The World’s End: My First Movie Review

worlds-end

All the boys having a drink – Source: http://www.collider.com

You’re about to read a little pinch of other. The wrestling coverage has to be briefed interrupted sometimes, so here is my attempt at a movie review. I hope you enjoy it.

If you follow my blog often, you will realise that film reviews aren’t really my thing, but I’m gonna give it a go. I’ll try and keep it short and snappy. So I saw The World’s End about a week ago and absolutely loved it. Having reflected on it for a while now, I’d like to give my fairly uninformed opinion.

A Great Story So as always, Simon Pegg and Edgar Wright treated us to another beast of a script. This story of friendship, failure and frenzy captivated me from start to finish. As they always do so well, they managed to intertwine a very ordinary, English tale with an unfathomable problem. A standard pub crawl for five middle aged former school friends turns sour when they encounter the presence of some kind of alien/robot/mutant threat upon returning to their former home, a small village with no real character. This causes untold problems for the group, tests the strength of their nostalgia, and made for endless laughs for me. The movie was at times moving, consistently entertaining and notably memorable.

Cast of Characters A great comedy is always identified by it’s key characters. Pegg and Wright always have been able to cast brilliantly and get the best out of their actors. The cast in this one was particularly impressive, which was expected with it being the third in the ‘Blood and Ice Cream Trilogy’ – regular contributors Martin Freeman, Paddy Considine and Eddie Marson joined Pegg and Frost to make up the five musketeers. Gary King (Pegg) was a teenage rebel trapped in an older, more abused body. His borderline alcohol issues prevent him from seeing the reality of his existence. This makes him a menace to his more mature, more successful, former friends. They all have their own characteristics and idiosyncrasies and they all play an equally vital part in the way the movie plays out.

Fighting and Action Another cool aspect of this movie was the amount of action and fighting scenes. Like with Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz, the team did a great job of creating a lot of exciting and intense action. I think even more so in this case. Some of the mass robot slaughters inside pubs were beyond awesome. It had it’s comedic impact, but it was also undeniably entertaining purely for it’s intensity. Edgar Wright showed yet again how his lifelong obsession with films and television have inspired him become one of the most inspired and identifiable directors of his generation.

Notes: I have to give this movie a high rating. It kept my eyes busy for two hours, made me laugh like hell, and even choked me up a little at some points (as these movies always do) – Great storytelling, a very new take on a classic idea. I would recommend this to anyone, especially if you liked Hot Fuzz and Shaun of the Dead. The perfect ending to the trilogy! I’m probably only saying this because I’ve rinsed those other two so much and this is brand new to me, but it’s probably my favourite of the three.

9/10

Thanks for reading. I hope you enjoyed my review. I don’t really know what to do with this kind of thing, so please feel free to leave some feedback or tips or anything. I may do another one of these if I see another movie that gets me going enough to want to do it. For now, I’m out. Check back for plenty more pro wrestling coverage, and the occasional pinch of other.

Craig

UW:EP05

Thanks for checking out Episode Five of Unsanctioned Wrestling. Hit play on the video below. Subscribe, like and spread the word. Follow this site for daily wrestling related posts. Leave a comment here or on the YouTube video with any questions you would like to ask. I am dying to answer them! I hope you enjoy the episode. Thanks for all of your support and interest in The Real Mid Card and UW!

Monday Night Raw: The Verdict

Thanks for taking a look at this week’s review of Monday Night Raw, here on The Real Mid Card. I made seven pages of notes last night while watching a very well produced episode until past four. I was up early this morning, and I’m groggy so let’s get down to looking at these notes. I hope you enjoy the article.

bryanvinceBryan clashes with Mr. McMahon – Source: World Wrestling Entertainment

The show opened with Vinnie Mac and Brad Maddox heading out to the ring. Brad gave a very forced apology for his decision to allow Cena’s choice. Vince then brought up all of the criticisms that Brad had made about Daniel Bryan, who then made his way to the ring, to a deafening pop. As he grabbed a mic, the “Daniel Bryan” chants were going like crazy. Vince made some hilarious attempts to silence the crowd and call for some decorum, like the incredible heel that he is. He then hated on both Bryan and Cena for lacking ruthless aggression. He is really going in hard on this pursuit to rediscover the spirit of the ol’ Mr. McMahon. This was an excellent, near flawless promo from both of these guys, which ended with Bryan posing the question to the crowd “Do you want a new WWE champion?” which was greeted by huge “Yes!” chants. A top quality start to the show.

The Usos & Mark Henry v The Shield Six man tag action is always the best way to enjoy the jackals. This was set for an excellent opening match from the start. The early going was dominated by textbook tag-team psychology. The “Uhhh-Sohhh” chants were real loud with the crowd, which is a good sign. Mid way through the bout, Henry cleared the ring and the Usos hit a dual suicide dive to take all three Shield members out. Then I noticed blue shirt/red hat guy – AGAIN. The crowd were crazily into this whole match. It sounded almost like a very exciting pantomime. Cole fascinatingly pointed out the way to spot the difference between the Usos – Jey has a tattoo on his chest! During the last five minutes, the match broke down into mayhem as expected. This period was too frantic and amazing to give a play-by-play (I would recommend you watch this match, good stuff!) The match ended with Ambrose getting the win with his weird cool DDT finish thing. I still didn’t catch which Uso he pinned.

Then we saw some awesome Ryback bully video from the dining room earlier in the day. He intimidated what appeared to be an innocent office worker, slapped him around some and put him through a buffet table. Funny stuff!

Then Kane stormed into Maddox asking where the Wyatt’s were. Maddox used his aggression to get him all hyped for his match with Daniel Bryan later in the show.

