A Mr Mid Announcement.

I have been writing as a pop culture blogger now for over a year and have enjoyed it immensely so it was only inevitable that I would eventually feel the need to branch out further. With that in mind I am moving into the realm of podcasting with Five By Five Reviews. 

Five By Five is a pop culture podcast predominantly covering film but also touching on Tv, Gaming, comics and all in between. Joining me on this venture is my good friend Chris Jones who is just as enthusiastic about discussing and debating films and will no doubt make each episode of Five By Five an interesting & engaging experience for our listeners.

There is a Facebook page which can be found at..

https://m.facebook.com/fivebyfivepod/

A Twitter feed at..

http://www.twitter.com/@fivebyfivepod

Via Talkshoe at..

http://www.talkshoe.com/talkshoe/web/talkCast.jsp?masterId=144713&cmd=tc#.WYJDiIFl6nQ.facebook

You can contact us via our email address at..

Fivebyfivepod@yahoo.com

And lastly and most importantly, on iTunes..

https://itunes.apple.com/gb/podcast/five-by-five-reviews/id1267533963?mt=2

The opening gambit on Five By Five will be a series of podcasts on the Alien series, running from the Ridley Scott original up to Alien: Covenant over the course of the first 6 episodes, each being released bi-weekly on a Wednesday. Past the Alien series we have an exciting and varied lineup in store for you all that I think a lot of you will really dig.

So, give us a listen, drop us some feedback and maybe even a review if you are so inclined and most of all, Enjoy.

M

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Wales Comic-Con April 2017, Glyndŵr University, Wrexham: Day 2.

Day 2 of Wales Comic-Con has arrived and after the absolute result that was Day 1, it’s safe to say I’m hyped because today is photo-op day! Later today I’ll be grabbing a photo with Mick Foley & Amy ‘Lita’ Dumas and my wife has purchased a photo with T.J Thyne of Bones fame. A lot of good things were said by people yesterday who had photos with respect to the organisation when people came to collect their photos which bodes well for today. We make our way to Wrexham slightly later this morning because we got our wristbands yesterday so don’t have to queue for them today to get all that sorted which is nice. Since WCC became a 2 day event, Sunday has been the more chilled out day of the event for us, we beast the Q&A’s and run around like mad things trying to get to stuff on the Saturday and get our photo-op’s sorted on Sunday, it has worked well for us so far. Upon arrival on site were not far from hitting opening time so we head for the main hall.


It’s filling up nicely and people are milling around to grab early purchases and queue for autographs with guests. I can’t stress enough how improved the layout is in the main hall, I’m not really one for autographs, I prefer to go down the photo-op route so the layout in the main hall had always been a bit of a pet peeve of mine, I always found it a bit too confined when the queues started to grow. By moving some of the vendors outside to the marquee this year, traffic in the main hall has improved greatly. We move outside and head for a mooch around the marquee again. Just outside the marquee the owls are already attracting some attention as they do every year.


I LOVE the fact that there are more vendors this year, I love browsing stalls at cons and seeing what’s on offer. I was particularly taken this year by the retro gaming stall which had an excellent range of old school video games of varying degrees of Awesome and I managed to find a copy of one of my favourite Sega Megadrive games from my youth so I was most pleased.


So good that it had to been done twice, we pop to see Mick Foley & Amy Dumas Q&A again today. Just as fun and informative but in a much more intimate setting on the Nick Whitehead suite which I actually preferred to the main hall yesterday. I must also say in respect to Q&A’s I have attended this year, the timing has been pretty spot on. The WCC Q&A’s are notorious for starting late and/or overrunning, this year it feels a lot more streamlined and regimented for the talks I’ve attended, they’ve pretty much gone to time which again is testament to the organisation that has been carried out, it has been absolutely top drawer, could not fault it.


