Dan Wilkinson


Published November 2013 

Since this was published The Jobber Blogger, Dan Wilkinson, has moved onto other projects and this blog is no longer active. Thanks for your work Dan and all the best in whatever you do in the future. Jon P
The Jobber Blogger Aka Dan Wilkinson is one half of our great blogging team here on Cage Amateurs UK. Dan also brings his weekly view of the wrestling world but instead of the W.W.E. Dan favours T.N.A. wrestling. Along with Michael they have kept the wrestling part of this site going with their great weekly look at the world of grappling.
Rather than let them hide away behind the blogosphere I thought I would invite them to talk about themselves. Both with an identical set of questions I am looking forward to learning a little more about the people behind their alter ego's of The Infamous Informer and The Jobber Blogger.
The Jobber Blogger 
Q: How did the Jobber Blogger come into being?

A: I'm a really big fan of the Video Game industry. Being a "Gamer" is something that stretches back as far as I remember. And my love of Games continues stronger to this day. So it follows that I'm a big fan of I've read their articles and watched their videos and listened to their Podcasts for years and years. And they are very much a "you're a friend not a fan" attitude and really encourage people to get going with Blogs, and Write if that's what you want to do. So I've had an interest in creating a Blog. I love Writing, it's the thing I want to pursue as a Career, mainly from a "Script Writing" perspective than that of a "Journalist". I've always had that Creative Itch and I just wanted to get something going that I enjoyed, and that I could put creative interests into and just see what happens.

A lot of people create Video Game related Blogs on IGN, and they do their own "Reviews" etc, which is great. But I personally don't see the point in being a Fan with your own Blog, writing about Video Games on the biggest Video Game website / company in the world. IGN have many different avenues from Movies, to Comics and of course a little slice for Wrestling. This is where I read IGN's great Matt Fowlers "Wrestling Wrap Up" each week. But Fowler is a W.W.E. guy first and foremost and so his Articles each week cover mainly R.A.W. with about a page for Smackdown and then usually a more negative paragraph for T.N.A.

But Fowler has a great way of Writing his Articles in an informative, but well written / smart and damn right humorous manor. And that's when I thought of actually taking something I've been a life long fan of being Pro Wrestling, my favourite Wrestling show being T.N.A., and doing something IGN don't cover. And thus, The Jobber Blogger was born... or so they say.

Or so I said.
Q: What was the reason you chose T.N.A. over the W.W.E?
A: Clearly the biggest Wrestling Company, being in length and in popularity will always be the W.W.E. Anyone who is a Wrestling fan, is a Wrestling fan because of the W.W.E., it's just that simple. I've been watching wrestling for most of my life, and the W.W.E. (W.W.F.) was what I grew up loving. I had a fondness of W.C.W. though didn't really watch it . But W.W.E. to me just didn't appeal anymore.

There is the old "the more popular something gets, the more you dislike it" type of thing. But it's production levels just don't appeal to me anymore. It has nothing to do with this "PG-13" rubbish, an age rating doesn't define entertainment. I certainly don't need to see chair shots to the head and blood to be a wrestling fan. For me the W.W.E. just became a place of more and more generic wrestlers to appear. It gradually became that their wrestlers had "names" more so than gimmicks, and they all wore more traditional wrestling attire, and to me it was just new fresh faces who all looked the same. I found that off putting and entrance music became so similar. I swear if you got all of the top W.W.E. Superstars theme's and mixed them together, you wouldn't know where one finished and the other began. They are all modern teen rock with the same mono-tone vocalist and have a running theme of "I'm Perfection, I'm Awesome, I'm the Best!". There is obviously the odd exception, but it reminds me of wrestling from the early 90's in a way that is good... only without the originality, clash of personalities and individualisation. None of that is to say it's bad by any means... it's just not for me anymore.

I watch it now and it's this big lushes production, and it's lost that "spark" of raw wrestling. T.N.A. was something I knew about but didn't really watch. When Jeff Hardy had his first Run in T.N.A. is when I really gave it a look. And I loved what I saw, I watched it for a good while back on the "The Wrestling Channel" or whatever it was on Freeview back in 2004. I followed that up with going to Pro Wrestling shows in Doncaster when some of the T.N.A. guys were performing. Meeting Abyss, Jeff Jarrett and holding the old N.W.A. T.N.A. Title. But it was something I went back and forth on.

