Tuesday, April 22, 2014

He's a Brute

Lana and Alexander Rusev
Photo courtesy: WWE
By Kevin Hunsperger
@kevinhunsperger & @my123cents on Twitter

Wrestlemania is often viewed as the season finale for the WWE and that following Raw on Monday night is the season premiere. We see new talents debuting and the development of new story lines.  This year has been no different.  With all the talent on NXT, I think the WWE has hit a home run with Alexander Rusev.

I saw a little bit of his work on NXT and his inclusion in the Royal Rumble.  I'll admit at first, I wasn't crazy about him being in the big match, but he certainly got my attention that and I watched him more closely on NXT.  Since debuting on Raw two weeks ago, he's been unstoppable.  I love the way the WWE is using him right now.  

Rusev vs. R-Truth
Photo courtesy: WWE 
Rusev is built like a tank and is unbelievably strong.  He's running through the guys like Zack Ryder, Sin Cara, and R Truth.  His finisher, the Camel Clutch, is a throwback to the good ol' days, and so far has been unbreakable.  I hope they continue this path with him, and don't make the same mistakes they made in 2012 with Ryback, too much too soon.  I think pairing him with Lana is perfect too, as the two have the potential to be major players.  I think in the coming months we'll end up with Rusev showing his dominance over big guys like The Great Khali and Mark Henry.  

Rusev & Lana at the end of the table
Photo courtesy: My 1-2-3 Cents
Rusev is just one of the talents that is getting some love on the main stage.  Paige is now the Divas Champion after making her debut on Raw. Emma just came up too, and Bo Dallas and Adam Rose are waiting in the wings.  I'm excited for the future of the WWE.  The men and women making their way up the card should be main event players within the company down the road.  

Monday, April 21, 2014

The Incredible, Edible Egg

Scrambled eggs
By Kevin Hunsperger
@kevinhunsperger & @my123cents on Twitter

For 41 years I despised scrambled eggs, or at least I thought I did.  I tried them when I was a kid and didn't like them.  But I've read that our taste buds change every seven years, so it's important to try new things.  But it wasn't until a recent visit to a radio station that my perspective on eggs changed.

Until now, I only ate hard boiled eggs chopped up on a salad.  Or I'd eat French Toast, with the bread dipped in the egg mixture. But I never, ever ate eggs by themselves.  But after promoting the Southern Illinois Men's Health Conference on WGGH 1150 AM radio, my opinion changed.  

Dr. Jerry Felts
I was driving home from the station that Saturday morning tuned in to Dr. Jerry Felts' show, Health and Fitness.  I've interviewed Dr. Felts before, but his show on that particular day opened my eyes to something new.  He explained why he eats eggs and bacon for breakfast everyday.  You can read more here, but the bottom line is the extra protein in the morning helps curb cravings throughout the day.  

I was reluctant to try it, because for the last eight years, I've had blueberries, a banana, and some chocolate protein whey powder for breakfast.  It's a delicious trio, but admittedly, I was usually hungry before the end of the newscast each morning.  

Green eggs, no ham
A few weeks ago, I decided to scramble an egg.  Some mornings I add a piece of bacon, shredded chicken, or raw veggies.  I couldn't believe I actually liked this.  Now it's become a habit.  One twist I've really enjoyed is adding a whole avocado.  I scramble it all together.  Avocados are high in vitamins and good kinds of fat.  

I usually have breakfast around 2:30 a.m.  That one egg keeps me full until 7:30 or so, when I have my morning snack.  I think starting the day off with the egg helps to establish a pattern of healthier eating throughout the day (except for this week, as I've added some Reese's Eggs to the menu too).  I'm hoping this new egg habit pays off in the 2014 Operation Find My Abs that I've struggled with so far.  

Thursday, April 17, 2014

There Goes the Neighborhood

The legends...
Photo courtesy: WWE 
By Kevin Hunsperger
@kevinhunsperger & @my123cents on Twitter

I have been waiting for Legends' House to debut since hearing about the plans for the show two years ago.  I've always been a fan of shows like The Real World and The Surreal Life and I've course I love wrestling, so this seemed to be perfect for me.

Mediation time
Photo courtesy: WWE
I tuned in for the premiere on the WWE Network, and I was not disappointed.  Eight legends, "Rowdy" Roddy Piper, "Hacksaw" Jim Duggan, Howard Finkel, Pat Patterson, "Mean" Gene Okerlund, Tony Atlas, Hillbilly Jim, and Jimmy Hart are living together in the series.  Actor and self help guru Gary Busey makes an appearance on the show to help the legends meditate.  While some of his tactics are out there, he does maintain that positive mental attitude.  Although an argument developed between Hacksaw and Atlas, and I'm still not sure why they were fighting.

I know "realty" TV is far from realty, so I suspect things with Legends' House won't all be natural, but it's entertaining.  Tony Atlas is great. He and Rocky Johnson were one of the first tag teams I remember watching as a kid.  I'm glad to see his life is back on track, and his laugh is one of the most comical I've ever heard.

