50 Questions About Wrestling

I found this format on the excellent wrestling blog Tape Machines Are Rolling — which I highly recommend.

What got you into wrestling?

As a kid, because everyone was into wrestling. I didn’t drop out of wrestling because I found out it was fake, but because I put my brother in the Angle Lock when I was a kid and my mum banned it in the house.

I fell in love with it in a bad way in 2012 when my then housemate started watching shows and talking about the weird history of the WWE. I find wrestling more interesting now I know it’s fake. Combination of behind the scenes politics, appreciation of live stunt work and pageantry and sheer “WTF am I watching” makes wrestling one of the few things I watch on TV week to week.

What is your favorite wrestling promotion?

I’m a WWE baby. I got the Network. I watch a lot of 80s WCW and NJPW when someone tells me about a stellar match, but Vince won the English language war so that’s what I watch.

Favorite male wrestler of all time?

I’m supposed to say Ric Flair, but as I was born in 91 I never saw his peak. Ric is such an icon that it can be hard to appreciate his good because it’s been copied and remixed so much.

So I’ll probably say Kurt Angle. Amazing in the ring. Great on the mic as both a heel AND face which means a lot to me. Could do brawls. Could do technical mat stuff. Could do high flying stuff. Could be an underdog. Could be a giant. Could do comedy. Could be a titan.

Kurt can do everything. I only realised I hated him so much as a kid because he was *that damn good* as a heel.

Favorite female wrestler of all time?

I’m a WWE baby so my knowledge is limited — for so long “Divas” matches were just extended toilet breaks.

But Lita was cool. She was nominally a valet but became a cool 90s extreme high flyer.

Favorite current male wrestler?

Kevin Owens. I call him Diabolical Doctor Dadbod. Looks like a guy off the street, wrestles like dream. Amazing mic work. I profiled him last year, read it here.

Favorite current female wrestler?

Charlotte Flair. Once in a generation talent, it’s amazing what she can do in the ring. Amazing shit head heel. Very nice person IRL.

Favorite theme song?

I sing Shawn Michael’s one the most. But I also listen to the nWo theme at least once a day.

Least favorite theme song?

Eh. Even the bad ones are kinda good. I like nu-metal because of WWE themes.

Favorite gimmick?

For one person? The Undertaker. As a story? nWo.

Least favorite gimmick?

Hirohito.

WWE were going to legit have a the reincarnated soul of Japan’s WW2 emperor be a character. They pulled it at the last minute when the performer’s wife saw the promo and (correctly) called it grossly insensitive.

Best entrance (either their usual entrance or a special one, like a Wrestlemania entrance)?

Regular entrance — nWo

One off entrance — Rusev’s deliriously over the top USSR Revival at Wrestlemania 31 ON A FUCKING TANK.

Best Undertaker Wrestlemania match?

vs. Michaels at Wrestlemania 25. Probably the best Mania match of all time.

Most overrated?

Most underrated?

People who listen to my football podcast know I don’t go in for words like overrated/underrated to measure stuff. All the people I respect already know William Regal is generational talent.

Most things are properly rated, just say you enjoy being different with your chest.

That said, I like Goldust a lot.

Have you ever been to an event? If so, which one?

One of my best mates took me to NXT Takeover London in 2015 before we immediately hopped a cab to watch the Force Awakens on opening night. One of the best days of my life.

Also, I flew out to New York in 2016 to cover SummerSlam weekend for work. That was really cool.

Who has the best merch?

Right now — The New Day.

A one off tee? The nWo black and white.

Of all time? Macho Man has a lot of great t-shirts with his name on it.

Do you own any merch?

Not nearly enough.

Best nickname?

Christian calling himself “Captain Charisma” — I use it in my day to day vocabulary now.

Worst nickname?

Dean Ambrose being called the “Lunatic Fringe” is terrible. Doesn’t work for his character. And even if it did, means nothing.

Best mic skills?

Right now — Kevin Owens. Has one of those voices where he could make ordering a pizza sound like a big deal.

All time —Ric Flair. Flair ripped off Gorgeous George. Gorgeous George once gave tips to Muhammed Ali as to how to be entertaining in the fight.

Macho Man has loads of great stuff once you get past everyone’s bad impressions of him.

Bobby Heenan was a superb man too.

Most annoying?

Vicki Guerrero. But that was kind of the point.

Most attractive male?

Here’s a photo of Finn Balor.

Most attractive female?

The Attitude Era steered me through puberty. All you need to know.

Favorite faction?

The Four Horsemen with Flair, Ole, Arn, and Tully. Then Evolution. Then the original 3 nWo. Then The New Day

Worst faction?

Wyatt Family. If only because of how much potential has been squandered there.

Best ring gear?

I like Kevin Owens because it looks like something someone off the street would realistically wear to fight.

