Thursday 29 March 2012

Bobby Between The Ropes #2 - Accentuate The Positive

Well first of all I originally wanted to make this little entry a weekly thing, recording everything that happened during my wrestling training each week and then giving me a fun thing to look back on as I remember each and every detail. I did the same thing for my first year at college but then I remembered even I don’t have that much free time and I think I’d only just end up repeating myself. This entry has been in my head for a little while now and I seem to be reading an awful lot of online entries from Irish wrestlers such as Sean South and Danny Deans so I decided I’d offer up my own perspective. I haven’t accomplished anything yet so how about reading for no good reason at all?

I don’t know what it is about society these days but it seems that every day we’re being taught that negativity is the way to go. Accentuate the negative and bask in the dark shadow of cynicism. Nearly every day when I actually listen to the radio I’m hearing about all the tragedies that are happening every day and seeing the same headlines on newspapers and magazines. I don’t mean to mock these legitimate bad things that are happening all the time but there are some days I just want to say “enough is enough” at whoever is writing all these tragedies. It’s getting to the stage where I feel like I’m listening to recaps of every soap opera in the country whenever the news is on. Even when my parents are having dinner it’s always talk about who’s dying, who’s in financial trouble, who’s being a dickhead. I’ve actually gotten into the habit of training them to keep that stuff quiet when I’m around by sticking my headphones in my ears whenever they even mention something negative. It works surprisingly well just in case your parents are the same. These days we’re taught to accentuate the negative in every situation. If someone gives us a gift we always say “you shouldn’t have” or “I can’t accept this”, or if we hear good news we always brace ourselves because we’ve been taught that bad news can’t be too far behind the corner.

You might be wondering where I’m going with this but don’t worry, I’m getting there. As a writer who knows a thing or two about telling good stories, you know that stories do need darkness in them. Life without negativity would be boring. We do need something to fight and something to overcome so that the happy ending means something. Same thing with any half decent wrestling feud/match. But that also goes the other way around since life with all negativity in it would be even more painful and excruciating than if it was all sunshine and rainbows. And yet it’s like everywhere I look I’m reading the same sob story over and over again from different famous people about how they had to claw their way up from the brink of the abyss with no one supporting them, everyone telling them they’d never make it, how their life was so crappy, yadda yadda yadda. There’s thousands of people out there who literally tell the same story. Again, I’m not imputing what these people may or may have not gone through in their lives. I’m just rolling my eyes at how they’re actually where they are if every second of their pre-fame lives were as dark and angsty as they make them out to be. I have to laugh listening to “This Song Would Be Better” by Mike Aaron James who is a unique creature known as a non-angsty musician where he’s pretty much poking fun at the fact that he’s had a good life and a good upbringing and, by the laws of music, that means he can’t write good songs because he has nothing to angst about. I saw a similar thing in Krissy Vaine’s “Vainety Fair” column entitled “Who Believes In You”. I see the same above attitude in wrestling with constant stories where wrestlers talk about how people yelled at them they’d never make it, they were good for nothing and couldn’t do it. Perhaps these musicians and wrestlers are forgetting some of the positivity that actually went on in their lives in favour of all the dark angsty stuff that society has taught us all to embrace.

Now for my wrestling tidbits – I don’t believe in negativity. Well, at least not too much of it. In my book, you accept your mistakes, work on them and move on. When I was training, I never faced any severe negativity. I was terrified when I started that I’d have to endure some Bill DeMott clone yelling in my face calling me good for nothing and how I’d never get anywhere. Well, it’s been eight months at the Fight Factory and I’ve yet to have any kind of experience like that. There were times when I’ll admit I had a good training session and came out of it thinking I knew it all, then for the next one to completely quash that illusion. There was one session back in October that was probably the worst one I ever had to go through and I think my pet expression “biggest trainwreck since the Titanic” would be fitting here. I even strongly considered not going back because of how much of an ass I made out of myself there. But at the end of the crowner of screw-ups that day, Phil took me aside and said “everyone has a bad day. I’ve seen you when you’re on form, you’ve got good ideas so don’t let this get you down”, somehow I managed to be in a good mood when I left that day. And the next week I went to training on my birthday and got to have what remains my favourite match to this date. A guy on his first day then even came up to me and congratulated me on it. I felt like I was in the Twilight Zone.

As training went on I managed to become a little more dependable in terms of working in the ring. To me, it didn’t matter how the first 75% of the day went and if I could finish the session off with a good match then I’d leave the Fight Factory happy. That’s the mentality I keep to this day. And I’ve still never had to endure a verbal smackdown that would probably cripple me for life. My trainers know how to teach, if we make mistakes they don’t punish us by ordering us to do it ten times over. They don’t teach us to fear what they’ll do if we get something wrong. One session we were learning how to do some proper acrobatic stuff and I got to show off the one or two things I learned from my one month in gymnastics. Myself and Bull Riley managed to do the first part of the springboard arm drag that you see Tyson Kidd and Kelly Kelly doing regularly and Jordan pulled us aside and told us we’d be something big one day. Another time came at the end of the year when we’d gotten into the habit of developing our own moves during the lunch break and testing them out on each other, and we got to show the trainers everything. When we were all done, Jordan looked like he’d slept with a wire hanger in his mouth. Seriously, it’s moments like that I remember when I think of memorable training sessions. I don’t think of the umpteen times I’ve botched moves or screwed up. I remember my first match with Oliver on a show where the poor guy worked with an injured knee and we were worried we’d put on a bad match. But people who had seen it came up to us and told us it was good. It’s stupid to expect us to be Punk/Cena or Rock/Austin on our first show (though I will say I was more entertained than by anything Triple H has done since 2004). At the end of the day we had our first match on a show and it went well that I can proudly show it to anyone who asks to see me wrestle.

So on my last note, I’ll leave you addressing all the “whatevers” in training right now whether it’s wrestling, music or anything else at all. Don’t dwell too much on the mistakes or screw ups. By all means recognise your flaws and mistakes but work on them, improve them and move on. Don’t mope that you can’t do a proper springboard moonsault DDT on your fourth training session. Focus on what you can do. On my first day the only thing I really did right was a flying crossbody but that was enough to get me pumped for my second day. Take criticism only when it’s constructive and allow yourself to be positive. Don’t go red when someone gives you a compliment (as I learned when Justin Shape told me I had a good training session once and I nearly fainted with the shock), take it graciously and look forward to the next one. Hope you had fun reading this entry for no good reason. Oh and you’re welcome ;)

Saturday 24 March 2012

Week In Review For Women's Wrestling #39

And it's official. One more week to go until WrestleMania. Are you folks excited? Well probably not the ones who only watch the Divas but you gotta love that WrestleMania buzz even if you're not crazy about the matches. Well just to clarify on those who heard the FCW rumours, the territory is not actually closing though there are plans to take TV tapings out of Tampa. Triple H says more to be announced after WrestleMania is over. TNA meanwhile had a PPV this week featuring a match between women who were BFFs for all of five months. Should be a good one.

