Posts Tagged ‘wrestling’

Guilty Conscience

March 11th, 2017

My WWE Network subscription ran out yesterday.

It was a gift from a friend who believed it was a fantastic thing, and if one is a WWE fan then he would be right. I have in a past life been a WWE fan. Before Election Day 2016. Before Linda McMahon became the head of Trump’s Small Business Administration.
I felt sick about having that damn subscription and stopped using it after November. Normalizing a monster like Trump belongs at the feet of people like Vince McMahon, who held two early Wrestlemanias at Trump Plaza in Atlantic City and letting Trump be the focus of the main event of Wrestlemania in 2007. That was the year Umaga wrestled Bobby Lashley in a Trump vs. McMahon hair match, with Stone Cold Steve Austin as referee. Donald Trump is in the WWE Hall of Fame, if it means anything.

 

Donald Trump is Vince McMahon’s idiot friend, and that guy is in the White House right now. Not to say McMahon is all that brilliant but he has at least eaten his own failures as opposed to Trump who’s failures are owned by other people, who rack up and pay for his losses.

 

There is more wrestling out there to enjoy and appreciate. At one point last year, I had compiled a list of my favorite matches from the first seven months of 2016. It got to be a long list, over 150 or more. It consumed my time and energy. I enjoyed it but I feel embarrassed now, seeing what the end of 2016 brought us. I really thought it couldn’t end so terribly. I got distracted in my cake and circus, and I have a guilty conscience about it.

 

I might be going crazy while the world burns itself. While bad people hurt those who can’t fight back. I feel powerless and any rage I could muster would go nowhere. Sometimes I muster the ability to resist in concrete ways. I’m on the phone with my representatives a lot more now. I am more awake then I was a year ago, and and certainly more than I was two years ago. But I envy those who are still sleeping in their bubbles. I envy the privileged. I am jealous and there’s two deadly sins right there. I already have gluttony, sloth and lust down pat. Anger isn’t even a sin anymore, it’s a bassline to life. If I were prideful, I’d have all the basis covered.

 

Wrestlemania is coming in a few weeks. Mary and the Colonel used to go every year. Since the Colonel passed away, Mary has gone without him. She has friends in wrestling now. She knows these larger-than-life characters as people… these blown-up one dimensional TV characters are another thing altogether when out of the limelight. The world is a strange place, and once upon a time I would want to know that world but not anymore. The fantasy dies behind the curtain. You don’t want to know who’s a dickhead in real life. Never meet your heroes. Never meet anyone. Meeting people is terrible.

 

Vince McMahon can drink my piss.

Betrayal!

December 8th, 2016

2016 is a year in which I feel like a rube. One can hardly blame me. Up until election day, every poll had assured me that Hillary Clinton would walk away with the Presidency. Look how that ended up. Ugh.

 

But hey, there was one bright spot in November. The Cubbies! Yeah! They won the World Series! Broke the Billy Goat’s Curse and all that. It took about 108 years but the Cubs finally won the big one and it was awesome.

abc7chicago.com

abc7chicago.com

 

Wait, what? Are you sure about that?

 

abc7chicago.com

abc7chicago.com

 

That’s. . . odd.

 

abc7chicago.com

abc7chicago.com

 

Yeah, because a billionaire sports owner has always had the interests of the public in mind.

I thought Trump and the Ricketts family didn’t like each other. What happened?

 

abc7chicago.com

abc7chicago.com

 

I’m groaning. What horrible sex act did a member of the Ricketts family perform in a Trump hotel? I only hope it was safe, sane and consensual.

 

Maybe it wasn’t sex. Maybe Todd Ricketts killed a STOP SHUTUPMIKE

 

That’s too bad that the co-owner of my favorite team is in bed with Trump. I still got wrestling. Love me some pro wrestling! How about that WWE? With John Cena! And Randy Orton! And Triple H! And oh god what’s this news?

 

cnbc.com

cnbc.com

 

Linda McMahon? As in Vince’s wife? Mr. McMahon’s wife? That Linda?

 

cnbc.com

cnbc.com

 

Let’s stop right here. At no point was or is WWF/WWE a small business. It wasn’t when Vince took over the WWF from his father, and it certainly isn’t now seeing as how it’s a publicly traded company.

 

For a lark, go to Wikipedia and look up “List of WWE personnel”. It’s a list primarily of the on-screen talent, most of which (wrestlers) are classified as independent contractors. Not employees. Because employees have rights. Employees can unionize. I mean, independent contractors could also unionize but then they would be told their services are no longer required and they would be frozen out of the biggest company in their profession.

 

Name another active wrestling promotion. I can because I follow wrestling. You probably can’t. That’s not your fault. WWE is practically the only game in town. There are far more wrestlers than there are companies for them to work and make a living. So most of the “list of WWE personnel” can be replaced. The ones that can’t be replaced tend to be the ones lower on the page. The Board of Directors, Corporate Officers and Senior Management. People like Vince McMahon himself, the majority shareholder in WWE. And his daughter Stephanie. And her husband Paul, aka wrestler Triple H.

