Posts Tagged ‘WWE’

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.

 

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.

 

FUBAR From Birth

February 28th, 2016

FUBAR = slang acronym for “fucked up beyond all recognition”

 

Last night I saw a little boy cry in an elevator. Five or six years old, tops. In the underground parking garage at the KFC Yum! Center in Louisville after a WWE live event.

 

The boy was crying into his father’s leg. The dad explained to us all in the elevator that he parked the car in a rush and forgot exactly what level he parked his car on. “You’re not really scared that I’m not gonna be able to find the truck, are ya?” That’s what he said to his quietly sobbing son, cruelly.

 

First of all, it’s a parking garage. It’s not the Sears Tower. How many levels can a parking garage have? Four? Five? At first I thought the kid was just tired at the end of a long night.

 

Mary and I found her car (it was easy what with her not being drunk like that guy in the elevator with the crying kid). We must have spent thirty minutes in the parking garage waiting to get out. You know event parking at arenas and how that goes, right?

 

On the way out of the garage, who do we see walking around the parking garage but the same drunk dumbass father and his kid. He still hadn’t found the car. That’s not drunkenness. That’s just pure stupidity. And that’s when it hit me. That kid was not crying out of sleepiness. That kid was sad because he’s seen this movie before. “My dad is a drunk moron. This is why mommy has custody of me.”

 

Talk about FUBAR out of the womb. That kid is half idiot. I didn’t see a mom with them. I wouldn’t even be surprised if that guy was in the wrong parking garage.

You Win, DB.

February 8th, 2016

Daniel Bryan announced his retirement from pro wrestling tonight. I choked up a little bit when he addressed the fans tonight in Seattle. He talked about his late father, his want to raise a family, and his gratitude to the people he’d met in the wacky world of pro wrestling. He talked about the many concussions he had received in sixteen years of wrestling. Within his first five months as a fresh-faced nineteen-year-old rookie, Bryan had received three concussions. Even an NFL veteran would shriek in fear at those numbers.

 

What’s that line that Courtney Love sang? “I fake it so real I am beyond fake.” The best pro wrestlers are able to do that. It’s a choreographed fight, with a predetermined outcome, winner and loser. But the pain is real. Nerve damage for some, surgically repaired necks for others, concussions, concussions, concussions. Injuries that would put down players in the four major sports for months, even years. The men and women who wrestle earn a fraction of what the big four leagues earn and give much more.

 

The fantasy dies behind the curtain. Go to a rock concert and you won’t see an after-party filled with strippers, blow and ecstasy. You’ll likely find a group of tired musicians sitting around playing with the remnants of a day-old fruit tray. Pro wrestling is a show, and the gears that work it stay behind the curtain. The machinations of the promoters, and the talent they depend on yet are always in battle with. A level of real competition behind the scenes, not a physical fight but a lot of politicking from all sides. Competition, yet collaboration. They need each other, yet they all want to do better than the next man.

 

Daniel Bryan is five-foot-eight and 190 pounds. In a business where giants and musclemen are presented as major attraction, Bryan brought a likability matched by his in-ring intensity. Also, he was one of the most technically gifted wrestlers to ever set foot in a ring. What does that mean? It means he faked it so real (and well) that he was beyond fake. You could start and end a match knowing that the whole thing is not a real sport, but he was talented enough to suck you in and compel you to see how it turned out. Suspension of disbelief.

 

Being shorter and smaller made the WWE not want to utilize Bryan. He lost a championship match in eighteen seconds at Wrestlemania 28. The fans, understanding the scripted nature of wrestling, rebelled against this. They recognized that Bryan was being shunted aside in favor of larger figures and hijacked the company. They rebelled for two years until Bryan won the World title in the main event of Wrestlemania 30. Without the support of the fans, Bryan would have likely been an afterthought post-Mania 28.

 

His body broke down. His brain had taken too many concussions over sixteen years. He could not get the proper clearing from WWE medical staff. He had taken tests to examine his brain over the years and finally encountered a negative result. It could not be undone but it could be prevented from getting worse. The only answer was to stop wrestling, and embracing the other things that life has to offer. Embrace life, love, family, home, happiness and the future.

 

He gave his farewell speech, cried and made a few jokes. He shook hands with many fans, then walked up the ramp and back behind the curtain. He won. They did not break him. Life did not break him. The road to Heaven is filled the bodies of bitter, cynical husks of humanity. Broken inside and unable or willing to repair. Here’s a man who faced heartbreak and sorrow. He kept his head up. He kept being positive and did not politic himself into a primo spot. He was a real-life Luke Skywalker. Fear did not lead to anger, anger did not lead to hate, hate did not lead to suffering.

 

Heroes are hard to find. He escaped. He wins.

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.

Wrestlers Who Sing (Meme)

May 13th, 2015

Meme time.

0a2b2544 thepopeSINGS AUSTINANDROCKSING Heymansings AMBROSECENASING jimrosssings lawlersings otungasings samoajoeandkurtsing PunkSINGS

Fuck You WWE, Fuck You Forever.

January 15th, 2013

WWE, you’ve done a lot of fucked-up and borderline unforgivable things since I started watching you as a kid, but this time was too much.