Next up it’s time for our first photo-op of the day with none other than Mick Foley. There was A LOT of complaints last WCC regarding the company that was in control of printing off people’s photos, to be fair it was pretty disastrous, the WCC team were let down badly and tempers became frayed amongst Con goers. Thankfully this year is the extreme of polar opposites and a superb effort from the photo team, within 10 minutes of the photo-ops going in not only did we have our photo taken with Mick but it was also ready and printed by the time we reached the counter to collect it. Last years photo-op waits seem like a bad dream, this is how you address a situation! Can not fault it, tick, gold star, smiley face, HAVE A NICE DAY!!! 


A brief stop for a much needed ice cream in the quite frankly glorious weather and it is time for our second photo-op, this time with Amy Dumas. 4 minutes, start to finish with photo in hand, absolutely impeccable.


Just one more photo-op left of this WCC with T.J Thyne. This was a very popular photo-op with a large queue but even still, just under 15 minutes and we have our photo.


And with that another WCC is over for us. This event has been fantastic from start to finish, everything has been so well organised and structured. It’s pretty obvious to tell that the WCC team take past event criticisms seriously and adapt and improve where they can, but to do so in almost every respect deserves a massive round of applause. The issues with photo-ops last year are completely resolved with the sessions running insanely smooth. The Q&A’s we saw all pretty much ran on time which has almost never happened at past events I have attended which was also a lovely surprise. The improved layout of the main signing hall has been a massive improvement for navigating around, much more space and a more structured approach to the queues for the more popular signings and also the addition of more vendors in the outside marquee, I really hope they keep to as it is something WCC has needed for a long time so to see it addressed this year has been awesome. Next time I attend a WCC I will be a parent with child in tow and if the organisation is anything like it has been this weekend, it’ll be a slightly less daunting prospect.

Wales Comic-Con April 2017, Glyndŵr University, Wrexham: Day 1.

It’s that time of year again, where eager Sci-fi, Fantasy, Anime & Pop Culture fans descend on Glyndwr University in Wrexham for 2 days of signings, Photo-Ops, Q&A sessions and much more. Year on year, since I started attending Wales Comic-Con back in 2012, it has gone from strength to strength, drawing in bigger crowds and more impressive guests with each successive event and this springs event is certainly no different. I am attending the event for both days with my wife and we have a number of photo-ops booked with some of the guests, I am particularly stoked this weekend to be meeting WWE legends Mick Foley & Amy ‘Lita’ Dumas and my wife was more than a little excited with the announcement of Bones actor T.J Thyne, who she has purchased a photo-op with.

As with each event, we have purchased Early Bird tickets which gives the holder a 1 hour head start over general entry to ensure a minimal amount of waiting to get into the event. We arrive on campus a little after 09:00, it is pleasantly sunny and the crowds are starting to assemble. Already there is a diverse array of cosplayers on site putting increasingly impressive levels of effort into their costumes, I’ve already seen a V, a Loki, Black Widow, a few Assassins Creed Cosplays, a Bray Wyatt and a male Harley Quinn. Yup, it’s Comic-Con baby!


After less than a 10 minute wait from doors opening, we have our wristbands and are in, heading straight to the main hall for a browse. The first thing that strikes me this year is the layout, it is vastly improved. Some of the vendors have been moved around allowing much more space around the perimeter for the crowd to move around and also allowing much better queueing for autographs with guests, it is still massively busy, it still bottlenecks but that is just to be expected, I can’t see any other way of improving more than they have, even going so far as to utilise the halls tannoy and numbered tickets to alleviate larger queues for certain more popular guests so hats off to the team, organisation in the hall seems a lot better. I have noticed both through overhearing conversations and reading posts on a Comic-Con group I am a member of that some people in attendance are not happy about certain guests adjusting their autograph fees and placing the blame at a “greedy” Wales Comic-Con, I find these posts most disheartening as I know full well that the team at WCC have no part to play in this and to hear them trashed by a minority (who don’t seem to understand how cons work incidentally) for something quite trivial that is out of their hands is disappointing. The Con team should hold their heads high right now because I’m personally finding it hard to fault the positive changes they have made to increase the publics enjoyment of the event.


