Monday, September 01, 2014

Pro Wrestling in September of 2011

Thursday September 1, 2011

Cyndi Lauper is currently trending number one on for starting construction on a homeless shelter for LGBT community in New York.


Found out today that the last season of Desperate Housewives is now available on Netflix Streaming- watched 4 episodes of the show instead of Impact Wrestling- of course I recorded Impact Wrestling and will watch it later. But nothing on that show will make me LOL the way Gabby does.



Friday September 2, 2011

While eating a gut-busting breakfast of scrapple, oatmeal cookie washed down by Mountain Dew. I watched last night’s Impact Wrestling from Alabama. Impact Wrestling needs to leave the Impact Zone more often- having a live and a fresh crowd really helped the presentation of the product.. Mickie James captured the Knockouts title from British grappler Winter. Kurt Angle retained the TNA title by beating Sting after some help from ringside enforcer Hulk Hogan. My favorite match of the night featured AJ Styles taking on his pal Christopher Daniels- Daniels won after AJ fell off the top rope. After the match match Daniels refused to shake A.J.’s hand- I would not mind seeing more matches between these 2.


Luke Gallows is the 10th talent announced for the upcoming Wrestling Revolution project. Congrats to the talented Luke Gallows for the new gig.


Comic relief grappler Santino Marella was involved in an auto accident last night the car flipped sideways and he did injure his shoulder. Currently he is slated to miss Monday Night Raw.


The Main Event for the first UFC event on Fox in November will be Cain Velasquez versus Junior Dos Santos.


Sunday September 4, 2011

Eating my first ever salami ,ham , triscuit, green pepper on white bread sandwich- it is pretty good- washing it down with Grapeade from Snapple-one of my 2 favorite beverages.


According to Christian’s twitter- Phil Collins was at last night’s WWE event in Geneva, Switzerland – meanwhile across the pond shots were fired after a WWE house show in Trenton, NJ. According to early reports no one was injured.


TNA Champion Kurt Angle was arrested for DWI after leaving a show in Virginia.

TNA wrestler Jesse Goddard was featured on tonight’s Big Brother as a non-prize during the Pandora’s Box segment of the reality show. He shilled endlessly for himself and his merch.


Hall of Fame Linebacker Lee Roy Selmon passed away today.



Monday Sept 5 -2011

Prince Devitt is the latest cast member of the Wrestling Revolution Project to be announced. His match at this Wrestle Kingdom V was one of the best matches of the super card in Tokyo, Japan earlier this year.


HHH fired his good buddy Kevin Nash on Raw ( storyline) after Kevin Nash admitted he sent the text from HHH’s phone to his phone to attack CM Punk at Summer Slam.The last the audience saw of Nash he was hopping into a limo with John Laurenitis.


“Next time you see someone else's cell phone laying around, pick it up and text yourself on it. It's the new trend sweeping the globe. Once it happens, congratulations, you've been NASH'D!” – Jesse Laveno


I spent my labor day participating in a fantasy football draft party with lawyers, judges and other business professionals. My first pick was Michael Vick – my last pick was Vince Young- I am afraid my group of running backs are subpar(or rather old and past their prime)- but I have a great crew of receivers and the Ravens defense.


Tuesday Sept 6 2011


Randy Orton The Evolution of a Predator’s Legacy Hey I hear voices when I puntkiss Stephanie came out today on DVD. The first disc is an interesting and well made biography of the Viper- covering his highs and lows from him being an AWOL marine to being suspended for an OD to his many matches at Wrestlemania and his title victories- this set has lots of solid moments and memories. Some of his heel moments have been omitted such as the aforementioned kiss of Stephanie McMahon Helmsley on Raw while HHH was handcuffed and also the moment when Evolution turned on him is not on the disc. It is imperfect and as much about building him up as a hero who overcame demons as it is telling his full story. The set also includes a match from OVW, his Smackdown debut and several matches from PPV. This is a slam dunk set if you have been a fan of RKO since the RNN updates (wait those segments aren’t included either- not cool) or new to hearing voices. I have not been an Orton fan for years- I liked him more when he was more of a highflyer and a cocky young guy versus the take a thousand years to saunter down to the ring and deliver robotic promos. But this disc did a good job of making me glad he has turned his life around and has a good foundation at home to keep him grounded. I was not fond of the narration at times, but I liked the fact that is was a balanced look at the superstar. There are some glaring omissions(No RNN, no ouster from Evolution or Steph kiss) from the set but this is worth getting if you want to know more about Orton.   B


Former WWE superstar Brock Lesnar is booked to face Strikeforce Champion Alistar Overeem on December 30th   for the UFC.


Midget wrestler Little Tokyo passed away at age of 70 of a heart attack according to reports.


Eddie Murphy has been selected to be the host at 2012 Oscar ceremony.


Wednesday September 7, 2011

The number one album on the Billboard charts is The R.E.D. Album by The Game ( the rapper not Triple H). The number one song on iTunes is “Someone Like You” by Adele.

The Help is currently the top movie at the box office.


Today I watched a movie about a man returning from prison to meet up with his old friend. The movie featured a wrestler. The movie was not the new HHH flick.


I Walk Alone (1948 Paramount Pictures)

Burt Lancaster just finished serving a 14 year stretch. Now he wants his fair share of the rackets. But his former partner portrayed excellently by Kirk Douglas wants to cut him out of the Regent Nightclub and offers Lancaster a paltry 2912 dollars as his payment. Founder of the Cauliflower Ear Club Mike Mazurki plays the doorman that eventually has to rough up Lancaster. The movie features a superb cast that includes Wendell Cooley and Lizbeth Scott. The plot has several twists and turns and the movie features tons of great one-liners. This is worth checking out if you classic film noir on Netflix streaming or when it replays on TMC.  B-


The juxtaposition of the duck ala orange and champagne meal enjoyed by Lancaster and Scott on the screen contrasted with the buttery popcorn I was eating while chugging Mountain Dew really drove home that my money problems stem from spending way too much on food and eating out.


I went bowling tonight- my first time bowling since a summer vacation about 3 years ago in Nags Head, NC. Well I did not bowl- but I was in a local bowling alley that had multiple games going on multiple lanes- at 7 dollars a game and 5 dollars per shoe rental- plus folks were drinking bear and eating. The hoop shot game stole a dollar from me.