Some people may not like this, but when Hogan and Bischoff made their debut in T.N.A. in January of 2010 is when I became officially hooked on the product. I knew the originals from years before, but now I saw more faces I knew from the other company, this isn't always a good thing either. But T.N.A. felt exciting. They went head to head with W.W.E. RAW when they brought back Bret Hart all these years later, and I remember being excited for both. But T.N.A. delivered show after show after show. They have that raw spark of a Wrestling Company I grew up loving.  Their entrance music is fast, it had impact, was edgy and different for each guy, for each gimmick. You have a monster, you have a cowboy, you have the legends. Everyone in T.N.A. has their own gimmick and their own voice. and the story lines just develop, sure like any wrestling show they're not always great. But I feel The Aces and Eights and especially AJ Styles' current run, you think these have been well over a year in development, it's crazy, but it's fantastic when you can see how each little dot connects. It's clever writing, and it's planning ahead. I'm a big Comic-Book guy, and you can the "Runs" being written from show to show, things develop. T.N.A. have the best wrestlers, the best story lines, in my opinion, they are the superior product for everything that I want and love about Pro Wrestling.
Q: Running a website ourselves it can be hard work but usually we don't have a tight time restraint where as your blogs are weekly. What made you choose a weekly look at things rather than a site about T.N.A?
A: I think it's the writing that appeals to me. To be a writer you need to write, and I loved the deadlines from College and University, and when you get out into the Real World and try and hold down a job as well as pursue your creative outlets, it becomes hard to balance everything. Finding the time for things is hard, but not having anything set in stone to tell you "Get it done by then!" it's really difficult to force that on yourself with no barrier. Having a program each week gives you that deadline and the material. I watch it anyway for my own enjoyment, adding to the bonus is me just blabbing about it in my own stupid manor with my own stupid opinions.

But it works.

With regards to running a Site, I wouldn't see the point in it, least not any time soon. There is only so much you can do with a Site, if anything it would be more "dirt sheet" orientated, which is never a good thing. I do however have my own Facebook page which I run with my friend called "Total Nonstop Rewind". Find us on:

This was created for the same reason, we wanted to have an opinion Site and a discussion site.

But in terms of what I wanted to do, it always boils back down to writing, and so a blog works best for me.
Q: Have you read our other Top Blogger the Infamous Informer who we are lucky enough to have on Cage Amateurs UK and what do you think of his view of things W.W.E.
A: I have indeed checked out his work. I can't say I read it all that often, but I guess that goes with me not really having any interest with the W.W.E. On a personal level, he has a unique approach and style to his writing and detailing his opinions. Certainly a dedicated chap to have done the amount he has, and his work outside of just his written blogs too.

I can't say it's a style that I find endearing to read, but again, everyone has their respective audiences.
Q:  It's obvious by the quality of your work you take things seriously, how do you go about doing your reviews. As in do you watch the program, sit and think about it or is there no formal planning?
A: I try to let things happen as naturally as possible. Whenever you try and "force" something, I find produces the worst work. I sit back and relax to watch T.N.A. with my trusty notepad and pen by my side and just write down things as they happen. Certain things they say which I find funny, little actions I find funny or things in the crowd. I also write down the main aspects of the story line, matches etc. But for me it's not about "Reviewing" the show, I don't want to do that. I don't see the point in putting scores on it, I just want to talk about it. I want to give my opinions, things I would like to have seen happen, I try and combine some news in their too and hopefully make it entertaining and funny to read.

I do take it seriously, it takes a good hour and a bit to write, then I go and make every picture I use in the blog also. These range from just screen grabs, to full Photoshop'd affairs.

It's very much a let things happen approach, I find that works the best for me and my style, and produces the best work. It also means things go up and down. I find somethings are really good, others not so much. It's hard to find a balance, because I don't just want to describe the show in a written sense, there's no point in that.
Q: How do you feel about people saying wrestling is not real. Falling and getting thrown out of the ring is going to hurt.
A. There are always going to be people who say that about Pro Wrestling. For anyone who is even slightly a fan will know they get hurt. To the masses though, it's a widely known fact that it's a "Sports Entertainment" there is a story line and the matches are predetermined. I think people think "it's not a Sport, if you know who is going to Win". That's true, it's not a Sport like a Football game or Horse Racing, you can't bet on wrestling because the best "Wrestler" doesn't always win, because it doesn't work like that. I'm certainly not going to get as annoyed about it as say a wrestler would. But from my personal perspective as someone who has done wrestling training in the past... trust me, it hurts. They are damaging their bodies and taking more risks than any other Professional Athlete on the planet, and they do it for their business, not to win. Because that's how it works.

