On February 4th, the fun filled lucha-libre party known as CHIKARA, a performance based all ages wrestling company shall present National Pro Wrestling Day 2017. It is done as a yearly event since 2013 as a fundraiser as well as a place for fans old and new to discover and appreciate the company.
My first NPWD was 2014 when during the time CHIKARA was embroiled in a storyline in which it had been closed down and was fighting for its return. It was an exciting event and it pulled me into CHIKARA more then I ever was, although I was pretty pulled in at that point. I unfortunately have not made it to a NPWD since but have been to a share of CHIKARA events.
Thus year I change that as I head to the Wrestle Factory to experience an event headlined by the Young Lions Cup. The Young Lions Cup is a tournament held during the early years of CHIKARA which featured the debuts of talent from elsewhere and the graduates of the wrestle factory school of CHIKARA taking on some more established but still relatively young CHIKARA talent.
National Pro Wrestling also features other matches and in many ways is the unofficial start of a CHIKARA season. On top of that and most importantly in many ways while the show itself is free it is a Charity Fundraiser and Awareness event. Each year something very special is chosen, and this year is no different.
The best way to explain the The Superkick Foundation is to directly take from their mission statement:
The Superkick Foundation is not your average non-for-profit charity. We are comprised of young people who have a genuine desire to make a difference in the country and in the world, with no mixed messages on hidden agendas. Massive wrestling fans primarily based out of New York City, we intend to serve a variety of different individuals in the most beneficial ways. Regardless what mainstream outlets view professional wrestling, we recognize that these remarkable athletes, regardless of skill, put their bodies on the line every time they step through those ropes. It is a high-risk job, all for the entertainment of the fans, with insufficient reward. Through our work, we want to thank these performers for doing what they do for us. As young humanists, we also serve people in genuine need. With donations from professional wrestling fans and other outlets, we intend to serve homeless and low-income men, women, children, and veterans, with useful merchandise such as clothing, toys, or other useful materials. We hope that by that providing these new, clean, and unique items, we will instill a sense of confidence in these needy people: not only assuring them that there are people who care, but perhaps influence them to better their lives. We will run events, fundraisers, midnight runs, and random drop-offs to achieve our mission. For professional wrestlers, we hope that they will benefit off of the items that we will purchase from them, but we also will assist them with medical bills, insurance costs, or costs to help them make it by in a groundbreaking financial assistance program for these wrestlers. This foundation believes that athletes who work in such a high-risk occupation should not be struggling, financially, in any kind of manner. Additionally, we wish to provide young people with good and honest jobs, to aid them in their futures and to help us carry out our goal. We pride ourselves on being a 100% fan-run organization, run by young, brilliant, and philanthropic individuals, and we will work tirelessly and with the fighting spirit of our beloved pro wrestlers to make a significant difference to the world we live in.
This years batch of talent for the Young Lions Cup are particularly exciting to me… much more so then last year’s event. In no particular order here they are and some personal thoughts from me.
Sylverhawk & Razerhawk: These two are brand new Chikara talent making their in-ring debuts at NPWD but they quickly have come favorite of mine. They are two of a trip with Nytehawk and together collectively known as Cyberhawx 2000. They are a combined parody of Silver Hawks, M.A.S.K., Power Rangers and professional wrestling’s Tekno Team 2000. They seem to be stuck in the late 90’s/early aughts with their tweets, blogs and even style of promo and I love all of it. I even did fan art really early on.
Emperador Azteca: Chikara has him being as representing AULL, but I have to still assume this the Emperador who hails mostly out of IWRG and last year was in a match with Chikara’s long time stars Ophidian & Silver Ant. In that match which is online he does a crazy dive. I’m personally more impressed with the monkey and feel it’s a missed opportunity to have monkeys fighting, but hoping this young man impresses.
Space Monkey: Speaking of Monkeys. This “Canadian” Astronaut who has been to the stars and back is a seriously awesome worker. His gimmick is wonderful and he’s super fun on promos with all his eeps. I’ve had the pleasure and luck of seeing Space Monkey perform in a couple matches the rare occasion I’ve chosen to go to a show in NYC.
Ashley Vox & Delmi Exo: These two sisters have come a long way. One of them is basically a mermaid, the other a space princess, or something like that. It’s cool, trust me, together they’re Team Seastars. Constantly improving their ring style, adding some serious fun to their promos. They’ve been part of CHIKARA for awhile and we both in last year’s Young Lions Cup. They’re still early in their career to be part of this. Also if they bring their manager Jawsolyn this time I’m sure fans will go crazy.
Travis Huckabee: The young referee of CHIKARA who made many mistakes and was known as No Last name Necessary, finally has that last name. He’s graduated from wrestling training and ready to hit the ring running. Travis is a good kid and someone to definitely look out for in this contest. He has lots of support from the fans, fellow wrestlers and also needs to watch his back for a few enemies out for him as well. I see a bright little future for the young fighter, but only time will tell if his dream will not become a nightmare.