Next we move on to the marquee which now exclusively houses vendor stalls and there is a great array, from retro video games, art prints, comic books, pop vinyls and action figures. My one bugbear with Wales Comic-Con in the past had been lack of stalls which is certainly something that they have addressed this year. After some browsing and purchases we make a quick detour to the gaming arena.


The gaming arena is layed out with retro consoles lining one wall, PC’s lining the other with a stage for the gaming competitions they hold during the day. We couldn’t resist plonking ourselves down for a bit to have a blast on Mario Kart which is a welcome nostalgic diversion. After being beaten by my wife in a best of 3 it is on to the first Q&A of the day, the wrestling panel.


Mick Foley & Amy Dumas take to the stage to much applause and whooping and get straight in to it. After the obligatory introductions both ask the crowd to take as many photos they like at the beginning but then request that phones and cameras are pocketed for the rest of the panel which I actually really appreciated as it can be quite tiresome watching a panel through someone’s phone screen out of your periphery when you are trying to concentrate on the stage. Both are natural storytellers and between questions from the audience will segue with interesting little asides that have the assembled crowd hanging off every word. Warm & engaging, this was a good start to the Q&A sessions.


Next up we have Matt Ryan & Emmett Scanlan and the Constantine panel. This was a sweet panel that shows even past 1 season of a cancelled show there is still a lot of love for Constantine and a lot of excitement regarding Justice League: Dark and the touted animated series. Matt & Emmett gamely answer all questions set their way with grace, humour and genuine likability.


The Buffy Q&A is next with Nicolas Brendon & Emma Caulfield. This was a very well attended Q&A in part due to the shows recent 20th anniversary celebrations, I have also found however in recent cons that this panel has been taking over as one of the most popular of the day and that is certainly the case today with a packed out hall. It is a very funny and engaging Q&A with a real sense of chemistry between Nic and Emma. Nic really has no filter though it has to be said, if it pops in his head, he’s probably going to say it leading to a mixture of genuine laughs and uncomfortable ‘did he just say that?!’ guilty laughter, it certainly makes for an interesting panel that’s for sure.


GOT up next and a nice cross section of past cast members. The GOT panel is always a crowd pleaser because obviously people are still massively invested in the show, particularly as it enters it final 2 seasons and that is reflected in the questions, always trying to wrangle another angle or theory out of cast members who gamely give their 2 cents worth. Ian McElhinney, I now suspect, played up to the anger at his character dying before he did in the books, it always tickles me and my wife every time he attends. Always engaging, always entertaining.


Time for the last Q&A of the day, the Bones panel with T.J Thyne. The small Nick Whitehead suite is rammed, there is literally no more seating space and people are standing at the back so they could get in, never underestimate the popularity of Bones. Quite often in these types of situations you wonder, even though this is engaging and informative, just how much has the panellist gone into auto-pilot when answering people’s questions? You doubt the sincerity when they say ‘Good question’, this is not one of those times. T.J was warm, good humoured and incredibly humble that so many people had turned up to see him, you got the impression that he sincerely cared about what people were asking him and that was refreshing, it made for a wonderful end to our first day.


The first day at WCC 2017 has been a joy from start to finish. In and wristbanded in record time, a much better layout in the main hall, from word of mouth I have been hearing that the photo-op’s have been running a lot smoother this year also which caused much consternation last year. Its good to see that many of the issues that some people have had with the WCC in the past have been addressed so well and that the team have pulled it out the bag again with their now trademark professionalism, grace under pressure and passion for what they do. Bring on day 2!

My Wrestlemania 33 overview.


It’s that time again, the big one, the showcase of the immortals. Everyone loves Wrestlemania and the excitement and pageantry it brings but this year has thrown up some matches that have confused and enraged the fan base. WWE have put themselves in a unenviable position of delivering the show of shows to an already dubious audience. Here’s how I felt about each match on this years card.

