WWE: Was this year’s show the most memorable Wrestlemania! of all time?

austinhulkSource: World Wrestling Entertainment

http://www.geek-pride.co.uk/wwe-was-this-years-show-the-most-memorable-wrestlemania-of-all-time/

This is my fifth article for Geek Pride, taking a look at the success, failure and controversy of this year’s Showcase of the Immortals. Take a look and leave a comment!

Craig

WWE: An Early Bird Preview of Wrestlemania!

maniaxxxSource: World Wrestling Entertainment

http://www.geek-pride.co.uk/wwe-an-early-bird-preview-of-wrestlemania/

This is my fourth article for Geek Pride, taking a look at the potential of this year’s Wrestlemania card. With the major matches all booked, the show is shaping up to be a success.

Craig

Neutral Dave on Classic Wrestling: Undertaker v Mankind (Hell in a Cell)

mankindcell

Hell in a Cell at it’s iconic – Source: World Wrestling Entertainment

Thanks for checking out this article on The Real Mid Card. We really appreciate your attention. Today, we have the eagerly anticipated return of Neutral Dave, with his fascinating take on one of the most memorable events in pro wrestling history. The clue is in the title. Do come back and see us again!

Neutral Dave
Undertaker v Mankind (Hell in a Cell)

If you permit me a trite opening, one phrase which I would use to describe this match would be jaw dropping. There are so many surprises which you do not believe could actually be happening. You all know what I am talking about: Mankind’s ability to take punishment that I didn’t believe the human body could actually endure. In terms of stunt-work this is pretty much unparalleled. With the way movies are made and there being plenty of cutting and editing means something dangerous like this is done in more manageable stages. However this involves not one but two 16ft drops, fighting and thumb tacks with no room for a break. The admiration for this increases when you find out that the second drop through the cage was not planned and both wrestlers still continued.

I knew the stakes would be high for this considering the opening which made it obvious that this was personal for Mankind. The Undertaker had committed a despicable act in hurting Mankind’s mentor. Throughout Mankind seemed to be sustained by pure hatred. That was why after all that, he still got up and continued fighting. Looking into his eyes and his smile it seemed he was too far gone to care about the pain. To me it seems that ‘Uncle’ Paul had become a father figure that he latched onto and he was now going to fight and quite possibly die for him.

This contrasts well with the Undertaker whose movements are continually unemotional and Terminator-esque. There is almost a clockwork feel in the way he breaks out of Mankind’s pinning at the last second. I’m not sure if he is hard-wired to do that or if behind the cold stare there is more cruelty and malice, giving Mankind the hope of victory and then denying it at the last second. This is a man who while being extremely entertaining, also represents the cruellest elements of humanity. He does not just want to hurt people in the physical sense, he seems to want to hurt them emotionally as his attack on Paul shows.

It is an interesting indictment that this emotionless man wins the fight. In the end, it is the wild outburst of hatred that seems to be Mankind’s downfall, literally. He wants to get revenge on The Undertaker, which seems fair. However, the way he goes about it suggests these emotions have clouded his judgement. He employs methods that would cause extreme pain by being on top of the cage and by using thumb tacks. It is therefore slightly ironic that he becomes hoist to his own petard in both cases. From what I have watched and read, Paul seems to not be the innocent man the intro makes him out to be. He can switch loyalties and manipulate people. It could therefore be possible that he has twisted the once more comic character into something more angry and spiteful.

Despite Mankind’s apparent dabble with the dark side, there does seem an obvious division of who is the good guy and who is the bad guy. There is a shock when The Undertaker does win after Mankind seems to be gaining the upper hand. The darkness of The Undertaker seems to envelope any hope at the end. There is a feeling akin to Orwell’s 1984 in which there seems to be no hope, which creates a great atmosphere. This darkness with the bell tolling was also effective at getting the tension mounting at the beginning. The moment everything got brighter when the fight started I was a little bit disappointed. I wanted the match to be played out in that darkness.

However who is the real winner here? While The Undertaker does win in terms of the rules, but the person who won in spirit is Mankind. The Cool Runnings ending when the entire arena applauded showed that the audience believed that his efforts made him the victor. It is nice to see the underdog supported, even in defeat. Maybe there is hope.

David Smith

Warrior Poetry: Undertaker

It’s time to big up another legend of the game. Sit back and enjoy my futile attempt to describe The Undertaker in all of his evil glory.

