Since BrayFabe hit my brain as a concept I’ve done many many drawings. They’ve been shown love by the wrestlers they featured even, as I posted them to Twitter and such. Folks like Kassius Ohno, Ultramantis Black, Dasher Hatfield, Tim Donst, The Young Bucks, Kobald…. so yeah, basically the guys who really acknowledge and appreciate their fans (not that big wrestlers don’t). Although I’ve haven’t done much WWE stuff.
One of the earliest ideas I got but not really formulated was what if Isaac Yankem, DDS stuck around despite a bad win/loss record found his footing, became a machine and then after many years of destruction realized he has to dominate and one way to do that was to build a stable. The first person he turned to was the man who brought him into the WWF, “The King” Jerry Lawler, someone who could help guide him and advise him on this new step. Through the power of certain things that just happen no matter what universe you’re in he first found himself aligned with the former Sixx-Pac… now working as X-Tract after going to dentistry school and learning everything Isaac knew. Although shortly after this Glenn found a kinship with a force so powerful he could not ignore it. A man who could rival his own strength and fortitude, a beast, a Latino beast, David Batista, the dentist from the South (of the border)… DENTISTA. Insulted and slightly angered that Isaac was “rejecting” him as a second in command, X-Tract demanded he got to add an x-ray technician who would also be X-Tract’s own right hand man. The entire wrestling world was shocked (or maybe dismayed) when brought in an unhinged man who Isaac knew back in his college years, a man who had also followed the wrestling path, but as the years got worse he lost his mind, and his name. Once known as Al Snow, he was now operating as an underground dentist himself, trying to prove himself, called Oren Kornpett (for those unfamiliar with cinematic dentists, combining the names of the sicko from “Little Shop of Horrors” and the dragged into adventure from “The In-Laws”) and X-Tract gave him just that chance. At first Isaac was really angry, but he soon warmed to the idea and the five men now rule their own universe as….
The year was 1999 and The Undertaker was about to marry “The Billionaire Princess” Stephanie McMahon, but “Stone Cold” Steve Austin interfered in the nuptials. Later, Hunter Hearst Helmsley would fake marry Stephanie and proceed to real life marry her and become the second most powerful individual in the now WWE. That isn’t how it HAD to happen though.
Imagine a universe where Austin is embroiled in other affairs, so absolutely no one stops the wedding vows of the Dark One, Hell’s Other Favorite Son and the Spoiled Brat of Boobage. Now take a step further and imagine that because of this fake marriage, Mark and Stephanie fall in love and his career runs in slightly different states with different angles and story-lines. It all ends with him at the top hiring people, creating television and making WWE a bigger market than ever as the COO facing a cadre of implants from the UFC with Brock Lesnar only being the start of dangerous men.
Artwork by The Wrestling Cartoonist
Before that though in 2011, The Dead Man already in a position of power although not officially used his influence to make sure Wrestlemania would be the of the biggest and bestest WM ever. In the time-line envisioned here many other things have happened, putting various individuals in stories unexpected.
In this universe for example in 1995 before UT saw the arrival of long lost brother Kane, a dentist by the name of Issac Yankem, DDS came into the WWF and unleashed hell. So much damage that he never went away, he ended up building his practice, and sticking around, allowing a time rift in which both he AND Kane existed, but that’s another story for another time.
Many stories are for another time actually, as between 1999 and 2011 this new WWE went through some of the most amazing events of almost unfathomable unexpectedness but The Undertaker would still achieve his legacy held streak of being undefeated at Wrestlemania. After many years of amazing opponents taken out left and right, who was left? Who could actually challenge The Dead Man? The call went out as they looked for someone with the right enough of chutzpah, grandeur, legendary aspect and a man who Undertaker had never faced before.
Once they found their man though, it was kept secretive, as mysteriously dark videos started to debut that seemed to announce the arrival of one man who had walked both the dark side and the side of the angels. A man everyone in the WWF should fear as most of them if not all had never had to deal with his unleashing. A man who was fast as a cat and big as a bull, a man who walked rafters and the underground effortlessly. No one knew for sure why The Stinger was coming, but all hints said he was on his way. Then one cold night in February he made his motives known. He was after one thing and he would do whatever he could do to achieve it. Sting would cement his legacy by ending The Dead Man’s, by hell or high-water, Undertaker would burn and Sting would rise to the pantheon.
Art by Nik Towers
TO BE CONTINUED….
In the next issue, another universe, another possibility, The Tough Enough Crew (preempted if better images/ideas/possibilities come from the amazing assortment of folks who have helped me see this become a reality)
Throughout the history of professional wrestling there have been monumental events, angles, stories, character and gimmicks that could’ve easily gone another direction and either drastically the change the course of the future or having very little change but that one change still being constant.
Within the confines of DC Comics and Marvel this idea has been constantly explored. In DC they call it Elseworlds. In Marvel it was known as “What If?’. Some of my favorite comics stories of all time have come from these particular annuals, graphic novels and series. It is something could easily be applied to wrestling in many major ways.