Rob Van Dam v Fandango It’s good to see them giving RVD plenty of different opponents, they are getting really good use out of him. I was hoping for a pretty good match here. The crowd popped for Rob like crazy as always and all the usual chants dominated the match. He was typically exciting in the early going, until Fandango slowed the pace with the sleeper hold. Rob got back on top with another trademark flurry, was all set for the Five Star but Fandango ducked out of the ring and made his way to the back. Count out victory.

rvdfandangoTrademark spin kick from RVD – Source: World Wrestling Entertainment

AJ patronised and criticized Langston backstage. That bitch will be fully alone soon if she continues the way she is going. I can’t wait to see it.

Kaitlyn v AJ Lee They must have started piping in sound for live shows (if that’s possible) because this crowd were beyond loud for everything on this show, and it was weird! There was a very decent back and forth from these two, and some good submission work once again. Kaitlyn eventually won this non title match, sparking another in-ring temper tantrum from AJ. Her ex Dolph came out to gloat and demand an impromptu match with Langston. He accepted.

Dolph Ziggler v Big E. Langston Big E dominated in the early going and kept shouting at Ziggler “Your time is up! It’s my time!” throughout the match – Awesome! A textbook belly to belly suplex and bearhug from Langston slowed the pace to a halt. He continued to keep it slow for quite a while. Dolph managed to whip him to the outside in desperation, and AJ flew into the ring, dived on his back and started gouging at his face and hair. Ziggler picked up the DQ win, much to Langston’s fury as he was clearly in control. He shouted at AJ for costing him the match after a great performance, before taking a surprise Zigzag from Dolph.

Bryan then confronted Cena in the locker room and quizzed him on whether or not Vince was telling the truth at the start of the show when he said that he was only picked because Cena knows Bryan can’t beat him. Cena said “Are you calling me a liar?” and left.

Christian v Alberto Del Rio Alberto’s choice will be revealed on Smackdown. I like this whole idea for the Champion’s to choose, it leaves the door open for something unexpected (well, here’s to hoping at least) Christian was looking to earn that place. The crowd continued to be into everything, as they let out resounding boos and cheers all the time. I found it hard to believe I wasn’t dreaming. This was a good solid contest, just like all the matches up to this point. The cocky Del Rio dominated before a spirited Christian fightback. He went for the spear but didn’t connect. Has he ever actually hit that move on someone? Del Rio evaded it by ducking out of the ring, and coming back around. Then he got a long two from a very stiff kick. There were huge “Ci” chants coming from the crowd at this point. I don’t know if this crowd was real, but it was certainly awesome nonetheless. Hispanic fans or smart marks, I commend you either way! Great crowd. Christian then reversed Alberto’s attempt at the cross arm breaker into a roll up for a big win.

Cody Rhodes v Wade Barrett They showed a recap of the whole funny river incident again before the match. I was waiting for Sandow to inevitably get involved. Wade controlled the bout until Cody turned things around with a beautiful moonsault. He then nailed the crossroads and got the win. Sandow came to the stage to mock Cody and the whole Rhodes family for being circus folk and “carnies”

Daniel Bryan v Kane Insane pop for Bryan. Shocker, I know. It was good to see Kane back for the first of two main events (which ended up being split up by two more matches) This was a really good competitive match from these two, which ended with Bryan getting the small package win, but subsequently suffering a chokeslam. This was the perfect way to protect both guys. Then the Wyatt’s made their now infamous entrance which in my opinion is the best in the company right now, in terms of atmosphere and anticipation. Kane managed to bypass the brothers to slip under the bottom rope and get Bray Wyatt by the throat. After a valiant attempt to fight, Kane was overpowered by the three on one assault, and eventually suffered at the hands of Bray’s finisher again.

bryankaneFormer tag champions face off – Source: World Wrestling Entertainment

Brie Bella v Natalya There were no nip slips tonight. Brie did get a cheap win though, after Nicki’s distraction from the stage. This was an okay match. More crucially, it was the second of two Divas matches on one show. I can’t remember the last time that happened. What a difference Stephanie is making to the credibility of that division.

Curtis Axel v R-Truth Heyman got on the mic during the entrance and took whatever small chance he got to drop another Lesnar threat on Punk. This was a decent, short match. Huge CM Punk chants kicked off midway through, which was very coincidental indeed. The man himself sprinted into the ring seconds later and took out Axel. He tried to get to Heyman but he escaped through the crowd to the backstage area. The Punk chants were deafening at this point.

The McMahon family were finally involved in the show as the three of them bickered backstage about Daniel Bryan. Steph suggested they give him a “corporate makeover” which was pretty funny. I’d like to see that!

John Cena v Ryback (Tables Match) Now for the main event. Cena got his usual encouragingly loud mixed reaction. Ryback on the other hand came out to a chorus of silence. They were dead silent. This made me believe they were real. This was a pretty even blow for blow affair. One humorous highlight saw Ryback mocking the childish “Cena!” chants, before driving him into the ring post. I for one think he is a great in-match heel (hilarious faces, laughing, taunting) but you can’t please everyone. The two of them started to introduce steel steps and barricades into an already physical encounter.