Cornelius Crummels & Sonny Defarge: These two rapscallions whose gimmick was inspired by the works of Charles Dickens. Taken their names directly from the works of the writer (Nicholas Nickelby & A Tale of Two Cities) and furthermore being scrupulously unscrupulous businessmen who tend to always be unwashed and slightly sickly. They’re also two of the most talented Wrestle Factory who I think we’ve only seen the tip of skillset yet. They’ve been working for the last year or so, but seeing them in this environment as singles should be interesting.
Everett Connors: I don’t know much about this young and upcoming St. Louis mainstay, but he’s been proving himself in the midwest. He has a relationship with CHIKARA favorites and some could say St. Louis’ favorite son The Submission Squad. This alone could definitely work in his favor.
Cajun Crawdaddy & The Hermit Crab: The Crustaceans have been super fun, super strange, and super dangerous since popping up. Crabs pincers scare me, they scare everyone. I mean he’s a crab. Crawdaddy isn’t so not scary himself, he’s too salty. Hermit Crab like Sea Stars has experience in singles and the YLC, while this I think will be the first Crawdaddy gets to work by himself since returning from a long injury.
Travis “Flip” Gordon: One of the most gifted athletes in this tournament and despite his short experience one of the better known next to Space Monkey. In a career spanning less then 2 years his skills and body mastery has landed him matches at CZW, Limitless, Maryland Championship, Beyond and even EVOLVE. It’s a big deal to get him to CHIKARA and just as big a deal for him to come to CHIKARA. He’ll be one to watch… mostly cause he’s so fast you just don’t want to miss it.
Steven Mainz: This young Canadian comes out training from the International Wrestling Syndicate Dojo. He’s gone toe to toe with a few bruisers including TDT, a team who came through CHIKARA in 2016 and had two of Match of the Year contenders. He’s also worked in NCW, stomping grounds to CHIKARA alumni 3.0… so the kid comes to the tournament with a pedigree.
There is currently at the writing of this two unnamed slots in the YLC. One had previously been announced but circumstances have changed beyond the control of CHIKARA. This unforeseen circumstance allows for mystery and possibly great excitement as it can be anyone. Other outside talent, other wrestle factory graduates seeking their opportunity.
The show on top of the tournament features two one on one contests. Dasher Hatfield, a character with lots of history who currently is an old time baseball player but may be debuting a new gimmick per his twitter will be facing the man known as Juan Francisco de Coronando, an Ecuadoran aristocrat who takes 5 minutes just to get to the ring. In a first time ever encounter, a former fake ant who is also a former military grunt and now brute force competitor Missile Assault Man will meet with Race Jaxon, the high flying half of the tag team know as N_R_G. In recent times Race has shown a more arrogant, aggressive side so this could be boilburner.
On top of those is a tag team bout featuring The Closers, a team large, strong, imposing men. One who this writer has had the pleasure of training with during his short time of trying a career in professional wrestling taking on CHIKARA’s own cop Warren Barksdale (who competed in last year’s YLC) and his debuting tag team partner Meloni, collectively known as The Force. There is also a trios match of major proprtions for long time CHIKARA fans as the group known as The Colony (a group of ants) take on the now named Legion of Rot, a pairing of Hallowicked (a pumpkinheaded monster), Frightmare (a living ball of energy) and Kobald (a goblin) who were last together by hypnosis, but now by choice. What is their mission now without a leader?
Finally, as current importance on a huge card such as this Ultra Mantis Black, the center of many seasons of CHIKARA shall address the crowd to reveal his next step. Mantis on top of being a wrestler is also an activist and lead in a hardcore band. His speeches are events unto themselves.
2016 was such a hard hitting year of notable actors, authors, musicians, politicians and more that the deaths of 2017 will possibly seem so much less. Especially in the turmoil of everything happening and when we want to look up the upside of all the fun, exciting good things to come. Yet, so far alone in the first 25 days of this year we’ve had a share of passings that most of all pop-culture around the world would feel and some in lesser circles but still notable.
In no particular order here are some of them with minor to major details.
Alfonso Wong – A Hong Kong artist born in mainland China, became famous in Asia for the creation Old Master Q. While not widely known elsewhere it has been translated into English and his work known by fans and inspired creators worldwide. The BBC did a wonderful covering on his career upon his passing.
Lynn Phillips – A television writer and journalist.
Babette Cole – British Children’s Author and Artist.
Bill Marshall – Canadian Producer, helped found the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) as well other Canadian film and television mainstays
Phillip Bond – British actor with appearances in Doctor Who (The First), The Avengers, and The Onedin Line
Gorden Kaye – Star of ‘Allo, ‘Allo
Manlio Rocchetti – Italian make-up artist who received the Academy and Emmy award for his work.
