Tuesday, 27 December 2011

The Holly and the Indy


On the 12 days of Christmas...

A pictorial spread of some independent favourites for you to muse over... Enjoy!


Nothing says Christmas than green and a hotty...


Keeping the X-mas tradition of the beard going...


In grapple hold...


Makes hair on top look seductive and sweet


The Hunk of Holidays perhaps?... You can also check out the interview with Marty (on Wrestling Wonders) here - Exclusive Interview with Marty Scurll

Is Denmark's recent X-mas light heavyweight champion!


Luck of the Irish...


Beefcake may be your new festive pudding...


A slice of Holiday pie?...


Knitted cutey can keep you all snug with a hug...


Could give Alicia Fox a run for her money... 


Who wouldn't wish to unwrap this?...


Holding on for a X-mas Hero?...



Boing! Everyone's favourite stocking filler...

Let us know if you can Identify the wrestler above Dupree, we appreciate all feedback too.

Keep following, commenting, reading, tweeting/re-tweeting, sharing but not stealing, and subscribing on Wrestling Wonders! Even MORE is coming, and December has been a record month, which now surpassed the record in November! <3

Click the link to follow, as simple as that... -  @MaxWaltham

Thank You X

And we promise the overdue Randy Orton feature is coming, along with a few treats, but with a career that widespread, it takes a while to condense :)

Have a Happy New Year, and we shall see you all very soon in 2012! Keep reading...

© Max Waltham 27th December 2011

Thursday, 22 December 2011

WWE TLC: Tables Ladders & Chairs

Danny Boy,
Champion Of The World!

Three Lavish Champions

WWE finally realised how to capitalise on its themed PPV which hosts some of the most influential match archetypes, which develop emotive response from it audience in a way that develops talent going over, increases buy rate with supported ratings. Due to certain stars gaining victories that could change or move their careers rapidly along with their characters, highlighting exactly how to build a stepping stone towards a future for those pondering the outlook to come with in the next few months.

Coming live from Baltimore's First Mariner Arena, Maryland, on Sunday December 18th, TLC started strong, had a supportive middle and an explosive end. All you need is a beginning, a middle and an end, as every writer knows. If these are in place, the supportive walls around those add strength to it’s standing.

United States Championship
Dolph Ziggler (c) w/ Vickie Guerrero V Zack Ryder

Starting with basic hold ups gave a good starting point. Ryder soon performed a clothesline, sending Dolph to the outside, then following with a tope launch emulating a pocket rocket Ryder flying through the sky.

Blue tights and blonde hair sadly don't match,
but thank you for trying x (Wrestling look is a 'process'...)

Ziggler later returned fire with numerous elbow drops on Ryder, with a chinlock also. Ryder gives a decent missile dropkick. 

Guerrero at one point in the middle of the match, would place her blonde beau’s foot onto the bottom rope during a pinfall attempt, which the ref spotted and banned Vick from ringside.

Many counter moves, wrestling lock ups and decent match structure with high flying spots to add weight to the technical ground work, may just have found WWE two newbies who could develop the technical void left by certain unmentionable names everyone knows of.

Intense passion on this one with reversals of finishers met, until Ryder upgraded his arsenal with a Hurricanrana, which he used on Ziggs, who kicked out on a two fall. Blocking a finisher then planted with knees to the face, Zack finally hits the Ruff Ryder, which allows Ryder to become the new United States Champion. 

Battling so hard for so long over a period of months exhausting all its options as far as the feud could go, it was evident Ryder would take the gold. An empathic, heartfelt victory by the challenger and Universe, none the less. Regardless of likeage of not, Ryder, as written previously on WW, had a fan base to work with, which will also sell merchandise, allowing his “Broski’s” to get behind the rallying force, even if your in the minority who feel it may be over hyped or ludicrous in some form.

Ryder won, in a heartfelt victory by most at home AND in attendance. His father, in the front row, and Ryder’s win celebration at the barricade with his fans, added kudos to that.