Pro Wrestling is the strangest mash up of styles and ideas you can possibly find, and to the uneducated that makes it sport. To those that are educated, it makes it their Love and their Passion, and as long as there is always that, who cares what the minority think.
Q. How do you feel about the T.N.A. and as it stands today?
A. You can't go on the Internet and not find some type of negative news going around about T.N.A. I think they are struggling. Not necessarily in the Grand Scheme of things, but they are obviously struggling.

But I think they have more planned and more up their sleeves than what people think. I honestly feel with all of this negative news going around, that they themselves have a hand in feuling it. More times than not, T.N.A. has been very good at using the Internet to spread rumours, and then also throw out shockers on television, so I think they are smarter and wiser in using the Internet than the W.W.E. are.
I think a Post-Bound for Glory T.N.A. is going to get very interesting. They aren't afraid to try new things, and granted not everything works. A lot of it doesn't work, but they are brave enough to try it, and then change it if the feedback reflects so. I think their biggest problem is funding, like it is with any business. I know their Locker Room is the best in the world, if they had the money to put their product on Prime-Time Television, I'm sure the numbers would reflect that. I fully believe their story lines are exactly the same and their creative ideas are too.

T.N.A. are bigger than people think, they're the Number #1 Wrestling show in the UK, and Germany. They have their product all over the world and it continues to grow. I think they have something very big planned going forward. I'm sure they are going to go back to what brought them to the dance, and use everything they have now to push that vision further. And AJ Styles is the guy to do that with, so his World Championship win, and the whole "Heel Dixie Carter" is the perfect mix to make that transition, and I think that could be something big for them, for new and old fans a like.
Q. If you was give control of the T.N.A. today what would you change or do different?
A. I don't think you can really answer that. You find any T.N.A. comment section and it's all this "Fire Hulk Hogan! Bring Back Six-Sided Ring!" etc, it's just the basic rounds. Personally, I wouldn't do anything, my only input would be different things from a story perspective, that links back to my wanting to be a writer. I think it's easy to judge on the outside without knowing anything from the inside.

No matter what stories are read on the internet, having the biggest name in Pro Wrestling associated to your Company (i.e. Hulk Hogan) is no bad thing. You want to make any big marketing deals from as little as pop bottles to McDonalds, having Hulk Hogan in your company makes that happen. In terms of the six sided ring, yes it made T.N.A. look original when you tuned in, but the early days of T.N.A. was a four sided ring. I honestly think the six sided ring will make a return, but it will be done so the right way with this whole rebirth of T.N.A. with AJ as the Champion.

I think they've learned their lesson from just bringing in big names from other companies, no one cares about that. Sting is a guy who is loyal to T.N.A, people respect him for that. People got all over the dirt sheets reporting Hogan reaching out to W.W.E. that's not disloyalty, that's being smart.

The best way to put it into words is again going with a video game related topic. Gamers for the last 7 Years have been going on at Sony to include Cross Game Chat into the Play Station 3, like the X-Box 360 has. All these years later Shuhei Yoshida - President of Sony World Wide Studios said, the PS3 just wasn't built for that, and it can't physically do it. People seem to think it's more simple, without knowing how something works. Basically, you don't have a clue, so why put in your opinion. No one has any idea of how things work within T.N.A. certainly not everything is running smoothly, but who am I to judge that, I like their product. It's everything behind the scenes that apparently needs the work, TV Deals, Networking, Marketing, Funding related.
Q. What do you love most about T.N.A. wrestling ?
A. I touched on it earlier, but it's just the clash of personalities that I love. All of the wrestlers there are the best at what they do. They are a Clash of Gimmicks, and I love that. The Wrestlers are let loose out there, rather than being controlled. It's an environment to grow and be creative, and you can see that from the performers.

They have the best wrestlers in the world,  AJ Styles, Austin Aries, Bobby Roode. They have the best entrance music, the best attire, the best P.P.V.'s, the best promo's, the best story lines. I love wrestling, and T.N.A. resembles everything I remember, everything I love, and everything I want out of Pro Wrestling.
Q. What do you least like about T.N.A. wrestling?
A. They always seem to fall just short of something really big. They can build this massive hype around their story lines that I just don't remember from a Wrestling Company before, and they get so close, then just fade away.
The Aces and Eights is the most recent example, the potential behind that idea and that faction was great. In pay off though, it got to Bully Ray and ended and it went down hill quickly.

Anything exciting that crops up is either forgotten is just down played or just falls flat on it's face.

I guess it's listening to the hype and getting worked up, for a minimal pay off.

TNA Impact Wrestling

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