Thursday, January 19, 2017

Rumble Ramblings: #10 The Super Posedown

Super posedown
Courtesy: WWE
@kevinhunsperger & @my123cents on Twitter
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Since the 2017 Royal Rumble is right around the corner, I've decided to countdown to this year's event with my 10 favorite non-Rumble Royal Rumble matches. 

Number 10 isn't really a match. But it led up a huge feud between the two participants. It's the Super Posedown from 1989. The Ulitmate Warrior was the reigning Intercontinental Champion. "Ravishing" Rick Rude wanted a shot at the gold. So instead of putting these two in the ring to wrestle, or have them in the Rumble, it was decided they'd have a SUPER posedown instead.

Courtesy: WWE
These two Superstars were the most physically gifted at the time, and we all remember Vince McMahon's love of bodybuilding, so the showdown makes sense. The crowd reaction was to determine the winner and in not so shocking news, The Warrior was over big time.

I love that Jesse "The Body" Ventura continues to defend Rude despite the fact that the fans were firmly behind the Warrior. He even went so far as to say Warrior's hair was too long and you couldn't see his traps, which is why he was siding with The Ravishing One. 

Despite his best efforts, Rude and his manager Bobby Heenan got frustrated and attacked Warrior. Heenan squirted baby oil (you can't have a posedown without oil) in the Warrior's eyes. The Warrior, however, no sold the dousing and Rude nailed the champ from behind with a flex bar. He continued to beat on Warrior before leaving the ring. 

These actions resulted in the signing of an IC title match between the two at WrestleMania V. In what I considered a huge upset at the time, Rude pinned Warrior and became the champion. The bad blood returned the following year when Warrior won the WWF Championship and feuded with Rude again. 

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

SAVE THE DATE: My 1-2-3 Cents Day is coming soon

@kevinhunsperger & @my123cents on Twitter
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Some will view it as ego stroking, but I view it as brand building. I decided late last year that 2017 would be the year I take the My 1-2-3 Cents brand to new heights or just heights in general. One idea (and I don't know why it took 6 and a half years to think of it) is to declare January 23 My 1-2-3 Cents Day. Why that day? Because it's 1-2-3. I suppose December 3 can also be My 1-2-3 Cents Day. We'll play it by ear. 

I need your help in getting the word out. So on Monday, January 23 I ask you to head to social media and use #My123CentsDay and post a pic, video or comment about anything on your mind. It doesn't have to be wrestling related. The most creative (or brown nosing) entries will be awarded prizes! You'll get bonus points for incorporating the still unnamed monkey into your post.

Some people have asked me why this site is called My 1-2-3 Cents. When I started the blog in September 2010 I knew I wanted to write about wrestling. I was encouraged by a friend of mine, Jeff Rose, to do it. Since I knew I wasn't going to be able to have a wrestling news site, I would write about my thoughts and opinions on the business. Because a referee counts 1-2-3 and I'm offering my 2 cents on issues, I created a tag team with both.

Readers seem to take a liking to posts about my life too, so that's why I started incorporating blogs about me and my family. Pop culture is a hobby of mine too and writing about it has become another component here. So it's not just a wrestling site, although that is the primary focus of My 1-2-3 Cents.

This year will be huge for the site. The blog page will hit the million mark. The podcast and YouTube channels are growing and so is the freelance writing business. The future is bright. I thank you for your help in building and developing the brand.

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Quit blaming Millennials because you're afraid of the future

Those pesky Millennials...
Courtesy: MediaVenue
@kevinhunsperger & @my123cents on Twitter
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Lately, I've seen a lot of people my age (43) and older complaining about Millennials. Some of the griping is justified, but many in that generation have been labeled as lazy, unmotivated and entitled. It's unfair to paint the entire generation with a broad brushstroke. Because there are just as many Gen Yers, Gen Xers and even Baby Boomers who fall into the same category. 

Gary Vaynerchuck
One big complaint I see and hear a lot is "kids are always on their phone." I'm going to credit Gary Vaynerchuk (Gary Vee) for helping me better articulate my feelings on the people who have a problem with this. The smartphone is quickly becoming what the TV was to us and our parents growing up. As more networks and companies provide streaming services, the days of sitting in front of a big screen mounted to the wall will go away just like VCRs, rotary phones and record players. 

It's the first major shift in technology since the TV hit the scene and listening to the radio as a family changed. My wife and I are "those parents" who let each of our kids (ages 17, 15 and 11) have their own smartphone. But it's a privilege not a right in our house. While they do spend more than a fair share of time watching YouTube videos or playing games, they're also learning how social media works. 

I have no doubt this will help all three of my kids in the future. Our oldest has expressed interest in a career in technology so why deprive him of learning what he can as a junior in high school? 

I was senior in college when the internet and email were first being introduced. I wish now that I would have immersed myself more into it. But I didn't UNDERSTAND what it was all about so I dismissed it, just like many parents and grandparents are doing today. 

Courtesy: The Simpsons

Our lack of understanding and our fear of change has created a society of overreactive, fist wagging, cloud yellers. Our parents probably complained when we spent hours on end in front of the TV on Saturday mornings watching cartoons and eating countless bowls of cereal. Our Music Television was foreign to them. And why would anyone carry around a boom box and listen to music?