Aj v Shane: 

First match of the main show and what a match! What struck me in this match was that Shane actually wrestled very technically, it was quite impressive. Plenty of back and forth with AJ and the crowd seemed to love it. It was a pretty smart choice to open this strongly and get the crowd pumped from the off. Some great spots after the ref getting taken out, allowing a failed coast to coast from Styles and a successful coast to coast from Shane. The phenomenal forearm into a DDT was awesome, missed shooting star press from Shane looked gnarly. A very strong way to start mania proper, crowd popped the whole match.

Owens v Jericho.

Fast moving from the off from these two, there was a Walls of Jericho within the first few minutes and two cannonballs in succession from Owens, one to the apron. Some really nice crow pleasing spots in this match particularly Owens putting Jericho into the walls, Owens near fall with a pop up powerbomb and the surprise codebreaker broken by a trolling Owens putting a finger on the ropes. Powerbomb to the apron and a 3 count gives Owens the title. The match was fairly predictable with Jericho leaving soon but at least the two made it an entertaining one.

Raw womens fatal 4 way – Bailey v Charlotte v Sasha Banks v Nia Jacks.

There was a lot of expectation for this match to be a show-stealer considering those involved, I did have some reservations from the off about it being a fatal 4 way match with the addition of Nia Jax who actually dominated the match early on but was dispatched quickly which raises the question of why she was involved in the first place but it did elicit an pretty cool triple team big boot in to suplex to Jax which was awesome and the triple powerbomb and pin to take out Jax early was a nice spot. Some nice back and forth between Charlotte & Sasha, however the short run time of the match meant it was not something to get too involved in with Sasha eliminated by being sent head first in an exposed turnbuckle courtesy of Charlotte. Bailey takes a win in a match that was well performed and enjoyable to watch but did feel a little anticlimactic and could have been much more.

Raw tag team championship ladder match – Enzo & Cass v Gallows & Anderson v Sheamus & Cesaro v The Hardy Boys.

In a pretty unsurprising turn of events due to internet chatter, The freakin Hardys are back!! This pretty much sated the appetite of every IWC fanboy, they were taking it to everyone and the crowd were loving it. It was a match of some pretty cool spots like Cesaro’s springboard from the ropes to a ladder into a double stomp from the ladder which was awesome and Jeff being Jeff and taking out Sheamus & Cesaro through two ladders on the apron was awesome & terrifying allowing Matt to climb the ladder and take the titles. If the Hardys get to retain their ‘Broken’ gimmick remains to be seen on RAW, here’s hoping.

Mixed tag match – John Cena & Nikki Bella v The Miz & Maryse.

On paper this match sounded awful, in actuality it was pretty damn awful. A lot of time at the top of the match was wasted through runaround and false starts. As expected, Miz & Cena pretty much carry the whole damn match with respect to actual wrestling, Miz getting some genuine pops from the crowd and continuing his current run of on point heel work. Nikki & Maryse going one on one is kinda terrible as only Nikki displays any kind of In ring proficiency, mercifully the match doesn’t last long enough for them to spend much time in ring. It turns into a predictable Cena/Bella win followed by a cringeworthy public engagement with dialled down crowd response with still audible booing which WWE can only go so far to cover up, they’re not miracle workers you know.

Rollins v Triple H – Unsanctioned Match.

 

Firstly I have to say, Trips custom bike is the tits! How bad-ass was that entrance?! You can always count on Triple H to deliver a Mania worthy entrance. Closely followed by a gold garbed Rollins, flaming torch in hand making cool use of that insane runways video screens, it was very clever and affective, it’s an effect that is used by other wrestlers during the course of the night but done the best here. Early doors and Rollins was all over Trip, this was always going to be a match that was going to be physical as hell. Trip delivering a DDT on an announcers table that didn’t give way made me wince a little, it’s a spot that’s going to hurt no matter how it’s performed but when the table doesn’t go down, it starts to look dangerous. Props have to go to Rollins in this match, the superplex into a falcons arrow was superb and the near fall from an amazing Phoenix splash was pretty cool also. Steff being sent through a table got a big pop before Rollins hit a pedigree for the 3 count. Glad Rollins got him moment this match.

