Sunday, August 03, 2014

Pro Wrestling and Pop Culture in August 2011

Monday August 1, 2011


I just watched Ellis Coleman doing his flying squirrel takedown about 6 times on YouTube. Amateur wrestling is a missing component so often in today’s pro wrestling – sure I love the acrobatics- but nothing can top some good old fashioned chain wrestling and submission – when done right.

 I tried 5 Guys again- very average-the fries are not appealing and the burgers are nothing special.

  Monday Night Raw started with a 20+ minute promo between CM Punk and HHH- it was interesting this week- but can this maintain momentum. I admit I was more interested in the Slyvers saga on Unsung then tonight’s Raw. Basically Raw culminated with HHH( or as R-Truth now calls him Mister Hs) announcing that Cena and Punk will fight to unify the titles at Summer Slam.





Wednesday August 3, 2011

Local wrestler Nate Mustang informed me that he would be wrestling at a fair in Gloucester, VA. So I became obsessed with the notion of going to this event- ok normally would I travel 90 minutes for an indie show- no- I loathe driving. But luckily I found someone that wanted to go and carpooled with them. So after a rendezvous at the HH Greg parking lot in Chesapeake, VA  we got into a rental vehicle guided by a GPS and headed out for trek north. I tried calling the cancellation line as we drove up since it was overcast, but I kept getting a recording talking about a softball tournament on July 24. Either way we kept going. When we finally got to the park and got situated and got into the shuttle that was when we found out that the wrestling event was rained out because the promoter was worried about his HIGH DOLLAR MATS. So we turned around and ending up eating dinner at Harpoon Larry’s in Hampton- excellent food a little pricey- but worth the splurge.






Thursday August 4 , 2011

Currently former WWE diva Stacey Keibler also known as Miss Hancock in the waning days of WCW is the number one trending topic on yahoo since she is rumored to be dating perpetual bachelor George Clooney.


  WWE held their quarterly earnings and dividends meeting with stockholders, while Wrestlemania had over 1 million buys, it was a steep decline to other PPVs with Extreme Rules being the top performer with over 200,000 buys and the other events doing even less.


  TNA failed to get me to invest my time or money into their Sunday PPV- not only did they have yet another contract signing as the “main event” at the end of the show but they also released one of my favorite talents The Amazing Red. It was a decent outing for IMPACT wrestling with another great showing by Austin Aires as an all out arrogant heel. Another storyline I don’t care for at all is Samoa Joe loosing week after week. Worse for TNA for is my apathy for Devon/Pope and Anderson/Bully Ray matches slated for the PPV- yes I want to see the 3 way dance for the X Division strap- beyond that nothing in the scheduled 3 hours is something I want to see no less pay for.


  My afternoon escape from wrestling was the charming Don’t Tell Mom The Babysitter is Dead. Christina Applegate shined as the eldest sibling left in charge after the babysitter passes away- this is a fun family friendly movie.


  Jersey Shore Italy debuted tonight – I did not see it nor did I miss it.


Independent Wrestler J.T. Lightning passed away after a long battle with cancer.


Friday August 5, 2011

Today’s first bit of wrestling news is not so good- former OVW champion Rod Steele has passed away ( early speculation is that he took his own life). My condolences go out to his friends, family and fans. had an article today discussing Baron Von Raschke that included discussion of one of my favorite wrestling songs “The Crusher” by The Novas.


Rumors are also flying around that Billy Corgan is getting ready to start his own wrestling group- I would love for a grappler to use the excellent tune “Zero” as their entrance music. Corgan was involved in some ECW moments back on TNN.


At 1:47 PM EST Stacey Keibler is still the number one trending topic on yahoo- I wonder how many folks that don’t know of her are now doing image searches to check out her gams? Lol she slipped to number 4 behind Heather Locklear , Marg Helgenberger and Andrea Bocelli ( I loved “Con Ti Partiro”  when it was utilized to great effect on The Sopranos on Season 2 when Tony returned from Italy) at 1:49 pm EST.



