wrasslin’ organisations out there. Free of charge, I just ask that I’m credited with the invention to feed my burgeoning ego. I’m not sure I’ll be able to really hit the heights that wrestling characters have hit in the past – I’m simply not smart enough – but I’m going to give it a go.

Name: Doctor Madsaneo
Taunt: “
An apple a day keeps I’M GOING TO PUNCH YOU.”
Bio:
You might think that Doctor Madsaneo is your friend, like all doctors are, BUT YOU WOULD BE WRONG. Why? Because he is mad and he is insane and it will make you go ‘oh’. MADSANEO. They never see it coming.
Finishing move:
Socialist healthcare (N.B. will be popular ‘bad guy’ finisher to 95% of your audience)

Name: Badolf Gitler
Taunt:
A Nazi salute but with his left hand (N.B. will be popular/imitated taunt with 95% of your audience)
Bio:
Modelled after.. umm… Charlie Chaplin… yeah… Chaplin… this BAD DUDE comes to the ring in military garb and waves a flag that’s from another country. Basically that’s enough to make everyone in the crowd hate him, as they always – rightly – despise foreigners.
Finishing move:
Gunshot wound to the head (N.B. could prove tricky to fake in live shows)

Name: Andrew Merican
Taunt:
A firm handshake, while maintaining eye contact
Bio:
Representative of all that is Good and Right in the world, Andrew Merican would be ideal as a ‘good guy’ character. He would, like Gitler, carry a flag to the ring – only this would be the correct piece of material in whatever country he’s located in (also his name can change: Barry Ritain, Gerald Ermany, Austin Ralia etc).
Finishing move:
The economic sanction (N.B. never works – always followed by excessive force)

Name: Eugene
Taunt:
Pretending he’s an aeroplane.
Bio:
Eugene has a mental illness leading him to behave like a child when he is in fact a fully grown man. He gets super-strength when he’s angry or upset though, so those ‘bad guys’ had better watch out! He is meant to offer the crowd a sympathetic character they can relate to and thus expand their minds when it comes to how they treat the mentally handicapped. Instead they just laugh at the ‘retard’ (their words not mine).
Finishing move: Hilariously copies opponent’s finisher (N.B. will be laughed at by 95% of your audience).

I reckon that’s enough to net me a writing gig at the WWE.

N.B. One of these is actually a real character. Just put it in there as a test for y’all.

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Rumble Road: Untold Stories From Outside The Ring book review (7/10)

As I visited the US over the weekend to attend a couple of things for a new WWE game, we were given a goody bag of branded nonsense to take home with us. Aside from the Rey Mysterio mask(s, actually, as I nabbed two), the weird flask thing and the hoody (which I’m sure Anna will claim) there was an interesting looking book – Rumble Road: Untold Stories From Outside The Ring.

Now I have read my fair share of wrassler books, and they all have road stories in them. It’s just such an intrinsic part of the business that everyone has them – and they tend to be quite funny. So I was looking forward to this as a good old fashioned bog-read.

I’m trying to think of another way to write “sigh”.

I’m not sure what contractual obligations by the WWE were placed on Jon Robinson, the collector of these tales, but it looks very much like one of the clauses read ‘do not put anything entertaining in the book whatsoever, in case you run the risk of offending someone or making out that these wrestlers are real people who have real problems/mess up/get into fights’.

Or maybe the clause was just ‘don’t go into any detail – wrestling fans can’t read anyway so it’s a waste of ink’. Either way it makes sense, as this is a book full of half-baked, half-told stories that – in the majority – go nowhere, say nothing and rarely make you smile, let alone laugh. It’s like if this blog were in paperback form.

This is taken verbatim from the introduction to one chapter:

“Think spiders crawling in your bed, rental cars spinning into ditches and hotel keys hitting you in the eye are bad?”

That’s three examples of actual stories in these things. You know they type – complete non-stories that any numpty who has had any interaction with the world has probably had at one point. Where are the stories like in Mick Foley’s book about the unknown gay beach abandonment? Like in Bret Hart’s with the knife-threatening bus “joke”? The one’s like in Bobby Heenan’s that I’ve completely forgotten?

No, instead it’s clearly heavily vetted corporate bullshit. There’s the mention of a stripclub at one point and a clear allusion to someone having themselves some sex in another. But there’s no mention of actual violence, no talk of people being busted for drugs, going mental, having accidents or anything else that would make it interesting in the insider/tabloidy fashion the wrassler books get it right with.

Basically it’s just not honest enough. Insert your own hilarity about it being as fake as wrestling.

Oh, and the categories make no sense, in that the stories contained within each sometimes don’t apply to what the category is actually about.

7/10

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