SLAM

14 04 2016

Wrestling

In walked the opponent,

His eyes glaring,

The audience cheering.

He walked down the ramp,

And into the waiting ring,

Awaiting the ding.

First a blurry of fists,

Tenderising him like he was chops of lamb,

Before connecting with the slam.

One, Two Three it was over,

The champion with the belt held high,

Before waving the crowd goodbye.

GENEPOOL





More Reasons To Watch WWE

29 02 2016

WWE Logo

Back in 2014 I wrote a piece about WWE suggesting that there was not much left to watch about it other than about 3 Wrestlers; AJ Lee, Paige and Sting. Well since then a lot has happened that has brought me a lot of joy and entertainment since then. While this may not have returned me to diehard fan status, there is a lot more interest in it for me once again and so I thought I would do a quick post highlighting all the good stuff recently and that there is in WWE right now. It’s not exactly an additional post; it’s more just a list of things as to why WWE is worth keeping an eye on.

Paige

Paige: One of the things that always grabs my attention in WWE is Paige. Not just because she is British and it’s great to see some British Wrestlers in WWE, but also because she is a very good wrestler, and storylines surrounding her are always enjoyable, and is one I like to keep up to date with.

Becky Lynch: While we are on the subject of Divas; there is one recent addition to Raw who sounds promising, and while I have not seen much of her, it’s still pretty good to have someone from the UK region who is also being touted as one of top performers right now. Also she has a fantastic sounding entrance theme/titantron.

Dudley Boyz

Dudley Boyz: While it has been a while since they were last seen on TV, as far as I am aware; It’s still fantastic for such a great team, especially from the late attitude era to be a part of WWE once again; especially seeing how child friendly it all is today.

The New Day: Albeit just for the things they say to the ring and backstage, The New Day are just funny to watch, and sometimes emulate.

Sting Champion

Sting: Wrestling is so much more fun when ting has something to do with it. Yes, he has been on and off since his debut, yes he has yet to win a single match, but merely his presence is enough to set off the audience. He does not even need to fight, he could just stand in the ring staring at the crowd blankly and ominous. But that’s not to say his wrestling is not Fantastic also, he is just a one of kind person who improves something by simply appearing, anything more than that is just another fantastic bonus. Also he is due to be inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame this year.

Undertaker

The Undertaker: The big resurgence (along with the word Resurgence) most recently is of course the re-appearance of The Undertaker in a more substantial way other than simply appearing at WrestleMania. The Undertaker remains my favourite Wrestler to this day, and much like Sting, his appearance alone is just Fantastic, and creatures an urge, a spirit to see more of him, and when he finally does make a much bigger appearance, it was all the worth it. Well, with WrestleMania now on the Horizon, it should not be too long now.

AJ Styles: The one thing that has me more interested in WWE right now more than anything is the arrival of AJ Styles. A wrestler who I have watched for many years in TNA is now in WWE, and it’s already looking like big things are being planned for him, what with him engaging with Chris Jericho in his first match. I am hoping that this will mean a WWE Title shot sooner than later, but I don’t want his career in WWE to be jinxed so quickly, as first he really needs to build up and show that he is worth it. But if Sheamus can do it in just a few months, why not Styles? In any case, it is just fantastic that such a high calibre wrestler like Styles is now in WWE where a much larger audience can see him, although I am not too sure about his Entrance Music, as I always preferred ‘Get Ready To Fly’.

GENEPOOL (All we need now is a return from Booker T – and possibly a few others – and WWE will be even better, possibly).





WWE…..Get Ready To Fly

26 01 2016

WWE Logo

I have known about TNA Wrestling for a long time now. I think I first heard my brother talk about it probably after he heard about it in the now defunct Pro-Wrestling Magazine; Power Slam. Anyway, I have known about it for a while, and my interest began to spark when I heard that Sting was returning to Wrestling, but for them not WWE at the time. Anyway to cut a long story short, eventually TV channel Bravo began to show TNA Impact in the UK. I knew some of the wrestlers in it like Sting, Kurt Angle and Christian, but it was new ground for me and I had to learn the names of quite a few new wrestlers. Within the first episode of one, there was a guy known as AJ Styles. Upon hearing that name; you can probably see what this Blog Post is about. Anyway, as the show began to attach itself more to me than WWE, the more I began to learn about this new wrestling show and its stars, in particular AJ Styles.