Several WWE superstars have been released including second generation grappler Harry Smith, Vladimir Kozlov( who had some scenes in the second season of the best show on television The Wire as hired muscle for some smugglers) and Melina. Gail Kim had been making some twitter noise and sadly instead of ever seeing her used to her potential she was briefly Daniel Bryan’s storyline girlfriend, the other diva Melina was also bitten by social media( I would think) since she has been breaking kayfabe and speaking her mind- other rumors about her may have helped in her future endeavoring- but who knows. But wrestlers are commodities – if they aren’t moving merchandise or getting pops – after a time they will get cut. I never realized that movies(multi-million dollar movies) were the same way- every genre or niche has a need for the next big thing or at least the next thing and there is always another romantic comedy or action adventure in the pipeline- even if it is subpar. I am not saying the Smith or Gail Kim are subpar- heck I think creative dropped the ball with both – breaking up the Hart Dynasty was short-sighted- sure it was not as over as the Hart Foundation- but sometimes products need time to grow- if WWE creative were in charge of CBS in the 70s M*A*S*H would have been cancelled in it’s first season or Hawkeye would have gotten tired of being a wiseacre and joined forces with Frank Burns. If WWE creative were in charge of Seinfeld – we would have never gotten to enjoy Curb Your Enthusiasm- no less have Seinfeld run past its first season. Patience is something that the ROI crowd never seem to have and sometimes that kills creative- I have seen it first hand and I have seen it in wrestling and other ventures(some of the best television shows were killed due to bad ratings(Freaks and Geeks) and never got a chance to build or find an audience- I think the Hart Dynasty could have grown over time instead of hot-shoting Tyson Kidd’s heel turn.


   Gail Kim had it all in TNA (maybe not the money or the exposure of WWE) – but she was the right combination of attractive and athletic female that every promoter would want to have as a cornerstone for a female wrestling division. She had epic battles with Awesome Kong in TNA – but in WWE she was an afterthought- it was like when WWF bought in Shane Douglas from ECW – they devalued him with a ridiculous Dean Douglas teacher gimmick and then got rid of him. In ECW he was the franchise – in WWF he was mid card cannon fodder. Wrestling is a dirty subjective art form- while I see a talented knockout- I guess someone in creative saw a troublesome bit of eye candy not worth the cavity- shame. Gail Kim was actually not released on this date as originally reported and was retained by the company for awhile to keep her locked up- she wanted to quit- she said she quit, but she was still under contract. It took almost 2 months for WWE to remove her profile from their website.


Tonight I escaped case de Jobber by going out to see the John Oates band in concert. They were tight and they did perform some Hall and Oates songs but also covered some Elvis, Curtis Mayfield and John Denver. The crowd kept yelling for “Rich Girl” finally I yelled for “Adult Education” – one of the shaggers turned to me and asked “is that a song?” I think this was one of the few concerts I have been to recently where I was one of the younger folks in attendance. I do think this was the first time in years that I have been to a show in this area and not known a single person in the room. Before the show we splurged by going to Otani and getting their superb chicken and shrimp over fried rice meal.





Friday Night Smackdown

 Nattie Niedhart turned heel – throwing her allegiance with Beth Phoenix which led to Michael Cole stating “I’m beginning to enjoy diva action the last couple days.” – major Oops since Smackdown is supposed to be on Fridays- although it is taped on Tuesday- and Cole was alluding to Raw as though it were the night before.


Heel Michael Cole is annoying – change the channel annoying – I am not the first to state this and sadly I doubt I will be the last- it is a shame that the knowledgeable and entertaining Matt Stryker is relegated to mike holder for promos while Cole’s version of verbal diarrhea is splattered over 4 hours of weekly WWE product. In the 80s WWF announcers could make the product entertaining- from Vince himself teaming up with Jesse Ventura or the classic duo of Heenan and Monsoon it was as much a part of the action as the in ring tomfoolery. WWE has had good announcers recently- JBL was very good and managed to get the talent over , Mick Foley went from being awkward at first to being very entertaining- but he left due to being screamed at by Vince McMahon on the headset during the show. Cole is audio cancer to the WWE product- we need a cure soon.


 No more napalm mornings for Daniel Bryan as WWE took away his Wagner music and gave him some generic trifle – he did win his bout against Tyson Kidd. Zack Ryder’s State of the Showski address was interrupted by several folks and led to a tag match or something I admit I zoned out during Zackdown. One lady in the audience had a funny sign- Bag Me Cody.


Kozlov was a jobber in his last match to Mark Henry- he was saved from further injury by Sheamus. Sheamus cut a promo backstage and proclaimed -“He had the luck of the Irish and that he had a horseshoe up his arse and he could whip it out at anytime to beat up his foes.” Ok- yuck!


Sin Cara got a promo slot indicating he was returning next Friday- so rumors of his exit from the company were incorrect- I guess.


