Thoughts on: The Mae Young Classic Finals and Road to the Finals

Well, after eight episodes, we’re finally at the point where this all comes together into one big culmination of pro wrestling goodness: the finals of the Mae Young Classic are (as I’m writing this) upon us, and this will be my final observation piece on the event as a whole, save for possibly some sort of retrospective depending on who’s ultimately announced as having been signed by WWE in the wake of the finals and their respective fallout. Continue reading

Five Women’s Wrestlers Not in the Mae Young Classic Who Should’ve Been

With the Mae Young Classic drawing to a close later today, one thing I wanted to talk about before the final show isn’t the great field of competitors in the tournament, but the competitors not in the tournament. The thing is, while the WWE has been relatively interested in women’s wrestling as a thing to be given significant time on their shows for the past couple of years now, women’s wrestling as a thing to take seriously has been around for a lot longer than that, between the indies and other countries, and it’s worth noting that there are all sorts of stars who have come out of that environment, even if they might not be on WWE’s radar for… one reason or another. So, I wanted to take a moment to acknowledge a few talents who probably could have and, in an ideal world, should have been in the Mae Young Classic, but weren’t for… more than likely a few reasons. Continue reading

Thoughts on… the Mae Young Classic, Episodes 7-8

For the prior recap, click right here.

When last we left the tournament, we made it down to the final eight competitors, which means we’re getting down to the last six matches in this tournament, in the quarterfinals and the semi-finals. The finals proper are on Tuesday, which I’ll be happily commenting on as the night progresses over on Twitter if this sort of thing interests you, but for now, let’s look at the last two episodes of the Classic and how we get to what is a… fairly obvious main event for that show.

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Thoughts on… the Mae Young Classic, Episodes 5-6

For the prior episode’s review, click right here.

When last we left the tournament, we’d gone through the first sixteen matches, meaning we’re now into the thick of the tournament proper. The next two episodes are, sadly, still going to be based around the concept of “cram four matches into a single show,” that the prior set were, but we’re about to get into the really good stuff here, in theory, since most of the green workers have been eliminated from the tournament. Well, with a couple of exceptions…

Anyway, let’s get down to business. Continue reading

Thoughts on… the Mae Young Classic, Episodes 3-4

Welcome back to the second review of the Mae Young Classic, this time looking into Episodes 3 and 4. For those who missed the prior post, here’s a handy link.

When last we left the tournament, we’d gone through the first eight matches, and so far, eight competitors have moved on to the later episodes (specifically episodes 5 and 6, which we’ll get to later). This week focuses on the remaining eight matches to determine the other half of the quaterfinals competitors, and also features the debut of what is expected to be the one of the other can’t miss prospects to emerge from this tournament.

Let’s get down to business. Continue reading

Thoughts on… the Mae Young Classic, Episodes 1-2

Well, it’s been a while, so let’s ease back into things by talking about something I enjoy: serious women’s wrestling.

It shouldn’t be a surprise to anyone who knows me that I’m a fan of wrestling in general (since it’s become a running gag at this point that I use wrestling concepts to explain real world concepts, and no, that’s not a joke), but one thing I love is the concept of people taking women’s wrestling seriously in the US. I mean, as noted previously, I wrote a damn college paper on the subject (and got an A, so laugh all you want, shit was good), but even beyond that, it’s just really cool to see wrestling become more inclusive for a larger audience of people. I mean, it’s not a secret that wrestling is pre-determined at this point, and is less of an athletic competition than a complex choreography sequence; why not put in content that focuses on more than just 250-400lbs dudes beating the crap out of each other, right? Wrestling is basically live-action anime at this point, make it as diverse and colorful as you can.

As such, I’ve actively loved what the WWE has been doing in the past couple of years… conceptually, at least. I love the idea of the company actively attempting to make women’s wrestling into an actual business driver for their brand, and while there have been some definite missteps (putting Stephanie McMahon front-and-center as the advocate for the division, everything surrounding Bayley’s handling on the main roster), I love the reality that women have main evented WWE shows and Pay Per Views (or Special Events or whatever they’re called now), because that’s just awesome. So, as such, the idea of an entire women’s tournament, featuring signed and unsigned talent from around the world under the WWE’s banner, is an amazing idea, and it just so happens that the Mae Young Classic is exactly this thing.

Well… sort of, anyway.