TNA 2012 AJ Styles

AJ Styles was a one of a kind wrestler within the company. He was given the name Phenomenal, of which he was. He migrated between goody and baddy on a regular basis, but despite that though, his in ring talent was amazing to behold, and he stayed within this company for a very long time, switching as usual, but entertaining more than most, and was a worthy holder of the World Heavyweight Title which he held on several occasions. But then in 2013, he left the company. Now I don’t want to get bogged down as to why, but for TNA, it was a real loss. Automatically his leaving began to affect the show, and I have been saying for a long time now, that TNA really needs to bring him back. Well it appears that they may be a bit too late to do that. I found out last week rumours that AJ Styles was going to WWE. I did not know if this was true or not, but within a couple of days later, it turned out it was all true as he had officially signed with the company, and rumours beckoned of him appearing at this past weekend’s Royal Rumble…..which he did.

Upon hearing that he did enter, I found a video online proving this, and I was really excited. Finally, AJ Styles had arrived in a company where I would be able to see him in a more regular spot. Now though is where the questions begin to arise, as to what WWE is going to do with him. People who have jumped from TNA in recent history have not had such a great time, where as in TNA they were on top of their game, only for WWE to hold them down in a way that makes WWE look like they are just using them to prevent the major competition from gaining. So, as for AJ Styles it brings into question if such a talented performer is going to receive a similar treatment. Right now I am confident that won’t happen given b his WWE Debut. He was announced by the name AJ Styles and not by a fake name. The Audience saw him, and cheered so loudly for him, plus the commentators talked about him in such a positive way. Plus his Debut was done correctly, by having him alone with Roman Reigns in the ring, giving him a similar debut to that of Sting in 2015.

As to what WWE is going to do with him in the future is still in the question phase; his debut at the Royal Rumble provides a positive start for such a talented performer. It will really come down to the next few weeks and months as to what happens to AJ Styles in WWE, but I am hopeful, as his appearance in WWE makes it a lot more interesting now. With any hope, he will replace and put John Cena in his place, because come on, AJ Styles is a lot better than John Cena.

GENEPOOL





The Undertaker And Me

18 11 2015

Undertaker 2

This coming Sunday marks a very special moment in the history of Professional Wrestling. At this year’s up and coming WWE Survivor Series event, the whole world of Professional wrestling will celebrate the anniversary of the debut of one of the greatest Professional Wrestlers in the entire history of Professional Wrestling. This week marks the 25th anniversary of the debut of The Undertaker. Now for those of you who have no idea what I am talking about, well; The Undertaker is a Professional Wrestler (real name Mark Calaway) who for the past 25 years has been wrestling for the WWE (World Wrestling Entertainment). Anyway to mark such a momentous moment in Pro Wrestling history, I wanted to do something special, but couldn’t figure out what. So in the end I decided to do just a post on what The Undertaker has meant to me; because well, from the moment I started watching WWE, he was there from the beginning and throughout that time, and even when I began to watch other Wrestling promotions like TNA (Total Nonstop Action), he has remained my favourite.

WWE Logo

I have always known about Pro-Wrestling. I remember when my brother used to watch videos of WCW (World Championship Wrestling) events on VHS and it starred notable wrestlers like STING. I also remember watching this Hulk Hogan cartoon thing when I was younger too. Even when WWF at the time was making a mark on Sunday Afternoon television on Channel 4, I remember seeing my brother watching it. But at no time during any of this was I interested in it. In 2003 my family got Cable TV for the first time, and on SKY One they used to show Wrestling programs, but I was not interested then either. This changed however in July 2004 when just before I was about to go away on a camping holiday in Clapham, I just watched it. And I liked it. I remember seeing wrestlers like Kurt Angle back when he was Smackdown General Manager and Eddie Guerrero in his bouncing car. One thing that stood out for me though was when JBL (John Bradshaw Layfield) was talking smack about being champion and then The Undertaker walking out and challenging him for the WWE Championship; uttering the words “You, Me, Summerslam”. From that moment I was hooked, and when the camp finished I couldn’t wait to turn on the TV back home and find out what was going on. I soon became a big fan, and the Undertaker was my favourite. There were other wrestlers that I also liked including Booker T, Eddie Guerrero and Rob Van Dam, but the Undertaker always shined through, and whenever he came out to the ring, it was an Amazing moment to watch. Smoke filling the walkway, his music coming on, after the famous single bell toll.

