A look at the Undiscovered Live Music Project 2019

The Undiscovered Live Music Project is a songwriting and performance competition that happens annually in Essex. Run by the Essex Music Development Agency, I’ve seen first hand how the Undiscovered Contest can help launch a music career.

The contest has run since 2009, and is split into bands and solo acts. The prize is 3 day’s recording time at Brentwood’s beloved youth club, The Hermit, a single release, and a music video. I’ve been following the project massively this year, attending all the heats as I took the crown as the Undiscovered Live Music Project’s Best Solo Act 2018, and so have had the privilege to play the heats across Essex this year as a guest act, as well as judging some of the band heats.

Harry Adams

My journey with Undiscovered began when I watched my favourite unsigned band, Dead Baby Birds, compete around 5 years ago, but I didn’t know fully what the project did. In 2017, I met a remarkable artist, Katy Forkings, who is the Undiscovered Best Solo Act 2017, and seeing how well she was doing post the contest, I applied.

I’m not sure how my 2018 would have gone without this contest. It has given me the chance to work with a band, including Dead Baby Birds’ Sam Laughlin and Tristan Embleton, who have now split. It’s also allowed me to network with musicians and I now have a guitarist, Nicole who also performed in Let’s Be Strange, a band who reached the final last year and who are competing in this year’s heats.

Nicole (Lets Be Strange)

I’ve released my debut EP ‘Anaphase’ on disc, and my debut single ‘Accessory’ with my next single, sponsored by undiscovered ‘Time’. I have attended most of the Undiscovered heats this year. I’m focusing on the Undiscovered Live Music Project Bands Final, which gained its last band on the line on Saturday 23rd February 2019.

Undiscovered travels across Essex to find its bands with heats in Chelmsford, Southend, Colchester, Basildon and for under 18s, Brentwood. I’ve been lucky to headline these nights as the Undiscovered Solo Winner 2018, and have also been asked to judge.

Our Undiscovered Live Music Project Band Final 2019 will be held at Colchester Arts Centre and will feature the following bands. The Waterfalls, from Southend, who raised the roof at their heat in the Chinnerys. An energised performance with a strong fan base gave them their ticket to the final. Rolled Up Sleeves, from the Basildon heat, create sophisticated rock music and have a stage presence I struggled to take my eyes away from. Unit 33, from Colchester’s Three Wise Monkeys, have a strong vocalist and rock arrangement behind them. Children of the Fuzz, took the last win for the final spot on Saturday 23rd February 2019. They’re a funky band with a strong rapport and image and I look forward to seeing them again in the final.

Finally, our wildcard this year is Vivacity, who also performed at the Southend Chinnerys heat. An indie and current band with a lead singer who plays an acoustic guitar, unlike the other bands in the final. I really enjoyed this band and have since listened to their recordings on Spotify which I found to be beautiful musically.

The Undiscovered Live Music Project’s Band Final will take place on Saturday 16th March at Colchester Arts Centre and the headlining guest act will be this year’s Undiscovered Live Music Project’s Solo Winner, my successor, Chameleon who I’m so proud of for gaining her title.

Chameleon

With this year’s competition still wide open, there is no saying who is going to be victorious this time around.

Buy Tickets To The Final HERE!

If you think you have what it takes to win, you can enter next year’s competition via the link below.

Click Here to Apply for 2020

 

Photo Credit: Freya Eirys Lees

WWE Survivor Series REVIEW

WWE’s 32nd Annual Survivor Series PPV came from the famous Staples Center in Los Angeles – The event was marred with last minute changes as a result of Becky Lynch’s injury on last week’s Raw and Daniel Bryan defeating AJ Styles to become new WWE Champion on SmackDown.

Here are the Results of the show, along with my predictions and my match rating out of 5:

KICK OFF

Tag Team 10 on 10 Traditional Survivor Series Elimination Match

Team Raw: Roode & Gable (Captains), The Ascension, The B Team, The Revival & Lucha House Party

vs.

Team SmackDown: The Uso’s (Captains), The New Day, The Colon’s, The Good Brothers & SaNiTy

The kick off show featured this 10 on 10 tag team match and was won by sole survivors The Uso’s

Winners: Team SmackDown

My Prediction: Team SmackDown

Rating: 2.5/5

The Main show kicked off with the 5 on 5 Women’s match:

Side Note: During the kick off show a fight broke out between Natalya and Ruby Riott, leading to captain Alexa Bliss removing them both from the team and replacing them with Sasha Banks & Bayley. On the blue side, speculation was rife as to whom would replace Charlotte Flair, with some even speculating it could be Paige. It turned out it was Paige’s former Absolution team mate – Mandy Rose.