Ryback blocked Cena’s attempt to suplex him through a table, and nailed a vertical suplex of his own onto the outside mats. Back in the ring, Cena fought back and locked on the STF. The big man escaped under the bottom rope. Cena threw a table (narrow edge downwards) straight at Ryback, who just about got under the ring in time. Risky move! He crawled out on the other side, crept around and hit the spear on him, before using the steps as a weapon. He then attempted to military press him through the table, but Cena landed on the other side of it on his feet. Ryback then broke the table with the steps in his hand, so it couldn’t be used against him. Cena picked up the other set of steps. What a showdown. The two of them threw the steps at each other simultaneously and they collided in mid air, creating a huge crash. Unique and entertaining spot! Cena then won this surprisingly good match with an AA through a table propped up in the corner of the ring.

rybackcenaThe power of The Ryback – Source: World Wrestling Entertainment

Notes: Firstly, amazing crowd! Really amazing! Ten matches. Every single angle and feud was covered (to my knowledge) and almost all superstars were accounted for. This was almost flawless, for a middle show. The lack of Brock Lesnar was really my only complaint, but that can’t be helped with his schedule. I have to say, overall this was an excellent show from top to bottom. I was entertained throughout, wasn’t feeling groggy half way through. It kept my attention until the end, and ticked almost every box in what you would expect from your standard weekly wrestling show.

9/10

Craig

So those are my thoughts. You may agree, you will probably disagree. Leave a comment and let me know what you think. If you liked what you read, give us a Like. If you want to read more wrestling articles (we upload at least one post every single day), hit Follow. Thanks for your interest, and for all of your support. Peace!

TNA: The Weekly Impact Review

stingSting – Impact Wrestling on Facebook

Thanks for your interest in The Real Mid Card and enjoy this great post on TNA Impact from Joseph Holberry. Get more of his work here.

TNA IMPACT REVIEW 25/7/13

Recap from last week, Chris Sabin winning the World Heavyweight Title from Bully Ray, 3 contenders securing their place in the vacated X Division Title match, and Mickie James and Gail Kim brawling prior to their match.

Impact starts with the Main Event Mafia making their way to the ring. Sting puts over how glad they are that Sabin won last week, and Kurt Angle says they are going to celebrate, as their target has been achieved. That in mind he asks Sabin to join them in the ring, which he does to a good reaction from the crowd. Sabin gets on the mic, and says that he wants to fight the winner of the X Division title tonight, in a Champ vs Champ match.

Bully Ray interrupts, followed by a bloke he reveals to be his attorney. The chap has a super deep voice, almost sounds like its been slowed down. He says ‘his client, Mr. Ray’ is suing Impact Wrestling for not acting on Sabin using a weapon last week. This guy is actually a pretty good actor, reacting to the boos and getting gradually cockier.

Promo Video – Greg Marasciulo basically says he is here to take his place in TNA.

Promo Video – Manik is backstage unmasked, talking about how he was homeless from chasing this dream, which gives away he’s going to win his match.

ULTIMATE X MATCH FOR X DIVISION TITLE –  GREG MARASCIULO VS SONJAY DUTT VS MANIK

First off, I would love for Sonjay to win this match, he has been around forever and never won it, he’s definitely due a reign. There is no way I could keep up with the action in this match, super high paced. I think they intend to make Greg a heel, but he doesn’t really go all the way with it. Really nice spot with Manik hitting an arm drag and a head scissors on both men, all 3 have great timing. Greg hit his finisher on Manik on the ramp, which according to Wikipedia is a: ‘Cradle back-to-belly piledriver’ but that doesn’t sound right to me at all, you’ll have to go to my last review and see the picture! Manik stayed down, leaving the other men to fight. Sonjay nailed a superkick so convincing you could see Christy Hemme turn to Socal Val in disgust, amazing. The two of them then climbed onto the top of the structure, which I’d say was about the height of the Hell in a Cell, but with no netting, just girders! Manik appeared out of nowhere and leapt onto the ropes, knocked Greg to the mat and pulled the belt down for the win.

As the result was being announced, Earl Hebner was holding up Manik’s arm, as he knelt in the ring, obviously fatigued. It came across really weird to me, as you couldn’t see any emotion in his face! Should have lost the mask for a second.

Backstage Segment – Bully hypes up Mr. Anderson for his match.

BFG SERIES MATCH – MR. ANDERSON VS HERNANDEZ

I’ve never really been a fan of Anderson, I liked his mic work in WWE, but that’s about it. I don’t think he has anything particularly special about him. This was a pretty average match, with Anderson surprisingly dominating until Hernandez fired back with his chain of power moves and a near fall. After missing his running shoulder block, Hernandez gets caught with a Mic Check and loses.

andersonhernandezBig suplex from Hernandez – Impact Wrestling on Facebook

Quick thought, is Hernandez TNA’s version of Sheamus? Rough style, Power moves, nationality gimmick but no real personality?

Backstage Segment – The Cameraman tries to talk to Dixie, but she’s too busy.

Backstage Segment – Eric Young is showing Joseph Park what happened in Parks match with Jeff Hardy (seeing blood, going crazy), has no one thought to show him before? Eric says he’s ‘pretty much a scientist now’ and swears to investigate it further.

Velvet Sky comes to the ring, and cuts a boring promo about not showing weakness anymore, and then takes a seat at ringside.

KNOCKOUTS TITLE MATCH – MICKIE JAMES VS GAIL KIM

Both women come out to cheers, I could’ve sworn they were heels. Evenly paced offence between both women, both getting warned by referee ODB. ODB has gotten chants for the last few weeks, TNA should just let her wrestle. I think with the matches Gail and Taryn Terrell have had in the past month, it makes normal one-on-one matches seem a bit tame. After being caught cheating by ODB, Gail gets in her face and slaps her, which distracts her long enough to get rolled up by Mickie.

Brooke Hogan comes on stage and asks why Gail is starting trouble with referees again, but reminds her ODB is on the active roster, teasing a match between the two at a later date.

Backstage Segment – Hulk and Dixie are discussing the legal problem, and wondering whether they should remove Sabin’s world title.

