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On 5/11/2021 at 6:45 PM, Nostalgia Nonce said:

That's Hassan Farah. While Mo's famous as a long distance runner, he's a sprinter.

They're a mixed race family.

That is a sensational joke. I know it won't win POTY but it deserves its moment in the spotlight. 

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2 hours ago, Frankie Crisp said:

Oh, I don’t know where to start on this one. I’m completely incapable of going on a date without ending up a complete mess and/or making an absolute berk of myself. And I don’t mean endearing nervousness, I mean anxiety-fuelled, awkward idiocy. I just go to pieces and it’s now genuinely at the point where I’m given up even bothering, because it completely writes my confidence off for weeks. Getting a decent date out of me is as likely as beating the final boss on Takeshi’s Castle.

I saw this thread the other day and ever since, a number of memories have popped back into my head, all bringing varying levels of self-loathing. The first was bad – from around 2002/3 - but nothing compared to what came in the years to follow.

I met Helen in a bar and somehow made it through the evening well enough to get her number. We chatted for a few days then we arranged to go to the pictures to watch 8 Mile as she was an Eminem fan. This worked well in my head as sitting in silence for a couple of hours lessened the chances of me saying something stupid. We got there and after the informal chit-chat, we went to our seats and my nervousness calmed. A couple of trailers in, she whispered that she wished we got some popcorn. I gave it a few minutes then told her I had to go to the loo, but I instead I popped out to the forum and got a massive tub. That’ll score me some brownie points. As I went back in, the film was just starting so the lights were all the way down. We were sat on the third or fourth row, so I knew where she was, but I didn’t know that the girl sat just before us had left her bag on the floor. I tripped on it and the full tub of popcorn went all over Helen. She had long, long hair and spent the next two hours picking Butterkist out of it. We dated for 2 years and I’m amazed I got a cuddle out of it, let alone a relationship.

About 2 years ago, I went on a date with a girl I’d matched with on Bumble. It was a Sunday evening in late summer. I was pretty relaxed about it until about an hour before, at which point my arse went and I began catastrophising. We were meeting in a bar just up the road from where I live so I decided to get there a bit early, so I could get a table and settle in. It was the warmest boozer I’ve ever, ever been in. I had a light-coloured shirt on and within ten minutes, I was dripping with sweat. I mean post-marathon, visibly drenched. The more I worried what she’d think, the more I sweated. She dropped me a text to say she was about five mins away, so I ran downstairs to the loo to do what I could. There were no dryers so I unravelled as much toilet paper as I could, opened my shirt and tried to soak it up. It made no difference. After filling the entire bin with damp Andrex, I went back upstairs – she arrived a minute or so later. She looked at me. She would not be a good Poker player. Panicked, I told her I’d only just got there and, on my way, a taxi splashed me with a big puddle. Clearly one of those puddles that specifically lands under its victim’s armpits. After getting her a drink and an insanely awkward first ten minutes, my brain convinced me to come clean. I don’t know what I was thinking. She already knew. I knew she knew. She knew that I knew she knew. But no, my mouth took charge. I went full Partridge; not only did I tell her it was sweat, I went on to ramble about which deodorant I use and that I did indeed get a shower before I left. I could hear myself and just couldn’t stop. We had two drinks, she went home and I never heard from her again.

Another one – whilst not a date – was when I was trying my hardest to flirt with a really pretty girl in a club after I’d been to the races in the mid-2000s. I was fully suited and she was dressed to the nines, in a stunning backless number. We were chatting at close quarters as the music was blaring out and it was hard to hear her. When I noticed she was nearing the end of her drink, I asked if she’s like another. She said yes, but rather than what she was drinking she asked me if she could have a Guinness. No probs, I thought. My kind of girl. We were both with a friend, so I asked mine and hers if they wanted the same, then went to the bar and after a bit of a delay came back with the drinks. As I passed the girl I was chatting to her Guinness, a huge frown appeared on her face and it was evident that’s not at all what she wanted. Thinking on my feet, I continued to extend my arm to pass it to my mate who was stood just behind her, so she wouldn’t think I was so stupid as to think a girl would be on the dark stuff in a nightclub. At the worst possible moment, someone banged into me and the Guinness tipped all down her back. And I mean all down her back. She was covered and there was murder. Her mate gave me a smack and the bouncers came over, thinking I’d done it on purpose. I got carried out by the arms and legs, protesting like I’d been told I couldn’t see the kids anymore in court. I didn’t get her number. She wanted a WKD.