Booker T was seen backstage chatting briefly to Alicia Fox. Cody Rhodes burst on the scene out of nowhere ambushing Booker T from behind. It was here that Alicia Fox shrieked in sheer petrification. This was a very good sell from Fox. One week she’s up, the next she is down. She just needs to find her level, maintain it and keep her continuity in place. Rhodes and Booker also sold the ambush well, in preparation for their match.

Tag Team Championship
Kofi Kingston and Evan Bourne (c) V Primo and Epico w/ Rosa Mendes

A late edition added to the card, though welcomed by myself, gave more younger talent a chance to provide.

She's got the moohves like Jagger...!
(Love her boddice/corset)

Primo and Epico, seen as jobbers by the Universe, stood no chance. Though they did have an opportunity to show their potential

The high points in this match came when Kingston executed a good crossbody manoeuvre followed by Bourne’s leap to the outside. Kofi scored a trouble in paradise on Primo to retain one half of his crown, shortly after.

Bourne to fly

Bourne wasn’t dropped as champion, obvious to anyone who can figure that out, due to the priority R-Truth received. Both were guilty of wellness policy sin at the same time, though Bourne was suspended before Truth, who went on to headline the Survivor Series main event against The Rock and John Cena, alongside The Miz. WWE could hardly drop Bourne as champion for that. Plus, with no faith in the tag division, this highlighted more flaws to who could hold the straps on from this current duo.

Kingston, has also been lost of late without Bourne. He needs new air to breathe outside of Bourne. Shining a light on tag teams would not go unnoticed, neither.

Teddy Long, Smackdown General Manager, dressed up as Santa Clause, was talking with the Bella's. Both had been declared 'Bad' this year, but Teddy had presents for both of them. He offered his phone number. Disgraced, both left the GM in a huff. Long would then have a minor skit with Hornswoggle. We were expecting Aksana. That would have been fabulous. Though with the PG tone, clearly Aksana would be on turbulent waters.

Jack Swagger chose to talk with the GM about his losing streak and world champ credentials. Sheamus also popped in for a chat. Long then chose to settle their discrepancies. Naturally, the match between these two was made, on the night, for later that evening.

Tables Match
Randy Orton V Wade Barrett

Filled with intense speculation, working angles in which numerous table endings could have occurred, produced a rigid backbone to the story being performed in the ring on the night.

Holy F**k! Muscle man hero!

Is that a microphone,
or are you just pleased to see me?
An appropriate booking for these two. There are no small parts. Once veterans who realise they need to work with talent understand that, they will also find that they can have quality matches in what some may tell themselves are higher for their demand.

Randy Orton, once again, turned everything on its head again.

The result, regardless, saw Randy snare the victory. Rewarded for his work was great to see, though some wanted Barrett to be given a win to project his worth to a new level of star aura to having a complete package. Sure, it would have helped. Though Barrett can still maintain that through his loss, which therefore means the ending was unharmful either way. Barrett now needs to delegate his own backbone to his character to finally push through that phase of breaking out. Orton has done all he can for Wade, in a tremendous fashion.

Barrett also sustained a cut above the eye when caught with the corner of a table by Orton. To his credit, he finished the match. The call for blood, which McMahon banned, was a wise choice. Once you finally look at the decision from a different angle, and with society out of control, the last thing needed is to be blading unnecessarily. Occasionally, but not continually. Not to mention health reasons to themselves, among other performers also in the ring with them.

WWE Unified Women’s Championship
Kelly Kelly V Beth Phoenix (c)

A short match in part, due to the overstack of TLC, and challenger in position.

Seen as a cliché, the pulling hair, show what good body you’ve got, lookers feel to its ‘Divas’ become classed as inferior as Phoenix is seen as the male version of wrestling in a Women’s division. Another point to consider. The Universe believes that the Women’s division consists of ladies comprising it who are nothing.

However every Woman, including Phoenix and Natalya, should be seen as Women in the division. That’s the pitfall from the KK ‘era’. Complaints of the same match between the same two, something WW highlighted months before, wasn’t welcomed anymore.

Bimbo Bimbo began head slamming Beth, following up with her famous leg scissors, utilising her 'assets'. After four minutes of taking jobs making her look as best she can, Phoenix launches her advisory into the powerbomb position, before showcasing another powerful destructive force, dropping KK backward from the powerbomb, smashing her into the mat and claiming the victory in a four and a half minute encounter. Due to the opponent, they could not have longer out there. 

