Hello, and welcome to the first edition of “I Got Till 5!”
Not only is this the very first edition of this column, but I’m also losing my wrestling writing virginity, so forgive me if I’m rusty, I’ll only improve with time and your feedback will be very much appreciated.
First, some introductions.
Wrestling Rambles recently took to Twitter in asking for new writers and I jumped at the opportunity. My name is Eddie O’Keeffe and I’ve been a wrestling fan since I was around 8-9, my earliest memories being Cactus Jack getting attacked by Triple H and Stephanie McMahon and dragged in a cage, hyping up their Hell in a Cell match at No Way Out. That and Mae Young getting her tits out and giving birth to a hand. I don’t know which memory I prefer.
I’m 21 years old, recently finished Television Production at the University of Gloucestershire and currently living in Cheltenham, UK. I watch WWE and TNA religiously and also enjoy CHIKARA and Ring of Honor. I will also admit to an almost perverse enjoyment in watching CZW, whilst I don’t actively follow the promotion every now and then I get an itching for a ridiculous death match and CZW usually fills that gap for me. I’ve also very recently become a fan of Dragon Gate and NJPW, whilst also enjoying the DDT promotion which, if you haven’t seen, I’d recommend giving a watch because it provides some of the funniest, most bizarre wrestling matches I’ve ever seen. I also help run a wrestling themed tumblr which is linked at the end of my column. You should all follow it as it’s bloody lovely. I always have a lot to say, and as such my columns will typically be very long, so don’t expect this to be a light read.
ANYWAY enough about me, if you’d like to know more you can always leave questions in the comments and I’ll be happy to answer, I’ll also be providing links to various social media at the end of the column.
So what exactly is ‘I’ve Got Till 5!’ about? The name from the column stems from
me being lazy and asking my followers for suggestions the classic heel call we all know, which sparked an idea for a theme. I aim to finish this column before 5pm every Thursday. Simple as that.
Okay thats a lie.
I’ll be discussing a variety of topics in each column, or one big topic spread out over several, and at the end of each will provide 5 bullet points to sum up my feelings if you’re in a rush to read/want to skip parts of the column. I don’t mind. Honest.
This week I asked tumblr what my first topic should be, and was suggested to write about The State of Professional Wrestling today. This is bloody exciting.
So I’ll be splitting this column into several parts, talking about the different wrestling promotions I follow and giving my opinions on them. Comments you provide will be discussed at the beginning of the following column and so on.
So lets start with the bread and butter of professional wrestling. The WWE.
I fucking love the WWE.
A lot of people are unhappy with it’s current state. It’s very kid-friendly, there aren’t enough stars on the roster who fit into the correct positions and the mid-card titles are looked upon as a joke. That is, until Dean Ambrose won the US title and suddenly everyone on the internet is jumping up and down praising the gods and saying what a wonderful way the title is being portrayed and how amazing that he’s given the belt such prestige.
The tag team division is also in a state. Whilst efforts have been made to rebuild a “once great” part of the show, is there really enough teams to help carry this or are we just seeing the same matches over and over again? The Colons vs The Usos? Again?! But holy fuck The Shield are facing Team Hell No for the 54th time this month best thing to ever happen to wrestling ever future hall of famers Roman Reigns please scream at me hrrrr.
The World Title picture is a bit up in arms at the moment due to Ziggler’s concussion. We’re forced instead to sit through an actual storyline that has history between two talented wrestlers that put on good matches. What the fuck have we, the WWE Universe, done to deserve this?! We don’t get to see Ziggler be his usual brilliant self, instead we have to watch other people fight for the right to challenge for the World Heavyweight Championship, showing that they actually want to win the thing instead of just showing up and demanding a title match. AND on top of this, Big E Langston gets to win matches against former world champions?! Bullshit.
Don’t get me started on Curtis Axel. The guy who floundered on the early days of NXT and did nothing for The Nexus actually getting a push? The guy who showed he’s actually a damn good wrestler is getting the spotlight put on him by wrestling Triple H and John Cena in two consecutive weeks? Winning matches in a somewhat heelish manner? When he’s being managed by PAUL FUCKING HEYMAN of all people?! Disgrace to the business we love. He may have finally ditched the stupid Michael McGuillicutty name but they won’t even let him use Hennig?
Like I said, I fucking love the WWE.
It’s just the fan base that really get to me.