Timothy Alan Smith – Professional wrestler who worked under the names Rex King and in the WWE as Timothy Well, 1/2 of the tag team Well Dunn. (His partner Steve Doll, known as Steve Dunn, passed away in ’09)
Francine York – Beautiful character actress of television and film, notably in Jerry Lewis films.
Lamar Dupré Calhoun – Rap producer for the group WC and The Madd Circle under the name Crazy Toones.
Buddy Greco – Recording artist of all genres. A contemporary of Sinatra and Presley, but never as famous as either.
Pascal Garry – Belgian cartoonist, took over from Peyo on The Smurfs after a two year apprenticeship in Peyo’s studio .
Jimmy Snuka – Fijian professional wrestler known as “Supafly”. Also a murder suspect and known criminal, passed away without indictment on a reopended trial after being declared mentally unfit.
William Margold – prolific porn actor and director
Butch Trunks – One of the two drummers in The Allman Brothers craziness.
Miguel Ferrer – American actor of film and television including cartoon voice over work. Major notable roles in Robocop, DC cartoons, Twin Peaks and his final role as Granger, the much loved boss on NCIS: Los Angeles.
Dick Gautier – American actor and voice over actor best known for his work on G.I. Joe and Transformers.
William Peter Blatty – American novelist, screenwriter and director. Most famous for The Exorcist. I personally loved John Goldfarb, Please Come Home!
John Watkiss – British Comics and storyboard artist. Worked for DC Comics, as well as a multitude of movie studios including Disney. Was working on Surgeon X from Image till his passing.
Harry J. Middleton – best known as President Lyndon B. Johnson’s right hand man.
Yanni Alexis Mardas aka Magic Alex – a guy who somehow convinced The Beatles to let him be part of their entourage and spend lots of Apple Studios money, yet never contributing anything successful other then being that guy who tricked the Beatles.
Shigeru Kōyama – Japanese actor who appeared in many films and television including a Zaotichi, a Godzilla and Ridley’s Scott’s Black Rain.
And as I wrote this entry Mary Tyler Moore, world beloved actress of stage, film and small screen passed away after a long illness. For many she will be considered the first important death of this year, but I feel all these are as are any I might’ve missed.
In a world of pop-culture with music, television, comics, wrestling, video games, movies and more… there are important figures from agents, to publicists who shall pass. They all made their mark and all were important so sometimes we must find time to acknowledge them.
Jervis Cottonbelly and The Hobo are currently one of the top tag teams appearing on CHAMPIONSHIP WRESTLING FROM HOLLYWOOD. Collectively they are known as Friendship Express. Both men have traveled as singles around the U.S. making a mark for the last 3-4 years in very colorful characters. It is impossible to miss that the Hobo’s voice makes him a dead ringer for Rowlf the Dog (played famously by Jim Henson). On that concept I saw for a long time trying to decide if Jervis was Fozzie, Kermit, or maybe even Gonzo. It was the Rowlf and Fozzie performances that helped me cement the choice though. It took me a long time to finally buckle down and take the concept from idea to drawing, but I did and Jervis and especially Hobo truly loved it and now I share it here on PCS.
If you read Twitter through Discover or #RAW while watching WWE RAW on the night of September 30th, 2013 you may have noticed that there were many posts that included #IamCHIKARA or if you tend to follow many wrestlers or people who write about wrestling you might have noticed it as trending if you have trends marked for tailored (which I’d say 98% of people do).
If you aren’t a member of the CHIKARA 101 message board or a fan of CHIKARA who didn’t jump ship when you thought it sank at the end of iPPV Anniversario: Never Compromise earlier this year you were probably scratching your head. If you don’t know what CHIKARA is (other possibly being a Japanese word) then you REALLY were scratching your head.
To explain CHIKARA is not the simplest thing in the world. While clips of slow motion action, amazing comedy bits, impressive action, and some of the most ridiculous costumes ever will let you get the visual and aural treat, I’m not sure if you aren’t already indoctrinated to appreciate wrestling or the concept of wrestling as a quality style of entertainment equivalent to watching your favorite sci-fiction or fantasy Television show then these videos will be just be mind numbing drivel to you.
Showing you a clip even of some hilarity inducing chuckles even one where a man dressed as a marching band leader hiding in a closet discusses his age with a lawyer who mysteriously looks a lot like him but is NOT him yet shares the same birthdate to the year, day and time will be lost on you.  Even if you catch and appreciate that the marching band’s leader last name is Peck and when speaking of his father he seems to be speaking of Walter Peck, the lead human “bad guy” from Ghostbusters who went onto to work for mysterious government organizations (as seen in both the 80’s cartoon and the 2009 video game) it just is also a bit confusing, especially as this nugget of information or the true explanation of this character, who is known as Archibald Peck has claims of time travel and apparently he has doppelgangers created by time paradox. Although it is things of this nature that have kept the fans on their feet.
