Quick Thoughts on the 2014 Royal Rumble

Hey gang. The Royal Rumble is in the history books, and these are my thoughts on tonight’s show. Forgive me if I forgot something major or if this isn’t the neatest looking post show review from me. I’m tired.

1) Unfortunately, my Twitter account got banned from posting during most of the rumble, and I had no backup account to tweet the goings on. So, if you wondered where the hell I went during the show, that’s where I was. I will be rectifying this mistake and making an jailed account right after I push send on this post. Moving on.

2) John Cena vs Randy Orton

What a mess this turned into. I went into this match ambivalent about what would happen or who would win, but the 2nd biggest shock of the night was the live crowd turning on both participants and chanting for Divas, Y2J, Randy Savage (and others that I can’t remember) and vocally letting Cena and Randy know that their efforts weren’t needed. I haven’t heard such a visceral reaction since Brock Lesnar vs Goldberg at Wrestlemania 20.

It was the type of reaction that took me out of the match, and combined with my feeling of not wanting to see this in the first place, this was the worst match of the night by default. I felt sorry for Cena and Orton while they were working, but clearly the fans are tired of seeing these two wrestle. BUT, there was something fantastic that happened at the end of this match that made up for things.

3) Post John Cena vs Randy Orton

I’ve read spoilers for the “big 6” Wrestlemania matches, and one of them was Cena vs Bray Wyatt. Which I promptly dismissed because THAT is ridiculous, right? Wrong.

Bray Wyatt, that beautiful son of a bitch, cost Cena the match and beat Cena like he smacked his child. Which I loved. After a wonderful performance earlier in the night with Daniel Bryan (more on that later on),  I think it’s high time for Bray to make his way into the main event spotlight. He’s got a great character, he’s convincing, and I consider him one of the best talkers of the past 10 years. He can go toe to toe with John Cena. The real question is how to approach a match of this caliber. Which is a totally different and longer article that I’ll be writing another day.

4) Brock Lesnar vs Big Show

Another match I wasn’t into. Thankfully, it was kept short. Big Show can be good at times, but I have not even the slightest inkling to see him wrestling Brock. Two big men colliding and struggling to hit finishing moves on each other isn’t very entertaining for me. Moving on.

5) The Rumble

SO MANY FEELINGS.  But here’s the more pressing of my thoughts from the Rumble.

-I’m very sad Daniel wasn’t in it.  The crowd wanted him, people and animals at home wanted him there, and I think he should’ve been in it. But he had a good match with Bray tonight, and I can accept the fact that him and Bray stole the show right from the beginning.

– The fact that Batista won the Rumble is complete horseshit. I’m pretty upset that he did win, quite frankly. But, I’m willing to do something shocking. I’m shelving my shock/anger and seeing where this story will take us. The internet is far too quick to be angry when something doesn’t go it’s way, and Wrestlemania is all about building to the big finale. It’ll be a slow build, but I have faith that the WWE will eventually tell an interesting story. I, however, have zero faith in Batista’s wrestling ability at this point, and would have rather seen Roman Reign’s win tonight.

– We all got our crazy Kofi elimination spot. Happy now?

– No NXT stars but Rusev get to be in the Rumble? Okay then.

6) Daniel Bryan vs Bray Wyatt

The match of the show. So many different feelings going on in this match. For something that didn’t have “build” or a “story” or whatever smarky words we like to use, it cannot be denied that this was a great match. Bryan can wrestle his ass off, and Bray was allowed to be more vicious than I can ever remember him being in a match. Bray needed to be this tonight. We all need to see the evil in this man, and we need to believe that he’s unpredictable. There were so many times I cringed, covered my eyes or yelled at my computer when a big hit came. Daniel being Sister Abigailed into the barricade was just flat out awesome. I had a good feeling from the beginning about the match, and my two favorite stars delivered. I don’t know how this worked so well, but it just did. Match of the night, year, century? We shall see.

 

Those are my quick thoughts on the show. What did you think of the Royal Rumble this year? Did it live up to your expectations or leave you wanting more?

2013: A Kick in the Head

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*Although I didn’t intend for this blog post to turn out the way that it did, this entry is kind of a personal one. I talk about wrestling, but this story is more about the journey I made last year and how wrestling fit into all that. For those not interested in reading about the personal parts of my personal life, click the x at the top of the this page and that solves the problem. Thanks.

