Wednesday, 13 September 2017

The Right Is Winning

The more I read, the more it's dawning on me that the right-wing are winning. In fact, far short of a revolution in this country (and maybe even in the USA), they might just have won already.

All my life, and a little bit before, we have had purely right-wing governments in this country. You could argue that between 1997 and 2010 we had a change (New Labour), but in reality it was more of the same, shifting to the centre just a touch from the right. There were a few bones thrown to the working class, but, ultimately, it was very much business as usual.

In the last, nearly, forty years, not only have we had right-wing politics dominating our lives, but we've also had capitalism increasingly taking over. It's got its grubby little mits in everything and there doesn't seem to be any way out of the hole that's been dug.

We're so deeply entrenched in it that the politicians and advocates of it have convinced people that it's in their best interests to continue with it. Any other alternative must be hunted down and murdered before it has a chance to convince us that there's a better way forward.

Take something like universal health coverage that someone like Bernie Sanders believes in. This idea is completely shot down by the right and a lot of people who this would greatly benefit. It's portrayed as if it's some sort of radical or lunatic idea that a country should look after its people?! It's just not profitable to look after your people, eh?

In this country, Labour's last election manifesto was filled with policies that would greatly benefit the many over the few (to steal their tagline). They got a lot more votes, but still more people voted for the despicable Tories. I suppose seven years of wage regression still isn't enough for people to want real change in this country.

I've probably said all this before, multiple times, but it still completely baffles me that this is where we are.

I recently had a Twitter back-and-forth with, what I can only assume are either bots or, in fact, actual Trump supporters who are opposed to DACA. Instead of seeing that these people (DACA recipients) have only ever known America as their home and probably only speak English, these Twitter users simply want them deported. It was a discussion that really made me see that the right's indoctrination of usually-compassionate people has stretched to the point of blaming groups of innocent people because we might be suffering in some way in our lives, and we need a scapegoat with which to blame.

I would suggest that we should maybe blame greedy corporations and businesses, as well as the banks that plunged us further into a capitalist hell hole.

Greedy businesses don't pay their fair share, stashing most assets offshore so that they don't have to pay as much tax. They also choose how much they're going to pay a worker. It frustrates me no end how foreigners get blamed for "dragging wages down" but it's simply not true. Employers want to make as much profit as possible, so of course they're going to pay as low as they can.

What aids this is that in the last thirty-plus years, unions have had their balls cut off. Like they're a detriment to the workplace or something. Obviously, the opposite is true and the results of them being neutered has shown in that time period.

Today, people rarely strike and rarely strike for long enough to make a difference or scare the employer into giving them what they ask for. Additionally, increasingly many people simply can't afford to strike because wages have become so abysmal and their real value has decreased so much that workers are living paycheck to paycheck in some cases. Employers have gotten workers by the balls and probably (definitely?) know it.

I wait for the day that unions get reduced to nothing/abolished; then those against them will also feel the wrath of opportunistic employers, too. I wonder if they'll complain or bend over.

Banks have got a huge responsibility to bear, too. In 2008 they plunged us, amongst others, into a financial catastrophe. Have they been punished for this? Of course not. In fact, they were bailed out (by us, naturally) and, with certain policy changes in America, will probably do the same again. They can play with our money how they see fit, pay huge bonuses to undeserving bosses, that we could only dream of, and get bailed out if it all fails.

It amazes me that, collectively, workers (and everyone, really) haven't done ANYTHING about it. But then, I suppose, with my earlier observation that people can't afford to strike, is it any wonder why we've not kicked off as much as we should've?

I'm really not sure what the answer is. Some of these observations are so obvious to me, but, for a hell of a lot of people, is perfectly OK. I despair sometimes.

Thanks for reading. This probably comes across as ranty, but sometimes I just need to spew my bullshit onto a page and see if anyone relates to it!

Sunday, 14 May 2017

Political Views: An Introduction

Re-introduction to the blog

Typically, this blog has been a wrestling one. Unfortunately, in the last two-or-so years I have fallen heavily OUT of love with wrestling. It's gotten to the point where I was just watching WCW Nitros on the WWE Network, but now I've cancelled the subscription and that's the end of that (for now?).

Over-analysing wrestling and letting crap shows get me down, I've now accepted that it's just not for me any more. I don't have the time, either. Since my last blog post (about two years ago?!), I have bought a house and am expecting my first child any day now (note: by publishing time, he will probably be here!). As a result of this, I have given up a lot of shows I was watching, podcasts I was listening to, and generally clearing out the clutter that took up too much of my time. It was hugely needed and I've not missed the various things that I've sacrificed as I enter the next stage of my life.

Over this period of time, I have gotten into politics quite a bit. That brings me to this post:

Introduction to the post

Currently, I am wading my way through all the goings-on in politics. This is mainly US politics as I have a very negative view of British politics. It almost feels like a lost cause in this country to care any more due to the right-wing's achievement of fooling the majority of the country into believing that they have their best interests at heart. I'm getting ahead of myself, though.

US politics really interests me at the moment obviously due to Donald Trump. I am still baffled as to how America elected such a moron as President. I realise that many Americans feel left behind and not catered for, but this protest vote will be hugely regretted, if it hasn't already started to feel that way. Trump saying that he will look after the little guy is right up there with the notion that a Tory government out of Europe would put £350 million into the NHS - Labour's massively successful Socialist achievement.

Anyway, this post will hopefully be the start of something. My goal has always been to write regularly, but wrestling really took a hammer to that. Politics is something that can really piss me off at times, but I'm OK with that. I'd be very surprised if it didn't!

I should point out, as I did to the two mates who suggested that I start writing about politics on here, that, although I have many thoughts and feelings about politics, there are probably many, many gaps in my knowledge and understanding of things within the political landscape. So, until I learn a little more, I will probably come across as a complete novice and a ranting, rambling idiot. Basically, it's the same as Trump; we're both learning on the job, the difference is I haven't got millions of people's lives in my hands.

The UK Election approaches...

On 8th June, we have a general election in the UK. It was opportunistically called by Theresa May, despite saying she wouldn't call one before 2020. Even though I think she's a bitch (worse than Thatcher? Only history will judge), I can't fault her timing. There are so many things in her favour. The billionaire-owned media have done a wonderful job in making her main rival, Jeremy Corbyn, look like a completely incompetent radical - despite his policies/ideas being anything but radical. I'm not even sure that there's an argument that he's not helped himself, really; I think that the deck has been so overwhelmingly stacked against him and Labour (even from within his own party), that there's just not enough trust in him. The second, and probably more important factor is Brexit. The people of the UK were fooled into this decision because foreigners are to blame for everything, apparently, and not the powers-that-be that actually have the power to change certain things, but won't because scapegoats are just SO easy to find. As a result, I can't see the tide turning against the Tories with the important negotiations ahead of us.

I suppose what needs to happen is for the Tories to oversee Brexit to the finish and then be held accountable for the catastrophic fallout. Hopefully by then people would have seen the utter devastation that a Tory government can cause and be angry enough to vote for REAL change. Or they can carry on reading the daily rags and believe every word of it. This probably seems like I want the world to burn, but it just appears that people are completely blind to what is going on and, maybe, things need to get really bad - as if increased homelessness over the last several years isn't reason enough to worry - before they open their eyes and get genuinely angry.


From a young age, I was always encouraged to vote Labour. Dad got me into this. But, as I got older, I realised that I really did aligned with their beliefs. It hasn't been until the last few years that I have realised (convinced myself?) that the 'New' Labour government under Tony Blair was just Tory-lite. Don't get me wrong; they probably did do things for the working classes, but ultimately, for thirteen-years, they were the lesser of two evils (more on that term later).

When I say 'probably did do things for the working classes' it would probably be better put that they 'threw them a bone'. This, it appears, is what every government in my lifetime has done - thrown a bone to the lower end of society just enough that they vote for them. The bigger priority has been to appease the rich and big business (more on that later, too).