The second attack of Booker T by Cody Rhodes happened backstage.

Sledgehammer, No DQ, Ladder Match
Kevin Nash V Triple H

A no disqualification in a Ladder match? How is that even possible? was the response from the Universe. In light of this, the match went on. You must unhook the sledgehammer, Triple H’s signature weapon, suspended above the ring, only obtainable from using a ladder. Once received, the holder is permitted to use the weapon at will.

Nash, as a character, has more options. Being in a match where he can go over, like this, would have made another opportunity for that.

Most of the Universe weren’t bothered to see this match nor Nash. Though some, most in attendance, cheered Triple H, the majority of the at home Universe (one’s you should be aiming to come to arenas), weren’t feeling the thrill.

The biggest moment saw Nash atop the ladder being thrown down into the table, aptly placed beneath to the side, as Triple H shoved his former friend off the ladder into it.

HHH would attempt a pedigree afterward, though Nash fell, selling a quadricep injury, which saw merciless Triple H place him right back into position for a pedigree. The audience, cheering for desecration like a baying mob, wishing for someone to be brutally destroyed (oh how humanity has evolved into a caring infrastructure), complying with demand, only for his methods, however, H sent another one Nash’s way.

Nash, on his knees, staring into his former pal poised with weapon in Nash’s eyeline, sent a rock hand signal, back in his era, this signifier represented the Klik. Triple H gave Nash the DX, suck it! Approval with the crotch chop, before hammering Nash with the sledgehammer thumped into the forehead of Big Sexy. HHH then covered for the three fall, ever more confusing fans to the match type.

In a ladder, you unhook the item to win, hence no pinfall necessary. A ladder is also no DQ as standard. Gaining the sledgehammer meant H already won, and therefore no pinfall needed to exist. Did WWE forget its own principals in the height of booking what they hoped would be a stellar PPV?

Nash was reportedly out for “six weeks” being chaperoned off on a stretcher. Favour returned. (HHH left on one in the ambulance a few weeks back on Raw, in case you had forgotten/underlooked it).

Matt Striker then gave an interview with CM Punk. Mocking Alberto Del Rio’s face was his main focus here. Is that what interview time has now become? This is a man who is “changing the face of the WWE”. With mercurial quips about facial features, which, in hindsight, doesn’t support the bullying campaign and also enhances those to bully others on personal appearance. Punk, as others, should mock stars on storyline basis, not day to day features, surely?

It also made Punk look entirely weak, especially as champion.

Jack Swagger w/ Vickie Guerrero V Sheamus

Added by Smackdown! GM Teddy Long, it wasn’t doubtful as to who would win. Therefore the question then becomes, is this the set precedent this superstar is on? A one where they are seen as a powerhouse whom can do nothing except squash talent in a match that doesn’t highlight them as a star, just a force as a statement, then failing to evoke any response to their personality?

During the match an aggressive and interesting spot happened, seeing a grab into the turnbuckle, then slam into the barricade by Swagger and Sheamus, respectively.

A no sell and boring feel to the tone of powerhouse moves in a nondescript fashion, eliciting no emotional response from its Universe, made not only this match irrelevant, but also had fans (morally) stand up and question how alike Sheamus is to freebie giver Triple H. Classed as a new HHH, some Universe members then felt worried the HHH gene would live on through television screens in a star they felt had no aura anymore. The power vacuum behind this force coming forward may just have sucked.

The gorgeous ref then made a four count. (Still don’t know his name yet).  Oops. Looks like Swagger didn’t kick out in time. Instead of kicking out on two, Jack kicked out on three. The ref had to count four falls instead, and its audience clearly noticed. That had to be embarrassing. It was all going so well. Despite that… (see end of post)…

After missing a running dive, Swagger was clocked with a Brogue Kick.

Sheamus was called a “big time player”. In WWE’s view, yes. In the thoughts of its Universe? They did not accept that accolayde.

Josh Mathews interviews the Big Show, who claimed he “felt it” in preparation for his match with World Champ Mark Henry.

