TTT – Top Thirty Wrestlers

Greetings, Glancers! Wrestling is not something I talk about much on my blog – mainly because I can’t be arsed writing about it as keeping up with the 100 hours a week content is a big enough pain, and because there are plenty of bloggers out there who are much more dedicated and knowledgeable than I am. Still, it has been something which has been in and out of my life for as long as I can remember. As I sit here with nothing else to write about in September, I realised that I’m quite far behind on my Wrestling viewing. Summerslam has come and gone yet I’m only just finished watching the Raw and Smackdown after Wrestlemania. And I’m at least 7 weeks behind on Impact. Avoiding spoilers is one thing; catching up is another. So I thought I’d make a little Wrestling list.

In Primary School in the late 80s and early 90s – the early years of the explosion of the WWE (then WWF) thanks to main events like Wrestlemania and Royal Rumble, many of my friends were wrestling fans and those who weren’t still got swept along by the marketing and associated toys. If I had a dubious blue style plastic ring complete with announce table and Heavyweight Belt, another friend had an even more souped up model with walkway or Titantron. Actually – here’s the one I had (I still have it):

acf3b8d6c8ac105f05c2576ee3dbc8ec.jpg
I also have three of the four wrestlers pictured

I went away from it for a while, coming back as the Attitude era was picking up and going toe to toe with WCW. This was my second golden era as a new batch of characters reflecting the writing and tone of the time and yet they were still fighting alongside and against many of the household names from my childhood. Those large than life, yet real-life superheroes were performing entertaining feats of strength and agility that had long since been removed from much of the action movies I had also grown up on, and while the storylines rarely changed, they remained silly and pantomime enough for me to shout at the TV like a yahoo.

Wrestling has always worked in peaks and troughs. A few years after WCW collapsed and most of their talent joined Vince and Co, the Wresting world began to recess from my view – many of the new stars didn’t interest me, plots and gimmicks became too stale, and a lot of the humour and violence was lost. Now in my twenties, I had my own life to live, but as nature and life can sometimes be cyclical it wasn’t long before I started watching again, first with TNA and then back to WWE. A new and enthusiastic batch of younger, fitter, more self-aware and savvy performers had burst onto the scene and my wife (a fan from the 80s too) and kids started watching too. The speed was often increased, there was a focus on Woman’s Wrestling (particularly outside of WWE), and there was more content than every before, including Mexico and Japan’s offerings, Ring Of Honor, and now AEW and Shine/Shimmer.  It was not surprise to me that many of the surviving heroes from my younger days were still hanging around, that plenty of the Attitude Era guys were getting major airtime, and that it was as fun and over the top as ever. There’s simply something comforting knowing that these people are still out there selling it every night, and with each generation a new set of heroes is born and drawn to those bright lights and four corners.

And so, in a momentary spin-off from my usual Movie and Music based lists I present my, in no way exhaustive, list of favourite Wrestlers of all time. These are my personal picks based on a mixture of character, performance, ability, and just what they’ve meant to me over the years. It is not supposed to be a best-of, and indeed many of those listed will not be the usual picks. Most though will hardly be surprising to the hardcore. I’ve tried to limit this – believe me there are many many others I would love to mention, but hardly anyone will read this anyway and those who do will likely be bored by the time they reach this sentence. I’m doing this off the top of my head too, so I guarantee that within five minutes of publishing it I’ll remember one of my absolute favourites that I’ve somehow missed. So lets just get on with it. In alphabetical order:

APA

Made of of Faarooq and Bradshaw, also known as The Acolytes, The APA were a no nonsense, tough as nails tag team who would just as quickly take your money in a game of poker as beat you in the ring. Faarooq (Ron Simmons) had been a successful solo wrestler, winning the WCW Heavyweight Championship, but it wasn’t until he paired with Bradshaw as part of The Undertaker’s Acolytes group that both men’s career’s took off. After splitting off from The Dead Man, they continued as the APA – a shady, money focused business racket and would go on to win their third Tag Team Championship, in between acting as bodyguards for whoever needed (could pay for) them.

AJ Styles

AJ Styles was known for his hybrid style wrestling during his tenure with TNA and became one of their most valuable assets. As the Company’s fortunes began to sour, he jumped ship like many others. His final piece of characterization on TNA hinted heavily that the real AJ was not happy – growing his hair, beard, and becoming a loose cannon biker type. There was still some interesting stuff as he refused to get involved in the Aces & Eights war (for my money the most interesting stable of the last decade) and then suffering through a dubious title split thanks to Dixie Carter. After losing his match against Magnus to ‘reunify’ the two heavyweight title (don’t ask), AJ left the Company.

AJ’s earliest matches in TNA in the various X Division battles are the stuff of legend – pitted against similar high-flyers like Christopher Daniels, Petey Williams, and Chris Sabin, as well as great feuds with Kurt Angle, Abyss, and Samoa Joe, AJ was one of the most consistent and successful names on the books. That success has only grown since moving to WWE as he quickly became Smackdown Champion and held the title for a year. Recently he has been drifting between characters to see what sticks, currently as some sort of heel after a decent feud with Randy Orton. AJ has one of the most varied move sets in WWE at the moment and consistently looks fresh when viewed alongside many of the other big hitters with a much more limited series of moves, and is equally comfortable on the mat and in the air.

Austin Aries

Austin Aries is arguably my favourite wrestler of my own third generation of viewing (generations based on my intro post). His gimmicks have changed over the years and he remains a highly divisive figure among fans and promotions. Nevertheless, the one thing which both fans and detractors call out year upon year is his ego – no matter whether good guy, bad guy, or somewhere in between, it’s his ego which stands out. From The Belt Collector to The Greatest Man Who Ever Lived, A Double has provided many of my favourite moments in Wrestling in the last ten years, not least his creation of ‘Option Three’, beating Bobby Roode, and his stint fighting Aces & Eights. A six time X Division Champion, Aries – likes Styles – has a varied collection of moves and ways to antagonize his opponent which never fail to get a laugh out of me.