Undertaker

Undertaker – Source: Deviant Art

Warrior Poetry
Undertaker

A tall demonic figure once changed our world
It was plain to see, he was no sheep for the herd
With a dastardly and scrupulous father in tow
He was established early as a name to know

While he and his keeper put down every challenger
An unknown fire was burning with anticipation
The dark prince knew not, the intentions of his brother
A fiery and most dominant force of nature

With his sibling as foe, and sometimes as friend
The reputation of the Phenom continued to ascend
A truly chilling individual with a mounting destiny
Began to formulate success with the help of his ministry

After some time away and a change of style
The big man came back with just as much guile
No longer draped in the black he was known for
An American Badass, still wanting the title

Eventually the man and the black were reunited
For long periods of time, the crowds he delighted
As the stalwart and the highlight of Friday nights
In dark times for the warrior world, he was the shining light

As his years drew to a close, his legend it rose
The man to beat, the icon of a generation
Through epic battles with all worthy challengers
At the biggest stage of all, he just couldn’t be beaten

Craig

Nostalgia Among Wrestling Fans

tumblr_mjh593HOJ31qzx70zo1_1280.pngMr. McMahon mocking Ric Flair – Source: droptoehold.com

Nostalgia is something that warms the heart of almost any human, in any walk of life. It’s something that is particularly popular though, among wrestling fans, myself included. We all seem to long for the product we enjoyed when we first discovered the art-form as children. The old timers long for the 80s cartoon era of Hulk Hogan and the Ultimate Warrior. Fans of my generation cry out for the Attitude Era of the late 1990s and early 2000s. When you look back on classic matches and promos from those times, you can’t help but think “They don’t make them like that anymore” – It makes me feel old, but that’s exactly what I think.

I watched the episode of Raw from March 25th 2002 last night. If any of you are wondering what the significance of this was, it was the very first WWF Draft. I stumbled upon it on YouTube and decided to stick with it. It was so amazing seeing all of my old favorites. Vince McMahon and Ric Flair on screen as opposing General Managers was amazing in itself. Then you see the NWO, Hulk Hogan, The Undertaker, The Rock, Kane, Rob Van Dam, Booker T, the list goes on. I couldn’t help but compare that to now and want to cry. I mean the opening match of the show featured two of the lower-mid card stars of the time: Tazz and Mr. Perfect. Come on! These days it’s The Great Khali and Brodus Clay dancing together. Back then the “afterthought” was two of the best grapplers of our generation. Big difference.

However, I’m not one of those guys who constantly whines about the modern PG era, or sports entertainment overshadowing pro wrestling. I dig the product. It’s just that feeling you get when you watch the shows from a bygone era and long for the past. It’s just nostalgia, it’s natural. Football fans feel it when reliving old World Cup moments. Movie buffs can feel it when they take in a movie from the past, which they haven’t seen in a while. I love modern day WWE, but it’s just not quite the same. Will it ever be? Who knows. Should it even be? I don’t know.

I guess it’s just one of those things. The grass always seems to be greener. It’s the fans who confuse good, natural nostalgia with hating anything that’s new and different that annoy me. There is nothing particularly wrong with the current model. It’s just how they like to do business these days. Sure some things could be better for me if they were changed back, but they probably won’t be and I have to accept that. Stop hating on little kids for liking wrestling, when that’s how you got into it yourself!

Nostalgia is an unexplainable phenomenon that makes the past seem so perfect and so flawless, when in fact there were probably loads of people watching back then complaining and hating the direction things were going in.

This has been another lunchtime masterpiece from me, The Big Bossman. What are your thoughts on wrestling nostalgia? Leave a comment.

Read this post or I will find you and kill you!

rage_face_by_rober_raik-d4e0fxkRage Face Meme – Source: www.rober-raik.deviantart.com

So,  I seem to be hitting a bit of a dry spell at the moment. The days of my record daily views for Undertaker posts seem to be over. I kind of thought that changing up my pages, trying to make them more professional and using fewer and more relevant tags would help increase my traffic. That has not been the case at all. After five months of doing this, the relatively good honeymoon period is over.

I’m now getting a pathetic average of views and visitors a day. My weekly average is down 50% and I just don’t know why. I realise that the majority of my last ten posts have been non-wrestling related. That’s more than a pinch. However, when I get my correspondent(s) sorted and moving forward, I should have an abundance of wrestling content up, with the occasional pinch of other. Ah, the natural order!

However, I can’t help but be shocked by this rut I’m in. I thought that by uploading some stuff for the other categories and making it a bit more varied, I may appeal to a broader audience. That’s clearly not happened. I have a fair few followers, but they must just not ever look at the Reader. Either that, or my headlines aren’t very appealing. I hope this one is a bit more eye-catching!

I guess this is a bit of a pledge drive. If you have read my content and enjoyed it (as a lot of friends have told me they have) do me a huge favour and post a link to my site on your Facebook or Twitter page. I would really appreciate the support. I miss the days of seeing a new country every day, and seeing my UK based (often Facebook linked) views soar each week. Now it seems like a constant uphill struggle just to try and keep a steady flow of visitors coming.

I’ve been uploading at least a post a day, sometimes two, in multiple different categories, on numerous topics. I’m far more active than I used to be, and I’m getting nowhere near as many views as before. Riddle me that. From what I read, less is more in tagging, and the blogs with the most posting activity will be visited most. That all seems like bullshit right now, but maybe I just have to stick with it.

