Friday, 24 May 2013

WWE,TNA and Wrestling - It was better when I knew Less

WWE,TNA and Wrestling - It was better when I knew Less

Myself and my brother were talking recently and My brother said that he felt like he enjoyed wrestling more when we knew less about it. I got me thinking about wrestling in the modern era and how much wrestling has changed since I first started watching as a 5 year old child.
It was 1991 I was 5 years old as I said and there is no Internet. We have no SKY TV (pay TV) and we don't even have a video recorder at home at the time. I first managed to see what Wrestling was  by seeing a WWF Wrestling Video at my friends house which introduced me to the awesomeness that is professional wrestling. From that day forward I was hooked on it and have been watching it ever since.
At That Point we could only see wrestling when my friends (or their parents) would buy a new wrestling video. So we weren't exposed to Wrestling much at all and certainly did not know any of the inner workings or what went on backstage.

The First WWF video I Owned
Wrestling was hidden away and the secrets of wrestling weren't exposed so it kept us interested in the matches we were seeing. We didn't already know the results from Tweets or Websites and We would sit and watch through all the shows not skip and matches because we wanted to see what would happen. At the time also whether it was the Wrestlers or the matches themselves they had a way of drawing you in - I don't ever remember wanting to press the fast forward button on a first viewing of a wrestling video.
Every Video we got felt fresh as although some of the events we were watching were a year old or older we had no idea would be champion and the end of the video. We were more pure wrestling fans at that point because I feel that I was able to look at every match and take it on its merits and have the time to be able to absorb it and take it in better. We were able to grow as wrestling fans too - our tastes in who we liked or thought were good change over the years but her changed due to our opinions and thoughts and not by thoughts of others or what "the Internet says"
 Thinking about it that was a better time I wasn't impatient and wanting to get through a show as quick as possible, I didn't know all the inner workings, who hates who and why Wrestler A wont work with Wrestler B and WWF (WWE Now) were concentrating on putting on the best wrestling show not the best entertainment show.

I Was Brought Up With Wrestlers like Bret Hart and Mr Perfect
In addition to that we would see one new video whenever we could get one. We weren't over saturated as we are today with Wrestling on nearly every day of the week. I think that actually weakens the product that we now see on TV. If WWE went back to Just Raw once a week for 2 hours Wouldn't life in the modern era be easier as a wrestling fan? WWE these days asks you to spend 3 hours on Raw, 2 Hours on Smackdown, 1 Hour on Main Event, ! Hour on NXT and if a PPV week 3 Hours on that.
You could end up watching 9 hours of wrestling a week now!!! 
Knowing less Really gave me more,now in this society we live in everything has to be instant and everything in wrestling has to catch the fans attention and not let them change the channel. Everything Evolves and Everything Changes but sometimes not all evolution is great for me less is really more.
Thanks for Reading
Jonathan Orchard

Sunday, 12 May 2013

Mick Foley Comedy Show Review Bath 2013

Mick Foley Comedy Show Review
Bath 2013
Me and Mick Foley in Bath

I brought my ticket for Mick Foley Comedy Show in Bath Months ago. I made sure I got a meet and greet ticket as I had gone to see Mick in Cardiff in 2012 and wanted to make sure I could meet him again.

I arrived at the Komedia in Bath and the fans were queued up ready to get into the show. It was a very long line as I found out on the day that she show was sold out. That's a great achievement considering this was the first time for Mick in Bath shows that the advertising and promotion for his shows is spot on and he manages to reach the fans.

I get into the building and I am on the bottom floor as I have a meet and great and priority seating ticket. Luckily a friends of mine @kitchkov saved me a seat where he was sitting so was able to sit 4 rows back and enjoy the show.

I get some drinks and we are awaiting the start of the show. First of all the comedian supporting Mick on his tour comes out he is a comic from Leicester called Jim Smallman. Id never seen Jim before so was interested to see what he was going to come up with. Jim was fantastic and a perfect choice to support Mick. Jim Smallman is a professional comedian who is a huge wrestling fan (he has a tattoo of Mick Foley on his arm) and also Jim co Owns a wrestling promotion called Progress Wrestling. So Jim was bang on to start the show and got me laughing a lot before Mick Came on.

