Top 8 WWE Tag Teams From The Mid-2000’s That Did Not Get A Proper Opportunity

8 02 2017

WWE Logo

When I started watching WWE in 2004, the Tag Team division (at least on Smackdown) were alight with some cool tag team matches. Around at the time were teams like The Dudley Boyz, as well as a string of other tag teams made up of singles wrestlers including the teams of: Paul London and Billy Kidman, Rob Van Dam and Rey Mysterio as well as Rene Dupree and Kenzo Suzuki. While it may not have been a golden period for tag team wrestling, it was still pretty good. Come a few changes in the line-ups (less than a year later) however, and the tag teams were pretty low in terms of quality. You had MNM on Smackdown engaging in competition every week with the supposedly ‘only’ tag team around at the time made up of Charlie Haas and Hardcore Holly, where as Raw was pretty much doing what Smackdown had done one year previously, creating tag teams made up of singles wrestlers such as Eugene and William Regal and William Regal and Tajiri.

Dudley Boyz

As 2005 started to round down however, things began to change, with a string of tag teams entering the company, not exactly made up of well-known single wrestlers, but teams specifically put together for the purposes of tag team wrestling before they debuted. This was a major move for the company as it was an opportunity to create new and potential future stars, as well as lighten up a division which had been pretty static all this time. Some of these did go on to achieve some success, even winning a few tag team titles; teams like the aforementioned MNM, as well as Deuce ‘n Domino, Lance Cade and Trevor Murdoch, Curt Hawkins and Zack Ryder, Spirit Squad, Cody Rhodes and Ted DiBiase, as well as the rebooted L.O.D. made up of long time Road Warrior; Animal, and the fledgling Heidenreich (although this could have been done more to promote a recently released DVD). Some of the Tag Teams though that appeared during this time (and there were a decent few) did not really get an opportunity to shine, which was a shame as some of them were pretty good. OK, yes some were pretty bad too, the main ones coming to mind (at least in my opinion) being; The Dicks (the Heart Throbs were not too bad although they were pretty much near the same as The Dicks).

Those though that were at least pretty good to a point though did not get much of an opportunity to shine, many of them sometimes receiving tag team title shots, but in the end did not actually get them, and although some lasted a while, in the end most were either released, or broken up (which created numerous other problems which did not work out either). The thing is though, for me personally, I had high hopes for these teams, and still fondly remember them to this day, and so I wanted to do a post on these teams. Originally I was going to do a post with just the top 5, but I wanted to be as inclusive as I could be, so I thought about doing 7, then 8 because I remembered one other team. So here and now then are the Top 8 Tag Teams from the mid 2000’s in WWE that I fondly remember, as well as I feel did not get their justly right opportunities.

la-resistance

8. La Resistance (rebooted) – When WWE brought back the ECW promotion in 2006, I was pretty excited given what I had heard about the ECW brand. How wrong I was to be excited; it was basically more like an episode of Heat with a Hardcore match each week for about 3 weeks, and then it just became Heat. Anyway, there were some good things for a time on it, things like TEST, Marcus Cor Von and a rebooted La Resistance. La Resistance were a tag team on Monday Night Raw for a few years made up of members Rene Dupree, Rob Conway and Sylvan Grenier. They had some pretty good success and for a time was the main tag team on Raw winning the championship 4 times overall. The group though eventually split, and Conway and Grenier had some interesting time as singles performers. Just over a year after ECW returned, Grenier and Dupree were brought back together to fight on ECW. Given how much Grenier improved in singles competitions, plus both he and Dupree’s Tag Team pedigree; I was pretty interested (was a fan of Dupree on Smackdown too) to see the result. The problem though was that they were on ECW, a promotion that had no real Tag Team division, nor tag team titles. So they eventually just disappeared after no more than 1 match. It was a shame really; I can still fondly remember their entrance music.

7. The Pitbulls – The Pitbulls is a name that has been used for many Tag Teams in the past, but I am talking about the team of Kid Kash and Jamie Noble. Both of these wrestlers were in the cruiserweight division and had some success in singles competition; but when they formed together making the Pitbulls it was a pretty exciting moment. At the time they were very hot single cruiserweight wrestlers, and teams made of cruiserweight wrestlers (like London and Kidman) usually were good value. These two though were not plumped on ECW, No, they were put on Velocity. Heat and Velocity were the shows WWE put on before the big events like Pay-Per-Views, Raw and Smackdown, just small things to get the audience going.  But if you were on one of the main shows and then went to Velocity or Heat, it was nearly a career death sentence. Some people did alright from it like Val Venis, but most of the time, it was where guys went before they were released from their contract. The Pitbulls had a few matches on Velocity and were pretty good, but it all ended rather abruptly after Kid Kash was released. Jamie Noble still stuck around for a time though.