So sorry to have been away from you for so long, blog. I wouldn’t leave without good reason, so allow me to explain myself.

You see, around the time I started Absolute Smark (June 2013?), I had nothing going on professionally. I was working a job I hated, surrounded by people I hated, and I chose to deal with my problems by focusing on a project that had nothing to do with my career, but one that make me happy. Happy for me is plunking down in front of the tube every Monday and watching Raw and expressing my thoughts on the show or reacting to wrestling news. Or, more accurately, I chose to ignore how I felt and gloss over my IRL career issues. That only worked for a little while.

Once I turned off the computer and all the wrestling talk stopped, I was still completely miserable. I had no idea what to do to make things better for myself. Jobs don’t grow on trees theses days, so I made a decision to stick things out at work and hope for the best. However, my job at that time allowed me to make detailed blog posts about wrestling, and for that reason, this blog was created and ran for as long as it did without interruption last year.

Then, unfortunately, I had a health scare. Nothing extremely serious and all my body parts are still intact, but it made me take some time to reevaluate what was truly important to me. What’s important is my family. Realizing this, I chose to step back from writing and watching wrestling and focus more on being a wife and taking care of my health. Which, again, worked only for a little while. Health wise, I’m doing much better than I was. I was tired, sick and full of stress and anxiety. 2013 was a year full of hurt for me, and things only got better at the tail end.

September of last year, I got promoted at work. This promotion meant moving to a different department from the one I currently worked for. I moved away from the people I hated to a department with bunch of people that I didn’t know. This promotion also meant more money, better and not so late hours, and a chance to start from scratch. Naturally, I dove in headfirst and focused only on making a good impression professionally, and that has paid off tremendously. I was able to attain another pay raise despite only being in the department for 3 months, and I can tell the people I work with respect me. That does wonders for your well-being. I went from being completely nerve wracked and totally unsure of myself and my abilities, to having no stress or worries at all. It was a welcome change. But, one good thing lead to something else.

At the time of my promotion, I grew more and more disappointed in how the Daniel Bryan “good for business” storyline was playing itself out. Daniel Bryan is a big reason why I got so heavily back into wrestling in the first place, and I thought him not holding a championship was unacceptable. (Yes, I am nearly 30 years old and throwing hissy fits about my favorite wrestler not being champion.That is extremely lame, and I apologize.)

Anyway, Daniel not being champion in the neat time period that I had set for him to hold the belt disappointed me in that funny way that only wrestling does, so I chose to step away from watching until he did something “meaningful.”

Deep down inside, I knew that I would never truly be able to quit wrestling. As you can see by this post, I’ve finally decided to come back. But my return will not be the way that you’ve grown accustomed to. I’m still trying to figure out how to juggle both my writing and keeping up with the endless hours of WWE programming that occur every week. Between figuring out how to juggle and my own personal aspirations for what I want my wrestling writing to me, I cannot say for certain that I will always have a Raw report or always be here at this site at all. My intentions are good, but I only have so many waking hours in a day that I can actually do the things I really enjoy. Believe me, if I were able to be paid to keep this blog up, my heart and soul would remain here always.

So. That brings me to 2014 is upon us. My 30th birthday is on Monday, and I have more confidence in my writing abilities than I have ever. Meaning, in my whole life, this is the year where I finally feel confident enough in my abilities to make some headway in the world. I think this year will be time for me to explore what impact I would like to make on the written (and verbal?) world of wrestling and how I would like to be remembered. Naturally, I want to do the very best that I can. My only fear is failure to do what I want to do.

I’ve decided to make some New Year’s Resolution’s for Absolute Smark and the overall goals of my “professional” wrestling writing.

I, Shanna Harris, resolve to do the following with Absolute Smark:

1. Write at least one entry on my general thoughts on wrestling once per month. If I can manage more than that, so be it.

I, Shanna Harris, have also set some goals for myself not involving this site:

1) To appear on one wrestling related podcast. Be it with Ring-Rap, or someplace else.

2) To attain more than 100 Twitter followers.

These rather small goals are what I hope to be jumping points to attaning a dream that I’ve long nursed: To write on a regular basis about wrestling (possibly making money while doing so?). It’s a little dream, but one that’s eluded me for a long time. Hopefully writing everything down will help me remember and realize what I can do and what I have left to do.

I apologize for being gone for so long, but I am not dead as some may have feared. I look forward to seeing where this New Year takes me.

