WWE: Bryan and Punk team again to top off a fairly weak UK Smackdown

bryanpunkTeam Best-Beard in action again – Source: World Wrestling Entertainment

Hi, and thanks for checking out The Real Mid Card. I’m going to take a look at this week’s episode of Smackdown as always. It was once again emanating from the great city of Manchester, England. I made my way home on Tuesday after seeing Raw in the same arena the previous night, and I was kind of glad that I didn’t stick around for this taping. Let’s see what was noteworthy here.

Well the commentary was top notch, that’s something! JBL was in great form as usual. I actually got a quick glimpse of the two of them legit laughing in the background shot during a match. They had great chemistry, some great banter and that really helped me to retain interest. One thing that came out of their mouths did make me sour a little, the news that Daniel Bryan and CM Punk will be teaming against Bray Wyatt’s two disciples at Survivor Series. They thought that was “best for business” apparently. It’s already making me consider not ordering, but I guess you can’t please everyone. I’m not sure who this will please though. They couldn’t even make it a traditional multi-man match. Not a lot to anticipate so far, as the second longest running pay-per-view in the company’s history continues to decline.

The Wyatts were involved in a terrific opening match with The Usos. I have no problem with the two big guys. I even get why they are keeping Bray out of the ring whenever possible, but to not even have him wrestle on a major pay-per-view is a step too far. One of the supposed main event matches will be a standard tag-team affair that wouldn’t look out of place on this very episode of Smackdown, and that’s difficult to swallow. The Union Jacks made another appearance to job to R-Truth and the Prime Time Players, and The Funkadactyls took on The Bella Twins in a match which must surely have set a new record for the least crowd reaction ever.

cenasignsUs Brits are known for innovative signs – Source: World Wrestling Entertainment

Alberto Del Rio and John Cena appeared in the ring with Michael Cole, in an arm-wrestling contest of sorts. This was marginally entertaining, and I credit them for trying to do a different kind of segment to move this one along. There isn’t much they can do with these two that won’t be boring. I’ve seen their feud before, and I really don’t want to see it again. I suppose doing this was better than just doing a random tag team match. Hunico and Camacho returned, and were subsequently squashed by The Great Khali. That almost made me shut off the TV.

Our new super-group aptly named “The Beard with The Best” concluded the show against former Paul Heyman guys, Curtis Axel and Ryback. They were involved in a backstage conversation earlier in the show, in which they made it clear that they are going it alone, or together, or something without Paul, from now on. This match was very solid. That’s something you would expect from the former. The show ended with another Wyatt Family run-in brawl mayhem moment. Too predictable.

[6/10]: You know me by now, I will explain my rating. Some would call me a WWE fanboy. I’m easily pleased by their product, and rarely have a bad thing to say about them. That’s why this show shocked me so much. I’m glad I didn’t attend. It was predictable and average. Survivor Series does not look too great at this point. The announcement of the Bryan/Punk tag match at the start of the show, did not make the abundance of filler and rebounds any more bearable for me. Hopefully things will improve, but it looks like the second oldest show is going to fall stagnant before it even starts.

Thanks for reading, and leave a comment letting me know what you think.

Craig[Editor]

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WWE: My view of Monday Night Raw from the cheap seats

ortonukRandy Orton opened the show on the mic – Source: World Wrestling Entertainment

Hello and thanks for checking out The Real Mid Card. So I was at the TV taping for Monday Night Raw last night and had an absolute blast, but this isn’t just about me, it’s also a bit about the wrestlers themselves. Let’s take a look at what caught the eye of a paying customer in the seats way up back there.

The recorded matches for Superstars beforehand were definitely worthy of note. They brought out William Regal for his customary ovation, as he took up the role of Ring Announcer, for Wade Barrett’s match. I haven’t seen our Wade for a while. I thought he might be injured, so his inclusion on the show was an early pleasant surprise. There was also a five star divas match (I’m not joking) between The Funkadactyls, Alicia Fox and Aksana. Why they would keep this off the main card is beyond me.