Photo courtesy: WWE
Piper is probably my favorite so far in the house.  I enjoyed his talk with Busey and how wrestlers are never "off" in terms of their character when meeting with fans.  The flashbacks and highlights from previous wrestling events help give fans a better look into these legends as they relive the good ol' days.  We learn more about the toll years in the ring and on the road took on these men.  They really do put their bodies on the line, and for that I'm appreciative.  

Two thumbs up for WWE Legends' House. The season looks like it's going to be awesome.  I hope this becomes a regular show on the Network.

The Meme Event Contest

I made this one on the Grumpy Cat Photo Bomb App
By Kevin Hunsperger
@kevinhunsperger & @my123cents

It's contest time here at My 1-2-3 Cents, and we're looking for creative people out there.  Welcome to The Meme Event (trademark pending).  It's a chance for you to share your humor with fellow wrestling fans.  There are several different websites and apps out there that help generate memes.  You decide how you want it to look.  But there are some rules...

Found this online
1.  You must create the meme.  It doesn't have to be your picture, but don't just find an already made meme and enter it into the contest.

2.  It has to be clean.  My 1-2-3 Cents is a PG site.  Kids do watch the videos and read the posts, so keep that in mind.

3.  Email the picture to me by May 1.   My email address is kevinhunsperger@gmail.com.  The photos will be uploaded the next day to our Facebook page.  

Another example
4.  The photo with the most likes will be declared the winner.

5.  Voting will close on 12:01 am CST on Monday, May 19.  Yes, that May 19.

6.  You can enter more than one meme.  The pics will be posted without names.

If you have questions or comments, let me know.  Look me up on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram.  Thanks for participating.  Please share this blog.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Way Back WhensDay: The Dingo Warrior

Vintage Dino Warrior
By Kevin Hunsperger
@kevinhunsperger & @my123cents on Twitter

Before the Ultimate Warrior signed with the WWF in 1987, he was known as the Dingo Warrior in World Class Championship Wrestling.  Before that, he and Sting went by their real names, Jim Hellwig and Steve Borden.  They were the Freedom Fighters and dressed alike, but wore no makeup.  Here's a clip from Memphis.

Gary Hart & Dingo Warrior
Because this was a regional terrority, I had never seen the Freedom Fighters.  I remember reading a little about them, but it was really that Dingo Warrior persona in WCCW that I started following.  When he first came in to WCCW he was a heel and managed by the evil genius Gary Hart.  The two worked well together, as Hart was a great mouth piece for the men in his stable.  Dingo Warrior had what would become the widely known war paint design even back then.  He wore the tassels too, but was no where near as intense.  The hair wasn't long and flowing like most fans might remember and at one point he even had a mustache.

Dingo Warrior 
He and Hart would eventually split, as a guy like the Warrior was someone fans loved to support.  Back then it was the era of the big, strong guy and obviously Warrior fit that mold to a tee.  Kerry Von Erich, "The Modern Day Warrior" was the next closest to fit that mold, but was recovering from a motorcycle crash.  The company needed a new hero. 

Warrior & Von Erichs
Dingo Warrior feuded with former friends "Mad Dog" Buzz Sawyer and Matt Bourne while teaming with the popular Lance Von Erich.  The two wore the tag time titles in World Class.  Warrior would also team up with up and comer Steve Simpson.  As you can hear, his promos were much different in those early days.

Dingo Warrior vs. Matt Bourne
As a singles star, Dingo Warrior won the World Class Texas Heavyweight championship.  His charisma and energy didn't keep him in Texas long, as he caught the eye of the folks in New York and would quickly sign with the WWF.  The quest for superstardom meant leaving behind the title. It didn't take long for Dingo Warrior to become the Ultimate Warrior and then a household name and the legend we all know and love today.  

Rest in peace Warrior.  

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

The Ultimate Return

Ultimate Warrior saves Hulk Hogan
Photo courtesy: WWE 
By Kevin Hunsperger 
@kevinhunsperger & @my123cents on Twitter

The WWE is celebrating the life and career of the Ultimate Warrior with Warrior Week on the Network. I thought I'd take a minute to share a few of my favorite returns by the Warrior.

I had always been a fan of his work and when he chased Sgt. Slaughter, Col. Mustafa, and Gen. Adnan from the ring at SummerSlam 1991, I had no idea he wouldn't stop running.  This was long before the Internet, so fans had no idea what really happened to the Ultimate Warrior.  He simply disappeared from TV.

The Ultimate Return
Fast forward nearly eight months to the main event of Wrestlemania VIII.  Hulk Hogan was battling Sid Justice.  Papa Shango got involved, causing Justice to get disqualified.  As the Hulkster was being attacked, that familiar beat boomed throughout the Hoosier Dome.  Then the muscle man with the war paint and tassels came charging to the ring.  When he hit the squared circle, he and Hogan cleaned house.  The Ultimate Warrior was back home!

