Sunday, January 30, 2011

Noughtie: Overall Least Favourite Artists

Overall Favourite Artists | Best of 2000Overall Least Favourite Artists | Best of 2001

Part 3 of my Noughtie series brings our second listing to the front of the queue. For the most part, I've been a very positive guy on this site (The GameFAQs rant probably the only negative thing I've done) but I'm going to rant a bit today. I'm counting down the 10 artists that really get under my skin that have come out in the last decade. I'm not going to delay this any further, let's name and shame my least favourite artists of the decade.

10. Fall Out Boy
I'm doing a list of "Guilty Pleasures" as part of the Noughtie series later on, and there is a song by this artist that features. That's the only highlight though. I really can't stand this band, my apologies to a good friend who loves them. The reasoning is very similar for a lot of the bands on the list, it's the newish emo genre that got ridiculously popular in the middle of the decade. FOB don't impress me much at all, most particularly Pete Wenz who seems to care more about himself than the band. The one thing that really grinds my gears about this band? Their stupid song titles. Like, "Our Lawyer Made Us Change the Name of This Song So We Wouldn't Get Sued", "I've Got a Dark Alley and a Bad Idea That Says You Should Shut Your Mouth (Summer Song)", "I Slept with Someone in Fall Out Boy and All I Got Was This Stupid Song Written About Me", "Get Busy Living Or Get Busy Dying (Do Your Part To Save The Scene And Stop Going To Shows)" and "I'm Like a Lawyer with the Way I'm Always Trying to Get You Off (Me & You)". I mean, what's the point? It's pathetic.

9. Avril Lavigne
I don't know what gets on my nerves about her more, the fact that she was an annoying punk wannabe or that she was a mainstream seeking punk wannabe after her first two albums. She's a pretty lady though, I wouldn't say no if I were single and she was interested, but her music still sucks. Once again there is one guilty pleasure of hers that I like, that you will find out about in that listing. Her worst moment for me? Probably her cover version of Chop Suey! Not heard it? Here you go, click here. Don't thank me.

8. My Chemical Romance
It's difficult, the past three artists on this list all have a place in my listing for my Guilty Pleasures. So if I like one song by these artists, is it hypocritical that they are in this list? Possibly. Anyway, I hate My Chemical Romance, they are just one of those bands that make me cringe when they're on. Gerard Way of course, pisses me off. Not only because I want to bang his wife, but because he doesn't deserve to (I kid, they look very happy together so I'm happy for them really).  My Chemical Romance is just a really frustrating emo band, I just don't get what's the big deal about them. How did they get to #1 in the UK? I can't really put into words why I hate them, I just do.

7. The Ting Tings
Finally, a band that isn't considered emo! This band have disappeared recently (thank god). Crap, I might have woke them up. Let's hope not. My least favourite two-piece band are just to personal taste really, you can make a case that their songs are catchy, I just find them annoying. Each to their own, I can't really say more than that.

6. Kate Nash
Another one of these pop rock breeds that are becoming a bit of a regular thing recently. The main thing I don't like is her vocals, not so much the style but her voice. There are many people to "talk" in their songs, Nick Cave is the best of them all, but Kate Nash's annoying Cockney accent that does it. It's just frustrating, and arguably talentless.

5. The Used
The Uses are dificult because I hadn't heard of them for ages, but then all of a sudden they were everywhere and everyone who liked the type of bands were like "ooh my god the Used are amazing!". They're very similar to My Chemical Romance in style, apart from they talk about self harm a lot more, which is one of my least favourite musical topics to listen to. Self harm lyrics are fine if you're trying to avoid kids doing it, but the amount of bands that do talk about it kinda has the opposite effect, and almost encourage it (not on purpose of course).

4. The Darkness
Man, I hated this band so much when they were around. Thank fuck they're not around anymore, although there is persistent rumours around that they might reunite. I hated this band with a passion when they got popular, it of course was Justin Hawkins' over-dramatic vocals, the very repetitive guitar riffs. More than anything though was the ego, Justin had too big an ego, too big that I predicted the lack of interest in their second album and their commercial flop, back in 2004. I'm happy about that, they were a one album band because their gimmick flopped immensely. Let's hope those rumours are wrong and that they stay away from the charts.