I found a video of Jim on Youtube click the video below to see Jim at work in Edinburgh Last year (the opening Joke is the same one we heard in bath) also visit Jim website

Mick Foley then came on to the stage and gave us 1 Hour to 1 Hour 20 minutes of laughter. Mick was tremendous and even better than when I saw him previously in Cardiff. Mick talked about the WWE hall of Fame and his story with Chris Jericho and Cm Punk and the elbow heard around the world. Mick said at the beginning of the show also that he wanted all fans to enjoy the show and you could hear everyone laughing I didn't hear one person at the end of the show complaining that they didn't enjoy themselves or have a great time

I wont ruin all the jokes for you - however Mick Does a joke about Hulk Hogan to which I was laughing so hard I nearly cried!! Also an extremely great joke about a man "Working Hurt" - Mick was comedy Gold and just keeps getting better and better. If haven't managed to see a Mick Foley comedy show yet I suggest you do whether you are a wrestling fan or not there is something here for all tastes. I hope there is a DVD coming out of his show because I'll certainly be buying it if it does.

There was a meet and greet after the show and due to the show being a sell out there were lots of fans waiting to meet Mick. I did take an hour to meet Mick however I feel that this was just due to sheer number of people. Mick had so many people to meet and after being on the road for so many days and doing so many shows I was very appreciative that at 11am at night Mick was willing to meet me, First bump (Mick says its easier than a handshake), take the time to talk to me and sign my WWE hall of Fame Program and also my WWE hall of fame ticket. Got to speak to Mick about my experience at the hall of fame and seeing him inducted as always Mick was a true gentleman and was great to talk too. I then had to run out the door and get my train home!! (which I did get in time!!)

Thank you Mick and if your back in  England Next year I'll be back to see another show
Thanks for reading
Jonathan Orchard
@jon422002 - Twitter

Tuesday, 7 May 2013

My Memories Scott Hall WWF years 1992-1996

My Memories Scott Hall WWF years 1992-1996
In 1992 I was 6 years old. I didn't have much access to SKY television here in |England UK and I would go over my friend's houses to watch wrestling and see it on Sky as we didn't have Sky at my home at the time and without Seeing Sky you would not see wrestling as WCW used to be on ITV but had stopped at this point.
I don't ever remember seeing The Diamond Studd or Diamond Dallas page before I saw the Razor Ramon Character so being from England I always thought he was Razor Ramon from the off. It wasn't until I got older and was reading and old school WCW album (before the Internet!!!) that I realised he was the Diamond Stud!!
Below Is a video collection of Razor |Ramon 1st Vignette's for WWF
I didn't see Razor Ramon on his debut however I remember seeing Razor Ramon with Ric Flair and doing an interview with Ric Flair for Survivor Series 1992 here is one of the promos from that time that I managed to find on youtube click the link below to see a video promo by Razor Ramon, Ric Flair and Mr Perfect.
I liked Razor Ramon from the first time I saw him. He was the first real bad guy that I liked. Think his character was brilliant and I think that his way of talking to the audience was unique and something that had not been done at that point. Razor spoke differently, with an accent and spoke slowly as well which made you wait for the end of every sentence. In addition to that had a great look, wearing lots of gold and a great jacket with his name emblazoned on the back of it.
The Razor character was so awesome that he was only 1 of 2 WWF hasbro Wrestling figures which I ever brought new!! I saved up my money and managed to buy the figure! It was brilliant used it so much - there is so much wear and tear on it now but shows how much I would use the figure!!!
 Razor Ramon and Ric Flair lost Via DQ to Macho Man and Mr perfect at Survivor Series then following this Razor Ramon went on to face Bret Hart at Royal Rumble 1993 in the main event Razor was featured on the WWE Royal Rumble Poster and on the VHS Cover too.