Women’s 5 on 5 Traditional Survivor Series Elimination Match

Team Raw: Mickie James, Nia Jax, Tamina, Bayley, Sasha Banks (Captain: Alexa Bliss)

vs.

Team SmackDown: Asuka, Carmella, Sonya Deville, Mandy Rose & Naomi

It was clear from the off that the crowd were pro SmackDown in this one, and due to the incident on Raw this past Monday, the crowd were insanely booing Nia Jax. This worked in Nia’s favour though as she went on to be the sole survivor in this match and pick up the W for team Red to make it 1-0 on the main show.

Winners: Team Raw

My Prediction: Team SmackDown

Match Rating: 2.5/5

 

Intercontinental Champion vs United States Champion

Seth Rollins (Intercontinental Champion) vs. Shinsuke Nakamura (United States Champion)

I had Nakamura to win this match due to some shenanigans from a certain lunatic, but luckily we were met with a great contest between two champions. Ultimately the IC champ overcame the US champ to put another victory into the column of Raw.

It was announced after that at TLCSeth Rollins would defend the Intercontinental Championship against Dean Ambrose

Winner: Seth Rollins

My Prediction: Nakamura

Match Rating: 3.5/5

 

Tag Champions vs Tag Champions

AOP w/ Drake Maverick (Raw Tag Team Champions) vs. The Bar w/ The Big Show (SmackDown Tag Team Champions)

Solid, decent, hard hitting contest between the WWEs Tag Team Champions. A certain ex WWE star decided to try and hijack the show from ringside, and this was a fairly underwhelming match in all honesty, until the last few minutes in which Drake Maverick broke up a pinfall and got choked on the apron by Big Show causing him to piss himeslf, this was enough to cause a distraction to The Bar, leading to AOP hitting their finisher for the win.

Winners: AOP

My Prediction: The Bar

Match Rating: 2/5

 

Cruiserweight Championship

Buddy Murphy (C) vs. Mustafa Ali

Yet another fantastic match between two cruiserweights, I’m glad this was given some time, and not just a two minute throwaway match, this was a decent contest and was won by Buddy Murphy.

Winner: Buddy Murphy

My Prediction: Buddy Murphy

Match Rating: 3/5

 

Men’s 5 on 5 Traditional Survivor Series Elimination Match

Team Raw: Braun Strowman, Dolph Ziggler, Finn Balor, Bobby Lashley & Drew McIntyre (Baron Corbin captain)

vs.

Team SmackDown: The Miz (capt.), Shane McMahon, Samoa Joe, Jeff Hardy & Rey Mysterio

The match ended with the three big men, Strowman, Lashley and McIntyre for Raw against Shane McMahon, but unfortunately for ‘The Best In The World,’ he could not overcome this huge obstacle and much like last year, Braun Strowman was standing tall.

Braun then got attacked from behind by Captain Baron Corbin, as Strowman now will have the opportunity to face Corbin and Lesnar on his terms.

Winners: Team Raw

My Prediction: Team Raw

Match Rating: 3/5

 

Ronda Rousey (Raw Women’s Champion) vs. Charlotte Flair

I predicted that this match would have some kind of screwy finish, possibly including Becky Lynch, but I don’t think anyone was prepared for what would ensue at the end of this match, and the nature of the victory, a fully fledged Charlotte Flair heel turn, where she absolutely anihilated Ronda with kendo sticks, chairs, steel steps etc. Ronda is one tough lady, but you have to say with Nia Jax next in line for a Women’s Title match, could Ronda’s days with the belt be numbered?

Winner: Ronda Rousey (Via DQ)

My Prediction: Charlotte

Match Rating: 4.5/5

 

Champion vs. Champion

Brock Lesnar (Universal Champion) vs. Daniel Bryan (WWE Champion)

This was originally scheduled to be the rematch between Lesnar and AJ Styles, and much to everyones surprise, Daniel Bryan defeated AJ Styles on SmackDown to become new WWE Champion, this match looked to be a forgone conclusion when Brock dominated early on; However, after senior official, Mike Chioda, got knocked down, Bryan hit a low blow to get some advantage back into his favour, and this got him back in the match and made you believe that he would again triumph in the David vs. Goliath scenario. However, this was not to be, and Brock ended up winning this match, with more of a challenge than I think he anticipated.