3. Panic! At the Disco
This one is a more personal dislike than a "this band sucks" dislike. My fiancée, bless her heart, got their debut album not long after its release and couldn't stop playing it. I'm not kidding, she really couldn't  stop playing it. She probably played it none stop for about 9 months I'd say. Vivi took over 9 months to be born. I liked the latter experience more. Since then however the band seem to have fallen under the radar and I probably won't hate them as much as I did back then. Still that debut album... thankfully I'm not doing a "least favourite albums listing", that's all I've got to say.

2. 30 Seconds to Mars
I like Jared Leto as an actor, he's good as a supporting actor. However I can't stand this band. The thing that gets on my nerves about him in this band? He's 39 years old, yet his music appeals to 13 year old kids who wear skinny jeans all the time. He knows this too. Why? At least the majority of emo bands or bands that appeal to emo kids are usually in their mid-twenties or younger. They sing about the problems they faced as teenagers, and these problems are the same as the problems teenagers face today. Yet this is a guy who's teenage life left him a good 20 years ago. I just don't get it. Trying to take a positive out of a negative here, I do however recommend you watch this video, for their song "A Beautiful Lie". I don't like the song at all, but this is a phenomenal video, and the cause that the video and single is for is a great one. Check it out.

1. Paramore
Here we are at #1, based on the theme of the listing it can't be much of a surprise. Paramore just piss me off because their music is just awful, Hayley Williams pisses me off just because she doesn't actually do anything interesting at all. But she has red hair! And? I can't say anything complimentary about her as a person or a singer whatsoever. The band is splitting apparently because she's getting a lot of attention but for what? Some people just aren't worth their weight in salt. I actually can't think of a single positive thing to say about this band so that's more than a good enough reason for it to be my #1.

Well that's my pessimistic listing over. I've got to be honest I didn't really enjoy writing this. I'd rather write about artists I do like and respect. But this gives you a taste about what I don't like in music I suppose. I like being positive and saying good things. Also, if you like any of these bands, that's cool, each to their own I suppose. I'll be back on Tuesday with something that interests me much more, quite possibly my favourite year of the decade, the best of the year 2001. Thanks for reading.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Noughtie: Best of 2000 (Mixtape)

Hey again, we're on Part 2 of the Noughtie series. This is the first mixtape, the first of 10, where I choose my favourite songs from the year 2000. The only rule is I'm not allowing more than one song per artist in the list. Not familiar with my Mixtapes? Let me explain.
A Mixtape is a playlist of a certain genre, band or era. The list is generally 80 minutes long, the same length of a blank CD, with further recommendations if some of the songs aren't to your taste. Remember kids, downloading is wrong! So this is a Mixtape celebrating the great music from the year 2000, obviously this is a biased list but I'm sure it will be a good read, you may have forgotten about some of these songs as they're now 10 to 11 years old.
  1. Hate to Say I Told You So - The Hives
  2. Minority - Green Day
  3. Bohemian Like You - Dandy Warhols
  4. Next Year - Foo Fighters
  5. The Way I Am - Eminem
  6. B.O.B. - OutKast
  7. Renegades of Funk - Rage Against the Machine
  8. Mope - Bloodhound Gang
  9. American Bad Ass - Kid Rock
  10. Break Stuff - Limp Bizkit
  11. Bitches - Mindless Self Indulgence
  12. Scum of the Earth - Rob Zombie
  13. Gimme - Alice Cooper
  14. I Disappear - Metallica
  15. Voices - Disturbed
  16. 96 Quite Bitter Beings - CKY
  17. Turn Me On Mr. Deadman - The Union Underground
  18. Feel Good Hit of the Summer - The Queens of the Stone Age
  19. Disposable Teens - Marilyn Manson
  20. Starfuckers, Inc. - Nine Inch Nails
Don't like some of these songs? Try these five:
  1. Purple Pills - D12
  2. Otherside - Red Hot Chili Peppers
  3. Gravel Pit - The Wu-Tang Clan
  4. The Bitch Song - Bowling for Soup
  5. Butterfly - Crazy Town
Well if this is your first experience of my Mixtapes don't fret, there are 9 more to go! Are there songs from the year 2000 not listed here you want to mention? What were your favourite songs? I'll be back on Sunday with my second listing, a pessimistic one about 10 artists I really don't like. Thanks for reading.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Noughtie: Overall Favourite Artists

