Louis Theroux [BRITISH NATIONAL TREASURES]

This feature has nothing to do with a blind, xenophobic patriotism.  My wish to highlight the best of my country comes not from a posturing of our superiority.  Such divisions have no place in an evolving world, despite current world leaders having no grasp of that.  Instead, I thought it healthy and helpful to magnify the finest examples of my geographical kin.  After all, it’s not my place to discuss cultures of which I have very little knowledge.  Every town, city, country and land boasts its own cultural pillars, but Louis Theroux is one of the first that comes to mind when it comes to British exports; at least for me.…   [continue reading]

25 Years of Reeves and Mortimer [REPORT]

Hear the writers discuss this subject on the Secret Cave Podcast!

I’ve already written about Vic Reeves and Bob Mortimer here, but this is a little different.  After 25 years of a highly-influential career, the two British madmen are touring the country – for what appears to be one last time.  As a fan of their work for almost as long as their inception, it was quite something to see a performance.  Far older than the sprightly, young fellows we once knew, I couldn’t help some trepidation.  Indeed, much of their oeuvre relies on the physical; the long and demented slapstick synonymous with their act.  …   [continue reading]

The Trap Door

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Somewhere in the dark and nasty regions, where nobody goes, stands an ancient castle. Deep within this dank and uninviting place lives Berk, overworked servant of “the thing upstairs”.  But that’s nothing compared to the horrors that lurk beneath the trap door, for there is always something down there, in the dark, waiting to come out…

There are some things from our childhoods that just stick with us.  The majority of things are simply forgotten about; nothing more than fleeting and colourful distractions for various Sunday mornings.  Other things are remembered well, but for all the wrong reasons.  …   [continue reading]

Hyperreality and Suspended Disbelief in Wrestling

“AS GOD AS MY WITNESS, HE IS BROKEN IN HALF.”

Mankind plummets 16ft into an announce table from the top of a cell, and Jim Ross — genuinely fearing for Mankind’s life — reacts with the same conviction he would if he knew there was no threat at all.

The greatest wrestling personalities are the greatest actors, athletes and public speakers. They’re the ones who create the hyperreality of wrestling, and allow us slip in and out of the state of suspended disbelief.

Despite the WWE’s best efforts in the past, there’s no way you’re still unaware that wrestling is scripted.…   [continue reading]

Why Is The Undertaker So Important?

Hear the writers discuss this subject on the Secret Cave Podcast!

As the Phenom, the Dead Man and a clearly Big Evil, The Undertaker has been the stuff of legends from his very beginnings.  It’s not even something many people have questioned or considered.  The Undertaker is absolutely brilliant and it’s as simple as that.  The closest anyone will get is smarks dissecting his in-ring limitations, while openly accepting his undeniable quality.  I would find it utterly impossible to understand any argument that paints him as less than iconic.  A true deity in the world of sports entertainment, his long and decorated career is absolutely one of the most important things in the industry.  …   [continue reading]

Well, You Know Something, Mean Gene…

Backstage at Wrestlemania 48, Hulk’s eyes are popping out of his face as he spasmodically lurches into the camera.

Reeling back, Gene Okerlund opens his mouth ready to speak, Hogan grabs the mic.

“WELL, YOU KNOW SOMETHING, MEAN GENE…”, flicking into a dead eyed flex, whipping his arms around, cupping his ear to an empty room, cocaine head vibrating.

“All my little Hulkamaniacs been training, saying their prayers, eating their vitamins, being true to themselves and true to their country. They’re real Americans, brother. And the first thing I want to do for my Hulkamaniacs is to look them in the eye and—”

Plastic scowl snaps into thousand-yard stare.…   [continue reading]

Bird-of-the-Week

Hear Lee and Ben B. discuss this subject on the Secret Cave Podcast!

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James T. Kirk, captain of the USS Enterprise for a long tenure of live-action, animated and film series, is often remembered for a somewhat perverted propensity towards womanising.  While he remains beloved for his particular brand of cowboy diplomacy, and the thrilling adventures they would take you on, it’s something that’s always undermined him and left him stuck in the sixties with other anachronisms.  Where does this perspective even come from?  Is it really something that undercuts his character throughout all of his appearances?  If so, how has he held onto such a wide appeal despite the undeniable sexism of his approach to women?…   [continue reading]

And What a Maneuver, Right Here on Monday Night Raw!

Grainy video quality as Bam Bam Pigelow walks down the aisle. Chucking his arms up in the air and roaring for some reason. Horrendous ‘heavy’ ‘rock’ ‘music’ thunders through the crowd at the Manhattan Centre. It’s 1993, and tone-deaf Bam Bam’s grunting his name on his own intro music.

What’s this? Forgettable Jobber’s being given a half-arsed introduction moments before Bam Bam punches him in the head and knocks him down for far too long.

Camera angle changes just as BAM BAM’S COMING OFF THE ROPES WITH A CLOTHESLINE AND OH WHAT A MANEUVER RIGHT HERE ON MONDAY NIGHT RAW.

Headbutt, and WHAT A MANEUVER.…   [continue reading]

Shawn Michaels

Controversial backstage antics aside, you’d be hard pressed to find anyone who doesn’t consider Shawn Michaels one of the best ring technicians to ever enter the squared circle.  The King of the Oversell (until dethroned by The Rock) and one of the most entertaining athletes to hit our screens, Michaels completely voids the crimes of his personality with every inspired flourish and line of mic work.  A magnet for five-star matches, you could always be assured that he would bring you fluid execution and developed psychology.

A holder of a variety of championship belts, his success is officially well documented.  Generally well received by the audience too, finding anyone who will straight up deny his talents is a rarity I greet for its comic value.  …   [continue reading]

The Prisoner (1967)

I have to state straight away that The Prisoner, in its original form, is one of my absolute favourite television shows – so forgive me if a little bias seeps into this spotlight.  Initially resistant to its polarising charms, it took me an entire episode of hating it to reach an ending that instantly made me love it.  I almost gave up watching it in favour of the drastically inferior Aqua Teen Hunger Force, which would have been a monumental mistake indeed.  Birthing an instant obsession, it didn’t take long for me soak in its entire seventeen episode run and all of the spiralling mythos around it.…   [continue reading]