 

 

I guess I shouldn’t be surprised. You don’t get to be a billionaire or near as much without stepping on a lot of necks. But I feel terrible for having supported these franchises. The Cubs’ ownership and the McMahons turn their back on America. What’s next? Is one of the Zappa kids up for White House press secretary?

 

I still want that job, by the way.

 

King Carny (You Deserve A Break Today)

November 18th, 2016

The last three weeks have been so. . . ugh, I don’t know. “Quagmire” almost makes it but lacks the feeling of existential despair that a better word would contain.

 

The people who will get paid the most in the next few years will be the lawyers, the carnies and the hustlers. Some of the hustling is admirable. Some of the lawyers are even admirable but at the end of the day all of them have billable hours.

 

 

This tweet has been slapping me in the face more and more over the last year. Pro wrestling is not a sport. It’s a carny exhibition of choreographed fighting. Pretend it hurts when it doesn’t to make people feel bad for your pain. Pretend it doesn’t hurt when it does so you can maintain that aura of invincibility to your fans. Pretend, pretend, pretend, make the fans love you, get them to part with their money to see you, to buy your t-shirt, your foam finger, your poster, whatever your face can be slapped on and sold.

 

Carny behavior left the carnival a long time ago, long before any intelligent person noticed it. It appears that our President-elect may be King Carny. Look where it got him. He lied to everyone, cheated everyone, stole from everyone, burned everyone, conned them, sold his followers a bill of goods and triumphed.

 

I am easily given to despair. My temper flares sometimes. I am more touchy then I used to be. I am personally offended by the continued existence of Donald Trump as a relevant public figure. How am I going to cope with the next four years?

 

I’m going to try to enjoy the little things in life. I’m going to take little breaks for my own sanity. Last night in the middle of the night, I watched New Japan Pro Wrestling for the first time in months. It was the first night of their World Tag League tournament, which is a round-robin style tournament between sixteen teams that will take place over the course of a month.

 

I can’t believe I once compiled a list of my favorite matches from the first half of 2016. It was a long list, over 100 matches from all over the world. I was engrossed in the graps deep. I wanted something to disappear into. So I fell deep into a form of entertainment that I’ve always enjoyed. Escapism into light entertainment.

 

I needed to do that while I did it but I’m glad I stopped. There’s no way I can watch a month-long round-robin wrestling tournament. There’s too much to do. Too many people to call. Too many petitions to sign. I feel like I’m on night watch again. Only instead of taking care of my ailing grandfather, I’m watching to make sure they don’t start grabbing Muslims or Mexican illegals off the streets and put them on trains.

 

I pledge to register as a Muslim is such a database is created by the oncoming administration. I’m not Muslim but for the purposes of that database I am totally Muslim. Me and and hopefully millions of white Americans who will assume Muslim identity if only to blunt the effectiveness of a database used to keep tabs on a minority population.

 

Sinclair Lewis and Frank Zappa wrote and sang “It can’t happen here.” Many of us are saying “It won’t happen here.”

 

I’m tired and it’s not even been two weeks.

 

 

Best Matches Of 2016 (So Far)

July 1st, 2016

Here is a list that causes me great shame and pride at the same time. This is my list of my favorite matches from the first six months of the year. These are wrestling matches. These are not movies. Or songs. Or albums. Just wrestling matches.

 

I started keeping a list at the beginning of the year and kept adding to it. This is a chronological list featuring wrestling in the United States, Mexico, Japan and Europe. WWE is represented, as are other major promotions like New Japan, Ring Of Honor, AAA and CMLL. Women’s wrestling is represented, mostly Japanese promotions like Stardom, Ice Ribbon and Sendai Girls promotions but also from NXT, WWE’s developmental system. Independent wrestling is well represented from all over the world. Southern US, PWG, the UK, Japan, even Italian indies. Matches that took place in front of thousands, in front of hundreds, in front of dozens.

 

For some this list is too long. For others, this list is missing things. So here it is, and after that I will make shortlist about the very best of the matches on the list.

Participants (Stipulation) – Promotion Name of Event, Date

 

 