Winner: Brock Lesnar

My Prediction: Brock Lesnar

Match Rating: 4/5

 

Overall, I think that some of the results, and a clean sweep 6-0 victory for Raw was very stupidly booked, I thought the last two matches took this from being an okay show to a good show. Brock has had two of his best WWE matches at the last two Survivor Series PPV’s, and unsurprisingly really considering he faced AJ and Bryan, the lack of acknowledgment of SmackDown winning the Pre-Show match was silly, and as much as I was looking forward to Becky vs. RondaCharlotte did a fantastic job, and kudos to WWE for the booking of the last hour of this show.

WWE Survivor Series Predictions

WWE Survivor Series is the annual extravaganza from WWE which pits Raw and SmackDown Superstars against each other.

This year Survivor Series is coming love from The Staples Center in Los Angeles, CA on Sunday 18th November 2018.

 

Tag Team 10 on 10 Traditional Survivor Series Match (PRE-SHOW)

Team Raw: Bobby Roode & Chad Gable (Capt.), The B Team, Lucha House Party, The Ascension & The Revival

vs.

Team SmackDown: The Uso’s (Capt.), The New Day, SAnitY, The Colon’s & The Good Brothers

The Raw side of things seems pretty poor here, and the sheer firepower that SmackDown will have in the Tag Team division I think will pay dividends here. I believe that Team Blue will pick up the victory in this one.

Prediction: TEAM SMACKDOWN

 

WWE Cruiserweight Championship

Buddy Murphy (C) vs. Mustapha Ali

The battle for 205 Live supremacy intensifies, the wonder from Down Under – Buddy Murphy battles with Mustapha Ali with his Cruiserweight Championship up for grabs. The Brisbane native will look to build on his fantastic end to 2018, and look to head out of Los Angeles with his championship in tact.

Prediction: BUDDY MURPHY

 

Intercontinental Champion vs. US Champion

Seth Rollins vs. Shinsuke Nakamura

My opinion here is that Dean Ambrose may well get involved here to cost his previous Shield brother Seth Rollins this match. Therefore, I am going with Nakamura

Prediction: SHINSUKE NAKAMURA

 

Women’s 5 on 5 Traditional Survivor Series Match

Team Raw: Nia Jax, Mickie James, Tamina, Natalya & Ruby Riott (with Captain – Alexa Bliss)

vs.

Team SmackDown: Carmella, Naomi, Sonya Deville, Asuka & ???

There could well be some big egos in this match, and while it would be hard to look past Asuka who was 2017’s soul survivor, I believe this could well come down to Asuka and Ruby Riott, and I believe that she could well become victorious again!

 Prediction: TEAM SMACKDOWN

 

Raw Tag Team Champions vs. SmackDown Tag Team Champions

Champion vs. Champion

AOP vs. The Bar

With AOP recently winning the Tag Titles over The Shield on Raw, it seemed like a bit of an after thought, they have been on a decent run since being back in the picture in the tag division, but I believe that The Bar will have enough to win in this one.

Prediction: THE BAR

 

Men’s 5 on 5 Traditional Survivor Series Match

Team Raw: Braun Strowman, Drew McIntyre, Dolph Ziggler, Finn Bálor &  Bobby Lashley (with Captain – Baron Corbin)

vs.

Team SmackDown: The Miz (Capt.), Jeff Hardy, Shane McMahon, Rey Mysterio & Samoa Joe

I can see Strowman becoming a one man wrecking machine in this match, and it could well come down to him and Samoa Joe, I reckon that the big man from Raw will get the victory in this one.

Prediction: TEAM RAW

 

Raw vs SmackDown 

Ronda Rousey (Raw Women’s Champion) vs. Charlotte Flair

This was due to be Rousey vs. Becky Lynch, however, due to Lynch sustaining a concussion, broken nose and black eye on the go-home episode of Raw, WWE doctors have not cleared her to compete in this match, as we saw on SmackDown, Charlotte Flair will take her place representing Team Blue, in a match that many predicted could headline WrestleMania, we are in fact getting it at the second biggest WWE PPV. I predict a Charlotte screwy victory here. Possibly with the help of Becky.

Prediction: CHARLOTTE FLAIR

 

WWE Champion vs. Universal Champion

Daniel Bryan vs. Brock Lesnar

Leading into Brock’s potential UFC return, I can’t see WWE’s booking team letting Bryan get much offence in during this contest. I feel like Brock will go over fairly quickly.

Prediction: BROCK LESNAR

 

With many last minute changes here due to Raw and SmackDown events, I believe that SmackDown will come out on top in this event.

WWE Crown Jewel : REVIEW

Warning: This Post Contains Spoilers

 

 

WWE hosted their Crown Jewel PPV live on 2nd November 2018; Here are the results:

The Pre-Show kicked off with Shinsuke Nakamura successfully defended his US Championship against Rusev, in a non-advertised match. Hence there being no prediction for this match.