Here’s a small list of some of the ideas I’m playing with:
What if the Issac Yankem gimmick was successful and got expanded to a stable with a X-ray tech and an anesthesiologist?
“What if James Storm joined Chris Harris in ECWWE?”
“Fallen Angel doesn’t get injured in Nitro debut”
“CM Punk never went straight edge”
“Kevin Nash and Scott Hall never left WCW/never left the WWF to go back to WCW”
I have a short dream list of artists based purely on their previous wrestling illustrations, none that have agreed to be part of the project as of yet, but it is a dream.
(special thanks to Sam “Eddie Phoenix” Fines for helping come up with the concept and cementing it in stone with a name.)
(My first follow up will be me fleshing out one of the actual what if’s further and drawing one of my own to get the ball rolling… also research into other artists who not only draw wrestlers but understand and LOVE wrestling…I don’t want just cool illustrations, I want the passion of folks who get what they’re doing, not just photo referencing stuff)
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!
I made sure to be at Con super early to ensure myself a ticket from Mattel for the Dolph Ziggler signing. I ended up handing my ticket off to someone else in the end, but that’s another story for later on in this adventure of paragraphs.
After taking advantage of the show floor opening at 9:30 I walked around a bit to see what new if any freebies or swag was on the floor different from Friday and there was some, but it wasn’t long before I found myself heading down to the “basement” level for a special Disney Interactive session.
It was quite exciting to hear Warren Spector talk about Epic Mickey 2, as well as the Epic Mickey 3DS game. He showed off lots of screens, details and video footage not shown at San Diego, although most of it was shown at PAX probably. I’m going to take advantage of assets and memory to write up some details on the game from memory as my camera seems to have eaten the footage. This was the only thing my camera ate actually, but I remember most of what was discussed so I should be okay. I got a little hands on too, and that’s cemented in my brain.
After Epic Mickey 2 I rushed over to the Press Room for Bruce Timm and Andrea Romano. Those videos will be up within the week, but bigger and more exciting than hearing them discuss Batman: Dark Knight Returns Part 1 and 2 was the announcement of SUPERMAN: Unbound, based on the Braniac story by Geoff Johns and Gary Frank and JUSTICE LEAGUE: FLASHPOINT based on… well Flashpoint. I don’t know how they can even tackle Flashpoint in any fashion, but based on how well they handled the equally deft The New Frontier by Darwyn Cooke I am actually excited by this prospect.
Next up was my scheduled interview with professional wrestling’s Booker T in celebration/promotion of his book From Prison to Promise. I asked him a few what I felt were hard-hitting questions although they didn’t really get hard-hitting answers exactly. Informative answers though and great material for my forthcoming review. Got a photo with the man as well so very chill indeed.
At this point I went to get online for Dolph Ziggler even with the signing an hour away. I felt even though it was ticketed, an hour was enough. It seriously was not enough. Not even remotely enough. Fans had started their OWN line unguided by security or Mattel and they’d started it around 11 or 12. Who knows, but it was long and many folks in it didn’t have tickets. Many did, but still… it was a huge clusterfuck in the power of Mattel not knowing what to do and having to wing it, staff being understaffed and security being completely useless. There were other moments I noticed like this on the floor for lines I didn’t plan to be on, but could still see a lack of control or logic. The con has had lines like this happen in the past, but this year they were just completely unprepared to deal with them.
As I said earlier I ended up giving up my ticket for Dolph, but I did get a good shot of him from the line. It wasn’t like they were giving something away and this wasn’t like the Booker interview where he MIGHT remember me, so once my Facebook photo upload finished to get the exclusive He-Man shirt, after waiting maybe 45 minutes if not more I left the line and headed down to the panel room.
Once down there I had to make a choice and I ended up going to the Ned Vizzini and Chris Columbus panel where they discussed and detailed their upcoming book House of Secrets. That was really fun and I knew I had to go to their autographing session to grab the sampler.
The other panel I wanted to go to at the same time was King of the Nerds with Robert Carradine and Curtis Armstrong. Since I didn’t get to, I at least got to meet them, shake their hands and get a signed photo print, a photo, fake glasses and an iPhone case. The Columbus/Vizzini signing was in the same line right after so I procured my sneak peek and then got on line for Brad “Cheeks” Bell, Sean Hemon and Jane Espenson of HUSBANDS. In my preview of NYCC I showed off again my photo from last year when Cheeks and Sean gave me a kiss. They both remembered and loved how much weight I lost and my new short hair, but Brad said that I had no expression in last year’s photo and he was right. So I over compensated this year.
Next up I went to the Remember Me panel and stayed up until they started showing footage I’d already seen. Actually the new footage to me was the combat and combos system, and of course discussing the development of the game and seeing all the great assets and concept art. I ducked out though once I felt like I was sufficiently educated and luckily they did the T-shirt giveaway at the beginning instead of the end. I went from there to the panel with the heads behind Mondo Media,Simon’s Cat, Shut Up Cartoons and Cartoon Hangover. The Cartoon Hangover stuff were shorter clips of what I saw on Friday night, but theMondo Mediasizzle reel was awesome as wasShut Up Cartoons. Three of these four channels are part of the new Youtube Animation network and they’re all awesome.