The night after I lost my virginity, the girl it was to, told me it was a one-off and she didn’t want to see me again. Devastated, I decided to drown my sorrows but a few hours later when she’d been out and hadn’t copped off, she rang to see if I wanted to go round for a second go at bad sex. I went there as quickly as I could, but was drunker than I thought. I threw up on her just as I was about to get going.

On a night out, a couple of older women started to chat me and my mate up in the queue for Flares on Mathew Street. When I say older, I’d have them at early 40s, but I was early 20s so it was all a bit Mrs. Robinson to us. After some horrendous one-liners, she asked me if I wanted to leave the club and go back to hers. I did, so we did. After a taxi over to the Wirral and a bit of bumpy kissing on the back seat, we arrived at hers and I knew my luck was in. She told me where the bedroom was and to go up, where she’d follow shortly after. On the way up I saw loads of family photos. Mostly of her kids, but a few with her fella. Who I hoped wad dead. Nope. When she joined me, she told me not to worry about her husband as he worked away so wouldn’t be bothering us. I completely froze when she tried to resume the heavy petting and wasn’t sure what to do. Her hands started to wander so I knew where it was going, and she said she was just going to freshen up and told me to get into bed. As soon as I heard the bathroom door shut, I put my shoes back on, re-buttoned my shirt and legged it downstairs to make my escape. I set the burglar alarm off and couldn’t open the front door. She bombed it down after me, frantically trying to reset the alarm code and hurled all kinds of abuse at me. She then opened the door to let me out, only for me to realise I didn’t have a sodding clue where I was. I had to sheepishly knock back on and ask her to ring me a taxi. It didn’t go down well.

One of the very worst first dates I recall though, was with a girl I’d liked for years and saw in the pub a lot, but never had the confidence to talk to. Apparently, the feeling was mutual so her mates conspired with my mates and got her to add me on Facebook. We immediately hit it off and seemed to click. We chatted for a week or so and I confidently asked her out, this time thinking I wouldn’t have the usual crippling fear when we met. We went out a few days later and I was absolutely fine! Until she arrived. Then I realised this was pub girl who I’d been smitten with for years. It all got a bit real and despite us talking about scores of topics on text, I completely froze. I couldn’t think of anything to talk about. She was a very shy girl, so she also didn’t take the lead. We just sat there, smiling at each other in crippling silence for a minute, but it felt like a lifetime. Come on, think of something to say! So, I did. I asked her how her Mum’s cancer treatment was going. It wasn’t going well, so she became even more uptight, offering no conversation. So I then, for whatever reason, just kept talking about cancer. What the worst types of cancer were. What the cancer survival rates were. Who I knew who had cancer. Still no engagement so I then started talking about who I knew who’d died from cancer. She started crying, went to the toilets and said she wanted to go home. All I could say was words to the effect of ‘I’m so sorry, but I don’t think your Mum will be one of the ones who dies of it you know’. She left and blocked me on Facebook before I got home.

Date me.


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51 minutes ago, BomberPat said:

I always had a soft spot for Regal as a rare (back then) bit of British representation in the WWF, and because by his own admission he always did all the stuck-up Englishmen act with enough of a nod and a wink to the UK audience to let us know that he was in on the joke - one of my favourites from him as Commissioner was putting down Tajiri, saying, "now now, stop all that bowing, we'll have no ethnic stereotypes in the WWF! Now fetch me my tea and crumpets", which was just a level of self-awareness rarely seen in the WWF - but it was around 2002/3 that I began to realise just what an ideal performer he was.

It might have been on Tough Enough or something like that, but one of his bits of advice to anyone wanting to get into the WWF was "think about the most embarrassing thing that could ever happen to you, and let them do it to you", because it showed complete commitment to playing a heel character that was prepared to get their comeuppance. He just 100% committed to everything, and had such a strong sense of his own character that even when he was pivoting from effete posh gent to violent, sadistic villain, it always felt consistent, never like you were watching him play two different roles. And during his rare babyface stints, when he dropped the comedy and got serious you knew it meant business.

He also has the rare thing of not really seeing himself as a top guy, nor pushing himself to be one. That meant that he was able to do stuff like the Kiss My Ass Club or drinking Chris Jericho's pissy tea without it undermining him, because no part of him was trying to be too cool for school about having to do it, but it also meant that - again, particularly as a babyface, he was capable of a kind of promo that pretty much no one else nails like he does. If you look at his promo where he stands up to Triple H over Eugene, or his promo before his final match against Cesaro, he basically says, "I know you're better than me, but I'm prepared to lose so long as I can get my hands on you". I can't think of anyone in WWE now who could do a promo acknowledging that his opponent is the better wrestler, but still come out of it with legitimacy and credibility intact, and having sold you on the match.

