Wishing death to fashioncore since 2005

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The Undertaker 1990 – 2017

A brief look back at career highlights

So I finally got round to watching what has been revealed as The Undertaker’s retirement match, against Roman Reigns at Wrestlemania 33. It was kinda sad, but I can understand why it had to happen.

But first, gonna go backwards to 1990.

I can still vividly recall sitting to watch Survivor Series ’90 (not only the first S’Series I had ever seen, but only the second big event I’d seen at that point, after Summerslam ’90 earlier that year). My dad would tape them overnight on a VHS tape for us to watch the following day, being too young at that point to sit up to watch. In the build-up, there had been a mystery surrounding the identity of ‘The Million Dollar Man’ Ted Debiase’s surprise 4th partner in his team, the other two being Rhythm ‘n’ Blues. The night came, and Debiase announces his identity, and what followed was the unveiling of the tallest, scariest looking wrestler I’d seen at that point – The Undertaker, hailing from Death Valley, accompanied by Brother Love. Love would of course eventually hand over management duties to one Paul Bearer, before being retired by The Ultimate Warrior a few months later. The Undertaker would go on to get himself counted-out whilst attacking Koko B.Ware, whom he had just eliminated.

One year later, ‘taker would go on to face and defeat Hulk Hogan at Survivor Series ’91, for his first Championship reign, though he would lose it back again just days later, in a decision that would eventually end up with the title being vacated and awarded to the winner of ’92’s Royal Rumble, Ric Flair. Sadly, this wouldn’t be his only short title reign over the years, or indeed the only time he’d be cheated of a decent win – for one example, jump forward to Royal Rumble’94, some might recall the coffin match he had with Yokozuna, which saw him defeated when seemingly most of WWF’s heel roster came out to assist.

A shot of The Undertaker’s article in the official WWF annual, 1994

There’s far too much in The Undertaker’s history to go into here, but many qualities, events and storylines would see him remain a firm fixture and eventually one of the most popular WWF/WWE wrestlers of all time. These include (just from memory by the way):

– His top rope-walking ability – impressive for anyone, let alone a man his size.
– 92’s face-turn, resulting in a match against former ally Jake ‘The Snake’ Roberts at Wrestlemana VIII.
– His ‘disappearance’ in ’94 after the aforementioned coffin match, which resulted in (again) Ted Debiase bringing out a doppelganger ‘Undertaker’ (Brian Lee from SMW Wrestling, his real-life cousin), before the real Undertaker would come back to defeat the fake one at Summerslam ’94.
– The period during which Paul Bearer was also missing, notable for it being a time when The Undertaker’s wrestling style would actually change; even his critics would notice how capable, agile and fluid a wrestler he could be when tested.
– The longest Wrestlemania winning streak of all time – many wrestlers who fought him at Wrestlemania were never seen in the federation again.

A couple of trading cards and stickers, which came inside bubble gum wrappers

There were other moments which, for me at least, weren’t quite as enjoyable. The ‘Corporate Ministry’ thing just became silly (even though it did eventually birth the APA tag team of Ron Simmons and Justin Bradshaw), and his more humanised ‘American Badass’ image a while after this (with his Limp Bizkit/Kid Rock theme music) didn’t appeal to me as much.

Fast forward to 2014, and the match against Brock Lesnar. It has to be said though that The Undertaker was past his peak at this point, as much as I hate to say it – perhaps if the match had occurred in 2004, it would have been a different story, but the decision to break the streak ultimately laid with higher management. My annoyance with that match was perhaps overshadowed by that with Paul Heyman’s impression of a broken record for the next several months afterwards (“MY CLIEEENT….” yeah, we get it). Still, it was good to see ‘taker’s career continue afterwards, with a win over Bray Wyatt at Wrestlemania 31, and a strong match against Shane McMahon at Wrestlemania 32 last year.

From 1995, inside WWF’s official magazine

Jump again to 2017, and whilst I admit this is only speculation on my part, I can understand why he chose to end on a loss, rather than have one last win. One could argue that, had he won, he’d be constantly be dogged by ‘one more match’ demands and rumours – these would get annoying after a while. So, with that in mind, with a recorded loss instead, this perhaps would be a better way of saying to everyone (fans, industry, etc) “Look I’m done now, I simply cannot continue.” I personally, as a long-time fan, would rather see him continue to live comfortably and in better health, rather than see him risk it all to appease demand. Mark is 52 years old now, and has nothing left to prove.

There will never be another Undertaker. No one with the ability to build that atmosphere, with that mystique, no one who’ll make the crowd feel quite the same as he walks across the top rope with such ease.

Thank you, Mark Calloway, and may The Undertaker finally, rest in peace.


Memoirs of a Metalhead – My Gateway Songs

The riffs that started it all

queen-bohemian-rhapsody-still

Partly inspired by that ’10 albums from your teens’ post that was trending on Facebook recently, I’ve been thinking back to the tracks that acted as a springboard to the bands and genres I’ve become interested in since, and decided to gather them together. Here they all are – I’ve done my best to list them in the order that I became introduced, but I can’t be sure on the exact order after all this time.

Queen – Bohemian Rhapsody

I’m sure we’ve all reenacted that scene from Wayne’s World at some point. Party on.

Def Leppard – Let’s Get Rocked

Their cover of ‘Action’ also deserves a mention. One of their previous albums, ‘Hysteria’, has since become one of my favourite albums.

Guns ‘n’ Roses – You Could Be Mine

I think it’s this song that helped me develop an appreciation for building intros.

Michael Jackson – Give In To Me feat. Slash

I was already listening to Michael Jackson before I got into rock music. The riffs in this song took me further.

En Vogue – Free Your Mind

This one might surprise a few people. It’s overlooked by the rock community/press, but in my opinion is actually better than a lot of the proper attempts at ‘crossover’ tracks from other artists.