 World Champion Christian teamed up with R-Truth to defeat Randy Orton and John Morrison.
Saturday August 6, 2011
Mickie James wants our help to record a second crappy country album- ok I admit I did not hear the first album- just the “Hardcore Country” song she uses as an entrance theme- but seriously- this is not my favorite kickstarter project of the year to say the least.
Spent my Saturday Night in the SPW sauna- it was not as hot as the June TV taping but still hot.
 I actually got there on time and experienced the national anthem one and a half times- the CD or sound-system stopped during the first attempt – so they restarted the recording.
It was a fun evening highlighted by the mismatched tag semi main event where Mark Anthony and rival Ryan Nuzzi teamed up to face Sterling Williams and his unwilling partner Curtis Mack. The main event featured Nathan Mustang challenging for the TV title against the outlaw Sam Bass in a falls count anywhere match that went into the bathroom and went out into the parking lot at which one point an excited fan let an air biscuit. Sam Bass retained the title when he answered the 10 count inside of the ring.
Apparently UFC had an event also and some guy got heat from UFC head honcho Dana White for wearing shorts that were too tight- ironic since most WWE dudes wear similar outfits nightly- I don’t care either way- but I found it funny- on the other hand White mentioned that he had offered Fedor a ton of money to fight Brock Lesnar a few years back- oh well- guess that ain’t going to happen now.
Crowbar Press releases the Stan Hansen autobiography at the Wrestling Fan Fest in Atlanta Georgia.
Sunday August 7, 2011
Local promotion SPW finally aired a new episode on Cox Cable channel 11 and it is night and day the quality of show from this new season and the older episodes and that is meant as a good thing. They did some old Kaufman tricks like using a test pattern as part of a promo that I found engaging. I also liked the graphic utilized for the promos – sure it is not the multi-million production of WWE- but it is a step in the right direction for the SPW Battlezone show.
Kurt Angle capture the TNA World Heavyweight title at the Hardcore Justice PPV.
“As much of a heel as I was, I never refused to sign one, single autograph for a fan. The fans are the most important entity in the biz, but some of the boys thought that they were carrying the whole business on their back personally and were too good to associate with a fan. In Mexico the promoter set up an autograph signing for Mil Mascaras & me in some big store. We stood about 100 feet from each other and we were mobbed for autographs. No charge for the autographs and no pay for us signing them ('tho I bet Mil got extra since his brother was promoter). I'd yell out insults to Mil every few minutes and he'd yell something back at me. We stood there for 90 minutes and then were off right away to wrestle. These wrestlers charging today for their autographs are greedy scumbags, as presented by VKJunior and his Gimme, Gimme. Gimme Corp. I can understand the indy guys charging, as it's an important part of their income in many cases.”  – Tom Hankins
Monday August 8, 2011
“The CM Punk angle is the best thing going for quite a while-it has kept me on the edge of my seat.”- Matthew Shipp @ 10:00 am EST
Jay Lethal has signed with ROH.
The Stock Market selloff was the lead on ABC News tonight, including a piece discussing the validity of Standard and Poor’s credit rating service and another following the 31 folks that died in a helicopter crash. The third story covered the riots in Great Britain. After that I decided it was time to shut off the news and go play some X-Box before Raw.
A solid Raw that had several solid matches ( John Cena versus Jack Swagger , CM Punk versus Alberto Del Rio, John Morrison versus R-Truth, etc.) But the main focus and memory of the show for me was excellent contract signing between CM Punk and John Cena at the end of the show- and I usually hate contract signings- but CM Punk mentioning the recently fired Vladimir Kozlov and Chris Masters and his real issues with John Cena and Cena mentioning that Punk needs this win and holding his own made this another griping segment.
The Rise of the Planet of the Apes led the domestic box office totals for the weekend.
Wrestler Serge Saumon passed away at the age of 52 after battling cancer.
Tuesday August 9, 2011
Wrestler and Referee Malcolm Cormier passed away at the age of 74.
It is very disconcerting that I can smell smoke in my townhouse and outside – but I don’t know where the fire is. Later in the day I found it was from the next state over- in North Carolina in the dismal swamp.
Wednesday August 10, 2011
Wrestler and referee Terry Yorkston passed away at the age of 78. He wrestled in Canada and wrestled under a mask as the Black Diamond in the late 70s and officiated many matches including several for the WWF.
Tonight is supposed to be the night of no new wrestling and it was- but the Bio channel had 3 hours worth of wrestling docs- including an old Hulk Hogan bio. ABC Family played the Wrestling Show episode of That 70s show 3 times today.
Thursday August 11, 2011
Sheamus is talked AT on the Conan show- sure he is there- but really his 5 minutes are comedy fodder as Conan plays a clip of him saying he is tired of being referred to as Conan . Then Sheamus demonstrates the braugh kick by kicking the head off of a mannequin.
Lopez Tonight also on TBS got cancelled – I was not a big fan of the show- but he did occasionally have wrestlers on the show.
The lead singer of hair metal outfit Warrant Jani Lane passed away at the age of 47.
This week’s Impact wrestling started with Kurt Angle discussing why he cheated to win- later on he would indicate some sort of friendship with Hulk Hogan- honestly I could care less- the top performers in TNA seem to switch way too much- it is all a muddle- is Anderson going to be a face again? I don’t know, but I do know I skip his segments more often than not – because they have robbed his character of any sort of consistency – yes I like to be surprised- but build towards it- don’t just flip to flip.
The X-Division has a weight limit of 225 now - I like that- hopefully the division will flourish without Abyss gumming up the works.
Friday August 12, 2011
Dennis Rodman will be inducted into the NBA Hall of Fame tonight- the former CCW champ and member of the n.W.o. is taking his rightful place into the basketball hall of fame. At 8:55 pm EST Rodman is the number one trending topic on
Scott LeDoux former heavyweight boxing champion and AWA referee passed away today at the age of 62.
This week’s Smackdown featured the debut of the Divas of Doom tag-team- I like it- hopefully Nattie and Beth will dominate for months and then be turned back by Kharma when she returns. Nattie Niedhardt is the daughter of Jim “The Anvil” Neidhardt and Beth Phoenix is a solid and intimidating female worker that earned her way to WWE after years working in the independent scene.
Speaking of returns – Sin Cara returned- well sort of. After the former Mistico failed a drug test – WWE got a similar sized man to don the mask and wrestle under the blue-light from FCW. His match with Tyson Kidd was solid- although it is a shame that Tyson Kidd shaved off his stupid cowlick thing without doing a match or something to take advantage of the change. If someone has a unique look – that is good- if they want to change it – work it into the storyline- don’t just have them change it without any hub-bub. I wonder if the general audience will crap on Cara II – I mean Bewitched had 2 Darrins – and he is better than the fake Razor and Diesel that JR bought in the late 90s- same build- just  a bigger nose- but he actually seemed more fluid in the ring.
Alberto Del Rio beat Daniel Bryan via submission.