If you’ve click this page looking for updates, wondering for news, or just plain curiosity, thank you. I appreciate that you care, and I hope that 2014 will be a year of growth, and not regression.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have to go and watch Daniel Bryan join the Wyatt Family.

–Shanna

An Interview with Nancy Toffoloni

the2count.com posted a sad, yet intriguing interview with Nancy Benoit’s sister, Sandra Toffoloni.

The interview is worth the minutes spent reading it. Sandra is knowledgeable about wrestling, and she gives some insight about Chris that nobody else has given up to this point.

Quite frankly, I’m amazed that Sandra can talk about this subject so objectively. If I were in her shoes, I don’t think I could do it.

Anyway, click here to go and check out the interview.

Questions from Tumblr

Questions, questions, questions. So many wrestling fans have questions they want answered or opinions they want to share. I’m no different. This blog exists because of the need I have to express my wrestling likes and dislikes.

To help others make their voice heard, I’ve decided to start the questions from series. It’s a simple concept to follow. You find me on social media  and ask me a question. Or express an opinion to me. I’ll bring it here and discuss it. Simple, right?

This particular question comes from one of my Tumblr followers and I think it’s a good set to start with.

Here we go!

8BitGlamour asked me: Do you think AJ will give the Diva’s title a makeover?

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This might seem like I’m rambling, but I believe this all goes together.

I don’t think the problems with the Divas division are limited to how ugly/pretty the belt is. Personally, I can live with the Divas title. Most fans can’t seem to get past how terrible it looks. I don’t hate it, but I don’t hate it enough to want to suggest something else to replace it.

And as much as I want to believe that AJ being Divas champ means sweeping changes for the division are now in store, WWE changing anything isn’t going to happen unless they’re sure they have another bankable star.

Divisional changes only happen when the person suggesting the change is making a significant contribution to the company. Besides the past few weeks of television, it’s common knowledge that the Divas have gotten very little by the way of TV time or significant stories. The recent appearances of the Divas on TV seem to only be happening because AJ is champion and because someone who makes decisions is confident enough in her and Kaitlyn’s performances that they’re allowed to go crazy.

Could she use this momentum to her advantage? Absolutely. And I hope that she’s fighting for change.  Because WWE has far too many talented women, like Layla, who could be a benefit and shouldn’t be as held back as they are.

I will say that AJ’s knowledge of the business, overall enthusiasm, and overwhelming popularity can only work in her favor. If she persists in asking for change and keeps being as awesome as she is, big things might happen sooner than we think.

As for changing the actual title itself, I don’t see that happening anytime soon. Like I said before, whoever brings in the big bucks has the most say and the changing of the title is a low priority.

She also asked: If you were the current title holder, how would you redesign the Diva’s championship?

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If I were champion or possessed the power to change the look of the belt, I’d ditch the Divas title completely and suggest the NXT Women’s Championship as the permanent replacement.

One of the things that bugs me about women’s wrestling belts is that the titles are either too big for the competitor wearing it, or the colors on the belt are ugly and that ends up making the title look silly. A women’s title should be slim and sleek, in my opinion. And a pink title. Who came up with the idea that a women’s belt has to have pink splashed all over it? Pink belts don’t exactly scream serious wrestler.

A big belt also doesn’t make a title look more like a title. A sleek design with cool plating does. I’m generally not a fan of big gold belts. Just because a belt is gold doesn’t make it look more prestigious. The only gold women’s title I ever liked was the original WWE Women’s Championship.

In closing, dark straps with silver plates are what appeal to me. Therefore, the NXT title wins. It’s a good looking belt that I wish was on the big show.

And that’s it!

I extend a humble thank you to 8BitGlamour for submitting these great questions. Give her a follow on Tumblr if you’re there.

Have something you’d like to ask me? The only way to get in on the fun is by following me on Tumblr, Twitter and Facebook and asking me something. Or leave a question in the comments for me to consider. I’d like to keep this questions series going, so ask away!

Until next time.

Jack Swagger in Court

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Jack Swagger was found guilty of DUI and speeding today in Gulfport, MS.

He was sentenced to six months probation, a $500 fine and ordered to pay court costs related to his arrest.

Swagger’s original sentence of two days was suspended, so he will not serve jail time. An additional charge of possession of marijuana was dismissed by the judge.

Swagger, real name Jake Hager, was arrested 2/19 of this year after a Smackdown taping.

To find out more, click here.

Source: ClarionLedger.com