Overall Favourite Artists Best of 2000Overall Least Favourite Artists | Best of 2001
Hey everyone, welcome to the Noughtie series! From now until... when I finish basically, I'll be revealing what I think the best songs, artists, albums and music videos are of the last decade. This is alternative, rock and metal music primarily, but there will be bits of dance and rap as well, but it has to fit with an alternative, rock or metal audience (eg Eminem, The Prodigy). Above you will see what I will be covering, it's a mixture of listings and mixtapes. The last two though, will be the big meat pieces. The 100 Favourite songs, is my personal list, it's my favourite singles of the 10 years we're covering. I'll probably do that in 10 days, so that's 10 songs per day. The 100 Most Important songs though, is what I truly think are the most important and memorable songs are of the decade. They are, what I think, will be songs best remembered, most fond of. It's been very difficult narrowing that list to 100, and am more than willing to change it if a lot of people criticise. The difficult thing about that list is that I've got rock and metal, and naturally, not many metal songs were commercially successful, chart-wise, but that doesn't mean they won't be well remembered. That's the difficult part, for me anyway, is differentiating a commercially successful song with a song very well received and remembered, maybe even years later. So that final listing will be 100 days long.

Anyway, that's the end, we're at the beginning! This is listing is starting it all off. I thought I'd start with a biased listing, a listing that will tell you something about me. The last decade in music for me has been amazing. So many new artists made good music, so many established artists improved from where they started. Some just stayed consistent, in a good way. The list you will see below is not in order of how I view them overall of all time, but how they performed from the years 2000 to 2009. For instance, my favourite artist as many of my friends and family know is Nine Inch Nails. But I'd be lying if I said they, from 2000 to 2009 were my favourite artist. They didn't release anything until 2004 and then released two more albums, one fantastic the other only good. Get my drift? So I'm talking about the whole decade, and the quality of music they produced in that decade. Let's just get going.

10. The Eighties Matchbox B-Line Disaster
Albums: Hörse of the Dög (2002), The Royal Society (2004)
TEMBLD kick off my listing. I did a review on their third album on this site, you can read it here. If we were including that third album, TEMBLD would have been shot up this list because I love this band so much. As I say in my review, they're not very popular. I doubt they ever will be. But they are stupidly talented, and do their very best to resurrect the great sounds of Psychobilly and Gothabilly music. Their first album is one of the rawest albums I've ever heard. It's 25 minutes of pure psychotic punk licks. The problem for me is that it's a bit too raw, and a bit too short, but it's a great piece. I'd give it **** if I were to review it now. The second album however is my favourite album by this band. The Royal Society tones down some of that raw energy and manages to create an album with a good combination of melody and creativity. I'd give that album ****1/2 as it's definitely one of my favourite albums of the decade.

9. The Fratellis
Albums: Costello Music (2006), Here We Stand (2008)
The Fratellis are if you didn't know a Scottish band that in 2006 found decent fame with their song Chelsea Dagger, that's still played in some football stadiums today. What a lot of the people in the UK didn't realise, is that their albums are fantastic too. This is a band that I would thoroughly recommend you get into if you like their singles. They have done two extremely solid albums before going on hiatus (I'd rate them both ****1/2 actually) with some brilliant tunes. They do very catchy songs and they are very reminiscent of the good parts of Brit-Pop. I hope they go off hiatus soon because I can't wait to hear a third album.

8. Marilyn Manson
Albums: Holy Wood: In the Shadow of the Valley of Death (2000), The Golden Age of Grotesque (2003), Eat Me, Drink Me (2007), The High End of Low (2009)
Manson is probably my second favourite artist of all time. In the nineties, he was phenomenal. He was fresh, he was different, he incorporated many different sounds into his music. Working with Trent Reznor obviously helped too. But he really started to lack ideas in the Noughties. Holy Wood is a good album, I'd rate it ****, it has some great tracks on there. The Golden Age of Grotesque I'd also rate **** as the start of the album really kicks ass, but then it runs out of steam quickly. The last two albums are mediocre at best. I'd probably rate Eat Me, Drink Me at ***1/4 and The High End of Low as a slight improvement at ***1/2. So that's two albums that in my opinion were good, two that were okay. That's why he just pips into my Top 10, as I can definitely listen to these albums, but man, I'd choose Antichrist Superstar and Mechanical Animals anyday.

