Wrestling. Elaborate and Entertaining.

Shocked WM30 Guy

Shocked WM30 Guy

KOTR 98 HIAC GIF.gif

Shocked WM30 Guy

Shocked WM30 Guy


You see the GIF above? That’s arguably the most iconic moment in the history of professional wrestling. The Undertaker hurling Mick Foley off of the top of 16ft high structure called ‘Hell in a Cell’. With only a thick wooden table, with embedded TV monitors, to act as his landing mat.
The Undertaker

  • Has arguably the most successful ‘gimmick’ in wrestling history
  • Won a record 24 matches at Wrestlemania, including 21 in-a-row
  • Has his own repertoire of unique matches: Inferno Match, Casket Match, Buried Alive etc
  • One half of the Brothers of Destruction with ‘sibling’ Kane
  • Won many championships including 7 WWE world title reigns

Mick Foley

  • Bounced between 3 different personas: Mankind, Dude Love and Cactus Jack
  • Competed in promotions all over the world, including in Japan where he rose to fame in legendary deathmatch bouts
  • 3-time WWE world champion
  • Has pulled 4.7 million thumbtacks out of his body, used 2 million litres of water to help with burns he’s suffered from fire and C4 explosions, and required 7.6 million stitches to patch up 20 years of wounds as a result of chairs, fists and barbed wire amongst other things

Their incredible Hell in a Cell match, from King of the Ring 1998, is remembered for its controversial brutality and now lives in infamy as the most famous wrestling match ever. Now there’s been waaay more violent matches in the history of professional wrestling, disturbingly. But this match set the tone for future bumps and punishment with all future Hell in a Cell matches having a bar set so high that an Olympic pole-vaulter would have a hard time reaching. If you’re a wrestling fan, and have never watched this match, then I implore you to do so. Conversely, if you’re not a wrestling fan and you’ve never watched this match, then I also implore you to do so. You’ll certainly find a a newfound appreciation for your regular day job.

By the end of this one contest: Mick Foley had sustained a concussion from an errant, falling steel chair, had one and a half teeth knocked out (one of which went through his lip) from said chair, required 14 stitches for a cut below his lip, a dislocated jaw, a bruised kidney and a dislocated shoulder. Oh, and a routine concussion to add. Undertaker? He somehow wrestled the entire match despite a broken foot. Wrestlers are so soft aren’t they?

Foley Tooth HIAC

This one match alone dispels the myth that wrestling is “fake”.

Fake.

It’s such a clich√© and hated word in the world of professional wrestling. Anyone who knows me knows that it’s little bit of a pet peeve of mine as it’s completely disrespectful to the performers who risk their lives every time they set foot in the ring. I’d wager that most wrestling aficionados will prefer the term ‘scripted’ as it hits the nail on the head perfectly.

This is what happens when you ask “Dr Death” Dave Schultz if wrestling is fake.

Why do people watch films or TV? Simple, it entertains them. They appreciate the acting, the selling of the drama unfolding before them, the intricate plotlines that interweave characters and dramatic events. It’s like non-wrestling people think that fans are children. That what we’re watching is a legitimate contest with the outcome to be decided. It’s ridiculous. Of course the results are pre-determined, we just want to watch the fantastical stories of good vs bad, and that culminate in thrilling action.

Wrestling is basically everything you get in Hollywood, but with the added bonus of the occasional 450 Splash and Super Kick Party.

Canadian Destroyer GIF.gif

My favourite move in all of wrestling. The Canadian Destroyer. Admit it, you’re still trying to work out the logistics of it.

It took me a while to properly catch up with wrestling, much to my annoyance. Whilst everyone in primary school was watching the old WWF and enjoying the Attitude Era, the most successful period of wrestling in history due to its outlandish content, I was sheltered away from it by dissenting parents. That went well didn’t it? Bless them.

I still managed to watch it here and there anyway. My young eyes quickly became desensitised to the sight of a man’s head resembling a broken faucet leaking maroon.