jesse-and-festus

6. Jesse and Festus – In many cases with Tag Team wrestling, it’s not uncommon for teams to be made up of one little person, and one big person. During this time in wrestling Val Venis (not saying Val Venis is a small person, but…) was paired up with Viscera. It’s not necessarily a bad thing; it’s just the case that it can sometimes look like one certain person is doing all the work. That was not necessarily the case with these two, but the way they worked it out it could certainly look like that. Jesse and Festus played the parts of two wrestlers supposedly from the Deep South. Jesse was like a cruiserweight, Festus was definitely a heavyweight. Jesse was the talker/spokesperson of the team, whereas Festus was the muscle (it doesn’t help does it). It was a strange tag team in all honesty, as Festus looked like someone who should have been more in singles competition. Basically, Festus did not do any talking at all. He stared blankly into the camera, but supposedly had some kind of condition, which made him change personality from this dopey looking figure, to an enraged monster: when he heard the bell ring. Despite the strangeness of the team and its issues here and there, they were pretty entertaining, at one point acting like a removal firm. They had some good back stage moments, and some good in ring matches, including a good one between The Undertaker and Festus. But like many good, and entertaining Tag Teams in WWE, the two were split up. Jesse tried to become a member of Cryme Tyme, while Festus went on to be a sort of hard man enforcer type for many wrestlers like CM Punk in his Straight Edged Society. Jesse was eventually released from the company, later followed by Festus. It’s not all sad though, as Festus has returned to WWE once again in Tag Team competition as a member of The Club with AJ Styles and Karl Anderson; albeit now being called Luke Gallows.

tyson-tomko-and-gene-snitsky

5. Gene Snitsky and Tyson Tomko – This was another one of those cases where two mainly singles guys were brought together. Gene Snitsky had played the part of a large monster on Raw for a good long time and had scored a victory over Kane, and had been featured in a few main events including the main even at Survivor Series in 2004. But he began to dwindle after a time. Tyson Tomko was a big guy who could physically go, but spent most of his time acting like a bodyguard to Christian (much like Luther Reigns did for Kurt Angle), and we very rarely saw what he could do. So teaming these two together seemed like a good scenario, as two of the biggest and most imposing guys in WWE at the time would finally get an opportunity to show off. Well, to begin with you did not really get to see them, their main claim to fame was some kind of neck kink incident that John Cena walked in on. They did get one or two tag team title shots, but never really got it and then it just ended. It was a real shame; Tyson Tomko was one of these guys, much like Luther Reigns, who did have a good physical stance, but very little allowance to wrestle, and are instead hired to be bodyguards; Gene Snitsky meanwhile had proved what he was capable of, but this was never allowed either, and while this teaming up should have been a major move by WWE, it never went anywhere, and then they just disappeared.

the highlanders

4. The Highlanders – The Highlanders were a team of wrestlers apparently originating from Scotland who made a name for themselves mainly in Canada and in OVW. They came into WWE as two large, brutish wrestlers who had their own comedy and entertainment value and who in their first couple of weeks had shown what they could do, this swiftly ended with a loss to the Spirit Squad, and they just wandered for a long time. They became less a wrestling team, more a couple of guys backstage brought out for entertainment value, not wrestling value. This did change about a year later with a pretty good heel turn, which sadly did not last. When they first showed up they were very impressive and looked like ‘the team’; the ones everyone should look out for, the ones who got so hyped that they were going to be the tag team divisions next big thing, but sadly it never happened.

cryme-tyme

3. Cryme Tyme – For both Wrestling skill and backstage entertainment; no-one was better than Cryme Tyme. Cryme Tyme first appeared with a series of vignettes/promos where they appeared to be portraying a very stereotypical view on American street gangs. This view was shown by having two guys rob shops and beat people up, but in a way that was made to look entertaining. When Cryme Tyme finally appeared on Raw, they set the whole division ablaze with two wins against the Spirit Squad in a row. Their tag team skills in the ring were very good and they had some good finishers and good tactics (such as Shad Gaspard getting the pin, while JTG would distract the other team-mate). It was a good in ring team, but when they went backstage, they lit up the scene with a load of inappropriate sketches where they would greatly disrespect authority figures and rip people off. Their time as a team was sadly short, but they did get another go which went pretty ok too, but for a team that more than most showed they deserved a run with the titles; they never got them, and much like Jesse and Festus, they were split up in a move that was genuinely a bad move. Cryme Tyme were a fantastic team, and their combination of in ring skill and back stage antics made them one of the most memorable tag teams of that time if not more.