It is not the first weird thing to have ever been done though. This same company has been basically a bastion where every weird, silly, strange, and now looked upon poorly but with reverence silliness that happened in 1980’s WWF and early 90’s WCW is considered something to be treated with respect and a better understanding of where it comes from. These aren’t just talented performers playing out roles, but people who LOVE and admire what influences their roles. These are Power Ranger, Pokemon, Voltron, Star Trek, Doctor Who, Marvel Comics, Airwolf, Back to the Future loving geeks who also happen to love working out, being acrobats, acting and of course wrestling. If they weren’t working there, they’d be fans. Hell, there are MANY talents who are seriously respected (as much as one is respected in the world of sports entertainment) whom would would say their greatest times in wrestling and enjoyment came from watching or being part of CHIKARA.
What CHIKARA gives to me a self proclaimed wrestling geek going all the way back to 1986 isn’t even an alternative to the product produced by the current WWE (which features many former CHIKARA talent at this time) or TNA mainstream product or even the awesomeness of Ring of Honor or Dragon Gate USA (both whom has used current or as the case may be in the current storyline former CHIKARA talent). It’s so much more, because there’s a sense of community and family that exists in the fans of this company that I have never thought I’d experience in this particular hobby. I always felt wrestling would be the ONE place where I’d never really gain not more than 1 or two friends who I felt could look at wrestling with the same eyes as I do or at least eyes and responses that I respect and appreciate. It is through CHIKARA I am reminded of what brought me to wrestling in the first place.
The current storyline has truly made that family aspect come alive. In mid 2013 after months of crazy story-lines involving time travel, grand plans, magical items, corporate stooges and more, the company was shut down by its “director of fun!” in the middle of the main event. The PPV was yanked off the air as a security force kicked fans out of the building. For a couple months fans didn’t even know what to think, they were left to assume that CHIKARA was done and this was their closing story, but it was ONLY just beginning. I honestly can’t recall the order of events but there were multiple happenings.
On what was/is the official forum community board for the fans known as The 101, where the company had conducted contests, reported information and actually developed storylines previously, in the midst of most of the roster lamenting the death of CHIKARA and unexpected voice, that of pro wrestler Icarus (at one time one of the most hated men in the company, but in the last few shows before closing seeming to possibly change, AND a competitor in that last unfinished match) saying CHIKARA would only die if we let it die. He rallied the fans. He even stated that he would be at one of the canceled shows and if you could be to be there to. A nice amount of fans showed up to that Easton, PA rally. I think shortly after is when the Youtube channel for Wrestling Is… a group of companies called COOL, HEART, INTENSE, FUN, AWESOME, RESPECT and ART (which spell out CHIKARA, the F stands for K because the championship belt in FUN is a banana and bannas have Potassium and the element sign for that is K… it makes sense, trust me) premiered what was called ASHES – “Prelude” which showed the founder of CHIKARA, Mike Quackenbush seeking a place to open a wrestling school with a very apparent CHIKARA logo at the end. Since that video there have been two other episodes, one which had elements only longtime CHIKARA fans would really get and which the happenings of have not seen any actual repercussions as of yet. The third though definitely let us know that the efforts of Icarus were not just fun and silliness but tied deeply into the larger storyline being told of the death and rebirth of CHIKARA.
Before this third episode aired, there was a second rally conducted on the steps of the Philadelphia Museum of Art. At the time this happened a few weeks ago I was completely already pulled into the drama and excitement of all this hullabaloo and used it as an excuse to finally visit Philly in three years. I had an amazing trip there, in which I visited the offices of Quirk Books, ate amazing meals, met comedian and America’s Got Talent contestant Doogie Horner at his book signing and coincidentally at the same event the performer of the aforementioned “director of fun” who had ‘shut down’ CHIKARA, shot lots of photos streetart, visited historical places and eve by chance after the rally on the steps hung out with one of the new family members I had made I this fan community in which we had lunch and even went to a local wrestling show (which happened to one of the better wrestling shows I’d ever actually seen live or otherwise). Of course in between all that was the rally and I filmed and edited it and shared it on Youtube.
That brings us to Monday night with the #IamCHIKARA call on Twitter and now the next step on the plans. Icarus has asked us to reach out to our brethren, those who may not realize they could LOVE Chikara as much as we do, but if they open their hearts and minds they will discover it is truly a place for everyone and it has something for all. Ants, Clowns, Monkeys, Pirates, Knights, Apes, Gentleman, Living Nightmares, Cult Figures, Monsters, Living Icecream, Toilet Demons, Sexy Women, even Sexier Men, Old Time Baseball players, Action Movie Fights in Furniture Stores, Video Game Parodies, Duck, Duck, Goose, Leather Jackets on Emo Bad Boys, Cocky Jerks, Girls from Space, Gods of the Cosmos, and even… yes, even the kitchen sink.