Cody Rhodes defeated Ezekial Jackson for the Intercontinental Championship.
In this virtual society that exists now- it is easier to gain friends and lose friends- between typos and folks typing in all caps- people just seem quicker to funnel people in and out of their social circles. I lost a friend today- I could not pick him out of a lineup –but he was someone I had been playing Call of Duty with for over a year. He un-friended me on Xbox Live because I killed him with an RPG on the game when a group of our friends were playing against each other on a game of Black Ops. A guy who I had talked with for over a year decided he did not want to be my friend because I shot him with the wrong weapon on a video game- utterly bizarre. He later sent me a friend request on Turkey Day.

Saturday August 13, 2011
The line-up for WWE 12 was announced today- it includes legends like Demolition and Diesel – I rarely played last year’s game- it was ok- but I usually ended up playing Call of Duty with friends online if I turned on my 360.
Tragedy struck at a county fair concert in Indiana when 4 fans perished as a stage collapsed during a weather event.
Wrestler Bobby Fields passed away at the age of 77.
Sunday August 14, 2011
Summer Slam 2011 the WWE’s biggest event of the summer. As per usual I went to Buffalo Wild Wings for the PPV and spent the night eating too much- teriyaki wings, corndog nuggets and ice cream.
I got there around 7 pm and snagged a table for my party. The room was packed most of the night even having moments of people waiting to get seated. It was a boisterous crowd mixing smarks, marks , local wrestlers and probably some hapless dates drug along to watch or rather text the evening away while chuckling at their date on occasion.
Adam from Tool kicked off the proceedings by performing the Star Mangled Banner on electric guitar. The 6 mid-card folks(R-Truth , The Miz ,Alberto Del Rio , Kofi Kingston, John  Morrison and Rey) that have hovered near the main event had a spot filled and quick opening match with Rey Mysterio snagging the pinfall en route to his title bout tomorrow night on Raw in the 619.
Since the best sound was in the toilet for the first hour of the PPV I missed the content of the Johnny Ace and CM Punk chat backstage- the local crowd gasped when the camera revealed Stephanie McMahon, I did catch the line that CM Punk said about “I won’t shake your hand because I know where it has been.” to Steph- that got a big laugh from the local crowd.
Mark Henry defeated Sheamus by count-out after pushing him through the ringside barricade- the reaction of the male fan with the Home Alone face was priceless- maybe not the Miz girl- but pretty darned funny.
Cee- Lo sang the Summer Slam song and the F You song while prancing around in a bedazzled mu-mu.
Kelly Kelly retained the butterfly belt with a rollup- oh well the Divas of Doom are not living up to my hopes so far.
R-Truth and Jimmy Hart have an interesting backstage promo and then we cut to Ron Artest and a little girl hanging out- I have no idea what was said.
The match of the night followed as Daniel Bryan and Wade Barrett put together a solid exhibition of submission and stiff style striking. Wade won the match when he sent Daniel Bryan to wasteland. Was it on the same level as a Bryan Danielson match in Evolve or DGusa – no- but it was the best match of the night and engrossing for the duration.
Christian feels cocky since he has a special weapon for his confrontation with Randy Orton.  His special secret weapon is lifelong pal Edge- who in turns cuts a promo on Christian labeling him a crybaby bitch and leaves Christian on his own to take on the Viper. It was an ok match with lots of clutter used including the steel stairs for the title switching RKO by Orton to win the World Heavyweight Champion.
In between the 2 title matches we have a 5 minute package showing fans at Summer Slam access and then a 5 minute recap of the Cena and Punk feud.
CM Punk seems to have the crowd in his pocket as he has a decent match with John Cena – he wins the match – although Cena’s leg is clearly under the bottom-rope. But special guest ref HHH declares Punk the winner and champion. After Punk celebrates Diesel runs in and gives Punk the Jackknife powerbomb and leaves CM Punk lying helpless in the ring.
Alberto Del Rio runs in and cashes his Money in the Bank briefcase in and wins the WWE champion.
This was an ok night out- I am glad I did not order the PPV at full cost. This is not something I would buy on DVD- but I will snag most of the card when it comes to WWE Classics on Demand 5-6 months from now- especially the Daniel Bryan and Wade Barrett contest.  C+
Summer Slam garnered 296,000 buys down from 350,000 last year.
“When I went to Summer Slam I was sitting in “Little Jimmy” section, I must have been surrounded by 300 little kids with their parents that cheered the faces and booed the heels, but especially loved John Cena. It drove me insane, but this is what wrestling has come to.”- Roy Lucier discussing Summer Slam 2011
Monday August 15, 2011
Referee Mike Chioda and Tough Enough 2011 winner Andy Leavine were both suspended 30 days for violating the WWE wellness program. I guess Silent Rage will suffer quietly for a month.