7. Franz Ferdinand
Albums: Franz Ferdinand (2004), You Could Have it So Much Better (2005), Tonight: Franz Ferdinand (2009)
There's one word that I'll use to describe Franz Ferdinand, consistent. That word is actually the theme of this listing. Franz Ferdinand aren't the most original band in the world. But they do what works for them, they're consistent in their approach to music making, they've done three solid albums, all three I've thoroughly enjoyed listening to. They rarely deviate from their sound as well, but when they do it sounds great. But they always come "home", in terms of not deviating too much. Album ratings? I'd give them all ****. If I was pushed to choose a favourite, it'd probably be the latest, it's a great listen.

6. Mindless Self Indulgence
Albums: Frankenstein Girls Will Seem Strangely Sexy (2000), You'll Rebel to Anything (2005), If (2008)
Mindless Self Indulgence are an oddity, you could genuinely make a claim that there's not a band in the world like them. I wouldn't even make a stake that they're that talented. But their music kicks ass, I don't know how, and I don't know why, but it does. They mix so much into their music, from 80's synth, to hip hop, to punk, to industrial metal. It's just an amazing blend of noise. All their songs are short and to the point and their albums don't deviate too much. Their latest album If, is a slightly softer edge on their raw sound but otherwise it's all great fucking noise. I'd rate Frankensteins (their longest album at over 30 tracks) as ****, You'll Rebel to Anything at ****1/4 and If at ****1/4 also. If you've not heard this band, I'd recommend you listen to Shut Me Up, the song that shot them into mainstream music, a song you might hear more about later on in the Noughtie series. Oh, by the way, Lyn-Z is fucking hot, she's the one on the right. Unfortunately she has no taste in men, and is married to Gerard Way. Reason #593 to hate My Chemical Romance.

5. Nine Inch Nails
Albums: With Teeth (2005), Year Zero (2007), The Slip (2008)
Note: Ghosts was also released in 2008, however it's pretty much 4 seperated EPs of instrumental music so I'm not including it.
As I said before, Nine Inch Nails are my favourite band of all time. But in terms of this decade alone, there were bands who brought out more material, over the entire decade and that were more consistent than NIN. I said the word before, consistent. You'll see.
NIN went on hiatus from 1999 until 2005, a 6 year hiatus, which is a long time in music. With Teeth was a very good album, a very fresh approach to Trent's work, he was completely teetotal for the first time in his music career. I'd say With Teeth would get ****1/4 from me if I were to review it. Year Zero on the otherhand, man, this album is just an experience you had to feel. Unfortunately it's too late now. Basically, Year Zero wasn't just an album, it was an alternative reality too, Trent made his project appear across the internet and in real life. I can't explain in a short paragraph what it is, for more information go here. Anyway, this project had to have an album that could kick as much ass as the project itself. Thankfully it did, and NIN made one of my favourite albums of the decade (listing of that coming soon) , which I'd rate ****1/2. The Slip was also released very quickly, and it felt like NIN didn't put that much effort into it. It's definitely his worst album to date, but is still good, at ***3/4.

4. System of a Down
Albums: Toxicity (2001), Steal This Album! (2002), Mezmerize (2005), Hypnotize (2005)
No releases in the past 5 years but SOAD still stand out as one of the greatest metal bands of the decade. That's my biased opinion and that's quite the popular opinion too. Their frenetic riffs, Serj Tankians unique vocal chords, everyone loves this band. Even people who don't like metal like this band. Toxicity is a solid album, I'd give it ****1/4, Steal This Album! was a decent odds and sods album too, I'd rate it ****. The duo of Mezmerize and Hypnotize is bizarre however. Apparently they had loads of material and wanted to release two albums. Fine. But don't load all the best stuff onto one album and all the excess onto the other! Mezmerize is my personal favourite SOAD album. I can listen to it anyday. ****1/2 is what I'd give it. Hypnotize however, just feels diluted. It feels like SOAD wanted to turn emo. There were exceptions of course, and it's definitely still listenable, but I'd give it ***3/4. That being said, four albums in the decade all around the 4 star is great consistency.