Maximo Sexy Vs. Kamaitachi (Hair vs. Hair Match) CMLL Sin Piedad, January 1
Drew Galloway vs. Jack Evans – PWG Lemmy, January 2
Tomoaki Honma & Togi Makabe Vs. Doc Gallows & Karl Anderson (IWGP Heavyweight Tag Titles Match) – NJPW Wrestle Kingdom 10, January 4
DASH Chisako & Sendai Sachiko vs. Command Bolshoi & Kyoko Kumara – Sendai Girls Pro Wrestling, January 9
Aja Kong vs. Chihiro Hashimoto (#1 Contender’s Match) – Sendai Girls Pro Wrestling, January 9
Io Shirai vs. Kairi Hojo (World Of Stardom Title) – Stardom 5th Anniversary Show, January 17
Don Fuiji & Yosuke Santa Maria vs. Mondai Ryu & Naoki Tanizaki – Dragon Gate Open The New Year Gate, January 17
Dean Ambrose vs. Kevin Owens (Intercontinental Title, Last Man Standing) WWE Royal Rumble, January 20
Los Ingobernales de Japan (Tetsuya Naito, BUSHI and EVIL) vs. Atlantis, Fuego, Mascara Dorada – NJPW Fantasticamania Day 3 – January 20
Daisuke Sekimoto vs. Hiroshu Fukuda – BASARA First Show, January 21
Yuji Okabayashi vs. Kyoto Hama (BJW Strong Title Match) – BJW, January 24
Team Dr. Cerebro vs. Team Black Terry (Torneo Cibernetico – Copa Higher Power), IWRG Zona XXI, January 27
CHAOS (Nakamura, Ishii, Okada) vs. Tanahashi, Goto, Shibata – NJPW, Road To The New Beginning (Day 2), January 30
Minoru Suzuki vs. Go Shiozaki, Pro Wrestling NOAH Great Voyage 2016 In Yokohama, January 31
Naomichi Marufuji vs. Takashi Sugiura (GHC Title Match) Pro Wrestling NOAH Great Voyage 2016 In Yokohama, January 31
Isami Kodaka vs. Masa Takanashi (KO-D Openweight Title Match) – Dramatic Dream Team Sweet Dreams 2016, January 31 (aired February 13)

Dia.Hearts (T-Hawk, Akira Tozawa, Masato Yoshino, Syachihoko BOY) vs. Monster Express (Kzy, Big R Shimizu, Dragon Kid, Masaaki Mochizuki) vs. Verserk (Kotoka, Naruki Doi, YAMATO, Shingo Takagi) (Losing Unit Disbands Elimination Match) – Dragon Gate Truth Gate (Day 2), February 4
AJ Styles vs. Corey Hollis – Georgia Premier Wrestling, February 5
Chelsea Green, Evie, Viper, Kellie Skater & Santana Garrett vs. Io Shirai, Kairi Hojo, Mayu Iwatani, Momo Watanabe & Jungle Kyona (Elimination Tag Match) – Stardom 5th Anniversary: Stardom Vs. The World, February 7
King Cuerno vs. Fenix (Last Luchador Standing) – Lucha Underground, February 10
KAI vs. Seiya Senada – Wrestle-1, February 10
Sami Callihan vs. Mike Bailey – CZW Seventeen, February 13
Kushida vs. BUSHI (IWGP Jr. Hvy. Title Match) – NJPW New Beginning In Niigata, February 13
Kenny Omega vs. Hiroshi Tanahashi (IWGP Intercontinental Match) – NJPW New Beginning In Niigata, February 13
OGM vs. Charlie Kid (Italian Title vs. Career match)- Italian Championship Wrestling Pandemonium XIV, uploaded February 15
Jun Akiyama & Yuma Aoyagi vs. Jake Lee & Kento Miyahara, AJPW Excite Series, February 16
Minoru Suzuki, Benjamin, Archer, Smith Jr, Suguira vs. Shiozaki, Nakajima, Kitamiya, Marufuji, Taniguchi (Elimination Tag Match), NOAH Second Navigation, February 19
Mascara Dorada vs. Mephisto (CMLL World Welterweight Title)- CMLL Arena Mexico, February 19
Kalisto vs. Alberto Del Rio (United States Title Match, 2/3 falls) – WWE Fastlane Kickoff, February 21
Dragon Lee vs. Extreme Tiger – LLE Domingos Elite, February 21
Ken45, Minamino, Manjimaru vs. Hidaka, Nohashi, Daichi Sasaki – Michinoku Pro, February 20
Zeuxis vs. Silueta (Mexican Women’s Title Match) – CMLL Arena Mexico, February 23

Mascara Dorada vs. Negro Casas (CMLL World Welterweight Title) – CMLL Guadalajara Martes, March 1
Chris Hero vs. Evil Uno – PWG All Star Weekend 12 Night 1, March 4
Marty Scuril vs. Kyle O’Reilly – PWG All Star Weekend 12 Night 1, March 4
Ricochet & Matt Sydal vs. JT Dunn & Chris Hero – PWG All Star Weekend 12 Night 2, March 5
Dragon Lee vs. Kamaitachi (CMLL World Lightweight Title) – CMLL Arena Mexico – March 4
Hijo del Fantasma vs. Octagon Jr vs. Fenix vs. Pentagon Jr. (Elimination Match) – AAA Lucha Libre, March 7
Trevor Lee vs. Roy Wilkins (CWF Mid-Atlantic Heavyweight Title, No DQ, No Time Limit) – CWF Mid-Atlantic End Of An Era 2016, March 9
Samoa Joe vs. Sami Zayn (2-out-of-3 Falls Match) WWE NXT – March 9
Prince Puma vs. Mil Muertas vs. Pentagon, Jr. (Lucha Underground Title) – Lucha Underground, March 9
Meiko Satomura vs. Syuri – Sendai Girls at Shinjuki FACE, March 11
Big Cass & Enzo Amore vs. The Revival (NXT Tag Title Match) WWE Roadblock, March 12
Mat Fitchett vs. Drew Gulak – AAW Homecoming, March 18
Sami Callihan vs. Ricochet (AAW Championship Match) – AAW Homecoming, March 18
Mistico, Dragon Lee, Mascara Dorada, El Valiente vs. Kamaitachi, Okumura, Fujin, Raijin – CMLL Homenja a Dos Leyendas, March 18
Maximo Sexy vs. Rush (Hair vs. Hair Match) – CMLL Homenja a Dos Leyendas, March 18
Katsuyori Shibata vs. Satoshi Kojima (NEVER Openweight Title Match) – NJPW Road To Invasion Attack, March 19
Ultimo Guerrero vs. Caristico – CMLL at Arena Pueblo, March 21
Kota Ibushi & Gota Ihashi vs. KENZO & Nakazawa vs. Jun Kasai & Takagi (Falls Count Anywhere) – DDT Judgement, March 21
Marty Scurll vs. Will Ospreay vs. Zack Gibson vs. Rampage Brown vs. Paul Robinson vs. Morgan Webster vs. Mark Haskins vs. Mark Andrews vs. Eddie Dennis (Thunderbastard Gauntlet Match) (Progress Title Match) Progress Chapter 27: The Lost Art Of Suffering, March 27
Mascara Dorada vs. Cavanario (CMLL World Welterweight Title) – CMLL Arena Pueblo – March 28