I would just like to clarify that I absolutely LOVE The Shield. I’ve been a fan of Seth Rollins since his Tyler Black days and only discovered Dean Ambrose in FCW with his William Regal feud, which is worth checking out for some amazing wrestling. I’d never heard of Roman Reigns until he debuted but he has impressed me with the way he behaves and acts as The Shield’s muscle. Simply put, they all know their roles perfectly and they are without a doubt the best thing the WWE has going for them right now.
But have you seen the fangirls?!
The way that some people paint them in this perfect picture annoys me to no end. There was a gif I saw of Dean Ambrose licking his lips and the comments ranged from “I got chills when he did this, love the unbalanced side of Ambrose” to “This made me horny, his face makes me wet”. It’s just a little too ridiculous for me. It makes watching a Shield match a little uncomfortable because I can’t help but imagine the stupid things I’m going to see on the internet straight afterwards. When The Shield lose their first match cleanly I am going to cower and hide from the absolute backlash this will bring out in people. The shitstorm of comments that come from Seth Rollins brushing the hair out of his eyes will be nothing compared to when a John Cena/Randy Orton, hell, even Undertaker level of superstar finally defeats The Shield and all of a sudden in the eyes of the fangirls everything they’ve accomplished, winning titles, destroying legends, winning (almost) every match they’re in will vanish from the minds of the people who obsess over them for a few minutes of internet fame and suddenly the online arguments break out and the wrestling fandom becomes unbearable for a few days on the world wide web.
It seems nowadays that the only thing wrestling fans can agree on is the fact that Mark Henry is fricking awesome.
And that is a sentence I would never have believed I would be typing 3 years ago.
I remember at the Royal Rumble 2006, the main event was Kurt Angle vs Mark Henry, and I was sitting watching this match just thinking What the hell is Henry doing still wrestling? I felt bad for the guy but he just wasn’t very good. It always seemed to me like they knew exactly who he was and what they wanted to do, but didn’t think it would work. Obviously a bunch of injuries never helped Henry and it didn’t help the case that maybe he should hang up his boots. He showed glimpses of MARK FREAKING HENRY when he won the ECW title but I don’t remember if it was injury or a bad babyface turn that just made his momentum go pllllp. And then all of a sudden it’s like, shit, we’ve got Mark Henry on our hands, lets let him be Mark Henry and kill everyone.
And he did. And it was wonderful.
When he won the World Title I was excited but scared. The Hall of Pain was a beautiful thing and it was great to see Mark Henry just beat the ever loving shit out of everyone. You could tell he was doing what he wanted to do and it made everybody happy. He’d get booed for being the heel but cheered for being respected and putting on a damn good show.
And then Mark Henry decided to shout things. And it was wonderful.
“THATS WHAT I DO!” makes me laugh out loud every time. When he shouts at the crowd for chanting things at him it makes me incredibly happy. When The Best Raw Crowd Ever was chanting Sexual Chocolate and John Cena made a joke out of it, Mark Henry stood there stone faced, took it like a pro and just told them that he didn’t give a fuck. It was beautiful.
There is a lot of good within the WWE right now. New stars are being built up in The Shield, Big E. Langston, even Ryback is getting a lot of the spotlight considering he was YIPYIPYIP WHAT IT DOOO only a few years ago. And have you seen the NXT roster?! My god the amount of talent there alone makes me very excited for the WWE’s future. Did you see the promo video for The Wyatt Family? Chills. Sami Callihan, Samuray Del Sol, El Generico are on the bloody company’s side right now. THIS IS EXCITING.
Dolph Ziggler is the World Heavyweight Champion. This guy used to shake peoples hands and tell them his name. People didn’t look twice at this guy before saying he’d be gone from the company. Now he’s one of the better wrestlers they have and people go nuts over him. Damien Sandow and his amazing beard is a great character with a tonne of potential. Cody Rhodes will one day break that glass ceiling and it will be glorious, but let him be a tag team wrestler for now because that’s what he’s fucking good at. Kofi Kingston is in the mid-card. He’s staying in the mid-card. Do you really buy him as a world champion? Don’t you point the finger and say he had a great thing going with Randy Orton THAT ONE TIME when he did a really good promo and smashed Randy’s car. If he delivered more promo’s with that enthusiasm then sure, give him all the credit he deserves. I’m a big Kingston fan but I’m not weeping into my pillows because he’s not World Title material right now. And that’s fine because he’s good at his job and he’s great where he is. He’s thriving! Have you seen how many times he’s held the IC and US titles? 7 times altogether! No matter how you swing it that’s pretty impressive.