3. Saul Williams
Albums: Amethyst Rock Star (2001), Saul Williams (2004), The Inevitable Rise and Liberation of Niggy Tardust! (2007)
Thank you Trent Reznor. Thank you for introducing this artist into my life. If you're not a big NIN fan, chances are you probably haven't heard of Saul Williams. Let me introduce. Saul Williams is a poet. He writes about politics and race primarily. But he is also a more than accomplished music artist. He incorporates his poems into his music, into lyrical form. His genre is difficult to pinpoint, he mixes rap music with heavy industrial music, bits of punk and African music as well. He has worked with some of the best musicians, like Trent Reznor, Zach de la Rocha and Serj Tankian. He's also worked with Nas, the rapper, so that's further respect for breaking the boundaries of metal and hip-hop/RnB. He's produced a lot of music, a lot of it in EP and colaboration form, but he officially has released three albums, a fourth forthcoming. And man, all three of them are solid albums. His debut, is just mindblowing, at least I think so. I'd rate that album ****3/4, I'm not kidding, it's a piece of lyrical perfection. His self titled album is probably his most popular, which is also a great album, I'd rate it ****1/2. His latest album, a play on the infamous David Bowie album, is a political statement more than anything else. It's a great listen though, he continues to experiment his music in different genres, but it just doesn't sound as clinical as the other two, I'd give it a ****1/4. But he's definitely consistent, original and just plain awesome. I really recommend you listen to him.

2. Muse
Albums: Origin of Symmetry (2001), Absolution (2003), Black Holes and Revelations (2006), The Resistance (2009)
It seems to be a pattern in my listings that I have an elite two at the top. I dunno why. It's good though. Muse and the #1 entry have done something that in my opinion no other artist has done. That is produce four great albums. By great I mean every one of them being in the 4 star range. Muse is the epitome of consistent in my opinion, even more so than #1 (you'll find out why #1 is #1 if you keep reading don't worry). Every album is fantastic, you can feel the energy they put into their music when they're in the studio. Matt's lyrics, while sometimes over the top, are always good. Chris, base player, is one of my favourites and Dominic is a great drummer. Origin of Symmetry, which I'd rate ****, is a favourite among many Muse fans, it's the album that really caught the attention of the UK. Absolution for me was a better album and I'd give it ****1/4. Black Holes and Revelations (a retro review I did can be read here) for me is their best work. The more I listed to it (even after that review) the more I loved it. I'd give it ****1/2 is I were to re-review it, which I won't. The Resistance is their most experimental album yet, and had mixed to good reactions. My personal take is that I think they need to keep away from the homage to Queen and stick to their own sound, which is better. That being said The Resistance is a good album, I'd give it **** stars. But Muse are consistent, they try hard in the studio and even harder on tour, they're a great credit to British music and I'm a huge fan.

1. The Queens of the Stone Age
Albums: Rated R (2000), Songs for the Deaf (2002), Lullabies to Paralyze (2005), Era Vulgaris (2007)
Here we are, over the 10 years, my favourite artist is The Queens of the Stone Age. I love all four of those albums above (their first self titled wasn't that great though). QotSA are a brilliant band, of course with Josh Homme at the centre of everything you can't go wrong really, he's one of the true musical greats of the decade. Rated R and Songs for the Deaf are untouchable classics. They're both ****3/4 albums for me, I don't kid. I've debated for years what one is better, and Rated R has come trumps for me recently. Unfortunately with the departure of Nick Oliveri they haven't quite been the same, but that doesn't mean they haven't produced fantastic albums. Lullabies is an album I don't play often but when I do I always question why I don't. I'd give it ****1/4 stars, where as Era Vulgaris was similar to Lullabies but much better, I love listening to that album, I'd give it ****1/2 stars. They're reported to be back in the studio this month to record new material so I'm very excited about that.

So there you have it. I'd like to emphsise that this is all my opinion, I'm not saying QotSA are the best band in the world, or even the decade, but over the 10 years I'm covering, I've enjoyed their music most consistently. It's a biased list.
Anyway, the Noughtie series has arrived. I hope you enjoy the ride, it's going to be a long run. I'll be back on Friday with a Mixtape, my favourite songs from the year 2000.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

The Mercy Side: The British Invasion in Wrestling

6 days to go...
Hey everyone, this is the last thing I'll be writing before the Noughtie series begins. I'm going away tomorrow to see a good friend in Ireland, and to watch some TNA wrasslin'. I hope you have a good weekend, and please come back to this site on Wednesday, when I kick off the Noughtie series, starting with my favourite artists of the decade (to see the entire series plan, click here). Anyway, here's another article on wrestling!

