My review of the latest WWE documentary/countdown Top 25 Greatest Rivalries in Wrestling History is now up over at Screenjabber. This is one of the best discs the company have released recently and is both enjoyable and informative. A must for wrestling fans, and I don’t say that lightly!
My review for WWE‘s 2013 Elimination Chamber PPV DVD release is now up over at Screenjabber.
My review for the WWE 2012 version of The Best of Raw and Smackdown is now up and online over at Screenjabber!
It’s been a while since I did my usual wrestling run-down so with four days to go until this years Wrestlemania event, it seemed logical to return to some WWE themed musings, even if I’m slightly short of a rounded top ten…!
I’ve been waiting for his debut since WWE started showing us television teasers and I’m really hoping that its been worth the wait because right now I’m more than a little underwhelmed with new star Fandango (I say new, Fandango aka Johnny Curtis signed to the WWE back in 2006…). I’m aware that it’s all about the build up, but there are only so many weeks I can take of someone using the excuse of no-one pronouncing their name correctly to not fight in the ring. That, coupled with a gimmick I’m not entirely sure is going to be able to last that long, hasn’t left me with much patience for the guy (having said that, Brodus Clay’s gimmick has lasted a lot longer than I thought it ever would). So I’m quite looking forward to his actual in-ring debut against Jericho at Wrestlemania. The guy’s been given a great platform to showcase his debut so I’m really hoping that he’ll deliver.
6) REID FLAIR
On a sad note, wrestling legend Ric Flair’s youngest son Reid was found dead last week, and although cause of death has yet to be confirmed, rumours of a drug overdose are circulating. Reid had recently returned to the US after wrestling in Japan under All Japan Pro. Reid was only six months older than me so this has had me thinking about things over the last week. Whatever the outcome, life is precious and short. Thoughts are with Ric and his family.
5) RHODES SCHOLARS
When this tag team disbanded I didn’t think it would be long before they returned and, for once, I was right! A great team, Cody Rhodes and Damien Sandow work well against each other, both have egotistical characters that compliment each other and they can work the crowd really well. They’re not half bad in the ring either and I was genuinely quite disappointed when they originally announced that they would be parting ways… I’m happy to see that they have a Wrestlemania match (we all know that I think Cody Rhodes is something of a talented chap), not just for Rhodes but Sandow’s sake too. He’s currently one of the best in the ring and on the mic. Not so sure about their new cheerleaders though…
4) BELLA TWINS
… Which leads me to the return of the Bella Twins, one of the biggest surprises WWE have landed on me this year. The Diva division is in a terrible state at the moment and it’s not something I’m particularly happy about, but I’m not so chuffed to see these two girls back in the ring either. Again,l I feel like I must stress that I’m still proud of the twins success and admire what they can do, which literally is stuff i can only dream of. But I’ve never thought that they were really much in the ring, and more of a bit of eye-candy for the male viewers. Seeing them handed a new contract isn’t surprising, the WWE really need to do something to improve the female roster but I’m not sure handing contracts back to those who aren’t particularly skilled in the ring is the way to go about it. They havent been back long and have yet to impress me which anything impressive. One only hopes that there are some bigger plans in motion for them and the WWE puts a bit more training behind them (or their boyfriends John Cena and Daniel Bryan show them how to throw a good punch or two). Their return has also rendered one of their specials ‘twin magic’ useless. Nikki has had a breast enlargement which now makes it incredibly easy to tell the two apart.
3) BILL MOODY
Another piece of news which really saddened me was the death of wrestling manager Bill Moody at the start of the month. Moody was probably best known for being The Undertaker’s manager Paul Bearer, whose gimmick of managing a funeral parlour worked really well against The Undertaker. Bearer was always dressed in black and wore deathly white make up, accompanying Undertaker to the ring by carrying the now iconic golden urn. Moody was my favourite manager, for me his gimmick combined with The Undertaker’s presence was just perfect. A perfect equation where manager and client were just meant to be, both becoming stars in their own right, When you think of 90s wrestling, Moody is just as iconic outside of the ring as those you remember inside it. A genuine loss…
2) CM PUNK VS THE UNDERTAKER
…Which brings me to number two on the list and the match I am most looking forward to at Wrestlemania. Do I care about The Rock VS John Cena? Nope. Way too recent for my liking. But this match between Punk and Undertaker has the potential to be one of the greatest matches in Wrestlemania history. Undertaker is going for his 21st straight win and it’s more than unlikely that the WWE are even going to stop that streak, but Punk is a worthy opponent and the run up to this match has been truly something… Because of the use of the now deceased Bill Moody. I’ll be honest, I was a bit in shock to see Punk open the urn and spill the ashes over Undertaker on this weeks Raw (and yes, I know it’s not real but its symbolic) and to see Paul Heyman dressed up as Bill Moody. Still, it’s all building up to one hell of a match and one can only assume that if anyone involved had any problems going with the angle, they wouldn’t have agreed to do it. Still, its clear to see that its left a lot of fans mixed.
