An Ode to the Deadman

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It’s a feeling that I won’t ever forget. The chill that runs down my spine. The goosebumps that pop up all over from excitement. For 20+ years now a simple gong has inspired fear in his opponents, and excitement from fans. He is the Demon of Death Valley, the American Badass, the Deadman, the Phenom… he is the Undertaker and if this is indeed now his final ride we should soak it all up and enjoy what could be the last few months of the his legendary run in sports entertainment. This is my ode to the Undertaker.

Before I get into it I just want to take a quick second to introduce myself. My name’s Russell, I’m from Brooklyn, NY and this will hopefully be the first of many articles of mine on this awesome site. Now let’s get down to it. I love the Undertaker. I’m willing to bet that you do too. How could you not? He embodies the spectacle that is professional wrestling.

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Awesome entrance? Check. Memorable ring style? Check. Memorable signature and finishing moves? Check. Awesome attire? Check. Memorable debut? Yes. There’s no mistaking the Deadman. There is no other like him. He has tombstoned just about damn near everyone in the WWE and has taken quite a few superstars on their last rides. And now let me address the man directly.

Dear Undertaker,

Whether it’s your dark and terrifying persona or the American Badass rolling in on a Harley, you still laid and continue to lay the beat down on any who stand in your way.

Countless superstars have fallen to you.. Edge, Batista, The Rock, Stone Cold Steve Austin, JBL, Randy Orton… you name a superstar and at some point in their career they have fallen victim to you.

You showed Shawn Michaels what fear feels like when you massacred him in the first ever Hell in a Cell match. You made sure Mick Foley would never be the same when you launched him off and through that same hellish structure. You terrorized the entire WWE when you formed the Ministry of Darkness. You showed the locker room that two brothers of destruction can take down all who come in their path.

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Of course this wouldn’t be a proper thank you without bringing up the streak. Your record now stands at 22-1 but no one will ever forget that you went 21 straight years without a loss at the grandest stage of them all. You struck down legend after legend and some more than once. Some have never beaten Triple H in their entire career and you beat him three times at Wrestlemania. You showed Bray Wyatt he has a lot to learn before he can call himself the new face of fear. You showed the Big Show and A Train that even a numbers advantage means nothing when someone challenges you at Wrestlemania. You showed a 16 time World Champion in Ric Flair that there are some battles even he can’t win and you showed your brother Kane that the Deadman will always prevail against the Demon.

You had the greatest match in the history of professional wrestling when you took on Shawn Michaels at Wrestlemania 25 and showed the world that even at his absolute best, the Heartbreak Kid was still no match for the Phenom. A year later, you would prove it again under the bright lights of the University of Phoenix Stadium at Wrestlemania 26. HBK would never topple you.

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I could keep going on and on about your accomplishments and about the path of destruction you’ve left in your wake but there’s much more to you than just what you left and continue to leave in the ring. You continue to haunt the dreams of every WWE superstar, you continue to show us the drive and passion and energy you have for the fans and the company. You have an aura about you that commands respect when you enter the arena. You give me people a reason to stand up and cheer in a world where there are so many things to be unsure about.

If the rumors are indeed true that you will feud with AJ Styles for the WWE title and win it, there is no one more deserving at this point in their career. For you to go out a champion would be the cherry on top of possibly the greatest pro wrestling career in history.

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I want to say this final thank you to the Undertaker. Thank you for some of the most memorable moments in the history of professional wrestling. Thank you for giving the kid inside of me something to cheer for every time you enter the arena. Thank you for your continued service in WWE and your continued service to your fans.

Wait… there it is again… that unmistakable sound of a gong. That unmistakable sound that we soon may never hear again. That sound that reminds us all that a deadman still rules the land of the living.

