You thought I’d forgotten this, hadn’t you?

This morning my dad asked me if I’d watched the wrestling saved on the Sky+ box. I hadn’t, but I was going to later on tonight with a beer or two, so imagine my surprise when my “look at that fake wrestling shit” dad asked me if I wanted to watch it now, with him.

He pulled out the biggest bong I’d ever seen, stuffed a bowl with some of the sweetest Sweet Leaf I’ve ever seen, passed me the whole thing plus a lighter and told me not to cough.

I joke.

He pulled out two B&H (silver. He’s cheap) and put on this weeks WWE Monday Night RAW. Unfortunately it was, on the whole, a rather dull show. It opened with John Cena coming to the ring to address his upcoming Wrestlemania main event WWE Championship match against The Rock. My old man recognized Cena. The last time the both of us together saw Cena he was on Smackdown, rapping away about a stabbing from Jesus. Anyway, Cena does his whole redemption story before being interrupted by the Prime Time Players. Dad laughed his arse off at Rufus “Pancake” Patterson and the duo’s ‘black man’ humour but during the following match between Cena and Darren Young, my dad turned silent and unimpressed. Throughout the whole segment he asked four questions.

“Why is Cena dressed like Hulk Hogan?”
“Is The Rock in the building? He’s the champ, why isn’t he in the ring?”
“Is that Darren bloke Cena’s brother?”
“Why is Cena wrestling like Hogan?”

Those questions gave me some food for thought. Especially the Cena and Hogan comparisons. See, both Hogan and Cena were pushed as the unbeatable superhero. They also wrestle a similar style. Yes, their moves are different, but there’s still only five of them, and only three are done well. Hulk Hogan was a jacked yellow tee wearing almost invincible wrestler. Cena is a jacked yellow tee wearing (for now, at least) wrestler. There’s a ton of similarities. They’re both also characters designed for the whole family to get behind. Being aimed at families, especially children, is a good thing in wrestling and it virtually guarantees that a good percentage of the audience are families. The problem is that the remainder of the audience are mostly adult males, like myself and my dad, and we don’t really care for invincible superheroes shaking hands and kissing babies. We care about personalities and characters. When bringing my dad up to speed on the talent coming through the curtain, the only thing I could say about all the babyfaces (Taker, Hell No, Orton and Del Rio aside. I described Ryback as Cena in a leotard) was that they were “good guys”. That’s it. The heels on the other hand, were much easier to explain. We both got a chuckle out of Damien Sandow, entertained by Fandango’s antics and riled the fuck up by CM Punk. My dad, unlike me, doesn’t usually swear that much, but when Punk dropped the urn, Punk’s “OH SHIT” wasn’t the only foul language audible in my living room because my dad yelled “MOTHERFUCKER!” directly at the TV. It was a classic moment, and although he was a bit embarrassed, he chilled out once I explained that wrestling is literally the only show on TV which gets all the required emotional responses from me. I laugh, I cry, I cheer, I boo, I get up on my feet and freak the fuck out sometimes, and I thoroughly enjoy the programme, so its cool to yell MOTHERFUCKER at a bad guy on a show which is chastised by the mainstream (and my dad) for being fake and all show, no zing.

Ricardo Rodriguez announcing Alberto Del Rio makes both of them the shit, in my dads eyes. Throughout his match with Cody Rhodes, who my dad kept calling Flanders, Dad was clearly impressed by the all Lucha style offence from Del Rio and the fluid technical and high risk offence from Rhodes, and the hard hitting match in general. “They’re both real talented”, said Dad as Jack Swagger ambushes Del Rio post match. I briefly gave my dad the lowdown on the Swagster, telling him that he’s an American Nick Griffin, and Zeb is your typical xenophobic, jaded by the state war veteran. “Swagger is not that convincing” he murmured “I bet Zeb is just like that in real life. What a git!”. He was sorta right. I agree that Swagger isn’t good in his role, but its an improvement on what he was portraying previously and its improving more and more as the weeks go by. Although he was dead on with Zeb being a real life Vietnam veteran,  I’m not sure if Dutch Mantel is a xenophobic bastard or not. My dad tore apart the Patriot Lock spot though, saying it looked fake as hell and that it looked like Swagger was just holding his leg. To be fair, the camera didn’t do a good job of hiding the fact that there wasn’t any pressure applied on the hold, and the wrench which “broke” the ankle (says Jerry Lawler) happened when Ricardo had rolled onto his back, and his leg was virtually straight. Had the camera stayed up close, it would’ve looked like Swagger had sickeningly done a full 360 on his ankle, but alas, it all fell apart and my dad jumped all over it like a botch hungry smark that he isn’t but I am.

