Last year, I enrolled my daughter into a program for 2-year-olds. It only met once a week for a handful of hours, but for us, it was the perfect way for her to be social.
Prior to, my daughter was just used to hanging out with me. And while that’s not the worst thing in the world (I mean, I guess I could be more fun at times) it’s always important for kids to meet other kids. Especially since my husband and I have decided to join the “one and done” club. She won’t have any siblings to hang out with.
Like most moms, I was terrified over dropping her off that first time. I had tears as I pulled out of the lot, wondering whether or not she’d be okay without me.
The answer was, yes. Turns out, my daughter is a social butterfly and was happy I was gone for a few hours. As for me? I missed her, but had forgotten what total freedom felt like. For the first time since she was born, I actually had the house to myself.
She quickly made friends in the program, and we enrolled her for the next year. Things seemed to be on track. Then, 2020 happened. Her instructor chose to cancel the program, which was the safest option. However, it’s been sad to have built connections just to see them fall apart.
There’s also the feeling that she may be falling behind. Personally, my oldest memories come from preschool. And, one of the benefits of preschool is having your child get adjusted to the routine of leaving home. It’s meant to be a place for kids to play and explore. While the situation is tough to handle, I’m choosing to view it positively. Here’s why I think the kids of today — notably, my own — will be okay.
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Pete Dunne Set For WWE NXT UK Appearance, WALTER And Ilja Dragunov Face Off, More From Relaunch
The WWE NXT UK brand officially relaunched with today’s new episode on the WWE Network.
The new episode, the first since April, was recently taped on the new NXT UK set at BT Sport TV studios in London, England. The show opened up with a relaunch video package, which you can see above. The video features WWE Hall of Famers Shawn Michaels and Triple H, who are instrumental behind-the-scenes with the brand. The NXT UK bosses mention the relationship that NXT UK now has with BT Sport. The video also features various NXT UK Superstars introducing themselves.
This week’s show opened with Andy Shepherd and a returning Nigel McGuinness on commentary. Sid Scala, Assistant to the NXT UK General Manager, was the authority figure shown, but GM Johnny Saint was nowhere to be seen. The opening segment saw Ilja Dragunov interrupt Scala until Noam Dar interrupted, to set up the main event. The main event ended with Dragunov fighting off a distraction from Alexander Wolfe of Imperium, to go on and hit Torpedo Moscow on Dar for the pin to win. Dragunov celebrated after the match until NXT UK Champion WALTER came out and they had an intense staredown to hype their upcoming title match.
The first match of the night saw NXT UK Tag Team Champions Mark Coffey and Wolfgang of Gallus win a non-title match over Amir Jordan and Kenny Williams. A post-match segment saw several tag teams confront Gallus – Flash Morgan Webster and Mark Andrews, The Hunt, Pretty Deadly, Ashton Smith and Oliver Carter, and Imperium. The women’s division was also featured this week as Piper Niven and NXT UK Women’s Champion Kay Lee Ray had an in-ring showdown to build to next week’s title match. Aoife Valkyrie then defeated Isla Dawn in singles action.
The Heritage Cup Tournament did not begin this week but it was announced that Pete Dunne will make a special appearance next Thursday to host the Heritage Cup Tournament Drawing. Dunne will be picking the match-ups for the 8-man tournament. There’s still no word on the final competitor but the other 7 confirmed names are Noam Dar, Alexander Wolfe, Flash Morgan Webster, A Kid, Dave Mastiff, Trent Seven, and Joseph Conners. The tournament will be held under British Rounds Rules, and the Heritage Cup winner will move on as the first-ever NXT UK Heritage Cup Champion, with title defenses that are also held under British Rounds Rules.
A video package did air this week with a special look at the Heritage Cup competitors. You can see that video below, along with overall highlights for this week’s relaunch episode.
Stay tuned for more on the NXT UK relaunch.
Trish Stratus Says Moment With Mickie James At Royal Rumble 2018 Almost Didn’t Happen
Before there was Sasha Banks/Bayley or Charlotte Flair/Becky Lynch, there was Trish Stratus/Mickie James, two of the quintessential storytellers in women’s wrestling. Their feud was so psychologically thrilling that you had no clue how bizarre it was going to get.