*****GRAPHIC WARNING: EXAMPLES OF BLEEDY HEAD SYNDROME INCOMING*****

*****FINAL WARNING*****

*****IT’S ICKY*****

As a teenager: blood, violence, fire, tables, ladders and barbed wire was the best thing ever. My developing mind grew an insatiable appetite for raw punishment and wasn’t satisfied until it had its depraved, blood-thirst quenched. 10 years later? Well, all of that still applies as it’s still frickin awesome and a spectacle unlike anything else; but over time, I learned to appreciate the finer arts of wrestling.

A crisp exchange of catch-as-catch-can wrestling began to resonate with me more than a man trying to cave in the skull of another man with a steel chair. The nonsensical utterances I make when a wrestler delivers a ‘stiff’ shot is comparable to the adulation a football fan exclaims when their team scores. Technical excellency is just perfection to behold and admire.

For the lesser hardcore fan, I think I should address the ‘stiff’ elephant in the room…I’m probably just making this worse to be fair. Ah well, here goes; a stiff shot is when a wrestler hits their opponent very hard with a solid, and real, strike e.g forearm, knee etc; Japanese wrestling is rife with it, they just don’t care!

There’s nothing more satisfying than watching these larger than life athletes psychologically breaking each other down with submission holds and reversals that if we mere mortals attempted, then we’d be in physical rehabilitation for the next 6 months and sucking on churned up digestives through a cannula.

The things these people can do is incredible. I’ve spent so much of my life mesmerised and drawn to them. As I’ve said, it’s not just the physical side of wrestling that’s enticing, but in many ways it’s the verbal and mental side too.

Over the years there have been some tremendous workers in the industry who were clearly born to be professional wrestlers; but not so much entertainers. Reoccurring problems are usually limitations in their promo work, inability to come up with a unique character and basically didn’t exude any kind of charisma, meaning their success faltered as a result.

1999 Rock.png

There are so many wrestlers that if they’d had so much as 1% of this guy’s charisma, then they’d be a star. The Rock was THE star and was untouchable on a microphone.

Dean Malenko, Chris Benoit, Cesaro, Dolph Ziggler, Shelton Benjamin, Lance Storm and even John Morrison. All breathtakingly good athletes who could wrestle the hind legs off of a camel, until it inevitability spat at them for not being able to trash talk. But sadly several of these super-talented guys had the personality of the dirt/spittle combination created by the humbled camel.

I’m still sports-entertained by them, but it’s the real stars that draw the money; the complete packages. NOT Roman Reigns, but I’m sure I’ll get to that another day. Your AJ Styles’, Daniel Bryans’, Stone Colds’, Brock Lesnars’ etc. Y’know, the kind of people that make you want to go to Wrestlemania twice.

Yes, I had to mention it. If you need to know my underlying commitment to wrestling, know that I’ve endured long travel and expense to travel to Dallas, Texas for Wrestlemania 32, and even New Orleans, Louisiana for Wrestlemania 34.

I won’t bore you with those two adventures, as devilishly fun as they were. I’ll just conclude by saying that if my wrestling content never pre-dates 1996, that’s because I’ve never really had any desire to go back that far. I will pick out select matches to watch e.g Steamboat/Savage from Wrestlemania 3 etc. But basically, my expertise is 97′ onwards. I just became accustomed to modern wrestling as it’s grown in the last 20+ years.

I also try to keep up-to-date with all the major companies: WWE, TNA/Impact, ROH, NJPW, the British Independent Scene’s major companies e.g Progress, ICW etc. I will do my best to do reviews, articles and produce rich, exciting content….hopefully.

YES!

Broken Matt WONDERFUL.gif

Forever Imprisoned

Video games will forever be a joy and a curse in my life, for as long as I live. I sometimes ponder, looking at the world around me, debating if I’ve made the right choices in my existence. Could I have done more? Could I have achieved more? That’s just past tense, perhaps I could DO more. Probably. All this time, I could’ve expended effort trying to find workarounds to some of life’s annoyances; life hacks if you will. It’s entirely possible that by harnessing my brain power, I could’ve created an invention to truly revolutionise the world around me and changed the course of human history forever…

Instead…I’ve toiled away doing repetitive tasks such as, grinding dung to give to a crazy person.