A few months later I even got to go and see WWE live when Smackdown was shown Live in Manchester at the MEN Arena for the first time. I can still remember going with my Mam and Brother, going into that packed building and seeing so many wrestlers fighting amongst themselves. And lo and behold, I also got to see The Undertaker wrestle right in front of my eyes as he went 1 on 1 with Heidenreich. That part wasn’t shown on Television, but just seeing him there was amazing. As time went by I cheered for him on TV and got angry when he lost matches, particularly when it involved a Championship. His appearances on the TV shows were on and off, but I still hung in for hope, hoping he would come back soon.

TNA 2012 Manchester Arena

By this time I was a regular viewer of WWE Smackdown on Sky One but struggled after that when it moved to Sky Sports, which my family did not have. Thankfully a new show in the shape of the WWE Experience came on Sundays so I could somewhat keep up. Eventually however, we got Sky Sports and I was able to get back into it. By the end of 2005; after a long and lengthy rivalry with Randy Orton came to a close, during Christmas that year I received a copy of Tombstone: The History Of The Undertaker on DVD. Throughout the Christmas holidays (which was a big help as I was in a Zimmer Frame at the time) I watched nearly the entirety of the DVD (still have some extras to watch). Some of the matches it included were the Hell in a Cell match against Mankind and a match at King of The Ring against The Rock (also one of my favourite Undertaker Entrances).

Undertaker

Professional Wrestling is like a soap opera, and stories need to be followed by the audience, and some of the time these aren’t all that inviting and you can begin to waver from them. And when your favourite character is not around as much, it can be hard to keep going. For a while I was, throughout 2006 with some appearances from The Undertaker as he wrestled people like Mark Henry, plus another chance to see The Undertaker as well as Kane in Manchester again. Then followed by his successful victory at the Royal Rumble, his rivalry with Batista and his runs as World Heavyweight Champion. That is all good and fun, but eventually things began to wrap down, and in 2008, TNA debuted on the now defunct uk channel Bravo. With a new and fresh wrestling show to watch which in turn was also at the time at least a lot more exciting and featured stars like Jeff Jarrett, AJ Styles, Kurt Angle, Abyss and of course STING, my interest in WWE began to waver. The Undertaker was still a part over at WWE, but as time marched on, he began to be seen less and less, and ultimately as the years went by, just came down to 1 appearance at Wrestlemania a year. Things though began to change, and my interest in WWE and the Undertaker sparked up a little bit as for a period of 4 years faced 2 other Great Wrestlers in HBK Shawn Michaels and Triple H. While I wouldn’t watch any other part of that company except for either interest or by accident, I would keep informed of those matches, and while I did not get to see those shows, I really wanted to see those matches. Still haven’t.

TNA 2012 AJ Styles

TNA at the time for me was going off leaps and bounds producing far better shows, including 2 far better live shows back in Manchester with stars like Sting and Hulk Hogan on show at the last one I went to see (check out my photos). As for WWE, that quickly became boring due to the constant of John Cena being champion all the time. Soon though as TNA began to get into issues, the product started to lose its effectiveness on me. For the last few years on both promotions it’s been a feign interest. Things have begun to change recently, while I hope TNA will go back to the way it became, WWE is starting to look good again with Wrestlers like Paige lighting up the entire Diva division, and interesting new stars like The New Day, plus returned legends like STING (first time in WWE), Brock Lesnar and the Dudley Boyz making WWE the place to be. But, I always have a soft spot for my favourite Wrestler; The Undertaker. I was shocked like many when he lost to Brock Lesnar at Wrestlemania a few years ago (I thought it should have been someone like Goldberg), but his sudden recent return to fight back Brock Lesnar has got me geared back into WWE a bit.