Victory Road - Gail Kim* vs Madison Rayne (Knockouts Championship):
You know what, this was a pretty good match-up. I wasn't expecting much but Madison really impressed me. From what I've seen in SHIMMER I know that she can wrestle in addition to comedy but in TNA she's not really found much balance between the two. Here she opted for proper wrestling and she was impressive with all these moves I had no idea she knew how to do. She pulled out big move after big move and that made things exciting. I expected Gail would play the face role in the match but thankfully she was clearly still a heel by the end of it. She and Madison worked really well together and their personalities just bounced so well off each other and that dynamic wouldn't have worked in a simple face vs heel match so put it down to both women having strong characters. Now I wonder what will happen after this as neither was on Impact this week but you all know I'm crossing my fingers that Velvet Sky will finally get the push she deserves. I'd actually like to see Madison and Gail stay together and then they can explore a proper break-up storyline later on. 7/10

Raw Watch:
None of the girls were actually on the show but more on that later. We finally have a WrestleMania match announced properly and all the points I made last week still stand. I'm hoping that WWE give us something for a go-home segment this Monday and I'm sure we'll all enjoy the match anyway. Here's hoping Maria has been spending the time she's not on TV in the gym learning the ways of the ring in preparation for her big match. Afterall, Sable was very impressive at WrestleMania XIV and she wouldn't even bump. Now for the good stuff - more Aksana and Vickie. That catfight was awesome and I loved every minute of it, so did the crowd too by the sounds of it. I don't really want to see a match since Vickie isn't a wrestler and Aksana is still getting used to the main roster but just let them have more catfights. I really want to see both of these women at ringside for Team Teddy vs Team Johnny so we can get a WrestleMania-sized catfight.

Ring Ka King - Angelina Love vs Alyssa Flash:
Yes! Yes! Yes! God I loved this match so much. It was definitely a dream match for me to see these two face up properly as they didn't really work together much back when Alyssa was first in TNA. Angelina works so much better as a face and it was great to see these two wrestling properly, just like the men. Angelina's looking much healthier lately as well. She showed off some nice technical skills at the start of the match and it was great to see her go fast paced against Alyssa who did well to ground her and work over her. Alyssa maybe could have gotten some more offence in but I'll expect another match with Angelina taking on Raisha Saeed this time so no harm done. The after match segment was all kinds of hilarious. Hmm, to accept a rose from a fully grown person or a giant teddy bear from a midget. I'm slowly becoming a fan of Indian Hornswoggle. 8/10

Superstars - Beth Phoenix & Eve Torres vs Natalya & Tamina:
Oh my well isn't this quite the episode of Meet The Odd Couples. Natalya working as a face it seems, though I wouldn't read too much into it just yet as she's still a heel on live events and after all Alicia worked as a face on Superstars once before she was properly turned on Smackdown. I think perhaps this is a sign they will be headed towards a Beth/Natalya program when WrestleMania is over since they did play up the storyline between them and the announcers did draw attention to it, not to mention that it was Tamina who took the pin. The opening tease between Beth and Natalya was great with all the playfulness. I definitely think Natalya now works much better as a face, having had a lengthy time to compare both personas. Eve is still adjusting to wrestling as a heel and it showed. Hopefully she doesn't go the same route as the Bellas and develops some of her own unique moves to use as a heel and keep herself interesting in the ring. That submission she used was nice and effective so hopefully she sorts herself out in time for WrestleMania. Tamina was quite impressive with her hot tag sequence and it was great to see her go fast paced. The crowd was very vocal for this match and hopefully with two bankable Divas and a "celebrity" in the WrestleMania match, WWE will see fit to give them plenty of time to work. Oh and bad landing for the moonsault but what can you do. 6.5/10

Impact - ODB & Eric Young* vs Sarita & Rosita (Knockouts Tag Team Championships):
Sarita and Rosita back on Impact, always a good thing of course. It seems Sarita has now hijacked Maryse's hair flipping and Rosa's dancing. You gotta love how she moves and how she's embraced this Spicy Latina character that TNA have given her (despite you know not actually being Latina). This match, like most of these, had more of a focus on comedy though ODB worked the most of it. I can see them eventually developing a rut here if they're dead set on not having Eric actually wrestle the girls. But they are over with the crowd and they are entertaining so I'll take comedy over champions who won't be featured any day. The action was good enough, I don't recall Sarita and ODB ever working properly together before. Well that's one of the four teams ODB and Eric can feud with out of the way for now. 6/10

FCW - Audrey Marie & Kaitlyn vs Sofia Cortez & Paige:
Not really liking the pairings here with the two veterans against two rookies. I think there should be one green girl and one experienced girl on each team. I like that Paige is keeping herself pale and therefore allowing herself to stand out from the pack. Kaitlyn and Audrey did a nice double team with the Irish whip into the arm drag and likewise Paige and Cortez did a nice double team of their own. The part with Paige in control didn't go as smoothly as it could have and her submission hold took a while to be locked in but it was great once she did get it locked. There was another strange moment where Paige got tagged and then just waited in her corner before quickly running over to cut Audrey off. Kaitlyn looked very solid and it was good to see the return of her cool finisher. She does a nice variation of the traditional Lotus Lock. A very interesting sight to see a 6-way Diva feud break out and it's good that Caylee Turner is working face again. I expect this to culminate in a 6-pack challenge for Raquel's Divas' Championship. 7/10

Xplosion - Angelina Love vs Velvet Sky:
Comparing it to the previous match these two had here on Xplosion as well as Angelina's show stopping match with Alyssa Flash over on Ring Ka King it didn't meet the high expectations. These two did share a chemistry as always but here I didn't like what was going on as much as in the other matches. I felt Velvet was in control for too much of the match and it made it feel almost like a squash match to put Velvet over as a title contender, rather than a back and forth affair between two strong competitors. It was almost like Angelina was the jobber here and that's not something I'd like to see. Comparing Angelina working heel in this match to working face on Ring Ka King, the face role is much better suited for her. Although she didn't really get to show off much in this as her timing was off on a couple of moves too. Nonetheless I still enjoyed it and as always note Velvet's big improvement in the ring, still hoping she will get the push she deserves. Good match but nothing special. 6/10

Smackdown - AJ vs Brie Bella:
Keep AJ with Daniel Bryan forever and make her wrestle on Smackdown every week if it means the girls get time to actually wrestle. I mean, the Bellas got a backstage promo and then an in-ring promo in addition to a match that also got plenty of time. I enjoyed this one a lot better than last week's one and I remember Brie and AJ having a nice little match together back on NXT. While she might not be the best worker, Brie has a very strong heel personality and she's able to use that to inject some excitement into the matches. Working with AJ who is a much better underdog than Kelly in my opinion helps as well. That headscissors into the arm bar was a nice move to see and would make a great permanent addition to AJ's moveset. The Bellas' promo after the match was nice as well though I doubt they'll actually split them. Interesting to see Nikki take Teddy's side when she's always the heel whenever they get divided. Also we saw Eve blow off Zack Ryder backstage again. Hmm, perhaps if she keeps doing this he'll eventually find another Diva who appreciates him. Someone classy, someone sensitive. Someone...Flawless? 7/10

Wednesday 21 March 2012

15 Things You Probably Don't Know About Me

1 – I Hate Being Called By My Real Name:
This one’s probably obvious considering my Twitter username is completely different from my real one and yet it’s surprising that a lot of people I know don’t know how much I hate being addressed as “Rory”. To me it’s one of those things you just have to learn to live with like a bad birthmark or an unfortunate tramp stamp after an awesome night out but of course I saw history was full of famous people who couldn’t stand the horrible names their parents inflicted on them so I’ve actually been going by different nicknames for most of my life. I’ve had about six so far and I’m only twenty. The one I’m on now though definitely seems to be here to stay and thankfully it’s become a thing. I’m not wild about being called Bob but I’ll take it over Rory any day. If you think about it, the only people who say Rory these days were told so by a family member. Funnily enough I’ve said Bobby to many people yet they hear someone else say Rory and assume that’s what I want to be called. Well it could have been worse – if I’d been a girl I would have been either Saoirse or Lois. How have my parents not been contacted by Social Services yet?