The past few years, the two biggest companies in wrestling have done something that has arguably not been done in American wrestling. They're investing a surge of British talent into their programming. We've had some decent British talent in the past make an impact in the US, such legends like Giant Haystacks, Dynamite Kid, Fit Finlay, Mark Rocco, Davey Boy Smith and William Regal. Some have been more successful than others, but all have something in common. They've never one the big one, the WWF, WWE, WCW or TNA title.

Sheamus, is the first born champion from the Republic of Ireland, something the Irish are proud of. Isn't it time the UK break the deadlock? We have more chance now more than ever. There's a fantastic surge of British talent, one that is possibly stronger than any surge in American wresting history. Let's go through the British talent in WWE and TNA now.

Wade Barrett (WWE)
Preston born Stu Bennett was trained by Al Snow at the age of 21. He had performed in America through his entire career, from the NWA, All Star Wrestling, Real Quality Wrestling before arriving in the WWE in 2007, signing for their developmental territory Ohio Valley Wrestling. After OVW and WWE parted ways, he moved to Florida Championship Wrestling, their new developmental territory. Two years after signing with WWE, he moved to a colour commentator position for FCW, before joining the first season of NXT, WWE's semi-reality wrestling program.
In NXT, Wade Barrett was born. He was mentored by Chris Jericho, and although he wasn't the best wrestler in the world, his work as a colour commentator and his mentor in Chris Jericho made him into easily the best talker on the show. His "winds of change" promo still sticks in my mind, as he was in front of a Manchester audience, the closest major city to his hometown. You could tell, he really wanted to be the first English born champion. Since winning NXT, he has come leaps and bounds, lead the newly born faction Nexus into one of the biggest impact storylines of the last year. He has improved his mic skills phenomenally, and his in ring work has also got better. He has had a fantastic feud with John Cena, he has main evented Pay Per Views. Since Nexus has been split into two he has now founded another faction called The Corre, who will debut officially tomorrow night.

Will he be champion?
He is one of two reasons why I am writing this article. The story of Wade Barrett is a great one. I'm so happy for him. I desperately want him to represent my country as champion, it's stupid we haven't had a British Champion in however long it's been. Wade is a very good talent, and the best thing is that he's not even close to being at his peak. He's not long turned 30, he has a good 5 years to hone his skills even further. Will he be champion? I hope so, the sky's the limit for him.

Desmond Wolfe (TNA)
From the North to the South. Steven Harworth, born in Kent, is arguably the best gifted British wrestler since Davey Boy Smith. I've had the pleasure of seeing Wolfe , also very well known as Nigel McGuiness, perform last year. Desmond started his career in America in Ohio, where he got into debt honing his skills. After debuting in the Heartland Wrestling Association, he decided to move back to England to be financially in a better position to take on the HWA. His original character, Nigel McGuiness was a punk and post punk rebel, very similar to his character now, using swear words more familiar in England (like wanker, it's much more offensive in the UK than in the US) and sticking two fingers up at everybody. His character got ridiculously over, as well as his in ring ability. He was a technical genius, but was also a stiff hitter, his combination of the two got him notoriety on the Indy wrestling scene, especially when he moved to Ring of Honor , the third biggest wrestling promotion in America, where he spent 6 years. While perfoming well in America, he also performed in Japan, where he was also well received.
It was inevitable that Wolfe would end up in TNA or WWE, it was a matter of when rather than if. Both companies tussled over his signature, when WWE came up on top, only for Wolfe to fail his medical there. TNA took advantage of this open opportunity and Wolfe was christened, and shot 
straight to the top card with a fantastic feud with Kurt Angle, one of my favourite feuds of recent memory.

Will he be champion?
I can't say. As talented as Wolfe is, he is the most talented of all the wrestlers I'll mention, ever since his first feud in TNA with Kurt Angle, which was just over a year ago now, Wolfe hasn't been used to his full potential. He has been used more like a mechanic (a guy who puts people over, but is also an in-ring general) than anything else, he has put over The Pope, Rob Van Dam and Abyss. Since then he has formed a tag team with someone else in this list, and appeared off television for undisclosed reasons. It's frustrating though, Wolfe deserves better, there aren't many completely gifted wrestlers in TNA better than him. So the truth, will he be champion? If he gets the right push, yes. If they (or him) hold him back, no.