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By: Russell Hartman

The Raw Bits: (Highlights 11/14/16)

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Right off the bat RAW started out by giving me extreme secondhand embarrassment. The moment Mick started dancing and partaking in his best imitation of Enzo Amore, I just…I felt like an embarrassed grandkid. Kudos to you Mick ,but um, I’ll be here hiding in mild embarrassment. Then it got worse when Stephanie McMahon unveiled her soccer mom inner self….gosh. Too much to handle.

Damn it, wrestling is so stupid and ridiculous, I love it so much.

Roman’s a great partner.

Sure, Kevin Owens wouldn’t help during the match; and yeah, he tagged himself in just as Roman was finally about to execute his finisher and take the win for them. However, even though Kevin was the legal man Roman did the right thing. He knocked out their opponent and dragged Kevin’s body on top of Sheamus in order to secure the win. Honestly, that’s a great, and considerate teammate being so selfless and supportive.

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The New Day is ready for cuffing season.

They show their readiness with a stunning interpretation of cuffing season, using a New Day sock and unicorn horn. They didn’t even remember to wrap the horn first, sigh. So irresponsible.

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Closing Segment RAW Vs. SmackDown

From Kevin cupping Chris Jericho’s sugar tit, to AJ Styles and his soccer mom hair making it on the List, all the way to James Ellsworth being dubbed Chince McMahon. I just….this entire segment was complete gold and too hilarious for words. Raw vs. SmackDown was perfect and I can’t wait for this match at Survivor Series.

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Stephanie McMahon loves Mortal Kombat

“Finish him!”–Such orders sound so fitting coming from Stephanie.

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SmackDown: Mascot de Ellsworth (Highlights 11/8/16)

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It is election day, the scariest day in American history and we are watching SmackDown. Brace yourselves for potential political quips and references, and possibly a night all about Survivor Series.

James Ellsworth: Official Mascot

That’s right, he will be the official mascot for team blue during Survivor Series. This is incredible. I mean, honestly, he actually volunteered himself for this role. To be a mascot. Oh this poor cinnamon roll.

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Breezango is a bunch of strippers.

True story, Glasgow really brought their sexy out of them. I say, they’ve got promising careers in Vegas if this whole wrestling thing doesn’t work out.

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Shane O’Mac replacing Baron Corbin!

Er….well that’s interesting. Okay, I love Shane McMahon, I really do, he’s fantastic. But….taking Baron Corbin out on some lame “injury” thing? I would have loved to see him at Survivor Series, I don’t see enough of him! I don’t know, I find this switch to be rather…odd to say the least. I wonder where they’ll take this, if there’s more stipulations or how that match will play out.

 

SmackDown surprisingly had much more wrestling compared to Raw the night before, especially since Raw is a three hour program. Next week we get to see Edge and Undertaker, so I’m looking forward to a damn good episode to make up for this week.

 

AJ Styles: Mom Hair, Don’t Care

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The Champ is here: AJ Styles, and with him he brings a mane that can’t be tamed. The man known for beating both John Cena and Dean Ambrose has a killer asset that’s frequently discussed. Actually there’s a couple of body parts to him that are usually discussed but this isn’t Skinemax so we’re sticking with the PG asset: the hair.

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That hair is beautiful. Dark, luscious locks that remind you of a free flowing chocolate waterfall every time you watch him threaten to beat up John Cena. Yet no one really discusses the sheer beauty of his hair. There’s never a positive comment about how good it looks. All anyone can ever say is that he’s got soccer mom hair; the nerve of these scoundrels! They make it seems as though this whole soccer mom business would be a bad thing, but you know what? It’s incredible.

Who has soccer mom hair? Champions, that’s who.

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Who whips their hair back and forth? This guy, who does it so much better than Willow Smith could have ever hoped to do so.

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Ya know who doesn’t whip their hair back and forth? Losers, and who are the losers of SmackDown now? Dean Ambrose and John Cena. Ambrose’s hair looks like it was caught in a twister and fell onto his scalp once the storm settled. As for Cena, when has he ever had good hair, hmm?