I am left-wing. Absolutely. I am for EVERYONE being able to live a good life without worry of homelessness or poverty. It is crazy that in 2017 things like that haven't been eradicated. Unfortunately, we live in a world where Capitalism has got its grubby hands on all aspects of life and as a result we live in a 'survival of the fittest' environment. In the past, I think I have said that Capitalism is evil and needs bringing down, which is 100% true while it is being abused the way it is, but I think I'd be more willing to see a half and half situation, whereby Capitalism can work alongside Socialism. Unfortunately, that's not the most profitable and will never be allowed to happen. I think it DID happen in the 1940s/50s (?) and worked pretty well (here's a gap in my knowledge that I could be wrong on).

A note on Left vs. Right

I'm not sure if this is a good way to look at things, but it's very black and white to me when it comes to political alignment. If you are left-wing/leaning then you want everyone to be OK/comfortable in their lives and it would massively help if, instead of the super-rich siphoning all the money upwards (and out of the country), they, maybe, pay a bit more to improve the country's well-being. Not just improve their own. Right-wing/leaning, in my eyes, seems to be more about the individual, the lower end of society be damned and the top end NOT be condemned.

I think that because of the last (nearly) forty-years of right-wing control, we have gotten away from being a community and have just concentrated on ourselves. This has been somewhat a necessity as purse-strings have gotten tighter. This has been sold as a great thing, but in truth, it just feels like a sneaky divide-and-conquer tactic. And it's worked. It's actually become the norm and to question it gets you odd looks, as if being about the many and not just the self makes you a bad person. Instead of getting together and having a shared view of the powers-that-be, we argue amongst ourselves and blame that we learned about in the Daily Rag.

Scroungers vs. The Super-rich

I often have conversations with a mate about our beliefs on this matter. He is someone that is very proud of how hard he has worked to get where he has gotten. I'm very proud of him, too, as I am with anyone I know that has done well for themselves and works hard. One topic of dispute is when he makes the point of his annoyance at benefit recipients (mainly 'scroungers'). A reason that he votes for Tories is that he believes that Labour are too lenient on this issue. I would agree with him to a certain extent when it comes to people on benefits that rely on them and don't have any intention of finding a job. Where the conversation often takes a turn and doesn't get resolved is when the issue of (a) the working poor and (b) the super-rich/big businesses comes up.

With regards to the working poor of this country, how is it fair that someone works forty-hours a week and is still in poverty; in some cases they claim benefits to top-up their inadequate wages? Not everyone can have a great, well-paid job. Some people didn't do well at school for numerous reasons; why should they be punished for this? No, they shouldn't be paid the same as a doctor, but it shouldn't be acceptable for them to be below the breadline, either.

There is also the reality that certain jobs simply need to be done. As much as they are sometimes ridiculed, people still need to clean toilets and someone needs to grill the burgers in McDonald's etc. Why is it that someone should not be paid enough from these jobs that they can't afford the basics in life? And additionally, why do these people then get demonised for claiming benefits that they NEED to top up their wages?

(On the subject of pay; why is it that there is a 'living wage' for over-25s? What did the 18-24 year-olds do wrong?)

"It's the way it is"...

This phrase is said too often with regards to the situations I addressed above. It's particularly apt when talking about how much tax those at the top end of society pay (or don't pay). It is completely unacceptable that those at the top shouldn't pay their fair share. I saw an interview on the TV where the presenter said that Google doesn't pay anywhere close to the 20% tax that they should do in the UK. How do they get away with it? I couldn't get away with offering to pay what I felt I wanted to pay, so why should they?

I suppose the easy answer is Capitalism. Google CAN pay what they want because if our government doesn't like it, then they'll (Google) simply move business out of the UK and a lot of jobs would be lost as well as the measly amount of tax that they do pay. This is a great example of who ACTUALLY runs the country. Capitalism has allowed people to get filthy rich and, in turn, dictate what does and doesn't work for them. If this isn't the case, it sure looks that way.

Connected to this is the tax rate that big business/high earners pay. Under the Tories, it would continue to reduce because 'competition'. What a wonderful excuse, eh? It wouldn't be so bad if the profits from the lower tax rate was shared amongst the workers nearer the bottom that created it, but it won't be. It never will be in this system we have. The alternative would be a Labour government putting the tax rate UP. Unfortunately, this is what's needed, but would probably be great ammunition for the Tories and their media pals as big businesses would show their power, up-and-leave and Corbyn and co. would be seen as the bad guys.

I'm really not sure what the answer is to this, but simply saying 'that's the way it is' is such a defeatist attitude that far too many people have.

Not voting

There are times when I feel like it's pointless for me to vote. Where I live, it is a heavily Tory-voting area. The Lib Dems are the closest thing to competition here. Therefore, I have to vote tactically to stand any chance of seeing my preference (Labour) get into power. I don't want to vote for the Lib Dems, but voting for Labour is a wasted vote in this area. How is that democracy? The system is not fit for purpose. This is probably a massive reason why so many people don't vote. Not only do they not believe that their vote matters anyway, but they probably don't even understand how the voting works. They probably see it as how the US votes for a President: red or blue, A or B, him or her (more likely him or him). In this country, you're not actually voting directly for Jeremy Corbyn or Theresa May, unless you live in Islington North or Maidenhead. Even then, you're only voting for that person to retain that seat.

This convoluted, arcaic method, coupled with apathy and gerrymandering, has the Tories rubbing their hands with glee.

The 'lesser of two evils'

Is this what the 'choice' has come to? Doesn't it say that things are completely damaged when Clinton vs. Trump and Macron vs. Le Pen is a toss-up between the 'lesser of two evils'? Why have we never got two decent, solid choices for the most important job in the land?

OK, I've probably rambled for long enough. I've probably missed loads out, but I've always gone by the rule that it's my blog, my rules, so I'm sure I'll do a follow-up post to add more thoughts on my beliefs etc.

Please vote on June 8th, and please vote Labour. Do you really disagree with many/any of their policies?

Saturday, 9 May 2015

Comic Book Update

In the last couple of weeks, I have gotten through my graphic novel reading list extremely quickly! I've continued with my pre-Flashpoint 'Batman and Robin' reading, getting through volume 3 – Batman and Robin Must Die, and am about to start volume 4 – White Knight vs. Dark Knight. Along with these, I have almost finished a very enjoyable Flash title in “The Dastardly Death of the Rogues”. This will lead me onto “Road to Flashpoint” and finally “Fllashpoint” itself.

On its way to me (by post) is “Final Crisis”. Once I have finished that, I will be at the point of starting the 'New 52' stuff (with regards to Flash and Batman and Robin. I have already gotten three volumes into Batman's new 52 offerings?!).

Although I'm reading all these at a somewhat speedy rate, I'm really enjoying everything so far! It would appear that I'm in a rush to become up-to-date with my chosen heroes, but the truth is as I read more, I'm wondering what happens next and feel I need to get my next fix as soon as I can! As I said in my previous post, I've started collecting the “Convergence” issues (main) and this is the most up-to-date stuff that I've invested in. After starting the first two issues (#0 and #1), I feel that I need to see what happened previously, and that's probably why I'm getting through pre-New 52 stuff so quickly, too!

Comics and graphic novels have really grabbed me by the balls in the last few months and, especially the last couple of weeks, I'm chomping at the bit to read (and enjoy) more!

Along with my reading, I have also started to watch “The Flash” TV show (new in 2014) as another way of getting to know who's who. As much as I'm enjoying it, I can't help but find comparisons with “Smallville” from a few years ago. Some of the following examples are true to the comics as well as the TV shows, but I find it quite funny how similar both superhero's stories are:

In both The Flash and Smallville, Barry Allen and Clark Kent are brought up by surrogate parents; Barry by Joe West; Clark by the Kents; this is due to events that see their actual parents unable to be there throughout this period of their lives. Along with this, the love interests in both characters' lives are also similar in that they are both gorgeous women (obviously for TV!), who they can't seem to tell them how they actually feel about them! Added to this, both women have boyfriends who become friends with Barry/Clark (Lana's boyfriend eventually becomes friends with Clark, right?)

