Where do I start…? Chris Benoit, my hero for so many years.
Still to this day he remains one of the most talented technical wrestlers ever to grace our television screens. His matches are some of the most memorable in history. He is and will always remain the most taboo subject in wrestling.
Last week I left off at number 5 and Eddie Guerrero’s tribute night. This week we kick off at number 4 and some of my favourite matches of all time…
4. Edge and Rey Mysterio vs. Kurt Angle and Chris Benoit at No Mercy 2002. One of, if not the best tag team match of all time! Before the No Mercy PPV the first two rounds of the tournament to crown the first ever WWE Tag Team Champions were held, and the grand finale came in the form of these four men battling it out. Angle and Benoit, two of the most talented technical wrestlers to ever step foot in the squared circle to take on two of WWE’s biggest stars. This match did not disappoint. Angle and Benoit famously did not get along, however on this night they were able to overcome their differences to ultimately be crowned the first ever WWE Tag Team Champions. We don’t see alliances like this often enough these days and I can say with confidence that the tag team division will quite possibly never be as strong as it once was. It is matches like this that I remember why I became a fan in the first place.
Firstly I want to take time to wish Jerry ‘The King’ Lawler a speedy recovery. A sad occasion watched with horror by millions around the world. Michael Cole showed great professionalism as did all the WWE Superstars in such a grave situation. Kudos to all the medical staff involved on the night and the days after. They saved a life of a much loved man.
Seeing Bret Hart on Raw this week made me think back to some of the greatest and most shocking moments I’ve witnessed over the years as a fan. I’m going to share my all time favourite moments with you, the Rambling masses…
After making his WWE debut around 6 years ago CM Punk has achieved a lot. It’s not all been straight forward and he has had his fair share of ups and downs, but ultimately he has become one of the most popular WWE Superstars of recent time. Not even a year after making his debut he was caught up in a feud with Jonny Nitro (John Morrison) and a few short months later won his first ECW Championship. It wasn’t all plain sailing, but his career from this point spiralled upwards and into the Punk we see today.
Punk is a 7 time World Champion, having won the ROH World Championship and the ECW Championship once, WWE Championship twice, World Heavyweight Championship three times and has also been a Tag Team Champion and Intercontinental Champion. These accolades make him one of few men to become a WWE Triple Crown Champion. And he did it all so fast!
As my 30th birthday fast approaches I’ve been feeling nostalgic about a lot of things. Wrestling has, and always will be a big part of my life. I have watched many great matches, many bad matches, but one thing always stays the same – my love for the professional wrestling industry. I used to watch occasionally, and then the real obsession began! Looking back I can tell you the exact moment I fell in love with it – I turned on my TV and saw Bret Hart. That was that. I was hooked! I spent most of my teenage years (and all the years that followed) hopelessly in love with The Hitman. When it’s said that Bret Hart is the best there is, the best there was and the best there ever will be, that’s no exaggeration. The man was and still is utterly brilliant. I have him to thank for introducing me to so many happy hours of watching. He will always be my all time favourite, and quite deservingly so.
So last week I headed to Preston City Wrestling for the One But Not Forgotten one year anniversary show. After getting lost, as typical women do we arrived at Preston’s Lava & Ignite club. I was surprised by the set up, very good indeed. The ring situated under a giant chandelier, I have to admit looked amazing! Having missed out on seated tickets and only being 5ft I chose my place to stand for the best view. Standing anywhere in the venue still left you no more than a few feet from the action. I didn’t know at the time but I’d stood where the wrestlers make their entrance, an added bonus to my first show. The ring announcer (a handsome chap) came out first followed by Des, the referee. Des seemed very popular with the fans. As it was the anniversary show, Steven Fludder (owner and organiser) came to the ring to say a few words. Doing his best Vince swagger he entered to ‘No Chance in Hell’ I nearly pissed myself laughing! By this point the venue was packed, tickets sold so well for this event Lava & Ignite amended their insurance policy so even more tickets could be sold on the door.
There was action aplenty from the outset. I have picked my favorite matches and highlights from the night.