the mexicools

2. The Mexicools – The Mexicools were one of the first in the wave of teams that came about during this period of new tag teams. They were originally a stable made up of three very successful cruiserweight wrestlers; namely Juventud Guerrera, Psicosis and Super Crazy. The team was made to look like another group of stereotypes mainly that of Mexican immigrants employed to do house work. To this end the team would always come to the ring on a trio of Lawnmowers. The team originally started as just a group who would invade and disrupt matches, but soon would actually get involved with matches. This took the form of Juventud working as a singles wrestler and the group’s leader, and both Psicosis and Super Crazy in Tag Team competition. Within a short space of time, the group showed off with ease how good a team they were; displaying incredible tag team manoeuvres as well as spectacular single in ring performances including amazing high-flying skills. At the time, this team were more than obvious the ones who should have been getting title opportunities, and they did, nearly. Basically, the Mexicools got a shot at MNM’s tag team titles for the 2005 Armageddon Pay-Per-View.  The Smackdown before that said Pay-Per-View, Batista and Rey Mysterio won the Tag Team titles; so you would instantly think that come Armageddon, the Mexicools would face Batista and Rey Mysterio instead right? Wrong! Yes despite winning a shot at the titles; when the titles were won by somebody else, the team of Psicosis and Super Crazy did not fight that said team, but would fight MNM as usual, despite MNM not being the champions at that time. It was just stupid and ridiculous, and with the Mexicools finally on course to get something, they lose it for stupid reasons. The Mexicools hung round for a while after that, but Juventud had left, then Psicosis, and Super Crazy had a short singles run; until what became one of the most promising, and most deserving tag teams out there, became nothing!

the gymini

1. The Gymini – The Gymini were an interesting team. First introduced by Simon Dean on an episode of Smackdown, (with a cool entrance theme) one of them appeared followed by another. It was two rather large, muscled men who looked like a spitting image of one another. They showed no signs of being singles wrestlers pushed into one; they were in fact two real life twins also known as the Shane Twins who had some success in other companies. They came to WWE and quickly dispatched the hot tag team of the time; Paul London and Brian Kendrick, and they did this over a good few weeks. They stood out as a team; they both came with good individual in ring skills, as well as a series of team based moves which mostly involved throwing people in the air. They were as big as many singles performers and were dominant in every match. But again, were not given their just opportunity. They sort of stagnated and had one or two matches here and there, but instead of getting anywhere near the titles, they just dwindled, with the titles surprisingly being given to: Paul London and Brian Kendrick, the same guys the Gymini had destroyed on weekly occasions. It just did not make sense. The Gymini did not get a major full run compared to some other teams on this list, but for that very brief period in which they showed up and dominated the scene, they were in my opinion the best Tag Team of that period, and the one I wanted to see more of, and success brought too.

GENEPOOL

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Play it Again Philip

22 06 2016

Philips DVD Player

This past Saturday, I bought a brand new DVD player. Not much in the extraordinary I understand: people buy DVD’s and DVD Players all the time; so why is mine so special? Well, I say this, because, the previous DVD Player I had I received all the way back in November 2005. Yes, I have had the same DVD Player for nearly exactly 11 years. Yet again, maybe not the most extraordinary thing out there to talk about, but given the time I had it for and had become acclimatised too, plus the panic and nerves I created in buying a new one, I thought it could be an interesting blog post (if anyone is interested in history of personal items belonging to other people, sort of like those posts I wrote last year about my Bed).

New Bed with Bedding

Back in 2004, I got into watching Pro Wrestling. Every Saturday morning for a time I would watch WWE Smackdown on Sky One. As time passed by, I bought some WWE DVD’s to watch, however the only DVD player in the house was down stairs, and it was hard to watch any WWE event on DVD on the DVD Player as other people were not necessarily a big as a fan of WWE as I was. After several months, I decided to buy my own DVD Player, and put it in my room with my TV. So, the day after my birthday, I bought one from Currys, took it home, hooked it up to my TV and was able to watch programming. I cannot remember much about that player, except the title screen showed bubbles, the manufacturer started with an S and it had this blue streak across the front of the machine. That machine was pretty problematic as it would not play some DVD’s, would majorly struggle with others, and by October (less than 5 months after buying it), the machine packed in and had swallowed one of my DVD’s (WWE Armageddon 2004). My Mam took me to Currys, but they could not fix it, and the following Monday when I returned, they were able to take out the disc, but the machine had already totalled. As I still had the receipt, I was able to swap it though, and under the advice of a store clerk, I bought the Philips Machine, which worked brilliantly for over a decade.