As it always is in the WWE starved United Kingdom, the crowd was both very hot and very bizarre. There really is nothing like it. There were Mexican waves, “We are awesome” chants, and all the usual commentator homages. Whenever the show bored them for more than a minute, they made the night all the more fun for themselves, for ourselves. Fandango brought the dance to Manchester. 3MB got their first chant of the year. Two particular members of the crowd deserve major credit. A guy dressed as Kane (circa 2012) and another dressed as Goldust (with wig) had a street fight in the arena aisle, which provided great entertainment during a dull moment. The crowd chanted for them through the night, even when they took to their seats. It was all “Vintage England”

Randy Orton took on the Rhodes brothers in a 2-on-1 handicap opener. When he tried to escape the match up the ramp, he was met by Big Show, who chokeslammed him through the announce table. That was an unbelievable start to the show. I thought they were just going to tease it, but when he put him straight through it, the entire place popped huge. The buzz remained high for Los Matadores v “The Union Jacks” – I was expecting some local enhancement to put in job duty, when 3MB showed up in flag tights and got one of the biggest reactions of the night.

unionjacks3MB morphed into “The Union Jacks” – Source: World Wrestling Entertainment

Curtis Axel retained the Intercontinental Championship against Dolph Ziggler, much to the chagrin of everyone in the arena. The Shield distanced themselves from Randy Orton in a backstage segment. Fandango took on Tyson Kidd. A really amazing handicap match followed between The Real Americans and John Cena. Zeb Colter cut one of his trademark hilarious promos, throwing in a few stereotypical burns at the English crowd (the decline of the British Empire, the flaws of our dentistry, that kinda thing) Big E Langston made an appearance at the end of the match, and was very over!

Before the final match, Paul Heyman was snook into the ring in the dark and appeared as if out of nowhere. He cut a promo which suggested that his feud with CM Punk was continuing. That made me sad. He was flawless and brilliant as always. That made me happy – a great surprise! The main event was absolutely great. The Shield have been having these every week for a long time. When you put them against CM Punk and Daniel Bryan in yet another handicap match, you know it’s going to be great, and I’m not even being sarcastic.

Their opponents were both so over, and the five of them are incredibly talented. It was disappointing to see The Wyatt Family just appear in the ring at the end though, and not do their awesome entrance, but you can’t have everything in life. They showed up to continue their campaign of terror, but ended up in a confrontation with The Shield instead. I was hoping they would make that a dark six man tag after the show, but no such luck. When Bryan and Punk got back involved, it was pure chaos. The 6-on-2 beating looked imminent, when The Usos and the Rhodes’ hit the ring to even the odds.

teamfaceEveryone loves a bit of babyface unity – Source: World Wrestling Entertainment

The mini royal rumble which ensued was a great visual to end a great show. After the cameras stopped rolling, the six faces gave one and other the old “I’ll hold your hand up, and they will cheer you” thing. This went from moving to comically, in a good way. I went home with a smile on my face.

8/10

I will explain my rating. What you just read were the scribbles I made in my tiny black notepad at the arena. I just watched the show back, having recorded it on my trusty Sky box. It was cool to hear what the commentators made of all the crowd antics. Everything looked just as good on TV as it did in person. I loved the show, on the whole. I don’t know what you guys made of it, but leave me a comment and let me know. The episode didn’t quite get a nine, but it’s definitely the best live show I’ve been to. Triple H and Stephanie would have made it better, but I guess we can let that one go.

Thanks for reading,

Craig [Editor]

UFC: A strange night of action from Fight Night 30

machidaLyoto Machida ahead of his main event fight – Source: Bleacher Report

I watched the fights the other night, and here are my thoughts on what went down. Thanks for checking out The Real Mid Card, and hit ‘Follow’ for UFC posts every Sunday.

Tonight is UFC Fight Night 30 live from Manchester. It’s a six fight card. Here are my predictions: First up, we have Harris v Lineker: Lineker didn’t make weight so he is likely to weigh around 140lbs. Harris made weight but looks like a small fly weight. Harris is a Brit but I really can’t see him winning this. Lineker by whatever. Sakara v Mousoke: Sakara by decision. Parke v Tuck: Both would have have been TUF vets but Tuck suffered a nasty toe injury on his fight to get in the house. Tuck is undefeated. Parke is a slow burning grinder. I see Tuck trying to starch him early. Tuck by TKO in round one.