Amazing Red is the latest cast member added to the Wrestling Revolution Project spearheaded by Jeff Katz.


September 8, 2011


Jeff Hardy re-emerged on Impact Wrestling tonight in a pre-taped segment. This morning he was sentenced to 10 days in jail. 30 months of probation and a 100 thousand dollar fine. He cut a short promo saying he messed up and asking for one more shot.


Although wrestling is supposed to matter, I will be honest I was more entertained by the promos during the show. My favorite segment featured 2 good workers Austin Aires and Brian Kendrick as they did a good job establishing their characters and setting up their next confrontation for the X-Division belt.


Well known Philly wrestling personality Frank Talent passed away at the age of 74. He was a member of the Pennsylvania State Athletic Commission.


The NFL kicked off its season with the Packers beating the Saints in a high-scoring game that probably siphoned off viewers from Impact.


3 Count Video Presents  Greetings from the Sunshine State

Featuring Kevin Sullivan , Super Billy Graham, Mike Graham and Terry Funk

This 2011 release covers the heyday of Championship Wrestling from Florida, included in the discussion are the ascension of Bob Backlund to the WWF strap, Eddie Graham, Dusty Rhodes and more. The DVD also includes a 5 minute segment with Ox Baker discussing his time in the Florida territory. Mixing in classic pictures with spirited discussion this is a good look at one of the top territories in the 70s and 80s.There was a fair amount of putting promoter Eddie Graham over- especially by Billy Graham- and that was tedious after the first 10 times- but it was still a good discussion about the wrestling scene in that area. B-



September 9, 2011


As I continue my journey through the world of wrestling- I am slowly realizing that I do enjoy a good promo as much or more than a good match. Of course since most WWE matches are cookie-cutter paint by numbers contests thrown in between hype for PPVs and kissing sponsor butt- the promos usually flourish better. Tonight’s Smackdown was highlighted by an interaction between The World’s Strongest Man Mark Henry and internet sensation Zack Ryder. The other highlight of the show to me was the first promo cut by the newly aggressive Sin Cara – ok it was not really quotable, but when Josh Matthews tried to be bilingual it cracked me up. I guess Sin Cara is a full on Rudo- unless he is an imposter- I just know the Mexican fans will crap all over the imposter Mistico if they head into Mexico with the wrong grappler. The main event was a solid match between Randy Orton and his former Legacy stable-mate Cody Rhodes. Orton won with an RKO.


 September 10, 2011


The wife and I ventured to Hampton today. Went to Bender’s and found some vintage comics and books and a PWI from 1993, After that we went to Harpoon Larry’s and I indulged in the Bermuda Triangle- a great combo of shrimp with crab puffs, lobster and Filet Mignon and as an added bonus the place carried Mountain Dew.


I went to the SPW house show tonight- I was underwhelmed or maybe burnt out on grappling. I have to admit if I were not writing a book on wrestling I would probably go less often- actually I was going less often before I started the project. Or maybe I was frustrated that most of my pictures turned out muddy from tonight- either way I did snag some decent stuff from the merch table including Slap Happy for 5 bucks. I am looking forward to their next event at Scope on October 22 which will feature Sonjay Dutt taking on Jay Lethal. The funniest thing of the night- I was sitting with my back to the dressing room curtain and I could hear the wrestlers talking behind me- telling when to take a picture, mocking the action and more-it added to the event and thankfully it was not as hot as it was in June.


Actor Cliff Robertson who portrayed Uncle Ben in the Spiderman movie (along with a ton of other roles over the years) passed away at the age of 88.




September 11, 2011


10 Years later! Oddly enough I was sitting in front of a computer. I was online at the Salon Table Talk sight prattling on about Big Brother – the CBS reality show that continues to this day ( wrestling tie-in Big Dick Johnson is a writer for the current season and did the voiceover for a fortune teller figure in the house). I am online and my girlfriend (my wife) tells me that a plane hit the twin towers. I basically ignore the information- because in my mind I thought it was like a small private passenger plane. She got my attention when she alerted me that a second plane hit the twin towers- we sat transfixed for awhile and even had the TV on a channel that was doing a live report from the Pentagon when a plane hit that structure. After that we carried on with our normal day- I purchased new tennis shoes and played hoops at the local recreation center.

The well coordinated attack was the Pearl Harbor of our generation – the impact of the events of 9-11 can not be understated- we are still involved in an un-winnable war- even if we pull our troops out of Iraq and Afghanistan the threat of terrorism will always be there.




WWE Holiday Tribute to the Troops (2005 WWE)

This unique and probably out of print collection captures Christmas in Baghdad 2003 and 2004 featuring WWE Smackdown superstars as they travel to Iraq. Each event is filmed outside in an soccer stadium and the ring is surrounded by troops either watching the event or on guard. The troops are enthusiastic about the matches- sure there aren’t any 5 star classics buried in this 2 disc set- but the matches are quick and entertaining and I’m sure a welcome escape from the 24 hour tensions that usually envelops their day. I am not the biggest flag waver and I am certain that some of the soldiers are there as much for socio-economic reasons as patriotism, but kudos go to WWE for putting together these annual events for our servicemen. Wrestling highlights include the World’s Greatest Tag Team taking on APA and Chris Benoit taking on Eddie Guerrero. I also enjoyed JBL coming out in a tricked out Humvee and in a biohazard suit. While this disc is a WWE product and features WWE superstars- the real focus of the DVD are the men and women serving our country in harm’s way and this set does a good job highlighting a few of our troops from that time period. This is worth having for the unique outdoor environments that matches occur in and also as a unique look at Iraq during 2003 and 2004. Disc 2 also features WWE superstars going to other war-torn countries.   B


 Today my NFL season starts- sure there was a game on Thursday- but my viewing is all about the Washington Redskins- I was born in the nation’s capital and have been following them since the 70s. I currently have no plans to watch the September TNA PPV that is airing tonight. The Redskins beat the New York Soccer Giants 28-14. The turnover of the roster is amazing- sure I never keep up with pigskin details during the offseason- but the evaporation of Clinton Portis strikes me as odd-as does the Redskins stupid preoccupation with running the ball consistently even though their new feature back seemed to mostly be stopped after runs of one and two yards.