20180418_001516

I’m not even sorry.

I spent well over an hour of my time farming the same level of Nioh, just to get enough dung to give an NPC, to be awarded a bronze trophy. Was it mind-numbingly and excruciatingly dull? Dear god yes. Was it worth it? Dear god yes. With that hindrance no longer encumbering me, I was able to mop up the rest of the trophies and obtain the elusive platinum trophy to add to my impressive list of virtual accomplishments.

Let’s face it, unless you’re a professional gamer partaking in e-sports, or a gamer who earns a living through YouTube and/or Twitch, then you’re merely indulging in your enjoyable hobby. Like all of us.

Gaming is in my DNA. Always has been and always will. If I remember correctly, my first spoken words were “Dr Robotnik’s Mean Bean Machine”. Ok that may have been a lie, but you get the idea. From the old Commodore 64’s, all the way to the PS4, we’ve had a whole range of gaming devices warm our house.

Dr Robotnik's MBM

Davy Sprockett was my favourite character. Look at his smug face.

Primarily a Sony household, every Sony console has been within the confines of our living space at one time or another and they’ve provided so much joy and happiness. By the way, I’m not sponsored by Sony or anything but, Sony, if you’re reading, I suppose I’ll do an advert if you want…

I love Sony

My best gaming years have certainly been the last 20-24 years and I reckon they’ll keep going at this rate. P.S I’m 24.

Video games provide me with so much enjoyment that I sometimes take them for granted. Like, can you imagine a world without video games…it’s…it’s dark, and cold. Everything seems futile. What is life, without dual analogues?

They’re just great! It’s not like they impair you either, whereas one individual will read a juicy book and learn a plethora of new words, each more extravagant than the last; I can get the same returns from a game.

The masterful storytelling of an Uncharted or a Bioshock will more than stimulate the senses. Games with such subtle nuances and style, that they make you appreciate how well-rounded they are. They can be so insightful and thought-provoking, but yet gorgeous and fabulously satisfying to play.

Will a Harvard Literature Professor use a multi-award winning game as an example in a class? Unlikely. Should they? Without doubt. Gaming is an expressive medium as much as anything and you can learn a lot from it. There’s nothing too shabby about improved multi-tasking and better cognitive thinking either.

https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/the-athletes-way/201310/video-gaming-can-increase-brain-size-and-connectivity

On the other hand, not every game is a wondrous marvel that demands its flavours be tasted; I’m looking at you Terminator: Salvation and Rambo: The Video Game. Basically, avoid any game that’s film counterpart had Arnie or Stallone in it.

Now before you start judging me as some pretentious, stuck-up flebbajebba that only appreciates the finer games; let’s be clear, I’m a man-child, see my use of ‘flebbajebba’ for a point of reference. Ask me, do my eyes light up when I’m taken on an emotional journey as the world’s greatest serial killer searches for El Dorado? Or does my pulse race as that same murderous man discovers the ancient city of Shambhala? Of course. Nathan Drake is one of the single-greatest protagonists across all forms of entertainment; although a psychological profiling may not be amiss.

But the beauty of humans is that we all derive pleasure via different means. Myself?  Give me a Super Shotgun and let me rip and tear my way through hell. Thrash metal ringing in my ears as I puncture another hole in the bony face of a screaming revenant.

Doom Revenant

Don’t you just want to hug him?

Or let me put together a team of the world’s greatest footballing superstars and create the ‘Ultimate Team’. I’ll use the intricate footwork of Luka Modric to glide between two defenders before feeding a crisp through ball to Luis Suarez for him to bury it top bins. Beautiful.

Salah UT

“Mo Salah, Mo Salah, Mo Salah, running down the wing.”

No? How about taking the reigns of an emotionally-tortured child as he escapes his possessed, zealot of a mother. Crying tears at the foul and depraved entities lurking in the basement?

Binding of Isaac

I tried to find a picture that adequately represented The Binding of Isaac. This will suffice.