Mascara Dorada vs. Extreme Tiger (Liga Elite Series) – LLE On Lucha Azteca 7 (airdate: April 1)
Okada, Goto, Ishii vs. Naito, EVIL, Bushi – NJPW Road To Invasion Attack Day 9 – April 1
Shinsuke Nakamura vs. Sami Zayn – NXT Takeover Dallas, April 1
Asuka vs. Bailey (NXT Women’s Title Match) – NXT Takeover Dallas, April 1
Samoa Joe vs. Finn Balor (NXT Championship Match) – NXT Takeover Dallas, April 1
Kota Ibushi, Johnny Gargano, TJP vs. Will Ospreay, Tommy End, Marty Scurll – WWN Supershow Mercury Rising, April 2
Mayumi Ozaki vs. Arisa Nakajima (JWP Openweight Title) – JWP Mania X, April 3
Nikki Storm vs. Sammii Jayne (Loser Leaves ICW Match) ICW Barramania 2, April 3
Meiko Satomura vs Aja Kong (Sendai Girls World Title Match) – Sendai Girls PW, April 8
Ryota Hama vs. Yuji Okabayashi (Strong Climb Block B) – Ikkitousen Strong Climb, April 9
Chris Hero vs. Trevor Lee – AAW Epic, April 9
Kushida vs. Will Ospreay (IWGP Jr. Heavyweight Title) – NJPW Invasion Attack, April 10
Tetsuya Naito vs. Kazuchika Okada (IWGP Heavyweight Title) – NJPW Invasion Attack, April 10
Los Mariachi Locos vs. Los Terribles Cerebros (Mexican State Trios Titles) – IWRG Zona XXI, April 11
Roman Reigns & Bray Wyatt vs. Sheamus & Alberto Del Rio – WWE Monday Night Raw, April 11
Zach Sabre Jr. vs. Michael Elgin (British Heavyweight Title Match) – Rev Pro Sittingbourne Spectacular, April 17
Fenix vs. Pentagon Jr. – Oudou Royal Road The Beginning, April 20
Zeus vs. Daisuke Sekimoto (Champions Carnival Final) – AJPW Champion Carnival, April 24
Rey Hechicero vs. Negro Casas (2 Out of 3 Falls) – Promociones Reza Fighters Nice, April 24
Minoru Tanaka vs. Tatsuhiko Yoshino – Guts World Volume 96, April 25
Volador, Jr. vs. Mascara Dorado (Liga Elite Series) – LLE On Lucha Azteca 7 (airdate: April 29)
Los Ingobernales vs. La Familia Real – LLE On Lucha Azteca 7 (airdate: April 29)