Aries moved to WWE with a hefty amount of heat behind him, but it always seemed like NXT and WWE didn’t really know what to do with him. I’m not sure of what happened behind the scenes but the two never seemed to click even though on the surface he’s exactly the sort of character – Heel or Face – that the company desperately needs. A promising start led to an injury which pushed him into commentary for a while, before an unsuccessful run at the Cruiserweight 205 Live belt seemed to sour things. Aries returned to Impact again, destroying Eli Drake in what I hoped signalled a return to success for the Company. While the Company’s fortunes seem to be turning, slowly, Aries didn’t last long and left after losing his Heavyweight title in the now infamous Bound For Glory headliner. That particular feud was one of the strangest I’ve ever witnessed with multiple reports conflating and conflicting what was real or planned or scripted and where lines blurred. In any case, Aries is no longer part of Impact or WWE, and the wrestling world is poorer for it, though he’s still lurking in the Indies and MLW. Any chance AEW? (Note, Aries has since given his turn of events in a recent interview with Killer Kross which makes for great reading).

Beer Money

Tag Teams can be hit and miss for me, usually built on some silly gimmick which instantly annoys me or sours quickly. Beer Money was one of the exceptions – an extension of what the APA stood for and acting like a couple of Stone Colds – beer drinking, hard hitting badasses who consistently got the job done. Made up of Bobby Roode and James Storm, the long-haired coupling who had worked against each other before in Team Canada (with Petey Williams and Eric Young) and America’s Most Wanted (with Gail Kim and Chris Harris). The pairing always felt natural and a combination sass and power, with the no fucks given attitude of Austin. Feuds with the Motor City Machine Guns, Team 3D, and the Main Event Mafia consolidated their prowess and influence but it was with Ric Flair’s revamped Four Horsemen – Fortune, that the group took off for me.

From there the group turned Heel to Face and then began branching out as dedicated solo performers. This in turn led to one of my favorite sequences in TNA as both Roode and Storm competed in Bound For Glory for the Heavyweight Championship. Roode was cheated out of victory by Kurt Angle, but Storm was then given a shot and won the title. Being best mates, Storm gave Roode a title shot only for Roode to turn heel and smash a beer bottle over Storm to win the championship. That was essentially the end. Both competitors went one to become personal favourites on their own, with Roode moving to WWE to glorious success and Storm remaining at Impact for a while, selling the likes of EC3 before moving to the newly reformed NWA.

The Boogeyman

What’s not to love about The Boogeyman? A horrendous and misguided misrepresentation of Lord knows what, he was the latest in a long line of GABBO-esque viral advertising, built up with creepy surprise promos for weeks until he was finally unleashed. And he was… what? Some Baron Samedi-looking ogre with a penchant for live worms and alien voodoo, yet for all the hype and shrieking he never truly amounted to anything or achieved much. He has hyped as the next super-freak, and then faded away to randomly appear in Raw Reunions for larfs. Imagine of Bray Wayatt’s latest incarnation had had a single match after all of those Sesame Street skits we saw, then was never seen again – that’s kind of like what happened to The Boogeyman. What a waste.

Chad Gable

This is going to be the most surprising inclusion in my list, but I genuinely think Chad Gable is the best all round athlete on WWE at the moment. While they persist in pushing gimmick based tag teams (New Day/Viking Raiders), completely bland tag teams (The Revival), and the more showy high fliers (Ricochet/Aleister Black), Chad Gable seems to be consistently sidelined. They haven’t quite figured out what to do with him – to me he’s the next natural Kurt Angle and just needs that one-liner or character change to truly break out. He had a decent run alongside Bobby Roode but they weren’t given any interesting storylines or teams to feud with – the same can be said for his stint with Jason Jordan (remember him?) Gable’s skills can’t be argued against – he is a former Olympian and is one of only two people to hold the NXT, Smackdown, and Raw Tag belts. He has seen a recent upturn by almost going all the way in the revamped King Of The Ring tournament (apparently – I still haven’t caught up to that point yet at time of writing). I’m not sure the whole Shorty G thing is going to work – it’s about time he got taken seriously as a hero figure instead of the constant drifting between Roman and Seth. He does need extra skills on the mike, but that only comes with extra time in the spotlight.

Diamond Dallas Page

A hero and inspiration to many, DDP’s exploits are far reaching and famous. Already clearly a good guy and well thought of within the business, his work with helping to rehabilitate wrestlers, athletes, soldiers, and anyone else was highlighted in the excellent Jake The Snake movie. In the ring, he was one of the major draws in the latter days of WCW, only starting to wrestle at the ripe old age of 35. It was a few years after he started that he began to make waves on television, feuding with Eddie Guerrero, NWO, and the Macho Man before truly ‘making it’. After winning several titles he made the move to WWE where he won another two championships. His Diamond Cutter probably remains my favourite cutter in the business.

DJZ

Where Gable is my pick for ‘should be much bigger than he is’, DJZ was my pick a few years ago for the next big thing. Along with a number of newer high-fliers from Impact such as Andrew Everett, DJZ has all the tools to be huge. A series of injuries has hit him, almost killed him, but he keeps coming back. A clear risk taker, he pulls out moves you’ve never seen before and does the classics with style, as well as being great on the mike. He has the pretty boy snarl to be a popular heel, and has the comic chops to be a cult face. He has had numerous successful runs on Impact, from his early days as Zima Ion eventually picking up the X Division Belt then a funny turn as part of the Bro Mans with Jessie Godderz, Robbie E, and Robbie T when he adopted the DJZ persona. If you’ve never seen an Ultimate X match, or an X division match in general with DJZ, you don’t know what you’re missing. Since leaving Impact, he has moved to NXT and will hopefully make a push onto one of the main brands – they need more interesting heels than Corbin.

The Dudleys

Out of all the tag-teams borne out of the Attitude Era, there were really only two who mattered to me – The Hardyz and these guys. They feuded on and off for years, along with Edge and Christian, in their infamous tables, ladders, and chairs matches – the very matches which really sucked me in during my second phase of viewing. Happy to be ‘the bad guys’ up against the pretty and heroic Hardy Brothers, Devon and Bubba were bruisers, adorned in snow camo-trousers, and always ready to smash you through a table or headbutt you in the groin. The team also transitioned over to TNA but it was Bubba (who became Bully Ray) who had the most single competitor success. He would be one of the front running heels for a few years in TNA – his story with Aces & Eights, Brooke Hogan, and Dixie Carter reaching melodramatic, can’t miss Soap Opera issues. As a team they were very fluid – they never looked like high fliers but would frequently be seen hanging off a ladder or leaping off the top rope just like their biggest rivals, and they had the shoot snark to go along with their in ring talents.