WWE title – Orton v Wyatt.

I started this match feeling that it had been relegated way too far down the card for a match that should have been the main event by usual standards. Orton’s viper entrance was pretty cool as an idea but had a really bad delay. There was an overuse of video effects this whole Mania but the worst, most jarring attempt were the weird maggoty/creepy crawly ring effect, its fine for intros but to start using them during a match just felt like a really odd decision. There were some nice early spots with respective Sister Abigails & RKO’s outside the ring but this match was over before it had even started with Orton winning with an RKO in a decidedly lacklustre match that was probably correctly placed in hindsight.

Universal title match – Goldberg V Lesner.

Goldberg beating Lesner at Survivor Series was pretty funny and eliminating him at the Rumble also. However, I always thought this match was going to be a massive letdown and yup, it was. Pretty much everyone was expecting going in that this was going to be another match that would be over in minutes and that’s exactly what happened. Some spears from Goldberg, one of which through a barricade. Lesner surprising with a frickin jumping jack over a charging Goldberg then followed by 10 suplexes from Lesner, F5 and done. Less than 5 minutes on a marquee match at the biggest show of the year is pretty disgraceful really and the Universal title is now in the hands of yet another part time talent, disappointing.

Smackdown 6 way women’s championship – Alexa Bliss v Naomi v Carmella v Natalya v Mickie James v Becky Lynch.

From the off I thought that there was way too many people involved in this match and as a effect it was going to be messy along with the fact that not enough time was given to build any kind of momentum, the whole thing felt very throwaway with Alexa Bliss tapping out to Naomi. It felt really Ill conceived and with the superior Cruiserweight & IC matches being relegated to the pre-show in the place of this match, it felt like a bad decision.

Reigns v Undertaker.

Ah this match, it’s so difficult to remain level headed with so much to be angry about in the execution of this match. Unsurprisingly Reigns makes his entrance to a chorus of boo’s, again the video ramp is utilised with Reigns basically Hulk smashing it. Taker rises from the middle of the ramp for two reasons, 1: It looks cool & 2: We’d still be waiting for him to get to the ring now if he hadn’t. It’s a REALLY long ramp! From the off Taker is all over Reigns, Reigns comes back with some offence of his own to turned down but still audible boo’s from the crowd. A cool spot from Reigns as he spears Taker through an announcers table on the outside. To that point the match was alright, the beating Taker starts to receive does start to feel a little unbelievable though, this is the freakin Undertaker for Christ sake! Reigns during these beatdowns starts to botch spots, on more than one occasion that starts to look increasingly embarrassing, I was actually biting my fist one was so bad. And then the ending, Reigns start a prolonged beatdown on Taker with chair shots, spears and superman punches, another spear, pausing briefly to try and emote but succeeding in looking a little constipated and/or confused. Reigns wins to a suspiciously muted response from the crowd. Taker loses at Mania to an opponent who made numerous botches throughout, the deadman was made to look weak to someone who at one point in the match fluffed lifting him multiple times. What made this an even sadder state of affairs is what happened next, a symbolic retirement announcement from Taker as he leaves his gloves, coat & hat in ring before he exits, breaks character to kiss his wife at ringside and leaves lowering into the ramp to his trademark gongs. This is how WWE decided to retire Taker, to a modestly proficient but wet behind the ears performer who the crowd just can’t get behind. Unless this is leading to the ultimate heel turn, I’m confused as to what was achieved here.

This overlong Wrestlemania has been an odd one, a show that you could split equally down the middle and call incredible and awful. When it was good, it was very, very good, shoutsouts going to the Raw tag ladder match and Rollins v Trip in particular. However when it was bad, this Mania stank something rotten, the mixed tag match, Goldberg v Lesner and unfortunately Takers retirement match. I don’t enjoy smarking about wrestling, it’s not big and it’s not clever but my God, some bad and confusing decisions were made for the flagship show of the year but as always with WWE, when they do something right the showcase of the immortals is still the hottest ticket of the year.