Tonight’s Raw was once again highlighted by a CM Punk promo- tonight he eviscerated Kevin Nash for Nash’s role in his title loss at Summer Slam.
John Morrison beat R-Truth in a falls count anywhere match.
Alberto Del Rio beat Rey Mysterio clean to retain the WWE strap. After the match John Cena cut a promo on Del Rio- I honestly think Cena does not understand how the Money in the Bank briefcase works- since he got mad at Del Rio ( who is a heel) for doing a cowardly thing.
Rick Rypien former enforcer for the Vancouver Canucks in the NHL killed himself .
Tuesday August 16, 2011
UFC signed a 4 year deal with the Fox networks that will include 4 UFC events a year on Fox and is worth about 90 million a year. This is good for UFC but may be a terrible thing for Impact Wrestling and the future of TNA on Spike.
It looks like Freddy Krueger is now a playable character for the new Mortal Kombat game- tempting if I were not broke.
Wednesday August 17, 2011
While most of us take seeing Raw for granted. It is not the same for somebody behind the great firewall of China- a facebook friend of mine is over there for a family wedding and has to buy proxy access to see blocked content by the Communist regime.
Pianist and Wrestler Tony Cosenza passed away at the age of 93.
Mortality has raised its ugly head first a local musician Damon Carey died and I was informed by mother that my stepfather died.
Well one of my many father figures during my disgruntled youth passed away. Leighton Lamar Burriss was a cantankerous, creative and talented person that attacked life with vigor- from hosting parties with many generations at them almost every weekend at our home in Ferrum, VA to entertaining at the same parties by playing fiddle and banjo. He was an artist and a painter. Unlike many painters that come home covered in paint- he was precise and stated he could do the same job in a suit versus coveralls. Was I always a fan of his decisions – of course not. I loved living in suburban Maryland and was shocked when he decided to buy a tract of land in Franklin County, Virginia that only had a chimney on it and move us down there. We built a house around the chimney and had a farm with a garden, ducks, chickens, goats and rabbits. We also had spring water- our own springs – something I took for granted then- but miss now. Leighton’s depression age discipline usually led to me being rebellious or punished or both – either way he was shaping my mindset and teaching me how to be tough mentally. He was the man that got me into football and also the guy that I got lost in the woods with hunting. He was an imperfect soul – given to drink and violence- but he was also a unique character- the type you don’t meet that much anymore. He was the stepfather that informed me that wrestling was fake and that the grapplers all got together after the matches to have a beer together. He also stated that the wrestling locker-rooms were all terrible smelling. I had the chance to reunite with him in 2007 – our visits were few and far between because he moved to Martha’s Vineyard after he split with my mother in the mid 80s. They had reconciled and had communicated over the past few years and I had spoken to him this summer- I had thought several times about interviewing him for this project- but now that won’t happen. I am glad he was a part of my life and I hope he finally finds peace.
Wednesday Night was rasslin night on CMT – first the season opener of Made (the old MTV series) debuted with Matt Morgan coaching an out of shape Texas lawman to be a wrestler in 6 weeks. The highlight of the show was the cop’s promo battle with James Storm.
That was followed by a made for TV movie  On The Mat about a New York business consultant that goes to Georgia to save a family run wrestling operation. Laura Bell Bundy plays the fish out of water going to try and turn Ricky Schroeder’s company around. This was a very cheesy movie saved by a charming lead actress and a few quips that actually made me laugh regarding liquid soap dispensers in prison and Suddenly Last Summer. I enjoyed this 2011 movie one time – but this is not something worth seeking out. D+
Thursday August 18, 2011
Impact Wrestling fails to impress again – it started off with Kurt Angle complaining about Senor JJ and then devolved into a segment with Sting and Flair followed by Sting and Hogan- is this WCW late 90s-  YEAH- and they limit Samoa Joe to run-in and squish 8 division guys into a gauntlet match that Austin Aires won. Then to top off the insanity the tag team of Mexican America beat Beer Money for the TNA tag straps. I like the involvement of Jerry Lynn with RVD and the Daniels versus AJ angle- and yes they are both rehashed angles- but overall I was not impressed with the show again.
  I will admit Flair being scared in a warehouse was funny for a bit and even Flair and Hogan had some comedy to it- but I am not looking forward to Sting , Flair or Hogan wrestling and that is what this is all leading to.
In other news beware the ultra rare BRAIN EATING AMOEBA.
CWI in St Johns New Foundland show thoughts by Mark March
It was about as expected. We had New Age Outlaws & XPac, Tatanka, Beefcake, Bushwaker Luke, Highlander Robbie (or was it Rory - guy that was not bald), and Scott Steiner. Plus local talent and some Canadian talent I’m not familiar with.

