January 30, 2017
The bookies were right. Randy Orton won the 30th annual Royal Rumble to secure his place at WrestleMania.
Except…Randy Orton was always going to be at WrestleMania. He’s Randy Orton. The Viper. The Legend-Killer. The Evolution of the Legacy. His place on the big stage is assured.
But he’s a safe choice – and when it came down to the final two, with Roman Reigns the other man still standing, an Orton win was the only way to assure cheers rather than boos as the show went off the air.
Something else that would have assured cheers would have been a more exciting, more interesting choice for the winner – somebody who’s not already guaranteed a shot at the year’s biggest show. Read the rest of this entry »
December 19, 2015
Last weekend I went up to Blackpool for the NXT tour show at the Empress Ballroom – I thought that would be a special evening simply for the return of William Regal. (I was right.)
And on Wednesday evening I was at Wembley Arena (in the very back row) for Takeover: London.
Here follow my thoughts, for what they’re worth… Read the rest of this entry »
July 24, 2015
“That’s a good-looking belt…that’s a women’s WRESTLING belt!” declared Alundra Blayze on the occasion of her Hall of Fame induction, holding her once-discarded women’s championship aloft.
Charlotte, Sasha Banks and Becky Lynch, three-quarters of NXT’s four horsewomen, have now joined Paige on the main WWE roster, leading some to announce that a “Divas’ Revolution” is now under way.
Enough has been written about the way NXT treats women’s wrestling – the women are characters in their own right, with motivations beyond “jealousy” and “boyfriends”, and the belt itself is for women, rather than “Divas”. (Can you imagine the men having a “Superstars’ Championship”?)
But a true revolution will never be successful until there’s a change from top to bottom. Read the rest of this entry »
April 13, 2015
Well, if I type quickly, I might get this published before the show airs…spoilers, if so…
Read the rest of this entry »
January 29, 2015
If you’ve read TOWIS over the past few years, you’ll know that I’m very liable to become emotionally invested and moved by professional wrestling.
When Sami Zayn won the NXT title I was moved to tears three times – when he secured the victory, when he and Adrian Neville hugged – and when his best friend Kevin Owens turned on him. Read the rest of this entry »
January 26, 2015
If your crowd are booing the man you want to be your next big babyface, if they’re practically rioting in the car park after your pay-per-view, if one of the top Twitter trends across the world urges people to withdraw money from your company…you’ve probably got a PR problem.
This isn’t about Roman Reigns, who took the brunt of the crowd’s disgust in Philadelphia after the Royal Rumble. I’m fairly sure that nobody genuinely dislikes him. It’s about the way WWE run roughshod over crowd reaction and attempt to rewrite history, about the way they throw in nostalgia trips (like the Rock) in an attempt to manipulate their audience, and about the way they scorn the very people who pay for their product.
It seems misguided at the least when their business model seems to be to shunt all their content online and expect people to subscribe.
People aren’t going to subscribe to programming they’re not engaged with.
And sure, there’s a long way to go until the showcase event of the year. Anything could happen. But the Royal Rumble tends to be a reliable indicator of the quality of the coming months. And three months of Reigns’ awkward promos, still green main events, and being shoved in our faces with all but a flashing neon sign saying LIKE THIS MAN, HE’S OUR NEW CENA is unlikely to herald a classic Wrestlemania.
October 10, 2014
Check out Part One of our exclusive chat with Kharma/Amazing Kong – she talks reality TV, signing for WWE, and thoughts of retirement.
One of the quotes I really like from you was a very gracious and interesting one – you don’t think the Divas get enough credit. Did you mean from WWE or the fans or both?
I dare say both, actually. And I actually used to be one of those people. Before I got to WWE, I was very dismissive of their Diva division. Once I got there, especially the night I debuted, Michelle McCool and Layla had a match, and they left it all out there, and I respected that. The attitudes and the work ethic that I witnessed there from all the girls was extremely admirable and one that rivalled the work ethic I experienced with the Knockouts.
It’s just a shame that the Divas have to overcome such a pigeonholed reputation from the past – they’re fighting against that right now, and it’s a shame. Read the rest of this entry »