Chaos Reigns: My thoughts on the aftermath of the 2017 WWE Royal Rumble PPV.


No one wants to admit to smarking at wrestling, no one wants to be that guy, that one guy who apparently knows better than any other fan, writer, or creative consultant involved in the world of sports entertainment. However, there has been one bone of contention coming out of the most recent Royal Rumble event that has a large percentage of the fan base confused & angry, Why are WWE still trying to push Roman Reigns as their new top guy, their face and mouthpiece, their golden boy who will carry the responsibility as a spokesman for a new era? It’s a question a lot of people are struggling to answer.

It is no secret that Roman Reigns has been highly regarded by WWE head honcho Vince McMahon since his early days as a member of The Sheild, the highly successful stable that brought him, Seth Rollins & Dean Ambrose to prominence. Vince has history in wanting to push the big guys, the giants, the destroyers and the Supermen and why not? They have been staples of sports entertainment since it’s infancy and he is the boss, he can do what he likes right? Except listen to his audience apparently.

Sports entertainment fans are as passionate and vocal a fan base as you could hope to find. They will tear the roof off a building for something they love and be equally as loud for something they don’t. They have been quite vocal about the pushes Roman Reigns has received. They popped for him in The Sheild, cooled to him as a singles competitor and outright turned on him when he became WWE Champion. There are any number of reasons why, some quite valid. They believed his push came too soon and he hadn’t been given enough time to grow and improve his move-set and promo work (which to be fair to the smarks is pretty limited on both counts), they felt he jumped the queue for a push in front of more deserving and ready guys and some, myself included, would attest that he has worked better as a strong dependable mid-card player. Also there are just those people who plain don’t like him because he is “The Guy” and they’d rag on anyone in that position.

Now, the main point of contention at the Rumble I believe is, Reigns had his title shot, he lost, end of story right? Wrongo! Out he comes at number 30 in the Rumble and eliminates The Undertaker?! Say what now?! If you want to get a guy already disliked downright hated WWE creative, that’s how you do it. Maybe that’s the plan, maybe they’ve toyed everything else and are finally going the heel route but I doubt it, it just stank of lazy booking, something becoming more and more prevalent in one of the biggest PPV’s of the year. They reach the road to Wrestlemania, plans are shifted and changed at every turn and in hand with that, hasty re-writes are made and a large percentage just don’t make sense. Why have Strowman interfere in Reigns match if you aren’t going to use that as food for a rivalry? Why set up a completely different rivalry mere hours later? It’s confusing decisions such as these I feel that fuel the animosity toward people like Roman Reigns, through no fault of his own I may add, the guy is just doing his job with what he has. 

I suppose the point I’m trying to make from all of this is, lazy booking is not going to help get a guy over, it’s not going to make people like them more, it’s not going to make people get behind them as a heel, it just pisses off people who expect more from something they feel passionate for, to not feel fobbed off. Going into the biggest event of the year, some serious thought needs to be put into its booking otherwise the smarks shall rise and woe betide those who do not heed their cries.

Beast!: My thoughts on Survivor Series 2016 .


It’s that time of year again, the 30th annual Survivor Series. A personal favourite of the years PPV lineup and the last of the years ‘Big 4’. A lot of expectation was heaped on this PPV due to main event booking of Goldberg Vs Lesner, but we’ll get to that in a little while. Here’s a rundown of each match with my 2 cents.

Team Raw Vs Team Smackdown: Woman’s match.

The days of the woman’s match being the token pee break are long gone, these ladies frickin bring it! Nice spots from both teams throughout, minimal botches, and a crowd on their feet throughout. Charlotte Vs Bailey was the obvious set up coming out of the end of the match with Charlotte turning on her team mate.

The Miz Vs Sami Zayn: Intercontinental title match.

Ok, I felt really let down with what was done with this match on the lead up to Survivor Series, what should have been Ziggler Vs Zayn was pulled away at the last minute with a title change back to Miz. Ziggler/Zayn was money, it would have stolen the show and I think that’s why it was pulled in favour of what we got. It wasn’t a bad match, there were some nice spots from both guys throughout. The ending however was just awful. I understand they want to go somewhere with this, at least I hope that’s the case. It just felt like Zayn being marginalised once more when he had earned the win.