The Match Between Bret Hart and Razor Ramon ended with Bret Hart Defeating Razor by making Razor Submit to the Sharpshooter you can see the video below

 My Next big memory of Razor Ramon and its one that sticks in my mind more than others and that was Razor Ramon at Wrestlemania 9. Wrestlemania 9 was the first video I brought and I remember seeing Razor Ramon vs Bob Backlund at the PPV and at the time as that was the only wrestling video I owned i watched the Video alot!! Here's the match between Razor and Bob Backlund Below

 Following his match up with Backlund later on in the year on Monday Night Raw Razor Ramon faced 123 Kid and in one of the most amazing things id seen at that time the 123 kid beat Razor Ramon with a moonsault off the top rope. I could believe that Razor Lost and this new wrestler but it was an excited moment and something that is now always remembered for being the first angle on Raw and also one of the most shocking moments check it out here

 Razor and 123 Kid then got into a program together and faced each other following this Razor Ramon also faced the Million Dollar Man Ted Dibiase in his last match in WWE and Pinned Him after the Razors Edge at Summerslam.

On Raw After a Battle Royal the week before Razor Ramon faced Rick Martel after Shawn Michaels was suspended for the vacant WWE intercontinental championship Razor Beat Martel to Win the Intercontinental Title. Following this Shawn Michaels returned with his Intercontinental title and then what ensued next was probably the best feud that the Intercontinental title had ever seen Razor Ramon vs Shawn Michaels. Shawn Michaels insisted that he had never lost the title and that Razor was not the real Intercontinental champion.

This lead to one of the greatest matches in WWE History with both titles hoisted above the ring Razor Ramon vs Shawn Michaels in a ladder match for the Intercontiential championship. One thing that bothers me alot is that in the DVDs that WWE have done there has never been enough credit given I feel to Razor and what he contributed to the match. It takes two great Wrestlers to make a match everyone talks about Shawn Michaels Contribution but WWE seem to ignore Razor Ramon Contribution. Razor and Shawn both deserve credit for making a classic which was standard alot of matches were measured against int he years to come. The match had a big influence on me I remember being amazed seeing this on TV or VHS never seen a ladder match before this and they gave me a great wrestling memory!! Check out the Wrestlemania 10 Ladder match Highlights below

Later on Razor Ramon lost the Intercontinental Title to Diesel and then at Summerslam 1994 Ramon beat Diesel to win back the WWE Intercontiential title.

This is where its gets hazy for me and the next match that I remember At the 1995 Royal Rumble Jeff Jarrett beat Razor Ramon. Razor lost the Intercontinental Championship to Jarrett and I remember being really annoyed as The match was restarted then Jarrett won it as a kid I hated Jeff Jarrett!!!!

Razor Ramon then went against Jeff Jarrett again for the  Intercontinental Championship at WrestleMania XI, but only won this match via DQ so Razor did not win the title.

What I remember next is Summerslam 1995  and a rematch between Shawn  Michaels and Razor for the Intercontinental title. Shawn Michaels won this match . Not knowing it at the time but finding this out recently through watching a Kevin Nash interview he said that Shawn and Razor were told that they could not use the ladder as a weapon - so they went and had a great match even with restrictions apon them. I never got to see this match Live and as it aired as we weren't able to see it so took meanwhile to see this later on as a kid (on Youtube back then!!!) but was worth waiting for. Check  out the video below

After this I remember Razor Ramon vs Dean Douglas at In Your House 4 and Razor Beating Douglas for the intercontinental title See the video below

Also In 1995 and in  a match I remember alot 1995 survivor Series there was a Wildcard Match and Gorilla Moonson picked the teams of mixed faces and heels and the teams Were Shawn Michaels, Ahmed Johnson, British Bulldog and Sid vs Razor Ramon, Dean Douglas, Yokozuna and Owen Hart. I loved this match because I was different and unique and I haven't seen anything like this before. See the match below
This was the last big match I remember for Razor Ramon before he left for WCW in 1996. I never knew this at the time but Before he left HHH,Razor, Shawn Michaels and Kevin Nash all said goodbye together in the ring at Madison Square Garden. Alot of people didn't like this however looking back on it I think this started the change into a new era of Wrestling and don't think that the MSG incident caused any harm to WWF it was simply best friends saying goodbye.
I have also written two Kevn Nash Blogs you can read them here
Thanks for Reading
Jon Orchard
@jon422002 on Twitter