1) DDP, JAKE ROBERTS & SCOTT HALL
What I’ve seen so far of DDP I’ve liked but this year the man has jumped up a hell of a lot of notches in my book just for being a decent human being. DDP took in WWF legend Jake Roberts in a bid to help him turn his life around (those who know Roberts will know he has had quite a few problems in his life) one last time for the better and the results so far are nothing short of amazing. So when fellow wrestler and friend Scott Hall (aka Razor Ramon) reached our for help, DDP took him in, worked out what help Hall would need and set up a donation page in an attempt to help fund part of his much-needed hip replacement and rehab, amongst other things. For me, it’s not about calling on the fans to help out financially, it’s the fact that DDP saw he had a friend in need and didn’t hesitate to help. There aren’t enough people like that in the world and its such an inspiring act to see. I know we all say how much we love our friends, sometimes more than our biological family, but how many of us would really help out that much? It’s not about the money, having a big enough home to look after enough people, having the contacts to call upon; it’s about being a friend. Kudos to DDP for not turning his back on people and here’s hoping we can all learn a little lesson from this episode. Here’s wishing Scott Hall all the best for the future.
Lydia and I have often had conversations broaching the idea of recasting movies we adore on a strictly ‘if you had to’ basis, and Beyond the Valley of the Dolls is one that’s come up often due to the large ensemble cast. Made in 1970, BtVotD’s (as it shall be referred to from here out) tells the story of an all female rock group and their misadventures in being ‘discovered’ in Hollywood at the tail end of the ‘free-love’ era. The film was auteur Russ Meyer’s first studio production in a two-picture deal with 20th Century Fox. Originally planned as a sequel to Fox’s 1967 hit Valley of the Dolls, the film was forced to distance itself from Mark Robson’s picture after author Jacqueline Susann was appalled by the prospect of a ‘soft-core porn’ director making a sequel to her original story. This, and an X-Rating courtesy of the MPAA, did not stop the film’s pulling power at the box office, however, grossing nearly ten-times it’s $900,000 budget upon it’s release. To this day, according to screenwriter Roger Ebert, BtVotD has grossed over $40 million in theatrical and video sales to date.
I learned a long time ago that nothing in Hollywood is sacred. If there is money to be made with a remake, then you bet it will get made. When I think of BtVotD however, I can’t imagine it ever being remade. The original was so completely outrageous that I think even if it didn’t exist, it wouldn’t be made today. That itself made the ‘fictional’ task of re-casting the movie for a modern remake problematic for me. Not only do I hold the film very dear to me, but also I just can’t see it ever happening. For me this is like being asked to re-cast Twin Peaks. You just couldn’t do it. Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not citing BtVotD as Citizen Kane here; far from it. The performances are very hit and miss at best and I’ve never been a huge fan of Russ Meyer’s editing technique. However, I don’t think it is unreasonable to suggest that no other movie exists that can compare to BtVotD. As a motion picture it is a wholly unique experience – which is something I can only say of maybe a half-dozen movies. It’s a musical, comedy, horror, drama, thriller! All it needs is some aliens and an animated sequence and you’ve nearly got all bases covered. How many movies can you name that tick as many boxes? Above and beyond all of this, the film is remarkably entertaining. Despite the pitfalls and dangers that come with fame and excess lifestyle the characters soon become entangled in, I still gaze upon the ‘fantasy’ Hollywood and almost cartoon-like characters as created by Russ Meyer and Roger Ebert with envious eyes.
All that said, it has still been my task to cast a fictional remake of the film. So with a gun to my head, here are my casting choices, were I to direct Beyond the Valley of the Dolls.
Kelly Mac Namara (Dolly Reed) – Isla Fisher
Isla Fisher has that perfect blend of girl next door with a dash of firecracker to make Kelly work in a modern remake. Plus, I can easily see her as the lead vocalist of the Carrie Nations. It wouldn’t be her voice of course, for that I’d hire Florence Welch.