Eddie Guerrero

It’s difficult to think of a more popular villain in all of wrestling – maybe Triple H? Ric Flair of course? Guerrero transcended the Heel role, becoming more of a scoundrel or loveable rogue through his ‘lying, cheating, and stealing’ and finally becoming an outright icon for good. When in WCW, along with Benoit, Perry Saturn, and Dean Malenko as The Radicalz they took their long standing relationships and became a successful stable. The group left WCW shortly before the company collapsed and all four men went on to varying degrees of success with Vince and Co. It was Eddie who stood out as the pantomime character – his Lucha Libre stylings were mostly unique in the company and he had a knack for pre-memes, thanks to ‘mamacita’, ‘Latino Heat’, and other terms which caught on. It was rare that he ever got a clean win, forcing numerous disqualifications by tricking the officials and becoming romantically involved with the likes of Chyna and Vicky. His womanizing persona won over the crowd, leading to multiple titles, but his physical ability earned his respect, with many fans and fellow wrestlers calling him one of the best of all time. With at least 10 WWE championships, two from WCW, and multiple from other promotions, it’s difficult to argue against that fact.

Chris Benoit

As mentioned in some of my other entries, Benoit was one of the most successful performers to transition between WCW and WWE, his Air Canada and Crippler Crossface particularly devastating, and his alignment with Perry, Dean, and Eddie a long-lasting winning partnership. Of course every wrestling fan knows that it all ended in tragedy and horror, and I get the impression that there is a lot more about this story and the general physical and mental strain which the Business can cause that will come out in the future. When he was alive, Benoit was one of the best in-ring performers in the world. He may not have been the most electrifying on the mic but his dedication and skills always paid off, leading to one of the most emotional WWE World Heavyweight wins I’ve ever seen. In his time in the two main promotions, he was a two time WCW tag champion, 1 time WCW World Heavyweight Champion, 3 time TV champ, 2 time US Champ, 4 time WWE Tag champ, 4 time Intercontinental champ, 3 time WWE US Champ, and 1 time Royal Rumble Winner.

Eli Drake

Eli Drake came to the forefront just as TNA/Impact was on ‘the turn’. It was losing money, viewers, and performers left, right, and centre and Eli Drake quickly bcame noticed as the best mike performer thanks to his early Dummy button gimmick. His catchphrases quickly caught on with the crowd and he became a fan favourite. In many ways I would say Drake is the best mike man since The Rock, someone who has clearly influenced his persona and energy. Drake is not always the most elegant in the ring, but his connection to the crowd and series of devasting moves ensured his matches are always entertaining. He was certainly a major part of keeping the promotion alive during a number of transitory periods, earning several championships and teaming with a variety of stars from Drew Galloway, Scott Steiner, and Jessie Godderz and feuding with Grado, The Broken Hardeyz, and El Patron. Just as he was struggling to find a new outlet and form in his final months in Impact, he parted ways during some controversy surrounding his feelings about intergender wrestling, with Sami Callahan picking up the mantle. Drake is now with NWA, but would be another great fit for AEW or WWE thanks to his hilarious skills in front of the camera. I get the feeling, like EC3 and many others, that WWE wouldn’t know what to do with him.

f447621bcde61462-600x338

Gail Kim

For my money, Gail is the greatest female wrestler of all time. At the very least she is my favourite. Great on the mat, in the air, on the mike, and with a flexible move-set, she was part of the first true explosion in woman’s wrestling. Always creative in her matches, her long-running feuds with the likes of Awesome Kong, The Beautiful People, and Taryn Terrell remain some of the most electrifying matches you’ll ever see. Even though she won the Woman’s Championship in her first match in WWE, her time with them was not the most fruitful with Kim accusing the company of not knowing what to do with female talent, and specifically Asian talent. Equally alluring a performer as Heel or Hero, Kim relished both positions but as time went on the crowd were less convinced to see her as a bad guy, such was the respect they had for her. She bowed out of competition this year as a seven time TNA Knockouts Champion, selling Tess Blanchard as the next generation. It’s unfortunate now given how Women’s Wrestling has gone from strength to strength that so few wrestling fans, blinded by the glitz of WWE, know who Gail Kim is and that so few of today’s performers would be where they are without he accomplishments. Gail now works backstage on Impact, popping up every so often in front of the camera.

Goldberg

There were a couple of major draws for me when WCW came to Channel 5 in the UK in the late 90s. I knew the big names who had been around the block for the company and of course those convinced to join from the WWE. Goldberg I knew nothing about, until I saw him on Channel 5, learned about the undefeated strike, and watched him in action myself. The guy was simply unstoppable. A powerhouse who would regularly shred opponents to pieces thanks to his Jackhammer and the best Spear in the game. Unfortunately this was around the time he kept being hit by injuries, and within a couple of years the company folded. Goldberg would eventually move over to WWE, the 1 wrestler I most wanted to see make the move, and he continued from where he left off, feuding with the best and going on another streak. His most ntoable feud was against Triple H and pals as he successfully won the World Heavyweight Championship and defended it against all manner of usual HHH shenanigans. I’m still bitter Kane didn’t win the title, but HHH gets what HHH wants. After losing the belt, Goldberg had a brief feud with Brock Lesnar before leaving the company – a feud which would be picked up again years later. There have been few performers as explosive as Goldberg – it’s a shame injuries prevented him from making a longer-lasting impact.

The Hardy Boyz

The Attitude Era was all about 90s cool, but it wasn’t always the easiest task making the ‘roided up, beefcakes of the 80s seem all that appealing to the post-grunge, post-meta 90s landscape. Enter The Hardy Boyz, sleeve tats, punk ethos, dyed hair, piercings, and they didn’t look like superheroes. They almost looked like, with a little bit of training, you or I could match up to them. Crucially, they brought a rarely before seen high-flying, daredevil style to wrestling which took the business to a new level; it wasn’t just muscle bound freaks you could lift a limo with one hand while choking out a rhino with the other. It was guys like you or me who could run, climb, flip, and dive of twenty foot ladders through cunningly placed tables like no-one’s business. I credit WWE’s continued success at the tale end of the century and into the next, to these guys and The Rock, for changing the game like no others. You knew every match was going to be an event, a spectacle, and you knew you were going to see violence the likes of which was usually reserved for Hong Kong movies. Matt and Jeff would continue across multiple promotions, both as a team and as solo competitors, trying new personas such as Jeff’s Willow and Matt’s Broken Hardy, culminating in such madness as lawnmower jaunts in the grounds of the Hardy complex, and sentient drones.

Hulk Hogan

He’s still the most famous of them all, right? Even though his fame has been tinted by a lot of awful personal stuff and stories which have come to light, nobody quite embodies the unique pantomime/gladiator lore as Hulk Hogan.