Manuwa v Jimmo: Manuwa is a tough as shit striker from the UK. Jimmo could well be his kryptonite. The x-factor here is the wrestling of Manuwa. I hope Manuwa wins by a a way of a beautifully violent knockout,  but I fear he will get laid on. If Manuwa wins, he needs to call out the top ten now. This has the potential to be fight or KO of the night, or both. Please MMA Gods, make it Manuwa by KO.

Pearson v Guillard. This has the potential to be a barnburner. Pearson is a Brit who likes a good brawl, and Guillard is a man with an inane ability to turn peoples lights out. Unfortunately for Guillard, he has an allergy to submissions. Pearson trains at Alliance. You can bet your arse he has trained submissions like he eats pies between fights. The question with Pearson is how will he react to the crowd. Will he stick to the game plan or will he give the crowd a blood bath? Guillard also, when threatened by a wrestler, has a tendency to freeze and not let his hands go, and will always put himself in a position to get taken down. This fight is definitely a toss em fight. I’m going with Pearson. I think his head is in a better place, and wow have you seen what he goes home to?

Finally the main event of the evening. Machida v Munoz. I’m not even going to mess about here. Machida all the way. However if it goes past the second round, the fight may begin to fall in favour of Munoz. But I’m going for Machida with a second round knockout.

What a strange card. A far cry from last week’s balls to the wall explosion of excitement. Let’s take a look at the actual results: My predictions were pretty naff if I’m honest, but hey ho, Lineker won with brutal body shots. Tuck went for a semi rally in round one but then fell victim to his own lack of conditioning and lost in what was a pretty dire decision win for Parke. Sakara has to get cut now, after he lost his fourth fight in a row to a welterweight. He rocked Musuka early but ended up getting finished with a sweet armbar.

Manuwa won but not by violence. He won by Jimmo’s own body breaking down. The co-main was building up to a nice slug fest but ended prematurely by an illegal knee and was therefore deemed a no contest. Now for the main event of the evening. Machida and Munoz played Patticake and danced for about three minutes, then Machida blasted Munoz with a head kick and it was all over. It was a very strange night. I read that the pre-lims were great but sadly I could not watch them. The main event was short and sweet. Maybe its the blues from the aftermath of the amazing 166 card. Its going to be a long time until we get another like that. Next week TUF has two fights. Look out for my write up of that. Chow for now.

Thanks for reading.

Arun Paul Smith

Work. Rest. Play (Pt. 1)

Video

Thanks for checking out the first part of the tour film, Work. Rest. Play – there will be three other parts uploaded in the coming weeks. I made this with my two buddies (Brains for Breakfast and MoJoe) to chronicle our experiences for fun. On this episode, we start with the launch show at our then home, before moving on to dates in Manchester, Bolton, Derby and Stoke. If you like any of the artists, and want any info to check them out, give me a shout. Share this video with your friends, and be sure to check back for more real soon. Thanks for reading!

Craig [Editor]

TOUR BLOG #2: Bolton – Music Videos

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So first thing. I’m having wifi problems. This is pretty common being on the road and not knowing where you’re going to be next. So this has been written on my iPhone entirely. I can’t describe how much harder I find it to blog like this, but I didn’t want to just not have an update at all. After all, I have a lot to report!

Firstly, the show last night at Bay Horse in Manchester was pretty cool. Good, well organising promoter. A solid crowd and some amazing artists. We would have preferred it if Andy got a slightly longer set, but that’s the way the cookie crumbles. The headline band ‘The Beautiful Word’ were also on tour. They reminded me a lot of The Weepies – good, wholesome folksie fun! We saw some other great acts and met a lot of cool people. Professionally it may not have gone entirely to plan, but it was a great time!

We then rushed the car back to the place we were staying. The two lads who put us up were absolute legends. They took us to a hip hop night called Juicy at a place called Joshua Brooks. The music was incredible, the drinks were reasonably priced, the place was absolutely teaming! Top night. We went back to chill out until we finally got to sleep around 6am. A total success of an evening.