Casey Anderson (Cynthia Myers) – Jennifer Lawrence
Like Cynthia Myers, Lawrence oozes sex appeal without having to do or say very much at all – this is pretty much the essence of Casey. Her failure to adapt to the excess lifestyle makes her the ‘tortured soul’ of the group – something I think Jennifer Lawrence would own, given her God-given acting ability.
Petronella Danforth (Marcia McBroom) – Rosario Dawson
I’m a huge Rosario Dawson fan and loved her in everything I’ve seen her in. She has the looks, the attitude and the style to bring Pet to the 21st century. She would be my Russ Meyer/Quentin Tarantino nod for the film.
Ronnie ‘Z-Man’ Barzell (John Lazar) – Cillian Murphy
This was a bit of a no brainer for me, and perhaps the easiest to cast. Now, I don’t take John LaZar’s performance as Ronnie ‘Z-Man’ Barzell lightly, as he’s without a doubt my favourite character, but I just can’t see ANYONE else in today’s talent pool delivering the line “You will drink the black sperm of my vengeance!” better than Cillian Murphy. Plus, I think he’d really enjoy calling someone a ‘buggery knave’.
Lance Rocke (Michael Blodgett) – Dolph Ziggler
Here is my wild card casting for the film. For those unfamiliar, Dolph Ziggler (real name Nick Nemeth) is a professional wrestler for World Wrestling Entertainment. Those who ARE familiar will get exactly why I’ve cast him. The character of Lance Rocke is pretty much the character of Dolph Ziggler. He not only has the looks and the body to carry out the role, but the calibre of performances Ziggler delivers on Monday Night Raw every week are no further a stretch than that played by Michael Blodgett in original movie. Except for the gold digging part. Not much of that in pro-wrestling.
Harris Allsworth (David Gurian) – James McAvoy
James McEvoy has an annoying quality of being instantly likeable in whatever role he’s in. What’s interesting about the idea of him playing Harris is that his character seesaws throughout the story – we like him, we hate him and then BAM! He can miraculously walk again and we all cheer. I’d love to see McEvoy handle this type of character.
Ashley St. Ives (Edy Williams) – Christina Hendricks
Christina Hendricks is THE quintessential ‘Meyer girl’ for the movie and who better than her to fill the crocheted dress of Ashley St. Ives? Who wouldn’t pay good money to see Hendricks as a hyper-sexed porn star? Mad men, I tell you. MAD MEN! *Sorry!
Roxanne (Erica Gavin) – Liv Tyler
This casting was based solely on who I could see paired up with Jennifer Lawrence in the more intimate scenes between Roxanne and Casey. After a couple of Empire Records flashbacks, I settled on Liv Tyler. She has a very sultry and almost tender nature that would be key to the seduction of Casey. I think the chemistry between her and Lawrence would be off the chart.
Susan Lake (Phyllis Davis) – Sherylin Fenn
Who didn’t fall in love with Audrey Horne in Twin Peaks? Raise your hands… I see no raised hands. Point proven. This one is a bit of indulgence casting. I was on a bit of a Peaks revival while writing this and well… Fenn could do this role with her eyes closed. Although I wouldn’t ask her to do the role with her eyes closed. That’d just be weird.
Emerson Thorne (Harrison Page) – Columbus Short
Naturally if I was doing this in the mid-90s, the role would have gone to Alfonso Ribero, but now that he’s older, I just picked someone I figured could A) tame a rock n’ roll Rosario Dawson and B) convincingly not stand a fucking chance of winning a fight against Randy Black – although when you see who I cast as him, that pretty much could have been anyone…
Porter Hall (Duncan McLeod – Bill Murray
It’s Bill fucking Murray. End of discussion.
Randy Black (James Iglehart) – Terry Crews
At first I considered another wrestler for this role –even changing the character to a professional wrestler rather than a heavyweight boxer (Randy Black being based on Mohammed Ali). Then it dawned on me that this guy, in this day and age would be a cage fighter and the body that Terry Crews is rocking, hell, you’d believe he could beat up the Moon! Not really a difficult decision here. With Crews’ dynamic personality to boot, he’d own the role of Randy Black.
Baxter Wolfe (Charles Napier) – Kurt Russell
Despite the fact that I love Kurt Russell and want to see him in more stuff, I’m going with the Meyer ‘square-jaw’ trait on this one. Kurt Russell is a man’s man. And if anyone was going to step into the boots of Charles Napier, it’d be Snake Plissken… Or R.J. MacReady… Or Jack Burton… Or Stuntman Mike… Or Dean Proffitt.
Otto (Henry Rowland) – Udo Kier
Seriously, who the fuck else?
