Archive for the ‘Wrestling’ Category

WWE World Heave Weight Championship Fight

On Monday morning the world will stop turning for WWE fans as the pinnacle sporting event of the year is decided. The ‘Money in the Bank’ WWE World Heavy Weight Championship will be settled, one and for all, by having eight men entering a ring to fight it out. Suspended six meters above the canvas ring will be the championship belt. The eight competitors must battle each other off to ascend the ladder leading to it and grab the belt. The first to do so will be crowned champion.

Nobody even bothers to pretend to believe that WWE is not staged. In fact, tomorrow’s champion has already been decided. The gifting of th championship is more of an award to a mutually agreed upon competitor.

865238-14b94612-feb4-11e3-9f45-ae70f9e6c986Tomorrow’s champion Caesaro is a Swiss giant who more than deserves the accolade. Caesaro was born in Lucern, Switzerland, with the name Claudio Castagnoli. He grew up idolising the WWF and wanting to emulate the ferocious athletes. His chance came in 2000 when he broke into the European Wrestling fraternity. In the next three years he wrestled in Europe and Japan, constantly getting more experience and attracting a larger following. In 2003 he won the Green Card Lottery, allowing him to become a U.S. citizen.  He immediately joined the WWE and the rest, as they say, is history.

Caesaro told reporters he is traveling to performances for more than 200 days a year. It’s a full time occupation, even though the shows only last a few hours. Constant traveling, training, tournaments mean he has very little time to relax. But Caesaro says he loves it and wouldn’t want to be doing anything else.

‘There’s always an element of risk,’ he says. ‘Fans don’t want to see boring fights. Even though they know it’s staged, they still want to be wowed.’

And wowing is what Caesaro does. His character is one of the bad guys – and he’s got a reputation for being the baddest of the bad. A reputation he has worked for 14 years to build; a reputation that will be celebrated tomorrow night at the ‘Money in the Bank’ World Wrestling Heavy Weight Championship.

Don’t miss it!

Dana White Outraged at TUF Competitor’s Lack of Passion

Already struggling with plummeting TV ratings, UFC boss Dana White has lashed out at thisDana White season’s competitors of the Ultimate Fighter. Even though the season has not even finished he has excoriated the fighters for their lack of commitment and passion.

This is the 19th season of The Ultimate Fighter. One would expect the franchise to have the formula for success down pat at this stage. But it seems quite the reverse is true. In an interview with MMA Junkie Dana White said, ‘You can’t blame the coaches,’ (BJ Penn and Frankie Edgar, UFC Hall of Famers and opposing Head Coaches), ‘you can’t blame this or that,’ White continued, ‘you blame the guys and how bad they really wanted it.

White lamented season 19 as a total failure. He called it the worst season ever.

Any MMA fan with even a passing interest in the TUF brand will point to the Australia versus Canada TUF series as being infinitely worse. The lopsided match-ups between these teams made the fights unwatchable. Even the Canadians were embarrassed with the ease of their victories. There were no fighters or stories about the fighters with which viewers could identify, no displays of determination or passion, no technical fighting brilliance or inspiring demonstrations of skill.

As MMA becomes more professional the fights become increasingly dull. They become more about technique than desire. Everyone can identify with desire. Only some can identify with technique.

Hapless Rams in Hot Water for Nudie Run

The East Burwood Rams Football Club is under investigation for forcing its players to run nude around the oval as punishment for poor on-field performances.

The incident is said to have occurred Thursday May 22, with players as young as 17 said to have been forced to bare all to the Melbourne chill. The Eastern Football League is investigating the incident after a slew of complaints from outraged parents. “Once the investigation is complete,” said Chief Executive Phil Murton of the Eastern Football League, “the details will be assessed and any penalties or sanctions will be delivered based on the findings and in accordance with [league] procedures and rules.”

Photo from www.news.com.ay

Photo from www.news.com.ay

The hapless Rams are winless since the first round of the season and seem to have the wooden spoon wrapped up.

To add insult to injury it seems the punishment run did nothing to benefit the team. Two days after the alleged incident Doncaster East put a 61 point hiding on them.

Club President Sue Bailey refused to comment on the incident.

The Evolution of Gaming – Insurance

And here it is, the next step in personal insurance.

The world of sport has moved online and the stars here attract as much attention as the stars on the telly every weekend. And now, it seems, they’re beginning to be treated with as much attention.

But first some background:

In ancient Phoenicia traders would approach lenders to insure against the piracy or loss of their trading ships. In the London coffee houses merchants would trade insurance bonds with one another on the safe delivery and good quality of their stock. By the 1940’s personal insurance was providing premiums against damage to homes and loss of property. This was quickly followed by a slew of insurance products covering debilitating events most likely to befall an individual. By the 1980’s one could insure cars, boats, even pets. In the 1990’s rock star David Lee Roth stunned the world by taking out paternity insurance (wouldn’t you like to read the indemnity clauses on that one!). But now the market has taken another step.

HIF were approached earlier this year about insuring an online game character. Don’t scoff, it’s big business. Many players spend years building up their characters and sell them (for real money) to other players not willing to put in the work. It’s not yet an industry. But there is a cashed-up elite who want the kudos of an impressive game character without putting in the time themselves.

The problem for the people who create these characters is that their avatars are exposed to pretty much the same risks we all are. They can get injured, punished or die just as we can. They can make bad decisions or just have bad luck.