Jake The Snake

If Hulk was generally known for standing up for all that was good, right, and American, then Jake The Snake was known for, well, having a giant ass snake in a sack. Jake never was able to translate one of the most unique gimmicks into Championship success, but he remained one of the most popular and visible stars of wrestling throughout the 80s and into a less decisive 90s. He was the first WWE figure I wanted to buy – in those days that particular toy range each had a special move – a button to make them kick or slam etc. Jake’s was a fist you could pull back on a spring and release. I chipped my tooth thanks to this fist, within days of purchase. His Resurrection documentary is a great watch, a fantastic insight into the man and the business, and his appearance on the Joe Rogan podcast is a must listen for any Wrestling fan.

035Kane

Kane

My all time favourite Wrestler. People love The Undertaker – I love The Undertake, but The Dead Man’s brother appealed to the adolescent underling in me and ticked all the right boxes. He was a towering behemoth, a horror movie villain, a mute and seemingly indestructible powerhouse with a move-set which mimicked his brother’s, with a few twists of its own. Plus he could conjure fire. I don’t think The Company ever gave Kane his due, and still don’t. At minimum they should be wheeling him out each Royal Rumble as an opportunity for him to eliminate a few people and act as an opportunity for one of the up and comers to take him out and make a name for themselves. Too often, Kane has been used specifically to sell someone the company wanted to push and too often has he been used purely to make someone else look good, without allowing him to shine himself. No, his ten plus tag team championships and two time Heavyweight belts aren’t enough. He still holds PPV appearance and Royal Rumble Elimination records, but like a certain Austrian bodybuilder before him, a life in politics has taken him away from his true calling – beating the shit out of people for my entertainment. He still has a couple of good runs in him.

Lita

As The Hardy Boys made waves for their high-flying antics in and out of the ring, a young woman by the name of Lita came to prominence by helping out Essa Rios, a new Lucha fighter. He was okay, but she caught the eye thanks to her gritty punk style, good looks, and her top rope moonsault. It seemed inevitable that she would become the anti-poster girl for WWE, feuding with the more traditional upstarts like Torrie Wilson and Trish Stratus. Lita and Trish’s bouts were the first authentic female matches the brand had, and while they still had their fair share of underwear related matches (no complaints from me at the time), it was clear than Lita was spearheading a new movement and proving women could be just as good, and just as much of a legitimate draw, as the men.

The Undertaker

I mentioned Kane as my all time favourite, but it’s Undertaker who understandably gets the headlines. He’s been seemingly around forever, he changed the game when it comes to entrances, gimmicks, back story, and he managed to evolve with the business numerous times to remain one of the biggest draws in the business. A character of effortless cool, who doesn’t get a chill down their spine when that bell first tolls, or when you wait in anticipation for the dead man to rise, sit up after being hit with a finisher only to deliver a hellish chokeslam and tombstone of his own? Sure he’s retired about 12 times now, and is last few one off matches haven’t exactly inspired confidence, but when all is said and done he’ll be remembered as one of the greatest of all time.

Sting

Speaking of all time greats, Sting was the man who kept both WCW and TNA afloat for decades, the one man WWE wanted but couldn’t get. From his bleach blond roots to his conversion to his Crow persona he was a mainstay on ‘the other wrestling promotion’ and a source of respect to everyone in the business. It should have been big news when Sting finally made the jump to WWE, except he suffered a career ending injury in basically his first match, and that was that. When I watched WCW in the early 90s, Sting was to WCW what Hogan was to WWE – bigger than life, heroic, and with a series of moves which been adopted by others while keeping the name he gave them – The Stinger Splash, the Scorpion Death Lock etc. His move to The Crow look, and the related storylines, is one of the best character changes in Wrestling history. Whether as part of NWO, as a heroic face, or in his TNA days, Sting was number one and picked up 6 WCW Heavyweight Belts, 3 WCW tag titles, 2 WCW USA championships, 5 TNA World Titles, and become a two time Hall Of Famer.

The Ultimate Warrior

If I’m honest, I was always more partial to The Ultimate Warrior than Hulk when I was younger. He looks ridiculous in retrospect, but in the 80s and early 90s, The Ultimate Warrior was essentially a real life He-Man. How could anyone have that much manic energy and have so many muscles? The combination of colour and ability made him an obvious stand-out performer. Since his death, a whole lot of rumours and stories and true accounts have come out about the man behind the war paint which have certainly soured his legacy, but as in in-ring performer and a major foil for Hulkamania, there have been few better.

Mike Foley

One of the first images I ever remember seeing on a Wrestling Magazine was of Foley, as Cactus Jack, face bloodied and head wrapped in barbed wire. As an already devout action movie and horror fan, I needed this in my life. I already knew Cactus Jack, but only through the heavily censored footage I had seen – they were the matches that were ‘too violent for TV’ or they ‘used REAL violence’ as opposed to what I already knew was fake in the industry. It wasn’t until Foley moved to WWE, initially as Mankind,that I got to see his brutal matches without cut always or censorship. Chair shots, trashcan lids, staples, bats, and everything else were employed in the early days as Mankind started pissing off The Undertaker, kick-starting one of the all-time great feuds. That of course culminated with Paul Bearer dropping Taker, a number of first-time matches (Buried Alive, Boiler Room) and of course the infamous Hell In A Cell encounter – frequently highlighted as the greatest match of all time. No matter what persona Foley adopted, his characters were always quirky and filled with repeatable one-liners. There have been few equal to Foley’s mic skills and knack for getting the crowd on board, and there aren’t many true innovators of violence more influential than him.

The Rock

We go from one of the best mic-talkers, to the best there has ever been. You go back and watch old promos from the best in the business, to the 80s, and they are almost all ridiculous. Cheesy, hammed up, and amusing, charming, and dated in their ways. You shake your head and wonder how you enjoyed the stuff at the time. Then you watch The Rock and he just continues to blow everyone else away. His lightning fast speeches, his hilarious interruptions, his timeless one-liners and whip-smart humour – he single-handedly destroyed the old guard promos and challenged every other wrestler on the planet to just bring it with even half the skill and style he did. No-one has met the challenge yet. Of course, that would be nowt without in-ring ability.