Paul Davis is a writer and filmmaker from London. His short film Him Indoors starring Reece Shearsmith and Pollyanna McIntosh is finally available to watch online and his next short The Body is currently in production.
It’s hardly a hidden secret that over the past year and a half I have gotten back into watching WWE. Something that I used to watch as a kid, and was subsequently banned from watching (thanks Mum…), has become a real guilty pleasure for me. Every week, Raw and Smackdown, plus weekends watching old pay-per-views from the past fifteen years, keeping up with gossip and rumours and following wrestling superstars on Twitter. It’s all become part of my routine, much to the disbelief of many people that know me. Just like my interest in sexploitation film and the representation of sex and sexuality in cinema, I find that a lot of people are surprised, baffled, shocked and sometimes maybe even embarrassed when they find out that I’ve become such a fan. For a corporation and sport that does have a female following, it seems that being a female wrestling fan is still somewhat of an anomaly for a certain few.
So if those are some of the reactions I get for exclaiming that I’m a fan, imagine the responses I get when I tell people that I’ve been seriously checking out wrestling schools in London with a view to maybe taking the sport up. It would seem that for a large majority of the public, the wrestling world is very much still a male dominated arena. And I want in.
The current female roster including recently departed Eve Torres (front centre)
Or do I? Because as much as I love the WWE (I don’t watch TNA and have yet to get into any independent stuff for the sole reason that I simply don’t know where to begin), the one glaring issue for me since I started re-watching it has been the Diva Division, otherwise known as the roster of female wrestlers. It’s not that I don’t appreciate what the girls can do. If anyone who’s ever met me reads this they probably would have laughed as the proclamation that I’m considering starting the sport, because I’m not exactly built for it. In fact, I’m probably one of the worst candidates to think about going up. I’m not embarrassed to say that I’m not fit (because quite frankly I’m not) but strength has never been, excuse the pun, a strong point. I have no upper or lower body strength, and everyone knows it. Even my yoga teacher will readily admit that she needs to teach me more exercises and moves to increase my muscle strength. I have weak arms, weak shoulders, weak thighs, you name it. It’s not that I don’t have respect for the girls in the roster, just like the men they have to train very hard to be able to do stuff that I literally only dream of doing. And yet watching them in action, I can’t help but feel frustrated and occasionally under-inspired.
Is part of it gender related? Perhaps. The WWE would be stupid to not have female wrestlers on their books, their exclusion would be nothing but insulting and offensive to all the women who do work in the industry on all forms (as a wrestler amateur or professional, those who work backstage, managers etc.). Nothing but a clear sexist act. And yet, I can’t help but feel that their representation is a bit sexist and stereotyped in itself. Whilst one does have to remember that it is a show and it is all about entertainment, for me, there’s only so much perfectly coiffed hair, make-up that never smudges and plunging necklines I can take. Don’t even get me started on the cliché of cat fighting that is hair pulling. I have no doubt that that aspect of sexualisation amongst the girls is meant to appeal to the male fan base, eye candy for them to pour over, but at the same time it’s a disheartening distraction from the technical abilities that a few possess. As a female fan, it comes down to believability. In my dream world I’d be trained in a plethora of submission manoeuvres like my favourite Diva Natalya, try to train to have at least half the strength of Beth Phoenix and be able to do a great spear like Kaitlyn. I think the Diva division has lost itself somewhat by having the WWE company focus a bit too much on looks and story-lines, as opposed to talent, prospects and training. In short, whilst I’d love to be a Diva and would work fucking hard to be one, I’d also want to be recognised as a wrestler. Able to hold my own and ‘one of the boys’.