I missed Wrestlemania 29 completely as I went to a Green Day concert after my long day at MoCCaFest which will be covered on this website in full very soon.
On my way to Green Day and while there I wrote a few fake Facebook statuses and Twitter tweets. They were as follows
Omg I can’t believe @HulkHogan joined @TheShieldWWE #WrestleMania utterly insane!
Oh no word from the back @WWEFandango and @BradMaddoxIsWWE were with the Bella twins so there’s a new main. Them vs Cena & Bryan
George Steel head butted The Undertaker and then Ultimate Warrior ran in and pedigreed HHH! Wrestlemania is insane!
Holy shit! Ken Shamrock stole money in the bank from Dolph Ziggler and cashed in on the rock!
I decided to watch Wrestlemania and instead of actually live tweeting or facebooking to just write all my thoughts down on paper. I also threw some other thoughts towards friends and recorded some commentary starting after The Shield match which I’ve edited down to a short random podcast live reaction type thing, but without time codes or Rifftrax so it’ll only make sense to those who watch WM, but that’s who this is for.
Here we go with the literally commentary:
The Wrestlemania set is both beautiful and stupid. Vince McMahon sounding like his old school commentator bit was just weird… “How about them apples?” I don’t know sir, I don’t know.. are they Mackintosh? Are they Granny Smith?
Matt Striker and Josh Matthews would be the guys who would do the entire Wrestlemania broadcast in a perfect world. Even on a Swansung! I want a swansung!
I’m okay with tweet and Tout stuff on Active, but if that stuff is on the PPV, well, If I spent $60 I’d demand a refund just because I don’t purchase commercials.
Kofi Kingston doesn’t win matches but he gets to share commentary with Jim Ross and Dusty Rhoades? I have no idea what they want with this guy anymore.
Wait, We The People used a clip of young George Bush and Barbara? That’s actually really awesome and hilarious… he should be the champion damn it… because, well, Alberto Del Rio sucks. He’s talking about the Statue of Liberty? He’s from Mexico, born with a silver spoon in his mouth, a man who thinks he was born to be the world champion. It’s still one of the most unrealistic face turns ever, it’s just insincere and makes no sense.
The “Coming Home” fan collection video made for Wrestlemania featured my friend Sam Fines and his son doing the “Millions and Millions of Dollars” dance and that is awesome.
When Matt Striker said the crowd was electric they looked like they were dead and then they piped in fake yelling. That’s kind of a bad sign.
I need to skip these packages, I’ve been watching WWE for weeks and they’ve been showing these things non stop. This isn’t really a one hour pre-show if it’s all filler like this.
Pretty damn loud “We Want Ryder” Chant! Well loud enough that it came through loud and clear. I mean sure they’re in his hometown, but the fact that existed should count for something.
Heymanstein??!?!? That was horrible.
WWE fans are scary or at least that’s what WWE wants us to think.
Snooki wants to be fucked by The Miz. I wonder if she ACTUALLY Really, REALLY sent that Tweet.
The Miz’ jacket is freaking awesome, I want that jacket. I want that jacket NOW! Buy me that Jacket!
I actually really liked that segment. Barrett and Miz at least in a backstage segment didn’t seem bothered by the fact that they’re on Active.
I always forget that new blonde’s name they have for event centers and backstage interviews, but she seriously is adorable. I like how Un-Diva she is. She’s just an attractive woman who can add class to the show.
Really, Kofi thinks Henry vs. Ryback matters? It doesn’t… does it? I don’t think it does…does it?
And even ACTIVE, a APP only show has commercials.
JUDAH!!!!!! I like Judah actually. He’s good people.
This show still has no reason to be an hour. Just so we can hear Dusty, Kofi and JR ramble about a show that people had at that point decided they would shell $60/70 for the PPV?
FINALLY! Miz vs. Barrett for the INTERCONTINENTAL championship.
Why did Justin Roberts say The Miz like he was George Wednt on SNL? Ya know… The Bears.
I still want Miz’ coat.
I’m very happy they didn’t have Barrett tap out to the figure four without Miz even working the legs first. Barrett then did a really weak slam. Then the drop toe hold into a second figure four in the middle of the ring… that was a well constructed match.
I hope with The MIZ as IC champ he’ll maybe get proper TV time and bring some fun to RAW, since it doesn’t have enough fun. In just seven minutes (backstage, ring entrance, match, exit) he and Barrett showed what you can do with just a short amount of time and still prove you deserve a spot and TV time on a regular basis.
Oh jeez… really? We open with a speech from Chris Christie on Sandy? Really? This is not what I want from Wrestlemania. WWE is escape from reality. Not a reflection of it. This is not a good way to open a show. This is actually the worst opening I’ve ever seen. Then the freaking National Guard??! I WANT ESCAPE! ESCAPE!