A third similarity is how the first seasons seem to play out. I say 'seem' as I'm only half way through the first season of The Flash! In Smallville, when Clark arrives as a baby, a meteor shower accompanies him and his ship, which in turn, results in several of the locals developing 'special abilities'. Coming across these individuals and determining whether their intentions are good or bad, take up the majority of the first season. In The Flash, instead of a meteor shower, a particle accelerator explodes, spreading a cloud of energy that gives some of the Central City natives special powers and being dubbed 'meta-humans'.

Superhero shows wouldn't be complete without villains and if you know your Superman history, then you'll know that Lex Luthor is Superman's arch-nemesis. In Smallville, he and Clark (ok, not Superman) are pretty good friends early on and I suspect the same scenario might play out for Barry Allen with regards to Dr Harrison Wells. I have my suspicions as to who he might be, but have no desire to read spoilers to know for sure, The not-knowing is part of the enjoyment! One thing I'm sure of is that Wells isn't what he seems; there are definitely some ulterior motives in play!

As I hope can be seen from this post, I'm thoroughly enjoying my journey with comic books and the other forms that spawn from them! I hope this comes across in these posts as I intend to continue updates and, maybe, inspire others to follow the same path if you, like me, have been a little disillusioned with other interests!

Tuesday, 28 April 2015

New Fandom = New Hope = New Article!

In the last few months, I have been very disillusioned by one of my hobbies, almost to the point of giving up on it altogether. Luckily, and initially thanks to my mate, Paz, I decided to take a look into the wonderful world of comic books and graphic novels. Back in about September, Paz started me off with Batman: Hush. I think it's from the early-to-mid 2000s and is easily my favourite to date.

I can't put my finger on exactly what hooked me in; it could've been the story by Jeph Loeb, leaving me wondering who the mysterious Hush would be (I had my pick throughout, was thrown off the scent before coming back to my original choice towards the end!); or maybe it was the artwork on display.

On the subject of artwork, it's been over six months later, I still have no clue what's considered 'good' or 'bad' artwork, but I think, like a lot of my fandoms tend to be, it's completely subjective. Ultimately, I know what I like and what doesn't work for me. For example, I've just finished reading Crisis on Infinite Earths (yes, it was a “heavy” read, Tim – Comic Connections?!) and prior to that I read Batman: A Death in the Family. Both of these titles' artwork are very old-fashioned to me. That's just my personal preference and in no way a knock on the artists or fellow comic book readers who enjoyed the artwork of that era. I mentioned this to the owner (?) at Comic Connections (Banbury, Oxfordshire) and he seemed disappointed in me for saying so! I think it's probably a good thing that I've pinned down which art or artists I like because it'll help me choose the right graphic novels and, in turn, characters.

Speaking of characters, I initially went with Batman and The Hulk as my 'safe' options. I felt I would commit to, and lean towards them, on my journey into comic books. Very quickly, I realised that, although I loved The [Incredible] Hulk TV show of the early eighties, I wasn't necessarily going to enjoy the comics and graphic novels of the big green giant. I think it really bothered me that there didn't seem to be much Bruce (David?) Banner; it was 99% Hulk and not his alter-ego at all.

This realisation also let me know one of the main things I'd look for going forward: A human element to my choices in characters. That might seem strange as there should be, and probably is, a human element with every superhero, but with some it seems that, for the most, it's not there as much as I'd like it to be. This is probably the reason why I've gone off Superman, too; yes, he has a human side but it's already annoying how untouchable he seems sometimes. This is why I'm gravitating towards Batman (from the start of my fandom) and new characters (for me, anyway) in Nightwing, The Flash and Shazam.

On a side note, I really love the idea behind Shazam! Putting the magic stuff aside, I love that a young kid, in awe of other heroes, can say the magic word and become the world's 'mightiest mortal'. Even when he is the adult-looking superhero, he's still such a mark for his own heroes! Brilliant!

As the days, weeks and months go on it's becoming clearer to me where I should go with regards to characters, stories and timelines (if that's the correct term – still learning!). Batman is my main man. I love the darkness, his determination, and pretty much all the characters that have anything to do with him. It's why I've got a lot more time for Robin (all the incarnations; especially Jason Todd/Red Hood) and Nightwing – a collection of graphic novels that are definitely on the 'to do' list!

With all the years and years of comics to choose from, I wondered where the hell to start. I've decided that my best bet is to read the significant events of the last thirty-years and then go from there. I've already struggled through Crisis on Infinite Earths and have Infinite Crisis on order. Next will be Final Crisis despite Tim's (Comic Connections, again) warning and then I'll read The Flash graphic novels leading to Flashpoint. Once I've gotten through that marathon I'm hoping I'll be a little more clued-up! On completion of this, I'll carry on with the Batman and Robin series that I'm in the middle of, continue my journey and education into The Flash and also other titles of the 'New 52'.

I realise that the 'New 52' is going through somewhat of a revision, which I believe 'Convergence' will sort out (this is the most modern series that I've invested in), but in the meantime I'm really excited to catch up on the previously-mentioned titles, learning and enjoying along the way!

It's such a nice feeling to read something that hooks me in, keeps me wanting more, and as the end approaches has my heart racing a little at how it might end. It's a great feeling that's been missing from other hobbies in my life.

I'm sure I'll thank them much more in the future, but huge thanks go to Tim at Comic Connections in Banbury, Oxfordshire for giving me advice and being extremely knowledgeable, and a massive thanks to my pal, Paz, for giving me great recommendations, lending me titles that peak my interest, and answering my never-ending, and often stupid, questions as I try to work my way through the DC Universe, timelines and 'Earths'?!

Tuesday, 30 December 2014

I Love and Hate Wrestling in Equal Measures

First of all, I realise that the title to this post is somewhat negative. I will break this down in the coming paragraphs and try to spread a little more love than hatred.

Just a brief something else... I haven't written anything for a couple of months now. I'm not entirely sure why; something tells me that I needed a break from writing, not just about wrestling, but about anything. I think my 'hate' of wrestling (hate is a strong word...) caused me to stop for a while. When I think of 'writing', I think of 'wrestling' and this is something that needs disconnecting as I head into 2015. Because of this (and my desire to write about other things), I am knocking wrestling show reviews; 'Positives and Negatives' and any variations that I have used when doing reviews, on the head. It saddens me to announce that but I need to do this to save my wrestling fandom as well as enjoying the shows I go to further by not writing about them. I'm sure I'll do the odd post on a topic that comes up in British Wrestling, but the reviews are over.

Now onto the point of this piece.

I need to break down my wrestling viewing and explain why I love and hate wrestling in equal measures. I'll start with my hatred and move onto my love; starting with the 'bad' news and finishing with the 'good' news, if you will. I don't know if any of you will be able to relate with my experiences this year, but hopefully I'm not alone with my frustrations as well as my hopes and optimism going into 2015. This post will cover WWE, British wrestling and 'other' shows that I have discovered along the way.


“Hate is a strong word
But I really, really, really don't like you
Now that it's over
I don't even know what I liked about you”
- Plain White Ts

Every so often, my wrestling fandom and viewing changes. I can't remember exactly when it changed, but earlier this year (?) I was watching Raw, Smackdown, Main Event and NXT. This was very time consuming and, after a while, exhausting. I felt that I wanted to do it and needed to do it as I'm a loyal WWE fan. Always have been, might not always be. As the year has gone on I have cut my viewing down to just Raw and NXT and then the actual problem became clearer. Raw was the cause of my reduction.

Don't get me wrong, Smackdown and Main Event have been reduced to throw-away shows in the recent past, but just watching Raw and NXT made it all clear; WWE don't know what they're doing. I know that sounds like a typical IWC/blogger complaint and it will be viewed with the relevant disdain and ignored accordingly, but there must be a reason why I find it easier and easier to NOT watch Raw every week. Admittedly, I watched a good chunk of this weeks show; there seemed to be passable parts of the show and I was intrigued as to why they made certain decisions (bringing back The Authority, for one), but after finishing the cherry picking that I do with Raw, I still felt that I had wasted my time on a show that doesn't seem to know what its doing from week to week.