It was a decent card. Bonus for me was I took my son along and he got to talk to and shake Steiner’s hand (after I paid $20 for his autograph lol) Real big guy in person. 

Nash no showed (assume he is taken off all Indies since he made his return at Summer Slam) And Hogan was booked for the tour (and false advertised for the show - which sold tons of $150 tickets for a meet and greet with the workers) - I was disappointed only cause the day before it was announced he was not coming - I told my son about it and he was pretty excited (as Hogan was pretty much the only one he knew) - as I bought the cheap tickets knowing the area that besides front row, the stands is the best place to watch the show and still be close enough.

By Mark March
Friday August 21, 2011
Mark Henry wins a 20 Man Battle Royal on Smackdown to become the number one contender to Randy Orton for the World Heavyweight Championship. Booker T keeps mentioning the extra muscle mass of Sin Cara.

Saturday August 20, 2011
Today was Hardcore Norfolk. A local documentary about the local rock scene – it was an interesting journey- mixing some nifty archival footage from the 60s and 70s – the first part of the movie was my favorite part of the film – loved the mix of soul, funk and rock and it is always good learning about new bands-even if they broke up before the US pulled out of Saigon. My wife and I had a few sound-bites mixed into the 2 hour collage of music and image about local music and Nashville Pussy. It was mortifying being on a 40 foot screen- at least they mixed in a picture of me from college-lol. It was nice seeing old friends and learning about new to me music.
    Wrestling managed to invade the movie- local band the Candy Snatchers would always bleed at their shows and they mentioned it was an old wrestling trick- great now blading is punk rock- oh well.
Other highlights of the day included seeing one of my favorite local bands Ant Man Bee reunite after the film and perform a super funky set with a lineup that included members of 24-7 Spyz and Follow for Now. Local rock legend Gary “U.S.” Bonds joined the band onstage to perform “New Orleans”.
Matt Hardy was released by TNA after a DWI arrest.
Kim Kardashian got married – I missed the nuptials- wait I mean I did not see them.
Sunday August   21, 2011
Libyan rebels are now in Tripoli. In unrelated news Stephanie McMahon is now in charge of
Monday August 22, 2011
An old co-worker and friend of mine Billy Rogers is on Top Shot with Cody “I’m A Survivor” Donaldson (who was also in one of the funniest moments of Curb Your Enthusiasm. Not only is Billy one of the funniest guys I know but apparently a damned good shot.)
A very entertaining Raw- yes it did have lots of talking- but I did not mind- CM Punk was engrossing yet again. The Miz and R-Truth had a fun segment talking about conspiracies and it ended with R-Truth changing the lyrics to the “What’s Up”  song to “You Suck”, not the ode to oral sex club anthem by Consolidated with rap by the Yeastie Girls – but saying “You Suck” over R-Truth’s music. Alberto Del Rio beat John Morrison in the first match of the night. The newly formed tag team of Evan Bourne and Evan Kingston beat David “A-List” Otunga and Michael Mcgillicuty to win the WWE tag straps. The main event was another good match between John Cena and CM Punk- the Canadian crowd was into and even threw back John Cena’s shirt twice before the match (ala  ECW One Stand 2).  John Cena won the match and the right to face Alberto Del Rio at Night of Champions PPV after Kevin Nash distracted CM Punk.
Songwriter and soul singer Nicholas Ashford passed away at the age of 70, best known for his duet “Solid as a Rock” with Valerie Simpson , they also penned several huge Motown hits like “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough”  and “I’m Every Woman” by Chaka Khan.
Tuesday August 23, 2011
My first earthquake – a small tremor- but wow – still feeling it. 1:52 PM EST. It was a 5.8 magnitude- I could feel the townhouse move- at first I was like is my wife walking- WHY is it so loud- then I realized it was an earthquake- my first in 42 years. It has been an odd and interesting day.
“I didn’t know it was an earthquake until my wife called me, when we was out there in the outside storage bins, it sounded like somebody was running around upstairs and we knew nobody was up there, she said the cage shook so bad that my parrot started screaming and holding on. It was a pretty good shake.” – Bill Mulkey, former NWA wrestler describing the quake hitting his neck of the woods in NC.
NBC has announced they are developing a show based on 80s wrestling with Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson and Jerry Bruckhiemer.
