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  1. #176
    Quote Originally Posted by ad hoc View Post
    There used to be quite a big scene I presume, when wrestling was on ITV every Saturday afternoon, just after the football results, with Mick McManus, Giant Haystacks, Big Daddy, et al.
    Twas before the football results surely

  2. #177
    ad hoc's Avatar
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    It may have been.

  3. #178
    Jah Womble's Avatar
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    Yep, the wrestling was on just ahead of Dickie Davies's football headlines and the final results of a Saturday. World of Sport would usually flash up the latest scores over whatever tag bout it was, usually involving Adrian Street getting walloped by some granny's handbag.

    Quote Originally Posted by WOM View Post
    Could you just imagine? Some kind of twisted, tuneless Saturday kids' show. With segments like Reading with Flea.
    I could imagine an ill-advised re-imagining of The Banana Splits, in which the socks would feature prominently. But let's not get into imaginary reasons for dissing RHCP - there are enough on the 'real' table.

    (But I think 'stuff' in this instance still meant 'Film, TV and Radio'.)

  4. #179
    Snake Plissken's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hot Pepsi View Post
    Are there any “pro wrestling” circuits in Europe? The only ones I’ve heard of are in the US or Mexico.
    ICW
    Progress
    RevPro
    FutureShock
    OTT (Ireland)

    Then in Japan, NJPW is way better than WWE. Also Stardom.

    There is a WWE UK and and NXT UK title. Worth noting that one of the top 5 rated matches in the last year (and in some quarters voted the WWE match of the year) was between two UK wrestlers in NXT.
    Last edited by Snake Plissken; 11-09-2018 at 09:50.

  5. #180
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    ICW have pulled 6,000 fans to their events in the SSE Hydro.

  6. #181
    Hot Pepsi's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Snake Plissken View Post
    ICW
    Progress
    RevPro
    FutureShock
    OTT (Ireland)

    Then in Japan, NJPW is way better than WWE. Also Stardom.

    There is a WWE UK and and NXT UK title. Worth noting that one of the top 5 rated matches in the last year (and in some quarters voted the WWE match of the year) was between two UK wrestlers in NXT.

    I'm surprised its so big in Japan, given the reverence for sumo, MMA, and, I suppose proper freestyle wrestling (third most successful country in the Olympics.)
    Wikipedia tells me the current NJPW champion is from Winnipeg.

  7. #182
    ursus arctos's Avatar
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    Perhaps less so when one consideration the reverance for Kabuki, Noh and other highly formalistic forms of entertainment.

  8. #183
    Hot Pepsi's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ursus arctos View Post
    Perhaps less so when one consideration the reverance for Kabuki, Noh and other highly formalistic forms of entertainment.
    That's true.

  9. #184
    Snake Plissken's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hot Pepsi View Post
    I'm surprised its so big in Japan, given the reverence for sumo, MMA, and, I suppose proper freestyle wrestling (third most successful country in the Olympics.)
    Wikipedia tells me the current NJPW champion is from Winnipeg.
    The Wrestle Kingdom shows at the Tokyo Dome sell 60,000 seats. Kenny Omega is probably the best wrestler in the world. He's been over in Japan for years and fully assimilated into the culture - IIRC, his love of Japanese culture meant he aimed to go there rather than to WWE. Japan is generally the place where up and coming talent from the UK and other places go to get more experience and learn a different style. Then, maybe they go to the WWE but generally the money is good and the grind not bad compared to the US.

    He also wrestled a 9 year old girl in a three minute time limit match.
    Last edited by Snake Plissken; 11-09-2018 at 21:40.

  10. #185
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    Haha, I only caught that video for the first time yesterday, as it happens. It's so wrong on so many levels, yet at the same time it's an absolutely brilliant demonstration of just how skilled someone like Kenny Omega is. I was expecting the whole thing to be smoke-and-mirrors with precious little actual contact and Omega essentially performing the whole dance single-handed, viz the first minute or two – yet when they get into it and he hits the 'proper' backbreaker and enzuigiri (step-up kick to the back of the neck) it frankly made my mouth fall open. To be able to pull that off on a 9-year-old child without actually hurting her in any way is a remarkable thing, showing just what a thoroughly talented and safe in-ring worker can do in terms of making things look real without inflicting actual pain. It's helped immeasurably by little Haruka selling both like a freakin' champ, of course.