Philips DVD Player 2

The machine was a nice silvery colour, and the controller was short and fat, but easy to control. It was a wonderful machine. I remember the week I picked it up, going to Currys with the old one after College, swapping it over, watching some DVD’s on it, then breaking my Knee Cap the following Saturday. It’s not the DVD Players fault, it just happened within a few days of each other. Anyway, it was good and I liked it. Back then I had an old TV which my family had previously rented before buying which I then utilised for my room. It was perched on a table which I still have, and the DVD Player was next to it. The early history of the machine was tumultuous as there were some scart issues. The old TV had only one Scart Plug, so over the years when I got more items requiring a socket, I would have to switch from one to the other, which weakened the connection, so it was hard for it to sit in the socket properly, which was even harder when the TV would get shoved aside, which would cause colour issues. At one point I bought a multi scart from Comet which I was assured by a store clerk would work well, but did not, and it was covered by those ridiculous small prints that once the package was opened could not be returned; I wasted some good money on that thing. Eventually however, I received the old downstairs TV (a JVC), which was bigger and had multiple scart sockets, so problem solved in the long-term.

The TV

What followed was many more entertaining and wonderful years of watching DVD’s, until just a few weeks ago. I had begun to re-watch the first season of Arrow on DVD. After playing the episodes, the DVD Player would struggle to reload the menu screen. I just thought that may be due to the disc being a previously used copy, but it just got worse. A couple of weeks ago, I decided to watch Hellboy, but the machine really struggled to load the DVD, it took forever. I cleaned the disc best I could, but once again struggled. I was able to watch it in the end, but I decided to run a test, if it was the DVD, or the player. I took out my DVD copy of Pacific Rim, something I had only run in the machine twice, meaning the disc was still relatively new. I put into the machine, and it did not load. The player was really good for loading a disc in less than about 12 seconds, after 30+, it did not load. I tried to empty the machine, but it even struggled with opening the tray. Luckily I was able to get it out. I then took the DVD downstairs and put it into one of the Players down stairs, and the disc loaded in seconds without a hitch (once I put it in the right way). I tried one more time a week or so later, and it was the same result for the Philips. I did not bother trying it down stairs; it was obvious the machine was dying.

Philips DVD Player Controller

In the end, I decided to buy a new machine. The Philips I had for all that time was a very good machine and had served me well, but even I knew it was time to say goodbye. I did some pre-checking in PC World and Currys, before then deciding that this past Saturday would be the day I would buy a new machine. It was quite handy too as I had been in town before purchasing it to get some books, and watch Princess Mononoke at The Dukes. I went into Currys and had a look. It was nerve-wracking as for one I did not want to spend too much, but two, because the TV was old, it would need some form of old connection as standard in order for me to be able to use it (and three, having previously bought a terrible Matsui from Currys many years ago, was hoping to buy something not so terrible). While I was in Currys I did ponder whether it would be best to get a new TV too, but given my current employment status (desperately looking for work) I knew I would have to raid my savings to buy a new one. So for now it was just the DVD Player. In the end and with some help, it came down to 2 machines, a Sony and a LOGIK. Knowing it would be better to get a more trusted brand, or at least one I had heard of, I went originally for the Sony as it had the Yellow White Red connections in the back, but when someone in the shop said that strangely the box might not contain those cables, I thought in that case I would buy the LOGIK as it had a Scart Connection too (although did not come with the cables, but I could still use the one from the Phillips) plus the coloured connectors and USB (and HDMI I think). After purchasing it plus buying some other bits and bobs quickly, I brought the machine home, and soon after set to work plugging it in.

Philips and LOGIK DVD Player Controller's

It was relatively straight forward in the end, just swap out the Philips, plug-in the LOGIK and then test it. Yeah, pretty simple. When it came to testing it which was simple enough, I knew I needed something good and clear to test it with. The TV is not HD, and frankly I do not care about HD, but I still wanted a clear enough picture. So, I chose the film AKIRA. AKIRA is of course the animated Japanese film from the late eighties, and knowing due to the film’s high sophisticated choice of colouring, knew it would be ideal to test it with. And it worked absolutely fine. It loaded very quickly, and it was a clear picture.

Neo-Tokyo

The controller is a lot thinner than the old one, but still easy to use, and unlike the Philips, does have an open/close button. Once I watched a little Akira, I tried it again a couple of times later, watching an episode of The Detectives, and the video diary of Tim Vine (from one of his DVD’s). Altogether, I like my new DVD player. It’s thin and black and fits nicely where the old one used to be. It’s black so fits in with the Virgin Media box sitting comfortably on top (both are very light, but did not fancy placing the player on top the box, as it’s wider), is quick, and very easy to use. So turns out I did not have to worry so much. So, so far so good. Will it last another 11 years, I don’t know, but as long as it lasts a good comfortably long period, I won’t need to worry about buying another one for some considerable time. So, all in all: good.

LOGIK DVD Player

GENEPOOL (Pop Quiz Hot Shot: What is the above title a line reference too that most people get wrong)?





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).





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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