World Heavyweight Championship 
Chairs Match
Big Show V Mark Henry (c)

Most may have preferred a musical chairs match instead. Billed as a “clash of the titans”, and taking Breather spots, Henry then left the ring, whilst Big Show, still standing, looked on and allowed him to step out, as Henry asked for his title, aiming to leave. It was a poor display to a starting match. “Gimme my title! This ain’t happ’nin’!”

Big Show would give chase and catch Henry, to then deliver chair shots and jabs to Henry’s chest. Henry turned it around with one move to Big Show throwing him towards the steel steps.

If Big Show is so powerful, how comes he yells as soon as he is ‘hit’? No, Mark Henry as World’s Strongest Man, is not a credible excuse.

CHAIR WARS! A double chair smash soon followed after, in ring, before chants of “Let’s go Cena” from the kids. Yes. This is what the PG format has done… Even when Cena is off PPV, (he would not be there, to sell the Kane injury), people do not understand that the WWE needed its stars in attendance to be elevated.

After locking in the chair, somehow, with a worked down hand, a right hand chair attack on Henry came. Henry was soon out cold. Big Show lay atop, and for three falls, Big Show became the new World Deadweight champion. Big Show finally got his title win. Big Show, a Raw superstar, claimed a Smackdown! title…

Henry, quickly gets back up to smack a steel chair on Show then DDT him into some laying beneath him. No one was bothered by the shabby working of this angle, because it was all about to change...

World Heavyweight Championship
Big Show (c) V Daniel Bryan

A massive shock to the system, saw Daniel Bryan leap out of the curtain and head towards the TLC arena. In the ring, with Big Show floored, this meant Daniel Bryan was able to defeat the Big Show after 46 seconds of his title reign and capture the gold in a matter of eight seconds. Big Show, the following night on Raw was recognised as owning the shortest world title reign from any superstar in history.

Bryan delivered a DDT on Show to lift the strap.

Daniel Bryan is now your World Heavyweight Champion. The mountain was finally climbed. It was another genuine heartfelt moment approved by all of the WWE Universe.

Intercontinental Championship
Cody Rhodes (c) V Booker T

Hoping to be third time lucky for Booker, he managed to make it down the ramp, unhurt and in no pain from the previous two assaults inherited at the hands of Rhodes.

Michael Cole then phoned in the result after stating Booker T “can win”. Before the attacks and all-round feel of Booker T, still in shape and credible enough in the role as challenger, was a possible taker of said title. The announce desk’s one comment can change all that. After getting into the match longer, towards the end, Book performed a spin-aroonie, then a Scissors Kick gone awry saw the five time WCW champion on the wrongful receiving end of the Beautiful Disaster jump kick from Cody Rhodes. It looked crisp and truly, beautiful. Rhodes covered Booker for a three fall, ending and remaining Intercontinental Champion, which he kissed at the end of the match, showcasing how much passion and prestige he has for it, the sport and the spot he is working tremendously well in. Eventually Rhodes, beyond this, could gain enough of a repertoire by next year to be in the frame for a potential heavyweight title picture programme, should he win or not.

WWE Championship
Triple Threat Tables, Ladders and Chairs Match
Alberto Del Rio V The Miz V CM Punk (c)

Entering the match to a strong feel, three headliners not cast in the shadows, made this match enthralling with an air of speculation on all levels. Every challenger had a chance to become champion. Punk delivered a good step up knee over the barricade to The Miz. The match continued to remain fluid in all spots keeping the end result truly open.

Ricardo Rodriguez hawkeyed a moment and sneakily snuck in to handcuff Punk to the rung of the ladder at the bottom, as Punk was aiming to climb.

Punk broke free instantly, which made it last a brief moment. Miz and Punk found themselves over at the turnbuckle. Del Rio shortly dropped an enziguri style kick to Punk in which Punk met with a table.

Miz and Del Rio took the fight down to the entrance ramp, decorated with ladders, where Miz found himself caught in the armbreaker by Del Rio in the ladder around the area.