Trish and Mickie made appearances on this week’s episode of WWE’s The Bump to discuss how their story began. Mickie recalls the first time she was approached about creating said feud, and how nervous she was to stand across the ring from the seven-time Women’s Champion.
“[At the time], I only talked to Trish when I came over to WWE for tryouts when I was still in OVW. I was super nervous and excited because she was on top of the mountain, and I was the new girl,” Mickie recalled. “It was a huge honor, but I was scared because I wanted this to be amazing. I was like, ‘I hope she’s going to be happy with this.'”
To keep their storyline crisp and fresh, Mickie began to portray an obsessed fan who lived and breathed everything related to Trish. While it’s known that performers have a hard time settling into their roles, Mickie found herself quite comfortable playing a kooky fan.
“I think when you look at fandom as a whole, there are some who take it to a whole new level; our business is no different,” she mentioned. “For me, it was an easy character to play because I was a fan, I still am a fan of wrestling. So, it was an easy emotion to promote out there. Trish and I were able to bounce off of each other. I could take her energy and use it towards how my character reacted. I was a super zealous fan.”
One thing that has been terribly missed this past year is seeing fans live in the arenas. Sure, there is the ThunderDome, but it just isn’t the same as seeing real fans live. Of all the fanbases in the world, Chicago is known for having a tumultuous crowd regardless of what sport or entertainment event is there. Mickie and Trish got a taste of that uproar from “The Windy City” fans when Trish defended her Women’s Championship against Mickie at WrestleMania 22. At the time, everyone in the audience was pulling for Mickie to upset the champion, which she did. Looking back, both women agree that performing in front of that Chicago crowd was a career-defining moment for them.
“I was giddy with excitement. I didn’t care if they were yaying or booing me, I just wanted to hear their decibels. I wanted to hear their sound,” Trish replied. “They were into everything we were doing and that’s all I cared about.”
Mickie also added that she was astounded with how the fans stood behind her victory that night.
“Honestly, it was a testament to how invested they were in our story,” Mickie included. “That was the first WrestleMania crowd I had ever been in front of… They were so loud. I have never received that type of reaction ever. I felt like we were in our element, and I just got lost in the moment. We were owning it!”
In 2018, both women crossed paths again during the Women’s Royal Rumble main event. The WWE Universe was on their feet, with half cheering for Mickie and the other half cheering for Trish. The spotlight was on both of them and they delivered.
To most, it looked like they never missed a beat; they both were still trading shots as fast and vigorous as they once did back in 2005. It was a surprise to both women to see how involved the fans were with them, especially since their rivalry was so long ago. They figured no one would remember their everlasting clash.
“This was definitely a moment for me where I was so happy,” Mickie exclaimed. “I think I’ve said this before, but when you work so hard and think you’ve connected to the fans, especially as a woman [performer], you don’t know what that level really meant. It wasn’t until that moment when we finally collided. It was great to see that the fans do remember us. That was really special to me.”
“We almost did not end up in the ring together,” Trish informed viewers. “You [try] to leave an impression on your fans every time you go out there, but aren’t sure. To go out there and be validated that many years later was an incredible feeling.”
As they wrapped up their final thoughts, both Trish and Mickie are glad to have made such a lasting impression on the WWE Universe and the women’s division for their storyline that is still talked about to this day.
“I feel like we worked our butts off, especially at a time where women were starting to come more on the forefront. We were given an amazing opportunity – a huge and long storyline where fans got to know us and see that dynamic that we brought. It’s a cool quality to have,” Trish concluded.
Mickie believes the layering of their rivalry was what made their story so emotionally compelling.
“It is that kind of moment where we say we did something special out there, but it’s only as good as the people you work with, so, thank you, Trish,” Mickie said.
“I think the time we invested and the layers to the story were, like, [something different]. I was the super crazy fan. To saying things like, ‘I love you,’ and building a relationship storyline where we were friends. Then it got weird; it all built something.”
You can watch Trish Stratus and Mickie James’ full interview above. If you use any of the quotes in this article, please credit WWE’s The Bump with a h/t to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription.
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