Team Raw Vs Team Smackdown: Tag Match.

This 6 on 6 was a bit one sided on the line up for me, Team Raw a much stronger team although American Alpha are the frickin bomb! These guys deserve a lot more recognition and a title run. Cesaro and Sheamus are really working for me as a tag team, actually love the odd couple dynamic they have going on right now, nice win for them too.

The Brian Kendrick Vs Calisto: Cruiserweight title match.

The Cruiserweight division is for me, a highlight in WWE at the mo. Loving Kendrick’s cocky title reign and the fact he has the technical ability to back up being a compelling heel that deserves his time in the spotlight once more. Some really cool, fast paced spots in this match, the ending again though felt a little cheap, interesting to see where they are going with the Corbin angle.

Team Raw Vs Team Smackdown: Men’s match.

Two amazing team lineups and a frickin HUGE match, damn near an hour and nothing short of awesome the whole way through for me. Shane taking out Strowman through the announce table, the brief Shield reunion to put Styles away, Jericho having a hissy over his ruined list, the unlikely partnership of Wyatt & Orton that actually seems to work. It was an awesome match.

Bill Goldberg Vs Brock Lesner: Singles match.

I’m gonna go out on a limb here, this was genius booking. Lesner needed putting on his ass and it needed to be done believably so as not to make Lesner look completely weak, Goldberg was a good choice for this, the original unstoppable beast. It’s obviously setting the scene for something else and Lesner got put on his ass, in under 2 minutes. Happy Mid.

Smarks gonna smark: The dark underbelly of Wrestling fandom.

After watching this years Summerslam, hell, since getting back into watching wrestling on a regular basis in 2011 after a lengthy absence, I find myself consistently aggravated by a contingent of the wrestling community who feel that their knowledge & love of wrestling eclipses all others and justifies some sense of obnoxious entitlement. I am talking about Smarks, or smart marks, or people who like to constantly be a dick about something you may share a common bond over.

Now, I’m not entirely guilt free here, I have on more than one occasion uttered the words “F**k John Cena” I am big enough to hold my hands up to that, it’s pretty much always in jest and I am more than aware of what he has done for the industry and for countless charity organisations, he’s a great guy. Smarks however, sorry, “dedicated fans” will happily make you feel like an idiot if you cheer for the wrong person or don’t know the meaning of a piece of terminology they may use. They are the complete opposite of what a dedicated and supportive fan community should be.

At this years WWE Summerslam event, the smarks were out in force. They loudly chanted ‘boring’ over a title match for the WWE Champion, being contested by two wrestlers they more than likely would have championed themselves only a little time ago. Then when a new championship belt was unveiled a little time later, a contingent of the amassed crowd thought it was more productive to chant “that belt sucks” rather than cheer for the frankly great match that was going on in the ring. One of the competitors, Finn Balor, had flown his family over from Ireland to watch him compete in this match, his first Pay Per View as a main rosta talent, how must they have felt to have to listen to such flagrant disrespect whilst proudly watching their son?

It boils down to essentially what all forms off bully like behaviour boils does, a sense of superiority, of knowing more than the next guy, of knowing how it should be done and how what is being done is garbage and anyone who likes these things is nothing more than a target for ridicule. And much like a bully, a smark never admits to what they are, they aren’t the ones with the problem you see? It’s the companies they pay money to watch, the people who run these companies and have done so successfully for MANY years. It’s the talent who wrestle in these companies who have very little control over what they are directed to do creatively. The problem is the young fans who keep these companies alive doing what they love by cheering on and buying the merchandise of the popular ‘face’ wrestlers and who may not know who El Generico or Kevin Steen are. It’s definitely not the problem of a self congratulatory vocal minority with a chip on their shoulder thinking they are superior to everyone else because ‘They, they just don’t get it!’