My biggest issue is that, for the most part, Raw doesn't seem to make sense from week to week. They blow hot and cold on too many people, too often. The examples I'll give are internet darlings and everyone's favourites. I have no favourites or 'horses in the race'; this is probably due to being conditioned not to care about anyone I'm watching. I have come to this conclusion because anytime you put your faith in anyone, they are immediately jobbed out and made to look like a piece of shit. Take Cesaro; he had all the skills to be a top guy as soon as he debuted. He was the US Champion not too long after his debut in 2012. He was a strong, dominant-looking champion for a lot of that time. It seemed as though WWE's lack of main-event guys could be coming to an end. Then he went through a period of being Kofi Kingston (?!) and everyone else's bitch. I forget his 2013 because, as I said before, I'm conditioned to forget about these chumps as soon as I start to care about them. THEN, he went onto win the Andre the Giant Memorial trophy (which I laughed at to start with, but it was a genuine 'thing' that they (WWE) wanted to give to a guy that they seemingly had faith in), a kind-of 'brass ring' in a world where brass rings don't really exist. After this, he seemed to have a huge following and a face run was surely in his future. Nope. Instead he was paired with Paul Heyman in a weird 'anyone we put with Heyman will be the next big thing' situation (because that worked so well for Ryback and Curtis Axel...).

After blowing more hot and cold, Cesaro was then one of the subjects brought up by Steve Austin on his WWE Network podcast with Vince McMahon. Vince, showing wisdom and that he's NOT out of touch, came up with some crap about Cesaro almost being a top guy, but there's still a disconnect with the audience; there's still something that's missing from his game. I know there are those of you that will kiss Vince's ass and defend everything that comes out of his mouth because he owns WWE and has been successful since forever and are the only (big) show left in town, but COME ON, he proved with that segment of the interview that he has no clue how to elevate and find the next 'guy'.

Another guy that has been up and down (even more than Cesaro) is Dolph Ziggler. How many times has this guy got to 'steal the show' (I feel dirty using peoples catchphrases). It is crazy the amount of time this guy has been the best thing going, but he's still in exactly the same spot he was in, like, three years ago. If this was 1997, he would be in the main event picture no questions asked.

And I think that is my biggest hatred of WWE at the moment: Vince and Austin talked about brass rings and doing things that will get you noticed and pushed, but when it comes down to reality, there are NO brass rings and there is a very fine line between doing something that will get you noticed and something that will get you pushed deep down the card or worse, fired. Nobody is going to risk this, apparent, dream job; nobody IS ambitious enough, as Vince said. Everybody is comfortable in their spot, no matter how shit that spot is. I always thought that everyone's goal should be to be World Champion. Obviously, not everyone is going to be that, but everyone should be working as hard as they can so that they MIGHT get that opportunity. I just don't see that anymore. Being 'comfortable' is very apparent with the majority of these guys and the product is suffering EVERY week as a result.

Next on my hatred list is British wrestling. Not all British wrestling, but certain aspects.

Coupled with being disappointed and disillusioned with WWE, British wrestling really pisses me off at times. In 2014, I made it my aim to get around different companies and shows so that I could see what's what and who's good and who's shite. There are very few 'top' companies about. There are also a lot of triers out there and I applaud you. Then there are the absolute shits in 'wrestling' who can't see it or won't admit it. These groups are the absolute f*cking worst and are the reason I use the title of this post. They are the cancer of British wrestling.

Until this group of untrained, disrespectful wannabes goes away, British wrestling, and wrestling in general, will always be seen as a joke and the interest you have that will always attract ridicule and the 'you watch that fake shit?!' comments. I use the word 'disrespectful' because, by attempting to wrestle with little-to-no training and putting shows on - taking peoples hard-earned money – they show disrespect to them show-goers (who, most of the time, have no clue that they're watching the absolute worst in wrestling before it's too late) and it's completely disrespectful to actual wrestlers out there, past or present.

The funniest part of it to me is that the decent wrestlers in this country will still work for these dire 'promoters', giving them justification to run more shows and feel that they are a 'somebody' in British wrestling. Because of the selfishness and back-stabbing in wrestling, I don't see that ever changing. Instead of wiping these crappy, makes-wrestling-look-a-joke 'promotions' out, the complainers (wrestlers) add to the problem by taking, what they see as an easy payday. On one hand, fair play for taking their money, but on the other hand, f*ck you for adding to the problem.

There are other laughable problems in British wrestling, but I'll save them for a later date...


“I couldn't think of a love song that captured my love for wrestling in this part of the post...”
- Jimmo

As negative and angry as the 'hate' section of this post was to write, I do actually have a lot of good things to say about my wrestling viewing in 2014.

As much as I have and will continue to sh*t on WWE, they have one little gem that I hope and pray will remain under the radar; NXT. This show has gotten so good that it recently made WWE's TLC ppv seem like THAT was the developmental show, and a bad one at that! NXT is a simple, short show that is therefore easy on the eye AND the brain. Where they only have an hour to fill, they fill it with good-to-great wrestling, storylines that make sense, go somewhere, and have logical outcomes and consequences that lead onto the next thing for both guys. It has likeable good guys, and bad guys that you have genuine reasons to dislike. So simple.

They also have several additions that are probably BETTER than a lot of the main roster but have to go through developmental because YOU ARE NOTHING BEFORE WWE AND YOU DID NOTHING BEFORE YOU GOT TO FLORIDA!!

I'm really happy that Sami Zayn has remained in developmental for so long because he is being used in the right way and has just completed an epic stroyline that had the appropriate time to be told before being executed. PLEASING! It'll be a sad day when he gets promoted to the main roster to take part in a ginger faction with Sheamus, or some other pointless use.

The women of NXT are also something to behold and respect. That's a rare thing in wrestling as for as long as I've been watching, women have either been sex objects (the first few years of my WWE fandom) or bitchy girls that hate each other (EVERY diva in present day WWE). They are the WORST role models for girls and I'm shocked that any aspiring female wrestler's ambition would be to be a WWE diva. Apart from the fame that comes with it, if you really want to be a wrestler then there are much better places to ply your trade. But I suppose money will always talk louder...

Another place where women (and other groups) are shown in a bright light is Lucha Underground. This has become my newest favourite wrestling thing. It's a TV show that has wrestling as its main thing but has a very different feel to it due to its excellent production; something that WWE should be and wishes it was. It has the best luchadores competing and everyone looks strong even in defeat. Women, Minis and Exoticos join the 'typical' wrestlers in being equals and this is refreshing and great to see. More often than not, the men will win but each of the groups I mentioned have all been built up to make you doubt what you think you know; a little unpredictability is VERY welcome in my wrestling viewing!

My favourite character on the show is Sexy Star. Since her introduction, she has been presented as a strong, no-sh*t-taking fighting female. She mixes it up with the guys and gives as good as she gets. It's so pleasing to see a woman presented in this way; THIS is a role model for girls and women out there – a strong female who kicks ass and doesn't bitch and complain about her fellow women. After years of being conditioned to see women in wrestling as sexy objects, it's one of the best things ever to see them being treated with respect and the way that they should be. I get that WWE made $$ from T 'n' A, but they taught a generation (and some) that women and girls are bitchy and awful, awful people.

The two things that attract me to both NXT and Lucha Underground is the run-time. Take out adverts and each show is just 45 minutes. That is so digestible and easy to watch. I don't care how many extra dollars WWE are making; three hours will catch up with them one day with fewer and fewer people tuning in. 45 minutes is a great amount of time to get your point across and present a pleasing wrestling show. In that time, they make the viewer care about just as many performers as Raw does in three hours. How crazy is that?