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UFqrnwfu_Mc

 

This is going to be as melodramatic as all get-out, but wrestling and music were the two things that helped me mentally escape a troubled childhood. I watched WWF, NWA/WCW, AWA, CWA/USWA, World Class, you name it and listened to as much music as I could get my hands on in those pre-Internet days.

 

Ric Flair is a big part of my childhood, whether he knows it or not. I’m lucky that I got to watch him as I grew up. I will make the point that “The Nature Boy” is a cultural icon and a deep part of Americana, and defend that point to anyone foolish enough to argue it with me.  He is one of the greatest shit-talking stars of our time. Ric Flair is the Richard Pryor of pro wrestling. Most people think of incoherent screamers like the Ultimate Warrior, but Ric Flair has/had PATHOS. He is once-in-a-lifetime and on the sad day that he finally shuffles off this mortal coil, it will not be wrestling news. . . it will be INTERNATIONAL news.

 

 

I want to address what I’m about to say to the people in charge of WWE and their writers. Fuck you. Seriously, fuck you for a million years for trying to hitch Ric Flair to the no-hope wagon that is former Real World “star” The Miz. I DON’T GIVE A FUCK if the Miz can wear a suit well or not. I don’t give a fuck if he’s paid his dues in the wrestling business or not. I don’t care if The Miz sends me a personal check for $200. He is not to be given a fuck about. Nobody gave a fuck about him when he was a “bad guy”, or when he was the WWE Champion (side note: YOU PUT THE FUCKING WWE TITLE ON SOME PRICK FROM THE REAL WORLD, YOU OUGHTA BE ASHAMED OF YOURSELVES), and no one cares about him now that he’s a “good guy”. Seriously, when the Miz was champion it was the only time I ever felt like I could kick the champion’s ass. Hell, Vince McMahon was WWE champion for one day and is sixty-nine years old and I think he could beat up me and the Miz at the same time.

 

I just showed that clip of Miz and Flair to my friend Lyle and he said “wow thank you for reminding me why I haven’t watched RAW in seven years”. You can have Dolph Ziggler lose to John Cena a million more times for all I care, but this is too much. You cannot tell me that Ric Flair, the greatest performer in wrestling history, is passing the torch to a guy who looks like Chaz Bono after weight training. Fuck you, WWE. Fuck you forever.

 

Chaz Bono after some time at the gym, or a former WWE champion?

 

Now I understand how the Star Wars fans felt about the prequels.

 

The Art And Craft Of ‘Rasslin’

July 5th, 2012

As you know, I am a fan of professional wrestling. If you don’t know this about me, then you don’t know me very well at all. I’m a pro wrestling fan.

 

I could spin a very boring tale about how I spent my childhood happily watching whatever wrestling show was on TV. I watched it when it was good, when it was bad, when it was incredibly awkward. I’ve watched wrestling when it was bad in hopes it would get better. But instead I will share you this video clip of Hulk Hogan being attacked by the Earthquake, and then I’ll do a bit of explanation.

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y4-kFJ7anqU

 

Summer 1990, Hulk Hogan was attacked by the gigantic Earthquake, an ex-sumo wrestler from Canada and his manager Jimmy “Mouth Of The South” Hart. After he was subject to three running seated senton splashes (or as you might call them, running butt drops), Hulk Hogan was carried out of the arena on a stretcher and not seen in the WWF for three months. Week after week on WWF Superstars Of Wrestling, “Mean” Gene Okerlund would give updates on the Hulkster’s condition. At first, Okerlund made it sound like the Hulkster was in grave danger after Earthquake’s attack. As the weeks progressed, Hogan got an upgrade. His body was healing but his spirit was still broken from the attack and Okerlund implored each and everyone of the little Hulkamaniacs to write letters to the Hulkster in the hopes that it would make him feel better and motivate him to return to the WWF and teach the Earthquake a lesson once and for all.

 

Which the Hulkster certainly did at SummerSlam that August when he finally got his hands on Earthquake, winning decisively. . . by countout.

 

With the exception of the video I just linked above, I have typed all of this from memory. I haven’t watched any of that footage since 1990 when it first aired.

 

Some people say wrestling is a male soap-opera. I don’t think so. I think it’s a children’s soap-opera. It’s just that grownups like the hard-hitting action, the flamboyant characters. I don’t think there are people who get into wrestling as adults. If an adult is a wrestling fan, they started off as a child fan. I remember the basic nuts and bolts of a twenty-two year old wrestling angle, when I was the mere age of twelve. I was a young boy who wanted to see the Hulkster prevail over the big, nasty, bearded Earthquake. I didn’t know that Hogan in real life wanted to take time off to raise his newborn son and shoot a straight-to-video movie. I didn’t have to know that.

 

The problem with being an adult wrestling fan is that I know too much. I can go to any of a million websites for spoilers and gossip about wrestlers. Or I can go on a message board and analyze storylines. I can complain about the show in real time on my Twitter, which I do.

 

But when I do that, am I also trying to get back something? When I was a kid, I still thought wrestling was a real sport. I know now (I learned this last week) that it is a scripted and staged exhibition. So I can’t go back to the days when it was “real”. But I wish I could go back to when it had some meaning. Otherwise, I’m just watching guys do weird flippy shit while trying not to break their necks.