The show isn’t starting? We need a freaking video package about Wrestlemania itself on top of that NJ opening? This was so uneeded… why is this on my show? GIVE ME WRESTLING! I guess Fast Forward is my friend!
Last year Sheamus won the world title in 18 seconds, this year he’s the third person to come out to the stage with two former champions.
The Big Show shouldn’t fist bump, what if the WOMD breaks their hands??!
Seth Rollins rolling flip over the guardrail was freaking awesome. Seriously the awesome reeking off The Shield is just well… a lot. They stink of awesome. Sure it helps that thy’re being booked as seriously tough as well, able to come back from beatdowns from the three biggest forces in WWE and then do a beatdown, but they’re “realistic” in it. I believe in The Shield.
Show’s face of sadness when Orton decided to be selfish Orton and then not helping when Reigns does the spear was good booking actually. Probably I bet the only good booking on this entire show! We’ll see… we shall see.
I would still have sex with Snooki. Well if I was the kind of guy who just had sex with women or ever had sex with anyone ever that I wasn’t in love with. I am not in love with her and never will be.
Two big men are hitting each other. Something is just missing here. It just doesn’t feel like Wrestlemania. Even the opening match while fun didn’t feel like Wrestlemania.
This is some seriously weird ass booking. Big Show goes heel again out of jealousy and anger over Randy Orton. Rybak loses and still destroys Mark Henry. It just doesn’t do anything. What does It establish? I assume Ryback wants another match because he’ll want the official win? I don’t know man… I don’t know.
Dolph Ziggler needs to stop doing that perfect dropkick as a favor to Michael McGillicutty. He’ll never become the new Curt Hennig as long as Nic is playing the role.
This is poor poor poor booking. It’s just not being well done. It’s doesn’t feel big.
Then We get FANDANGO and it feels like Wrestlemania. The grandeur, the display, the excitement. Johnny Curtis is ready to shut everyone up. The flamenco music sucks though.
That match was exciting, energetic and showed how good both men, but the way it was booked and choereographed was horrendous. The ending was a joke and not a good way for something on Wrestlemania to end. This is Wrestlemania right?
I’m skipping Diddy,
Why did they torture the fans with Swagger/Del Rio going as long as it did? I had to skip ahead… It was just boring. I can’t accept this Super Del Rio. The lock to arm breaker to lock was cool, but that Del Rio survived it is ridiculous.
It is Wrestlemania again finally after a match that must’ve completely drained the audience. It drained me and I watched it in fastforward.
The entrances by Punk and UT were awesome. Although UT’s was a little too long. Just my feeling.
UT and Punk definitely knew they were at WM in delivering a match.
That elbow drop spot on the announcer table was absolutely insane.
I must admit… that match was awesome. Punk and UT delivered.
Slim Jim advertisement??!?!?!
What happened to Brock Lesnar before Wrestlemania? His eye was jacked (looked like a broken orbital bone) and his back was red and welted. Michael Cole brings up the welts and mouse, but they were there BEFORE the match started!
Before Wrestlemania I thought only Fandango, Jericho, Undertaker and CM Punk would do anything Wrestlemania worthy. I was completely right.
I don’t have the patience to watch this horrible match all the way through.
Wrestlemania = Slim Jims, National Guard and Movie Trailers.
I honestly think I’m not even bothering watching The Rock vs. John Cena. I just don’t care… I just don’t. So thus ends my Wrestlemania commentary!
Hope you enjoy. Think of it as if I was tweeting the whole time!
Pablo Fuentes Reyna aka MS-1 (55, car accident): Most popular in the 80’s as a part of Los Infernales with Pirata Morgan and others. I personally was never really privy to his work but it seems interesting to me which Luchadores names are public knowledge and which are not but either way I think they die with their mask on (although MS-1 did not wear a mask).
Aristóteles Radamés Coccó Flores AKA MS-2, Maskare and later as as Yeti (57, cancer): Aristóteles Radamés Coccó Flores AKA Maskare and later as and most well known as Yeti (57, cancer): Another luchadorian h actually dressed like a Sasquatch/Yeti and worked in AAA in the 80s when it we got it on Galavision. His existence is actually a sight to behold. Before all that though he was a regular team partner of MS-1 and was even brought into Los Infernales for a short time. Despite years passing since the two worked together, fate took them both in the same year. Curious. Here’s a match where he teamed with Tinieblas Jr. and Sr, as well as La Calaca against Pierroth Jr, Heavy Metal and Latin Lover (oh and midgets too). This match isn’t the best example that shows Yeti’s size though as the Tinieblas were freakishly tall as well was La Calaca. The only average sized lucha here actually is Heavy Metal.