I have also given NJPW a chance and have really enjoyed what I've seen so far. It was sold to me that, because the commentary is in Japanese (and I don't speak Japanese), you focus more on the in-ring action. This is very true and as a result, the New Japan action is probably my favourite. It's hard-hitting and 'real' looking. So far the finishes to the matches have ALL been exciting... it's almost like my stone cold heart is melting a little and beating a hell of a lot faster as a match comes to its conclusion! I'm looking forward to the January 4th NJPW show and a huge part of that is Jim Ross commentating on it. That's the thing that has sold that show to me and I can imagine it will do well in other English speaking countries in the same way.

Whilst listening to The Ross Report, I'm now also very interested in the future of Global Force Wrestling. When I first heard of them earlier this year, my first thought was that I would have nothing to do with them as I am a WWE guy through and through. I'm now in it for myself and if GFW produces a product that has good wrestling, logical storytelling and the best wrestlers doing both of these things, then I will definitely be giving it a chance.

With the improvements of NXT recently and the introduction of Lucha Underground and NJPW (to the American market), as well as GFW starting up, it might be the dawning of a better time with regards to International wrestling in 2015.

On the home front, British wrestling is doing well, too. As I stated in my 'hate' segment, we have a few promotions worth checking out and a few that are... not good. My favourite would have to be Progress wrestling (based in London). My close second would be Chaos wrestling (Bristol). Together, I have come to the decision that these are my 'must-sees' in 2015; that was the beauty of seeing so many different shows this year; I have now whittled it down to my absolute favourites. And now that I have stopped show reviews, I have found that I enjoy a live show a hell of a lot more; not writing down notes all the time has allowed me to just focus on what I'm seeing and I'm happier for it.

Hopefully More Love Than Hate...

Hopefully this has all resonated with you. If not, I still needed to get it off my chest! I will continue to go to wrestling shows (and enjoy them). I will continue to watch what I enjoy and hopefully add things here and there to ADD to my enjoyment rather than irritate me. I really hope that WWE realises its problems, because despite peoples delusions, there ARE problems; basic ones if it is to be the best wrestling show out there. At the moment it's the biggest, but I'm not so sure, with all the other offerings, that it's the best anymore...

Support Wrestling


Monday, 10 November 2014

Looking Forward To Wrestlemania 31

Last night, I could have gone to a local wrestling show. After a conversation with a good friend of mine earlier in the week, I convinced myself that my time (and money) would be better suited to doing something that I wouldn't be tearing my hair out over... as easy as it is to get material from the wrestling show in question, I felt that the time had come to move on to things more worthwhile. Instead I went to the gym - one of my new favourite things - as well as doing one of my other, fairly new favourite things: listening to podcasts.

Whilst in the gym, earphones in, I listen to the likes of Steve Austin, Chris Jericho and, my choice this time around, Jim Ross. On this particular episode, he would again refer to the potential Wrestlemania scenario of Brock Lesnar dropping the WWE title to Roman Reigns in a 'passing of the torch'. Although this seems to be the general consensus amongst those in and around wrestling, I can't help feeling that this can't be the only option. For one, I'm still not sold on Reigns being the 'chosen one' just because that's what they want us to believe. He's got a long, long way to go and we're four months away from the biggest show of the year.

JR would also say, as he has done for weeks, that Lesnar's contract might be up right after 'Mania which, inevitably, will do the rounds and become common knowledge, thus confirming the outcome of any such meeting with Reigns at that show not only to smart-ass fans, but everyone else, too. I got thinking about other possibilities and almost came up with half of the card that could be a better option in the long term. I haven't banged on about 'the future' for a while on my blog as WWE seemed to be heading in the right direction with regards to that; finally giving Daniel Bryan his big win, making Bray Wyatt a bigger player (despite the Cena feud), and having all three members of The Shield have relevance as individuals.

The matches below are just some of my ideas that will, hopefully, help following Wrestlemania:

Rusev vs. Randy Orton

This might be a weird match to see but the alternative that is being talked about for Rusev doesn't sound good in the slightest. Rumour has it (as it always does) that Rusev is on his undefeated streak that will lead to a program, and match, with the mighty John Cena at Wrestlemania. Admittedly, that sounds great; a top opportunity for Rusev to step up to the next level and all that. But I really worry for Rusev after this because, in my mind, he's definitely losing that one. It's the ultimate 'Russian guy has been tearing through the roster; who can possibly stop him?... if there's anyone that can, it's John Cena!'. I know that there are those that say that wins and losses don't matter, but in situations like this THEY DO. If Rusev beats Cena then that is a huge feather in his cap as nobody ever beats Cena. Ever. It elevates him. But if he loses then he potentially gets thrown on the scrap heap like everyone else that had an undefeated-something against Cena: please Google Muhammad Hassan and Chris Masters' Masterlock Challenge for examples.
I'm not saying that them two guys were ever going to be top guys, but they had undefeated streaks that came to a crushing end thanks to Cena (not his decision, but you get my point). Bray Wyatt is a strong enough character that he has come back from being obliterated, in feud terms, by Cena earlier this year, but for Rusev things are a little different. It's all about strong wins for him. If, on the lead up to 'Mania, Rusev gets the Accolade on Cena and looks to be a threat then great. But what happens to him once he's disposed of by Cena? I can't keep being convinced that having a feud with Cena, or having matches with Cena automatically 'makes you' or elevates you. If there was a chance of gaining a win from the situation that's brilliant, but if it's just Cena coming out on top EVERYTIME, then how is that productive or making things move forward. It wouldn't hurt for Cena to lose here and there. It literally NEVER happens so if it does, he won't be worse for it; he'll still be the top guy, miles above everyone else. There's literally no downside to him losing one every once in a while.

This is the point of a match with Randy Orton. At the present time, Orton is going to come back as a babyface after the beatdown that he received this week. He's the number two guy in the company after Cena and has been for ten years now. He's at the same level as Cena (just?) except that he's likeable, he hasn't just been a good guy his entire run and his worth as a top guy isn't damaged by losing. In fact it must be even greater as he's the biggest scalp on Roman Reigns' list so far. Therefore if you need a big name against Rusev, why not have him in that role? It showcases Rusev on the biggest stage against one of the biggest names out there with a chance of coming out with a win. Save Cena vs Rusev for a later time where it isn't as crucial. With Rusev vs Orton, you have people wondering who could win. You could have Orton break Rusev's streak and it wouldn't be as much of a roadblock as if Cena were the man for the job. You could also have Rusev win; at Wrestlemania; against one of the top-two guys in the company, and Orton wouldn't lose any value in doing so. Rusev would only gain. WWE would also gain in having an unstoppable heel to go after their newly made star (?), Roman Reigns.

We really need to get away from this pedestalled idea that simply breathing the same air as Cena makes you a star. Sometimes, just sometimes, let's accept that wins are needed to hammer the point home and have that person elevated.

Brock Lesnar vs Cesaro

Now, you're probably thinking 'well if Lesnar's in this spot and Cena's not against Rusev, I know where this is going...' and you'd be right.

IF Lesnar's contract is up right after Wrestlemania and there's no chance of renewal then surely something else needs doing with him. What better use of him than to elevate another guy that has needed such treatment since Wrestlemania this year (and before). There's a link in there with Heyman to make this thing come together, too.

WWE are in dire need of top babyfaces. They have this dream of having Roman Reigns be the next guy but that seems to be the only one that has a rocket strapped to him. Why can't several guys reach that level at the same time? Why can't Dean Ambrose get that sort of attention? What about the ascension of Bray Wyatt? Let's not forget about Daniel Bryan if and when he returns. There's so many guys that could be main event players if the right care and direction is given to them. It just looks like, after Wrestlemania, there will be Cena, Orton and Reigns. That's just one guy different from the year before, or even five years before.
This match, just like the Rusev versus Orton match, could go either way and STILL make Cesaro. Unlike a match versus Cena, it would all be in the performance and a loss wouldn't necessarily kill the person's momentum. If Cesaro is allowed to stand toe-to-toe with Lesnar, have a decent match with him (which he would), trouble Lesnar in places, then after Wrestlemania you'd have another babyface to join up with Reigns going forward. And I say 'babyface' and Cesaro because if he's not already one leading up to Wrestlemania, he definitely will be one after a program with Lesnar (and Heyman).