Guess what? Their parents and grandparents probably complained because their loved ones were flocking around the picture box in the living room every evening after dinner. And why is that guy with the jet black greasy hair moving his hips like that? 

While I've still got you here, instead of complaining that kids today are texting instead of writing a letter, encourage them to use the technology to their benefit. There is no less sentiment in writing a text as there is in writing a note. It may take me a few minutes longer to write the note, but the feelings and emotions are the same. And in all likelihood, the card or letter is going to end up in your trash can 30 seconds after you've read it. 

Older people get worked up by this because we've always written letters by hand. But remember, it's the evolution of technology. If that's how your kids or grandkids communicate, adapt and embrace it. You don't have to love it or even like it. At the same time, though, it doesn't hurt for kids to take a minute to write grandparents a note or call them. 

The technology isn't going anywhere. We need to embrace it and quit living under the belief that if we don't accept it that the change isn't going to come. And stop expecting the worst out of people. When that happens they usually deliver. People of all generations can be generous, kind and caring. They can also be giant douche tacos. 

I doubt this has changed anyone's mind, but I at least wanted to put it out there and hopefully get a conversation going. Just because things aren't the way they were 30, 40 or 50 years ago doesn't mean they're not good and we're doomed as a society. There's a lot of bright spots out there, so let's feed and nurture those instead of piss and moan about what we don't like or understand. 

Monday, January 16, 2017

It's true, it's damn true

Kevin, Kurt and Chad
@kevinhunsperger & @my123cents on Twitter
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WWE has officially announced the first inductee for the Hall of Fame Class of 2017. It's former WWE Champion Kurt Angle. I had held out hope that he would be going in this year. I'm glad to see that it's going to happen Angle is certainly worthy of being the first ballot pick for the HOF.

Angle vs. Jeff Jarrett
Instead of listing all of Kurt's accomplishments over the last decade and a half, I'll instead share a few of my favorite moments of the Olympic gold medalist. I met Kurt for about 45 seconds after a TNA BaseBrawl event in Marion, Illinois in 2011. I "managed" Velvet Sky that night, but Kurt was who I wanted to walk to the ring. I was encouraged to pick Velvet, though, so I made the most of it.

When the matches were over, Kurt stuck around to do meet-and-greets in the ring with fans. Chad and I split the cost and got the photo opp. We chatted for a moment before posing for the pic. Although the encounter was brief, it was an honor to meet someone so accomplished in not just professional wrestling, but an Olympic champion too. 

Courtesy: WWE
Kurt Angle's first WWE Championship win over The Rock marked a significant point in his career. He was already over with the fans, but that victory made him an even bigger star in my eyes. Sometimes putting the belt on a Superstar too soon, they burn out quickly and fade away. Angle excelled in that spot, especially during the multi-man title defense he had in Hell in a Cell later that year. He helped create other Superstars along the way.

Courtesy: WWE
It would be hard to argue that without his feud with Angle, Edge wouldn't be the Superstar he evolved into. The same could be said for John Cena. I don't think there was ever a bad match involving Angle and he was spot on with his work on the mic too. The milk truck incident and the sing along with "Stone Cold" Steve Austin and Vince McMahon immediately.

I was recently asked on a My 1-2-3 Cents Podcast what faction would I create with WWE Superstars. My answer was Dolph Ziggler, Charlotte and American Alpha managed by Kurt. I'd love to see him stick around in some capacity after the ceremony. 

Congrats Kurt. I look forward to his induction and am still holding out hope that I might get to see it in person.

Sunday, January 15, 2017

My memories of "Superfly" Jimmy Snuka

Rest in peace "Superfly"
Photo courtesy: WWE
By Kevin Hunsperger
@kevinhunsperger & @my123cents on Twitter
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"Superfly" Jimmy Snuka has died after a lengthy battle with cancer at the age of 73. WWE announced the news like this "WWE is saddened to learn that WWE Hall of Famer Jimmy "Superfly" Snuka has passed away. I only bring this up because there's no sign of Snuka on the company's website under the WWE Hall of Fame section. A couple years ago it appeared they had removed him due to the ongoing investigation into the death of his girlfriend in the early 1980s. But this blog isn't about that, instead remembering the in-ring performer.

Snuka & Muraco
Courtesy: WWE
My first memory of the Superfly was during the summer of 1983. He was feuding with then-Intercontinental champion The Magnificant Muraco. I've told the story here before, but long story short I was flipping through the channels one night with a few of my friends and we came upon Snuka standing in the ring being taunted by a dapperly dressed Muraco. Snuka had enough and jumped over the ropes and started ripping the suit off of the champ. It's the first thing I remember seeing on WWF programming and became hooked.

A short time later another legendary moment happened with the Superfly. This time it was on Piper's Pit and host "Rowdy" Roddy Piper belittled Snuka before slamming a coconut into his head. It was a legit hit and Piper proceeded to whip Snuka with his belt. It was a brutal and barbaric move and one of the most iconic moments from my childhood wrestling days.