Longtime WWE announcer Todd Grisham is leaving the company to be a reporter for ESPN.
OMG! The Top 50 Incidents in WWE History 2011 WWE DVD
 OMG is a solid and entertaining look at several interesting moments in the recent history of the WWE- 1980 going forward. This DVD is rated TV 14 for violence and covered several scenarios that would probably not see the light of day for the current WWE universe. The first disc features a top 50 countdown with several WWE superstars (such as Kofi , Cena , CM Punk , Daniel Bryan ,etc.) recalling moments like the Penn Station match from Shotgun Saturday Night , the Montreal Screw job, The Tim White suicide attempts and more. They included Vince McMahon’s limo explosion but did not give the real reason why the storyline ended. I guess a murder-suicide ruined the “fake” death of  Vinny Mac. The main feature is hampered by having music playing under every moment and is hamstrung by a “OMG” rap styled stinger playing in between every segment- it got tiresome after 3 segments- but was there after each segment. This is a 3 disc set with the second and third discs featuring several great matches and moments from the last 20 years including Shane McMahon versus Kurt Angle from the King of the Ring , the ring collapsing with Brock and Big Show and more. If you like sports entertainment you will be entertained , if you are looking for classic wrestling- there is some mixed in – but you may get offended along the way. The DVD has 2 extras, outtakes of Jerry “The King” Lawler cracking up filming his segments and a Behind the Scenes look at the latest HHH movie with Parker Posey.  A-
Twin Pack Vol. 4 Sacrifice 2011 and Slammiversary 2011
2011 TNA Entertainment LLC
2 TNA PPVs on one DVD for less than half the cost of ordering one of the PPVs- I am glad I waited until these events came out on DVD- Sacrifice was middling with the highlight of the night being the first appearance by Chyna as a wrestler in almost a decade- as always she was limited with actual wrestling- but the crowd ate it up. The rest of the event felt like an over extended Impact.
Slammiversary  was better starting with a hot tag match featuring the British Invasion taking on James Storm and Alex Shelley as they mounted a successful title defense while Robert Roode was still on the mend. The real highlight of this double disc set was the intense and brutal last man standing match between AJ Styles and Bull Ray. Mixing stiff chops that left bruises with high flying and bell to bell action this match alone makes it worth purchasing the set- although I wish I could have just seen this match and not the whole 6 hours.   Sacrifice C-    Slammiversary B-
Wednesday August 24, 2011
TMZ is reporting that Matt Hardy has been rushed to a hospital, - sources are indicating that the recently released from TNA wrestling Matt Hardy will be leaving the hospital in the next day or two.
WWE backstage reporter and announcer Todd Grisham has left WWE to join ESPN.
 The day after I pick up the Hogan Knows Best boxset at FYE for 7 dollars I see that Third  Degree films is making an adult porn parody of the show. So I guess the vitamins are Viagra.
Halogen channel ran a show called World Travels – this episode featured a piece on the Fighting Cholitas from Bolivia.
On Nat Geo they had a documentary about indie wrestling called Slammed: Inside indie wrestling – it was interesting – but they featured the same promotion that was covered in Card Subject to Change- which I just watched last month- it basically followed Zima Ion and Danny Inferno as they geared up to participate in a tryout for Ring of Honor. Why is it the Nat Geo channel- is that supposed to sound hipper than National Geographic?
Thursday August 25, 2011
When surfing the web today I found out that former Orioles pitcher and executive Mike Flanagan was found dead at the age of 59 – WBAL reported that it may have been a suicide. Because he was despondent about the perception that he was part of the reason of the Orioles failures. I am not going to say he was favorite Oriole- my favorite Orioles were Eddie Murray and Jim Palmer. But the southpaw Cy Young award winner was an integral part of the team’s success in the 80s. Apparently I was not the only person looking up this story as Mike Flanagan was trending number one on yahoo for a few minutes today.
 Former WWF and NWA female grappler Donna Christanello passed away due to a heart attack at the age of 69.
Once again the federal government is cracking down on websites that stream sports events- but like the war on drugs I doubt if the issue of streaming will ever be thwarted. WWE announced that instead of releasing CDs with theme music they will now release digital tracks on iTunes for WWE superstar entrance themes.