The main show kicked off with guest host Hulk Hogan making his return to WWE.

 

MATCH ONE:

World Cup Quarter Final

Rey Mysterio vs. Randy Orton

Quick match won by Mysterio with a Roll Up. Orton attacked Rey after the match and slammed him into the announce table.

Winner: Rey Mysterio

My Prediction: Rey Mysterio

Score: 1-0

Match Rating: 1.5/5

 

MATCH TWO:

World Cup Quarter Final

Jeff Hardy vs. The Miz

The staple of this show, an average match on this tournament. Miz won to advance with a Skull Crushing Finale.

Winner: The Miz

My Prediction: The Miz

Score: 2-0

Match Rating: 1.5/5

 

MATCH THREE:

World Cup Quarter Final

Seth Rollins vs. Bobby Lashley 

Another very average match, nothing special, Seth won the match with The Stomp.

Winner: Seth Rollins

My Prediction: Seth Rollins

Score 3-0

Match Rating: 1.5/5

 

MATCH FOUR:

World Cup Quarter Final 

Kurt Angle vs. Dolph Ziggler

This was the first surprise for me, I had Kurt down to win the whole thing, I think it was rather a disappointment to have Kurt come back to in ring action for a few minutes. Ziggler got the 3 off a Zig-Zag.

Winner: Dolph Ziggler

My Prediction: Kurt Angle

Score: 3-1

Match Rating 2/5

 

MATCH FIVE:

Smackdown Tag Team Championships

The Bar (C) vs. The New Day

Kofi Kingston and Big E were representing The New Day in this match, which was won by The Bar after Big Show punched Big E in the face, allowing Sheamus to hit the Brogue Kick to win.

Winners: The Bar

My Prediction: The Bar

Score: 4-1

Match Rating: 2/5

 

MATCH SIX:

World Cup Semi Final

Rey Mysterio vs. The Miz

I predicted Miz to go all the way in this tournament to the final, and so he did, getting his knees up into the ribs of Rey, who attemped the Frog Splash in memory of his good friend Eddie Guerrero, Miz followed up with the Skull Crushing Finale to advance.

Winner: The Miz

My Prediction: The Miz

Score: 5-1

Match Rating: 2/5

 

MATCH SEVEN:

World Cup Semi Final

Dolph Ziggler vs. Seth Rollins

I had initially picked Kurt Angle to advance, and go all the way. But I do think that if he got eliminated then Seth should have gone all the way. Ziggler won with a Superkick.

Winner: Dolph Ziggler

My Prediction: Kurt Angle 

Score: 5-2

Match Rating: 2/5

 

MATCH EIGHT:

WWE Championship

AJ Styles (C) vs. Samoa Joe

Probably the best match of a bad bunch, AJ and Joe was always going to be a solid match, and a few decent spots in this one, AJ focussed on Joe’s knee and ended up winning the match with the Phenomenal Forearm.

Winner: AJ Styles

My Prediction: AJ Styles

Score: 6-2

Match Rating: 3/5

 

MATCH NINE:

Universal Title

Brock Lesnar vs. Braun Strowman

Baron Corbin was at ringside to hold the title aloft, and preceded to hit Strowman in the back of the head, it then took Lesnar 5 F5’s to win this match, including one out of the ring, almost causing a count out. In my opinion, a stupid result, and making the championship again, seem like a joke!

Winner: Brock Lesnar (New Champion)

My Prediction: Braun Strowman

Score: 6-3

Match Rating: 0.5/5

 

MATCH TEN:

Final of The World Cup Tournament: To Determine The Best In The World

The Miz vs. Dolph Ziggler

So, the result that no one saw coming; The Miz had an angle where he jumped out of the ring, and got ‘injured’ and therefore couldn’t continue the match. It looked like it would be called off, until Smackdown Live Commissioner, Shane McMahon inserted himself in the match in place of Miz, and ended up beating Ziggler with a Coast to Coast to become The Best in The World

Winner: Shane McMahon 

My Prediction: Kurt Angle

Score: 6-4

Match Rating: 2.5/5

 

MATCH ELEVEN:

First Time Ever

D-Generation X vs. The Brothers of Destruction

A match which would have been incredible many years ago, sadly had more mistakes and errors than good moments. Triple H unfortunately suffered a torn pectoral muscle injury, Kane’s mask fell off, and HBK face-planted the floor. Triple H hit the Pedigree and HBK hit two Sweet Chin Music’s on Kane to get the victory.