2 – I Despise Phones:
This might seem like an odd one as well considering I never seem to stop checking my phone but I copped on in my teenage years that constantly checking your phone was a much better way to kill time than standing awkwardly staring off into space like a robot. I don’t mind mobile phones that much because they can be silenced and turned off. Plus, texting makes things a whole lot easier for me because I actually hate talking to people on the phone. It’s one of those things I can’t do and I avoid it at every opportunity. Plus if you live in a house with a gossipy mother who has an equally gossipy older sister then chances are you’ll be reduced to peeling off your own skin at the constant annoying ring that comes every five minute. If I ever move out of my parents’ house then odds are I’m not having a phone anywhere near my own house. E-mail, texting, Skype, Twitter, Facebook or how about seeing me in person is a million times more preferable to a friggin phonecall. If you ever do get a phone call from me then you know it’s important.

3 – I Have An Amazing Memory:
One side effect of a condition that’ll get much more detail in a later fact is that I have one of the strangest memories ever. I can be incredibly forgetful – such as walking into a room and forgetting why I’m there – but I can remember the weirdest amount of random little things. I can tell you what I was eating at my third birthday party. I can tell you about specific dreams I had when I spent a weekend in Paris. And if you’re a member of FFPW then chances are I can probably tell you what you were wearing on my first day. And for most people, I can remember the specific first conversations I had with them. That even goes for the random shop assistant I met three times with two years between each time.

4 – I Used To Have An Eating Disorder:
Getting a bit personal now but I’ll give you a hint – I lived. At age fourteen I wasn’t the skinniest kid but I wasn’t the chubbiest either. Unfortunately that was the age when I noticed the shape my classmates were in and that protruding gut started to give me a few sleepless nights. It didn’t help that my brother kept hurling all kinds of fat jokes at me and I had an unpleasant incident with a swim coach when I was fifteen and got told I was too fat to join the team. At the time I went down to about 6 ½ stone and kept that for about two years. I’ve gradually moved up to 8 ½ and I’m happy with that. I eat three meals a day with a couple of snacks in between and I exercise regularly. And hey, I don’t mind what I see when I look in the mirror. Of course that still doesn’t stop the mixed messages when my brother calls me a whale and my friends then tell me I need to eat something.

5 – I Support Women’s Wrestling:
Again, probably very obvious to anyone who checks my Twitter feed whenever it’s time for Raw or Smackdown but there’s actually a bit of a story behind this. The first wrestling match I ever saw was two women – a throwaway WCW match involving a beauty who would eventually be known as Molly Holly in the WWE. At the time I didn’t care about these women and wanted it to be over so I could see Kevin Nash, Lex Luger and Hulk Hogan. Then the first ever WWE women’s match I saw was that famous one where Victoria whacks Trish Stratus over the head with the steel chair – I thought to myself “these girls are awesome”. When my wrestling obsession reignited, it was two women who got me appreciating the athleticism – Gail Kim and Alicia Fox to be specific. Nowadays as a thank you for properly rekindling my wrestling obsession I support those girls because lord knows management isn’t giving them much. And hey, I watched a SHIMMER DVD and it wasn’t half bad.

6 – Evan Bourne Gave Me Hope For Men’s Wrestling:
Ah it’s the age old wrestling fan whining that proper wrestling has been dead since the Attitude Era and there’s nothing worth watching on TV these days. When I picked back up in 2009 I felt the same way. Nothing I was watching on Raw did anything for me and at this point I could see that Triple H, Undertaker, John Cena, Randy Orton and all those type of guys couldn’t wow me in the ring at all. And then along comes Evan Bourne in a famous Superstars match with Carlito. About two minutes into the match I close my laptop and am completely hooked. I then realised that it had been there all along – I just needed to look for it in the right places. So now on my must-watch list, we have Zack Ryder, Tyson Kidd, CM Punk, The Miz, Primo & Epico and even further out on the indies with Matt Cross, Low-Ki and AJ Kirsch. Here’s to you, Evan. You always commanded my undivided attention.

7 – I Can Do Many Different Accents:
For those familiar with my daily activities, I’ve actually become used to being mistaken for many different nationalities. The list includes Australian, American, Canadian, Polish, German and Spanish. Oh and British as well, which is what I actually am. This probably has something to do with me having a fairly neutral voice which I’ve gotten from many years living in Ireland and being exposed to TV shows from around the world. I used to be very posh which was pretty annoying since I was surrounded by cockneys all day. Nowadays I can tweak my accent to imitate nearly all the English dialects including RP, cockney, Manchunian, Scouser and a bit of urban street talk which I’m still working on. For other countries I can do a neutral American accent and then tweak it slightly to fit a New York twang and then even more to sound Canadian. Of course I can do Australian no problem and since I know how to tell the difference between an Aussie and a Kiwi I should be able to master the New Zealand accent pretty soon. Sorry to the Paddies, but I have never been able to do an Irish accent. The closest I can manage is a Derry one and even that isn’t easy for me.

8 – I Avoid Saying Words That I Hate The Sound Of:
This one probably needs a little more explanation – there are some words that I hate the way they sound with my voice. As such, I avoid saying them which can actually be a bit of a pain because some of them are words that do come up in everyday conversation. I hate the way I say the word “party” for example and if I ever have to, I just quickly mumble it and hope the other person gets the gist. There’s also a wide range of weird Carlow expressions my friends use that I really can’t stand and I dislike them so much I’m not even going to write them up on here. You can guess that the Thesaurus is probably one of my best friends now. It can actually extend to people’s names as well. I had a friend in high school called Paudi and to this day I have never called him by his first name. At least not out loud anyway. I heard myself say it one day and vowed never to say it again. On the bright side it did lead to me creating a fun little nickname for him. Chances are if you’ve never heard me say your name and we’ve known each other for a while, it’s one of those words.

9) I’ve Been Off The Booze Since Age 15:
Okay this one is probably a lot more obvious since I’ve got straight edge in my Twitter profile description but perhaps people want a more in depth explanation. In short, I always dreaded the age when I’d have to start drinking. When I was a kid I assumed it was something everyone had to do. Afterall, all the men in my family were heavy drinkers and my dad actually gave me Guinness a couple of times when I was five years old. And so when I was fourteen I finally gave it a go and it was probably one of the worst experiences of my life. People told me it would get better if I just kept doing it and got used to it so I did it about three more times but it wasn’t long before I was completely sick of that kind of buzz. I never really made a conscious decision to stop and I just found myself in situations where I was refusing offers and the like. I knew your average crowd of 16-18 year old Irish teens would not accept an unbeliever so at first I pretended and then I even started making up stories about being allergic to it and a couple of times I even threw out an alcoholic story there. These days people are a lot more accepting but just to make sure, I don’t accept drinks from people if I haven’t seen them being poured.

10) I Don’t Get Angry, I Get Even:
From a young age, every single person in my family helped squash any anger urges that built up inside me. I’ve never been allowed to get angry once. My brother and father have enough of a bad temper between them so I guess a third hot headed male in the family would have been too much. Anyway, I quickly learned that getting angry doesn’t solve anything. You look like an idiot and you end up embarrassing yourself. My philosophy is that if someone has pissed you off in a severe way, get even and then move on. Case in point – a couple of girls I was friendly with invited me over for dinner one night and went around spiking every drink in the house as well as the jelly they were serving. I was furious of course but I got my revenge by taking a half empty bottle of vodka with me to the toilets and filling it up in my own little way. To this day I don’t know if they drank it but I haven’t associated with them ever since. I’ll be polite and say hello if they pass me on the street but I won’t get too close. After all, they might still have piss breath.