But Macho Man’s colourful suit selection was incredible. Mostly because he was in great shape and he didn’t have to wear them.

Who do you think would be the nicest in real life?

I interviewed Sasha Banks on video once and my brother said “Carl keeps saying the word ‘yeah’ to prevent himself from spitting out his skeleton.

Sheamus once bantered me off in the best bad interview I ever had. I would love to get on the cans with him.

By all accounts William Regal is an absolute gent — ask him for any wrestling advice and he’ll help you out.

Who would be the rudest in real life?

I meet nearly all performer via interviews so they’re all nice to me, or mildly irritated at most. I hear JBL is an ass. I turned down an interview with Brock Lesnar because he TERRIFIES me, but that’s mostly on me.

Favorite heel?

Ric Flair. Dirtiest Player In The Game.

Most hardcore?

Terry Funk. Homeboy has no knees and had about 10 “retirement” matches.

A wrestler you could beat?

I have about 6 hours of wrestling training under my belt. There is no one on TV who I could beat in ring.

I’d fancy myself in a game at Wrestlemania 2000 against all of em mind.

Best story line?

Daniel Bryan’s eventual ascent to Wrestlemania 30. Month to month of frustration finally paying off.

Biggest missed opportunity for a story line?

I used to say Cena turning heel but he’s done so much good work I don’t care no more.

A Shawn Michaels vs Eddie Guerrero feud would have been fantastic. So many ways to have done it. Would have been amazing in ring.

But the biggest blunder was in the Invasion. Once in a lifetime chance and they blew it.

Worst story line?

The Invasion. All those potential WWE vs WCW dream matches pissed up the wall because Vince was scared of looking weak and rushed it.

Oh and it still burns me to this day that Booker T lost at Mania 19.

Which wrestler should turn heel?

Apollo Crews. Have him absolutely smash some guys. Give him a character outside of “smiley hench athletic black guy”.

Which wrestler should turn face?

I prefer heels. There are too many heels in WWE right now.

Rusev, because he is a handsome delight.

Who would be the worst to room with?

I hear Rhyno is a massive germphobe. I’m pretty disgusting so I’d imagine we’d clash.

Who would be the best to room with?

I REALLY want to get on the cans with Sheamus.

Who would be your best friend if you were a wrestler?

Sami Zayn. Just seems like a lovely guy.

The Miz too.

What would your job be in a wrestling promotion?

My dream writing job in the world would be to be a writer on WWE. One year. Wrestlemania to Wrestlemania. All I want.

I’d also love to be a colour comms person for any indie promotion.

Favorite wrestling podcast/Youtube channel?

WhatCulture Wrestling are amazing. Plumpy is a very talented guy and a very nice fella.

I listen to The Masked Man Show podcast every week. David Shoemaker is the best wrestling writer in the game, an absolute gent and really informed my writing style.

Favorite finisher?

RKO. You can hit it anywhere — off the rope, in mid air, using a weapon variant. Versatile. Devastating. Can be hit OUT OF NOWHERE. Endless remixes.

Least favorite finisher?

The Heart Punch got banned in my school because it turns out legit punching someone in the hear is VERY DANGEROUS.

Favorite match?

I like the main event of Wrestlemania 20 but… you know.

My favourite match of the year so far is Tyler Bate vs. Pete Dunne at NXT Takerover. Slightly pips Okada v Omega 1 and 2 because it’s half the length.

Of all time though? Wrestlemania 13 — Bret vs. Stone Cold. Double turn. I really want to see a superhero film try it.

Favorite PPV?

SummerSlam 2002. Massive roster because of WCW coming over. Michaels v HHH. Kurt vs. Rey. TLC. Bliss.

Guilty pleasure wrestler?

There are no such things in guilty pleasures in wrestling.

Favorite submission?

The figure four is amazing because of its nonsensical “turn it upside down to reverse the pain” spot.

But number one in the Angle lock — irl painful, offers great facials.

Most entertaining to watch?

I’ll watch Kevin Owen do just about anything in the dub.

Most of my favourite matches of all time (to watch without getting into promos and stuff) feature Bret Hart.

Best spot?

You rarely see it, but when in a triple threat match, Person A is about to make Person B tap out, but Person C stops B *just* at the last moment. Even better when Person C is the current champion. Triple H did this once.

Who do you most respect?

Women wrestlers who tune out all the horny boy stuff that goes about. Bret Hart for just sort of being alive and vaguely happy.

I SODDING LOVE THE GRAPS.

I’m going to keep doing these blogs on a weekly basis in an effort to kind my writing pen sharp while I look for a job. If you like my writing and would like to hire me, I can be found at carlanka.me

If you like my writing and want to pick my brains about something else, including what you’d like me to write next, hit me up on Twitter — @Ankaman616