BFG SERIES MATCH – CHRISTOPHER DANIELS VS SAMOA JOE

I think I’ve seen these two fight about 50 times, should still be good though. Mike Tenay tells us that Daniels has never beaten Joe, which I found pretty shocking. Joe hit his turning enziguri which definitely connected to the side of Daniels head, but didn’t stay off him, pretty harsh. Joe was dominating this match, which annoyed me being such a fan of Daniels, he’s massively overlooked. As Joe was looking to the crowd, Anderson ran out and distracted him, letting Daniels drop him and hit the BME for the 3 count and 7 points.

BFS MATCH – AJ STYLES VS JEFF HARDY

Pretty cool difference between the two men and their attitudes to the crowd,AJ being completely apathetic, and Jeff lapping up the applause. As his gimmick/look has changed, AJ has altered his move set, making it more technical and high flying. Theme of the match was Jeff trying to fight back, onto for AJ to viciously take him back down. Jeff finally made a comeback with an ALLEY-OOP (remember when Big Show used to do that?) which the crowd go mad for. After Jeff missed a second rope splash, AJ Snap suplexed Jeff into the corner itself , and both men stayed down. Jeff attempted a twist of fate, which AJ span out of and hit a Pele kick, which he hasn’t done since his return. He followed that with the rolling Calf Killer and Jeff tapped.

styleshardyAJ Styles and Jeff Hardy – Source: Impact Wrestling on Facebook

Afterwards Jeff went for a handshake, which AJ ignored and left. They’re really trying to make him unlikeable.

Bully Ray comes to the ring and tells the crowd how he has been a victim of injustice. I genuinely think Bully is the best Promo man in TNA, he constantly says hypocritical things to get the crowd even more riled up. Sabin walks to the ring and tells Bully to stop crying, he lost the belt in the same way he retained it more than enough times.

Hulk interrupts both men, and before speaking poses for the crowd like the egomaniac he is. He says he’s not going to strip Sabin of the belt, but he’s got to admit that Bully has a rematch in his contract, and that he’s going to use that at the next Impact TV PPV ‘Hardcore Justice’ (IT WAS HARDCORE JUSTICE 2 LIKE A MONTH AGO!?) and it’s going to be in a steel cage match. Sabin looks a little bit scared as Bully shouts how much he hates Hogan and the show goes off air.

Notes: Interesting show, solid matches but nothing special. I would’ve liked to have seen Sabin looking stronger as the new champ, he didn’t really do much. Even when involved in Promos he was getting overshadowed. The X Division match stands out a lot, as it does every week, but I’m not sure about Manik being champion. How can you have meaningful rivalries when you don’t speak or even show any expression? (see: Sin Cara)

As always you can contact me with any thoughts, or even if you just want to chat about wrestling at @jrholberry on twitter.

Thanks!

Joseph

We hope you enjoyed the post. Thanks for all of your support. Give us a ‘Follow’ and stay tuned for daily posts about pro wrestling. Peeeeaaaace!

Ring (Women) of Honor

ROH Blog - Sara Del ReySara Del Rey – Source: http://www.shimmerwomenathletes.tumblr.com

Thanks for having a peep at another great Ring of Honor based article here on The Real Mid Card. Steven will be back with the weekly reviews soon, but in the meantime, these topical features should hopefully do the trick. Enjoy reading.

Women of Honor

In this piece I will be looking at the role of women in Ring of Honor. Since it’s inception ROH has maintained strong links with the all women promotion SHIMMER, often ‘borrowing’ the top stars for use in angles as well as showcasing their skills in the ring. Over the years, such greats as Amazing Kong, Lacey and Sara Del Rey have been heavily involved in the company, in both the traditional wrestling role of valets as well as fan service.

ROH Blog - SHIMMER

SHIMMER crew shot – Source: http://www.wrestlegasm.com

Lacey is forever associated with Jimmy Jacobs, as well as the Age of the Fall. For years she was his manager and Jimmy loved her. However she didn’t love him back and used his affections to her advantage. More than anyone else, Lacey is responsible for the psychotic tendencies Jimmy has shown throughout his career.

Sara Del Rey is a true legend of wrestling. Throughout her career she has never fell into the stereotype laid out by bigger promotions. That stereotype being that women should look and wrestle a certain way (in other words, not like male wrestlers), or else they don’t belong in the ring. The simplest (and crassest) way to describe Sara in the ring is this: if Bryan Danielson had a vagina, he’d be Sara Del Rey. Kicks, suplexes and submission holds; she has it all.

Sara has also served in the more traditional role as the “Queen of Wrestling” to Chris Hero and Claudio Castagnoli’s King’s. During the lengthy and bloody feud with the Briscoe Brothers, Sara was right in the thick of it. Most memorably by kicking Mark Briscoe square in the nads and incurring the wrath of Papa Briscoe. In 2012 Sara left her ring career behind her to take up a job with WWE, working as the head trainer of female wrestlers at WWE’s developmental territory NXT. Under her watchful eye the next generation of “Divas” will learn the skills of the trade and I for one can’t wait until a few years pass and we can see the fruits of her labour.

ROH Blog - Queen of Wrestling

Queen of Wrestling – Source: wwe-nxt-roster.wikia.com

Currently the most prominent woman in Ring of Honor is Maria Kanellis. The former WWE Diva is the valet/manager of Mike Bennett, as well as his real life girlfriend. In this role, the “First Lady of ROH” truly excels and pushes the limits of the valet role.