11) Short Hair On Women Is My Deal Breaker:
Every person has the one thing that destroys an attraction to the opposite sex (or same sex if that’s what you’re into). For some it’s a deep and emotional thing but for me it’s something shallow. Which basically means you can be late for dinner every day of the week and I’ll likely be okay with it but if you abruptly cut your hair short then I’m probably going to be running for the hills in less than a week. I have never found a woman with short hair to be attractive and it’s a philosophy that isn’t going to change any time soon. I’m not completely opposed to the idea so future girlfriends/wives/casual acquaintences, if you’re thinking of chopping all your hair off then please let me know in advance so I can prepare for the upcoming depression. But if you decide on a whim to get the chop and come home with it like that to surprise me then be ready for a surprise of your own. For those wondering, the shoulders is the shortest I believe a woman’s hair should be. I’m not completely opposed to pixie cuts since you can get the odd girl who’ll pull it off but to me The Bob is the ugliest hairstyle ever invented and not one woman on this Earth looks attractive with one.

12) My List Of Phobias Are…:
 Well women with short hair is a big one coming off from number 11 but I’m incredibly arachnophobic as I hate spiders with a burning fiery passion. They are disgusting creatures and I won’t hesitate to squash one if I see it (provided it’s small – the big ones will get a big girly scream as I run away as fast as my legs will let me). I’m pyrophobic as well which I only discovered when I lit a match for the first time. Then getting even more deep into it is my fear of large crowds. I have a similar reaction to someone who’s claustrophobic when I’m walking through a large crowd of people. Even if three or more pass me on the street, I’m likely to feel some form of anxiety. And heaven help me if they happen to be teenagers in school uniforms. Then of course there’s the average fears of wasps, loud noises, severe illnesses and my most recent one of vomiting. You’ll be surprised how many foods I eliminated from my diet because of my intense fear of throwing them up.

13) My Taste In Movies…:
This does tend to shift depending on what time of the year it is but there are a few specific genres I seem to cycle through. For ages I couldn’t get enough of horror films. I love them for some reason and being scared is just one big thrill to me. I hate The Shining though, and won’t hesitate to vehemently explain why it is far from the best horror film ever made to people who suggest otherwise. I do like my sci-fi films but I’ve never actually seen Star Wars or watched Star Trek or the like. Aliens was my favourite film for years and Michael Biehn was my idol. Then of course there’s the fantasy films which I loved when I was a kid – Lord of the Rings remains the film that made the biggest impression on me. And I gotta have some epics in there but I like the odd drama every now and then. However I despise comedy movies with a passion. I don’t know why but to me, comedy is something best suited to a half-hour TV episode and not something you stretch out for 90 minutes. I don’t mind other genres with comedy in them but when comedy is the sole genre, the film is off my list.

14) I’m An Insomniac:
Again, could be obvious if you glance at my Twitter or Facebook page and see how many early morning/late night posts there are but chances are even if I don’t post anything, I’m still going to be on there for ages late at night/early in the morning. I’ve had insomnia ever since I was a kid and getting to sleep is the biggest challenge of the day (unless said day happens to be a Danny Butler training session). I’ve researched it and read all the reports on how it’s stress-related and all that but really the only way that’ll help me is if I turn off my brain for the night which of course is impossible (if it isn’t then please direct me). I have developed some ways of getting to sleep earlier such as not eating after 7 pm, staying away from lights late at night and doing stuff before bed to tire me out but it’s pretty rare for me to get a full good night’s sleep. However if I come home during the day and hop into bed, I’ll be out like a light pretty soon. Someone care to explain that?

15) I’m Autistic:
This one I’ve known since I was ten years old though I’d suspected that I wasn’t exactly a nice normal child for long before that. I have a condition called Asperger’s Syndrome where I have trouble functioning in social situations among other things. Anyone who’s met me recently will probably just think I need to cut back on the caffeine (which I probably do) but if you met me before the age of 17 you’d know something wasn’t right. It’s taken years of practice and hard work to get me comfortable out there in the wild and even then I’ll still have to plan out possible conversations I might have to have in the future as well as being terrible with eye contact. This condition is also what helps me have my freaky memory as well as my weird obsessions with things and my fear of talking on the phone. Sarcasm is something I have trouble understanding sometimes but as always I’m getting better the more time I spend in the wild. Talking online is a lot easier for me so don’t be surprised if I seem to be a better person to talk to when there’s a computer screen separating us.

Saturday 17 March 2012

Vintage Week In Review For Women's Wrestling #6

This is the week beginning January 3rd - January 13th 2002. There was no actual Raw show so I'm lumping the two Smackdowns into one entry.

Lilian Garcia interviews Jazz and officially welcomes her to the WWF. Jazz cuts a very strong promo saying how she isn't here to be interviewed and how she won't sleep her way to the top like the rest of the Divas. She shoves Lilian and stalks off. Very impressive debut interview for her and certainly generates some excitement for the upcoming angle with Trish.

Jazz def. Mighty Molly:
As a follow up to last week's attack, Molly gets a chance at revenge and is officially a babyface now. Unfortunately Jazz has a godawful entrance theme that sounds like it belongs on Super Mario or Crash Bandicoot. Jazz attacks Molly straight away but the superheroine uses quickness to get the better of her with a nice headscissors. Jazz hotshots Molly onto the top rope *twice* and continues to dominate with a series of *three* butterfly suplexes. She misses a splash and Molly again resorts to quickness to try and offset her but Jazz floats over from a scoop slam attempt and finishes her off with a Fisherman's Suplex.
Following up an impressive debut interview, she gets an impressive debut match. Naturally Molly works well with everyone and she and Jazz only had a couple of matches together during their stint in WWE as they were both heels the majority of the time. In fact if Molly hadn't been turned heel and Jazz hadn't been injured, I think this is a good feud that could have been explored. It was a short match but it was memorable and served its purpose to put Jazz over as something impressive. 7/10

We also saw a bit of Torrie Wilson who got harassed by Test backstage which led to a match with Tajiri. Torrie's involvement consisted of looking disgusted when Test won by cheating.
Also Stephanie McMahon made an appearance trying to get into the building but being refused because her name wasn't on the list. She was seen again in another segment where she tried to seduce the security guard who unfortunately for her was gay. Later on in the night she ran into the arena during a Ric Flair promo and threatened him because Triple H was set to return from injury. When he mocked her she slapped him in the face and said he had four days to decide if he wanted her allegiance or not. Oh and the heat she got was amazing. Watching a master at work here.

We see our Women's Champion Trish Stratus live from WWF New York saying hi to all the fans. She is rudely interrupted by Terri Runnels who challenges her to a Wet T-Shirt contest, which Trish accepts. Uh oh...
Later on in the evening we have Trish and Terri in the ring with Jerry Lawler for the contest and he gleefully hoses Terri down with a Super Soaker and is preparing to spray Trish when...
All of a sudden Jazz appears on the scene and attacks Trish, laying her out with a DDT exactly like she did on Smackdown and she has to be chased out of the ring by Jerry Lawler.
Great segment and great way to follow up on Jazz's sneak-attack. It seems to be a tried and tested formula in WWE that if you want a female monster heel, just have her interrupt some T&A type segment. Here it was used to further storylines and it was an excellent way to do so. It builds a lot of heat for Jazz for not only attacking the big fan favourite, but also for denying the fans what they want to see. They'd do a similar angle with Molly Holly later in the year, and Victoria in 2005 and really Beth and Natalya this year. I believe this was the first time they ever actually did it in WWE so it must have been even more exciting at the time. Back then people were wondering how Trish would fare in matches against Jazz and of course we can say they were a hit but back then this was the first step Trish would take towards gaining respect as an in-ring performer. Segment rating: 7/10

Smackdown #2:
Stephanie McMahon and Debra kick off the show with Steph snidely remarking that her husband would kick Debra's husband's ass at the Royal Rumble. Can't believe *both* of these women were actually Women's Champion at one point. Stephanie continues on to the ring where she cuts a lengthy promo on how Triple H is returning and everyone else better be on notice. I'll admit, she rambled on a bit and took more time than she probably needed but she was very entertaining on the mic. Plus she looked great as well.