Stone Cold Steve Austin

As much as I love Kane’s booming intro, there are two pieces of music/sounds which sit at the top of the pile as perfect heralds for incoming mayham. The Undertaker’s doom coloured death knell chime, and the explosion of glass which signals Stone Cold’s manic march to the ring. These two pieces are as perfect as you can get – both symbolizing the character, both instantly recognizable. In this day and age of symbols and memes and endless sharing, the impact that a single sound can have around the planet has never been higher and even now, years after Stone Cold has retired, that crash sends audiences into a frenzy as he heads down to burst open a few cold ones and stun whichever poor sod happens to be in the ring at the time. An all round bad-ass, a good talker, and with one of the most sudden and devastating finishers in the business, while Austin was injured and forced out before his time, he still notched up 14 championships in WWE as well as three Royal Rumble wins and is of course a Hall Of Famer – he picked up a few in WCW too.

Too Cool

As far as, for lack of a more respectful term, joke teams go Too Cool dropped at the right team. While the Attitude era has a little more saucy, a little more hardcore, there was also a lot of room for fun and nonsense. Too Cool exemplified this, with their wide-eyed gazes, dances, Rikishi love, and worms. Everybody enjoyed mimicking their moves and they were popular enough to win the tag championship twice. Today’s most popular teams such as The New Day have a lot to thank Too Cool for.

nWo

Maybe the greatest of all factions – New World Order went through various incarnations and saw the likes of Sting, The Big Show, The Million Dollar Man, Bischoff, The Macho Man, Konan, Jeff Jarrett, Bret Hart and many others involved, but it was the mainstays and instigators – Hogan, Hall, and Nash – who created and solidified their legacy. Coming in like a group of thugs, seeing Hogan turning Heel and wanting to take over the business. They were the team, and the main reason, most people tuned in to Nitro over Raw in the 90s and remain one of the most influential groups in Wrestling history.

Samoa Joe

One of the first ‘big men’ who was a complete all rounder – grappler, bruiser, high-flyer, as adapt off the ropes as he was lethal with submissions, Joe was one of TNA’s finest villains. Since moving to WWE he hasn’t managed the same level of impact, usually reduced to more heel plots where he tends to ‘get personal’ with friends and family members but is still clearly a fan favourite in the company. His feuds with Angle, AJ, Magnus, and a good guy turn versus Aces & Eights saw him as one of TNA’s most respected and successful performers, picking up nine championships before earning another four in WWE.

Mr Anderson/Kennedy

A man whose entire character seemed to be based on a single gimmick – a ridiculous one – somehow manager to build on that to become one of the most entertaining talkers in both WWE and Impact. That gimmick? Quite simply, he would announce himself when he had a match, hurling out his name (similar to ‘Best In The World Shane McMahon’), then pause for a couple of seconds, then repeat his surname. That’s it – Mr Kennedy….. Kennedy. It was nonsense, but somehow it worked. I used to head out to bars on a Saturday night – metal bars mostly – and after a drink too many I would mimic his shout. Without fail, some other drunken loon would repeat ‘Kennedy’ before I could. He’s infamously the only person to lose the Money In The Bank briefcase before cashing in, but he did become USA Champ and Two Time Heavyweight Champ in TNA.

Kurt Angle

Frequently called out as the best all round Wrestler of all time, it wasn’t always plain sailing for Angle. He had a rough time in his early days in WWE, not coming across well to fans, but thanks to feuds with Eddie Guerrero and honing in on his comedy skills, he eventually won the universe over, then allowing his obvious in ring talent to shine. For someone who won an Olympic Gold Medal with a broken freaking neck, his success was inevitable. In many ways his most thrilling matches were with TNA, where he decided to go for more daredevil moves and being part of some of the best solo and group feuds in the company’s history. He has of course returned to, and retired from WWE due to many legitimate neck injuries, but he leaves behind a career which saw him pick up 6 TNA Heavyweight Championships, 1 X Division Title, 2 TNA Tag Titles, 2 WCW belts, two Hall Of Fame medals, and for WWE – 5 Heavyweight, 1 Tag Title, 1 Euro Champ belt, 1 Hardcore Belt, and 1 Intercontinental Champ. Presumably he’ll pick up the 24/7 belt at some point.

There you go – my favourite wrestlers ever, from the top of my head. I know I’ve missed some of the most famous and plenty of the current stars – but let me know in the comments who would be on your list!

 

 

Amazon Vine Freebies – October 2017

Arghh, children! Children banging my door and asking for treats!

For Your Teacher

The Influential Classics Collection: The Prince and The Republic

For Your Gran

Bomb Cosmetics Holly Soaks Set

For Your Nan

Bomb Cosmetics Creature Comforts

For Your Snowflake

WeRChristmas Pre-Lit Snowflake

For Your Pussy

Animology Feline Fresh Wipes

For Your Kids

WeRChristmas Pre-Lit Nativity Scene Advent Calendar

For Your Daughter

Disney Frozen Northern Lights Anna

For Your Neighbours

Festive Productions 20L Multicolour Silver Wire Lights

For Your Other Teacher

Bomb Cosmetics Christmas Wishes

For Your Secret Santa

Bomb Cosmetics Christmas Ballotin

For Your Wife

Philips PowerLife Steam Iron

For Your Other Wife

Vax Power Stretch Total Home Vacuum

For Your True Match

L’Oreal Paris True Match Minerals Foundation

For Your Aunt

Vax Air Stretch Total Home Vacuum

For Your Da

Lynx Trio Men’s Gift Set

For Your Sister

Maybelline Sweet Cheeks Gift Set

For Yer Ma

Kitchen Craft We Love Christmas Serving Platter

For Your Arse

WeR Christmas Round Santa Christmas Cushion

For Your Bitch

Treat! Dogs Catching Treats!

For Your Other Bitch

Dove Beauty Collection Washbag

Running Out Of Puns

Festive Productions 100L LED

Running Out Of Curls

Tresemme 7 Day Smooth Gift Set

For Your Lips

L’Oreal Read My Lips Christmas Cracker

For Your Brow

Rimmel Brow Pomade

Get These Hands

WWE Top Trumps Quiz Game

Liu Kang

Fei Liu Fine Jewellery Charm Bracelet

Lou R’eal

L’Oreal Paris True Match Minerals Foundation Vanilla Rose

Lou Reed

Nivea Men Prepared Gift Set

Lurid

WeRChristmas Santa With Colour Changing LED Body

Le Sacconejoly

The Sacconejolys And The Great Cat Nap

L’Ord Vader

Mitre Star Wars Football

Le Ooh La La

WeRChristmas Checked Santa Design Tree Skirt

Le Carie Dentaire

Swizzels Retro Sweet Hamper

L’oover

Hoover Sprint Lightweight Cordless Vacuum

Now THAT’S what I call a month of freebies.