Kevin Owens vs. Sami Zayn – WWE Payback, May 1
Roman Reigns vs. AJ Styles (WWE World Heavyweight Title Match) – WWE Payback, May 1
Katsuyori Shibata vs. Yuji Nagata (NEVER Openweight Championship Match) – NJPW Wrestling Dontaku, May 3
T-Hawk & Big R Shimizu vs. Dragon Kid & Eita (Open The Twin Gate Title Match) – Dragon Gate Dead Or Alive 2016, May 5
Yamato vs. Cyber Kong vs. Kotoka vs. Shingo Takagi vs. Naoki Tanizaki vs. Naruki Doi (Steel Cage Double Risk Survival Mask Lose Hair For A Year Or Mask On The Line) Dragon Gate Dead Or Alive 2016, May 5
Ken & Ryu vs. DARK Sheik & Ean Hancement vs. Johnny & Anthony Butabi, Hoodslam Super Muscle BOMB Exploder 2016: Dawn Of Bustas, May 6
Pentagon Jr. vs. Fenix – AAW Take No Prisoners, May 6
War Machine vs. The Briscoes (ROH Tag Team Title Match), ROH Global Wars, May 8
Will Ospreay vs. Ashley Dunn, House Of Pain Evolution Milton Keynes Academy 5, May 8
YAMATO vs. Punch Tominaga (King Of Gate Tournament Block Match), Dragon Gate King Of Gate Day 1, May 8
Akira Tozawa vs. Eita (King Of Gate Tournament Block Match), Dragon Gate King Of Gate Day 2, May 11
Shingo Takagi vs. YAMATO (King Of Gate Tournament Block Match), Dragon Gate King Of Gate Day 2, May 11
Faby Apache & Mary Apache vs. Lady Shani & La Hiedra, AAA Sin Limite, May 14 (airdate)
Caifan vs. Dr Cerebro, Lucha Memes at Coliseo Coacalco, May 15
Virus vs. Hechicero, Lucha Memes at Coliseo Coacalco, May 15
Bayley vs. Nia Jax, WWE NXT, May 18 (airdate)
Matt Sydal vs. Ryusuke Taguchi (Tournament Block Match) – NJPW Best Of The Super Juniors Day 1, May 21
KUSHIDA vs. Kyle O’Reilly (Tournament Block Match) – NJPW Best Of The Super Juniors Day 1, May 21
Io Shirai vs. Mayu Iwatani (World Of Stardom Title Match) – Stardom Gold May 2016, May 22
The Miz vs. Kevin Owens vs. Sami Zayn vs. Cesaro (Intercontinental Title Match) – WWE Extreme Rules, May 22
Roman Reigns vs. AJ Styles (WWE World Heavyweight Title Extreme Rules Match) – WWE Extreme Rules, May 22
KUSHIDA vs. Rocky Romero (Tournament Block Match) – NJPW Best Of The Super Juniors Day 3, May 23
Kento Miyahara vs. Daisuke Sekimoto (Triple Crown Title) – AJPW Super Power Series at Korakuen, May 25
Ricochet vs. Will Ospreay (Tournament Block Match) – NJPW Best Of The Super Juniors Day 6 May 27
Naito, BUSHI, EVIL & SANADA vs. Gedo, Ishii, Okada and Goto – NJPW Best Of The Super Juniors Day 6, May 27
Garza Jr., Nino Hambuguesa, and Ludxor vs. Pentagon Jr., Joe Lider and Daga – Promociones Contraras Proconmania Dos Decadas, May 27

Sami Callihan vs. Aaron Williams (RockStar Pro World Title Match) – RockStar Pro Wrestling Amped, June 1
Chris Gethard, Rhino, Sean Waltman & Colt Cabana vs. Vacation Jason, Coconut, Pineapple, & Jon Hamm (Chris gets the Human Fish or taken out of Human Existence match) – The Chris Gethard Show, June 1
The Revival vs. American Alpha (NXT Tag Team Title Match) – NXT Evansville Encounter Live, June 2
YAMATO vs. Don Fuiji (Tournament Block Match) – Dragon Gate King Of Gate Day 14, June 2
Eita vs. Jimmy Susumu (Tournament Block Match) – Dragon Gate King Of Gate Day 14, June 2
Kushida vs. Matt Sydal (Tournament Block Match) – NJPW Best Of The Super Juniors Day 11, June 3
Psycho Clown, Texano Jr & Pentagon Jr. vs. Akebono, Masato Tanaka, Ikuta Hidaka (Tournament Match) – AAA Lucha World Cup, June 3
Caristico vs. Mascara Dorada (Liga Elite Series) – LLE Jueves Elite, June 3
Jay Lethal vs. Donovan Dijak – ROH on SBG, June 4
Volador Jr. vs. Ricochet (Tournament Block Match) – NJPW Best Of The Super Juniors Day 12, June 5
Will Ospreay vs. Ryusuke Taguchi (Super Juniors Final) – NJPW Best Of The Super Juniors Day 14, June 7
KAI vs Shotaro Ashino (Wrestle-1 Title) – Wrestle-1 Tour Outbreak 2016, June 8
Asuka vs. Nia Jax (NXT Women’s Title) – NXT Takeover: The End, June 8
Barbaro Cavernario vs. Rey Cometa (Mexican National Welterweight Title) – CMLL Super Viernes, June 10
Brahman Brothers vs. Ikuto Hidaka & Minoru Fujita (MPW Tohoru Tag Titles vs. UWA Tag Titles Match) – Michinoku Pro Kyoten Dochi, June 10
Matt Tremont vs. Jeff Cannonball (Home Run Derby Deathmatch) – CZW Tournament Of Death XV, June 11
Will Ospreay vs. Speedball Mike Bailey – Rev Pro Angle Vs. Sabre Jr., June 12
YAMATO vs. Big R Shimuzu (King Of Gate Finals) – Dragon Gate King Of Gate Finale, June 12
Kairi Hojo vs. Hiroyo Matsumoto – Kenta Kobashi Produce: Fortune Dream 3, June 14
Go Shiozaki & Yuji Okabayashi vs. Yuji Hino & Daisuke Sekimoto – Kenta Kobashi Produce: Fortune Dream 3, June 14
Dragon Rojo, Jr. vs. Guerrero Maya (CMLL World Middleweight Title) – CMLL Martes Arena Mexico, June 14
Ultimo Guerrero vs. Valiente (NWA World Historic Middleweight Title) – CMLL Super Viernes, June 17
Kenny Omega vs. Michael Elgin (IWGP Intercontinental Title Ladder Match) – NJPW Dominion, June 19
Yuji Nagata vs. Katsuyori Shibata (NEVER Openweight Title) – NJPW Dominion, June 19
AJ Styles vs. John Cena – WWE Money In The Bank, June 19
Pete Dunne & Damian Dunne vs. Mark Andrews & Eddie Dennis – PROGRESS 31: All Hail The New Puritans, June 19
Marty Scuril vs. Chris Hero (PROGRESS World Title) – PROGRESS 31: All Hail The New Puritans June 19
Rey Cometa, Panther, & Blue Panther, Jr. vs. Okumura, Ranjin & Fujin – CMLL Arena Puebla, June 20
Kyle O’Reilly vs. Kamaitachi – ROH Best In The World ’16, June 24
Shuji Ishikawa vs. Shigehiro Irie (King of DDT Semifinal) – DDT King of DDT 2016, June 26
EVIL & SANADA vs. YOSHI-HASHI & Hirooki Goto – NJPW Kizuna Road Day 3, June 27
Tetsuya Naito & BUSHI vs. Will Ospreay & Kazuchika Okada – NJPW Kizuna Road Day 3, June 27
Cedric Alexander vs. Darius Lockhart (PWI Ultra J Title) – CWF Mid-Atlantic Worldwide, June 29 (air date)