Sadly, right at the top of hour three, the programme ended. The Sky+ only decided to record the first two hours for some reason.

We watched Impact Wrestling too, and we were both way more entertained by it than we were by the two hours of RAW we watched. Every character was much easier to explain because as horribly as they are sometimes booked, the wrestlers in TNA have personalities and characters that are much more fleshed out than WWE’s roster. Even the mundane was made awesome. Being Welsh, we both are required by law to mark out for Rob Terry and we both took full advantage of that, with my dad roaring with delight at every slam Rob Terry gave to his former bro Robbie E. He was also blown away by the Knockouts. “These girls are really going for it” he said, crossing his legs. It really is a stark contrast to the Divas. The Knockouts are actually allowed to wrestle and as weak as it is, its still a stronger division than WWE’s Divas. Bad Influence had the both of us laughing from entrance to bell. I couldn’t tell you anything about the promo because we were laughing so damn hard. James Storm comes out to defend AJ Styles’ honour. The Cowboy is one of my favourites and it seems like my dad digs him too. “He seems like my kinda guy.” he said. After a “ooh!” and “Aah!” filled match, courtesy of Dad, AJ Styles made his return to rescue Storm from the evil Bad Influence.

AJ decks Kaz. “Ooh shit!”.
AJ then lariats Storm so hard that his hood flies back on. “Ah you shite!”

After the Joseph Park and Matt Morgan segment (or the fat bap and the big oaf as my dad called them), it was time for the main event. Sting vs Austin Aries. My dad recognized Sting straight away. “I thought he was dead!” he exclaimed. He also fell in love with Bobby Roode and Austin Aries during the backstage segment earlier in the show. I enjoy all three of these guys anyway, but my dad was clearly enjoying watching them. “I got a feeling this is going to be a great match” said Dad while Aries was making his way to the ring. A huge grin crept across my dads face when Sting’s music hit and the arena went bananas. He was marking on the inside and it was a complete turnaround compared to the dismissive attitude he gave off previously. What followed was a very good match. Sting’s laying on the offence and my dad is all excited saying “I thought he was dead! He can still go like Austin Aries can!” in amazement. “I don’t think this match would be this good if he was wrestling someone else though”. I agreed with him. Sting turned up motivated, Austin Aries really made him work, and together they had a real good match. Of course, the obligatory run in happened, and the Aces and Eights lept into action amid cries of “these guy’s are really making their lives miserable” from my dad. Hulk Hogan eventually made an appearance. “He can still do it” said Dad, in regards to his promo skills and with a touch of concern (or maybe worry, or dread) said “I wouldn’t want to see him in the ring though. He’s really looking old”. Don’t worry dad, neither do I!

So, I’ve just watched wrestling with my dad for the first time since I was 13. Truth be told, although we have a lot in common, I’ve always found it hard to bond with my dad, but today, we bonded, and it was cool as shit.

 

 

 

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I am not dead!

Posted: September 27, 2011 in Uncategorized

Rumours of my death have been greatly exaggerated... Read the rest of this entry »

How (NOT) To Play iSketch.

Posted: August 7, 2011 in Uncategorized

iSketch is a wonderful game. Its a bit like Pictonary, but online, with a choice of words long enough to span the globe. BUT, there’s the right way to play, and the WRONG way to play. Read the rest of this entry »

I AM AN ASSHOL!

Posted: August 6, 2011 in Uncategorized

*note* the view counter on the left has been stuck ever since WordPress updated their API. Its been at six hundred and something for a good few months now. Thankfully, the graph on the admin dashboard still works a treat. I’ll try out some other view counters to see what sticks with the new API and what doesn’t.

I got 400 views yesterday. Something I said must have struck a nerve with some people, especially the anonymous user who called me an asshol. Still, thanks for the views! It means quite a lot to me that I now know I’m not typing these entries for the entertainment/dispair of a single figure audience.

I’m not an asshole. Opinionated? Of course! Some people may not like it, but I believe honesty is the best policy. If I come across as an asshole because I’m giving my honest thoughts on things, then so be it. I learned a long time ago never to change myself for the benefit of others, so I’m not toning down or changing my opinions on things to suit the people who think I’m a dick. My Twitter, seen on the sidebar on your left, has been called a comedy gold mine by quite a few people. Take some time to read it and you’ll realise I’m not a total knobhead.