Winners: DX

My Prediction: DX

Score: 7-4

Match Rating: 2/5

 

 

I think WWE did the best with the hand they were dealt with the controversy surrounding Saudi Arabia as well as John Cena and Daniel Bryan pulling out of the event, there is also the sadness surrounding Roman Reigns’ illness, throwing the Universal Title picture into turmoil. I think WWE could have handled this PPV a bit better, and some of the results of the matches were very baffling.

Overall Score: 1.5/5

WWE Crown Jewel PREDICTIONS

WWE Crown Jewel Predictions

Crown Jewel is the controversial second WWE event coming from Saudi Arabia, this event will take place this Friday (2nd November) from The King Saud University Stadium in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. Here I look at each match and give my thoughts on what will go down at this event.

 

WWE World Cup Tournament – To determine the best in the world

Quarter Final 1

Bobby Lashley (USA) vs. Seth Rollins (USA)

As the current Intercontinental and Tag Team Champion – I believe Rollins will come out on top in this match and lead to an awesome Semi-Final match up with Kurt Angle. There will undoubtedly be the influence of Lio Rush at ringside for ‘His Man’ Bobby Lashley, the replacement for John Cena, who refused to take part in the event with it still being held in Saudi Arabia, however, I believe The Architect will be able to ‘Burn It Down’ and come out of this victorious.

Dan’s Prediction: SETH ROLLINS

 

Quarter Final 2

Kurt Angle (USA) vs. Dolph Ziggler (USA)

I feel that McIntyre could well cost Ziggler in this match, and the lack of Baron Corbin on this show is also a slight mystery. Don’t be surprised to see at least one of the two interfere in this match, which I ultimately believe will be won by Kurt Angle.

Dan’s Prediction: KURT ANGLE

 

Quarter Final 3

Jeff Hardy (USA) vs. The Miz (USA)

The Charismatic Enigma has blown hot and cold since his return from injury, and his feuds with both Randy Orton and Shinsuke Nakamura have been well documented and somewhat well recieved by the WWE Universe. However, I don’t feel like Jeff will have enough here, and I can see a sneaky victory for The Miz and him advancing to set up a Semi-Final match with his new nemesis Rey Mysterio.

Dan’s Prediction: THE MIZ

 

Quarter Final 4

Randy Orton (USA) vs. Rey Mysterio (USA/Mexico)

Rey Mysterio’s return to WWE at SmackDown 1000 was a refreshing moment, he still looks in as good shape as he always has done and despite this new vicious streak from The Viper, I feel that Rey will pull the win out of the bag in this one and go on to face The Miz in the Semi’s.

Dan’s Prediction: REY MYSTERIO

 

Semi Final 1 (Going on My Predictions)

Seth Rollins vs. Kurt Angle

Another first time ever dream match for both Angle and Rollins, this is one which has the potential to steal the show, and I think the wily old veterean Kurt Angle will have just enough to beat Rollins, potentially with the unwanted help of Dean Ambrose.

Dan’s Prediction: KURT ANGLE

 

Semi Final 2 (Going on My Predictions)

The Miz vs. Rey Mysterio

The Miz and Mysterio have been at each others throats now since the segment on Miz TV last week, and this could well be the next chapter in that recently started rivalry. We all know that The Miz, more often than not will find a way to win and bend the rules to his advantage, and I can see him being victorious in this match up against The Master of the 619.

Dan’s Prediction: THE MIZ

 

Final (Going on My Predictions)

Kurt Angle vs. The Miz

It is my belief that this tournament was set up to insert Kurt Angle back into WWE as a credible player, and a good showing in three matches here I feel will culminate in the 1996 Olympic gold medalist (which he won with a broken freakin’ neck) becoming ‘The Best In The World’. This tournament should have been around years ago and would have been the perfect end to Chris Jericho vs. CM Punk. But we have it now, and I believe that The World Cup will be won by Kurt Angle.

Dan’s Prediction: KURT ANGLE

 

Smackdown Live Tag Team Championships

The Bar vs. The New Day

The New Day always have the advantage using their Freebird Rule, and not knowing which two members are going to be in each match can often be an excuse used in storylines. However, this time The Bar have a third member of their own, and not only a third member but The World’s Largest Athlete, The Big Show, in their corner. Show could well be the ace in the hole that The Bar need to keep hold of their championships, and I believe that he will indeed be the difference in this match and help the champions retain their belts.