ROH Blog - Maria

Maria – Source: http://www.womenofwrestling.org

While in most promotions, even in the heyday of the Attitude Era, you’d maybe see a peck on the cheek, Maria and Mike full on make out in the ring before (and even during) matches. The role is brilliant in this case as she’s an absolute heat magnet and she is very easy on the eye too.

maria-kanellis-mike-bennett

Maria and Mike – Source: http://www.g9zwwe.blogspot.com

While Ring of Honor isn’t afraid or ashamed to use women purely as eye candy (the Hoopla Hotties can attest to that) they’re also not ashamed to showcase ‘proper’ wrestling. After all, it’s the ethos that the company was built on. There’s none of the hair pulling and weak “throws” that you’d typically see on WWE television. Women in ROH wrestle however they like and it’s led to some intense matches over the years.

Steven

Thanks for checking out some more great Ring of Honor coverage. Hit ‘Follow’ to get daily articles about pro wrestling, and some other. Spread the word!

Damien Sandow goes for a swim and impresses me on Smackdown

sandowSandow in a fury – Source: World Wrestling Entertainment

Thanks for taking a look at my Smackdown review here on The Real Mid Card. I hope you enjoy it. If you do, give us a like or a comment. We appreciate all the support from you wrestling fans.

So, I wasn’t expecting too much from this week’s Smackdown. It was what I call a middle show, so I didn’t think there would be too much development. It was a decent enough episode nonetheless, but nothing to write home about. Anyway, here were my five favourites:

Damien Sandow The intellectual saviour had a very positive show. They used a simple age old idea to make for great entertainment. I’m not the biggest fan of Sandow having the briefcase instead of Cody, but this show definitely got him more over with me. He was very funny on the mic making his way to the ring as always, for a match against the other Mr. Money in the Bank Randy Orton. It was a very solid opener which he lost after being distracted by Cody and taking the RKO. To quote Sandow, Cody “absconded” with his briefcase, and forced him to spend the whole evening trying to find him backstage.

This whole search angle was hilariously well done. Eventually he came to the ring in a fury and demanded that Rhodes show himself. Cody appeared on the screen and told him to come get the briefcase. He was standing next to the Gulf of Mexico, just outside the arena. This is a classic idea. We’ve seen the likes of Kane, The Rock and Stone Cold cut promos next to a large amount of water. Sandow ran out there to him and begged him not to throw the briefcase in. He grovelled like a true heel, saying Cody was his intellectual superior, more handsome than him, had better facial hair and that he carried him when they were a tag team. None of this worked and the briefcase went for a swim. Sandow did the same, crying frantically “I can’t swim” as he almost drown trying to fish it out. This was the perfect way for the show to go off the air, and this feud dominated the episode. A big improvement for Sandow!

sandow2Sandow without a paddle – Source: World Wrestling Entertainment

CM Punk He delivered another top quality promo in the ring – no surprise there! The Best versus The Beast is hotting up nicely. This was another epic impassioned speech delivered at Heyman and Lesnar from an angry Punk. He was strangely interrupted by Fandango. Punk didn’t waste any time giving him the GTS. He was NOT in the mood.

The Usos I am so glad to see these lads on television every week. It’s about bloody time too! I especially love the epic Samoan warrior entrance. They were involved in a pretty good six man tag with their new best friend Mark Henry and the Prime Time Players. I think they have the whole package to be a great tag team. Great look, family heritage in the business, great athletes, unique style, brothers (a real tag team, not a mashup) – Put the belts on these dudes!

Dolph Ziggler Mr. Ziggles makes the list for the amazing promo he cut with AJ Lee. He totally ripped her to the point that she threw a temper tantrum and cried in the ring. He shouted “That’s not PG” after making references to his sex life post AJ. Some other incredible lines: “I have cash in my pockets right now, and I don’t even have pockets”, “Losing my license is a picnic compared to doing anything with you, including an actual picnic” – Hilarious stuff. AJ tried to ‘show him’ by bringing out his suitcase to the ring and cutting up his cards and throwing his clothes around. All she did was help Dolph get even more over and show how entertaining he can be.

AJ did a great job playing her role as the crazy chick. Langston looked uncomfortable in the ring. Kaitlyn came down and gave her a spear out of nowhere, just to add insult to injury. The camera work for this was excellent. She literally appeared out of thin air onto my screen. Langston tried to get involved but took a Fame Asser from Ziggler on the mats outside the ring. Really good promo for everyone, especially Dolph.

zigglerPossible future couple – Source: World Wrestling Entertainment

The Wyatt Family The two “brothers” made quick work of demolishing Tensai, after neutralizing Clay to the outside in this tag match, while Bray watched from his rocking chair. Bray then came in after the pinfall victory, and delivered his emphatic finisher on Sweet T. They are doing a brilliant job pushing these guys to the top. Bray Wyatt got on the mic and called out Kane, telling him to “Follow the buzzards” That should be a decent match, and I’m enjoying the way things are going for the Eater of Worlds. I just hope it continues and gets bigger and better. Things with The Shield seemed to peak and now they are going stagnant.

So, there you have it. Not the greatest show, but there were some valuable and stand out performances. I hope you enjoyed reading. For more daily wrestling coverage, hit ‘Follow’ and come back to The Real Mid Card. Peace.