My first live WWF experience also included Superfly. He wrestled "Cowboy" Bob Orton, winning by disqualification when Orton dropped Snuka crotch-first on the top rope. Piper ran in or maybe Snuka ran into the Piper-Junkyard Dog match that night, I don't remember exactly, but it was an amazing sight to see.

WrestleMania 25
Courtesy: WWE
The only other time I saw Snuka wrestle in person came in 2009 at WrestleMania 25. He teamed with Piper and Ricky Steamboat against Chris Jericho. Although the good guys lost, it was nice to see Snuka get one last moment to shine in the spotlight. It was appropriate having him on the show as he was a part of the main event of the first WrestleMania as the cornerman for Hulk Hogan and Mr. T. 

Snuka vs. Backlund
Courtesy: WWE
He had been a part of so many other iconic moments, including that top-of-the-cage Superfly splash against then-WWF Champion Bob Backlund. Snuka missed and Backlund retained, but many fans thought The Superfly had the champ's number that night. It's hard to believe he never held gold in WWF but definitely went down as one of the company's most beloved Superstars. He was on the Hulk Hogan Rock N Wrestling cartoon and was a part of the first series of LJN action figures released in 1985.

Rest in peace Superfly. My thoughts are with his family, friends and fans. 

Saturday, January 14, 2017

Sting vs. Undertaker is NOT going to happen

I didn't create this
@kevinhunsperger & @my123cents on Twitter
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For several years many wrestling fans have hung on the hope that WrestleMania will feature a match between two of the biggest icons in the business: Sting and The Undertaker. 

Ending The Streak
Courtesy: WWE
The talk got really crazy in 2013 when it appeared Sting was going to finally be signing a WWE contract. But CM Punk ended up facing the Dead Man that year and I don't think Sting ever officially signed a deal. Then prior to WrestleMania XXX the buzz started again, but instead it was Brock Lesnar who took on and ended the Undertaker's streak of victories at the annual event. 

Sting vs. Triple H
Courtesy: WWE
A year later the buzz started again, but instead Undertaker battled Bray Wyatt and Sting, who wrestled his first and only WrestleMania match, was defeated by Triple H. Fans were pissed for a variety of reasons, some because they didn't get the match they'd dream of, others because Sting lost in his WrestleMania debut. Me? I wasn't pissed, but I didn't care much for the finish involving DX and the nWo. I was never a huge fan of either faction, I know that makes me some kind of weirdo.

A few months after that Sting was seriously injured in a match against Seth Rollins. So injured that it marked the icon's last match. He was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame in 2016 and ended his speech with an announcement that he was in fact retiring. 

Courtesy: WWE
Less than a year after Sting revealed that news, fans are STILL hoping for a match against the Undertaker at WrestleMania 33. I understand many are hoping for this because we've never seen Sting vs. Undertaker (as the Undertaker). But for the love of God, Sting retired because of an injury, getting into the ring at his age (not that he's old) and his physical condition could lead to serious and deadly consequences.

I would never tell anyone to stop hoping or dreaming or asking for a match. But seriously, I have a better shot at wrestling the Undertaker at WrestleMania than Sting does. Why would you want to jeopardize the man's safety for an encounter that's 15 years overdue? 

Friday, January 13, 2017

What I love about Fridays

@kevinhunsperger & @my123cents on Twitter
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"It's Friday, Friday gonna get down on Friday." -- Rebecca Black
"Last Friday night, yeah I think we broke the law." -- Katy Perry
"Everybody's working for the weekend." -- Loverboy

I'm trying to incorporate a new line of thinking that I shouldn't look forward to Friday solely based on the fact that it marks the end of the work week. It's a mantra Gary Vee has adopted. But when you get up at 1:25 a.m., it's hard not to look forward to two days of sleeping in each week. That's just one of the reasons I like Friday though. There are a few others that top my list.

Craft Beer Friday
My buddy Tom Harness started Craft Beer Friday at his company Harness Digital Marketing a few years ago. Since he's moved his office to downtown Carterville, I've headed over nearly every week for some brew and conversation. It also gives us a chance to record an episode of The Craftbeericans from time to time. 

Good times at The Annex (RIP)
Many years ago the News 3 This Morning crew started going out for breakfast on Fridays. The Breakfast Club leaves work after the last GMA cut in is over.It's a tradition that has stood the test of time starting with Subway and evolving to countless other restaurants in the Marion-Herrin-Carterville-Carbondale area. 

Napping. If there's one day of the week I'm certain to get a nap it's on Friday. I usually try to do that in case we go out that night or have a football game, band performance or cheer event to attend.

Something to Wrestle with Bruce Prichard is my favorite podcast. A new show drops each Friday. I look forward to 11 a.m. each week and plan my longer runs for Fridays just because of that show. 

Ultimate Warrior socks

Funky Socks Friday is a new gimmick I have on my Facebook page. A friend of mine, Jason Shadowen, started the movement. It's kinda like Nerd Shirt Thursday, but with socks. However, I'm running low and need to add to my supply.

What's your Friday tradition? Post here. Have a great weekend.