Paige

My fascination with wrestling is still in me down there. I have become a fan of Total Divas, but for the most part I am now a casual observer. Sure I will watch the odd video, and still listen to the Wrestler’s Entrance music on YouTube, but, I am a more casual observer. However, there is always one thing that will get me watching WWE. Yes, his career is now starting to wane, and I feel like his retirement is now going to be a lot sooner than later, but, even when he does decide to go, he will remain a true legend in the sport of Pro Wrestling. There will always be a part of me that longs to see the Phenom; The Undertaker once again.

GENEPOOL (Apologies if this post seems scattered, it was more just a brief overview of me and The Undertaker. Maybe I’ll do one when he gets inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame…..no promises).





Soundtrack Of My Graduation

30 09 2015

Preston Guild Hall Graduation Hat Throwing

Just over a couple of months ago, I graduated from the University of Central Lancashire with a 2:1 in Combined Studies (creative Writing and Screenwriting). Now while it was a big moment, graduating from University; the weeks prior and even the day before I was in no way looking forward to it. I was excited to see my friends from my course again, but I wasn’t looking forward to it for several reasons, one of the main ones being I don’t like getting ‘dressed up’. As the day went on though I actually enjoyed the whole thing and felt rather bad for not looking forward to it. Throughout the whole day though, I had a constant soundtrack going through my head. So I thought I would do a post about the soundtrack, why I thought of certain pieces of music and so on. Think of it as sort of one of those Father’s Day CD’s that gets released just before, well…..father’s day.

Preston Guild Hall

1. General Grievous theme – For most of the morning I didn’t have any soundtrack at all. When I got to Preston I had nothing much going through my mind, it wasn’t until I had signed in that I began to get nervous and shake. A little bit later I got my gown, and then tried to get a photo, but time was running out so I just went straight into the Guild Hall. It was at this moment that the feel of what was quite a heavy gown began to grip me. The grand thing of it all, and the theme for General Grievous came through my head. The grand music he has, and the fact he walks like he has a cape and walking stick. It made me feel like that and the music really helped to calm my nerves too.

2. “Mr. Wonderful” Paul Orndorff theme – As I sat down and began to wonder what was coming and going to happen. A new piece of music came to my head. As I saw the stage I would walk onto, I visioned the grand theme of professional wrestler Paul Orndorff, particularly his theme from the WWE Hall of Fame Ceremony in 2005. It was just like Grievous, but I felt the combination of the gown and that music really worked together, but it was more just looking at the steps and stage that I just imagined some kind of music to play when I took to the stage.

3. Monty Python’s Flying Circus theme – As the ceremony ever more neared to starting, an Organ began playing in the background. Most of the music I did not know, but then it started playing the theme music to Monty Python’s Flying Circus. It was a pretty good piece too.

4. King Kong 1976 Arena Entrance – The organ playing also made me think of something else too. In the 1976 remake of King Kong, when Kong is put on display and enters the arena, this really low, deep, organ piece is played. Its spine tingling, dark and spooky. And just for a laugh I thought it would be a cool piece to play for when the Chancellor came into the hall.

5. Sting In The Tail – It wasn’t really the song that I was thinking of. I think it was when I was sitting down, but my time was coming. And I just kept imagining hearing the announcement of my name and thought of the introduction to The Scorpions at their Get Your Sting & Blackout performance in 2011. I could just hear it in my head the announcement followed by the opening riff to Sting in the Tail being played as I walked on stage. Sadly that didn’t happen. Strangely enough though, at no point during the day did I think of Rock You like a Hurricane or Wind of Change.

6. Happy by Pharrell Williams – Naturally I wouldn’t have thought of this song at any time unless it came up some other way. Basically, as the ceremony began to wrap up, the UCLan Chamber Choir; who have won several awards and appeared on TV, came up on stage and sang a pretty good version of this song. The only time I would probably say I liked the song, because I don’t really.