Too modern for you? Ok then. How about a green and blue dinosaur trying to save their girlfriends by bubbling their way through a gauntlet of 100 dungeons in order to defeat a massive drunk throwing bottles at you? Still nothing? Ok then. A joke.

Bubble Bobble lvl 13

Two doctors wander onto an island. They compete in a shooting gallery where they shoot anything from piranhas to flaming torches to meteors heading for earth to even a single bastarding fly with ONE….SHOT. Funny, wasn’t it?

Point Blank 1

Ahhhhh the nostalgia. If I went through every game I’ve played in my life, then this piece would be deeper than the Grand Canyon. So I’ll dispense with the banter and swiftly summarise. Gaming is fantastic. I mean just look at the list of inane concepts that I’ve just reeled off, and that doesn’t even begin to scratch the surface of the tip of the iceberg.

Fun is fun at the end of the day and gaming appeals to the masses around the world. Even the most productive people will have played Goldeneye or dabbled in a quick game of Halo here and there. I’m sure that a certain, former American lawyer secretly gets his mates round for a boisterous evening of Super Smash Bros. Gaming has something for everyone and it’s definitely done enough to keep me hooked for the rest of my life. With continuous advances in technology (I’m looking at you PS VR, article on its way) and games just seemingly getting better as a result, then I see no end in sight.

Upon reflection, this article became deeper than a Pizza Hut meat feast and more philosophical than a pizza. I love pizza. See, man-child. Self-indulgent, psychobabbling is usually the basis for a good article and hopefully it’s given you a taster of what’s to come.

Up next? The wrestling intro article.

After that? Anyone for a God of War review?

GOW4-1

The Beginning…

Hello reader!

I’m glad that you’ve stumbled across this post as it means you’ve found Games and Graps; the brain child of a man child. Actually, maybe it’s many years from now and I’ve just passed one billion views. Maybe you’re a loyal follower and have decided to dig deep into the core of the site to see the beginning of the madness. If so, I thank you for that.

At the tender age of 24, I’ve decided to shift my focus from playing games and watching wrestling, to WRITING about playing games and watching wrestling. For those of you who are uninformed, ‘graps’ is a slang term for wrestling. I’m not sure where the term originated from or how it came to be, but I think we can deduce that it’s a shortened version of the word ‘grappling’. Plus, it’s nerdy and we love it.

So why create this website then? Because my mind is currently like the ‘Boulders’ level from Crash Bandicoot 1, quite a topical example given how much fun I had getting the platinum trophies for all 3 games last year. I’m a furry, orange, bandicoot running away from my goals. My ideas are a giant boulder hurtling towards me trying to destroy me. So you know what? I put my foot down and made it my goal to be a bit more productive; also, a new Crash Bandicoot game would be lovely.

Crash 1 Boulder

This is me….running away from my problems.

But it’s not all gaming, because we most certainly like the graps too. From RAW to Smackdown to NXT to many, many, many, many PPV’s, to TNA/Impact to NJPW to ROH to various other indie promotions etc. There is a lot of wrestling content happening worldwide every day. Whether it’s TV or breaking news stories, wrestling can always be consumed; not forgetting online streaming services, especially ones that cost 9.99.

Wrestling and gaming are massive components in mine and many people’s lives. I know people that can game until their eyes bleed and I also know people that need their helping of wrestling too. This website should accommodate both. If you like either, terrific. If you like both, then we are already friends.

I’m going to do a couple of in-depth posts that really delve into my psyche and will really walk you through my life, with regards to gaming and wrestling. But I will offer a sneak peek as I look forward to sharing my experience of being at Wrestlemania 34 and also my dedication to Playstation trophies i.e I have over 8, 000 trophies and 106 platinum trophies. I have no life, I know.

Big show pressing Kurt

Wrestling. Where else does a 7-foot man press slam an Olympic Gold Medallist?

So yeah, this is merely an introductory post to test the waters and get an idea of the format of WordPress. It’s an easy way to acclimatise to these new surroundings and gain my footing in a writing medium once more, I have to say, it’s been a while. *wink* *wink*

I look forward to connecting with any readers. It should be a fun ride.

– Andy.H. –