Craig

Warrior Poetry: Stone Cold

Thanks for your interest in another edition of Warrior Poetry, here on The Real Mid Card. If you haven’t seen the others, I’m a big wrestling fan with no real poetic ability or experience trying to mould wrestling and poetry together. Sound good? Hit Follow. Some people call him Steve Austin, I prefer Stone Cold. This is a summary of one of the greatest careers in the history of wrestling. I hope you enjoy it.

stonecoldStone Cold Steve Austin – Source: Deviant Art

Stone Cold

This warriors path really sped up in the south
But before long he was betrayed and abandoned
They weren’t smart enough to use his mouth
He didn’t have what it took to make it in the big house

In the land of extreme, he really stood out
He took on new challenges, having great bouts
Gathered many scars, took on many louts
Before you knew it, he was once again out

When he got to the real big leagues
He did begin to fulfil his dreams
The crowds came aplenty, filled stands to the seams
All to see this rattlesnake, make cowards scream

He carried a target and gained many an enemy
Degenerates, boxers and even a great one
He had his share of blood and frenzy
The once young warrior, a man he had become

The people’s hero turned to the dark side
Rejoined old faces, gave new friends the heel
But soon he was back to fighting for pride
An honourable ending, for the biggest of deals

What must a retired warrior indeed become?
Entertainer to millions, fading legend to some
Never forgotten, they long for his return
A young Punk’s growing dream, perhaps to burn

Craig

I hope you enjoyed the poem. There will be plenty more to come. Give a comment to let me know what you think and make any suggestions for superstars to write about! That would be really cool. If you want to read more, and get daily wrestling updates, hit ‘Follow’ – Thanks for all of your support :)

Grey

keep-calm-and-watch-a-serbian-filmGood motto – Source: Keepcalm-o-matic

So, another slightly off topic/non wrestling related post is a-coming. What seems like quite a long time ago, me and three pals worked on a musical project together called Grey. It was loads of fun to do, but sadly nothing came of it, like all of those things. Anyway, my mate uploaded a couple of the tracks to Soundcloud the other day. See what you think, but I warn you, unless you like a bizarre eclectic mix of power violence, grindcore and tribal jams, it may not be your cuppa tea. Hit play below and have a listen. If you hate it, don’t let it put you off my wrestling coverage!

Craig

The Top 5 Most Defining Moments in Ring of Honor History

Thanks for checking out another great article from our Ring of Honor writer Steven Forrester. Take a look at his other work here. Thank you to all of our loyal followers for your continued support.

ROH Blog 3 - Morishima vs DragonMorishima and Dragon – Source: Google Images

Ring of Honor:
Top 5 Defining Moments

In this post I will be looking at what I consider the Top 5 defining moments of Ring of Honor. These are moments that truly speak out and say “This is what ROH is all about”

Put yourself in the average ROH fans shoes in 2005. The news has spread like wild fire through the dirtsheets and across the Internet: CM Punk has accepted a WWE developmental contract. With [arguably] the biggest star in the company on the way out, the future may look a little dim; but at least you get to say goodbye to Punk in the best way. In his final match in the company, CM Punk will wrestle Austin Aries for the ROH World Championship at Death Before Dishonor III. And it truly is a special night and an incredible match, full of all the things you expect from ROH.

But then the unthinkable happens. CM Punk wins. He wins the match and the championship. He looks as shocked as anyone and the roof is about to be blown off by the crowd reaction. Punk takes a microphone, and a legend is born:

Right now, in my hands, as of this day 6/18/05, THIS becomes the most important belt in the world! This belt in the hands of any other man is just a belt, but in my hands it becomes power. Just like this microphone in the hands of any of the boys in the back is just a microphone, but in the hands of a dangerous man like myself it becomes a pipe-bomb. These words that I speak spoken but anybody else are just words strung loosely together to form sentences. What I say I mean, and what I mean I say, and they become anthems! You see, if I could be afforded the time here a little bit of a story. There was once an old man, walking home from work. He was walking in the snow, and he stumbled upon a snake frozen in the ice. He took that snake, and he brought it home, and he took care of it, and he thawed it out, and he nursed it back to health. And as soon as that snake was well enough, it bit the old man. And as the old man lay there dying he asked the snake, ‘Why? I took care of you. I loved you. I saved your life.’ And that snake looked that man right in the eye and said, ‘You stupid old man. I’m a snake.’ The greatest thing the devil ever did was make you people believe he didn’t exist…and you’re looking at him right now! I AM THE DEVIL HIMSELF! And all of you stupid, mindless people fell for it!

… This is my stage, this is my theatre, you are my puppets! When I pulled those marionette strings, and I moved your emotions, and I played with them, and honestly it’s ’cause I get off on it. I hate each and every single one of you with a thousand burns and I will not stop…I will not stop until I prove that I am better than you, that I am better than Low Ki, that I am better than AJ Styles! I’m better than Samoa Joe. Ladies and gentlemen, the champ is here! You don’t have to love it, but you better learn to accept it. ‘Cause I’m taking this with me, and there’s not a single person in that locker room that can stop me!”
It’s a moment that will live forever in infamy. ROH, the most smark friendly company seen since ECW just managed to completely swerve their hardcore fanbase. What followed that promo was three months of some of the best and most highly charged promo’s and matches in professional wrestling history as the fiendish CM Punk constantly teased the fanbase and fellow wrestlers that he would take the title with him to WWE. Pipebomb!

ROH Blog - Corporate ChampCorporate Punk – Source: Ring of Honor Wrestling

For a long time before this match, Bryan Danielson was seen as a hero to many in ROH. Here was this guy who is so clearly passionate about his job and is so ridiculously talented at doing it. But after this match, Bryan Danielson became more than just a man. He became myth. Barely five minutes into his match with the monstrous Takeshi Morishima, Danielson is caught with an elbow that completely dislocates his eye socket. This is five minutes in. Did Danielson lay down and get taken to hospital? No he didn’t, and twenty odd minutes later the match ended and the American Dragon’s legend continues to grow to this day. For any WWE fans reading, this match right here is why Bryan was legitimately angry his match with Randy Orton on Monday Night Raw was stopped due to injury.