So the official start of a very promising feud came this week and it's one that many Diva fans remember fondly. Jazz was certainly something new in the division and her presence really shook things up even if she only spent a short amount of time on the roster.

Friday 16 March 2012

Week In Review For Women's Wrestling #38

A pretty big week in store for our women in all companies really. First of all, let me just say that it's very good news that there's actually been a Divas match announced for WrestleMania but I'll get to that in a moment. Unless I'm mistaken, most of the Divas were featured on TV this week and many of them in a wrestling capacity. Similarly we saw quite a few Knockouts being featured on the one episode too which is very impressive. Should be a good one.

Raw Watch:
There wasn't really any specific segment to split each entry into so I'm just going to review all of the sightings here. First the mixed tag that never was. I marked out for the team of Aksana and Santino and these two should definitely team together more frequently. For a moment I thought Johnny had changed it to Mark Henry & David Otunga vs Santino & Aksana but of course this is PG so we wouldn't be able to get anything out of that. Aksana is being featured pretty heavily in this storyline and I'd like for her to make it to WrestleMania standing at ringside or maybe (wishful thinking) make it a mixed tag and have her on Team Teddy. I'd love for her to eventually become a proper part of the women's division but for now she's doing fine where she is. As for the backstage segment, it looks like Beth got poured into that outfit and forgot to say "when". She acted really weird in this segment, a little too LayCool-ish for my tastes but I'll excuse it. I knew it would be a tag match for Mania, I just didn't assume Maria Menunous would be on the face side. I'm going to focus on the positives for this match - first of all, three of the women in this match can wrestle and have all been featured prominently over the past year so of course they deserve a spot at Mania. I would prefer Eve vs Kelly or Beth vs Natalya sure but WrestleMania is always a hindrance for the girls so we'll likely get those matches further down the line anyway. Perhaps Eve/Kelly could make it to the Extreme Rules card? Second of all, we're actually getting a proper match at WrestleMania. No Lumberjills, no battle royal, no clusterfuck. Third of all, Maria has shown some flair with the couple of times she's been in the ring. Naturally she'll train especially hard for this match and hey, Ashley Massaro and Maria Kanellis were able to bring their A-game at WrestleMania 24 so why not her? Fourth of all, Maria is a "celebrity" meaning her presence will get WWE some exposure and by extension the Divas. Which also means, the match is likely going to get a decent amount of time. Last year's Snooki segment got 10 minutes which is very respectable. If they don't clog up time giving every girl an entrance then they should have more than enough time to wrestle. Celebrity involvement has always been a part of WrestleMania and last year's match was a lot better than any of us would have hoped.

NXT - Maxine & Johnny Curtis vs Kaitlyn & Derrick Bateman:
Once again not a particularly good match but made up for it with the entertaining backstage segments. I like that the writers are allowing Kaitlyn to be fun and goofy because that's what she's best at. I'm so glad they never went ahead with that ill thought out heel turn and kept her as her normal spunky self. The in-ring action was fine but too short for a start. I'm guessing these four are going to feud for quite a bit longer so we can expect more matches, which means this short one doesn't give too much away. 5/10

Ring Ka King - Angelina Love Debuts:
Yes, yes, yes! It was great seeing Angelina as a face again because I feel that is where she truly shines. She can be a great bad girl but to me she's a little too likeable to be a believable heel, and in the ring when she's not using dirty tactics all the time, she can show off all her technical skills. That being said, her promo wasn't the best but it's nice that they've already set up the next feud for her. I can't remember if she and Melissa have really properly wrestled each other so the next few weeks should give us plenty of in-ring goodness.

Impact - Velvet Sky vs Madison Rayne:
Whenever I see these two names together, I think of their awful PPV match back in 2010 but here they've both grown as workers and characters - especially Velvet. This match was fine enough and I enjoyed it. Madison could have been a bit smoother with her offence though because she mostly just used rest holds and it's better to throw some actual moves interspersed in there as opposed to just resorting to a chin lock to fill the time. Velvet's comeback was pretty nice and so was the finish. Nothing necessarily wrong with the match and it was satisfactory enough to me. I'm clutching at straws but could the end be hinting at a possible interjection of Velvet into this feud. Perhaps after the title match is over and done with (hopefully Gail wins) then Velvet can be brought in. Keep it triple threat or make it singles, I don't really care. 6.5/10

Gail Kim vs Mickie James:
Very impressive to have two matches on the show, as well as having two matches that both get a good amount of time. It seems they've dropped the Mickie heel turn angle which I don't know how I feel about. However, I feel they tied up that loose end by having Mickie help Velvet fend off Angelina and Sarita a couple of weeks ago, so they can pick up that storyline again if they want to. I actually loved this match and enjoyed it a lot more than either of their PPV matches as well as their main event one. In those matches Gail was still adjusting to wrestling as a heel and here we saw her really do well as the heel in the match. I especially loved that counter to Mickie's hurricanrana. The match psychology was great, with Gail thinking outside the box in terms of ways to target Mickie's leg and I loved everything else about it too. Very nice touch that they're keeping both women in this match as heels which gives me a bit more relief that this will be a one-off thing and another Knockout will be brought in soon. As an aside I loved the ODB backstage segment as well. 8/10

Superstars - Kelly Kelly vs Beth Phoenix:
And it's a rematch from their series of PPV matches all across last year. People complaining that Kelly beat Beth too many times, are you happy now? Beth has a higher win record over Kelly than the other way around. Anyway not as fiery or show stopping as their PPV matches but still pretty good in its own way. I'm happy Kelly is at least making an effort to keep some variation in her moves, now only if she could work on her forearms then she'd be a lot more pleasing to watch. Or she could know...NOT use strikes at all. Anyway the match followed a tried and tested formula and was pretty basic but the last few minutes added a lot more. I liked that they used the fake-out Glam Slam ending again because it's so rarely used and genuinely adds excitement. Decent enough showing from the two of them and hopefully we'll see more good stuff come WrestleMania. 7/10

Xplosion - Mickie James & Velvet Sky vs Sarita & Rosita:
Okay, this match actually happened two weeks ago but I was lucky enough to see it and was so impressed I had to slot it in somewhere. I could have done without the promos at the start considering the entire segment got 12 minutes, which would have made for an epic match but the match we saw was very fun. I always love seeing Mickie and Velvet team together because they always show some great chemistry as a tag team. I think they actually could pair these two and have them properly enter the Knockouts tag team division. Then we'd have four pairs fighting over the belts which would be impressive. I also want to draw attention to the fact that when Velvet was feuding with Sarita a while back, she wasn't so hot in the ring and Sarita had to slow herself down and dumb her style down a bit to work with her. Here however Velvet and Sarita gelled together just fine and there was no mismatch. It's just a testament to how good a worker she has evolved into and of course why all four of these women should have more matches like this in the actual division. This one had Velvet as the face in peril for a change and Mickie as the one who got the hot tag though I do prefer the roles the other way around. The double finishers spot was a great way to end it. I'd honestly say this was a PPV quality match. 8.5/10