    Quote Originally Posted by Hot Pepsi View Post
    I'm surprised its so big in Japan, given the reverence for sumo, MMA, and, I suppose proper freestyle wrestling (third most successful country in the Olympics.)
    Knowledge of professional wrestling was originally brought over to Japan after the Second World War by US army GIs. It developed its own distinct culture there, cross-pollinated at intervals down the decades since with the evolving North American paradigm but one that in general remains more 'realistic' and is presented more like a true sport. There's a (typically Japanese?) deep respect for and appreciation of it as an art form – indeed, many American and European wrestlers have had to adjust themselves when performing over there since, in contrast to the consistently raucous atmosphere they'd look to generate in other countries, they had to cope with the disconcerting quietness of Japanese audiences who would traditionally watch in a rapt appreciative silence and only applaud at intervals for really high spots.

  11. #186
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    Pro wrestling – WWE, and all the other various promotions that make up the business – is brilliant, anyway. I make no bones about the fact it as good as saved my life.

    I was tangentially aware of the WWF, as it then was, at the start of the '90s when my younger brother's school year were into it and I thus picked up a few things by osmosis. I knew the main figures (Hulk Hogan, the Ultimate Warrior, "Macho Man" Randy Savage, Jake "the Snake" Roberts, the British Bulldog and the terrifying Undertaker) as he would keep me broadly informed what they were up to, but had no direct exposure to it and so after my brother and his crowd grew out of it I lost all touch with what was happening there for the whole of my teens.

    So I only 'got' wrestling when I was 20 – when by some merciful stroke of fortune I got introduced to it by my housemates shortly after having my heart shattered in a colossally destructive relationship breakup right at the start of my third year of uni. In a state of depression, pain and grief so acute I was struggling just to survive each ten seconds at a time, let alone from day to day, the discovery of a entire separate, self-contained universe of over-the-top colourful characters engaged in some riotous kind of athletic, anarchic soap opera was a genuine lifeline.

    In what I laughingly call the "real world" I despise, fear and abhor violence of all kinds; yet this musclebound drama of good guys and bad guys pretending to kick the shit out each other in a riveting sort of ballet-with-bodyslams just sucked me in from the first. There were heroes, villains; big, small, fat and thin. Intriguingly dark characters and prancing idiots, power-crazed authority figures, hot women. Genuine Olympians, fighters and martial artists – but also a pretend pimp, porn star and vampire. A 400-pound Samoan in a thong. I'm not making this up. Cages, tables, ladders, steel chairs. The Rock. Royal Rumbles, WrestleManias. Everything weird and wonderful under the sun.

    Yes, it might seem like a very 'shallow' form of entertainment to many – but amid all that absurdity, mayhem and madness there's a remarkable richness. The sheer teeming vastness of it, the depth to its history with all these personalities and feuds, federations and moves, I could enjoy learning to plumb at a point where I was otherwise emotionally both wrecked and spent. The endlessly shifting sagas of betrayal, redemption, blood and thunder were something I could actually engage with and absorb myself in. At least temporarily, I would feel oddly safe in this all-enveloping parallel reality. Its high-voltage lunacy, its 'otherness' from the normal world and its endless rolling momentum were the escape that I desperately needed.

    Not to mention, when you're in as black a place as I was, there's something tremendously cathartic about being able to vicariously live along with something like the below. This is the Undertaker's (storyline) 'little' brother Kane, a seven-foot masked demon who gave no fucks whatsoever, and I bloody loved him above all the rest right from the word go:


    And apart from anything, this all plays neatly into the whole passage-of-time discussion Reed and I were sort of having upthread. When I started watching I was amazed to find the Taker was still going – I could scarcely comprehend that this guy who'd been there when I was 11 could still be part of it an unthinkable nine years later at the end of the decade. Indeed, one of the perversely comforting things about this newly-discovered universe was that in my ravaged psychological state wherein it felt like an 'iron curtain' had descended, cutting me off from my whole previous existence such that things only a year or two before felt an untouchable lifetime ago, it appeared that wrestling-years were one of the few things that worked in a recognisably similar way. The Hogan era of WWF had been swept aside some time previously, in an industry that was undergoing such rapid seismic changes it meant that events from only a couple of years earlier came across like ancient history there too.

    As it happens, Undertaker himself was absent with a long-term injury at the time, and there was talk among fandom that he was old and broken-down and ought to just retire – and yet today, 19 years later again, he still hasn't quite done so! And I've never stopped loving and being grateful to pro wrestling in all that time, either.

  12. #187
    Jah Womble's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Snake Plissken View Post
    He also wrestled a 9 year old girl in a three minute time limit match.
    Jesus Christ - I know, I know, it's all carefully-staged - but who the hell ever thought that that was a good idea?