Monday Night Raw saw the return of the behemoth Brock Lesnar. Accompanied by the ever brilliant Paul Heyman. Backstage Shawn Michaels was nervous about running into the ‘man beast’ and quite rightfully so. On the previous weeks Raw Lesnar chillingly told Michaels he would see him before SummerSlam. Poor Shawn always ends up smack bang in the middle! Triple H had been delayed and Michaels was becoming more nervous about being vulnerable at the hands of Lesnar. The signing was due to take place and still no sign of Triple H. It didn’t take much goading from Heyman, (who always has a way at getting people to do what he wants) to bring Michaels down to the ring. Cue Triple H to the rescue! I have to say I was surprised when the contract signing went down seemingly without a hitch. But I think we all knew it wouldn’t end there. Later in the show Lesnar carried out a vicious assault on Michaels leaving him on the mat with a broken arm. To me this is the ultimate crime! Michaels is a living legend, a hall of famer, the showstopper, MR WRESTLEMANIA! Does this indeed make Lesnar the ultimate bad guy? We all know he is vicious, aggressive and downright angry at the world (perhaps his mother never held him enough as a baby?). But attacking HBK? Really? Being Triple H’s best friend has certainly caused HBK a whole load of grief over the years.
Shaun is relatively new to the business of Pro wrestling, at 37 years young he started his professional wrestling career slightly later than most. He is in his second year of pro wrestling and has already achieved some great things. He is a well known name within the Indy wrestling circuit and has fought for many different promotions in his career to date.
The Hammer stands at a massive 6ft 6 and weighs in at over 18 stone, much bigger than most on the circuit currently. Despite his massive stature, Shaun is a great technical wrestler and his spears more often than not will be sure to leave a dent!
There have been lots of great wrestlers come out of good old Blighty. Sheamus, Barrett, Dave Finlay, The British Bulldog Davey Smith, Doug Williams and many more.
My personal favourite, the ever eloquent – William Regal. Born Darren Matthews he starts his career at the tender age of 15 wrestling at carnivals on Blackpool Pier. He travelled all over England and Europe before taking his talents to the US in the early 90’s. Going to WCW he started his path into the loveable rogue we see today. Claiming decent from William the Conqueror he became the villain, Lord Steven Regal. He was arrogant, nasty and condescending, but still managed to keep that good old British charm. At WCW he won the World Television Championship four times and went on the form The Blue Bloods with fellow aristocrat Jean-Paul Levesque. They came close to winning the Tag Team Championship. After a match with Goldberg on Nitro Regal was fired. It was rumour at the time he was fired because he didn’t job to Goldberg quite enough and put in more offensive moves than planned. I’m sure I read somewhere that Mr Regal discredited this. We will never know!
What can I say about Raw 1000? It was indeed an epic show as predicted. Now it’s been and gone we have SummerSlam to look forward to. As the second biggest selling PPV of the year it needs to be equally as epic. With some awesome matches on the card I for one am certainly looking forward to it.
The first ever SummerSlam took place on August 29th 1988 at Madison Square Garden and was dubbed then, as it is today ‘the biggest event of the summer’. This week I’m going to take a look back at what I deem to be the greatest SummerSlam matches of all time.
Preston City Wrestling is one of the UK’s fastest growing live wrestling promotions. Held at the Lava Ignite club in Preston, Lancashire it offers an affordable, indy wrestling event. Making excellent use of the best of British wrestling talent, as well as boasting some former WWE/TNA stars and other wrestling talent from around the world. The shows combine wrestling with entertainment and I’ve been told the regular stars of the show are as entertaining as they are talented wrestlers. We often forget that there is such great talent right on our doorstep. After one short year in business the list of talent is already impressive. Former WWE Superstar John Morrison is due to appear later in the year (which I will not be missing) and PCW can already boast the likes of Colt Cabana, TNA’s LionHeart and Mark Haskins, not to mention Nigel McGuiness, CJ Banks, T Bone, Davey Richards and The MOB. Read more