WWE title: John Cena (c) vs Roman Reigns

As much as people will hate John Cena reaching Ric Flair's milestone amount of World titles, I think it's needed in the ascension of Roman Reigns. If Lesnar is to leave straight after 'Mania then something else needs to happen to make it less predictable for a Reigns win. What better way than to have Reigns have to overcome the biggest test against the guy that “the future has to go through” and all that. Obviously it would be babyface versus babyface with, probably, a portion of the fans in attendance more in Reigns' corner (or maybe a little more than that?!), but it could have a positive outcome in two ways; first, you would give Reigns his big, defining moment against the biggest star in WWE. If he fails after that then he fails. Secondly, you might, and this is a very big might, generate some sympathy and respect for Cena. This is obviously a huge ask and there will be those that still boo the sh*t out of him, but if he were to 'do the honours' at Wrestlemania for the next big star, maybe people would warm to him a little.

OR maybe people won't buy Reigns as the next big thing by Wrestlemania and boo the hell out of both of them?!
A better option?


These are just some of my thoughts last evening and they can be added to all the other fantasy bookers out there. I know it's often said that it's not the result that is important but the journey to get there (Daniel Bryan is a fine example of this earlier this year), but if Reigns isn't ready and they're going to force it upon us (as seems to be the case) then they'll get the reaction that's coming to them.

With Lesnar potentially not re-signing, what better use for him than to elevate a guy, win or lose. It's the same situation with Orton; win or lose, he's not going to suffer from it or have a stigma attached of 'losing to Rusev'. He'll carry on in 2015 doing what he always does. Cena is a different story, though. I hope I haven't come across as a Cena-hater in this piece because I'm really not. I just feel the need to point out the potential damage that losing to Cena could do to up-and-comers.

There seems to be this idea that being in the ring with the guy instantly elevates you. I felt so bad for Bray Wyatt earlier this year because he has such a great character that they can have him around for years. I hate to liken it to being the 'new Undertaker' because I really hope that he'll be the 'first Bray Wyatt' or whatever way you would wish to say he's his own man with his own destiny. He gained nothing from the Cena feud apart from “I had a feud with John Cena”; he had one win over him – not even a pinfall win – due to a creepy, singing kid distracting Cena. I just don't think Rusev in the same position is beneficial to anyone.

If I'm being honest, I don't think that it's NOT going to be Lesnar vs Reigns or Cena vs Rusev, but we can all dream and fantasy book...

One last one: how about Rollins vs Ziggler for the Intercontinental title? It would be one of them classic IC title matches where both guys should be at that level on the stage of Wrestlemania. It would have all the potential to be a showstealer, too. You could even have Rollins attempting to cash-in at the end of the show regardless of the outcome to this match...

I'll shut up now!


Monday, 27 October 2014

The Positives and Negatives of My Weekend of (British) Wrestling at Pro EVW and Kamikaze Pro

Part Two - Sunday 26th October – Kamikaze Pro – Birmingham
My second show of the weekend was at Kamikaze Pro in Birmingham. The original plan was to go to this so that my girlfriend could see Tyler Bate – her favourite wrestler (more on this later). On closer inspection, I noticed that, in the main event, there would be a huge star of my childhood fandom – Bob 'Hardcore' Holly. Bonus. I'm not usually attracted to shows based on the import (as I've stated in a few articles in the past) but this was a nice addition to getting to a show for the missus' needs (I'm a good boyfriend, eh?).

On arrival, I was pleased that the blonde lady (anybody know her name?) on the door was aware of the blog. It's always nice to know that people know it, read it and enjoy it. Later in the interval, it was nice to know that Tyler Bate also enjoyed what I write here – pointing out the Mad Man Manson interview as a good one. It's nice when fans say that they enjoy the blog and it's probably even more pleasing when the guys on the show say that they do, too.

I haven't been up to a Kamikaze show for a while now and, as always with good shows, I regret this and need to do something about it! Clearly things have improved – as they should do with a growing promotion – with a good sized audience; maybe over 200? Not only was it a big crowd, but they were a loud and 'up for it' crowd; plenty of regulars it would seem.

Positive: An Audience With Eddie Dennis
I got to talk with Eddie not too long ago at a show and he was very pleased with the things that I write about him. This positive will be no different. Eddie came to the ring as a heel, as I expected him to (he had been at the last Kamikaze show that I attended). T-Bone then came out with a scowl on his face, this was typical of him but I assumed that he would be the babyface for this match. Then he started shouting at kids at ringside and emptying packets of crisps over others (tough guy).

I started to think that we were going to have a heel vs heel match, which would've been a strange start (or any part of a show). Within minutes things became clearer; Eddie became a favourite of the Birmingham locals due to his comedy ramblings towards T-Bone. This was also helped due to the audience being a somewhat 'smart' crowd. In wrestling, when a show gets to a certain level of popularity, there's going to be a large number of smart fans and in some ways that helps situations such as this match. Either that or Eddie is getting popular with the Kamikaze audiences and will soon be turning full babyface. EITHER THAT or Eddie can continue doing what he's doing and still be popular regardless?!
Eddie Dennis
Positive: The Match The Missus Had Been Waiting For...
The second match saw The Hunter Brothers taking on Tag Team Champions Dan Moloney and TYLER BATE. I type Tyler's name in capitals there because I'll probably be in trouble if I don't (she's quite defensive of Tyler... it's almost worrying). As I tried to enjoy this match, I had a camera phone resting on my shoulder, with several (hundred?) shots being taken whenever Tyler was in view. When I would attempt to clap something that The Hunters would do, I was immediately stopped and given 'the look'. In the House Of Tyler, clapping for others is extremely frowned upon!

It was quite pleasing that after only two matches, the missus was satisfied with the evening's wrestling and nothing was likely to top that for her... until the interval...

For me, I loved the story of this match. I've read a few things somewhere that there is tension amongst the team of Bate and Moloney. This showed and, along with a decent match, was really pleasing to see. I take it that Tyler wants to do things more 'by the book' whereas Moloney wants to get the job done whatever way he needs to. What's even more impressive is that when they eventually do split and feud, it will be a very looked forward to match – between a 17-year-old and an 18-year-old (please correct the ages if I'm wrong on that?!). How impressive is that that we have two guys that aren't even twenty in a believable, almost 'must see' match?

Negative (Positive really?!): Lee Hunter Thinks He's James Mason
I saw you, Lee. I heard you even clearer.

Lee summoned the power of James 'thirty year veteran' Mason in his “DO YOU WANT SOME MORE?” question to the audience. On receiving the answer he required, Lee then started up a 'WE WANT MORE!!” chant. Sickening!

In all seriousness, though, what a simple and massively effective way of getting the audience into it this is... fair play Lee Hunter, but I'll be watching you from now on to see if you steal any more family-friendly-show, pandering chants!

Positive/Negative: Fighting Females/Weird Match Placement
I'm not going to get into my views on ladies wrestling as I (kind of) addressed it in my post yesterday. The positive to this is the name of the division. There are probably a thousand names that a women's division can be given but I really like the name 'Fighting Females'. It's a really catchy name and if it actually has some scrappy, fighty girls in it then job done.

The negative for me was the match placement. Before the show I tried to figure out what match might go where and I was surprised to see the ladies match on as the first half main event. For me I'd have had the Money in the Bank Ladder match at that point. I think that the ladies match should probably be either second on the card or just before the main event. This is what I've seen in the past and as far as appeal, that's the position that would best suit it.

Positive: The Best Interval Ever?
Before going to the show, a good friend of mine said that I should take my Bob Holly book to the show to be signed. I hadn't even given it a thought as just meeting him would be pretty cool.