I dream that that could one day be me and my title…
For me it would be about trying to provide both men and women with a real portrayal, to try to be someone who everyone, including myself, could actually believe in. Not focused on trying to look perfect, not afraid to sweat like a pig, ready to show those inevitable bruises with pride and not cover them up with concealer. I’d love an entrance theme that actually represented me, that I wouldn’t get sick of and one I wouldn’t mind being associated with. Whilst I like Layla, I find the lyrics of her entrance theme more than a little patronising, only seeming to justify the opinion that the Diva Division aren’t really wrestlers at all; ‘I’m insatiable I can’t get enough, I need to find a boy’. Now, whilst I’ll readily admit that I’d probably, and incredibly half-heartedly, dance to that track on a night out, to me the song only helps to secure one image for Layla. It doesn’t matter how good she is in the ring, she’s always going to be nothing but eye candy. It’s not about being equal in gender or sporting ability, her ultimate goal is just to find a boyfriend or a fuck buddy. I’m certain that that isn’t the impression she wants to give, nor how she sees herself, but your entrance music is supposed to reflect who you are, its something you become synonymous with. I have similar contentions with Eve’s theme (all about looks), Kelly Kelly’s music, Candice Michelle’s ode to sex and Maryse’s French ode to sex to name a few. Whilst sex appeal certainly comes with the territory of gaining fans of the opposite gender, it shouldn’t come across as be all and end all. I’d readily admit that I’ve eyed up a few of the male wrestlers but see them for more than muscular eye candy. When I went to see RAW last year I heard countless comments from men that ‘Kelly Kelly was really hot’ or that ‘Beth Phoenix looks like a man’ as if that was all that mattered. Is it annoying to see ‘pretty’ Diva‘s like the Bella Twins get match and title belt priorities when someone like Natalya, a third generation wrestler from a prestigious wrestling family with a lot of talent, is left to be nothing more than comedy fodder? I don’t really need to spell my answer out to that question.
The fact is that right now the female roster is incredibly thin and the remaining girls currently have a great shot at really shaking things up and making opportunities for themselves if they want to. The last year has seen six women walk away or get dropped from their contract, quite a hefty number for a roster that isn’t much bigger than that right now. Whilst I wasn’t a particularly big fan of recent loss Eve Torres, there’s no denying that she leaves behind a gaping hole that WWE will struggle to replace. On the acting side, Eve had one of the biggest and most well-defined female character’s that divided audiences, on top of near constant in-ring performances. As much as current favourite AJ Lee is getting television time, you can’t hide the fact that in the past year Torres has spent more time wrestling in the ring than Lee herself. And whilst Eve had to deal with the ‘Hoeski’ storyline last year with fellow male wrestlers Zack Ryder and John Cena, it feels like nothing compared to the five ‘boyfriends’ AJ has had in the last year. And don’t even get me started on her depiction as being emotionally unstable, prone to screaming hissy fits that I used to do when I was four…
With WWE as a company bringing back credibility to the Intercontinental Title and Tag Team Division over the past two years, it’s not surprising to hear that they have intentions to change the Diva Division too after recently conducting focus groups on how fans see the female roster. A logical change for the new year was the decision to put the belt on Kaitlyn, a previous body-builder who not just has the right build but the right personality, moves and looks. Then again, it was also quite predictable. WWE‘s reluctance to utilise Natalya to her real potential or place any confidence in Tamina Snuka, the daughter of Jimmy ‘Superfly’ Snuka, means that they don’t have many others to play with. There aren’t enough of them to create believable, long-standing feuds and the secular identity of the female group means that there aren’t any serious mixed tag teams, no stables to pledge allegiance with or any mixed competitions. I’d love to see more women and against men matches, managers versus managers, mixed tag team partners. Tomorrow night see’s the twenty-sixth Royal Rumble match and in its entire history only three women have ever competed as part of it; Chyna, Beth Phoenix and Kharma. Whilst I can’t imagine someone like Aksana being an entrant (her wrestling is embarrassing at best), part of me is disappointed that the only woman I can see possibly being a part of it this year would probably be the one kissing her way out of it (AJ Lee). If I were a Diva I wouldn’t be able to lie with that. If CM Punk is able to bring about some change and speak out against what he doesn’t or didn’t like about the company and the way they treated people, I don’t see why the female roster aren’t doing it. I’d be genuinely surprised if they were really happy with how the Division has ended up and how they are used.
Again, I feel I must stress that I find what all the Diva’s do in general to be inspiring. They work hard, striving for something that they are determined to achieve in a male dominated world and I’m grateful that a company like the WWE gives them that opportunity. I’m under no illusions that it’s an ‘easy’ job. Not only is it physically demanding but no doubt emotionally and mentally straining at times too. On top of the training there are the frequent performances, the constant travelling (which could be town to town or visiting separate countries in two days), being away from your family, friends and loved ones, the charity work that the corporation do. The Diva’s contribute a lot, maybe even a little bit more than their male counterparts, outside of the ring. WWE owes them the time and attention to help them develop themselves inside of the ring. Give them more air time, involve them in existing story-lines with other wrestlers, create new worthwhile story-lines between them that they can benefit from, put Tamina in more matches, give Natalya a better character and start using her properly, really begin to push Layla and AJ’s in-ring abilities.