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Looking Back on… My Rant on XPW (Wrestling, 2/18/03)

My rant on XPW, or, why you can’t sell the same thing over again. (I’m italicizing my modern comments since this is already bolded. Anyway, fucking XPW man. Originally a terrible, fifth-rate ECW knock-off with some of the worst “talent” in the business and a bunch of ECW castoffs, run by porn producer Rob Black, they SOMEHOW decided to just BECOME ECW, caused a shitload of problems in the Philly wrestling area, then died off when Black was run through the wringer because of “obscenity charges.” This means porn with peeing and I HOPE IMPLIED murder scenes, so, yeah. Anyway, the whole sordid mess is here on Wikipedia, if you’re bored, and apparently Black wants to bring it back AGAIN so God knows, we may be back here in a few years.)

(A note in advance: first, to those of you who know nothing about XPW, though I loathe plugging those I ridicule, visit to give yourself a better idea of those I write about here, if you’re curious. Second, if one Mr. Black is to read this: Consider this publicity. If you want to pull a Jay Bower on me, please do, but remember to link me, god knows I could use the traffic.) (Jay Bower was some dude who wrote for, for reference; we’ll get to him in a little bit.)

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The Gender Gap – Women’s Wrestling (College, 2007)

(I wrote this back in 2007 as part of a college group project discussing the gender gap for female athletes as a general whole; my group members chose golf, soccer and basketball, and I opted to choose professional wrestling, since I had the most exposure to that as a sporting property. It’s been eight years since I wrote this piece, and with the #GiveDivasAChance movement going on and whatnot, I opted to put some time into looking this over and posting it here, since I enjoyed the work I put into it, and I think it’s still relevant today.

Note, however, that the relevant graphs have been removed due to their generally boring nature, and that in the instances where someone asked not to be named, or has since become a major player in US wrestling and might not want their names mentioned, I’ve opted to refer to them as anonymous. That said, I talked to a whole lot of people here, so it’s got a lot of information backing it up.)

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Looking Back on… Karma’s a bitch, ain’t it? (WWE, 2003)

(This one would’ve been written sometime around the Royal Rumble in 2003, so it just recently celebrated its twelfth birthday. God I’m old.)

Y’know, the other day, I came to a realization. For those of you that haven’t been keeping up, the WWE has been running for around, oh, fifty or so years, (The company started out back in 1952 as Capitol Wrestling Corporation under Jess McMahon, so that would indeed be more or less correct as a time assessment. Not bad with no Wikipedia to reference.) but has only been running under the leadership of Vince McMahon Jr. (that’s the douchebag presently in charge, for those of you not aware) for the past twenty-five of those fifty years. (He took it over sometime in 1979, so again, roughly accurate.) In those twenty-five years, the man has had two REALLY big periods, which largely occurred without his help, but rather almost by accident, (Incorrect; the 80’s boom period of Rock and Wrestling was almost entirely his doing, as he ran the territories out of business with a shitload of luck, a strong business plan and Hulk Hogan, so he knew what he was doing. The Attitude Era was kind of a lot of accidents happening in a row that ended up making him billions, however, so yes, that one was certainly not his doing in the strictest sense.) and two periods of downturn, which were almost exclusively his doing, by letting the inmates run the asylum. (We’re still in the middle of the second one with no end in sight, sadly, mostly because every time they get somewhere that could spike interest Vince shits right in it.)

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Looking Back on… Wow. (WWE, 2002)

(This one most likely was written around its posting time, I’d expect; the WWE Armageddon PPV was released around 12/15, and this was tagged 12/22, so it makes sense time-wise. For reference, the prior piece would have been written sometime around Survivor Series in November, but was tagged as being posted in early December. Anyway, by all indications I’d been disgusted by the results of Survivor Series, and had opted to skip this PPV and simply read the results. From looking them over now, it seems like an okay PPV, so we’ll see how my opinion then matches up to my opinion now.)

Pretty self-explanatory, isn’t it? No? Well, let me say this: even after Vince McMahon dropped the revelation to his staff that Shock TV is dead, (This was in reference to an internet rumor that Vince announced that the long-standing “Crash/Shock TV” concept pioneered by Vince Russo was dead and should no longer be relied on. No idea how true it is, but it did reflect in the booking in the months and years following, so let’s say it’s accurate.) they still managed to shock me on this PPV. I mean, somehow, they managed to do some things RIGHT. (Story of their lives.) Now, I’m not about to say that everything was peachy, but honestly, they did a good job with what they had set up, and honestly, HHH was destined to go over, so I’m not too shocked about that or anything. (Which is worse: HHH wins lol or Cena wins lol? Discuss.) But Angle won the belt?!? Oh my shit, I think I might pass out from shock. (Angle had been a World Champion prior to this point, but had also been treated as something of a goober leading up to this point, so it was surprising. Say what you will about Paul Heyman, but his rebuilding of Angle during this time period was pretty decent.) And for those wondering, yes, I DID miss Armageddon, but I read enough recaps to have a solid feeling of what happened.

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