This week, we found out Vulture Hound will have its usual place at Leeds Festival, watched some Olympics, recovered from a weekend in Blackpool, watched some more Olympics, saw Frank Iero’s new band slay a room of teenage girls and celebrated the return of the Premier League. We also finished Stranger Things in our household, if you haven’t watched it, do so now and come back when you’ve binge watched. There aren’t any spoilers or anything, I just want you to watch Stranger Things!
Positivity isn’t something that I’ve shown in the last couple of weeks, so perhaps let’s buck that trend. I fully went into the Olympics ready to bemoan the amount of sport being shown by the BBC, despite the fact that I usually only ever watch stuff that we’ve got recorded on Sky+ or is On Demand- I never watch live TV, and the only thing I’m watching on BBC at the moment is the new series of Robot Wars (which is amazing, I could write a separate piece just how much I’m digging robot based combat).
So imagine my surprise as I find myself over the last week and a bit casually watching the most random of sports, of which I had no prior interest. Who would have thought that team gymnastics at eleven o’clock at night could be so bloody enthralling? When did I become interested in canoeing? Why did I spend so long watching Romania and China in the final of the fencing, and actually be interested in which of these teams won? How do Switzerland have an Olympic beach volleyball team? I’m not one of these people who becomes an expert in these random sports (I’m looking at you Mum), but I’m down right fucking enjoying them, and the best bit is the wrestling starts TODAY.
Much credit to the BBC, they are killing it with the coverage, even Matt Baker orgasming every time someone nails a routine is okay in small doses. Over the years I think the idea of the “Red Button” has been squandered a little bit, like at Glastonbury they never quite show enough, but with this Olympics the red button has finally been used to its full potential (on Sky at least). So to the guys at BBC, thanks for actually making me feel like my TV license hasn’t been wasted on shite TV like EastEnders and Bargain Hunt.
So well done BBC, and well done to all the athletes for making me care about sports I didn’t even know existed.
I’ve not really talked much about wrestling yet in one of the weekly columns, I’m a massive wrestling fan, so here we go… Matt Hardy, if you grew up watching wrestling in the early 2000s you’ll remember him as the not so cool part of the Hardy Boyz (let’s be honest everyone wanted to be Jeff). Well Matt never really went away, and he is currently in the middle of his finest run, which included an hour long in character interview with Chris Jericho recently. It is arguably the finest podcast I’ve ever heard, and I if you are being honest it is the greatest wrestling promo ever cut and it wasn’t even on the part of the show who pay his wages.
The assumption is that Matt has just been given the ball and allowed to run with it on this current Broken Matt Hardy run, and by god is it working. At the end of the day, acknowledging the entertainment side of wrestling and allowing a character to be totally absurd and unrealistic is an intelligent move. We all know that most of it is scripted, so surely it is logical to make the scripts bigger and better! It is clearly working, because I know it makes me want to watch TNA. As Matt says in the interview, the huge cinematic matches and promos can’t work all the time, but if they are interjected occasionally into programming it creates something interesting.
Fair play for Jericho for doing playing along as well. I’m a big fan of the Talk Is Jericho podcast, I think he has some great guests on, you’ve just got to sit through a half dozen sponsor messages but it keeps shit free so you can’t complain. It’s up on iTunes and anywhere else podcasts are available from, perfect listening for wrestling fans and budding method actors alike.