FCW - Sofia Cortez vs Audrey Marie:
Ah, I can finally erase that spectacle of a triple threat match from my memory now. I've been dying for Sofia Cortez to get a singles match on TV and I'm happy she finally has. I loved pretty much everything about this match as it had good psychology with Sofia working on Audrey's arm. She used some fairly innovative offence during the heat as opposed to resorting to the usual arm wringers and rope choking (*cough* Bellas) and I liked that Eat Defeat type move she tweaked to target the arm instead. Audrey is really coming into her own as a performer. Put her against some as experienced as Sofia and indeed against Naomi as well and she can show off some of the skills she's learned. Right now I see Audrey Marie as being more like Mickie in that she'd need a good opponent to bring out the best in her but being very hit and miss when it comes to working with girls less experienced than she is. Her offence looked quite good and she's now able to hit each move seamlessly without feeling like she's moving too slow. She's on the right track anyway. My only complaint is that it was over too soon. I feel these two could have done with a couple more minutes on. 7.5/10

Smackdown - AJ vs Nikki Bella:
So nice that they're giving ring time to the Bella who's the better wrestler, and this must be the longest Smackdown Divas match in nearly 6 months. Relieved to see AJ return to the ring because she has been missed from it. I guess the fact that they had the World Champion at ringside prompted the bookers to give this a decent amount of time. That being said, Daniel Bryan's presence at ringside did take a lot of attention away from the match. I don't know if that was the intention but I didn't like it. Nikki and AJ worked together well enough, minus that awful crossbody from the top rope and I'm enjoying the progression of this storyline between AJ and Daniel Bryan. Hopefully it leads to AJ getting her own WrestleMania moment, whether she either turns heel a la Trish or turns on him a Trish as well. Wow, Trish did everything didn't she? 6/10

Wednesday 14 March 2012

Vintage Week In Review For Women's Wrestling #5

This is the week beginning December 23rd-December 29th. Yes I skipped a week but there was really nothing worth recording except for a couple of interferences by Stacy, Lita and Torrie.

We have a special Christmas party segment being held all night, with Vince McMahon and Ric Flair holding separate parties. At Vince's we see Stacy Keibler sitting on Bubba Ray Dudley's lap (he's dressed as Santa) and he asks her what she wants for Christmas. She whispers something inaudible into his ear and his response is "oh, you have been a naughty girl". Later on, The Fabulous Moolah and Mae Young show up when Howard Finkle states he's brought the two finest ladies money can buy. Even later Test approaches Terri Runnels and hangs mistletoe over her head but she rejects him. Sharmell is shown sitting with Maven which leads to a stand-off with Booker T and Mae Young is shown chugging her drink. Even later we get a surprise visit from Stephanie McMahon who presents her father with an engraved money clip. Vince isn't fooled by whatever game she's playing and orders her out. The final part of this segment has Mae Young overhearing the word "strip" and doing exactly what you'd expect her to. Pat Patterson ends up getting his head shoved between her legs. Oh my.

Now we get to Ric Flair's Xmas do. Our Santa is Tajiri and he presents Torrie Wilson with her present - a brand new set of lingerie. Debra also pops her head in with a plate of cookies for everyone. People including Trish Stratus and Jacqueline are shown mingling in the crowd.

Torrie Wilson def. Stacy Keibler in an Eggnog Match:
Both ladies are appropriately dressed in sexy Santa outfits and this match is apparently happening because these two got into a confrontation at ringside during a tag match on Heat. Stacy clearly isn't playing fair and actually body slams Torrie into the pool of Eggnog. Torrie pulls Stacy in by the hair and brings the referee in as well. Torrie apparently wants to drown Stacy in the Xmas liquid. Stacy tries to escape but Torrie lifts her skirt up and gives her a spanking before rolling her up for the win.
Well not much to say about this though I feel slightly weird reviewing another slop match. Those annoyed about what the Divas have to do today, just remind yourselves that at least they're not wrestling in pools full of god knows what. Slightly funny but after a week so Diva-light as the one before, I'd rather see an actual match. N/A

Trish Stratus* def. Mighty Molly to retain the WWE Women's Championship:
The Women's Champion returns to the ring and so does Molly since the Alliance broke up. Bet the ladies of today wish they could get a title match after a month's absence. Molly was a heel back then but she is working as a face in this match. Pretty good opening with some nice display of wrestling including an innovative flying headscissors from Trish. Back body drop from the champ, followed by a sunset flip for two. Molly comes back with a backbreaker, elbow drop and snap suplex. Trish goes for the Stratusfaction but switches to a springboard sunset flip to get the win.
She doesn't have time to celebrate as none other than Jazz runs down to the ring to attack her. Molly tries to pull Jazz away from Trish but gets a DDT for her troubles. She then DDTs Trish and picks up the Women's title belt, pointing to it which is wrestling sign language for "I want this".
Less than five minutes for a segment and yet so much was accomplished. Let's start with the match - Trish and Molly always worked well together, even when Trish was so green. They were even having respectable matches that time the year before on Smackdown. Obviously it was short and not that impressive but it was a nice little match and did its job to put Trish over as a strong champion - now she's defeated Lita, Jacqueline, Stacy and now Molly so that gives her some strong build up. This is the start of her lengthy feud with Jazz, which many recognise as the start of the women's division going through a big boom for the next couple of years. Personally I can't wait to relive this feud. 6/10

These days we dismiss the brands as being useless and annoying but back here we can see that it was necessary to split things up at the time. Without separate rosters, more and more people got lost in the shuffle since neither Molly nor Jazz had been seen since Survivor Series and even Trish was having trouble getting on TV every week. Nonetheless the next few weeks should give us plenty of nice matches and nostalgia.

Tuesday 13 March 2012

Vintage Week In Review For Women's Wrestling #4

This is the week beginning December 8th-December 14th


During the Matt/Jeff match with Lita as the special referee things ended controversially as Lita counted to three and gave Jeff the win while Matt's foot was on the bottom rope unknown to her. Oh dear.

Trish Stratus def. Jacqueline to retain the Women's Championship:
This one starts off basically enough, Jackie taking control with a back body drop. Trish gets a couple of kicks to the puppies that has Jackie seemingly legit pissed off. Jackie goes apeshit on the rookie champ with some aggressive stomping and a couple of body slams. Trish gets a bit of offence on her side with a short-arm clothesline. Things continue to fall apart as Trish attempts a cringeworthy bridging roll up. Jackie gets *another* back body drop and a couple of elbows right to the face. Trish chops Jackie a couple of times before going for the Stratusfaction. Jackie blocks it and drops Trish right on her ass. Some more stiff kicks from Jackie and the two of them eventually clonk heads. Trish gets the win with a backslide and the two shake hands afterwards.
Well that was painful on so many levels. There's apparently a story behind this match - when Trish got those early kicks in, she got Jackie right on her chest and winded her which really pissed her off so she started stiffing her for the rest of the match. Things certainly looked awkward in the middle there, almost as if they went off script and tried to freestyle things. There were a couple of nice spots but not much else to say except what you'd expect with one worker deliberately making their opponent look bad. I'm not going to comment on that either since I'm not sure if anything has ever been confirmed and that's just what I've heard. Oh and 3:45 for a PPV match which is something that certainly wouldn't happen today, never mind what they get on Raw. 2/10

The Dudley Boyz def. The Rock & Trish Stratus to retain the Tag Team titles:
Yes, you read that right. As expected Rock works most of the match on his own and when he actually wants to make a tag, Stacy runs over to pull Trish down from the apron. Trish eventually does make a tag and delivers the Wazzup headbutt to poor (or fortunate) D-Von Dudley. Stacy gets up on the apron and Rock drags her into the ring, body slams her and Trish does the headbutt again. Test runs down to interfere and while The Rock is distracted, the Dudleys hit the 3D on Trish to retain.
Pretty cool set-up here and I do miss WWE doing intergender stuff (darned PG rating). Trish giving the Wazzup headbutt was a golden moment and it's a surprising touch to see creative team not burying their Women's Champion. Even though she lost to men, they had Test distracting The Rock and the Dudleys double teaming her which is something I admire. In TNA it was a different story when Awesome Kong got made to look completely weak against the men. Overall rating: 7/10

Lita is backstage apologising to Matt Hardy for her little goof last night. She's apparently booked to face him in a handicap match later on. Matt says "like Team Xtreme, you and me are breaking up" and slams the door in her face.