My Wrestlemania 34 Thoughts – Why the Hell Not?

ronda-rousey-stephanie-mcmahon-wrestlemania-34-video-thumbnail-only.jpg

Oh look! It’s another fool throwing his hat into the ring and sounding off about the biggest event in the WWE calendar. Yes, this past Sunday (as every commentator in wrestling and absolutely no-one else, anywhere, ever) says saw the biggest names in professional wrestling going for glory on the grandest stage of them all. Full disclosure – although I’ve been a wrestling fan my whole life, its one of those things that I step away from every so often only to come back to a year or so later. I was into it in the 80s, stepped away at some point in the 90s only to return to it shortly after Raw started. Then again, around 2005 I stopped watching regularly, only to return to it (though primarily TNA) around 2008. It’s really only the last three or so years that I’ve picked up regularly on WWE again.

So Sunday was Wrestlemania 34 – a ridiculous seven plus hours bonanza of action, talking, and reminders that it’s free to new subscribers to the WWE Network. I know you yanks love your pomp and pageantry, but even this is excessive. That’s actually one of the issues I have with WWE at the moment – there’s just too much – too much of everything. I honestly only have time for Raw and Smackdown, mainly because my daughter is now obsessed with wrestling so I’m not allowed to watch anything if she’s not there too – so between getting home from work, doing schoolwork with the kids, and getting the bedtime routine sorted, there’s no way I could also squeeze in NXT and 205 Live. It’s a shame though, because Cruiserweights have always been a favourite of mine – high flying action as a counter to the beasts and monsters. Some of my favourite TNA people have migrated to NXT, but I rarely get to see them, and when some NXT guys feature in a pay per view I don’t have much history with their characters or stories. I’m sure for those of you who have the time, then it’s a wonderful problem to have… I just don’t have a solution for it. What I would say is that currently there are a lot of nobodies on Smackdown and a few of the bigger names on NXT or 205 deserve to feature there instead.

I’ll get my other issue with WWE out of the way – Wrestlemania isn’t what it once was. It used to be the high point of the year, but now it feels more like a more bloated standard Pay Per View. The Royal Rumble has always been my favourite event, and each year only further cements that. My main issue is that there are simply too many Pay Per Views on the calendar – do we really need one per month? To me that means you’re condensing story lines to get them out the door by the end of a month, or you end up dragging them out too long. It feels like there is no road to Wrestlemania anymore. If it was me, I’d have Royal Rumble… then Wrestlemania – no PPV in between. I know you have to give equal focus to Raw and Smackdown, but if you can’t wait a few months in between, throw in Elimination Chamber for Raw and Smackdown in a single event – at least it has an interesting gimmick.

But enough moaning, lets get on to the good stuff. The Pre-show is nothing more than an excuse to entice new subscribers to sign up. They throw in a handful of matches to encourage new or semi-interested fans to get involved. The three matches in the Pre-show this year all had great potential, though only one of them was pure entertainment, and one of the best matches of the night.

Andre The Giant Battle Royale

I said the Royal Rumble is my favourite event of the year and I love the gimmick of not knowing who’s involved, even if you can almost guarantee the genuine contenders. This was a complete mess until the herd was thinned out. You had no idea who all was in the ring although the direction and general camerawork was better than the women’s equivalent. At the start of the match I figured Baron Corbin or Dolph Ziggler to win, though I was pleased to see Hardy get the win. Bray Wyatt returned, pretty much quashing my wife’s thinking that he would be Strowman’s mystery partner. Matt Hardy though… everyone seems to love the Woken gimmick. It was terrible on TNA and it’s just as bad, if not worse here. It’s good for a chuckle, but it’s not as funny or interesting as it thinks it is, and the ultimate deletion things are always a trial to get through. The trouble with this match is that it doesn’t mean anything yet – there’s little or no prestige and it cheapens the Royal Rumble. It should be a spur of the moment match, not a yearly thing. If it is to be yearly, then make it more important.

Cedric Alexander vs Mustafa Ali

This was a terrific match and deserved better than the pre-show. When your pre-show match is more interesting, better received, and has more talent than your main event, you know something ain’t right. And that’s with me not knowing much about either wrestler. I’d watched them fight before, I love the fact that fucking Enzo is gone, but I had no grounding in their history. This was too super talented athletes going full pelt with genuine passion. On a side note – DJZ’s entrance gear is much cooler than Ali’s. Oh yes… Drake Maverick? What the hell sort of fifth grade half-assed porn-star name is that? You are Rock Star Spud, and you always will be.

First Ever Women’s Battle Royale

Or second. Or third if we include the Royal Rumble, but who cares. This was a more interesting match with better stories than the men’s one, but the direction was absolutely terrible. At least viewers at home got to see who was in the ring from the start, though having three of the superstars getting individual intros must have felt like a kick in the nuts. It didn’t help though that I knew almost none of the NXT people, or basically anyone who wasn’t on Raw or Smackdown. At times there seemed to be only two cameras working, and both were suffering from delay. JR and The King didn’t help matters as neither seemed to know who anyone was or what was happening. The whole Naomi not eliminated thing was handled terribly – I commented when Becky was eliminated that Naomi was on the floor and asked if she went out too. Only my youngest daughter was able to say that she didn’t go over the top rope, so we kind of knew she was maybe still in the match. I imagine a few people lost their jobs over this match.

The Miz vs Seth Rollins Vs Finn Balor

This was a great way to kick off the main show, with three, by and large, evenly match competitors. It seemed likely The Miz would lose so he could take some paternity leave. I’ve never been a huge fan of his, at least in the ring, but at this point in time there’s no-one better on the mic than The Miz. Finn Balor I don’t care too much for – he smiles too much and the beard and costume are ridiculous. That leaves Seth, who seemed like the obvious choice to win. This was a strong match to get things going.

Charlotte Vs Asuka

One of the most anticipated matches of the night deserved higher billing. I honestly didn’t care who won this, though I have a feeling at Royal Rumble it was set in stone to be Asuka. Once Asuka started on the mic in shows after Royal Rumble, some sectinos of the crowd began to turn on her and I think the decision was made to allow Charlotte to pick up the win. Sucks for Asuka, especially as Charlotte didn’t need the win. This was another passionate performance though, I’m surprised it ended with a submission quite easily in the end, and I was expecting Asuka to turn heel during the celebration. That would have opened her up to be taken under Paul Heyman’s wing. In the end, it was what it was, and remained one of the best matches of the night, though it was soured a little by the whole Cena thing. Why was Asuka left in the ring by herself while this was going on, and why did they keep cutting to her looking bemused as if something was about to happen her? It was as awkward as the pre-show interview with Cena.