It is hurricane season – and we hit the store yesterday to get some munchies and batteries in case we lose power.
Danica Patrick announced that she is committing her efforts to NASCAR. I admit I only watch one race a year – the Indy 500 and have been rooting for her since she started running the race- but I will not switch to NASCAR – but I would love to see her win over there. Indy will continue to be my one car race a year with or without the Go-Daddy girl.
Impact Wrestling – Eric Young pinned Scott Baio on a golf course. The main event pitted Kurt Angle against Krimson which ended when Samoa Joe attacked Krimson- thus preserving Krimson’s unbeaten record. And in another segment Ric Flair cursed out Sting.
“It blew me away. Flair downgraded himself with the profanity he used last night. He called Sting an SOB and an a-hole and f this and f that.  I was appalled, my wife was appalled and several other people were appalled. That is not wrestling. That was off the deep end. That’s the reason I don’t watch a lot of it- it’s just garbage. The class of person and wrestler that Ric Flair was- the man.. Even though I was performer and worker, Flair was still an idol of mine, Flair was a hard man to beat. He could go with the best of them. To see that last night, it overwhelmed me and threw me for a loop. I just could not believe that Flair downgraded himself by the words and the way he did last night. I don’t know, if they think that sells tickets- more power to them. I wouldn’t buy a ticket to see that. Because to me that’s just garbage.” – Bill Mulkey
Friday August 26, 2011
Luke Gallows, Micah Taylor and several other wrestlers were stuck in their hotel in Nigeria due to the local UN office being bombed. Deciding to make the best of a bad situation – the stranded grapplers took to  Twitter to answer some fan questions on Saturday and finally wrestled on Sunday.
 WWE Smackdown featured Cody Rhodes turning on Ted DiBiase, Jr,  with Bret Hart as guest GM and Mark Henry beating down Sheamus.
Saturday August 27, 2011
 Originally I was planning on going to Knuckleheads in Virginia Beach to see an SPW show. But Mother Nature and Hurricane Irene had different thoughts. The category one storm provided the area with a day long downpour and streakers on the Weather Channel.
The excitement of waiting to loose power is not the most fun way to spend a day.
Over 750,000 folks are currently without power in Virginia(It would grow to over one million). So far a part of our fence in the backyard blew down – but that was the extent of damage and discomfort that I experienced for the day.
Monday August 29, 2011
Monday Night Raw from Oklahoma featured some good matches and more promos. RKO beat Mr Ziggles in a solid 2 segment match. Sin Cara II beat Jack Swagger after he was distracted by Mr Ziggles. CM Punk inverted the term clique with click when he verbally destroyed Kevin Nash yet again.
The Main news from the night was the announcement that Raw and Smackdown talent will be on both shows for the foreseeable future. This means more of the same main event guys shoved down my throat and more chance for the undercard chaps to become cannon fodder en route to future endeavors.
Tuesday August 30, 2011
 Christian and Randy Orton headlined a rare live Smackdown event- dubbed Super Smackdown  with a superb cage match – of course as soon as Orton won the contest Mark Henry came in and destroyed Orton- throwing him from pillar to post.
  But the real/fake headlines came from Twitter and the attention starved Matt Hardy – who posted a video bidding goodbye. Several fans became alarmed and some went as far as to call the police to make sure that Hardy did not kill himself. As reported in the Fayetteville Observer a local trooper went to his house and Hardy was fine. It has been a tumultuous summer for Hardy as he has been suspended and then fired from TNA wrestling and also was arrested for a DWI and admitted to a hospital after he passed out. I hope he straightens himself out and does not become just another tragic statistic on the wrestling ledger. Jeff Hardy’s wife lashed out at Matt on the Twitter- because I think cops went to casa de Jeff first.
General David Petraeus has left the military to take over the CIA. In non related news – Davari is the latest grappler announced for Jeff Katz’s WRP promotion.
Wednesday August 31, 2011
Former NHL enforcer Wade Belak was found dead at the age of 35. He is third enforcer from hockey to die since May of 2011. Many think there is a link between repeated blows to the head and the early deaths/suicides of these violent throwbacks in the professional sport of hockey.


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