Yes, the WWE has problems. I do believe that the mid-card titles are a bit of a mess and the WWE does have problems with deciding who actually fits where, in more specific terms I’m talking about Wade Barrett. But just because Barrett isn’t currently fighting for World Titles then I’m glad he’s fighting for the Intercontinental! He’s doing something. It may not be exactly what you want but that doesn’t mean it’s necessarily a bad thing.
Of course the wrestlers themselves aren’t the only thing that the fans get annoyed about.
The commentary team is an absolute fucking disgrace right now. I want to hear them talk about the matches, I don’t want to hear Michael Cole, Josh Matthews and JBL bickering like bloody school children over Michael Cole and his wife going ball room dancing. It doesn’t add anything to the product except embarrassment. I don’t even mind them plugging the WWE App or Twitter as much as they do because social media works (I’ve just done TV Production for 3 years I bloody know what I’m talking about) and they have to get their product out as much as possible. I don’t mind when the commentary team make jokes and have a laugh, sometimes it can be amusing and in all honesty I’m a sucker for The King’s terrible jokes, but I don’t care for them arguing over each other during a match that has no relevance to anything wrestling related whatsoever. Sadly, it’s usually during a Diva’s match.
I don’t have much to say about the Diva’s simply because I don’t care. This is an obvious problem for the company. I do feel a lot of it lies on the announcers not giving a fuck but also Kelly Kelly ruined all my hopes and dreams of ever enjoying womens wrestling.
Another thing I’d like to add on quickly is that I understand the need for the Raw/Smackdown rebounds, especially in a three hour show, but I still don’t care for them. I will say however it does, in my opinion, make the WWE one of the most accessible and easy to catch up on wrestling shows we have today.
For me, it all boils down to the fact that you can’t please everybody all of the time. And unfortunately when people dislike something, they tend to show off this opinion more, making themselves seem like the majority. In my opinion, the fans are the worst thing about the WWE. They’re too impatient.
Give the company some breathing room. Let the wrestlers grow. Wait to see what happens. Mick Foley wasn’t always Mankind. Hell, Cactus Jack wasn’t always Cactus Jack – the guy with a missing ear who didn’t care for his body. Johnny Curtis used to pour milk over his face, he wasn’t always Fandango. You may be excited at how amazing The Shield are doing right now, me personally, I’m excited to see where they’ll be in the next 5 years.
So, right now, it’s time to let you know that
I’VE GOT TILL 5:
- The WWE’s rising stars have so much potential.
- The WWE’s current stars are still evolving to stay interesting.
- The NXT Roster
- The sheer amount of wrestling we get to see in a week thanks to the WWE is wonderful
- The fans are very opinionated and can have an impact on the way the WWE works.
- The WWE’s announce team is a disgrace.
- The start and stop pushes are very disheartening
- RECAP RECAP RECAP
- I hate to say it, but the kid friendly nature can sometimes come off as too cheesy. Even for a child.
- The fans are very opinionated and think that they SHOULD have an impact on the way the WWE works.
And that’s it for my first column. I know it’s an absolute mission to read and I thank you for your time. I appreciate all of your comments and feedback below. If I love you enough you may get a shameless plug next week. Speaking of which…
SHAMELESS PLUGS FOR THE WEEK:
MY FACEBOOK – https://www.facebook.com/SirCrudNoodles?ref=tn_tnmn
MY TWITTER – https://twitter.com/SirCrudNoodles
MY TUMBLR – http://thingsthatlooklikeellie.tumblr.com/
MY WRESTLING TUMBLR – http://wrestlem4nia.tumblr.com/
WRESTLING RAMBLES TWITTER – https://twitter.com/WrestlinRambles
SPECIAL MENTION – http://p0ppunknotcollars.tumblr.com/ – Hollie-Anne gave me the idea for the name, which inspired the theme. She’s also hot as hell and likes wrestling. OTP.
And now if I could be serious for a moment.
One of my old school friends has been diagnosed with cancer, and unfortunately it is terminal.
If you have a spare minute, please pass on this message to everybody you can on your social media sites to help raise money and spread the word for testicular cancer.
#GilbertCollection http://thesyp.org.uk/syp_indigital/the-gilbert-collection/ All proceeds to this book go to Cancer Research. Matthew will have his poetry published in this book.
Thank you and have a bloody great day. Join me next week when I’ll talk about the absolute beast that is TNA Wrestling.