Randy Orton vs Bobby Roode vs Jinder Mahal vs Rusev

Most people were expecting Rusev to get this one, and most people were pissed that he didn’t. I had an inkling Orton would keep it, because Orton is another figure who always seems to get what he wants. I’ve never been a fan of his, Jinder Mahal has weird bandy looking legs, and I was never taken by the whole Rusev day thing – as far as entire gimmick’s based around a single word or phrase goes ‘Indeeeeeed’ would still be my go to. That leaves Bobby Roode, who I love from the TNA singles and Beer Money days. This was an okay match, but there was no reason for it to be a fourway.

Kurt Angle and Ronda Rousey vs HHH and Stephanie McMahon

Easily the match of the night. We were all wondering how Rousey would get on, and while purists have had issues I loved every second of it and can’t really faulty her performance. Naturally Hunter and Steph were their usual scumbag selves and played the roles better than anyone else in the last twenty years has been able to. I was honestly more concerned about how Kurt would fare given he seems barely able to stand on a regular Raw. He did okay, but seems a pale shadow of his cyborg days of a few years ago. So yes, great match and I’m keen to see what they do with Rousey. Also – the referee was laughing his ass off all the way through this.

The Usos vs New Day vs Bludgeon Brothers

Bludgeon Brothers all the way. Ever since they first appeared I was begging someone to give them a proper match, not the succession of jobbers they kept destroying. I don’t care about the Usos – their gimmick is terrible and they haven’t impressed me much as fighters. The New Day are for the kids and nothing more – fun gimmicks and quotes, but I don’t care. Gable and Benjamin are clearly the best in the division and I was pissed when they won/didn’t win the titles. Brothers picked up the win fairly easily, but I’ve no idea what can be done with them as champs – note that at time of writing I haven’t finished watching the post PPV Raw or started Smackdown yet.

John Cena vs Alias (vs The Undertaker)

Kudos to them for keeping The Dead Man under wraps – no rumours or sightings of him ever went online until the very second his hat and coat appeared in the ring. Alias was dispatched of quickly and ‘Taker defeated Cena in less time than it took him to get to the ring. It was great to see him back, he looked better in his two minutes here than he did against Reigns last year, though I’m not sure what else they can do with him at this point – or even if he wants to be involved.

Daniel Bryan and Shane McMahon vs Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn

When I first started watching Smackdown again after being away, I wasn’t convinced that Zayn wasn’t some guy from One Direction. More importantly, I didn’t really know who Daniel Bryan was or why he seemed so beloved. Now that they’ve shown the Yes footage so many times since then, I get it, but I wasn’t there to see him wrestle and so I’m fairly ambivalent towards him. People have said he looked as good as ever in the ring, but I didn’t see anything special here. I was hoping Shane would pull something out of the bag – but the only highlight was a patented leap across the ring. Owens and Zayn are annoying to me, I don’t care what happens to them next… decent match, but can’t say I cared much.

Alexa Bliss vs Nia Jax

This was pretty much a certainty, at least for me. It was definite when Jax destroyed Mickie James at the outset. Again, where do they take Jax as a champion – will Asuka want a piece? Will Ronda? It was a good match, it won’t be long before Bliss is a champ again given she’s so strong on the mic and very popular, but Raw has a surplus of female talent at the moment.

AJ Styles vs Shinsuke Nakamura

This was the one everyone was looking forward two, and it’s the one most wanted to be the main event. Perhaps there was too much anticipation, perhaps it was the fact that Styles was injured a few weeks before, but it never quite got into top gear. I don’t have much history with Nakamura – I like him, but I’ve never seen him be spectacular in the ring. Styles on the other hand I’m well versed in and he’s one of the best, most well-rounded performers I’ve ever seen. The match seemed to lack the energy that both men are known for, and there was no real build up to finishers or a true spark or inspiration. Nakamura’s low blow ensures that we haven’t seen the last of this story and hopefully future matches will be more intense.

Sheamus and Cesaro vs Braun Strowman and Nicholas

We all knew Strowman was winning this, the only question was who was going to be his partner. As the night went on, I became more and more convinced he would pull a randomer from the crowd, and lo and behold that’s what happened. Some people have slammed this but I thought it was great fun and my kids loved it. I was hoping that the kid would actually do a bit more, or even that Strowman would give him the pin, but still it was pretty funny. I don’t think it should have been so high on the card, but it was a highlight of the end of the show.

Brock Lesnar vs Roman Reigns

What. A Mess. You don’t need me to tell you. It wasn’t even the main event no-one asked for, it was the match no-one asked for. I’ve never liked Brock Lesnar, between him never showing up, never talking, looking out of breath and half wrecked every match, always on the verge of tears, yet inexplicably always beating much better and more interesting people, and Roman Reigns who I’ve never had the opportunity to warm to as everyone hates him, this was always going to be a disaster. People walked out in their thousands. The ‘this is boring’ chant soon became ‘this is awful. An inflatable ball got more cheers in the match. And then the twist came – when Brock actually beat Reigns. The one absolute guarantee long before Wrestlemania was that Brock was leaving and Reigns was becoming champ. Nope. The man who’s maybe turned up half a dozen times in a year retains the belt. The belt is now worthless – Nicholas would probably throw it back at you. The match itself was a horror show too, F5 after F5, failed suplex after failed suplex – that one into the table was one of the worst things I’ve ever seen in over thirty years of watching (the Undertaker boot miss was pretty bad too). I can only assume this was Reigns playing dead after seconds before Brock botched another suplex, dropping Reigns onto his head. This was a main event bad enough to bring the entire world of professional wrestling into disrepute. The thing is… I thought the last few weeks of build up had been decent – the Reigns calling out Lesnar business worked well and some of the booing of Reigns up till the main event wasn’t fair. All of that went out the window in the succession of finishers and kick-outs. It’s at times like these you wish someone would put Vince through a table.

So, a botch filled main event, lots of incorrect title logos, interviewers not knowing how to fill time, and stoned cameramen, but nevertheless an incredibly entertaining show. That’s probably the only wrestling post you’ll see here… it all happens to fast that I can’t be arsed recapping or reviewing, and I follow plenty of blogs who already do it better than I could. Let us know in the comments what you thought of the show and what the future holds. But MOST IMPORTANTLY – who the hell is that guy with the long hair who gets ringside seats at EVERY SINGLE SHOW!? The long lost McMahon son? Answers on a postcard.