Soul Asylum – Runaway Train

My introduction to grunge. Don’t listen to it much these days. Be warned, this video is a little heavy going, given the subject matter, but it did help in finding many missing people.

H-Blockx – Move

I’d actually forgotten about this one until, well, writing this. I’ve got the single somewhere.

Soundgarden – Black Hole Sun

Another amongst the first grunge tracks I got into. It would be a little while before I also got into the likes of Alice In Chains and Stone Temple Pilots.

Die Krupps – Isolation

My introduction to industrial music, think I first heard it on Ray Cokes’s ‘Most Wanted’ show, back when MTV played music.

Metallica – One

The first time I ever knowingly listened to them, and it blew me away. To date I still regard this as one of the greatest metal tracks ever.

Mutha’s Day Out – Green

Well, I could post the whole album, as they were one of the first rock/metal bands I got into. A guy I knew at the time recorded this on to a tape for me, and on the b-side of that tape was a mix of things, which included the aforementioned Soundgarden track, Pearl Jam’s ‘Go’, and also….

Biohazard – Love Denied

….this track. At the time, I wasn’t even aware that there was a genre of heavy music known as ‘hardcore’, but this was my introduction to that form of metal.

So there they are, my first steps into heavy music. I had no idea at the time just how important those steps would become.


The Soundtrack To Your Halloween

Warning: contains blood/gore/nudity/explicit language

lordi-promo

With Halloween approaching at the end of the month, I thought I’d put together an appropriate playlist to set the right atmosphere, featuring the usual suspects, some classics and some upcoming names from the UK (links provided).

Note: some of these videos are unsafe for work.

Cradle of Filth – From The Cradle To Enslave

The title track of that EP – the uncensored version! Definitely NSFW.

Moonspell – I’ll See You In My Dreams

Taken from the film of the same name’s soundtrack, available on Youtube. Also NSFW.

Send More Paramedics – Zombie Crew

Horror punk from the UK.

Misfits – Scream

Taken from the Michael Graves-period album ‘Famous Monsters’.

White Zombie – More Human Than Human

Taken from the classic ‘Astro Creep 2000’ album. FEATURES STROBE LIGHTS.

Alice Cooper – Feed My Frankenstein

As featured on the Wayne’s World soundtrack.

Lordi – Devil Is A Loser

The one-time Eurovision winners.

Marilyn Manson – Sweet Dreams

The Eurythmics cover that first brought MM to noteriety.

Denigrata – Kyrie Eleison

Taken from the album ‘Missa Defunctorum: Requiem Mass in A Minor’, available from Bandcamp at https://denigrata.bandcamp.com/releases.

Cerberus Unchained – Naturom Demonto

Taken from the debut EP ‘Di Inferni’, available at https://cerberusunchained.bandcamp.com/.

Victorian Whore Dogs – Prayer of Dust

Taken from the EP ‘Hobo Chic’, available from https://victorianwhoredogs.bandcamp.com/album/hobo-chic.

Type O Negative – Black No.1

A classic, taken from the album ‘Bloody Kisses’.

Talanas – The Apostle

Taken from their acoustic EP ‘Asylum’, available from https://talanas.bandcamp.com/album/asylum.

Skullfucked – Sluts Impaled on Their Own Entrails

Taken from the forthcoming debut album ‘Blasphemy’, to be released on November 10th from http://skullfuckedbgka.bandcamp.com/.

Morbid Angel – God Of Emptiness

One of biggest names from the Florida death metal scene.

Nile – Sacrifice Unto Sebek

Love that intro riff.

Fear Factory – Martyr

The opening track of their debut, back when they had a more industrial-death metal sound.

Butcher Babes – They’re Coming To Take Me Away, Ha-Haa!

Taken from their covers EP ‘Uncovered’.

Bile – In League

Featured on the ‘Strangelands’ soundtrack. FEATURES STROBE LIGHTS.

Author & Punisher – Terrorbird

Taken from the album ‘Ursus Americanus’.

Related:
Another playlist from a couple of years ago – https://thursdayaddams.wordpress.com/2013/09/26/atmos-fear/
https://www.facebook.com/Denigrata
https://www.facebook.com/talanasband
https://www.facebook.com/cerberusunchained
https://www.facebook.com/Skullfucked-414048352059522/
https://musikalsin.bandcamp.com/album/musikal-sin-mixtape-vol-3-extremities


Worst. Survey. Ever.

A day in the life of two market researchers

Worst survey ever CIMG9500

Upon seeing the above sentence, my first thought was, who the hell worked that out? Here’s how it might have gone….

9:00am – “Good morning sir. Here, please wipe your backside with this sheet, then this one, and tell us which you think is softer.”

9:30am – “Erm, no you can keep that. Thanks.”

10:00am – “What? Oh sorry, we’re told we’ll get a cubicle next time. Yes, this aisle is rather draughty isn’t it.”

11:00am – “Hello, Customer Services? Who moved the Wet Floor sign? Well, we’ll need another. Yes, it’s happened again.”

12:00pm – “How many of these can your fit up your shirt, Robert?”

1:00pm – “We could’ve built a fort, Karen….”

2:00pm – “Baby wipes are on aisle 12, madam. Yes I know, I’m burning this shirt when I get home.”

3:00pm – “Could’ve asked us to do a vodka survey, but no, we…. What have you got in that flask? Oooh….”

4:00pm – “What even is my life…. No not you madam sorry, I was just muttering to myself….”

4:15pm – “Oh were we supposed to be counting? Let’s just round up to the nearest whole 100….”

4:30pm – “Might fake my death tomorrow. Oh, you too? Race you.”

5:00pm – “I underestimated how long it’d take for that fire engine to get here.”