Drew McIntyre (WWE)
Drew Galloway, from Ayr in Scotland, is the only Scottish wrestler on this list. He started training for wrestling as a 15 year old boy, and worked in both England and Scotland. He was a heavyweight champion at a very early age, and also found success afterwards in Ireland, winning the heavyweight title in Irish Whip Wrestling. 6 years after debuting in 2007 the WWE took a punt on this young wrestling prodigy. He further developed in WWE's terrirotial companies, OVW and FCW, similar to Wade Barrett. Unlike Wade though, he won the FCW heavyweight title in his time there.
It was sooner rather than later that this very well thought of young man would appear on WWE television. Drew was officially called Drew McIntyre when the inevitable happened, and made his debut by attacking R-Truth on Smackdown and started a feud. (His actual official debut was unsuccessful and is disregarded by WWE, this was his second debut.) His arrogance and cold demeanour got him over as a heel. He was given the nickname "The Chosen One", as Vince McMahon has personally chosen him as a future WWE champion (storyline-wise). He won the Intercontinental title very quickly, defeating John Morrison.

Will he be champion?
It's definitely a possibility. However recently he has gone from heading for the skies to being involved in a storyline jobber. He found some success with Cody Rhodes as a tag team but nothing big of note. WWE, like TNA with Wolfe just stopped pushing him. Drew McIntyre is very young and that's definitely in his favour, being 25 and having the experience and the potential so early will help him. His mic skills are decent, his strong Scottish accent will give him instant heat, but his in-ring work is average. But, up until recently anyway, he has been pushed strongly in every promotion he has worked in. I'd like to hope he'll get another Intercontinental title reign sometime soon, and then progress from there.

Doug Williams (TNA)

Reading born Doug Dirdle, who has wrestled as Doug Williams pretty much everywhere he has been, is actually the oldest wrestler in this group, coming in at the age of 38. His history is long, dating back to the early nineties where he worked for NWA UK Hammerlock, and became heavyweight champion there. He spent a long part of his career there, before doing a lot of tours in the US, and eventually wound up in Ring of Honor in 2002. He spent a good 5 years there, but not winning the big one. Whilst working for ROH he also worked the indy scene, and also Pro Wrestling Noah in Japan. He got his TNA break in 2008, after working in TNA's UK tour. It wasn't long before he started The British Invasion with two other guys on this list, who also aligned with the World Elite, an anti-America faction. They won the tag titles twice before Doug started to challenge for the X-Division title.
The X-Division title is where Doug Williams started to really shine. Unlike all the other X-Division wrestlers, Doug was a mat-wrestler, a technical wrestler, who used the mat to grind down the high flyers. His anti-X-Division approach made him have pretty damn good matches with Amazing Red, Shannon Moore, Kazarian, Brian Kendrick and Sabu.

Will he be champion?
No, unfortunately. The main reason is his age, he is probably feeling on top of the world right now, having very good matches, he was also part of a high storyline stable with Fourtune, and has now turned face. But he is 38, how many new champions start their first title reign at 38 nowadays? He got over in a big company too late, but I'm sure he doesn't mind, he's making decent money and having good matches, he's earned the respect of the American audience to boot. I have a lot of time for Doug Williams, but he won't be heavyweight champion.

Rob Terry (TNA)
30 year old Rob Terry is fucking huge. Steroidically huge. there's very little known about the guy, even his age is difficult to find properly, but he is from Swansea, in South Wales and he signed a developmental contract with WWE in 2007. Nothing has been discovered about him before hand really, so he could be in Year 4 of his total wrestling training and career for all we know. He didn't last long in WWE, presumably because he is a very green wrestler, but was given a chance in TNA in 2009, joining The British Invasion.
Due to his very large size, he was the muscle in the faction, and helped the tag team champions keep their gold. He didn't get in the ring often and I've barely heard him speak on the mic. When The British Invasion split, he was pushed very strongly as TNA's Global champion. He beat Eric Young back in Cardiff, near his home town of Swansea in Wales, a very memorable and emotional victory for him. TNA gave him a huge push, getting very quick victories against jobbers over and over again.

