Wrestling

Jerry Lawler is a hypocrite

The following are two pieces of evidence that support this. And I quote:

On the 1001st episode of Raw, during the Miz/Ziggler vs. Jericho/Christian match, after Christian blatantly eye-gouges Ziggler, Michael Cole rightfully calls it out as illegal. Lawler responded:

I wouldn’t call that cheating!

On the 1002nd episode, Sheamus taunts Alberto Del Rio by breaking into his Ferrari and driving it all over San Antonio. Michael Cole, again, rightfully exclaims that Sheamus stole his car. Lawler responded:

I wouldn’t say he was stealing it.

There are countless more examples of his hypocrisy in the thousand episodes of Raw that have aired.

The reason this is problematic is that Lawler is supposed to be the good guy commentator. He’s supposed to play it straight. He’s supposed to be the voice of reason. He’s supposed to have the mindset that the WWE’s core audience subscribes to, and abides by. And since WWE’s current core audience is CHILDREN, Jerry Lawler might just be subconsciously creating legions and legions of future flip-floppy hypocrites.

Jerry Lawler, you are your character is a two-faced, spineless hypocrite. Shame on you. I hope Christian pokes your eyes and Sheamus steals your car.

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Wrestling

Discussion: Commentary and Commercial Breaks

K Sawyer Paul, responding to my response to his response to Matt Saye:

That’s only a problem if you listen to commentary, and it’s subjective. If you don’t like Michael Cole, then this exacerbates the issue. But if you have no problem with Cole (he’s been employed long enough to suggest some people quite like him) then this doesn’t hold ground.

The commentary being a (or greatly adding to the) problem isn’t necessarily due to Cole being Cole; it’s because the announcing itself is very rarely commentary on the wrestling match (the technical aspect, the in-ring narrative, or the illusion of competition), but on tangential matters outside the ring. The pre-break spiel directly pertains to the in-ring action, so shifting from Lauranaitis is a better GM to Will Kofi keep his momentum? We’ll find out when Raw rolls on makes the commercial break all the more jarring.

I must admit that Jim Ross was guilty of the same thing back in the days when they were transitioning from play-by-play commentary to the current “WWE storytelling” announcing style.

Sawyer continues:

…with other scripted TV shows, we’re not actually missing any of the content when they go to commercial. With wrestling matches, we, the TV audience, is actually being robbed of part of the match.

You can suggest that not much happens during the break, that we’re actually saved from watching rest holds or whatever. But to a wrestling fan, the kind of person who likes the technical aspects of the art, we don’t care if we’re missing something bad or good; the fact that a piece of the match is missing is grating.

He goes on to suggest that it would be best to avoid cutting content altogether whenever possible, such as on taped shows like SmackDown. I totally agree. No one believes that show is live, anyway.

I would theorize that WWE believes that full, uninterrupted matches should only be seen by paying audiences, whether at a live show, a pay-per-view showing, or on a DVD set. But many matches featured on sets that were originally shown on free TV still don’t include the section of the match cut by a commercial break.

I guess all we’re left with is that WWE just doesn’t “get” wrestling fans, or Vince McMahon personally likes screwing with them. Both of which aren’t new theories at all, but each has as much weight as any wrestling-related theory I’ve ever heard.

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Wrestling

On mid-match commercial breaks

K Sawyer Paul responds to Matt at the Wrestling Journal, about the annoyance of commercial breaks during long TV matches:

Other sports don’t have this problem. No sport with any popularity can play an entire game between commercials, and fans understand that. Other sports also have believable lull periods: time-outs, half-times, infield-outfield changes, etc., where it makes sense to place a commercial. But wrestling matches can last anywhere from 18 seconds to over an hour.

Airing commercials during matches is really only a problem if wrestling is still viewed through the lens of sports and competition.

Seeing wrestling an art in the medium of television, I see no other alternative to having commercial breaks in the middle of a match. On any given episode of Raw, the narrative progresses more so out of the ring than in it, and the important parts of the matches we missed are replayed anyway.

I’ve gotten used to the timing of the commercial break during the first featured match on any Monday Night Raw: always on the first “act” of the match, one of the wrestlers (usually the heel) gets thrown outside the ring, presenting the image of the other being the dominant competitor in the match. Once the show returns from commercials, the previously dominant wrestler is trapped in a submission hold (usually a chinlock), with the tide having turned during the break. The move that caused the shift is then shown to us in a “double-action” replay.

I have a theory: mid-match commercial breaks are much more grating now because of the commentary. Michael Cole (or, his character) has always placed more value in WWE storytelling and corporate line-toeing than in the importance of whatever match is taking place, so when he throws us to commercial break by emphasizing the uncertainty of wrestling competition, it feels like he’s insulting our intelligence.

As lovers of wrestling matches, we’ve probably gotten used to tuning out the asinine commentary on Monday Night Raw, so it can get quite jarring when commercial breaks take place–we get forced to “un-tune-out”.