From there I went to the the special party sponsored by Samsung, Legendary Pictures, Nerdist and Comixology at SLATE. It wasn’t exactly my scene, even though the DJ was awesome. I only saw two people I knew even and one of them works at Legendary. There was free food though so that was awesome. It was just sliders and chicken fingers, but it was a good spread and a good end to my most eventful and busiest day of NYCC 2012.
To get a clearer idea of where my head was in a jumbled state and the factor of this being possibly a serious mishmosh, let’s set some background.
I’m working from memory mostly, with the notes of my schedule for reference. Twitter and Facebook were impossible to get onto while in Javits. I tried, and was successful sometimes, but mostly nope, so my notes are photos, videos, what I bought, sketches and my good ol noggin. Another thing to note is that on Wednesday my mom admitted herself back into the hospital. She was there throughout the weekend and is still there as I write this on Monday night. It is nothing serious and they are getting down to the bottom to various problems she has had lately, but it added a stress factor to what usually is my most exciting weekend I New York for the last six years.
DAY ONE- Thursday
I got to the convention center and down into the press room, registered and ready to hit the floor just around opening at 4. The first person I saw before even getting on the show floor was Steve Talkowski. He introduced me to Tim Jester and I got to see his GibbyGop figure while admiring the Tokidoki car as well.
For this first official preview night where I had no panels or scheduled press interviews or autograph sessions I wanted to hit up so it was all about hitting the floor, getting whatever goodies I could and seeing as much as I could before 7 PM hit and it was time for the Tom Morello concert.
I gave my hand at Dead Rising 2: Off The Record and I’m thinking I’ll want it eventually, although I’ve yet to beat Dead Rising 2. A lot of the game booths pertained to genres I didn’t care about or had no interest in, but at least Ubisoft was there with some Assassin’s Creed and their game for the TinTin film. I played that and found it really fun.
Over at the Rockstar booth they were showing off the 10th anniversary edition of GTA3 which is a port for mobile devices and tablets. I got the feel for it and with some final tweaking it’ll definitely find new life on iPhones/pad/droids/whatever.
They were also showingMax Payne 3 in an early build in a closed off room. I’m thinking I’m probably not even supposed to TALK about the game, but damn it, it’s not video or photos, it’s just some dteails on awesomeness. They showed us a sequence flashback with Max Payne looking like his old self in New York City. In this wild sequence we find out why and how he ended up in the games main part of Brazil. They showed us the awesome mechanics and amazing graphics that are still in process, which means they’ll get even better. They then showed us a section of the Brazil part where Max is running around protecting his girl. The bullet time and final kill shots are just mesmerizing and there’s even SPECIAL bullet time sequences to allow for balls out ballistic kick ass action and Max is way more brutal now. After a dive he can be on the ground and turn around while still shooting. While Batman: Arkham City, Uncharted 3, and Assassin’s Creed: Revelations are going to keep me busy, I look super forward to Payne right now after that preview they gave us.
Walking the floor exploring awarded me seeing various other industry friends and acquaintances such as Dean Haspiel, Chris Miskiewicz, Joe Infurnari, Michel Fiffe and Kat Roberts (aka The ACT-I-VATECrew) and in the Cultyard, Jared Deal. I also got to see the FIRST comics booth and had a good conversation with the owner of the returning publishing venture. I was also happy to see Jarret Williams, writer/artist of Super Pro K.O. from ONI Press. He was the first of the very few sketches I was able to pull off at the convention this year.
Other things of note were the awesome Batman: Arkham Asylum and Arkham City action figures on display the DC Booth, the Hasbro Announcement of bringing back Jem and The Holograms and while I found the new Rayman game way challenging it looks freaking awesome and that visual standpoint should help it overcome it’s pretty high difficulty in 2-D platforming.
I also really enjoyed meeting street artist/cartoonist Tito Na Roa. When he hit New York City as part of visiting for NYCC he hit up the legends rooftop in Manhattan. I am hoping he somehow finds/found time to hit up more walls before going home, but even if he didn’t at least he solds his books at NYCC and his project is so mesmerizing.
Before the show floor closed on Sunday I was staring at Mattel’s collection of WWE figures, because no matter what I can’t seem to quit this shit. No matter how bad it gets. I’m still not the kind of fan they want though and never will be. My TV’s aren’t counted in market share, I don;t buy PPVs, I don’t go to live events, I don’t buy the toys and I criticize them left and right whenever I can. So I’m an addict, but at least I take my methodrone.
I almost decided to not go to the Tom Morello concert, but I am very glad I did. It was a super enjoyable and fun concert to listen and watch. He did a full amazing set of Night
I fell like I’m leaving out essential information in that the evening before I was off buying an iPhone and while I was about to go home is when my mother called me to tell me she was going into the hospital. She didn’t even know if she was being admitted till much later, which is why I wasn’t worried on Thursday. She wasn’t put into a room into late Thursday.
After the concert I went home knowing that the next few days were going to be intense and brutal.
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.