I finally discovered Louie- after missing the initial run of the show- I watched 3 episodes on Netflix Streaming last night- very hilarious show- the most I have laughed at a sitcom in years. Maybe being 42 like Louie C.K. helps – but his delivery is amazing and I loved his awkward date on the pilot episode- funny stuff. 


Andy Whitfield who played the title role in the hit series Spartacus: Blood and Sand died at the age of 39 due to lymphoma.





Monday September 12, 2011

Once again former WWE diva and WCW performer Stacy Keibler is trending number one on at 1:47 pm EST since she was seen on the elbow of actor George Clooney at the Toronto Film Festival.


The highlight of  WWE Monday Night Raw occurred when CM Punk blasted HHH in the head with a microphone after his vocal pipebomb was cut off in mid-sentence a couple of times. Cody Rhodes beat World Champion Randy Orton in a non-title match after utilizing his protective headgear and the presence of Hall of Pain chairman Mark Henry in a solid match of Smackdown performers on the Raw Super Show.


PRO Wrestler (2011 filmed, edited and written by Kenny Johnson 2011)

I snagged this from This is a solid character study following a handful of grapplers on the Maryland indie scene. Sure the movie has quotes and clips with guys like Tommy Dreamer and Sonjay Dutt- but the heart and soul of the movie are the guys on the fringes trying to make it to the next level. This 2 disc edition includes a fun montage of footage that did not make the movie, an entertaining dance segment and Backyard Betty.     B+


Matt Hardy was busted once again for DUI. He has gone from WWE to begging for a release and getting it , to joining TNA , being suspended then released, to DUI to cryptic not suicide notes to another DUI- not exactly a good year for the public resume.


Warrior an MMA flick is the third highest grossing movie over the weekend in the US. Olympic gold medalist and TNA World Champion Kurt Angle is in the movie as Koba.