Dan’s Prediction: THE BAR

 

First Time Ever

D-Generation X vs. The Brothers of Destruction

The match which some people are saying will close the show, and will most likely go very VERY long. This is a match for the ages which I for one am surprised didn’t happen sooner. It is the return of my idol; HBK! I have said for years that he can still go, and I think he will prove that he is still every bit as good as he has always been. I believe that Kane will work a great deal of this match for BoD and can see this match ending with Kane taking the fall to protect ‘Taker and make him look strong for the ineveitable rematch with Shawn Michaels.

Dan’s Prediction: D-Generation X

 

WWE Championship

AJ Styles (c) vs. Samoa Joe

This match was initially meant to be AJ Styles defending against Daniel Bryan, but due to the well documented issues within Saudi Arabia, Bryan, like John Cena, has refused to travel to Saudi Arabia for this event. Therefore Samoa Joe will be taking his place and getting himself a WWE Championship opportunity, but can he capitalise on Bryan not going? I don’t think he can, I believe that Styles will have enough and will win this match against his arch nemesis.

Dan’s Prediction: AJ STYLES

 

WWE Universal Championship

Brock Lesnar vs. Braun Strowman

Following the heartbreaking announcement last week that Roman Reigns is battling Leukemia for the second time, WWE officials made the call to make this match a One on One singles match. It is my belief that Roman would have come out of this with his championship in tact, but with the events of the past couple of weeks, plans have had to be re-written and I believe that this is the time to put the belt on The Monster Among Men. I don’t think that WWE will put the title on Lesnar again at this stage, but as with WWE, nothing is ever straight forward. Don’t be surprised to see a Drew McIntyre interference in this match, possibly to help Braun win the title, then insert himself as the #1 Contender for said title.

Dan’s Prediction: BRAUN STROWMAN (New Champ)

RETROspect: WrestleMania 23 – My Experience

Ten Years ago, I graced the streets of Detroit, Michigan as WrestleMania 23 came to town. It was the first time I’d ever been abroad without my family, and also, the furthest I’d ever travelled, I was 18 at the time, and it was an incredible experience, albeit a short one.

We didn’t get too see much of Detroit, just a few bits around town, such as The Ford Plant, The Ford Field, Comercia Park and The Fox Theater. This was before the days that Raw emulated from the same city as ‘Mania, that Raw was in Dayton, OH, as opposed to the Joe Louis Arena in Detroit.

P3310755We arrived on the day of The Hall of Fame ceremony, where I witnessed the inductions of:

The American Dream’ Dusty Rhodes, who sadly is no longer with us, inducted by Cody and Dustin

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‘Mr Perfect’ Curt Hennig, the posthumous inductee, inducted by Wade Boggs he was represented by his wife Leonice, his four children, his mother and his father the legendary Larry ‘The Ax’ Hennig

Jerry ‘The King’ Lawler who was inducted by William Shatner.

‘Good Ol’ JR’ Jim Ross inducted by Stone Cold Steve Austin, quite possibly the loudest cheer of the night.

Nick Bockwinkel, another who is sadly no longer with us who was inducted by Bobby ‘The Brain’ Heenan

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Mr Fuji, who passed away recently, in August 2016, inducted by Don Muraco

The Sheik who was inducted by Sabu and Rob Van Dam.

The ceremony took place at The Fox Theatre, a smaller venue than the arenas they use nowadays, it was one of those amazing experiences which was also quite emotional, hearing some of the stories, and seeing some of the amazing legends take their rightful place in the Hall of Fame.

We arrived at The Ford Field having met Teddy Long  and Nunzio earlier in the day wandering around the local mall.

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We settled into our seats, in awe of the sheer size of the venue and with over 80,000 fans in attendance to witness the spectacular.

This year there was only one pre-show match which featured a number of superstars in the role of Lumberjacks. The Match itself featured Ric Flair & Carlito defeating the team of Gregory Helms & Chavo Guerrero.

Aretha Franklin then greeted the audience to a rendition of ‘America The Beautiful’ and it was time to kick off the show. We kicked off with a high impact Money In The Bank ladder match, which featured CM PunkRandy Orton, Mr Kennedy, EdgeFinlayMatt HardyKing Booker and Jeff Hardy. Heading into this match, Edge had never been beaten at WrestleMania, and this proved his undoing, as Mr Kennedy went on to win the match, only to be defeated a month later by Edge to lose the briefcase, who subsequently cashed in just four days later against The Undertaker, to win his first ever World Heavyweight Championship. Much like when he cashed in Money in The Bank to win his first ever WWE Championship a year and a half previously having won the first ever Money In The Bank Ladder Match at WrestleMania 21. This was a great high intense match which I was pumped for, and it didn’t disappoint. The spot where Edge went through the ladder was immense!