@BomberPaton William Regal in the 2001 thread.

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1 hour ago, scratchdj said:

There’s been a marked increase in the number of dog eggs around here, too.

Twice I caught the same bloke letting his Dalmatian drop a deuce on our front lawn on the security camera. So I printed off a screenshot, laminated it, cellotaped it to a stick and pierced it through the log for him to gawp at the next morning.

It seemed to make many chuckle as they walked past and the offending owner seemed genuinely bothered by it. Haven’t seen him or Dotty since.


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15 minutes ago, BomberPat said:

The difference between "ex-WWE guys" in AEW compared to TNA is that they don't feel like cast-offs in AEW - CM Punk, Bryan Danielson, Jon Moxley, Adam Cole, Andrade, PAC, even Paul Wight, they're all people who felt like they could have been WWE lifers but chose to come to AEW, and look like they're having the time of their lives being there. They're not TNA hiring everyone WWE releases, and the guys who show up aren't Rikishi showing up in TNA not even knowing the name of his opponent, they all want to be there.
And anyone claiming that they're over-using ex-WWE names isn't paying attention - there's a reason Darby Allin got a competitive match with CM Punk, there's a reason Jungle Boy was standing tall with Danielson and Christian at the end of the show; every "big name" they bring in has been used, one way or another, to elevate a younger, "homegrown" talent. There's a level of futureproofing that TNA or WCW never had, and WWE hasn't had in decades. 

It's also pretty much unavoidable to have "ex-WWE names" in a wrestling promotion when WWE spent the last twenty years as the only game in town, and most of the last decade signing up everyone who had ever laced a pair of boots.

But even then, looking on AEW's roster on their website, if I can get all stats about it, they have 109 people on their roster - and I'm including active managers in that, so Arn, Tully, Taz, Vickie Guerrero, and also including Paul Wight, Chavo Jr and Mark Henry, as they have win/loss records listed, so could conceivably wrestle at some point. Of that, 33 are "ex-WWE", if we ignore that guys like Luchasaurus, Kenny Omega and Brian Cage were on developmental deals way back when, or that people like Britt Baker did the Mae Young Classic. So already we're talking about less than a third of the roster being "ex-WWE".

Of that third, that's including people like Sting, Arn Anderson and Tully Blanchard, who most people wouldn't instantly think of as "WWE guys". Arguably even Matt Hardy, Chris Jericho, Dustin Rhodes, or Christian Cage would fall into a more recent subset of that, where they're just seen as "wrestling veterans" above and beyond being WWE guys first and foremost. It also includes the likes of Matt Sydal, Serena Deeb, Lance Archer, Trent, Frankie Kazarian and Colt Cabana, who were in WWE so long ago and/or so insignificantly that no one would ever think of them as "ex-WWE". It also includes 2.0, who barely made TV, and are already more of a big deal in AEW than they ever were in WWE.

It also includes the likes of CM Punk , Jon Moxley and Cody Rhodes, who have defined themselves so much by being out of WWE that to refer to them as "ex-WWE talent" first and foremost would be pretty disingenuous, and people like Miro who have made concerted efforts to reinvent themselves in AEW to the point that I don't really look at him and think "oh, it's Rusev off of WWE any more".


On top of that, not one match at All Out was all "ex-WWE talent", and the tag title and women's title matches had no ex-WWE talent at all (again, overlooking Britt in the MYC). I thought I'd look back to Double Or Nothing, and on that show the only match featuring all "ex-WWE" talent was Miro vs. Lance Archer, and I don't think anyone would consider Lance Archer's selling point to be that he had a cup of coffee in WWE that nobody remembers. There were two matches on that card (Hangman Page vs. Brian Cage, Britt Baker vs. Hikaru Shida) that featured no ex-WWE talent at all, and one where the only ex-WWE name is Sting who, again, no one thinks of as a "WWE guy".

I also looked at the main events of every episode of Dynamite and Rampage between Double or Nothing and All Out. Only two featured all ex-WWE talent - Jon Moxley vs. Lance Archer for the IWGP US Title, and Cody Rhodes vs. Malakai Black. In that same period (18 shows), there were 7 episodes of either Dynamite or Rampage where no one in the main event was an ex-WWE name.

This breakdown of the current AEW v WWE usage of wrestlers and signings is phenomenal.

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