Interview: Magnus on becoming TNA Impact Wrestling’s first-ever British World Heavyweight Champion

December 31, 2013

Magnus with Title 3It’s a cold, damp Monday morning in London. More than that, it’s the morning after the night before for TNA Impact Wrestling’s British contingent – they were guests of honour at the now-customary Fan Party at the Garage in Islington, thrown to commemorate Magnus becoming the company’s first ever British World Heavyweight Champion.

“It was [a good party]. It meant a lot to me,” says the new champ.

He feels that getting his shot at the championship was just as much about the British audience’s loyal support for TNA as it was about his own abilities.

“That’s a testament to our generation of wrestlers and fans – we were the fans that made them aware of the fact that we’re a strong market, so when we all became wrestlers they went, ‘These are the guys who have grown up their whole lives watching us. They’re as big a part of this as anyone.’ They understood that my aptitude for wrestling was for the worldwide business, the world’s getting smaller, they just said, ‘You’re the right guy.’ The Brits get to go, ‘He’s OUR guy.’ That’s an important thing, and a great feeling.
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Fact: Magnus is TNA’s new champion

December 20, 2013

135226_10153356804685374_30631316_oI very much like being right.

And as Magnus is TNA’s new champion after last night’s episode of Impact, I feel it is time to reflect on my words this summer when I was interviewed by Collar & Elbow:

Magnus has the look that US pro wrestling companies have loved for years, and he has charisma and loves to talk on the mic. He’s adept at playing the heel or being the good guy – as long as he’s allowed to chat, he can put that character over…It took TNA a while to let him unleash that brash, pantomimey persona, choosing instead to make him into a stoic, silent type. But now they’ve let him do what he’s best at, and there is no question he can handle main eventing.

If you’ll let me peer behind the curtain briefly, it’s also heartening that he speaks very well of Kurt Angle and Sting, who he says have given him advice and helped him settle in; and certainly Angle speaks equally well of him. This willingness to listen to the senior pros and to get along with the roster’s elite bodes well for his longevity in US pro wrestling.

Obviously I’m slightly biased as Magnus is the cover star of my book ‘Spandex, Screw Jobs and Cheap Pops’ and has been extremely complimentary in his endorsement of it – but after years of the best British talent being wasted by the US promotions, it’s exciting to see one with gold around his waist. Congratulations, Magnus!

Fact: The Shield are the highlight of 2013

December 18, 2013

When the Shield first emerged at the end of 2012, smarks happily name-dropped about how they’d seen these guys wrestle on the indy circuit (or in FCW) under their previous names.

Just over a year later, nobody refers to them as anything other than Dean Ambrose, Seth Rollins and Roman Reigns.

That proves just how successful the Shield have been – not only did they obliterate most of the roster, they’ve also obliterated the baggage that inevitably comes with a pre-WWE wrestling career in the internet age.

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Question: who will be our champion by the end of TLC?

December 15, 2013

OrtonCena_crop_northTonight is WWE’s last pay-per-view of 2013, and John Cena and Randy Orton are supposed to be facing each other in a unification match.

Yet, as we all know, WWE is rarely that simple.

So, who will be heading out of TLC with the belt(s)?

Question: does it matter what you think?

December 11, 2013

You might have seen the kerfuffle on Twitter this week as The Rock defended himself against the accusations of a wrestling blogger.

As The Rock picked up the Slammy for “LOL Moment of the Year” for the song in which he called Vickie Guerrero “bee-yotch” and likened her to “a hooker, but not the expensive kind”, he tweeted her to warn her to to get her “stink pickle halitosis” on his award.

So far, so Rock.

With Leather’s Brandon Stroud replied to this to ask him: “Any chance you could stop talking to women like they’re garbage for five seconds?”

And The Rock defended himself by saying: “Vicky [sic] and I are actually good friends” and later adding: “[W]e all write our promos – together.”

Taking The Rock’s words at face value – I have no reason to doubt them, though I’m fairly sure if a good friend of mine called me an ugly whore on international TV I’d be moderately upset – does Vickie’s agreement to these skits make them OK? Read the rest of this entry »

Question: who are the TOWIS 2013 award-winners?

December 5, 2013

20111212_slammys_1As the WWE approach their end-of-year Slammys (see image, credit: WWE), which are always a srs awards ceremony and not at all a farcical joke that detracts more than ever from their wrestling, I thought it was about time we did an awards ceremony here on TOWIS with equal gravitas, to recognise our favourite performers in 2013.

Do feel free to invent your own categories and award-winners in the comments…

Without further ado: Read the rest of this entry »