During said interval, we made our way over to the merchandise table as Bob was there signing items and taking photos. I waited my turn and then finally got to shake the man's hand that had been a big part of my childhood. Don't get me wrong, Bob wasn't the main star of the Attitude Era but he was a huge character in what that era was all about. Out of all the imports that come over to our shores, he's the biggest attraction that's been here in my eyes and my fandom. I was pleased to let Bob know that I really enjoyed his book; it was one of the most honest and real memoirs that I've had the pleasure to read. I was also pleased to get a photo with him. Not as pleased as he was to get one with my girlfriend though?! Fair play to him though; a very nice, humble guy who deserved all the applause that he received throughout the night.
Hey pal, hands off?!
Other than getting Bob Holly to sign my book, the main aim of this show (apart from enjoying the show itself) was to get my girlfriend a photo with Tyler Bate.

Let me elaborate. Ala – the missus – came with me to a Triple XXX show in January. She saw Tyler in the ring and fell in love instantly. Despite me pointing out that he was 17-years-old, this didn't deter her from stating that, from that day on, Tyler would be her favourite wrestler. This has sometimes been forgotten when she met Chris Andrews, then Justin Sysum, oh and that time she saw Chris Masters at a show (what's up with my abs, eh?). But whenever I would mention going to a show with Tyler on it, she would, again, realise where her loyalties lay (hint: they don't lie with me... #SadFace).

On our way back to our seats from meeting Bob, there HE was: Tyler. I introduced myself and briefly said that Ala was his biggest fan and could we get a photo. He gladly accepted (and was probably a little worried). Ala's dream had finally come true: to be within touching distance of her favourite.
A little excited to meet Tyler...
All jokes aside, I'd like to thank James and Kaminkaze Pro for getting Bob Holly over here so that I had the chance to thank one of my childhood favourites, as well as get my book signed – that book now becomes an even bigger keeper in my eyes. Also thanks to Tyler for the photos with Ala; it made her night (and life probably?!). It's moments like this that show that wrestling is great for everyone. We both got something out of this show that made our nights!

Right, where was I? Oh yeah, wrestling positives and negatives:

Positive (with a hint of Negative): The Craziness Of The Ladder Match
I'll get the negativity out of the way first. Well, not that negative but just my personal preference. I'm not a huge fan of flippy, jumpy, diving-over-the-top-rope here, there and everywhere matches. I'm sure I could have condensed that sentence down, but there you go. I'm more of a 'wrestling' kind of fan and the flippy stuff just doesn't mean anything to me. It's pretty, it gets a 'OOOOOoooooo' from the crowd everytime (and those gosh darn 'THIS IS AWESOME!' chants that are kind of warranted and kind of aren't), but it's just for show. At times it just feels like a way of getting everyone's 'sh*t' in.

Okay, now I'll get onto what I thought of this match: it was excellent! As much as I'm not a fan of this type of flippy, floppy(?) type of match, I thought this was great in that it flowed really well. There were spots galore and it never took a second to breath. It kept you engrossed from start to finish; two guys would be in the ring, flip, spot, spot, flip, CRASH! And then another two guys would come in and do something equally as flippy and spotty and CRASHY! There were combinations of guys all at once and some nice (and scary) ladder spots. The pick of the bunch was when Pete Dunne pushed Damian Dunne from the ladder onto the one rested in the corner. Crazy stuff.

And a match involving Pete Dunne and 'Flash' Morgan Webster wouldn't be complete with a Reverse Hurricanrana?! Such a brutal looking move.

Fair play to all the guys in this match, it was exciting, brutal at times and had an unpredictable ending.

Negative: That Doesn't Seem To Make Sense...
After the ladder match had ended, MC/Commentator/General Manager(?) Lawrie Neal decided that Pete Dunne had been screwed out of winning the MITB briefcase and would fight Robbie X for it at the next show. This is such a bullsh*t way of announcing this match. Robbie won the match fair and square; low blows and all are allowed etc so it makes no sense to announce this match as if Pete is hard done by. Pete Dunne versus Robbie X should be a good one, whatever the prize involved, but this reminds me of when Damian Sandow 'screwed' Cody Rhodes out of winning the MITB briefcase last year. It's every man for themselves and there's no disqualifications. Get to the match without excuses like this.

POSITIVE: I Heart Sebastian Radclaw
I've said it before and I'll say it again; I love the Sebastian Radclaw character. It took me ages to finally see him on a show (previously watching him on his Youtube offerings was funny enough at the time) and when I did I couldn't believe that I'd waited so long. The twitchy, crazy, dancy little guy is TOO funny. I was in absolute stitches throughout this match; from the silliness of it being a 'Skat Monkey on a Pole' match, to his translations of what Marshall X was saying. Seb is so funny and really talented wrestling-wise, too, which is always a tick in the box for me. Comedy-wise I can think of Grado, Mad Man Manson and Radclaw as being genuinely funny guys in British wrestling; and comedy is definitely needed on shows. It's always great when people give their character 100% and I feel that that's what Seb does everytime!
Sebastian Radclaw
I think that Seb versus Marshall was my favourite match of the night. As crazy as this sounds, I was emotionally invested in him getting Skat Monkey back?! I loved the comedy aspect of the match and, for the first time in my British wrestling fandom, was CHANTING along. I have never done that before so it must have gripped me that much?!

POSITIVE: Imports Doing The/Their Job
I posted a tweet on Saturday after seeing one particular show's results. All the imports on their show (well, four out of five) went over their opponents (won). I'm sure this show was fantastic and everything but I couldn't believe that that was the 'scoreline' or whatever you'd like to call it. After doing an interview with Mad Man Manson on imports and having strong views on them myself for as long as I can remember, it really bothers me when we – in this country – seem to pander and treat these guys as if they are something special. Maybe some of them were/are, but they're going to be here for one match. ONE MATCH. It should be their job to make OUR guys look the business and in most cases do 'the job'. That doesn't have to happen everytime, but it should happen a lot more often than not. Don't get me wrong, it's not all about the wins and losses but in the fan's eyes that's sometimes really important; more important than just getting to be in the ring with an import.

Thank you to Bob Holly for doing that on this show. Obviously you do as you're told by the promoter and I think what was asked of Bob Holly on this night made Ryan Smile and Robbie X look better for it. I was completely surprised that Ryan LOST the Kamikaze Pro Championship to Bob Holly and that's a good thing. I had no doubt in my mind that Ryan would sneak a win and continue on as champion with Bob's scalp part of that reign.

It was a nice, unexpected surprise. And so was the finish to the show.

Out popped Robbie X, briefcase in hands, to smash Bob over the head and become the even newer Kamikaze Pro Champion. Great stuff! Not only had there been a huge surprise with Bob winning the belt but he had then done what was right and given Robbie the heel tagline going forward of 'I beat Bob Holly'.

  • Eddie Dennis defeated T-Bone
  • Kamikaze Pro Tag Team Championship: The Miracle Violence Connection (Tyler Bate & Dan Moloney)(c) defeated The Hunter Brothers (Jim & Lee)
  • Fighting Females match: Leah Von Dutch defeated Nixon Newell
  • Money in the Bank ladder match: Robbie X defeated 'Dynamite' Pete Dunne, Damian Dunne, Chris Brookes, 'Flash' Morgan Webster and Ethan Silver to receive a future championship match
  • Skat Monkey on a Pole match: Sebastian Radclaw (w/ The Spirit of Uncle Eggbert) defeated Marshall X to regain Skat Monkey
  • Kamikaze Pro Championship: Bob 'Hardcore' Holly defeated Ryan Smile (c)
  • Money in the Bank cash-in: Kamikaze Pro Championship: Robbie X defeated Bob 'Hardcore' Holly (c)

An excellent, feel-good show that was a pleaser from start to finish. Kamikaze has become one of my favourites with a good mix of wrestling, flips and sh*t, characters and stories to sink your teeth into. Thank you again to James and all the crew at Kamikaze for putting on a top show. It looks as if things are on the up and are progressing. The audience seem like they're regulars and with shows like this that will only improve in the months ahead. Birmingham are lucky to have a promotion such as this that brings a great level of entertainment to their Sunday evenings.