Amazon Vine- September 2014

September, September, the most hated month in the Western world, scourge of kids forced to return to education after months of freedom, despised by everyone else who dreads the coming rain and snow. Thanks to Amazon, my month was made brighter and better by a nine-item bounty, including toys and DVDs. What more could I ever want?

neve-campbell-2
Ahem

I Really Hate My Job (DVD): http://www.amazon.co.uk/Really-Hate-My-Job-DVD/dp/B00IRYXYGS/ref=sr_1_1?s=dvd&ie=UTF8&qid=1427365490&sr=1-1&keywords=i+really+hate+my+job

Starring my beloved Neve, this film was pretty dreadful, with irritating characters and… that’s about it. But Neve makes everything better.

Cannibal: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Cannibal-DVD-Antonio-Torre/dp/B00JXNCR8S/ref=sr_1_2?s=dvd&ie=UTF8&qid=1427365453&sr=1-2&keywords=cannibal

91uYwfjYEOL__SL1500_ A slow-burning drama dealing with a murderous tailor with a taste for human flesh. Not as exploitative or gory as it sounds, or as good.

Heli: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Heli-DVD-Armando-Espitia/dp/B00KL91CKW/ref=sr_1_1?s=dvd&ie=UTF8&qid=1427365179&sr=1-1&keywords=heli

71VdaEeWzCL__SL1334_

A decent Mexican film focussing on one family’s struggle with drugs, violence, and corrupt cops. Well acted and with several brutal scenes, it doesn’t make for easy watching.

WWE Superstrikers Slam N Launch Arena: http://www.amazon.co.uk/WWE-Superstrikers-Slam-Launch-Arena/dp/B00IVLIF9I/ref=sr_1_1?s=kids&ie=UTF8&qid=1427365140&sr=1-1&keywords=WWE+Superstrikers+Slam+N+Launch+Arena

untitled

Woo hoo! The sort of ring I always wanted when I was a kid, this one has a number of features to make play all the more exciting.

Crayola Marker Maker: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Crayola-74-7054-U-000-Marker-Maker/dp/B00CI6J8KW/ref=sr_1_1?s=kids&ie=UTF8&qid=1427365074&sr=1-1&keywords=crayola+maker

91hM7CB5BbL__SX425_

A fun tool for arty types which my kids are still a little too young to apprecitate.

LeapFrog LeapBand Activity Tracker (Orange): http://www.amazon.co.uk/LeapFrog-LeapBand-Activity-Tracker-Orange/dp/B00KNT6TEO/ref=sr_1_1?s=kids&ie=UTF8&qid=1427365035&sr=1-1&keywords=activity+tracker+leapfrog

417aXAyJiaLAgain, my eldest is a bit young to get the most out of this, but she enjoys the pseudo-Tamagochi nature and the mini-games.

LeapFrog Learning Friends Play and Discover School Set: http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B00JLHVWUU

819DMh5ZxKL__SL1500_A nice addition to the existing houses, figures, and playsets we already have.

Monster High Freaky Fusion Bonita Femur Hybrid Doll: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Monster-High-Freaky-Fusion-Bonita/dp/B00IVFCKEA/ref=sr_1_1?s=kids&ie=UTF8&qid=1427364843&sr=1-1&keywords=bonita+femur

91TKWa5nsoL__SL1500_Another Monster High Doll, and another hit in our house.

Kid Galaxy Morphibians Terrapin: http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B00KR2Q3HU

A great little remoted controlled car which zooms through water as easily as over land.

The Stranger

The Stranger

Even though I’m a WWE (and Austin fan) I can’t say I had high expectations for this one. Austin and his ilk have a habit of making average action movies which usually come with a decent synopsis and trailer. As you think `this one might actually be good’ you are inevitably disappointed. It takes a lot these days to make an entertaining action movie – the fact is that we have seen it all before, especially hardened fans who grew up with the classics of the 80s and 90s. It takes something groundbreaking to really catch our imaginations now, a la The Matrix. That’s not to say that filmmakers should stop trying – if you have a decent plot, interesting characters, and a talented case then go for it.

The main issue here is that of the aforementioned trilogy of criteria, each one is only partly met. We have the standard `man with amnesia wants answers and revenge’ plot (Bourne Trilogy), we have stock characters with little motivation or background, and we have a cast of mostly unknown actors led by a director who is best known commercials. To say there is a lack of substance would show a lack of critical analysis. So from the start we are shooting for average – anything better would be quite an achievement.

Austin can easily hold an audience when in the ring, but on camera, following a script, the problems mount up. He does his best here, but he isn’t in the ranks of Arnie, Stallone, etc. The script is merely a series of words with little flourish laid out so that the plot can reach its conclusion. The only thing of interest is the way that the back story is revealed slowly throughout the movie, although it is done with a lack of skill, leaving the viewer bemused or bored. The director doesn’t show much flair for action here – the fight scenes are few and far between and don’t show off Austin’s ability, the gun battles etc are by the numbers. That is obviously the most disappointing part here – you have a man who can do things that most performers can’t, but you don’t give him the opportunity to do anything. Action movies can (and usually do) excel without much of a plot when the action is solid, but this looks like it was released 20 years ago by amateurs on a low-budget. And Lieberman uses that horrible slowed down/sped up/blurry technique which I despise, so after the first few minutes I was already annoyed.

It does get better though, if you can let yourself into the movie’s world. Austin tries out a few languages, chases and is chased around the country, and eventually comes face to face with the bad guys. Erica Serra stars as Steve’s psychologist and does a good job of teaming with Austin in a sub par role, and there are some fine attempts at twists and turns involving the FBI and some of the characters who we meet along the way. Like Austin, we are not meant to know who to trust or much of what has happened in the past. With a bit more skill and clarity this could have been more entertaining. Overall this is one to catch on TV, or if you are a Rattlesnake fan. 3 stars if you are a big Austin fan, 2 if you are an action fan looking for new thrills.

Randy Savage- November 15, 1952 – May 20, 2011

This is the first post in a new category I have made called ‘The Shrine’. It’s a place for us to remember those famous and not so famous people who may have made a difference to our lives in some way, even if it was something as minor as entertaining us with a song or a movie. I’m going to start with this year and work my way back, picking one person from each year who had some sort of impact on my life, and come back to each year again, possibly at random and when I get the time. Feel free to leave your comments on how each person changed your life.

So, I give you the great Randy Savage- hero of wrestling fans the world around. RIP

Randy Savage