Tuesday September 13, 2011
Roddy Piper completed successful neck surgery.
Highspots.COM Roundtable Discussions: Enhancement Talent (2011)
This 3 way conversation between George South, Barry Horowitz and Salvatore Bellomo is an entertaining and informative sitdown between a trio of grapplers that helped set the table for other workers. Find out their thoughts on their contemporaries, Tough Enough , respect , locker room etiquette and more. This may not be for everyone and does not have the star-power of some productions- but this shoot style chat between friends is worth a gander if you want an inside peak at how the workers look at the industry now and then.  B-
DC Comics takes a drastic step and re-launches all 52 of their titles with new storylines and a strong foray into digital publishing with all titles debuting in the digital realm the same day as the print launch. The gamble paid off as DC Comics posted strong numbers and beat out their competitor Marvel for overall sales in 2011.
Wednesday September 14, 2011
Hulk Hogan’s Micro Championship Wrestling debuted on Tru-TV. For some reason Brian Knobbs is on my television again- he was the worst part of Celebrity Championship Wrestling and now he is part of the new not real reality show featuring little people or as the grapplers prefer midget wrestlers. The first episode felt so forced and staged it will be a struggle to watch – even for Wrestlecrap value.
Rachel won the current season of Big Brother- the CBS reality show that has been on for the past several summers.
I spent the day watching World of Sport wrestling from the 80s on DVr- saw a couple of amazing matches between the Dynamite Kid and Rollerball Mark Rocco. Honestly it is frustrating seeing wrestling from so long ago and it feels more impactful and real than most of the matches I watch from either TNA or WWE.
Thursday September 15, 2011
If they still put titles on episodes of Impact Wrestling –tonight’s show would be called Jeff’s walk of shame, between the tongue lashing by AJ Styles and the after school berating by Brother Devon (D-Von Dudley) – Jeff Hardy was verbally humiliated for his public mistakes earlier in the year. On the upside – Bobby Roode won the BFG series and will take on Kurt Angle at this year’s installment of Bound for Glory from Philly.
Friday September 16 , 2011
WWE has signed Claudio Castagnoli to a developmental deal and – this annoys me already – have changed his name. One thing I really miss about the territory days- wrestlers would build a reputation around the country under one name and then WWF would snatch them up and use that rep to build their company when they were expanding. Now when they hire someone – they wipe the slate clean and give them a new name- it is so annoying – it weakens the structure of the entire industry in an attempt to keep just WWE strong-it is one practice I loathe. It would be like every singer changing their name whenever they change record companies. 0+>
I think fans should chant Claudio whenever he is on camera - #ChantClaudio.
WWE Smackdown featured the return of Edge. He hosted the Cutting Edge that hyped up the World title match for Sunday’s PPV between Mark Henry and champ Randy Orton. The chat segment ended and then Mark Henry went on a rampage and beat up the locker room and left Orton laying in the middle of the ring as he held the strap aloft. Earlier in the show Sin Cara confronted Sin Cara after Sin Cara got disqualified for kicking Daniel Bryan past a 5 count while Bryan was in the tree of woe. Ok there are 2 Sin Caras – the first one was portrayed by Mistico a famed luchadore – around the time of Money in the Bank – he failed his drug test. Sin Cara A was suspended for 30 days – during the suspension Sin Cara B appeared (carrying extra muscle mass according to commentator Booker T ) -  there have been rumors of backstage friction with both masked men. Sin Cara B turned heel by attacking Daniel Bryan after a match a few weeks back and then solidified his heel turn by cutting a promo talking about being more aggressive. Sin Cara A returned this week to confront Sin Cara B – I don’t know what will happen- nor if any sane person can make sense of what I just tried to summarize- I know I am the writer and it is my job to push forward the narrative and relay the facts- but I admit I am confused.
Wrestling was alluded to 3 times in one segment of The Soup- first Stacey Kiebler was shown on a clip from Inside Edition( she is still dating George Clooney). Then it looked like Blue Demon is on a Mexican version of Dancing with the Stars, this was followed up by an XFL cheerleader who was defending her daughter being a pageant baby- all in 5 minutes- sure it’s a stretch- but there you have it.
Saturday September 17
Former Wrestlemania feature attraction Floyd Mayweather, Jr. wins his boxing bout with Victor Ortiz in controversial fashion. Honestly he looked like he won the way a rudo or heel would win- and mister moneyphone is one hated pugilist. After Ortiz head-butted him- Mayweather knocked him out after a clean break. IF this were a wrestling match – they would have another fight on PPV down the road.
Timeline the History of the WWE 1997 as told by Jim Cornette
(2011 Kayfabe Commentaries LLC)
Insightful and informative 2 disc set that looks at the pivotal year of 1997- at that time WWE was still getting their butts kicked by WCW in the Monday Night Wars. However WWE was starting to produce some compelling television- Canada vs US feud , the start of Dx , and somebody loosing their smile. Jim Cornette was a member of WWE creative and he discusses dealing with the Montreal Screwjob , the death of Brian Pillman, his thoughts on Vince Russo and Kevin Dunn and so much more. This hilarious and profanity filled look at the WWE on the brink of ruin and the edge of the biggest comeback in rasslin’ history is a must a have DVD- sure the disc is mostly just Jim Cornette and Sean Oliver talking- but Cornette carries the load as usual and this time he brings a WWE booking ledger with him to back up his thoughts with actual numbers- attendance, amount paid and more.   A++
Sunday September 18
I watched Memphis Heat for the second time in 2 days- just as good the second time as the first- this is up there with the Heroes of World Class DVD for storytelling, history and legacy. Mix in compelling extras and out-takes and you have something worth owning for any fan of the territory days of wrestling.
4:37 pm EST
The Redskins won 22-21 today- sealing the victory on the last play of the game. I get emotional watching the Redskins- a serious emotional investment- my ROI – superficially 3 Super Bowl titles, guys like Art Monk in the Hall of Fame- realistically-NOTHING. ZILCH , not a damn thing- but every Sunday the Redskins are mathematically alive I watch – I plan around watching games during the season and when I was in charge of scheduling- I never worked a Sunday in the fall or winter.
 Meanwhile besides the Royal Rumble I think I could live without seeing many events live or not even care if I see them at all. WWE is the modern equivalent of the Harlem Globetrotters – the anointed few will usually win  and the hapless jobbers to the stars will continue in their assigned roles as the Washington Generals. Tonight’s PPV is a great example- while I think Alberto Del Rio will retain due to tomfoolery by Ricardo Rodriguez- he will still look weak in comparison to the squarejawed John Cena. I think that Orton will beat Mark Henry- all this monster buildup for the World’s Strongest Man will result in a big fat nothing. I could be wrong.
WWE Night of Champions
Air Boom (Evan Bourne and Kofi Kingston) showed their true love for each other by getting matching tights for their successful tag title defense against The Miz and R-Truth.
Cody Rhodes retained the IC title against former Legacy stablemate Ted DiBiase,Jr.  The high point of the match was when a guy at the Buffalo Wild Wings that I was watching the event at yelled out “His face is fine” – very funny – I know he was bitching because of  the faceguard that Cody continues to wear 6 months after his initial injury. Cody got a surprise rollup for the victory after Teddy Jr celebrated taking the mask off of Cody.