Please visit Kamikaze Pro on Facebook and Twitter; follow them and look out for future events – you will not be disappointed!

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The Positives and Negatives of My Weekend of (British) Wrestling at Pro EVW and Kamikaze Pro

Part One – Saturday 25th October – Pro EVW – Bourton-On-The-Water

Pro EVW (mainly based in Gloucester) is one of my favourites. This might not be reflected with how many of their shows I've been to this year but that is due to my need and desire to get around more of the rest of the country's shows and get a better taste for wrestling in UK. Eventually, and not too far away, I'm going to have a good idea of which ones I like, which ones are a stretch to travel to, and which ones are the absolute sh*ts, and then I'll be a happy blogger who doesn't bitch and moan about every little thing. This will be a result of finding the promotions that make my whiny little brain happy and SUSPEND MY DISBELIEF from start to finish... that's not that hard to do, is it?
This weekend could have been perfect if I could have gone to one of my other favourites; Pro Wrestling Chaos (Bristol) on Friday night, but, unfortunately, my working hours would get in the way of that one... b*stards...

Positive: The Guys and Gals of Pro EVW
One of my favourite things about Pro EVW is that when I get there I'm really happy to see everyone. It's always nice to see everyone, from the wrestlers to the trainees to the organisers, and it's usually long overdue (as I noted earlier). All the wrestlers that appear on a Pro EVW show are friendly and there doesn't seem to be an ego about them, unlike some other shows that I go to. This is where I first got to see “behind the curtain” and I'll always be grateful for that.

Positive: Waking New Fans Up For The Night Ahead
I wasn't sure whether to make this a negative, but it stays a positive due to the effort made to get the audience 'into' this show and wake them up. MC Hank McCoy always does his best to get the audience ready for the matches, but it's always going to be difficult with a relatively new-to-wrestling crowd, especially when there aren't as many as you'd like in attendance. Hank did as best as he could before the opening match. This is when some work was needed to be done by the wrestlers in the opening match.

Luckily, this would be in the form of The Magnums (Walker and Riley) and Fame & Fortunate (Caine and Gordon). For the first five or so minutes, these four would have great comedy that would get the audience into the show and make them feel at ease. It was needed as small, inexperienced audiences need as much encouragement as they can get to realise that it's ok to make noise and it's ok to let yourself go at a wrestling show. I'm still not sure if this comedy segment, before the wrestling got going, was intentional but it worked better than if they would have just started wrestling straight away.
Positive/Negative: Girls Matches
I've only really seen one good ladies match in my wrestling fandom. I don't even count the abomination in the WWE at the moment in that. Generally, I really want to like the ladies matches on UK shows but it's really difficult to. That's not to say that they shouldn't try, but I think there's a reason that they only get one match (if that) on most shows. It's a harsh reality, but as one of the wrestlers said to me after the show, it's not that 'believable' when girls are in the ring. The positive to this match was that there were some decent wrestling sequences in there. Some of the best of the night, in fact.

Positve: Justin vs Lomaxx (And Justin's Sh*tty Springboard 450 Splash)
I really like matches when there are two big men and one has that slight size advantage – you know he's going to kick the sh*t out of the slightly smaller guy for ten minutes! It reminds me of Iestyn Rees matches against, say, Big Grizzly or Richtor. He's a big guy, but he's up against someone bigger (and stronger?) and it's going to be a mission to overcome the odds. Justin had the same situation. I particularly liked Lomaxx vocalising how easy it was to shove Justin away. I think it was needed to show how dominant he was, and was going to be for the remainder of the match. It also made the audience hate him and think he was a cocky, over-confident dick.

The match would come to a close with Justin finally slamming Lomaxx after several teases. This got quite a good pop, as was desired. The impressive looking visuals continued as Justin finished the match with a Springboard 450 Splash.

Yeah ok Justin, You did good. Show off!

Positive: The Teacher and The Student
The System's Dom versus Matt Ridler wasn't billed as such but this was that type of feel. You had twenty-year veteran Dom taking Ridler to school at times with some no nonsense moves along with some tasty chops that I could feel in the back row. I was really looking forward to this match in particular as I'd seen them putting it together before the show. I kind of knew what was coming and it made complete sense to me. Matt looked good throughout but got the sh*t kicked out of him by the more experienced guy, who would pick up the somewhat dominant win. It's how these matches should always pan out with experience coming out on top nine times out of ten. As long as the younger guy comes out looking better then it's job done.

Additional positve for Tom (Logan) for his presence at ringside. At times I thought he was a bit too much, but there was a lot of confidence in everything he was saying (shouting) when getting the audience to cheer or boo. He even cracked out an impressive, and unexpected, American accent to berate one person in the crowd. Unlike a lot of trainees I see, Tom is a bigger guy that, with the right training/guidance, can be a good addition to the show in future. All the hair and facial hair helps in my book, too. There's just not enough beards in wresting at the moment...
'Mr Wales' Iestyn Rees
Positive: Bad Guy Iestyn Rees
I did some pre-show notes on Friday and one of them was about Pro EVW having the same heels and babyfaces in all the time that I've seen them. This isn't necessarily a bad thing as people will get fairly familiar with these battle lines, especially when they want a little continuity from show to show. For as long as I can remember, Iestyn has been a face for Pro EVW mainly as part of The Alpha Males. On this night, Iestyn would become 'Mr Wales' and attack 'The Swiss Pornstar', 'Fat Les', 'The Shark' Chris Andrews (Mr England) to set up the main event of England versus Wales. It's a simple thing to do and a nice change to see someone cross from face to heel (for one night only?).

Negative: The Champ Isn't Here
Positive: Working Around Setbacks
I don't know the ins-and-outs of it and it's none of my business, but the new Pro EVW Champion Charlie Garrett wasn't at this show. This disappointed me as I was looking forward to seeing him before the show and also versus Chris Andrews in the advertised main event. Regardless of this, the show and set of matches that happened were more than good enough. There were six matches with something for everyone. There were such talents as Iestyn Rees, Chris Andrews, The Magnums and UK Dominator along with up-and-comers Matt Ridler and Logan; trainees used in the right way.

Again, in my pre-show notes, I had this big speech about how Charlie being champion sets up some nice possibilities. You could have him against former champion Justin Sysum. There's also a match that could take place against the guy that he beat for the title, Sam Bronson. The most intriguing is if Iestyn were to stay heel (or turn heel on Charlie) and there's a jealousy match between The Alpha Males. Some good possibilities for those that like a bit of continuity with their wrestling shows.

  • Pro EVW Tag Team Championship: Fame & Fortunate (Robbie Caine & 'Gentleman' Gilligan Gordon)(c) defeated The Magnums ('Filthy' Chris Walker & 'Dirty' Dick Riley)
  • Chardonnay defeated Nadia Sapphire
  • Justin 'The Hammer' Sysum defeated Lomaxx
  • JD Knight defeated Sam Bronson
  • Dom (w/ Logan) defeated Matt Ridler
  • Team England; Chris Andrews & The Magnums defeated Team Wales; Iestyn Ress & Fame & Fortunate

Another nice little show in a new venue. Not the biggest attendance; I'd have thought around 80 were there, but that's not a bad thing for a new venue, especially as they usually draw around 200 at their other, regular venues. This show reminded me of how good a Pro EVW show can be and that I need to get my ass down Gloucester way more often. As I said before, when I've gotten around the majority of the country's promotions I'll have a better idea of where is worth my time. I have no doubt that Pro EVW will always be on that list.
Please check out Pro EVW on Facebook and Twitter and look out for any future events. A very good family show that does the simple things well and sends everyone home happy, everytime.

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COMING SOON - Part Two - Sunday 26th October – Kamikaze Pro – Birmingham