 

I think there are 131 matches on this list. Here are five that stood out to me the most:

Best Women’s Match: Meiko Satomura vs. Aja Kong (Sendai Girls World Title Match) – Sendai Girls Pro Wrestling, April 8.

Meiko and Aja are two legendary Japanese women who put on matches that are not good for women’s matches but good for wrestling matches. How do they do it? They beat each other up. I know, right.

 

Best Mexican Match: Dragon Lee vs. Kamaitachi (CMLL World Lightweight Title) – CMLL at Arena Mexico, March 4.

Two high-flying youngsters; one a masked luchador, the other a red-haired Japanese invader. They engage in a battle that is part-slam dunk contest, part-kamikaze death march.

 

Best Tag Match: Go Shiozaki & Yuji Okabayashi vs. Daisuke Sekimoto & Yuji Hino – Fortune Dream 3, June 14

Over thirty minutes of four men chopping each other really, really hard. What was the occasion? The issue? Nothing but pleasing show promoter and retired legend Kenta Kobashi. I think he was happy with this one.

 

Best American Match: Sami Zayn vs. Shinsuke Nakamura – NXT Takeover: Dallas, April 1

Add Nakamura (the most charismatic performer today) with Zayn (one of the hardest working wrestlers out there) and the atmosphere of a charged Dallas crowd on Wrestlemania weekend, and you get a match that caused the crowd to chant “FIGHT FOREVER!”

 

Overall Favorite Match: YAMATO vs. Naruki Doi vs. Shingo Takagi vs. Cyber Kong vs. Kotoka vs. Naoki Tanazaki (Steel Cage Hair Or Mask Match) – Dragon Gate Dead Or Alive 5

This match was so epic it needed the “Indiana Jones” music playing underneath it.

 

A Man For His Post-Apocalyptic Time

June 12th, 2016

The world is on a collision course to Hell. No one disputes this anymore. The Zika virus threatens to wipe us out, that is if we aren’t mowed down in an act of terrorism (international or domestic). This year’s Olympics are going to be held in Rio where the sewage-laced water contains bacteria resistant to drugs and vaccine yet athletes from around the world are going to go and compete. The next two World Cup soccer tournaments are held in Russia (where you can be made to “disappear” if you are known to be homosexual) and Qatar (where hundreds of migrant workers have died building the stadiums that will host these soccer games).

 

Are you beginning to feel like you’re living in a late ’80s action film like The Running Man or RoboCop? Because I certainly do. Movies set in a dystopic urban setting America. Not post-apocalyptic but not that far off from it, either. This is the era of ultraviolence. An ultraviolent society needs to get its’ kicks in kinky ways.

 

And that is why we need John Zandig.

 

 

You may be your asking yourself “Who the fuck is John Zan- OH MY GOD THOSE PEOPLE ARE TOTALLY DEAD AREN’T THEY THOSE TWO GUYS WHO WENT OFF THE ROOF THERE OH MY WHAT THE FUCK WAS THAT?”

 

That is a fair response. I believe both of those men are alive. That was John Zandig piledriving Joey Janela through a plate of glass and fire off the roof of a tall building. I’m not exactly sure what they were doing there except putting themselves at great bodily risk.