Anyway, if you fell for my aggressive headline and clicked this post, thank you! If reading it has made you feel sorry for me enough, please go ahead and help spread the word. I really appreciate all of your support! Take a look at the categories on the right hand side and see if there might be something more interesting for you! Leave a comment and have a chat, if the mood takes you. Thanks for reading, and I’m sorry for this sympathy pledge.

A sock puppet, a missing ear and a notepad

sg-foley_hofSo as I mentioned in a previous post, I recently got Mick Foley’s new DVD set ‘For All Mankind’ – I have now successfully navigated the whole of the two-hours plus documentary and skimmed through most of the matches. I said I may write a review, and guess what? You’re reading it. That’s pretty cool. I thought I’d briefly sum-up what I made of it, or as briefly as I can be. If you haven’t noticed, I tend to ramble. I’ll focus most of my attention on the documentary part, because that’s the main reason I get these things. I love getting an insight into the career of a wrestler, especially when it’s one of my greatest heroes. I loved the DVD for the most part, but I just felt there was a little something missing. I can’t really describe why, but it just didn’t seem to match up to some of the other WWE produced DVD documentaries.

What’s on? What’s missing?

First thing’s first. What’s actually on this box set? Well, the answer is a whole lot. As I said, the documentary is long and fascinating, albeit a bit rushed in the final stages. There is a huge selection of matches. Some of them are classics we have all seen a thousand times (e.g. THE cell match, the street fight with Hunter in the Garden and the infamous unprotected chair-shot fest with The Rock) Some have been dragged from the very depths of the archives.

I can’t complain too much about the selection of the subject matter and the matches, but I do have a couple of reservations. Due to the rushed nature of the post 2000s part of the film, they didn’t pay anywhere near enough attention to his 2006 run. This final period of his in-ring WWE career featured the epic feud he had with Ric Flair over the real life heat they had with each other. It also neglected to go into detail on the feud with Edge, the incredible Wrestlemania match, and the time they both teamed to face Terry Funk and Tommy Dreamer at One Night Stand (all from the same run) I was also disappointed not to find the barbaric street fight with Funk from Japan on the matches disc. They also completely ignored Ring of Honor and TNA, but I actually agree with that. It’s not sensible to promote you’re competition and the runs he had in both were irrelevant and not memorable.

Foley The Innovator

The documentary does a great job of chronicling just how innovative and influential Mick was (and still is) in so many ways. His unique wrestling style, his technique in cutting promos and his ring psychology are what made him so much more than a “hardcore legend” or “glorified stuntman” – the guy was simply one of the best wrestlers of all time. He paved the way for many future superstars.They appreciate it. The fans appreciate it.

It also demonstrates how gifted a writer he is. He isn’t a New York Times bestseller because of Mr. Socko, that’s for sure. It’s through his writing (he wrote all 700 plus pages of his first autobiography himself by hand) that he has innovated once again and opened the door for the likes of The Rock, Chris Jericho and several others to write successful books themselves. Both in and outside the ring, he has been a trailblazer and that won’t ever be forgotten.

The honesty and the passion

Mick speaks very candidly about the highs and lows of a life and career in professional wrestling, not quite like anyone else before him. He even readily admits to having returned to the ring on several occasions in the later stages of his career purely for money. This would be true of many, but very few would have the balls to admit it. He has had an undying love for the business since a very early age. When it becomes about the money, it’s never quite as good. That’s how he sees it anyway. But he isn’t afraid to admit that bills must be paid.

The supporting cast

He is supported on commentary duty for the documentary by long time friends and colleagues from across the board. We hear from his childhood and school friends. Dee Snider (lead singer of heavy metal band Twisted Sister) even chimes in, having become friends with Mick a few years ago while doing charity work. He heaps praise onto the Long Island legend for inspiring him to do more charity work himself. And as for the wrestling guys! It’s a who’s who of talent from days gone by, wrestling masterminds and today’s biggest superstars: CM Punk, Vader (see image below), Paul Heyman, Jim Ross, Triple H and Terry Funk to name a few.

tumblr_m9qqnpkgqw1qzx70zo1_1280To conclude, I thoroughly enjoyed all aspects of the documentary and I was pleased to see some of my favourite Foley matches included on the box set. I do have a few reservations. The documentary side of things didn’t stir me up quite as much as I thought it would. It fell short of the ones for Chris Jericho, Edge and CM Punk in my opinion, which surprised me. Again, I can’t actually pinpoint why, but it just didn’t move me as much as I expected. Nonetheless, it was an excellent watch and certainly something to add to the roll call of things I stick on to watch every three or so months by force of habit. I’ve seen better WWE box sets, but this is still up there with the best!

I never actually give numbered ratings for stuff, but here goes: 8/10

What did you think of the DVD? of this post? of Mick Foley? Please leave a comment and let’s have a good old fashioned rasslin’ chat!

Peace and elbow grease.