Christian cut yet another promo asking for another title shot. Dolf Ziggler retained the US strap in a 4 way. Although Beth Phoenix had huge fan support from her hometown in Buffalo she ended up loosing to generic Kelly squared.
Up next was a commercial proclaiming that another PPV will take place in 2 weeks – I plan on skipping it – 2 weeks is too soon-maybe this is a logical endpoint for the book- well no not really- but I think I am tapping out.
 Mark Henry completed his 15 year journey to the top by defeating Randy Orton to win the World Heavyweight Championship. This got a large pop from the crowd at Buffalo Wild Wings.
John Cena defeated Alberto Del Rio to capture the WWE strap for a record setting 10th time.
The main event was a huge clusterschmozz, HHH beat CM Punk after spots including the announce table,the LED display, road bags,a sledgehammer, a text message and  interference from Johnny Ace, The Miz , R-Truth, Kevin Nash and Scott Armstrong. CM Punk had a new T-shirt promoting CM Punk Ice Cream Bars. One fan had a sign stating –I Wish Benoit Was Here.
Overall Night of Champions was something I did not enjoy. I don’t know if it is fatigue from watching so much wrestling or rather seeing so much quality wrestling and then watching a lame PPV after that- but I felt the urge to leave early for most of the event. Andy and Irvin the 2 teens that I spoke to at Wrestlemania both said they liked the PPV and said we’ll see at the next event. At this moment I doubt it- I think I am over trying to make sense of Vince’s playground and or trying to write about it-the PPV was not horrible like December to Dismember –worse it felt like a Raw or Smackdown with one special event match that sort of felt like a main event- but the Punk/HHH match was overbooked and lost me after the spit pyro interruption. At times I was more interested in the Eagles/Falcons game and the Emmys than I was watching the punch –kick repetition of the average WWE match. Mad Men the excellent AMC show featuring Jon Hamm, Christina Hendricks and January Jones won several Emmys according to the yahoo headlines I skimmed as I logged off the computer. Maybe I am wrong because my predictions were all incorrect- not really- I am far too apathetic to worry about that- I was more worried about getting a middling milkshake than rehashing the PPV.
PPVs should be special events- not a monthly ritual- there has to be something special- not just a mix and match of basically the same wrestlers month after month- it gets old- probably as old as reading about me hating the current PPV structure,
Night of Champions ended up with 161,000 buys a decrease of 4000 from the previous year.
Monday September 19, 2011
Hugh Jackman hosted tonight’s Raw- first guest host in awhile(The Muppets are rumored for Halloween)-guess it was WWE’s attempt at competing with the Sheen Roast and the season premiere of 2 and a Half Men without Sheen and Dancing with the C-list. Hugh Jackman did a decent job in his segments with Vikki Guerrero and Dolph Ziggler and Zack Ryder. The competing Sin Cara angle continued as they faced off and did some cartwheels in the ring and pointed at each other. HHH fired Miz and R-Truth at the end of the Raw broadcast and then had them escorted out of the arena. I admit I had more fun watching the Comedy Central roast of Charlie Sheen than Raw.
The best segment of the night was Mark Henry cementing his World strap victory with a strong promo and then a beat-down of JR and the King that drew a mix of boos and cheers-but a strong reaction from the live audience either way.
It is later reported that Hugh Jackman fractured the jaw of Mr Ziggles when he punched him at the end of the non-title bout against Zack Ryder. In some places it is also stated that it is a lie- the broken jaw- either way- best guest host appearance in a long long time- and also the first one in awhile.
Former WCW World Heavyweight Champion and Ready to Rumble star David Arquette is part of the cast of Dancing with the Stars that also started tonight.
Tuesday September 20, 2011
Went out in search of good food, ended up at Aldo’s in Virginia Beach – had a great lunch that included fried zucchini, a salad with breaded chicken and crème brulee. I was annoyed that I was made to remove my baseball cap to eat- I honestly don’t know how me wearing a hat affects their business. However they still sat us in the back of the eatery.
 After that we went to Rich’s Deli near Shore Drive and got some wraps for dinner and then went to Trader Joes to get some provisions for later in the week.
Meanwhile the former cold blooded Matt Hardy continues to have issues with the law as his house is raided and they find anabolic steroids, ex and more in his domicile – he is headed down a bad path and I hope he pulls out of this very public tailspin.
Sixties and Seventies Wrestler “Handsome” Johnny Barend passed away at the age of 82.
The Lion King is number one at the box office- yes that Lion King – in 3D topped the weekend charts for film.
Wrestling’s Most Awful Angle
(2011 Kayfabe Commentaries)
Take a panel of 12 industry veterans(Chyna, Animal, Honky Tonk Man, etc) and let them comment on 5 terrible wrestling angles. The concept sounds easy and it is almost too easy- from the events chosen it is obvious that either the voters were a younger group or nothing horrible happened in wrestling before the late 90s. Number Five on the list was Stephanie McMahon being named owner of ECW in storyline- I thought that made sense since Paul Heyman the actual owner of ECW was with WWE when the storyline was being executed- but the panel seemed to be apathetic at best about it. 4 other angles including Mae Young’s hand and World Champ David Arquette made the list. Clocking in at 55 minutes- this was a spare effort without many laughs- I think I would have enjoyed the topic better with the Wrestlecrap crew.  C+
Wednesday September 21, 2011
In my futile attempts to gear up for the ROH syndication debut on Saturday I finally watched
ROH on HDNet Volume 4 ( ROH 2010)
This is a solid collection of matches from 2009 and 2010 including Bryan Danielson’s last match with the company, several well contested tag bouts, and a superb 4 way match for the ROH strap. Bonus matches include a competitive and entertaining confrontation between Sonjay Dutt and Delirious with Daisy Haze. Nothing stood out as essential – but solid grappling and presentation make this a keeper.  B-
The second episode of Hulk Hogan’s Micro Championship Wrestling aired tonight. What a huge unsatisfying mess of fake reality this is. While it is nice to see one of my all-time favorite workers Pat Tanaka get a job as a ref, it is virtually unbelievable that anyone would cast someone for a wrestling show and then surprise their opponent in the ring in front of a packed spring break audience. The in-ring work is pretty bad and the out of ring tension is un-watchable – I don’t care for Johnny Greene and his sharpie beard and faux hawk nor do I need Brian Knobbs on my TV again. Also it appears that the Half Pint Brawlers that had a show on Spike last year have taken issue with this little person promotion and may sue the diminutive promotion.
Athens, Georgia band R.E.M. announced their break-up today. I used to be a huge fan until the Orange album- I have loved songs by them even as recently as the sad and entrancing “E-bow the Letter”. I was not affected at the news- until I started listening to their music- now I realize that I can add another band to my list of bands I never got to see live in person. They supplied the title song for the Andy Kaufman bio-pic Man on the  Moon.
Facebook has once again changed its basic layout- this has caused much angst and caterwauling. I think folks in the  FB graphic design department feel the need to justify their jobs by tinkering whenever they can.
Thursday September 22, 2011