Joe Scarpa (87, results of a fall): The man known as Chief Jay Strongbow was never in the main event, but he was truly a wrestling superstar. Four tag team championships, a household name, a member of the Hall of Fame, and the co-star of the second most brutal strap match in mainstream history with the man who was the co-star of the most vicious Greg “The Hammer” Valentine. The best thing about how Strongbow was not actually a Native American, but he was still respected and Chris Chavis aka Tatanka who was a true native never had a problem with it. Scarpa was also trained by Don Eagle, so that gave him a pass. Here’s that Indian Strap match.
Rip Hawk (82, heart issues): A multiple WCCW World Tag Champion, Rip Hawk’s biggest claim to fame in professional wrestling is when he teamed up with a young Ric Flair. Hawk was a stocky man who could throw a good punch and if anything at leats make you belive he’ll beat you up. He definitely missed a certain charisma and look to be more than a talent that helped others and a consummate ring grappler bit those are admirable things to have been. Here’s an old match with him teaming with regular partner Swede against some guys.
Brad Armstrong (50, medical distress): The most charismatic, physically talented and exciting of the Armstrongs (sorry Road Dogg, but he was) was also the one who struggled the most career wise. While brother Scott has always had a referee gig and brother Jesse James is mixed in deep with wrestling history, Brad never made the impact he deserved the chance to make (although he did do better than third brother Steve). More underrated than Doug Furnas it could say… not as an inring performer, but all around, definitely. Although he was part of some awesome moments, including when he made two run-in appearances in one match as different personas, as his masked persona was not supposed to actually be him. He was also at one point one half of the greatest tag teams ever in The Lightning Express, but their push got halted as Tim Horner became a jobber. One of the greatest matches he should be remembered for is against Dean Malenko, he doesn’t win… not even close, but he holds his own and proves how good he was in this one.
Buddy “Jack” Roberts (67, pneumonia) : Any true real wrestling fan with an actual history know The Fabulous Freebirds, even if all they know is current WWE road agent Michael Hayes. The Freebirds were so much more though. While many would say it was Hayes, Gordy and Garvin, it was Buddy Roberts who made them totally awesome and he was there before Garvin… he was The Freebirds. His nickname “Jack” was because he was always drunk on Jack Daniel’s. He made it work though, it wasn’t just a drunk dude barely able to walk, but a drunk dude being really entertaining and good worker. Hayes was the looks, Gordy was the muscle and Buddy “Jack” was well Buddy “Jack”. The Freebirds were just cool before cool was even a concept. Well, you know what I mean. Buddy also had the craziest voice. He eventually got lung cancer and you could see it happening, he talked like he smoked 22 packs a day. He retired way back when, but I’ll never forget him or The Freebirds. Guys like Hayes, Jack and Gordy paved the way for so many folks, it’s a shame nobody ever says something for them. DDP, CM Punk, Edge, guys like that would’ve never even been given a chance (and they STILL had to earn it) without guys like those three to at least take a shovel to the groundwork. Finding the best of Buddy isn’t easy, but here’s a clip where he cuts a promo with Terry, as well as “Iceman” King Parsons. Followed by a longer clip in which the Freebirds confronted Mike Graham directly after the passing of his father.
That second clip brings us to: Mike Graham (61, suicide): The son of legendary promotor Eddie, Mike seriously was never really that good in the ring, but he had a true love and passion for the industry. That in of itself truly shined and hey, even got to be a champion a couple of times. Sure it was AWA Light Heavyweight champion as the “biggest” title in terms of indutsry clout, but he owned Florida. Sure, he also OWNED Florida, but he never actually really used that card. I think that may be what finally after all these years may have brought him down. Despite his passion, dedication, respect for others, he was still the son of Eddie Graham and once he sold off the entire FCW library to WWE/Titan he had nothing more to live for. Love, children, it should be enough, but for many… it’s just not enough and depression is a horrible disease and sometimes it takes us, especially in a family with the disease strong. Eddie killed himself 20 years ago and Mike’s son killed himself two years ago… that Mike found the strength to last is a testament to his dedication.
I’ve been a fan of Trevor Murdoch since I first saw him in his earliest role of Trevor Rhodes through the internet. His WWE tag run with Lance Cade was fantastic and while this interview has him state he felt he ignored the entertainment side during his last WWE run, I disagree, his singing gimmick was great and WWE creative dropped the ball, not him. He had a very short run in TNA as Jethro Holliday, where they didn’t used him as just another body more than anything.
I’m quite happy to see what he can do on a second WWE run, be it in singles or as the tag partner of someone again.
The Hart Family is one of the most celebrated and possibly the first (there are timeline arguments to be made) first families of professional wrestling/sports entertainment. There have been quite a few books written about and by the Hart family, most notably Bret Hart’s biting, brutal, hate laced, but honest Hitman: My Real Life in the Cartoon World of Wrestling. I was a huge fan of this almost 10 year in the making tome which was more transcription of audio diary than Bret’s actual writing. Bret happens to be a great writer and has/had a regular column in the Calgary Sun. That column was once in awhile written by his older brother Bruce, the brother that without, Bret may’ve have never decided to have his father Fritz turn him into “the best there is, the best there was and the best there ever will be”.