It’s 2007. It’s a ladder match. El Generico and Kevin Steen v The Briscoe Brothers. Insane match. But that was only the beginning of the chaos of this night. A soon as the bell rings the Briscoe Brothers are assaulted in the ring by three guys-Jimmy Jacobs, Tyler Black and the Necro Butcher- who jumped the barricade. As a wrestling fan this is the kind of thing you see all the time. But this was something else and before anyone knew what was happening one of the most iconic and visceral scenes in wrestling history would unfold: Jay Briscoe was hung from the rafters with his blood literally raining down on Jimmy Jacobs. This was the debut of the Age of the Fall.

ROH Blog 2 - AOTFAOTF Debut – Source: TNA Wrestling

For months leading up to the event (ROH: Man Up!) there had been teases and little hints dropped throughout the Internet. They all led to one thing: Project 161. This style of long term and incredibly complex booking, that requires the watcher to be an active participant in the behind the scenes of the company is the best reason that the Age of the Fall typifies the mid to late 2000’s era of Ring of Honor.

Samoa Joe and CM Punk had a series of the most legendary matches in wrestling history. The second of these matches achieved a seemingly unthinkable task: Dave Meltzer gave it 5 stars. It was the first North American match to receive this honor in over five years and to date only one other match has received it: CM Punk vs. John Cena at Money In The Bank 2011. It wasn’t WWE who received this honor, it wasn’t TNA. It was the scrappy little Philadelphia company.

What is it that’s so good about the match? Honestly, everything. I know it’s a bit of a cop out to say it but it’s one of those that you really have to see for yourself to fully appreciate it. It really does have everything: two extremely popular wrestlers, a scorching hot crowd, unbelievable athleticism, pitch perfect timing and the weight of history behind it. It has to be seen to be believed.

ROH Blog 1 - Punk vs JoePunk and Joe – Source: Tumblr

The Briscoe Brothers are perhaps the most beloved tag team in ROH history. Charlie Haas and Shelton Benjamin have the honor of belonging to a select group of wrestlers (along with Rey Mysterio, Edge, Chris Benoit, Kurt Angle, Eddie Guerrero and Rey Mysterio- all known as the “Smackdown Six”) who managed to make wrestling fans change their mind about Smackdown and made it into the flagship television show in the Ruthless Aggression era.

So when the self styled “World’s Greatest Tag-Team” showed up in Ring of Honor, it was a reflection of changing times in the North American wrestling industry. Five years previously ROH had lost it’s biggest star to WWE. More recently WWE had taken the legendary Bryan Danielson, with others supposedly on the way out. But the WGTT chose to come to ROH. No longer was WWE sticking with it’s tried and tested developmental process. While in the past it had produced such stars as John Cena, Dave Batista and Randy Orton, since 2006 or so the most exciting talent in wrestling was to be found outside WWE’s walls. With the talent raids WWE was acknowledging that wrestling did exist outside the “WWE Universe” and it wasn’t AJ Styles, Bobby Roode, Chris Sabin or Samoa Joe that they went after, it was Bryan Danielson, Claudio Castagnoli, El Generico, Chris Hero and Tyler Black. For all these reasons and more it is my opinion that the Briscoe and WGTT feud represents the point that Ring of Honor became the second most important wrestling company in the United States of America.

From the technical perfection of Joe/Punk II, the unbelievable resiliency and passion shown by Bryan Danielson or the brutality of the Age of the Fall. I believe that if you took all these moments and watched them back to back, a new comer would have a pretty good idea of what Ring of Honor Wrestling is all about.

Steven

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Daniel Bryan conquers the gauntlet on Monday Night Raw

Thanks for taking a look at the weekly review of Monday Night Raw here on The Real Mid Card. I took notes for the hour of Raw that I managed last night. I continued this morning over breakfast. I fell asleep after a long day of film editing and just couldn’t stay awake. Anyway, let’s have a look through these notes now.

bryancesaro2Daniel, the suplex Dragon – Source: World Wrestling Entertainment

So the show kicked off with Brad Maddox in the ring joined by John Cena, ready for the contract signing for the Summerslam title match. Daniel Bryan joined them shortly after. Maddox questioned Cena’s choice. Cena proceeded to relentlessly put over Bryan, and give love to all the small legends of the past, especially Birthday Boy Shawn Michaels. They both signed the contract. Maddox hated on Bryan for his size and strength (ironic) and booked him in a Gauntlet Match for the main event. Not very nice.

Alberto Del Rio v Sheamus This was an okay opening match, but I was very sleepy. All I recall from the match or thought was noteworthy was Sheamus’ leg giving way while going for White Noise, and the fact that Del Rio picked up the win.

Christian v Titus O’Neill Lawler mentioned the “Royal baby” which made me want to vomit. I noted Titus lifting Christian up from the outside, carrying him on his shoulders up the steps and onto the apron, and tossing him with one arm back into the ring. I thought that was cool, sue me. Christian got the win.

There were some kind of boring segments involving all of the General Managers and/or their predecessors. I didn’t pay any attention to this. It was bedtime.

I woke up this morning and and picked up where I left of. Ryback cut a backstage interview, in which he intimidated Josh Matthews. Funny. I’m liking this bully angle for him.

Mark Henry came to the ring and cut a promo that assured his descent into the world of the face. He called out The Shield. As long as he doesn’t bring back the red outfit, I’m okay with it I guess. The Shield began the beatdown, before The Usos came to make the save. This worked as decent build for this angle. The Shield escaped up through the crowd past the blue shirt/red hat guy, who was making another regular appearance [PS: If you’re that guy, please leave a comment. I want to meet you!]

Then we were treated to a fourth segment in a row – I’m not complaining. Daniel Bryan met with Cena in the back and urged him not to get involved in his Gauntlet Match, as he needed to prove himself on his own.

Darren Young v Dolph Ziggler Decent short match. Ziggler got the win, but Langston immediately came down to beat on him. He managed to escape, much to Big E’s fury. Legend.

