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).





WWE Anthology (The Federation Years) Top 5 Wrestling Themes

26 08 2013

WWE Antholgy (World Wrestling Entertainment, Inc. - 2002)

Since becoming a fan of Professional wrestling back in late 2004, I have been very interested in the music that the wrestlers come out too. After going to see WWE Smackdown live in Manchester in November 2004, I was interested to hear that the music was available to buy on CD (Back in a time when the iPod was just about to be released). So soon after I bought a copy of WWE Anthology, a collection of pieces of music throughout the history of the WWE. Because the collection came on three discs, I thought I would do a top 5 of each of the discs and my favourite music on them (even though I might skip the NOW disc and just do a general top 5 of the whole collection as there are only 4 songs on the NOW disc of note and one of them is the Hurricane’s theme, I suppose I could just do a list of pieces that were produced post Attitude era). So the first disc as you can guess from the title is the Federation Years which is mostly filled with pre attitude era pieces of music. While the songs still sound tough for the wrestlers in question, they are a lot lighter in tone and some what more pleasant. So here are my Top 5 themes of WWE Anthology The Federation Years (just one thing of note quickly, best theme does not mean best wrestler, so don’t go thinking that one is better than the other just because of which of their music I prefer).

Jake Roberts

5: Snake Bit – Jake “The Snake” Roberts – With a wrestling name like that, you would consider something like the sounds of a snake or something very dark and sinister, instead what you get is a piece of music produced on a synthesizer or keyboard which sounds awe-inspiring. Generally the piece is quite calm and open and does not contain many low notes. while the opening could be considered sinister, it does not sound long and when the piece has its main opening reveal, it gives the idea of Jake Roberts holding his snake up in the air to show to the audience. It’s a simple and peaceful theme for a sinister name like that.

No Holds Barred

4: No Holds Barred – No Holds Barred theme – I have no Idea to what No Holds Barred is or was but from my quick research it appears to have been a film starring Hulk Hogan. Anyway the theme song is quite nice and holds a sense of suspense all the way through. The song almost tells a tale of what one man is going to or is about to do, his hopes or dreams perhaps of what is about to come. The songs suspense though reaches an eventual limit as it shouts at out the title of the piece and says it with pride before going back into the main rhythm of the song. It only continues to go at the risen pitch when the song starts to conclude.

HBK

3: Sexy Boy – Shawn Michaels – The theme song that would be the theme throughout almost the entirety of the career of the Heart Break Kid Shawn Michaels. Possibly one of the most recognised themes in all of wrestling, HBK’s theme fits perfectly with both his charismatic style and the excitement of his matches and presence. An assortment of a bit of disco and rock, the song is pretty much showing off and would be perfect for a villain, despite the fact HBK is both a fan favourite and a good guy in wrestling and character. The song is one of only a few love orientated songs in wrestling and contains some nice guitar solo work also.

Hulk Hogan

2: Real American – Hulk Hogan – What is widely considered as the first proper theme for a wrestler (performed by Rick Derringer), the theme suited nobody better than Hulk Hogan. While the song is as patriotic as it sounds, it is generally a nice song which anybody can join in depending on nation as the song is not boisterous about the country it is talking about. The song’s opening track rhythm continues throughout with a mid guitar solo in it too. The chorus to the song is also a lot of fun as well as pleasant and does not at any point go into a dark tone. The idea with a song, particularly a rock song being light and fluffy is present in this song as it is has that feel to it.

Ultimate Warrior

1: Unstable – Ultimate Warrior – A wild piece of music for a wild wrestler. The Ultimate Warrior as a wrestler was wild and unstoppable and so the song Unstable works perfectly for him. The piece is as made as the wrestler and what he does in the ring, it gives the impression of something unstoppable, something that could not be beat, something so terrifying that you would do what you could to avoid getting on its bad side. The piece starts with an easy beat in the speed that it’s at before going into its main part which sounds like something on the rampage without going too heavy, it then reaches a slower and quick conclusion before doing it all over again. Interestingly enough, this piece actually helped me to recover in Hospital back in 2005 when I had a leg injury. Because I was put on a machine that would help me to angle my leg and had to reach an angle of 90 degrees before I could go home, I listened to this CD when I was recovering. When I got to the Ultimate Warrior track, I myself felt unstoppable and put the machine right up to 90 degrees, while it did hurt a lot, I felt unstoppable and left hospital the following Friday. SO not only is this piece my favourite from the first disc, but also it helped me to recover from a horrible accident.

GENEPOOL








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