The Office returned tonight without Steve Carrell – he was the main character for the popular sitcom for years. I enjoyed the episode which featured James Spader and planking.
R&B singer Vesta Williams died in her sleep due to an enlarged heart at the age of 53.
Impact Wrestling
Impact Review by Tom Hankins
I hadn't watched Impact (tna) in a long time. For some unknown reason, tonight I decided to watch just to see what was up there. I knew Austin Aries was going to keep the X Division strap as that was part of the deal of him coming back and signing with them. I missed the first half hour of the show and turned it on just in time to see Aries win due to outside interference from Kid Kash, who I didn't even recognize, but I've always liked his ring work. Aries reminds me of Dory Funk Jr whenever I saw him live at PWG. He takes complete control of the ring and is a hell of a worker. Now they've got me pissed off right away. They can't give a clean win in the middle of the ring to one of the top 5 workers wrestling today over Jesse Sorenson? I hate Vince Russo. Well, then I got to watch 30 minutes of pure bullshit of backstage crap that nobody cares about. The boys did  good jobs in their Russoesque sketches, but I don't even remember what they were about already. I hate Vince Russo.
Then Ink Inc. (I figured out who they were only because of their multitude of tats) beats the shit out of Hernandez, who still can't speak Spanish, but that doesn't even matter here in the impact zone where "Wrestling Matters". At least they call it wrestling. I hate Vince Russo.
We then got to watch Matt Morgan tell Jeff Hardy that just about everyone there hated him, but he'd give him one more chance before he beats the shit out of him. Morgan said he'd been clean for more than 5 years and told Jeff he'd better do the same. Wow...actual words of wisdom, but I hate Vince Russo.
The Rob Van Dam is found by stagehands, laying on the floor after being beaten by who knows, but it must have been Bully Ray & Jerry Lynn, as they were threatening to do so before the last commercial.
Hardy found Kurt Angle, who told him he doesn't want him in the company, and neither does most of the other guys in the back. Hardy asked him who was he to talk to him that way? That's the most salient point Hardy has ever made. Angle said he was a 14-time world champion and Olympic Gold Medalist. Hardy said maybe Angle didn't want him in the company because he was his biggest threat to the TNA title. Angle warned him never to say that to him ever again.
Next Angle comes out to the ring and argues with Bobby Roode over their upcoming
match, I guess. More commercials. Roode wants the match tonight, but Angle refuses. Then James Storm (who I didn't realize was even back with the company) came to the ring drinking beer and told Angle that they were having a match tonight and that he'd have to wait for Roode on the PPV. I sat there thinking what a great team Roode & Storm used to be, and I mean great, but then I got back to reality and Storm did another excellent baby face interview after Angle accepted, and did his catchphrase. There may not be anyone in the company with more microphone charisma than Storm. Did I mention that I hate Vince Russo?
Next up was supposed to be Bully Ray & Lynn vs Rob Van Dam & Mr Anderson, but since RVD had been beaten a few commercials ago, it was now a handicap match. I've been hearing how Anderson isn't very good, etc., but he looked good to me and the match was a good TV match and for some reason, I've always liked Anderson, even though I haven't seen him more than 3 or 4 times, if that. The match wass good until the finish where Bully Ray used a chain to clothesline Anderson and win the match. Does Russo know the meaning, or has he ever seen, a clean pin. Since they had already eliminated RVD from the match and it was 2 on 1, what's the point of using the chain? I hate Vince Russo.
Next was supposed to be a match between Chris Daniels and Roode, but Daniels came to the ring in street clothes, said he had already beaten everyone and wasn't going to wrestle Roode. He kept making remarks about A.J. Styles, who came out and they got into an excellent pull apart brawl, one of the best I've seen. Styles & Daniels are both great workers and this brawl was great. Frankie Kazarian finally broke it up after the security guards failed. This brawl was done perfectly, but I still hate Russo. All of the credit goes to Styles & Daniels.
Then things got horrible in one second. They cut to a shot of Bischoff holding an ice pack to his head (something must have happened during the 1st half hour that I missed) and Hogan was there with him sitting at a desk like he was running things. Hogan looks so old it's pathetic. Of course, he's been pathetic since he stepped into a wrestling ring, in my humble, yet obnoxious opinion. Hogans says " Next week I'm going to make an announcement that will change the wrestling business forever". What's he going to do, quit and take Russo & Bischoff with him? They've made so many announcements on how next week they would announce some BS that is going to change the business forever. Lame, lame, lame.
I hate Vince Russo.
Next came the highlight of the show as Kurt Angle and James Storm had a great match. I forgot how great Angle is, as I haven't watched him in so long, and Storm was great as well. I was actually enjoying a tna match !!! This match had great mat wrestling and was strictly old school throughout. Both guys looked very impressive. The match lasted 12 minutes and ended in a no contest because Gunner (who I'd never seen before) interfered and then was the ref bump, of course. Dusty's legacy rises again. I hate Russo.
Impact or tna or whatever they are (even they don't know) has some top talent. The matches were better than anything I'd seen on my very rare viewing of Raw a few weeks ago. There is no hhh here to hold back the wrestlers and their working ability. Here are these guys who I saw basically start out at PWG (although a lot of them were trained in Canada but still came to PWG to work) with loads of talent and the ability to work great matches. I have no complaints about the matches at all. All they need is a BOOKER, not a hack job writer like Russo. It even sickens me to call him a writer, so I'll just refer to him from this point as a POS, but that's certainly no secret to anyone, except Dixie Carter  and Jeff Jarrett. Just the fact that Jim Cornette is gone and Paul Heyman wouldn't even work for them says it all. When they decide to bring in someone like Dutch Mantel (if he'd even work for them) and let them take COMPLETE CONTROL, they could be saved. Since that will never happen I'm sorry to say it's just more worthless skits. I may be getting old, but I couldn't even tell who were the heels and who were the faces for the most part. The matches were good to great, but that covers about 30 minutes of a 2 hour show. The rest is all Russo, whoops...POS at his finest/worst.
Impact Review by Tom Hankins
I thought it was a decent Impact (of course I watch with my remote in hand and on DVr- so I skipped the Hogan segments completely). The AJ/Daniels confrontation was excellent and felt real enough to promise a good blow-off match at Bound For Glory. I enjoyed the tattoo parlor attack by Ink Inc more than I would have an in-ring match between Mexico America and Ink Inc. The 2 matches featuring the champions were both decent- especially the main event.
Friday September 23, 2011
The NBA has postponed training camps and cancelled several pre-season games. If I were the players union I would campaign for a shorter season- who needs 82 regular season NBA games- I mean besides the arenas and the workers at the arenas. I can barely watch the NBA playoffs and have not watched an entire regular season game in years.
Happy birthday to my father-in-law.
Tommy Dreamer joins Lance Storm as a producer for the Jeff Katz wrestling revolution project.
Former NFL tackle Orlando Brown passed away today at the age of 40 from diabetes.. Brown was hit by a penalty flag by a ref in the eye and got suspended for shoving the ref. He later sued the NFL after his eye did not heal.