Bruce Hart, the second oldest brother, has chosen that the time was right for him to tell his very slanted side of the story in ECW Press’ Straight From The Heart.
I was very gratified to get the opportunity to read and review this book from the Publicity department at ECW Press at Book Expo America. As a story/skewed memoir it is as enetertaining as any wrestling autobiogrphies of recent memory. There’s fervor, details, psychology, analysis and a great story.
It’s a shame that much of Bruce’s memories or at least how he chose to put them on the page are false, incorrect, missing details or just outright lies. This doesn’t change their quality of storytelling, but if one wants to really learn about the history of Stampede wrestling or even Bruce’s own wrestling career, this isn’t the place to look.
As the book continues down its path Bruce is also much more bitter than Bret ever came across in his book. Of course in respect, he has every reason to be bitter. Even through the lies and machinations, the hardships that Bruce experienced do shine and they set him apart as a person way different than his more famous family members. He seems to have a lot of vitriol for his former brother-in-laws David Smith and Dynamite Kid and he holds no punches with them, but he equally seems to have a detest for Bret. He also seems to feel he deserves credit for Bret’s success, stating he ghost wrote every single column in the Calgary Sun and that every decision and gimmick concept that Bret used to become “The Hitman” came from him. I find this a little hard to believe. As hard it is to believe that every single time Bruce had the chance to make it big, some crisis happened or someone else messed it up and his family screwed it all up for him.
Even for as much respect and love he shows his father Stu and the great history, which seems more accurate than anything in the book, of Stampede’s beginnings, the latter passages show that he equally feels like his father was to blame for failure and he was the reason they had success, but since he was “in charge”, he had to take credit for everything, be it failure or success.
Later on, he seems to pull back on his anger of Stu, but the feelings on Bret do not stop and sound tantamount to slander, but its such interesting and intriguing slander that it comes across as awesome fiction instead of a statement. Which as I stated much of the book comes across as, as have many other wrestling books. Unlike the very personal and open statements of Mick Foley or Chris Jericho’s books, Bruce’s book have much more in common with the books he personally quotes from, such as Ric Flair and Vince Russo. This isn’t history, it’s HIS history and he backs it up with other people’s skewed histories instead of the video truth.
There’s also a ton of hypocrisy in his world view, but that also makes for fascinating and compelling reading. In the end though he thanks us the most and hopes we enjoyed the read, as much as he’s enjoyed the ride. I did indeed.
I would’ve like some further clarity on the current situation of his life, where he once again got married to a woman 20 years younger than him and had a child at 56. He skipped ahead from his father’s passing in 2003 to Bret’s return to the fold of Vince McMahon’s corporation (in which Bret continues to appear in 2011 and probably beyond). Much happened in those intervening years though. I guess Bruce couldn’t think of a sufficient lie to tell to make that interesting.
It may seem crazy, but I still highly recommend Straight From The Heart, just go in there with an open mind. You can choose to also take it at face value and if you’re not a real wrestling fan who actually gives a damn, do that and enjoy it, cause well, you will.
Addendum: The book has some awesome photos. Here’s an example:
The book also provides you names and time periods that while his memories of how things went down is inaccurate, they give you a great guide to the resource that is the internet and you can find lots of classic Stampede wrestling on Youtube:
(above photo taken by me at a 2006 CD signing in NYC)
On May 20, 2011, Randall Poffo, best known to the world as “Macho Man” Randy Savage was unwrapped from his mortal coil. Reports account his death occurring from a combination heart attack and fatal car accident.
Savage was easily one of my favorite of all time. He brought everything I liked about wrestling into a secure package. Flamboyancy, technical athletics, insane rumblings, maniacal interviews and a never say die attitude. When everyone went right, he went left. I’d say his promos and raps tell his tale better than anything ever could.
Sugar was sweet and so was honey. Macho Man went to the top, fell down, got back up and went to the top again. The mountain was there standing like a pillar of salt and he just tossed it behind his back like a rock, paper, scissors. You don’t see the steamroller coming till it’s ahead of you and you’ve been flattened out. An elbowdrop from the top is what it was all about. Yellow and Pink, Purple and green, red and black, colors bleed and so does blood. Hardcore before there was hardcore, he piledrove Ricky Morton on a table and it didn’t break. That hurts more than breakaway.
Did he become a joke with his rap album or just cement his legend of insanity and unpredictability? I say the second, you can disagree. It doesn’t matter, because heres to the Macho Man.
Hoping he’s off in some afterlife back together with Miss Elizabeth after their break up almost 20 years ago. Or maybe he’s with Sherri. He has his pick, he’s the Macho Man!