Savage vs. Warrior SummerSlam 92
Photo courtesy: WWE
It seemed appropriate to bring Warrior back as Hogan was fading off into the Hollywood sunset again. Randy Savage had turned babyface and was the new champion, but there weren't too many other top good guys on the roster.  Warrior and Savage played nice together, despite Warrior beating the Macho Man a year earlier and sending him into retirement.  The two ended up facing each other at SummerSlam 92, in a face vs. face championship match.  Warrior won by count out and he and Savage formed a team called The Ultimate Maniacs.  I don't know the reasons why, but Warrior would exit once again, just ahead of the Survivor Series pay per view.

Warrior vs. HHH
Photo courtesy: WWE
Warrior remained out of the spotlight for years, before making another comeback in 1996.  He stormed the ring again at a Wrestlemania, but this time as the announced opponent of Hunter Hearst Helmsley.  He made quick work of the blue blood, pinning him after a couple of minutes of action.  Warrior again didn't stay long though, spending just a few months in the company.  He wrestled guys like Goldust, Vader (a match I saw live in St. Louis), and Jerry "The King" Lawler (who was his last opponent in a WWE ring).  

Man in the mirror
Photo courtesy: WWE
Another comeback came in 1998 when Warrior signed with WCW to feud with Hogan.  I wasn't as excited about this return, as I thought the 1990 encounter between the two should have been left alone, but I understand why they redid the match.  None-the-less, I enjoyed seeing Warrior back on TV.

Warrior & his daughters
Photo courtesy: WWE 
Warrior's final comeback came when the legend signed a deal to appear in video game WWE Y2K14.  Months later, it was announced he'd be enshrined in the WWE Hall of Fame.  Luckily I was in attendance for the ceremony and his appearances at Wrestlemania 30 and Raw the day before he died.  

Rest in peace Warrior, thanks for being an inspiration to so many.  Always believe.

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Burying the Hatchet

Vince & Warrior
Photo courtesy WWE
By Kevin Hunsperger
@kevinhunsperger & @my123cents

Over the past year or so, I think the WWE has given us lessons in forgiveness.  It was first demonstrated in 2013 when the company announced they'd come to terms with legend Bruno Sammartino to induct him into the Hall of Fame.
Vince, Bruno, & Triple H
Photo courtesy: WWE

For years the two sides were at an impasse, as the former champion refused to be inducted.  Presumably, Triple H in his corporate role, was able to smooth things over with Bruno and he took his rightful place in the Hall of Fame.  At Wrestlemania 30 weekend, the WWE unveiled a statue in honor of the legend.  It's good to see them working together again.

In summer 2013, WWE announced the Ultimate Warrior would be a part of the Y2K14 video game.  It was the first time the two sides had worked together in nearly two decades.  Soon after that, Warrior was announced as the first member of the Hall of Fame Class of 2014.  This was great news to me, as I had been waiting for years for this to happen.  Rumors ran wild that he was going in at Wrestlemania 26 in 2010, but it never happened. Warrior will go down as one of the most popular and charismatic stars in the history of wrestling.  He deserved to have a spot in the HOF.

Unlike Bruno though, the WWE had not tried to establish a relationship with the Warrior.  In 2006, the company released a DVD called "The Self Destruction of the Ultimate Warrior."  I watched it and was saddened to hear all the jabs and cheap shots taken against the former champ.
Hulk Hogan, Pat Patterson, Ultimate Warrior

Again Triple H extended the olive branch and the two sides made amends.  Warrior seemed to gain closure as he addressed the WWE Universe and his colleagues during his induction.  Over the course of Wrestlemania weekend he and Hulk Hogan apparently buried the hatchet.  Same goes for Jake "The Snake" Roberts, Kevin Nash, and others.

Sadly Warrior died days later.  In the wake of his death, other wrestlers have come forward and apologized for how they had treated Warrior.  Bret Hart said he was too hard on him, calling Warrior a good guy.  Iron Sheik admitted he loved Warrior and his words toward him were a work.  I'm still shocked and sad, but I'm glad Warrior was able to get this resolution in his life before dying.
Wrestlemania main event 30 years later
Photo courtesy: WWE 

On a much lesser level, we saw another example of forgiveness at Wrestlemania 30.  I'm sure it was more storyline driven than personal, but it was nice seeing Hogan, Roddy Piper, Mr. T, and Paul Orndorff all shake hands and put the past behind them.  By all accounts, Piper had legit heat with Mr. T for years.  I don't know if all is really forgiven or if they just smiled and played nice for the camera, but I'm hoping the backstage segment at Mania was genuine. 

Forgiveness is easy to say, but much harder to practice.  WWE and some of its greatest legends are setting an excellent example.  I truly think we could all learn from it.