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This mockery about AJ Styles’ hair is absolutely tragic. A champ with such an elite standing does not deserve this abuse, especially given the hair status of the previously mentioned chuckleheads. The world of professional wrestling is simply envious of his hair. He’s got a fierce mane all his own, no weave, plugs, extensions, or wigs necessary. That’s pure genetics doing its finest work, something just a few people in WWE might be jealous of.

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Look at this latest look in the Styles’ hair world. I like to call this look: Straight Outta Asgard.

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My final piece: Sporty Spice.

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The champ is here with his mom hair, and he simply doesn’t care what anyone else has to say about it. This hair is for winners, so that means he’ll have that mane for quite some time. If you want to be a winner and have fabulous hair such as AJ’s then fret not! Rumor has it he’s going to launch his own hair care line in Spring 2017, but you can only purchase it if you are a current title holding champion.

 

 

SmackDown: Highlights (10/11/16)

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Ya know, Dolph Ziggler was the first one to start the show this evening. I must say, his walk to the ring looks like a sad walk of shame. Just no happiness at all, his eyes look dead as he gazes upon the crowd that chants “you deserve it”. Eventually he livens up, but still, that walk to the ring made me think he was going to announce an injury.

The Miz and Maryse mourn the death of the IC Championship.

This is incredibly ridiculous and absurd. It’s outrageous, it’s such an extreme over exaggeration and yet: The Miz is absolutely correct. He made it relevant again, he made it something to die for. Now Dolph has tainted the prestigiousness of the belt, and I think it’s wonderful Miz and Maryse want to honor what it once was.

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What the fuck are they even wearing?

I don’t know what happened to spark this fashion change, but The Usos are just…man, they’ve really become completely different people. I mean, look at those outfits. They just…I mean…we don’t even get face paint anymore! I think we have a couple of rappers instead. Before you know it they’re going to have a mixtape and a feud with Taylor Swift.

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This is everything. From the sheer, childlike wonder and happiness of James, to referee Dean Ambrose making an appearance. Every moment of this was beyond ridiculous, a wild ride to remember of AJ placing James on a pedestal, and Dean rubbing AJ’s body down at the start of the match.

Oh, you think I’m joking?

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This freaking tweet.

I’m dead.

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Overall, SmackDown was pretty entertaining. The segment with James, Dean, and AJ really stole the show. Quite frankly I think that should have closed it out instead of more Wyatt and Orton. It seemed to steal the show more than the self proclaimed show stealer Dolph Ziggler did.

SmackDown: Highlights (9/13/16)

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Below are a few moments I found to be incredibly entertaining of from SmackDown from September 13, 2016.

When Shit Got Too Real

Things got too real between AJ Styles, Dean Ambrose, and John Cena in the opening segment of SmackDown. John Cena called out Dean, referencing the Stone Cold Podcast and going for the typical “you have no balls” insult. Dean called Cena the part timer who can’t keep up anymore but looks great on a cereal box. AJ of course relished in the fighting and managed to celebrate before it all went down.

The MVP of this segment was definitely Dean and John going toe to toe with the mic, and I never realized how desperately I needed that feud until this moment.

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AJ’s Hunt For a Partner

Not a life partner, no, but for a tag partner!  It’s incredibly entertaining and also very pitiful on his behalf. Poor guy, no one wants to work with him. it must be hard being the champ that runs the camp.

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Curt Hawkins…um…

Honestly, this was bit was sponsored by PornHub, wasn’t it? Or is he just trying to check on his own set up and make sure everything’s okay? Oh, or maybe fire farts?!

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The Miz Beats Up James Ellsworth

The Miz did the right thing! He made sure to secure himself a main event spot AND torment Daniel Bryan by utterly destroying the internet darling James Ellsworth. The poor guy never stood a chance against the A-Lister, but gosh he looked so happy to be there before Miz ruined him.