Plus there are events to which characters are exposed that we are not. Imagine a cataclysmic outage wiping all character records from the game database (solar flares known as a Carrington Event,may achieve this); or hackers scrambling the server network: All very unlikely, yes, but still possible.

And for these few (I hesitate to call them professional) dedicated gamers this could entail the waste of years of hard work.

I know about this because the person to approach HIF is a friend. He didn’t tell me about the negotiations, or their result. But there is an ever growing concern and demand to insure against these precious online avatars.

Speed Dating at the Grand Hotel

“You what?” Deborah couldn’t believe her ears.

“I have a criminal background report from National Crime Check. Do you want to read it?’

This certainly wasn’t what Deborah had expected to hear. Her best friend, Mina, had decided Deb had been alone long enough. She’d been through a nasty break up, well over a year ago, and just hadn’t felt like returning to the dating scene. It’s not that she didn’t want someone, she just felt she couldn’t trust herself anymore. She’d been so convinced Brian was the right guy. He’d said all the right things, he’d done all the right things, he wasn’t hard to look at either. Even her friends thought this one was going to last. But Brian, she later learned, was running from his past.

And that was how she ended up here, at the Grand Hotel in Melbourne on one of their speed-dating nights. It was a great idea for busy people: The girls sat around the outside of the room, each of them with a notepad and pencil. On each page of the notepad was the name of a guy. Every two minutes the guys (each with their own notepads, pencils, and list of names) would change partners and walk to another girl, introduce themselves and get to finding out about each other.

All the guys had pretty much identical approaches: Give their name, ask her name; talk about what they do for a living, ask what she did for a living; then zero in on mutual hobbies. Most of the time Deborah was grateful for the two minute buzzer. She couldn’t wait for each ‘interview’ to be over. But the guy in front of her now had dropped a bombshell!

“You see,” he said to fill her stunned silence, “I figure speed-dating isn’t about finding someone you can like, but finding someone you can trust. You can get to like each other, or not, when you go out on a date. So the problem is, how do you reassure someone you’re trustworthy,” he paused, “in two minutes?” So I got a criminal background check done on myself by National Crime Check. Here’s the report if you want to read it.”

Deborah scanned the offered document. “This could only mean you haven’t been caught yet,” she said warily.

“It’s unlikely. The report is pretty thorough. But it’s certainly better than some guy smiling at you and saying, ‘Trust me.’”

He had a point.

“Well I don’t have a criminal background check,” Deborah said, “how do you know you can trust me?”

“Eight seven percent of legal offenders in Australia are men. As a woman there is a far greater chance of your being law abiding than there is if you were a man.” He looked at Deborah and smiled, “I’ll take that chance.”

The two minute buzzer sounded and Deborah handed back the report. Brian moved to another part of the Grand Hotel‘s function room, to another girl. She gave Brian a score of eight out of ten. He wasn’t the most handsome guy in the room, but he was the most interesting.

Raucous Wrestling: WWE Returns

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What are the sports that captivate Australians? If you were to ask your average Joe, expected answers might include cricket, swimming, netball, AFL, NRL, and – if only for one day each year – horse racing.

However, in addition to these mainstays, a lot of other sports garner hefty crowds, and impressively devoted fan-bases. Professional wrestling, for instance, manages to draw a passion out of its spectators – red-faced, cheering and stomping – that observers of less physical, stricter games would likely shy away from.

Professional wrestling is dominated by WWE, or World Wrestling Entertainment – an American company that has earned close to $700 million in revenue this year alone. The pro wrestling circuit is a modern gladiatorial spectacle. For the uninitiated, matches can almost seem pre-planned and choreographed; chairs are thrown, referees are victimised, and surprise contenders are thrown into the ring with a frequency that keeps all spectators guessing. At the same time, though, there’s a degree of wink-wink-nudge-nudge knowing that lends a somewhat humorous edge to some fights.

With more than 800 million views, WWE’s official YouTube channel offers a window into the bravado and brashness of professional wrestling. Its mixture of athleticism and theatre has seen the sport continuously grow in popularity in Australia, with matches being broadcast on one of the country’s most popular pay-TV channels.wrestling-ring

Such is the present popularity of the sport, that WWE will next year bring some of its biggest stars to Australia for a series of arena-based events in Melbourne, Sydney, and Perth. With pre-sale tickets already available, those fans devoted enough to travel from interstate should be sure to book a Sydney Hotel with plenty of time to spare. Otherwise, they risk missing out on some of the superstars of the sport, many of whom have names that are equally tough and tongue-in-cheek, like The Shield and Big Show.

These wrestling warriors are sure to bring the biff (plus the beef, the bulge, and the bulk) to the ring, making it a not-to-be-missed tour for the sport’s growing fan-base. It’s a shame that this time the WWE crew will be skipping cities like Brisbane and Adelaide, but devotees can always travel to witness the blood and gore, booking in at a facility like Hotel Urban Sydney to make sure they don’t miss a second of the action. Those that are particularly astute might even consider choosing somewhere close to the Royal North Shore Hospital, should anything go awry during a stoush. Crowd injuries are very unlikely, but you can bet that most professional wrestlers have visited a hospital or two in their time.

As wrestling continues to grow in popularity and lucrativeness around the world, only one warning is really necessary: don’t try this at home!