Miz TV with Total Divas. I had to skipped this. I don’t think I could have handled a second of it without killing myself. His career has become such a joke now. From a Wrestlemania main event to this segment.

Maddox was backstage being grilled firstly by Triple H about his small comments towards Daniel Bryan and the whole Gauntlet Match situation. Man he loves putting over the small guy these days! Then Steph came in and said her piece. Slight advance on the McMahon angle. Slow burner – I like it.

codykickCody takes out everyone – Source: World Wrestling Entertainment

Fandango v Cody Rhodes Damien Sandow joined the commentary desk and proclaimed that he taught Cody every move he used in the match. Him and Cole had a hilariously biased back and forth throughout the match. This was entertaining. Inside the ring itself, Cody was as always one of the most reliable workers in the business. He hit a terrific moonsault, and hit both Fandango and Sandow (who had climbed on the apron) with the disaster kick simultaneously. He then polished off a great match with the Crossroads and got the win. That’s my boy!

CM Punk cut a terrific all round promo in the ring. Despite all of his injuries, he is “still standing” He put over Lesnar as an NCAA, WWE and UFC champion, but assured him that unlike all of his other opponents, he won’t fall victim to fear. This had everything and ticked all boxes. Paul Heyman offered a response via satellite, an amazing response. I can’t believe how much he has switched on Our Punk. What a big meanie! He accepted the challenge. In the words of Punk, it’s The Best versus The Beast at Summerslam!

Rob Van Dam v Wade Barrett Barrett got a bloody mouth early on but was in major control. He then got a bloody nose too. He used this to his advantage, working classic heel psychology. Before too long though, RVD’s amazing offence reared it’s head, and he got the win with the Five Star Frog Splash. They are booking him very generously.

Then Daniel Bryan had to run the Gauntlet!

v Jack Swagger This was a pretty decent match, albeit short. A good starter. Swagger controlled most of it before tapping to the Lobell Lock. The crowd popped BIG time.

v Antonio Cesaro Now for the main course. Antonio Cesaro jumped in from outside the ring and had a simply incredible match – By far the match of the night. Cesaro took control early on (there is a babyface comeback theme here) with his insane strength and European Uppercuts. Daniel Bryan fought back with a wicked surfboard. This was a really nice Ring of Honor throwback, and a much lengthier match between two great athletes. Cesaro showed his exemplary technique with a textbook vertical suplex.

bryancesaroBryan goes surfing – Source: World Wrestling Entertainment

The big Swiss thought he had him when Swagger pushed Bryan off the top rope straight into an extreme uppercut, but it wasn’t to be. They then had a great back and forth, but every time Bryan picked up some speed, Cesaro would end it with a big power move. Bryan then made a silly risk when he attempted a back drop off the top rope, only for Cesaro to counter it and land on top of him. Luckily he kicked out. Then we were treated to a genuine battle of the uppercuts. The big man started to get the best of him and hit Bryan with what seemed like thirty consecutive uppercuts and a huge clothesline, but it still didn’t get the job done.

This match did so much for both of these guys. It’s made Bryan look even more invincible, and Cesaro looked really strong, and really entertaining. A career revitalisation, perhaps. Bryan then reversed the Neutralizer into a back drop, and hit both of the Real Americans with a (I hate to say it) vintage suicide dive. Not long after, he countered another one of those huge uppercuts into a small package and got his second win of the night – a gruelling, gruelling win. This was a really, really great contest. Evil Maddox and Alex Riley (What?!) didn’t seem too impressed backstage. An exhausted Bryan looked up the ramp to see his third opponent of the show, and our desert: Ryback the bully.

v Ryback The tempo from the last great encounter completely died for this one. I know, how shocking! The crowd were dead. I liked the idea behind the two of their ideologies clashing, with Ryback being on this ‘hate the small man’ thing, and Daniel Bryan standing up for the smaller and more talented. Nevertheless, the match was an anti-climax. It was never gonna follow the last match well, but it was worse than expected.

Bryan got him in the half crab with some serious torque but Ryback made the bottom rope, to a chorus of “Goldberg” chants – At least they were making noise! Bryan was clearly tiring, and Ryback can’t carry anyone to a good match yet. The big beast set up a table outside, but Bryan cleared it and struck him with the suicide dive. Back in the ring, Ryback just about got to the rope when locked in the Lobell Lock. He didn’t need to worry about that a minute or so later, when he gave him the powerbomb through the aforementioned table.

bryanthroughtableBryan through a table – Source: World Wrestling Entertainment

Daniel Bryan subsequently picked up the DQ win, and John Cena ran down to his aid to attack Ryback. He ran away to the stage, and Cena got on the mic to challenge him to a table match for next week (snore) – He accepted. Vince then caught up with Brad backstage and suggested that he book Daniel Bryan v Kane for next week too, and so it was done. Bryan got a standing ovation for all of his hard work and the show went off the air.

8/10

This would have got a seven if it weren’t for Daniel Bryan’s gauntlet performance, and particularly the match with Cesaro. Being a Raw in the middle (not a pre-PPV or post-PPV show), I knew it would be lacking a few of the big stars – in this case Lesnar, Kane, Big Show, Wyatts) but overall I think it did a decent job. It could have been better, but it could have been a lot worse. You don’t want to blow your load weeks before the biggest show of the year. Fair play. Major props to Bryan, Cesaro and Rob Van Dam. Thumbs up! Maybe I’m easily pleased. What do you think?

Craig

I hope you enjoyed reading this article. If you have any questions or musings, post a comment! Thanks for staying locked to the site for daily wrestling posts. Hit ‘Follow’ if you would like to read more.