When it was Jim Ross (or Joey Styles, or anyone who places more value in in-ring action than stupid things like Twitter Trending Topics) on lead announcing duties, the commentary added a narrative layer to the action, which we, as wrestling fans, accepted. So when he threw us to the commercials, we accepted the suspense they were portraying on-screen. It didn’t feel insulting.

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Wrestling

Team Hurry up the Cakes reacts to WrestleMania

It was Monday afternoon. April 2nd. The day was long. The air was hot. My shoulders were sweaty. But none of that mattered–it was time for WrestleMania.

This was a milestone for me–not only was this the first time I was going to watch WrestleMania with my girlfriend Char (or any girl, for that matter), but THE ROCK WAS GOING TO FIGHT JOHN CENA, YOU GUYS, AND CM PUNK WAS GOING TO WRESTLE CHRIS JERICHO, AND TRIPLE H AND UNDERTAKER WERE GOING TO HAVE AN “END OF AN ERA” HELL IN A CELL MATCH. YOU HAVE NO IDEA HOW MUCH THIS MEANT TO ME!!~ NO IDEA~~~!!

*ahem* Sorry about that.

But, yes, this was a big deal.

Much has happened since WrestleMania. And much has been written about WrestleMania since. Some of which are pretty damn good. I have no interest* in adding yet another review or in-depth analysis about the big event–what I am interested it is taking you, dear reader, through the specific roller-coaster of emotions that Team Hurry up the Cakes went through upon watching the biggest wrestling event of the year.

Continue reading

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Wrestling

WWE Programming @ Studio 23 / Fox Asia on schedule? (Updated)

We received reports this week* that the WWE programming in the Philippines airs on the same week as their live American counterparts.

The 3/19 episode of Monday Night Raw (featuring the “End of an Era” main event segment with Shawn Michaels, Triple H, and the Undertaker) aired on 3/23 at 9:30PM on Studio 23.

This should alleviate the fears of Filipino WWE fans who speculated that they were back in the “dark ages” of WWE TV airing two-to-three weeks late, as it did in the late 1990s.

The contract between WWE and Solar Entertainment ended February of this year, concluding its series of live airings of monthly wrestling Pay Per View events with WWE Elimination Chamber. Soon after, the ABS-CBN channel Studio 23 announced that they were the new home of Philippine WWE Programming.

Yesterday, via their Facebook page, cable channel Fox Philippines announced that they, too, were going to air WWE Programming.

The new schedules are as follows:

Studio 23
Friday 9:30-10:30PM – WWE Raw (one hour cut)
Saturday 8:30-9:30PM – WWE NXT
Sunday 8:30-9:30PM – WWE Superstars
Tuesday 9:30-10:30PM – WWE Raw (one hour cut) (replay)
Wednesday 9:30-10:30PM – WWE NXT (replay)
Thursday 9:30-10:30PM – WWE Superstars (replay)

Fox Philippines**
April 2 8:55-10:45PM – WWE Smackdown
April 3 12:45-2:30PM – WWE Smackdown
April 4 10:55-11:50AM – WWE Vintage Collection
April 4 3:25-4:20PM – WWE Vintage Collection
April 5 10:55-11:50AM – WWE Bottomline
April 5 3:25-4:20PM – WWE Bottomline
April 6 10:00-11:50AM – WWE Smackdown
April 6 3:25-4:20PM – WWE Afterburn
April 6 10:45-11:40PM – WWE Bottomline
April 7 10:45-11:40PM – WWE Afterburn

We at Hurry up the Cakes are happy about this new development, but until WWE TVshows air on the same day or the day after they air in the States (like they used to two years ago), we’ll keep getting our WWE fix from the internet.

* – from my girlfriend
** – the schedules are only for the week of April 2-7–an official weekly schedule has not been announced as of press time

UPDATE:

On Monday April 2nd, Hurry up the Cakes received reports from frustrated WWE fans that Solar Entertainment channel Jack TV aired commercials advertising WrestleMania 28, and that it would air live that day. It did not air at all.

Today we received reports that WrestleMania XXVIII (which aired 7PM ET April 1st, in the US) aired April 3rd, 8PM on Studio 23, albeit with some matches heavily edited (particularly the gruesome End of an Era match between HHH and Undertaker), and that the channel held an event at TriNoMa mall the night before, reportedly launching their new WWE lineup with a live showing of WrestleMania.

This would indicate that the new deal between WWE and ABSCBN/Fox Asia also includes free Pay-Per-View event telecasts not too long after the live US airing.

Still, many Philippine wrestling fans complained on Twitter about how Studio 23 “butchered” the highly-anticipated wrestling event but editing out the most violent parts. While we at Hurry up the Cakes understand that this might be frustrating, we would like to suggest to our fellow native wrestling fans that they take a chill pill, and remember that they are watching a $59.99 wrestling show for free.

(Special thanks to @TheDerangedWriter)

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