The Miz was killing it….and James!

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The show ends with Dean Ambrose nailing John Cena with dirty deeds, and now I can’t wait to see what goes down next week on SmackDown live.

 

WWE SmackDown: Backlash 2016

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Backlash: SmackDown Brand (9/11/16)

Today we watch the very first SmackDown exclusive pay-per-view, Backlash. Tonight is the first chance for a brand exclusive PPV to shine. Will SmackDown impress viewers, fans and skeptics alike? Or will it lose in the battle of going toe to toe with the Raw brand?

Kickoff

Apollo Crews vs. Baron Corbin

Everyone wants to be the new face that runs the place! According to Baron, Apollo’s get a spelling bee to focus on and shouldn’t even bother being on SmackDown because he’s a nobody. Apollo isn’t sweating it at all, he knows he can spell and can shine.

Winner: Apollo Crews gets got, Baron Corbin wins!

Backlash

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Becky Lynch vs. Natalya vs. Naomi vs. Alexa Bliss vs. Nikki Bella vs. Carmella

Six pack elimination match for the WWE SmackDown Women’s Championship

It’s time to choose the first ever SmackDown brand Women’s champion. There’s plenty of worthy contenders here, all vying for the opportunity to be the female face that runs the place.

Winner: Becky Lynch is the first SmackDown Women’s Champion

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The Usos vs. The Hype Bros

Winners face Heath Slater and Rhyno for the Tag Team Championships.

The Usos get a chance to fight for the tag titles due to American Alpha being out of commission, how unfortunate for them! Now it’s time for The Usos to make the most out of the second opportunity….but, the Hype Bros might be too much to handle.

Winners: Hype Bros get got, The Usos win!

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The Miz vs. Dolph Ziggler

For the InterContinental Championship

The Miz has a chance to prove himself against Dolph Ziggler, a man who constantly feels the need to prove himself and like he’s never done enough. Really, Dolph’s stuck in his own head with what everyone says about him, whereas Miz seems to be fully confident and aware of his abilities.

Winner: The Miz retains, and Dolph Ziggler gets got

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Bray Wyatt vs. Randy Orton

Unfortunately for the WWE Universe, Randy Orton was deemed unable to compete due to injury because Bray Wyatt had jumped him. in reality, the utterly careless Brock Lesnar is the reason for Randy not being cleared to compete. I say we put Brock on an island by himself away from humanity.

Winner: Bray Wyatt, via disqualification.

Don’t worry, we have a great substitute.

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Bray Wyatt vs. Kane

No disqualification

Well, it’s different than assuming a member of the Wyatt family would emerge from the swamp and destroy him. However, I’ll gladly take this nice little surprise!

Example Surprise: Randy Orton entering the ring to hit Bray with an RKO.

Winner: Bray Wyatt gets got with a quick trip to ViperVille. Kane wins!

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The Usos vs. Rhyno , Heath Slater

SmackDown Tag Team Championships

The Usos have taken full advantage of their second chance, and only have Rhyno and Heath Slater in their way. However, Heath desperately needs that above ground pool for his family. With all fifty of his kids watching, hopefully he can pull out the win.

Winners: The Usos get got. Rhyno and Heath Slater are the inaugural SmackDown Tag Team Champions. Now Heath can get that damn pool.

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Dean Ambrose vs. AJ Styles

For the WWE World Championship

This has been quite the heartbreaking feud if either of them plan on having any, or more children. Testicles have been crushed, we’ve learned that AJ doesn’t believe in participation trophies and likes to take tokens from his victims as a reminder of his victories. Serial killer-ish? Yes, which is surprising considering he’s not the man often referred to as the lunatic fringe. Now it’s time for Dean to prove himself against the face that runs the place.

Winner: Dean Ambrose gets got with a low blow, AJ Styles is the new champion!

Something tells me Dean might lose his damn mind on Tuesday, live on SmackDown!