 

If you believe we are on our way to some sort of Mad Max: Fury Road hellscape then maybe it’s better to represent the times you come from then live in denial. I’m not saying you will enjoy it or even that you should enjoy it. But watching the hardcore ultraviolent wrestling matches of one John Zandig will tell you more about living in the 21st century than many other pieces of disposable pop culture.

 

 

John Zandig was a pro wrestler who formed a league called Combat Zone Wrestling (CZW), which is still active to this day although Zandig sold the company years ago. CZW is still most associated with hardcore wrestling, going to (sinking to) a level that even the beloved ECW wouldn’t go to (5:30 in the video above you can see Zandig being hung from the ceiling on meat hooks).

 

 

Some people want to watch the world burn. Others want to burn things and then throw other people through those burning things. And if you think this is isolated, you’re crazy. In 2000, Zandig went to Japan where he found some like-minded people and they decided to throw down. This looks like it could have been done yesterday. This is the strangest, dumbest, most over-the-top amazing thing I’ve seen this morning and I’ve seen this video before.

 

 

So many aspects of pop culture look to be inoffensive to the point of antiseptic. Meanwh- OH SHIT THEY SET THE FUCKING RING ON FIRE GODDAMN RUN FOR YOUR FUCKING LIVES THIS IS A NIGHTMARE WHY IS THAT GUY JUMPING OFF THE TOP OF THE TV TRUCK?

Zandig

It’s 2016 and he has returned. He is back after years out of the game. Why? Because it’s his time. Maybe the world wasn’t ready to accept where it was headed when Zandig was in his shit. But now? Now with the election a six-month crawl away and with the staggering number of violent incidents in the news. . . maybe we don’t only condone violence, we sort of need it or something to stand in for it. . . ultraviolence. For one man so loved the world, he gave his blood over and over again. He also gave the blood of his opponents. And now he’s back to do it again. And maybe we’ll cheer and laugh and not be so damn violent ourselves. Maybe we’ll channel our bloodlust into hardcore wrestling and keep our streets safe and our guns unloaded. Maybe we won’t even need guns anymore. Maybe we’ll be so happy watching people hit each other with light tubes and Nerf bats covered in barbed wire we’ll decide that we don’t want to shoot each other anymore.

 

Nah. That’s too much to hope for. But one can dream. And a dream goes on forever

(The) Minoru Suzuki Rules

February 2nd, 2016

Wrestling fans know all about the impending WWE debut of Japanese wrestling star Shinsuke Nakamura. The self-proclaimed “King Of Strong Style” had his final match for New Japan Pro Wrestling near the end of January and will debut for WWE in early April around Wrestlemania weekend. Nakamura is talented, charismatic and has the potential to be successful.

 

But for my money he’s no Minoru Suzuki.

 

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This is Minoru Suzuki. He is 47 years old and wrestles full-time in Japan. With that hair”style”. Apparently, he went to the barber and said “Give me something that will make strangers want to poke fun of me so I can beat them to jelly with my fists.”

 

How many 47-year-old men wrestle a full-time schedule? Triple H is 46 and will probably have three matches this year, tops. Minoru Suzuki has had three matches in the time it takes me to type this paragraph. Triple H will main event Wrestlemania this April at Dallas Stadium in front of 90,000 fans or so. Minoru Suzuki would be happy wrestling in front of one paying attendee if he could do it 90,000 times in a row. Here, look at this guy again.

 

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What you don’t see in this photo is his opponent standing in a puddle of hot urine. Minoru Suzuki has looked the Grim Reaper in the eye and threatened to break its’ arm. This is a man who watches Godzilla movies where the monster comes out of the sea to destroy a city and thinks to himself “come on, I could do way more damage and I can’t even breathe fire”.

 

Minoru Suzuki will fight anyone. He is the ultimate egalitarian. He will fight men or women or even androids YES I SAID ANDROIDS.

 

 

These are the Minoru Suzuki rules.

  • A wrestling match that doesn’t have Minoru Suzuki automatically loses one star in ratings. That means the best rating any such can have (say Ric Flair vs. Ricky Steamboat) is four stars.
  • If a wrestling match has Minoru Suzuki in it, it gains a star in ratings. So, a five-star match (Suzuki vs. Tanahashi) becomes a six-star match.
  • Chuck Norris never pursued a wrestling career because Minoru Suzuki exists.
  • The Yakuza recognize that if they didn’t have guns, Minoru Suzuki would kill them all.
  • Only one match has attained a seven-star rating: Minoru Suzuki vs Mecha Mummy

A Frog Will Save Us All

October 26th, 2015

As you have heard, I am a fan of Chikara pro wrestling. I went to see the Chikara show in Jeffersonville and watched and later spoke to FarmerFrog, a humble frog from Minnesota who loves working in the fields, tacos, princesses, and red flannel.
 
Although he is from Minnesota, he speaks with a European accent that I can’t place. Perhaps he is Estonian. Perhaps he is actually the legendary, beloved Estonian Thunderfrog!
 
Perhaps he is the wielder of the Hammers of War and Peace, the linchpin of the Baltic Siege, wrestling’s wackiest faction.
 