This match was followed up by a quick Kane vs Great Khali match, which the audience seemed very disinterested in, which was won by Khali. We then got to witness for the final ever time at Wrestlemania, ‘The Rabid Wolverine Chris Benoit, who successfully defended the United States Championship in a very good match against MVP.

The only man to ever appear at every single WrestleMania, Howard Finkel then introduced us to the Hall of Fame class of 2007.

It was then time for the first ‘Main event’ of the night, as Royal Rumble winner The Undertaker took on World Heavyweight Champion, Batista in a great match, both men countering and kicking out of each others finishers. The highlight for me was the running powerslam from Batista to Undertaker on the announce tables. Taker eventually won the match and made more history by not only defending The Streak, but by actually becoming the first ever superstar to win both the WWE Championship and World Heavyweight Championships as a challenger at WrestleMania.

We then had a filler match in the form of an eight man tag team match, featuring ECW Originals (RVD, Tommy Dreamer, Sabu & Sandman) facing off against ECW‘s New Breed (Elijah Burke, Marcus Cor Von, Matt Striker & Kevin Thorn) who were accompanied by Ariel. The match was a decent match overall, and was won via a Five Star Frog Splash from RVD.

Then came my now claim to fame… The match where I got to see now US President Donald Trump receive a Stone Cold Stunner LIVE! This was the match labelled The Battle of The Billionaires match, where a representative for Vince McMahon, (Intercontinental ChampionUmaga) took on a representative for Donald Trump (ECW ChampionBobby Lashley.) Whoever’s representative lost the match had to have his head shaved bald in the middle of the ring.

This was a match which had been hugely hyped, and it was a decent match, with the prospect of one of the billionaires going bald, it was one I was looking forward to.

To keep order in the match they appointed a man with exactly that haircut – Stone Cold Steve Austin to officiate the match, which was subsequently won by Bobby Lashley. Meaning that Mr. McMahon got his head shaved bald, the next month Mr. McMahon got revenge by beating Lashley (in a 3 on 1 handicap match) to capture the ECW Title.

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We then had the match, which sadly, a lot of people decided was going to be where they took their drinks breaks before the main event. The shortest match of the night was the Women’s Championship Lumberjill match between Women’s Champion, Melina and 2007’s Playboy covergirl, Ashley Massaro. It was a match in which Melina won to retain in just over 3 minutes.

We then sit in anticipation for the moment I had been waiting for. The chance to get to see my idol ‘The Heartbreak Kid’ Shawn Michaels compete live! And boy, did he compete!

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The Main Event of the evening was actually a match between the World Tag Team Champions, both facing off against each other for the WWE Title, held by John Cena. The match had the inevitable ‘Lets Go Cena… Cena Sucks’ chants. As well as some huge pops for HBK. The match was a fantastic match and went back and forward throughout, it included HBK delivering a Piledriver on Cena through steps, both men hit and missed finishers, eventually HBK would tap out to the STFU meaning Cena retained the title.

I wasn’t too happy about it, as I would have loved to see my idol leave the biggest show with the championship. But I guess back then I didn’t appreciate as much as I should have how great this match was. It shows that John Cena has been nicknamed ‘Big Match John’ for a reason. He definitely stepped up on the biggest stage of all, and pulled off a great match with the greatest WWE Superstar of all Time… Mr WrestleMania, The Showstopper, The Main Event, The Icon, The Heartbreak Kid, and now ‘Mr Hall of Fame’ Shawn Michaels.

As our time in Detroit came to an end, we gathered together our memories of a great trip and experience. Unfortunately I’ve not had the opportunity to sample WrestleMania live again, but would love to do so one day, hopefully in the not too distant future… Hopefully at Wembley Stadium! (Take note WWE.)

Until next time, enjoy WrestleMania 33, and don’t forget to subscribe to, and listen to The Talk & Beans Podcast where the boys talk about the results of WM33!

VIDEO: Alien Ant Farm Interview w/Rebellious Noise

Scott sits down with Terry and Dryden of Alien Ant Farm in London. We talk about Michael Jackson’s opinion of the bands “Smooth Criminal” video, Halloween costumes & parties, the legacy of their album ANThology and the guys discuss who they would have replace them in the band if they couldn’t make a show.

This interview was recorded on Halloween 2016. Apologies for the late post due to technical difficulties.

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bandmerchad


REVIEW: Doyle + Generation Graveyard + The Dead XIII – The Underworld, London (06/02/17)

This was a show I had been looking forward to since it was announced. Doyle Wolfgang Von Frankenstein finally touring the UK. I always wanted to see Misfits live but due to them breaking up before I was old enough, missed out. Worth the wait.