Matt Hardy def. Lita & Jeff Hardy in an intergender Handicap match:
Lita tries to calm the two brothers down but Matt knocks her aside and starts the match anyway. Jeff and Matt work the match on their own for the most part but towards the end, Lita has clearly had enough of Matt's nonsense and scales the top rope. She lands a picture perfect Litacanrana to a thunderous pop from the crowd. She ends up making a blind tag while she's comforting Jeff and that gives Matt the chance to roll her up for three.
Another dose of intergender action though Lita did considerably less than Trish, though her one spot was enjoyable. Going back to what I said about the other match, good to see the WWE not burying one of their big stars by having Matt end things with a distraction finish. 6/10


Lita is walking around backstage and Test approaches her, asking her out (the actual quote is "when you're with Test, you forget about the rest") but she says she wants to be alone. Him not taking no for an answer prompts Jeff Hardy to challenge him to a match.

Torrie Wilson also made an appearance at the side of her boyfriend Tajiri as he retained his Cruiserweight title against Crash Holly. After the match Crash attacks Tajiri from behind and goes after Torrie. The Hurricane appears on the scene to save her but no sign of Mighty Molly (sigh).

And rounding up the Diva segments has Stacy Keibler once again getting involved in the Dudley Boyz's tag team match by getting up on the apron. Albert responds to this by pulling her skirt down to her ankles. Oh my

Again not the best week considering there was a lame PPV match and no actual women's matches on either show. Still sufficient use of Divas in segments so it's not a total loss.

Monday 12 March 2012

Week In Review For Women's Wrestling #37

And the clock is ticking even further down the line as we inch ever closer first to TNA's Victory Road and then to WrestleMania. One match we're definitely getting though it's not exactly a stellar choice and another is still up in the air. Oh well, we shall take a look anyway.

Raw - Eve vs Alicia Fox:
Deja vu, it's like we're heading into WrestleMania 26 again and the Divas are doing some kind of beat the clock challenge every week. As I seem to say every time I review a Raw match, I would love to see the two of them get time to put on a good show because they did the best with what they were given and that was not a whole lot. The two of them tore the house down at Money In The Bank 2010 and again on Superstars. I suppose an Eve/Kelly match is in the works with Kelly being on commentary but after last week's good usage of Divas, this week felt like a bit of a letdown. The Eve/Ryder storyline takes a new twist though it does seem obvious where it's going now. I'd prefer a singles match for WrestleMania as opposed to a mixed tag but Layla isn't set to return until after Mania is over so hopefully it'll just be Zack Ryder getting involved somehow in the match. Special referee maybe? Perhaps then they'll get enough time. And it's a small thing to be pleased about but good that WWE kept up with the continuity between Eve, Alicia and Kelly. 2/10

Ring Ka King - Mickie James vs Raisha Saeed:
I really do prefer Mickie's old bell bottom attire to the new farm girl costumes she keeps wearing in TNA. I enjoyed this one more than the last match (with Alissa Flash) but they're still both quite good. As a worker Mickie is always very hit and miss but here with Melissa/Alissa/Raisha she has worked very well and showed more energy than she's been showing of late in TNA. It makes me realise that I probably will miss this side of her if TNA ever goes ahead with the heel turn. Raisha took the DDT a bit strangely but it looked fine. It didn't look botched but it just didn't look like the way Mickie's DDTs normally do. The crowd were very hot for Mickie as always. 7/10

NXT - Tamina Snuka vs Maxine:
A fresh match anyway, if nothing else can be said. I suppose it's good to get Tamina back on TV. The set-up of this match was a little strange because it felt almost like Maxine was playing the face role at first but I suppose you'll always get that feeling when the face is a lot bigger than the heel. Opening exchanges were very good though once Maxine took control properly, things got a bit messy. Now that she's a face, Tamina should work on feeding a bit more since Maxine had to drag her into the corner to start working on her. It's always important to keep moving around the ring if you're a face so your opponent has something to work with. Cool to see Maxine going to the top rope though the whole thing was over a bit soon. I'd prefer to see Tamina get a proper comeback instead of just hitting the Samoan Drop into the splash. Good effort but room for improvement. 5.5/10

Impact - Gail Kim & Madison Rayne* vs ODB & Eric Young (Knockouts Tag Team Championships):
Thank the wrestling Gods that Gail Kim is no longer holding both belts. Now we can maybe get a sense of direction in the Knockouts division. Maybe bring Mickie and Velvet into the equation by having them challenge for the titles but Mickie abandons Velvet and sets up her heel turn? Or else at least they have Sarita & Rosita as well as Winter & Angelina Love to feud with. I'm happy that ODB has a title again. Personally I don't think she's Knockouts title material but here she and Eric Young make a great duo and they've been featured regularly so this does mean good things for the belts. The match was fine though I will state right away that if they want to have Eric Young as one of the champions then he should actually wrestle these women. His antics during matches are fun when they're not all he does or else he'll just become the TNA version of Maryse. Anyway that double airplane spin had me loling as did the after match marriage proposal. And hey, I've been clamouring to see some form of Intergender Tag titles before so technically they're the first. 6.5/10

FCW - Raquel Diaz* vs Audrey Marie vs Sofia Cortez (FCW Divas' Championship):
Oh lord. Triple threats are incredibly hard to do as this spectacle is living proof of. It had some promise as the two heels-one face set up was a better idea than two faces-one heel like in the match with Aksana/AJ/Audrey ages ago and they didn't have one girl vanish for most of the match but it was still incredibly awkward and sloppy. It was mostly just Raquel and Sofia beating down on Audrey and they could have done more with some storytelling between the heels like Sofia finally turning on Raquel. She did well to try and keep the match together as the most experienced woman in there but obviously you learn by doing and better that these three are putting on bad triple threats in FCW if it means they can put on good ones in WWE. Mind you, we haven't actually seen one in WWE since Melina turned heel. 4.5/10

Smackdown Watch:
There wasn't an actual proper match or segment but Divas were featured across the programme, such as Aksana and Teddy Long's deal. I hope Aksana is involved in the tag match at WrestleMania, at least as their manager since it was random that Tamina got left off the card last year when she was managing Santino. Though I do want to draw some annoying attention to Aksana being a badass in FCW and now reduced to a quivering Damsel in Distress at the very thought of Kane. We also saw some more development in AJ's part as Daniel Bryan seems to be slowly becoming more obvious in his mistreatment of her. She's another girl I hope is involved at WrestleMania because I saw an article that described her as "The Miss Elizabeth of the Moment". The World title match doesn't have much behind it so AJ could be that added spice it needs.