I’m also taking the time here to defend my post yesterday, which has caused quite the little stir. My comments page (on the admin side, so its only seen by me) has 34 comments waiting approval. 33 are all comments calling for my death, or serious harm to be caused to me. The other comment is a spam link. Obviously, I’m not going to approve these comments, I’m not even going to send them through the wordfilter either. I’m just going to trash them all as I did the 13 other “asshol” comments from last night. I have zero tolerance for abuse so this shit ends here and now. All abusive comments are going to be trashed, with the odd one or two being wordfiltered where I see humour in it.

Back to the defence, I don’t hate metal. If you read it all, you’ll see that I’m damning the fact that metal is taking up too much room at the moment and the scene is suffering because of the saturation. Metal may be popular, and I love it, but there’s little room for other bands to build up fanbases because of the stronghold metal currently has. Fuzzball in the comments section hit it right on the head. Things come, things go and things come back again. Eventually metal will lose popularity and other bands will step up, then something else will become popular and dominate the scene, then that will lose popularity, more bands come along, etcetera, etcetera.

It was not intended to be doom and gloom. I was just stating my opinion.

In a personal note, who the hell have I pissed off and how have I done it? Last summer, my phone was ringing off the hook with people asking me to come and chill, go to the beach, go to a party, just hang out. This summer, two people have called me. I phone people, people are “busy”, then half hour later I see them with a bunch of other friends walking around town. So not only do people obviously not want to be with me, but they’re also willing to blatantly bullshit me just so they don’t have to be with me. Come the fuck on.

Also, Tom and Cauley, if you want to know how I’m doing, why don’t you try asking me instead of asking Bill.

If you personally know me, leave a comment and tell my how I’ve pissed seemingly everyone off. If you don’t know me, feel free to leave a comment about this entry in general. What are your thoughts?

ATTENTION GRABBING HEADLINE

Posted: August 5, 2011 in Uncategorized

I’ll summarize this entry into one phrase – “Metal is killing the music scene.”

Its dramatic, not 100% true, but it is the main culprit of the situations. If you go back and read a previous entry, I blame the current economic climate and a saturation of promoters.

Then I realised something. If there’s a dedicated fanbase, the people will come, regardless of the venue, promoter, or at times, the line-up. Take my local venue. The Imperial is mostly populated by the same 20-30 people every month. If that’s not a dedicated bunch of fans then I don’t know what is.

The problem with this is that there’s a sense of narrow-mindedness where people are refusing to get up on their feet and rock out with some really good bands because the bands in question are either not regular players in The Imperial, crap, not enthusiastic enough or not metal enough. The latter choice being the most common reason for dead crowds.

Now, don’t get me wrong, I love metal. Its my favourite genre. The problem is, there’s too much of it. Nearly every new band in the area is metal. A couple of years back, The Imperial was frequented by Punk rock heavyweights One Room Down, Heavy Metallers A Murder In Motion (rip Cons.), Indie Rockers Persona B,  the good old Rock-N-Roll stylings of The Devils Answer, plus a variety of other sub-genres of the music GOD that is Rock And Roll. Any month, you could say you were going to a rock show, and for your fiver you’d get something for every rock fan, bit of indie, bit of punk, bit of metal etc.

Today, The Imperial is ‘that metal venue’. The prevailing genre there is metal. This is no fault of the promoters, they can only work with what’s around, and what’s around now is nearly all metal. Metal and Dubstep (ew.) are the two most popular genres around here right now, so most people looking to get into bands and such are going to be playing metal and dubstep. So when the odd indie or punk band shows up, the crowd is mostly dead. The metal fans have stayed and continue to show up once a month for some really good metal, but the indie and the punk and the rock and other fans have vanished, and new non metal fans won’t come because its mostly metal. Two piece band Wibble, who are brilliant and impossible to put a label on apart from ‘insane’ is a band which can make a crowd move. We need more bands like this. Not “Wibble” style, but of different genres, playing venues across Pembrokeshire on a more regular basis to attract people who have been alienated by metal into the venues once again. Its a license to print money. We need a resurgence in these sub genres for the gig industry to survive and go on to the next chapter.

