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).





3 Reasons To Watch WWE

17 09 2014

WWE Logo

I have been a fan of professional wrestling for 10 years now. I first watched Smackdown in July 2004 and can remember the first time I saw my favourite wrestler The Undertaker come out to the ring and challenge the then WWE Champion JBL for a match at Summerslam (2004), a Pay Per View (PPV) I still have on DVD. Since then my interest and enjoyment grew and I even went to see Smackdown on two occasions at the Manchester Evening News Arena. In 2008, TNA started being shown on Bravo in the UK; later Challenge and since then I have seen TNA in Manchester on two occasions. I really do enjoy wrestling, and when I have had the opportunity to do so, I have even seen local British wrestling also. But my enjoyment of WWE has begun to flounder in a chain of events which started at Wrestlemania 21 in 2005 when John Cena became WWE Champion for the first time, since which WWE has gotten to the point of annoying with John Cena being champion “ALL THE TIME” and better wrestlers not being given an opportunity. At the moment there is only (to me at least) 3 reasons to continue watching WWE, and two of those surround an area of wrestling I have not really been all that interested in.

First Reason – Paige

Paige

Back in 2011, while watching an XWA show in Morecambe, There was a sort of exhibition match which incorporated two wrestlers from Pro-Wrestling EVE, an all-female promotion, and the match was for the Pro-Wrestling: EVE Championship. The match was between Inaugural Champion Britani Knight and challenger Jenny Sjödin (another terrific female wrestler) with Sjödin winning the title. However most of my attention was on Britani Knight and after the match I looked into her career every now and then to see how she was doing. When the Channel 4 show “The Wrestlers: Fighting with My Family” aired, I was pleasantly surprised to see that Knight had been signed onto the WWE, and from that point I was even more inspired to follow her career. The divas division of WWE has always been something that I would generally avoid as I was more a fan of the wrestling and not the eye candy that the divas division was more or less mostly about. TNA’s knockout division was more wrestling and less eye-candy and for the women’s side of wrestling was genuinely enjoyable with both good wrestling characters as well as wrestling.

Paige NXT Champion

Since the point of her debut in WWE, Knight has quickly shot through the ranks in the divas division to become one of the most interesting and best wrestlers in the entire company right now (in my opinion) all be it with the new ring name of Paige. The Divas division in WWE was finally enjoyable to watch at least from my point of view and thanks to Paige was finally able to rival the TNA Knockouts. From her wrestling skill, to her look (black hair and ring attire), the way her character is played, the way she speaks (keeping the British accent), her cool leather jacket; to just everything about her. On top of that, she genuinely has in ring talent and wrestling skill (probably mostly thankful to her wrestling family origins). So you’re not watching an ordinary match, you’re watching an actual wrestling match (and not just something which looks more like a cat fight than anything else) with a very talented wrestler up front. I found myself watching a tiny portion of Raw a few weeks ago just to watch a match she was in and then when she was no longer on-screen, I turned over because as far as I was concerned the best bit of the show was on and I did not want to watch anymore. It’s an absolute treat that someone from Britain is wrestling in the WWE big league’s right now and that it is someone as cool as well as talented as Paige is an extra bonus. She is easily one of the coolest wrestlers in quite a long time and also one of the best things about WWE right now.

Second Reason – AJ Lee

AJ Lee

The second reason to watch WWE is also Diva related and that is in the form of AJ Lee. My knowledge of AJ is varied at best as she was someone who just appeared alongside Daniel Bryan a couple of years ago, but there was something appealing about her character and since that point has become the company’s forerunning Diva. Much like Paige, everything about AJ works (minus the leather jacket because AJ does not wear one) and this includes actual wrestling Talent as well as other forms of in ring talent which includes the bizarre skipping routine which is quite cool for her character. AJ also has one of the best and most memorable wrestling themes of the moment, and not just in WWE. While I may not have much to say on her as I did with Paige, AJ Lee is still one of the most enjoyable things about WWE right now.

Third Reason – STING

Sting Champion

While I may have only been watching wrestling for the last 10 years, my brother has been a fan longer and I remember when he used to watch some of the videos he had, and one of the outstanding wrestlers on these shows was STING. This was during his stint in WCW, and through this period Sting was quite possibly their biggest star. After the closure of WCW though, Sting declined to join the company, but more recently Sting had made a comeback in TNA, and it brought back the real enjoyment of wrestling to me and I absolutely loved every minute of Stings time in the company. When it was recently announced that after so long, Sting would be appearing in WWE, I was happy. The great worry about Sting being in the WWE though is how he would be used, but I am confident that he won’t be used in either an uncomfortable way on the part of the wrestler and nor for the wrestling fans either. With Stings appointment in the company, this could be the turn around the WWE has been needing in terms of their product and it also opens possibility for the dream match that we would all like to see, Sting vs The Undertaker, and if anyone should have ended The Undertaker’s streak at Wrestlemania, it should have been Sting. If it happens, it could quite easily be the match of the decade.