Will he be champion?
It's possible. TNA are definitely interested in him, he's a ridiculous looking guy, he's just huge. Like it or not, TNA and WWE respect big guys, he doesn't have to be able to do a Perfectplex or a BME to get over, he just has to smash someone's face off with a large clothesline, it's very effective. That's what TNA have been doing and it's working. It really depends on how the TNA fans react, they used to hate Rob Terry as he couldn't work very well, but their feelings are slowly changing, because TNA are suspending disbelief, they are telling their fans "this guy is a freak, he is kick-ass". And it's working. Will he be champion? With Hulk Hogan and Vince Russo in charge, both guys who are interested in big guys, it's possible, but he needs to get bigger and bigger reactions. Rob Terry needs to follow Batista's example, and hope to god that his Welsh accent isn't that strong, because he'll sound like a moron!

Magnus (TNA)
Nick Aldis is the youngest guy on this list, at the very young age of 24. While he's the youngest, he does have 7 years wrestling experience behind him, before any training. The only major note of his time before joining TNA in 2008 is that he had a well respected 2 out of 3 falls match with Doug Williams. But joining TNA at the age of 21 is a big boost to anyone's confidence, especially as he joined before the other two members of The British Invasion. So Magnus was born, and developed with Doug Williams and Rob Terry as the British trio, who held the tag titles together. The best thing about Magnus is his facial expressions, he has this "I'm so much better than you" smirk when posing. Doug, being the veteran, has definitely helped his development as a wrestler.

Will he be champion?
I really can't say. He is 24 and has just signed a new TNA contract, so the future is his and TNA's to make. If he does, it will be a long road ahead, he hasn't had any major push at all, Doug Williams and Rob Terry have had more prominent pushes. But he is 14 and 6 years younger than them respectively, so he has that to his advantage. Pairing him up with Desmond Wolfe is a great move for him (not so much for Wolfe), as he has another very good wrestler to learn his trade with. Will he be champ? He needs to get over more, and improve in the ring, but it's not out of the realms of possibility.

I said there was two reasons why I'm writing this article, the first being Wade Barrett's fantastic achievements so far in the WWE. The second, I'm sure you know it's coming, is this guy:

Mason Ryan (WWE)
If you watched Raw on Monday, you may have seen a guy make his debut by attacking John Cena and joining CM Punk's tweaked Nexus faction. He is Mason Ryan, or Barri Griffiths from near Porthmadog in North Wales, but some people have been calling him Batistwo, as he resembles Batista a great deal. He is very new to the sport, only starting his training 5 years ago, but his physical presence, similar to Rob Terry, is what makes him stand out. When the WWE lost Batista, they started to show strong interest in this guy, to actually make him their Batistwo, and Monday's Raw is what you got.

Will he be champion?
With how fast the WWE have pushed him into the spotlight, despite his very little experience (he actually kinda botched some of his moves on Raw) then yes, it's definitely possible. He has to use his physical appearance to his advantage, and take the Batista route to success. He'll be the bodyguard piece for Nexus, and he will benefit from CM Punk's tremendous knowledge and in ring psychology, and mic skills. Hopefully his Welsh accent, like Rob Terry's, isn't too strong as it's an awful accent to have in America. Will he become champion? Keep in the right road, get over, and then yes, definitely.

These 7 guys are The British Invasion for America. I'm hoping one, if not two or three, can finally break into the major American heavyweight title history books. I'm proud to be British, I'm proud to be born in Merseyside, and be a Scouse, and I'm proud to have spent 13 years in Wales, and learn how to speak Welsh. Seeing these 7 guys representing these Great British Isles is fantastic. I don't know if I can remember 7 guys from the UK involved strongly in big wrestling promotions. Sheamus has broke through for Ireland, can Wade Barrett do it for England? Can Mason Ryan do it for Wales? Can Drew McIntyre do it for Scotland? And Northern Ireland, where the fuck are you? Fit Finlay is too late now, bring someone else in! Let's get these UK wrestlers over, and make wrestling in this country more popular. Wrestling isn't the way it used to be in the UK, since the 70's, hopefully these 7 guys will make the UK more interested in this great sports entertainment. They have my support anyway. Thanks for reading.