Flyers Forward Wayne Simmonds had a banana thrown at him by a racist fan during a hockey game.
WWE cancels WWE Superstars online due to declining viewership. They couldn’t even give it away. I already suffer from wrestling fatigue, so I stopped watching Superstars when it was removed from WGN earlier this year.
WWE Smackdown featured Randy Orton , Christian and Mark Henry. Randy Orton snapped on Cody Rhodes- beat Rhodes up with his own facemask then cracked him with the bell- probably the best segment of the year with Orton( it is good that he cracks on occasion in moderation-not all of the time). The main event featured an overmatched Christian lose to the new heavyweight champ Mark Henry in a lumberjack match – the match was fine and left the impression that Mark Henry was an unstoppable force. That was ruined when Orton came out and managed to make a dent in Henry and the show ended with Orton standing tall in the ring. Was that really needed- I think that even though Mark Henry has been there for 15 years and looks like a mini-tank they need to keep building him as the unstoppable force.
The final episode of All My Children aired on ABC. The long running soap opera set in Pine Valley, Pennsylvania was cancelled due to poor ratings. The show featured Susan Lucci as Erica Kane.
Saturday September 24, 2011
The big news today in the wrestling world was the debut of the new ROH TV show on the Sinclair Broadcasting Network. The downside is the show is not in every market, although you can see the replays on their website. I enjoyed the initial broadcast- it was a pleasure seeing wrestling in a wrestling show. It was odd that there was several recaps of the Best in the World event from NYC- but no real mention that it is available on DVD from the website(although they did mention the website more than once.) Sure the lighting was a little off-putting and I found I enjoyed watching the normal feed versus the hi-def option, either way I really enjoyed the show. The initial contest featured the prissy Bravado Brothers taking on Futureshock (Adam Cole and Reilly) in a good battle. The main event of the evening featured Shelton Benjamin and Charlie Haas taking on the Kings of Wrestling- it was a great back and forth battle with The Wrestling’s Best Tag Team retaining the championship gold. The athleticism of the in-ring action was superior to the other 2 companies and I hope that it grabs some more fans for this promotion. There is hope out there for those that need a wrestling alternative and have given up on TNA – hopefully this venture will lead to bigger and better things for ROH.
A day of rage on Wall Street- although it is not being shown on the mainstream news- there are whispers all over social media about protests in the Big Apple against the financial system.
Alec Baldwin hosted the season opener for SNL – it was his record 16th time hosting the show.
“I don’t want to sound nostalgic or really old fashioned but this entire business is based on a family oriented show. My phrase line I tell people is -I’m going to draw people from 8 to 80 blind and crazy. That’s who we’re going to draw to the show. I’m going to fill the building up and put a butt in every seat. That’s really what this business is based on and do that you have to have characters and (if you’re going to have it be wrestling and an athletic contest)  they can’t be funny characters- you got to have some seriously mean and mad looking guys. Because people want to come and see good versus evil and no matter what Vince says- the people that go to the little shows around here in Texas and Oklahoma that I have seen. The people who show up to those shows they’re coming just like we’re a magician – they want to be entertained and fooled for that hour and a half or 2 hours that they are at that show- they’re coming to see if we convince them what we’re doing in the ring is real.” – Johnny Mantell
NWA Fusion in Norfolk, VA Southside Boys and Girls Club
Talk about wrestling for the neighborhood kids- this was it. This event took place across the street from the church that hosted the funerals for both of my friend’s parents.- actually his father passed away almost a year ago. But this was a more joyous occasion- the gym of the local Y was buzzing with excitement as wrestling invaded this local community. Several familiar faces(local grapplers) filled the card for a hugely partisan crowd- the bad guys were booed and catcalled all night and the good guys were over like rover. There was no murky grey area- if the crowd decided you were a bad guy you got roundly heckled and jeered for every moment of offense and every time you tried to speak or interact. The acoustics in the room made for great noise – a cacophony of fun as the family crowd enjoyed the card. The majority of the crowd included youngsters with their parents happy to find something to entertain their children. Unlike the usual wrestling event I spotted very few folks I knew (although a competing VCW card with Paul London probably lightened the attendance a little bit) - but the group that attended the NWA event had a great time- of course the good guys won every match but one and the entertaining Carlos Hotness (the sole heal to win) got such a rockstar reaction when he appeared with his sax and pink trunks that it made sense for him to win also.