I know that the WWE as a company would never employ a girl like me. I’m a huge fan, I’m passionate and determined but with no experience at all and a frame that would literally need to be built from scratch, someone like me is too much of a gamble, too much work. Having said that, as a female fan I deserve more than watching female wrestling legend Mae Young, the only professional wrestler to have had documented matches in nine different decades and who in her late seventies and eighties has participated in physical stunts for the WWE that no one imagined she would, have to suffer through another un-funny comedic pregnancy skit. What the Diva Division needs is a revolution of its own and if the McMahon’s won’t encourage one then I’ll deliver it personally by hand myself.
This Monday Night’s Raw in Montreal took a dramatic turn when commentator and wrestling legend Jerry ‘The King’ Lawler collapsed live on air. On site medics promptly dealt with him, performing CPR amidst rumors that he’d been clinically dead for twenty minutes. Since the show, it’s transpired that Doctors at a local Montreal hospital established that Lawler had had a heart attack, shocking for some viewers to comprehend as he’d only been wrestling in the ring an hour earlier. Family have reported that whilst it was a serious attack, the wrestling legend is now responsive and has luckily suffered no brain damage. The internet, Twitter specifically, has been full of tributes and well wishes since Monday and here’s another, hoping that The King makes a speedy recovery. Now, on another note, some more monthly musings…
Not a massive fan but his new Titantron theme with added catchphrase ‘Feed. Me. More!’ makes him seem ever so slightly less Goldberg-y. One day the guy’s going to have to diet though…
9) WADE BARRETT
After six months out, the ‘Barret Barrage’ is back (with added facial hair, grrrrrrruff) and ready, so it seems, to take on everyone. With The Miz finally back after an acting gig, it’s great to have some other egos back in the ring again. Welcome back Wade! Remember love, you still owe me one for losing the Royal Rumble!
8) MACHO MAN RANDY SAVAGE & MISS ELIZABETH
My ‘wrestling education’ continues and last weekends viewing was Wrestlemania 1991 which included the memorable reunion between Macho Man and his wife Elizabeth. Crowds were cheering! Women were crying! People were so happy! A corny but nice touch of romantic flair and a great example of a wrestler/manager relationship being played out for the crowd.
I really wish the WWE would do more with the DIVAs division and stop staging silly catfights where certain ladies are left out to be used as some form of comedic foil. There are only a few female wrestlers I genuinely believe in, one being Natalya, and I really, really wish that they’d give the girls some proper down and dirty, rough fights and increase the credibility in their abilities and skills. Sometimes its hard to not look at them as nothing more than eye candy in foil wrappers.
6) ULTIMATE WARRIOR
A wrestler who used to really get on my nerves, the Ultimate Warrior is one that I’m really starting to respect the more I watch his matches. His speed, agility and energy were non-stop and his Wrestlemania match against Randy Savage was absolutely brilliant! As are and were his legendary partly non-sensical promo ramblings!
5&4) KANE & DANIEL BRYAN
I absolutely love the ‘anger management’ issues between the egos of these two and their connection to Raw General Manager AJ. The group therapy sessions were hilarious to watch, we WWE really milking their characters and audiences’ perceived attitudes towards them (the kid with the goat mask was a particularly nice touch). The ‘hug it out’ match was a lot of fun with apprehensive friendly hugs turning into playful chest bumps and finally a full-blown rivalry erupting again at the end. Combined with the new ‘NO! NO! NO!’ chant, it’s refreshed the feud between these two somewhat.
3) CODY RHODES
A superficial and fangirl moan but a moan none the less WWE. When the fuck are you going to make a girls skinny fit Cody tee huh?! HUH?! I’M READY TO GIVE YOU MY MONEY GODAMMIT!!
2) BRET HART
So Monday Night’s Raw was the first time that Bret ‘The Hitman’ Hart returned to Montreal in fifteen years and boy did he deserve the welcome he got or what?! Clearly emotional at being back in the city that held the showdown of his career and ended his relationship back in the 90s with the WWE, it was great to see Hart going against CM Punk and siding with John Cena, especially the moment at the end of the show when he clouted Punk right in the face. Just goes to show, the best there is, best there was, best there ever will be.
1) MICHAEL COLE
I’ve never been a fan of Michael Cole, finding him egotistical and arrogant, but the way he dealt with Jerry Lawler’s collapse on Monday night was stellar. You would never have guessed from his commentary that his colleague next to him had collapsed and aside from a few emotional moments, and quite rightly so as Lawler is more than just a co-worker, Cole’s entire composure remained calm. It couldn’t have been easy for him and the guy gets my respect.