Sting

GENEPOOL (If you can find any more reasons for the above points or can think of more reasons to continue watching WWE other than these, or none of these or not to watch WWE at all, please leave a comment below).





TNA 2012

1 02 2012

This past Friday I went with my Mam and my Brother to Manchester to see TNA Wrestling at the Manchester Arena. Now this was part of their Maximum Impact Tour and it was not a live recording. The show was just a tour show, in other words it was a show that was put on for the fans to see the wrestlers have matches that were not going to be on TV. However Me and Mam agreed that it was better than the live recording shows because it meant that it was straight onto the show and no interviews, Just proper Wrestling. This was not the first time I have seen TNA Live or gone to the Manchester Arena. The first 2 times I went to the Manchester Evening News Arena as it was called back then was to see WWE Smackdown. I then went to see TNA in 2009 and then again this past week. Now a lot has changed since I last went to see TNA, there is no longer a 6 sided ring, there are no Beautiful People and Matt Morgan and Abyss used to be in a Tag Team.

OK when we arrived and took our seats we missed the Big Opening and there were problems with our seats because some people took them. However when we sat down it was straight into it. First off was an X Division Title match between current champion Austin Aries, Mark Haskins and Alex Shelley. Austin Aries won but the match was filled with High Flying manoeuvres which are one of the best parts about smaller wrestlers.

During the event the 2 hosts Christy Hemme and Jeremy Borash were handing out Backstage passes. They also introduced the wrestlers and referee Earl Hebner.

The next match was between Crimson and Britain’s own Doug Williams. Now this is not the first time I have seen Doug Williams. The first time I saw the FWA at the Morecambe Dome I saw him wrestle. I saw him wrestle again at another FWA show in a Tag Team with 2 Cold Scorpio. I also Saw him the first time I went to see TNA. I think he would be a great Wrestler to become the first British Wrestler to become World Heavyweight Champion (Currently only William Regal, The British Bulldog and Desmond Wolfe have come near enough to achieving it) although Magnus would also be a Good Wrestler to do it and he debuted in TNA just after I saw TNA in 2009. Crimson won the match.

Next up was a match between Gunner and AJ Styles. I don’t think this was as Fantastic as AJ Styles matches can be but it was Great to see him in Manchester again, AJ Styles Won.

Next up was a Tag Team match in the Knockout Division. It was current Knockout Champion Gail Kim who is also one half of the current Knockout Tag Team Champions along with Madison Rayne. They fought the Tag Team of Tara and Mickie James. Tara and Mickie won. An Intermission followed this match.

After the intermission was a World Heavyweight Championship match between the Current Champion Robert Roode against Samoa Joe. Now at the moment Samoa Joe is not popular on TV but he was incredibly Popular in Manchester. When I saw him make his entrance it was incredible and then it was also incredible when Robert Roode made his entrance. It was an amazing Match but Robert Roode still retained his Title.You can watch the match on TNA Xplosion either this week or Next Week.

Before the final match of the Evening TNA President Dixie Carter came out to the audience and thanked them all for coming and saying why she loves to come to Britain and also how TNA Impact has become the biggest Wrestling show on UK Television. You see, TNA cares about its fans, you don’t see Vince McMahon come out to the audience and say Thank you for coming, another reason why TNA is the Best. Dixie Carter also mentioned an old lady called Ann Timson who was in the front row who became a famous after beating up some robbers.

The final match of the evening was a Tag team Match between Bully Ray (who mentally attacked a Manchester crowd by wearing a Liverpool Football shirt) with Kurt Angle against James Storm and Sting. Now what is interesting is that my Brother used to watch WCW almost 20 years ago when Sting was in it and I don’t think he would ever think that he would see Sting Live. It was Amazing because I have known about Sting for a long time as well. Then before the match started Robert Roode came out and added himself to the match so Sting added Hulk Hogan to the Match so it was an even playing field, Yes I saw both Sting and Hulk Hogan just a few metres from where I was sitting. The match concluded when Hulk Hogan used Ann Timson’s walking stick on Bully Ray (who verbally attacked her). The show ended with some in ring showing off for the fans from James Storm, Hulk Hogan and Sting.

It was an incredible and Fantastic Evening. I love to watch Wrestling and being in an amazing building like the Manchester Arena to see it is Amazing. It was like a Rock Concert with Fighting instead of Singing. It was an Amazing Event and I can’t wait to see it again.

GENEPOOL








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