But wait! Thunderfrog was killed in the ring by Deucalion in the summer of ’14. There’s no way this could be the same guy, er, Frog. Unless, of course, he has suffered amnesia after the Deucalion attack and started a new life for himself in the land of the Twins, Timberwolves, and the Vikings. Perhaps this Frog is not yet aware of his true destiny. 
When he came to the ring for his match, he gave me a giant hug. At the intermission, he hit on Mary Sparr and when she rebuffed him, he referred to her as “Miss Too Cool For School”.
This marks the second occasion that a Chikara wrestler has stayed in character while hitting on Mary. The first time, a goblin gang called The Batiri screeched at her “PRETTY… PRETTY PERSON! TALK TO US! COME TALK TO US!”
Thunder. . .er, FarmerFrog lost his match the other night to Prakash Sabar but I still like him. If I only rooted for wrestlers who only won, I’d be stuck rooting for John Cena and not much else.

 

Venn Diagram Mania

July 27th, 2015

Do you know what a Venn diagram is? A Venn diagram is a diagram that shows all possible logical relations between a finite collection of different sets. For example, imagine the Venn diagram of Nazi sympathizers and St. Louis Cardinals fans. People who are the worst people on Earth. . . who also subscribe the ethos of National Socialism.

 

Now imagine the Venn diagram of show biz people and carnival folk. Pro wrestlers are in that diagram, and only pro wrestlers can fit in that diagram.

 

Here’s the thing about people. Very few of them you like, some others not so much but they’re not terrible. They just exist, and that’s the great majority of people. Then there are a few beings so atrocious you wouldn’t be able to leave them alone in your house without them burning it down and selling your children into slavery for drugs.

 

Pro wrestlers are much the same, except the percentage of degenerates is higher than in normal population. And that includes the wrestlers you see on TV every week. Not only will they burn your house down and trade your kids for drugs, they will talk about you like you are the asshole and not them, finding a way to justify their inexcusable behavior.

 

I am sitting here writing about this in light of the whole Hulk Hogan thing. I touched on it in the last blog. A few years ago I met him and fanboy’d in front of him. I did that even though I knew Hogan was a guy was a politician who struggled with the truth. A man who was weirdly obsessed with his own daughter, who couldn’t tell the truth about his own steroid use, a man in his fifties dressing like he did in his twenties, a man who thought a skullcap would distract from his baldness. . . and I still turned into a mushmouth ten-year-old in front of the guy.

 

If you do a Bing search for “wrestling sleaze” you will find links to stories that are horrible. Some of them are implausible but even if they are half-true, then pro wrestlers might be some of the worst people in the world (non-murderers division). A guy who got loaded and told autograph-seeking kids to fuck off. Another guy who got arrested and picked a scab on his head to start bleeding and claimed police brutality. So-and-so pimped his wife out to some of the other wrestlers. A tag team that stopped taking steroids and started taking rhesus monkey hormones. Such-and-such woke up to find a promoter standing over him masturbating. Oh, and the cuckolding. Very much cuckolding. If a wrestler released a book called “The Carny’s Guide To Sex”, it would have one page and cost $29.99

 

Wrestling, a staged performance, attracts people who compete against each other in real life for top billing and the best salary. Show business, a travesty where good people drown in vats of animal dung. Carnival folk, a low-grade class of people running a rigged system that will take you for all you have. These are the people who find it high comedy to shit in each other’s luggage.

 

I have a front row seat to a show in October, me who does not learn his lesson.

I Wrote A TV Theme Song

May 19th, 2015

There’s a hot new wrestling promotion out there. NXT? Lucha Underground? Nope, even hotter than that. So hot they haven’t had their first show yet.

 

Of course I’m talking about Global Force Wrestling. The company, started and ran by Jeff Jarrett will undertake its’ first live events and TV tapings this summer.

 

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Any TV show needs a theme song, and I have supplied one myself. I haven’t heard back from GFW or Jarrett but I’m confident my song will be the one that opens GFW’s TV show when it finally airs at a date on a channel t.b.d.

 

Mike Farmer’s GFW Theme Song (lyrics and proof of concept)

 

Look out, old timer!

’cause the new kid’s back in town!

Jeff Jarrett’s got a brand new gig!

And he aint messin’ around!

We got Chael Sonnen talking!

Telling you what’s going on!

And we’re gonna knock your socks off!

Even if you don’t have any on!

(chorus:)

We are GFW!

And we don’t give a damn!

Global Force Wrestling is here!

We live for bodyslams!

We aint takin’ no prisoners!

No mercy, no remorse!

A horse is a horse is a horse of course!

Are you ready to JOIN THE FORCE?

(this part shouted by the entire GFW roster:)

HASHTAG JOIN THE FORCE!

HASHTAG JOIN THE FORCE!

HASHTAG JOIN THE FORCE!

HASHTAG GEORDI LAFORGE!

Wrestlers Who Sing (Meme)

May 13th, 2015

Meme time.

0a2b2544 thepopeSINGS AUSTINANDROCKSING Heymansings AMBROSECENASING jimrosssings lawlersings otungasings samoajoeandkurtsing PunkSINGS