  13. #188
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    Quote Originally Posted by Satchmo Distel View Post
    I think JSP's TV fame was regional (London-centric) because she was being parodied on Not The Nine O'Clock News by Pamela Stephenson even though nobody in my region had ever seen her. Danny Baker was another Londpon-centric name when he started doing Daz adverts and being Gazza's pal, although I knew of him as an NME writer and then latterly the first 6-0-6 presenter and doing the breakfast stint on Radio 5.
    They're appearing together on 'Loose Women' in about 30 minutes, lunchtime-tv fans!

  14. #189
    Snake Plissken's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jah Womble View Post
    Jesus Christ - I know, I know, it's all carefully-staged - but who the hell ever thought that that was a good idea?
    Did you watch it?

  15. #190
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    Deliberately not clicking it in case former wrestler Jim Fixed It

  16. #191
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    Quote Originally Posted by Snake Plissken View Post
    Did you watch it?
    Yes - hence my comment.

    When I say 'good', obviously I'm talking 'ethical' rather than 'commercially lucrative'.

  17. #192
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    Because the girl wanted to.

    On the subject of Omega's match with a 9-year-old girl, 'The Cleaner' admitted that it was his favorite match of that year. As the story goes, Omega's opponent was a young child who was upset that she was not being recruited to become a professional wrestler. The promotion wanted to cheer her up by letting her have a match.
    "We were a small company [at DDT]. Eventually, we had grown as sort of the mainstays of the company to become this number two [or] three promotion in Japan. We were running Ryogoku Sumo Hall and we eventually even ran [Nippon] Budokan when [Kota] Ibushi and I had that rematch in 2012 in front of a sold out Budokan. But yeah, we were running Ryogoku, and there was this promotion that had a lot of money back behind it. And they were using a lot of, like, kickboxing girls who were just getting into becoming Joshi pro wrestlers. And, for whatever reason, when we were scouting talent and recruiting talent, in the beginners class, there was this little girl and I believe she was seven years old. And she was a huge wrestling fan and she was really jealous and heartbroken that all these girls were getting scooped [up] from the shoot boxing academy to become pro wrestlers because she was the biggest fan of them all. So they felt bad and they wanted to find something for her and so they had asked me because I had done some mix [gender] stuff before in Japan on the indies and said, 'Kenny's really good. He's safe. He [has] helped some of our developing talents become better and maybe you could work with him for a couple of weeks and see if we can get you to a point where you could do something in the ring.' And so, I said, 'yeah, sure!'"

    Omega acknowledged that he was worried that the match would have been career suicide if he hurt the girl, but the positives outweighed the possible negatives.

    "They had said, 'okay, well, on the day of your big show, we're hoping that you could do an exhibition with her' and it felt like time had moved to a standstill because I saw this grand opportunity in front of me where I could show everyone something special and something real fun and funny. But at the same time, it's a huge risk because that's a permanent black eye on your career. It's possibly career suicide. If you hurt a girl in front of a huge, sold out crowd and then that goes online and you know how things work. And then, I just become a laughing stock if I wasn't already. Do you know what I mean? But I think the positives outweighed the negatives."

  18. #193
    Jah Womble's Avatar
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    Oh, I get all that - but the point still stands.

  19. #194

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    Danny Baker was at my current theatre last night to watch "Cilla The Musical", just saying like!

  20. #195
    Felicity, I guess so's Avatar
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    Did anyone watch Bakerís recent tour? I love his radio stuff but always felt he tried too hard on tv so decided not to risk it

  21. #196
    Patrick Thistle's Avatar
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    Karl Pilkington. He has a new sitcom. I really don't understand the appeal.

  22. #197
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    Me neither.

    But then, I've never really understood the appeal of Ricky Gervais, either.

  23. #198
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    Quote Originally Posted by Felicity, I guess so View Post
    Did anyone watch Baker’s recent tour? I love his radio stuff but always felt he tried too hard on tv so decided not to risk it
    Not the current tour but I saw the previous one which was “Volume One” of his life story.

    It was brilliant, far closer to his radio persona (which is by far his best work) than his TV or written output.

  24. #199
    Patrick Thistle's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jah Womble View Post
    Me neither.

    But then, I've never really understood the appeal of Ricky Gervais, either.
    Ricky Gervais is a one trick pony that leads me to suspect his most famous role was actually just Ricky Gervais using a fake ID.

  25. #200
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    Or that Stephen Merchant did the heavy lifting.

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