Alby would later aim to snap Punk’s also when placing him into the same hold. Eliminating the competition, Del Rio planned to climb the steel mountain. Miz and Punk, now supporting each other realising they were under threat, held both sides of the ladder to tilt Del Rio. Rio was flung sideways off the top crashing down onto the ropes, where Del Rio sustained a suspected groin injury [Hire me as an EMT now! Del RIo will be better in no time :) I've got TLC :p] 

He is not thought to miss any ring time.

With fists and kicks greeted from the Universe with boos and cheers, for Punk and Miz, came a swift double clothesline take down, keeping this challenge ever hotly anticipated.

After one moment previously, a second, rightful Holy s***! moment came. Ricardo Rodriguez would attempt to scale the ladder once everyone was down. Aiming to maintain Del Rio’s honour, and presumably win it for him. Rodriguez was then supplanted by Punk and Miz in unison. Who sent Ricci crashing back down to Earth with a hard bump, falling through the table nearby.

Miz after this, quick witted, handcuffed Punk to the turnbuckle, then mocking the defending champion, whom realised he was stuffed. Miz would wade in too close after Punk’s snatch grabs missed, catching one of CM’s long legs to the head, instead, halting The Miz’s taunts.

Stepping back in, Del Rio would pitch a new ladder, after which Miz stirred to, after his star gazing, and joined the Mexican aristocrat atop to battle for the hanging WWE title. Realising his dangling delight was in jeopardy, Punk frantically ripped the turnbuckle pad off, though he was still chained to the pole.

With Miz and Alberto ever one step closer to his glory, it seemed Punk would not be able to grab his gold. Punk somehow managed to break free and, in doing so made the string rope recoil, break and become limp in the ring. With rope broken and Punk freed, all three men were atop the ladder battling for the prize. Now, it really was any ones. Del Rio was thrown off, Punk was down, then grabbed Miz and smashed him in the face with the Go To Sleep, knee first, allowing Punk to clamber back up the rungs, unhook the hinge, and take back his belt. CM Punk retained the WWE title in a fiercely contested extravaganza, which saw all three men deliver a class A performance, equally.

The outcome may have been obvious towards the end, though the suspense was immense, and kept all three challengers in contention to the very end. This would surely be one for all talent to view back into how to keep that match mentality.

So, what did TLC gain once it signed off the year with the all feud ending spectacle before a fresh new year leading to the Royal Rumble?

Finally realising that the WWE can survive without John Cena on a PPV, which also delivered a breath of fresh air to an ever growing disfunctionate audience with the aforementioned, many were thrilled to watch to see how the other stars in play would fuse together.

Removing Cena from the bill allowed WWE’s performers to grow on their own merits, put on show stopping spectaculars, provide their worth to the audience and the company as well as creating those lost values in wrestling principals once again. These practises have installed a wider view of faith to the watching viewer. Though a long way to go for those sceptical or not willing to be swayed by one PPV alone, the landscape in the WWE has changed, and for that many feel justified, thankfull and pleased to an extent. How to keep that value will be the challenge.

Apart from the Henry/Show and Booker attacks and Sheamus/Swagger encounter, the PPV fell short of some marks, though the rest was superb!

Cameraman got too close...

Heading into the three month make or break road to Wrestlemania, this company, with its new school of 2012, could just set up a future where those fading stars fizzling out in the Universe will re-align to shine a brighter path towards its galaxy. Swallowing the audience into its black hole of forward thinking could severely enhance many players in the structure of the business, on the grandest arena of them all.

TLC - Three Lavish Champions!

Team WWE. The class of 2012

Men/Women of their matches – Dolph Ziggler, Kofi Kingston, Randy Orton, Kevin Nash, Jack Swagger, Big Show, Cody Rhodes, Alberto Del Rio

Man/Woman of the PPV - Daniel Bryan

PPV Rating – 9/10

Feel free to comment, subscribe, share, re-tweet, or tweet/mention, follow on Twitter -  @MaxWaltham or share feedback any way you feel you can X

Until then enjoy Christmas and the New Year! Wrestling Wonders will still be uploading over the period so keep yer eyes, as well as the brussel sprouts peeled! 

And don't go stealing the picture or plagerising, for one its Christmas, and two, everyone now knows where it comes from, so you'll still be a cheap imitation.

© Max Waltham 22nd December 2011