Sunday, 5 May 2013

Impact Wrestling - Creative, Creating an Impact

Impact Wrestling - Creative, Creating an Impact

May 2013

Welcome to my new blog looking at Impact Wrestling and the positives that TNA  and Impact Creative Team have made to Wrestling so far this year please read on and as always everything you read is my opinion and my opinion as a wrestling fan I'm not a wrestling "expert" and don't proclaim to be one so with that said enjoy!!
TNA Impact Wrestling owned by Dixie Carter made some changes in the early part of 2013. Impact Wrestling decided to do what in my opinion needed to be done for a long time they took the first step to change the Wrestling business and change the Model that the Wrestling business had been so successful on in the past.
Dixie Carter stated

“The Pay-Per-View industry has changed so much in the last decade,” says TNA President Dixie Carter. “The traditional pay-per-view wrestling model needed to evolve and we believe this strategy will positively impact not only the Pay-Per-View events but the weekly television programming as well.”
The First thing Impact Wrestling did was to change from once a month Pay per Views. The Pay per view market I think needs to change and Impact weren't afraid to make the change from the traditional.  The difficulty is that with one pay per view a month everything seems very rushed and doesn't give the fans time to be able to invest in the characters and the story lines that Impact were trying to Create.

We are in a different society now to the one we were in in the 90's when wrestling was at its apex As a society we have advanced so much more with the advent of Social Media, TV & Movies episodes able to be viewed online and even Par per views can also be ordered online.

Everything the customer wants now in terms of media can nearly always be done on demand or downloaded, its instantaneous gratification there is no wait, no anticipation and no patience. Today's audience wants it all now this second. The reason that  has happened is that in general we have been conditioned as a society to get what we want straight away.

Impact Wrestling through this year with one angle has shown that through great planning and execution that a story can play out of the long term with great success.

Impact Wrestling and their Creative Team gained success with the recent Aces and 8's storyline. Impact wrestling and their creative team put together a logical, sensible plot and it culminated after 9 months - Which I think is an incredible feat given what I described above with today's challenges with the attention span of the audience. They did what I haven't seen done in a long time they had a long term plan and were organised.

In the process of this storyline as well they made Bully Ray a main event star and Impact Wrestling Champion. This whole storyline was build around him and his actions towards Brooke and Hulk Hogan. Bully Ray has been made an even bigger star because of this storyline he is the guy everyone hates and wants to see get his butt kicked. Also the Aces and 8s angle allowed some new faces to be introduced such as Mike Knox and Luke Gallows.

The clever thing was Bully Ray after winning the Impact Wrestling World Title coming out in a series of videos on Impact explaining how things happened and how everything fitted together. It was so clever and they got me with it too!! That was a nice feeling rarely I'm  taken off guard or caught by surprise in Wrestling anymore so it was nice to have that feeling again. Seeing everything laid out from beginning to end and how it all fitted together it was very clever.

See the 5 part videos below

All Videos Below will take you to watch the video on Impact Wrestling Youtube channel

Bully Bully Part 1 of Aces and 8's Rise

Bully Ray Part 2 of Aces and 8s Rise

Bully Ray Part 3 Aces and 8s Rise

Bully Ray Part 4 Aces and 8s Rise

Bully Ray Part 5 Aces and 8s Rise

I see all these Wrestling fans and all too often they are very negative and its all too easy for fans to moan and groan on the Internet and blast everyone - but the Impact Creative Team deserve a huge amount of credit for what they have achieved so far

So a massive well done to all the Impact Creative staff. They proved what can be done  the Creative Team is Creating an Impact and I don't think they are finished yet either

Many Thanks for Reading


Jon Orchard
|Follow me on Twitter @jon422002