Otherwise, its going to be more of this. I’m actually one of ‘those people’ who sit down and only get up and rock out to the metal, but that’s because I don’t want to be “that guy” standing on his own at the front. Seriously, its that bad. I used to go to gigs and regret going the next morning because my body felt like it went through hell and my head was only being held up by a thread. Now I wake up and regret going because I paid a fiver to do nothing all night because I was sucked in by the dead crowd.

Once and again we do get a really good crowd, and we have a really fun gig. The Metallica tribute, the Hate Gauge CD launch and Picture Frame Seduction gigs instantly spring to mind as gigs that give me hope that we can have some more life in the scene, even though those gigs were all Metallica, all metal and all punk respectively.

The Back To The Future gig of 2009 was the last time I remember a true mixed bag. We had Jazz rock fusion for fucks sake!

*FAKE EDIT*

(I saved this as a draft on Monday morning to continue writing in the evening. Its Friday evening now and I only remembered I had this half finished entry because I logged on to write a new post about something unrelated. Stay off the weed, kids.)

As the above bracketed Nugget Of Knowledge™ said, this is a continuance of a draft, but I’m going to leave it there. I’ve said all I wanted to say, and I now remember that I left it to continue because I had no idea how to finish it off. I still can’t think of any way to finish the OG entry, so I’m leaving it as it is because I was starting to come across as a bit of a dick anyway. I still stand by what I say though. The great thing about having a blog is that its a lot easier to broadcast unpopular opinions on a barely read blog than air them in person and get heat for it. If people come across this, reading it softens the blow. However, for all I know, this could be a popular opinion, I don’t know. I don’t really discuss this stuff with my friends because most of them aren’t interested or have no idea what I’m on about.

Oh yeah, you get two entries today. Lucky you!

 

Its a double edged sword.

Posted: April 19, 2011 in Uncategorized

I love music. More particularly, I love live music. Nothing beats it. The feeling you get when you’re in a bustling throng of other like-minded individuals swaying their heads back and forth in rapid succession whilst watching and listening to your favourite band is an experience that can’t quite be matched. I try to attend as many local (and sometimes, not local) gigs as I can, although not being able to drive and relying on others for transport to and from the venues outside my local patch can be a pain.

To sum that opening paragraph up in one statement, I love gigs.

Other people love gigs too. Promoters love putting on gigs, giving bands much needed exposure and putting on a night of entertainment for the people who are willing to hand over a few quid for a good old night out.

The question is: Is there too much gig love?

In and around Pembrokeshire, there is now a gig nearly every Friday and Saturday, with some on Thursdays and Sundays too. More gigs? Brilliant!

Multiple promoters putting on a large selection of gigs has a good side and a bad side. On the good side, there’s a healthy selection of platforms for budding musicians to expose themselves (behave…) to the masses. There’s a place to go if you want to listen to some music, and there’s some friendly and healthy competition between promoters to draw the crowds to their gigs (Autonomous competition, might I add. It’s mostly being done without the promoters even knowing it). Competition is a good thing. Look at the Monday Night Wars between the WWF and WCW for example, without the trying to put each other out of business part though. Both companies were trying to produce the best product they could, and who benefited? The consumer. Guaranteed great wrestling on a Monday night. If this example holds any water, local gig goers are benefiting from this with a guaranteed awesome gig every weekend.

Perhaps we could be on the cusp of a ‘boom’ period for the local music scene.

On the other hand, the number of gigs in the area could possibly lead to a saturation that the current market can’t sustain. Say you’re on a low income, or a student budget. Two gigs are happening on separate weekends which both feature bands you’d really like to see, but you can only afford to go to one of them. Mr or Mrs promoter is only going to see your face at one gig. When faced with such a large choice, the man on the street is forced to choose which gig he’s going to go to. If a gig x miles away has the better line up, then he’s going to go there, and other gigs in the area will suffer because of it.

Put short, the majority of people simply can’t afford to go to all these gigs and attendances fall because of it.

As a wrestling fan, I’m really anticipating another ‘boom’ period for the product, just as I am as a music fan. As I said, a thriving gig culture can be a double edged sword. The positives outweigh the negatives, but there’s always that ‘what if…’ factor unglamorously looming overhead. Still, I pray for a boom period, and I hope it happens.

And that’s THAT rant done with.

Can I keep to a schedule? Will I stick to a weekly post format? Will Jenny comment on this? What is on my mind tonight? Come on in, take a seat, relax a little. Its late night, its smooth, its like Later… With Jooles Holland, but without the music and the backwards walking. Read the rest of this entry »