So in WWE the usual format follows with the matches themselves being unimpressive but some good storyline continuation follows. Really, I could actually adjust fine to this as long as the girls were in proper storylines and feuds that got developed every week and then on PPV they have been getting nice amounts of time. TNA meanwhile are hopefully going to develop one of the many storylines they've stopped and started. And over in Ring Ka King we now have Angelina Love's debut to look forward to. Could it be too much to hope for her playing a face over there?

Friday 2 March 2012

Week In Review For Women's Wrestling #36

And it's certainly an eventful week for the women in all companies (minus FCW of course) as we had a chock full of Divas featured on WWE's various shows, including something that could be a possible storyline heading into WrestleMania. Of course that would be getting our hopes up but you never know. Elsewhere TNA still have a PPV to build towards to. Should be a good one.

Raw - Kelly Kelly vs Nikki Bella:
Less than two minutes and yet was more interesting than any of Kelly's matches against Brie Bella over the Summer. It's been ages since Nikki's got a singles match and even then she hasn't had much of a chance to showcase herself. True this 2-minute match didn't show off much either but she looked quite solid in there. She didn't lock in an arm wringer and call it a day like her sister always does. This was still a fun enough match, mostly because there was actual wrestling in there. I'm not going to complain too much about the time since there was a match in addition to a promo and backstage segment so the Divas did get a lot of time this week. 5/10

Eve's Promo:
Not as fun as her promo on Smackdown but still solid enough. Her mic work is getting better each time she gets a chance to talk and the crowd were eating it up. I guess over the past few weeks, Eve has transformed into a bankable member of the roster who in management's eyes deserves this amount of time on TV. As for the backstage segment, Kelly you are not a Valley Girl so don't use "totally" like it's a comma. This seems to be the start of an Eve/Kelly program which is surprising but welcome anyway. Normally they'd just throw them in a 2-minute match on Raw with no fanfare at all. They've taken to Twitter to keep the mudslinging going so this looks to be an actual feud for Eve. If they get to WrestleMania then I'll be happy as long as their segment gets ten minutes in total. After all, Kelly is popular and Eve is a heat magnet so fans might be interested in their match. I'm assuming Kelly is getting this match because it coincides with her nomination for a Kids' Choice Award.

Ring Ka King - Alissa Flash vs Raisha Saeed:
For those who don't know, Ring Ka King is a special Indian broadcast that uses plenty of TNA talent. Mickie James and Angelina Love have both been booked for it and they air two episodes a weekend. If you're wondering how they had Alissa vs Raisha, if you watch the match it's obvious that it's a man playing Miss Raisha. While not exactly up to the standard of Alissa's RCW intergender matches, it was still fun enough and entertaining. It's always interesting to see Alissa in intergender matches because she works as well with men as she does with women. Entertaining overall, plenty of shenanigans and some solid wrestling thrown in too. 6.5/10

Raisha Saeed & The Sheiks vs The Bollywood Boys & Mickie James:
The second Ring Ka King episode offers a 6-person tag match where Melissa/Alissa is back playing Raisha (or at least it's a woman now). Mickie was wearing her old bell bottom attire and what an entrance for the Bollywood Boys. It's like Kid Rock at WM 25 without being cringeworthy. The Indian fans were really hot for Mickie. It's a real testament to how popular she is that she gets great reactions wherever she goes. The interactions between Mickie and Raisha were solid enough, as they were in their singles match. They didn't get too much ring time but the match overall was very fun, mostly because of how excited the crowd was. 7/10

NXT - Derrick Bateman Intervention:
This was probably one of the randomest and most insane things WWE have ever aired, including that Jerry Springer skit. Funnily enough this reminded me a lot of that. Doesn't seem like they're going with making Kaitlyn and Bateman an actual couple but rather good friends, even though that kiss was something alright. The video package for Maxine was hilarious. I forgot what it's like to have Divas in video packages. And good lord, Alicia Fox's screaming when they kissed.

Kaitlyn vs Maxine:
I called it, this was the main event. While still not as fun as their match from back in October, it was a lot better than their other singles matches on the show, mostly because it got a longer amount of time. Kaitlyn looks even more solid whenever I see her wrestle and she impressed here. She seems to be going for some submissions in her moveset and a the body scissors looked impressive. Maxine was solid as she always was and that kick to the face looked painful. I was expecting to see a couple of Kaitlyn's teeth on the canvas somewhere. Nice finish too. It seems like they're going with a proper Kaitlyn & Bateman vs Maxine & Curtis feud. Also my Aksana is involved as well which gets great marks in my book. 6/10

Impact - Madison Rayne vs ODB:
How over is ODB? Even with the smaller Impact Zone crowds on a taped show she gets some reactions. Not as technical as the match with Gail last week but still very fun because both of these women have strong characters as well as being solid in the ring. That spot with the Bronco Buster counter was...unique I think would be the right word for it. Doesn't exactly inspire much excitement for the PPV though I'm holding out hope that Madison and Gail will stay together after it's over. I lol'd at Gail tripping as she was trying to interfere. 7/10

Velvet Sky & Mickie James vs Angelina Love & Sarita:
Meet the odd couples - strange and random to have Sarita and Angelina teaming together. The only reason I can think of is that they were both the last two out in the battle royal. Somewhere Winter and Rosita are feeling jilted. But anyway, how awesome was this match? Seriously, four talented women given plenty of time to actually wrestle. This showcased their wrestling ability - no story interference, no overbooking, just a nice long and entertaining tag match. Sarita has really been missed from the ring lately and she was awesome as always. I think that suicide dive was a big message to the bookers saying "see what you've been missing out on" and she really does deserve to be on TV more often. Velvet and Mickie had nice chemistry as a team and this reminds me of another tag match these two had against Madison and Gail where they were both very impressive. I love how in the promo Velvet drew attention to the truth - TNA does screw her whenever she gets pushed to the top. I hope this means she will be included in the title picture in the near future. I was expecting Mickie to turn heel on her at the end, judging from what was going on in London. But I wouldn't be surprised if TNA just decided to drop that given that they've lost most of their possible momentum by having both these girls off TV for too long following that. Though I expect they'll start over and build towards a slow turn, which we'll obviously see more of next week. 8.5/10

Superstars - Beth Phoenix vs Alicia Fox:
Finally they get a longer match but there's still a lot more room for improvement. This match was closer to Smackdown length on a good day. I was worried it was going to be a complete squash match but thankfully Alicia got in a bit of offence, though I still think her Superstars bout with Tamina is her best showing from her face run. I would love to see another match with more time added and hopefully made a bit more back and forth, but it did it's job to set Beth's dominance up. She was very entertaining with her personality during the match. She continues to ooze a lot more personality and entertainment than she's known for. 6/10

Smackdown - Eve vs Natalya:
I loved the backstage segment. Natalya finds a way to make this farting gimmick work. Judging from what went down this week, I feel she's making steps towards a face turn and eventual feud with Beth. I doubt this will get to the WrestleMania card because the Eve/Kelly feud seems to be taking precedence over it and I don't think we'd actually get two matches booked for WrestleMania. I was wondering what Eve would be like in the ring as a heel and, judging from what we saw here, she's not going to have much difficulty. I expected her to go for a more submission-based style and of course Natalya works well with everyone. This loss here combined with her repeated losing streak serves to make her look sympathetic and help the fans get behind her. Short but sweet match, as is often the case these days. 5.5/10

Quite an eventful week, I must say. I'm actually looking forward to see what direction this Eve/Kelly feud goes in next and if it does lead to a WrestleMania match. I'm still not totally convinced that Natalya will feud with Beth but I hope it happens eventually,