 The youthful exuberance of a hot crowd made the event such a fun time for me. I was sitting next to a mother and her 4 children- they had purchased a pack of action figures and when the action was not taking place in the ring they were acting out scenes with the newly acquired grappling dolls. During each match the kids would ask who I was voting for – if I said the good guy they were fine- but I if I indicated the heel they would stand in front of me and look at me like I was an alien.  It was the type of show that hooks the younger generation- there were times during intermission when the faces were mobbed by children wanting their autograph- I am not certain who the scribbles meant more to- the person giving or receiving – but it was nice to be in a room full of people enjoying themselves unconditionally.
Sunday September 25, 2011
I mostly watched the NFL and then The Amazing Race and Desperate Housewives after the pigskin pile-on.
Ric Flair made an animated appearance on the Cleveland Show on Fox. Sadly the episode is ruined by too little Flair and an appearance by Peter Griffin from Family Guy.
Monday September 26, 2011
The top trending story on at 11:11 A.M. EST is that Sly Stone is homeless. I don’t know the specifics and I don’t know if this will help him at all- but if you like funk and soul and great lyrics check out his songs on iTunes. Either way the groove is too good to be denied.
Top 10 Sly and the Family Stone Songs
  1. “Thankful N Thoughtful”
  2. “If You Want Me To Stay”
  3. “Just Like A Baby”
  4. “M’Lady”
  5. “I Want To Take You Higher”
  6. “Stand”
  7. “I Get High On You”
  8. “Crossword Puzzle”
  9. “Sing A Simple Song”
  10. “Family Affair”
My first glimpse of Sly and the Family Stone came in the mid 80s- I was lucky enough to go the Appel Farm Performing Arts Camp in Elmer, NJ. As a Counselor in Training I was then allowed to go to South Street in Philly and do whatever I wanted – I found a theater playing Woodstock. I was simply blown away by the live version of “I Want To Take You Higher” and was converted- holy wow- just an amazing performance from a great band led by a great songwriter.
Arch West the creator of Doritos died today at the age of 97. He wants to have Doritos sprinkled over his urn before his burial.
Somehow anal bleeding and the Cowboys beating the Redskins work their way into my night- coincidence or ??? Raw was decent enough- but I am still not sold on seeing Hell in a Cell- I had such a visceral reaction to having to watch another 3 hours of wrestling on PPV when it was announced 2 short weeks ago- I may go to hang out with friends- but at this moment it is more tempting to stay at home and watch football or Desperate Housewives or play Call of Duty.
Tuesday September 27 , 2011
CAC lawyer Chris Drake passed away.
Joan Jett and The Cure were nominated to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Baltimore native Joan Jett was one of my first rock and roll crushes and her hit “I Love Rock and Roll” is still one of my favorite songs ever. The Cure were pop gothic alternative to the massive amounts of funk in my collection in the mid 80s.
Wednesday September 28, 2011
“The wrestling business is almost like a bus driving down the road. There’s a certain number of seats. Because the business is just made up of the energy of everyone involved and as less people are involved there is less seats on the bus. No more WCW no more ECW now we’re down to just WWE. If you’re in the business there is definitely someone on the outside that wants your seat and doesn’t have it. Just to be in the business is a privilege. Just to be around the business is a privilege. Nowadays it’s sunken so low it’s almost like your ashamed to say you are a pro wrestler.” – Johnny Kashmere
Another episode of Hulk Hogan’s MCW aired tonight on Tru-TV. The rolling farce with the fake drama continued as Trixie needed a pep talk from the Hulkster to decide to actually become physically involved as a grappler and not just use the show as a stepping pebble for Playboy. In an odd and almost logical twist Johnny Greene hired an experienced wrestler Short Sleeve Sampson. Of course he has drama with the goth diva Blixx. I honestly don’t know why I keep watching- this is not as faux Jackass as Half Pint Brawlers and is doubly cursed by having Brian Knobbs and Hulk Hogan on it and to be honest Johnny Greene ain’t exactly entertaining either.
The Orioles played spoilers by coming back to beat the Boston Red Sox – knocking the Bosox  out of the AL Wildcard game.
Tony Bennett’s album Duets 2 enters the charts at #1 making him the oldest recording artist to reach that milestone.
“Viking” Tony Wood a British grappler in the 60s passed away.
Thursday September 29, 2011
Hulk Hogan is on Good Morning America- I only caught the tail-end of the segment when he hyped up MCW.
WWE let go Nunzio a/k/a Little Guido – he had been working as a ref for the company.
According to Jimmy Uso from the WWE was arrested for a DUI.
Impact Wrestling did a good job of building Bobby Roode as a viable contender for the belt , mixing interview segments , a well produced vignette and a solid match with former champion AJ Styles – the show let us know that the 13 year veteran is deserving of the shot and capable of winning. The X-Division ladder match was ok for a TV match. Hulk Hogan is teasing retiring – again.
Andy Rooney announced this week that he is stepping down from 60 Minutes. I admit I laughed at him as much as anything- but I will miss the old codger.
Sylvia Robinson singer , producer and writer passed away. When she was running Sugar Hill Records she was the driving force behind “Rapper’s Delight” by The Sugar Hill Gang and “The Message” by Grandmaster Flash. Fans of classic oldies will remember her tune “Love is Strange” performed by Mickey and Sylvia and featured in Dirty Dancing.
The trial of Conrad Murray – the doctor who was taking care of Michael Jackson at the time of his passing is currently on HLN and CNN.
Before I latched onto Prince and the Purple Rain bandwagon (and truth be told 1999 was my favorite album until he dropped Sign O the Times) MJ was my favorite singer- I knew every note of Thriller and Off The Wall.
Top 5 Michael Jackson songs not on Thriller or Off The Wall
  1. “Farewell My Summer Love”- sugary sweet nostalgia released from the vault at the height of MJ’s fame.
  2. “We’re Almost There” – full orchestra backs up a young MJ in this plea for hope.
  3. “Lovely One” – credited as the Jacksons but this floorbanger is funky as all get out.
  4. “Time Waits for No One” - pop perfection from the Jacksons Triumph album.
  5. “ABC” – essential for any collection of  pop music
  6. “I Want You Back” – ditto
  7. “Remember The Time” – glossy pop with a funk undertone- the chorus is a keeper.
  8. “You Can’t Win”- from the Wiz
  9. “Be Not Always” – overwrought but wow
  10.  “Tell Me I’m Not Dreaming” – a Jermaine Jackson tune with MJ doing the chorus
Coming from Gary, Indiana the small boy with the big voice, he became a recluse because of his talent and fame. Jackson was considered an oddball because he wore one glove and hung out with monkeys and Elizabeth Taylor. Was he a modern day Peter Pan or were the rumors of child molestation true- I have to admit I wish they were not true and I never heard them- it seems like I have a truly bad record when it comes to celebrities to appreciate. Don’t get me wrong I still love MJ’s vocal chops and his dancing- but corrupting an innocent is not a forgivable act- not by any stretch. Take this mind set and apply it to my favorite wrestler for the late 90s and you begin to understand my trepidation in still watching wrestling. I was a huge Chris Benoit fan- he was a no-nonsense do everything in the ring kind of competitor that I enjoyed. His stiff feud with Kevin Sullivan, and the best of 7 series with Booker T were 2 of my favorite moments in WCW. His win at Wrestlemania XX is still my favorite Wrestlemania moment. Is all that tarnished- hell yeah. But when I was watching and enjoying those matches I was cheering for Chris Benoit like he was my home team- especially during Wrestlemania XX. I didn’t think I was cheering for a killer – just a very intense professional. It is hard to watch Benoit’s matches now. I never knew the man and I know that those that did had a real problem with how things turned out. It is still surreal to me that day when I came home and switched on Raw- I was out for dinner and came back and the Wrestlemania match was on- I knew something was off kilter and it had nothing to do with the stupid limo explosion from the preceding shows. At first WWE let us know that the Benoit family were found dead in their Georgia home. My mind speculated- was it a gas leak or a home invasion. Later on the grizzly details surfaced and implicated Chris in a murder suicide of himself, his wife Nancy and his young child Daniel. There is no justification for such a heinous act. Oddly there has been some positive side effects to this horrific crime. It helped Chris Harvard and his efforts to further research the effects of concussions on athletes and has changed how the NFL and others deal with head trauma.
   As a child I loved being knocked woozy or better yet dishing out that jarring hit- I used to play tackle football without pads and at times on concrete. Was I trying to be macho- sure- but at root I just loved football, so much so I was accused several times of playing basketball like football( overly aggressive and physical). The wrestling culture seems to embrace the macho pose more than anything – play hurt, play sick – the show goes on – someone dies in the ring- the show continues. WWE has done such a good job in branding their product that tickets for big events tend to sell more because of the WWE brand than match-ups. But there is a price to pay for always showcasing the same talent over and over again. A. It get’s boring quick if you don’t like the featured players and B. folks are not going to sit out if they think they may get replaced. How do you cope with such pressure- some self medicate and others simply quit the pro wrestling business after awhile.
Friday, September 30, 2011
Michael Cole’s solemn announcement about Anal Bleeding from Monday Night Raw made it onto E’s weekly clip show the Soup.
Admits I was simply not in the mood to watch every single second of Smackdown. I did enjoy the Mark Henry and Booker T promo at the start of the show- Henry may not be the funniest or quickest but he is intimidating and that is all he needs. Sin Cara dos revealed a new mask and indicated that Sin Cara uno stole the Mistico gimmick south of the border and this is his retaliation. releases a new shoot interview with Dave “Fit” Finley.
RF Video Proudly Presents Shoot Interview with Dave Finlay
This shoot interview is a solid investment and time and money for any fan that wants to get knowledge from a veteran in the industry. A grappler who grew up in the family business discusses working around the world and building his reputation in countries like Japan, Germany and the United Kingdom. Finlay talks about his time in WCW, being the Belfast Bruiser, his injuries, his love of the business, working as an agent in WWE, working with the WWE Divas, going back to being an in-ring competitor, Hornswoggle and what led to him being fired from the WWE. This is a meat and potatoes interview- so there is no sexy scandal stuff within – but he does discuss the Booker T and Dave Batista backstage fight, his thoughts on Vince Russo and other topics. This might be a little dry for some folks – but I am glad to have this DVD as part of my collection. B


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