Emu, Nookie Bear, Sweep & Zippy in PUPPET FIGHT! - Warped Factor - Words in the Key of Geek.

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Emu, Nookie Bear, Sweep & Zippy in PUPPET FIGHT!

In which we pit four beloved puppets against each other in a wrestling ring. For reasons we've now forgot.

We've all considered this before, surely? If you took four puppets who frequently graced our television screens in the 1970s and 80s and then put them in a wrestling ring in a no-holds barred battle royale, who would reign supreme? So we thought we'd take a punt at a possible outcome...

In the neon lit splendour of the Puppet Wrestling Federation (PWF) arena, the atmosphere is electric. Pulsating with anticipation, a crowd of foam and felt enthusiasts are clinging onto their googly-eyed plushies as they await the puppet spectacle of the century. Sweep from "The Sooty Show", Zippy from "Rainbow", Nookie Bear, and Emu, those beloved and somewhat chaotic marionettes of yesteryear, are about to go mano a mano in a fluffy, high-stakes, face-off.

In the grey corner: SWEEP
Representing The Sooty Show, it's the Roan Cocker Spaniel with long black ears, Sweep. Known for his general dim-witted behaviour, penchant for bones and his way of communicating through a series of bloody annoying loud high pitched squeaks (Soo is in his corner to translate for us). Don't let those puppy-dog eyes fool you as Sweep is clearly a bit of a bastard. Of all the characters from The Sooty Show he's the one you wouldn't want to cross. He's the type of puppet who would piss in your cornflakes if you took his rubber-sausage toy away. How he performs in the square-circle, though, remains to be seen...

In the yellow corner: ZIPPY
Representing the Rainbow crew it's Zippy the Zip. Because, let's face it, no-one else from Rainbow would stand a chance! George would run and hide, Bungle would likely graze his knee early on and burst into tears, Geoffrey would try to mediate whilst Rod, Jane & Freddy sing a song about peace. Nope, Zippy's the one from Rainbow to put your money on.

Known for his rugby-ball-shaped oval head and blue eyes, Zippy was like a 1970s Macklemore, and he's got game alright. From the moment he enters the ring he's already mouthing off about how Sweep's mother is a bitch (she literally is). Like a furry-Trump, Zippy claims to be the best at everything, but his enormous mouth may just be his undoing...

In the brown corner: NOOKIE BEAR 
Benefiting from having legs, which is something we've not seen in the other contestants so far (although Sweep once owned a pair of Wellington Boots???), Nookie is a mischievous bear who developed a bit of a potty-mouth later in his career.

Having being the only puppet on today's bill that won New Faces, Nookie wants to prove his supremacy and wastes no time leaping into the ring, dashing across as fast as his little bear legs will carry him and clothes-lining Zippy with his chunky sausage-meat arms. Going for a quick elbow drop, Nookie's confidence, and stuffing, is about to get knocked out of him as his cross-eyed vision failed to catch a glimpse of Sweep, now brandishing a strip of 4x2 rough sawn timber, heading his way...

In the blue corner: EMU
If any puppet is bringing the havoc to the ring, it's Emu. In everyday life, Emu is known for his sudden, unprovoked and violent attacks on anyone and anything that comes too close. Let him loose in a no-holds barred environment and blood will be shed. There is no doubt about that. Whose blood will spill first is the question, though, as Emu stands back and observes Sweep striking Nookie from behind, knocking the stubby little bear clean out of the ring. This gives Zippy the chance to regain his composure and pulling off a reverse roundhouse kick to send Sweep straight to the canvas.

As Zippy celebrates, Emu sees his in. Stealth like, with his wispy long legs, Emu comes up on Zippy's right should and grasps his zipper in his beak. Performing a 360 degree spin around the little yellow puppet's body, Emu at first shuts Zippy's mouth before ripping the zipper off, permanently muting Rainbow's pride and joy.

Not finished, Emu swiftly turns his attention to Sweep, dragging him into the corner and full-out bronco busting the poor pounded puppy. The very sight of the big bird's ferocious attack causes a collective gasp in the arena. The ref steps in to drag Emu of Sweep just as the big bird rips a chunk of the spaniel's ear off. Blood drips onto the square circle as the bell dings for the end of round one.

Ding Ding, round two, and the Barely rested puppets descend into a cacophonous melee. Sweep, with half an ear and a quick squeak, lunges at Zippy, but the oblong creature dodges nimbly. Sweep lands, rolls, and bounces back, utilizing his soft, fluffy body to full advantage.

Meanwhile, Nookie Bear has taken advantage of the respite between rounds to seek counsel from his coach and sly tactician Roger De Courcey. The bear has a plan, his smirk suggests nothing less. This puppet is no stranger to working a crowd; his charm offensive might just work here. Staying on the sidelines, Nookie allows the other puppets to wear each other out. He's playing the long game, using his knowledge of timing and stagecraft to bide his time.

But Emu, that massive puppet menace, is not so patient. The bird struts forth, pushing aside his competitors with apparent ease. With a score to settle, and a pounding to finish, Zippy and Sweep fly across the ring, while Nookie deftly sidesteps the feathered juggernaut.

The puppets regroup, size each other up again, and return to the fray. Sweep, now somewhat flustered, squeaks a series of intricate squeaks, almost mocking the now mute Zippy. Soo tosses the puppy one of Sooty's old wands. His wand twirls and a shower of sparkles fills the air, temporarily blinding Emu and Zippy. This proves ineffective against Nookie, who winks at Sweep, having seen the trick before.

As Zippy lies in his corner, Bungle reaches in with a pair of pliers to prise open the puppet's zip-mouth. Zippy, disoriented but undeterred, uses his now free and flapping motor mouth to create a sonic blast, sending Sweep spiralling. However, the clever dog lands on his feet, demonstrating a knack for acrobatics that leaves the audience in awe.

Nookie Bear, no longer willing to sit out, charges at Emu, the biggest threat. They clash in a flurry of fur and feathers, causing the audience to cheer even louder as all four furries descend into a bull of fluff, stuffing flying to all corners, masking the brawl for all to see.

As the fur settles, it's clear that the relentless puppet pandemonium has taken its toll on all four contenders. After a gruelling, plushie-pummelling session, the puppets lie strewn across the ring, a testament to the ferocity of their battle.

As the ref counts them all down, each take their turn to find their feet but never quite managing it (doubly hard for both Sweep and Zippy who didn't start with any). In the end, it's Emu who stands upright at the last second and emerges victorious. His sheer size and unpredictable nature have simply proven too much for the other puppets. As he struts about the ring, the audience rises, clapping and cheering for the champion of the PWF.
So there you have it. The winner of the inaugural Puppet Wrestling Federation Battle Royale is none other than Emu, the embodiment of puppet chaos. The other contenders, though valiant in their efforts, just couldn't match the feathered fury. Let's hear it for the puppets who entertained us and relived their glory days on the screens of 70s and 80s British television. For today, the ring was their stage, and boy did they put on a show.

Remember, in the world of puppetry, size isn't everything, but it sure helps when you're an emu in a wrestling match!

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