7. Star Wars Ceremony theme – Let’s get the next 2 over and done with as quickly as possible. As the ceremony began to wrap up, the organist decided to play the end ceremony theme played at the end of Star Wars Episode 4: A New Hope. I was instantly able to pick up on it. I thought it was a rather embarrassing piece to use.

8. Indiana Jones theme – This was then immediately followed by the theme from the Indiana Jones films. Why couldn’t they have used Jaws or Jurassic Park?

9. Killzone 2 opening – As the day began to wrap up, after the meal at the University, I began to like the feel of the gown. It began to make me think like I was some Grand Emperor or Villain. Sort of like Emperor Palpatine. But a much stronger image came out, that in the form of Scolar Visari from the Killzone games. At the beginning of the first 3, Visari; who is the game’s primary antagonist makes great speeches to the people of planet Helghan. His speech from Killzone 2 most of all began to resonate out of my head as I began to feel the gown more, like I could make those speeches. At the end of it all though I was pleased to get it off as it was rather heavy.

10. The Hunger Games ending – As the Graduation Ceremony passed, and as me and my parents got back home, I began to feel rather emotional. I didn’t want University to end. I had been going there for 4 years, and I liked it there. I was happy. But it had to come to an end. The ending theme for the Hunger Games appropriately came on. The one where Katniss and Peeta nearly eat the nightlock berries and their time on the train afterwards. That music just kept going through my head, and for most of that afternoon, I failed trying not to cry.

11. This is our God, The Servant King – I began to get out of the emotional afternoon by playing Rollercoaster Tycoon on my PC. When texting a friend though about what I felt, she suggested doing something that took your mind off things, and even suggested some hymns. The one that came to my head was the chorus for the Graham Kendrick hymn: “From Heaven You Came Helpless Babe.” Why just the chorus? Because I couldn’t remember the verses, plus the organ like feel in the chorus came to my head thanks to the amount of Organ playing I had heard earlier in the day. But altogether it worked; it helped me get out of the emotions I felt all afternoon (it was only very recently that I found out what the hymn was really called).

12. Mike Awesome theme – This one is in here only because I listened to it on my Mam’s kindle in the afternoon. It doesn’t really have much other significance during the day than that, but I thought I would cover all pieces of music.

13. Bobby “The Brain” Heenan theme – As the evening began to draw in, the original plan was for me and my family to go out for a meal to celebrate. While we originally planned on going to a Mexican restaurant in Preston, because I felt it was too soon to go back to Preston due to still feeling rather emotional, I asked if we could just grab a Go Burrito, a burrito place in Lancaster) and eat at home with some nice ice cream to follow. Well, as the evening out with my Mam to pick up the Burrito’s and buy some ice cream panned out; I began to feel like I could have milked receiving my Diploma a little bit more. This is mostly due to seeing a couple of people who did just that. One who took a selfie half way through, and another near the end raising a fist in triumph. Well, that’s where this theme came in (another hall of fame piece). I just imagined walking on stage again, playing this theme, waving a hand, (maybe kissing the air to the audience), but sadly I didn’t think about that earlier. Well, that’s where this theme came in, and I pretty much ended the day on that one.

14. The Raid: Razor’s Out – The thing is, after all that I felt like the list of pieces of music I had compiled didn’t really have a sense of closure to it all. It was left on this uncertain note. I felt like for this list to mean anything it needed that closure. I then remembered something. Earlier this year, for a period of 2, 3 months, I could only think about The Raid. After watching it again and writing one of the best reviews I feel I have written this year, I couldn’t stop thinking about it. In May, as my last Academic week with Uni approached, I decided to make the song Razor’s Out by Mike Shinoda and Chino Moreno, played at the end of the film to be my ‘end of University song’. Well, it made sense to use it for this list. It does give closure to the whole day. It’s still an uncertain future, but puts a positive-ish piece, spin on the whole thing. It’s like it’s not ending on a positive, ‘everything is ok note’, but is still saying the future is uncertain, but I am glad of what I have done for the last 4 years and feel like I am ready to move on to the next adventure.

GENEPOOL (Also during the day my brother showed this rather funny Mitchell and Webb Sketch, couldn’t stop laughing afterwards).








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