First up were openers The Dead XIII. Coming onstage with full make up on each member, I thought I was about to witness a black metal band but when they started playing opener “Frost Bite”, I found myself happily nodding along to a great mixture of electro/metal. Energetic onstage, they got the growing crowd going and shouting along (whether we knew the words or not). Personal favourite was the track “XIII”. Definitely worth checking out again. Their album “Catacombs” is available now.

Next, Generation Graveyard. Briefly battling technical issues, they came out strong. Their politically charged death punk is like a swift punch to the face compared to a lot of music out there. Really getting the crowd moving and singing along they put on a fantastic, energetic set. The intensity and energy they brought to the stage was eagerly reciprocated by an ever-growing crowd as they blasted through each song from the set, never slowing the aural assault. Fantastic set from a great bunch of guys. Their EP “Lonewolves” is available now.

20170206_212914 (2)Finally, the band we’d all been waiting for. From the opening howl of “Abominator” to the close of “Hope Hell Is Warm”, this band was on fire. A full hour set filled with tracks from their current album, interlaced with classic Misfits tracks. Doyle looked monstrous, stomping the stage in full beast mode and beating the hell of his signature guitar, not missing a beat. Match that with the extremely energetic and impressive vocals of AlexWolfman Story, you have an impressive combination.

A set that just couldn’t disappoint, they tore through each song with force and a quick intro in the form of the words “This is a love song, you can dance to it if you’re so inclined” from the Wolfman.

I was completely blown away by the performance and can’t wait till they come back. Personal favourites were “Valley Of Shadows” and “Drawing Down The Moon”. The Album “Abominator” is out now.


 

bandmerchad

REVIEW: Avenged Sevenfold – The O2 Arena, London, (21/01/17)

BEST GIG EVER! That is the only way I can describe how incredible Avenged Sevenfold  were. Absolutely flawless from the first note of The Stage to the final note of Unholy Confessions. They spanned all 17 years as a band as they played hits from all of their albums, Sounding The Seventh Trumpet, Waking The Fallen, City of Evil, Avenged Sevenfold, Nightmare, Hail To The King and The Stage. They took the entire crowd, of 17,000 strong on a visual journey with their new CGI graphics, and in the form of a floating cube above the stage. New drummer Brooks Wackerman was that good, you would have thought The Rev was sitting back behind the kit.

The night started with me being ill in bed, and dragging myself up and out of the house unfortunately we missed InFlames but I hear they were great! We arrived in time to catch the last 30 minutes of Disturbed who were absolutely incredible! David Draiman had the audience in the palm of his hand, and his near perfect vocals sounded absolutely beautiful, Damn, that man can sing! The audience went nuts for Stricken and then for their final hit  Down With The Sickness. I would definitely go back to seeing them again.

Then come the band the entire crowd waited for. Avenged Sevenfold, a band I’ve been lucky enough to see now on three occasions. I think this may have been the best of the lot though. An incredible performance, from an incredible band. They are quickly showing why they are going to be one of those bands who stand the test of time, I, for one, hope this band stick around for a very long time, and don’t think it will be long before they’re playing Stadium shows.

Thank you A7X  for an amazing night, M Shadows, Johnny Christ, Synyster Gates, Zacky Vengeance and Brooks Wackerman you all did Jimmy proud tonight!

Until next time!

Enter Shikari to headline Slam Dunk Festival

Enter Shikari have today been confirmed as the headliners for Slam Dunk Festival 2017, where they will be celebrating the ten-year anniversary of their landmark debut album Take To The Skies.

The festival will be showing signs of it’s continual growth as it has done in previous years and now in it’s 11th year with bigger venues as the multi locational festival will take place in Birmingham at the NEC on May 27th, Leeds at the First Direct Arena on May 28th, and Hatfield at The Forum on May 29th.

After unveiling their surprise new single Hoodwinker last month, the band said they are starting work on what they say will be a ‘new era’ and their ‘best album yet.’ whilst celebrating their first major breakout album with these special festival dates. The band have DJ’d Slam Dunk twice, and frontman Rou Reynolds said that it will be amazing to finally play it properly.

This is the first time the band are ever playing the festival, and festival director Ben Ray said that he is happy to welcome the band, and that it’s great to have another headliner from the UK, which shows how well British Rock music is doing.

Slam Dunk Festival 2017 is already shaping up to be a big one and certainly one that you do not want to miss, taking place across multiple venues throughout May. Tickets are on sale from 9am on Friday 11th November here.