This afternoon (when we finally got up the courage to move) we decided to go and be creative. We’ve been filming a whole load of stuff since we left and thought we should continue this trend. I noticed a great park nearby earlier that day and suggested we go and shoot there. We filmed a few separate angles for a little music video for Brains’ title track ‘Work. Rest. Play’ along with a lot of other cool material. While we were there, we decided we may as well record a three way cover of No Cocaine by Alborosie with a guitar and two ukeleles. All of this will be seen for free before this summer as part of the tour film thing, so keen an eye out for that!

Once we were too cold to film any more fun in the park, we headed for Bolton. Upon arrival, I can honestly say this place seems a lot like Wolverhampton. It’s not particularly distinctive, but it does have a few really cool looking music venues, as well as an abundance of strip and lap dance joints.

I’m now sitting at the Merch stand in the Blind Tiger. It’s a pretty awesome venue but it’s only just starting to draw a few people in at eleven o clock! Things must start late around here. I can’t tell how long this is because there is no word count on this stupid app, or I’m too stupid to see it. I also can’t tell how long the paragraphs are on this either, so this post is probably all out of whack.

Oh well, better than nothing. I’ll be through with another update tomorrow in Derby! Hopefully this time it will be written on my laptop. Check out Brains for Breakfast on Facebook and Twitter for updates and go to the Chameleon page on this site.

Thanks for reading. Go Tour!

TOUR BLOG #1: Manchester – On The Road

Unfortunately I’ve been so busy that I’ve neglected my blogging duties a fair bit over the last week. I’m currently in the car squinting to see my laptop over a huge amount of glare from the sunlight. It’s giving my screen a bit of a 3D glasses tint kind of thing. I have to say it’s pretty trippy. The car radio is out so I’m banging some Gnarls Barkley on here. I’m embedded in a sleeping bag, a multi-coloured woollen throw my Mum knitted for me a few years back, and a couple of awesome pillows. There are plenty of snacks and multimedia in the bags next to me. We are all set to hit the road!

We are gonna be shooting as much stuff as we possibly can each day on three different video cameras (sounds more impressive than it is, bearing in mind that I bought one of them from an online Japanese knock off company about eight years ago) – We are hoping to edit this into some kind of tour video thing. We aren’t entirely sure on the format, but it seems cool to document as much stuff as we can. The places we go, the people we meet, the things we see and do. Obviously I’ll upload anything that comes of that onto here. Joe’s camera is currently blu-tacked to the dashboard recording our drive.

I’m going to try and blog as much as I can and keep to the things I would normally do wherever possible. This obviously goes for wrestling. I saw Raw on Monday, which I absolutely loved. I almost feel guilty that I haven’t uploaded a real attempt at critiquing that. Maybe I will get a chance at some point soon, but for now let’s just say that I’m dying from anticipation for this Sunday. I’m still not entirely sure how I’m going to watch it but I have a few ideas and I’m hopeful I will at least see the event live as it happens. It may end up being a stream, but that’s better than nothing.

But that isn’t the only thing I’m excited about obviously. I’ve dreamed of touring since I was like fourteen. The three of us are gonna be exploring the nation, partying a lot and meeting loads of new people. That’s pretty amazing. There are definitely gonna be the lows (not too much access to showers, a lot of driving and probably a bit of stress) Nonetheless, the pros completely outweigh the cons. I am fully in excitement mode. April is going to be a pretty amazing month. We will be riding this tour thing until April 18th and then three days later it’s time for my favourite annual ritual: The Leeds Annual Zombie Film Festival. I’m going to blog more on this closer to the time.

Obviously I don’t have access to Wi-Fi in this moving vehicle, and I can’t write anything lengthy on the iPhone app. This will have to be uploaded later on tonight when I get to somewhere. I drew up a whole tour schedule which we have printed out. One of the details on it is the places we are staying (addresses, post codes, contact name and numbers) Except for the show in Stoke on the 6th, we have a place to stay every night. I hope the guy we are with tonight has good Wi-Fi. I want to download Season One of Prison Break. That’s unrelated, although this post doesn’t have much that is related to anything.

Expect more ramblings and needless info from my next post. We are almost in Manchester. I can’t wait for tonight’s show. I can’t wait for every show, for Wrestlemania, for Zombie Fest. April is going to be a great month!

This was uploaded at 04.13 or a couple of minutes later than that by a guy who was fucking wasted in a house with absolutely sick Wi-Fi.