Saturday, May 19, 2018

Stylin' & proflin'

@kevinhunsperger & @my123cents on Twitter

Well, I'm a week away from stepping into the ring to once again wrestle for Stride Pro Wrestling. Not only the ring but one that will be enclosed by a steel cage. I say again because I first wrestled in 2012. I was a color commentator back then for AAPW. Prior to that match, I had an internal debate about what to do for ring attire. Some six years later, I am struggling again with that same question.

In 2012 I ended up going to Walmart the night before the match and picking up a pair of white track pants. I went with white because I was the babyface in the match and wanted to go for the 'white knight' look. I completed the look with a My 1-2-3 Cents t-shirt and a pair of Nike sneakers I got for Christmas the month before. I didn't look anything like a wrestler but remember I was a commentator, so I think the look worked. 

I took a poll on Facebook recently using "Mean" Gene Okerlund's attire from his match, Michael Cole's orange singlet and my gear from 2012. I can't wear that again because of the blood spilled on the white pants. But I could go for a similar look.

If only I could pull this off
The results surprised me as most people picked the tights. I am in no way comfortable wearing tights in the ring for a number of reasons. But other recommendations came along in the form of "Macho Man" Randy Savage, Ric Flair and even Nacho Libre. However, the reality is I will probably go with a pair of track pants and the updated My 1-2-3 Cents t-shirt. However, I will entertain other options. Whatcha thinking? I know Roger Matheus doesn't care as he's kicking my butt from one side of the cage to the other...

Friday, May 18, 2018

Let's get Funko!

@kevinhunsperger & @my123cents on Twitter

One of my goals for 2018 is to make $20,000 in my freelance blogging and content creation business. Most of that work happens over at Kevin Hunsblogger. Part of that mission relies on partnerships or affiliates with companies. As of this post, my tag team partners (this is a wrestling blog after all) include COLLARxELBOW brand (use promo code MY123CENTS and save 10% on purchases). I'm also working with Amazon and Manscaped. You can see more on those partnerships here.

Funko's WWE Mystery Minis
My latest relationship is with the company Funko. I'm excited about this. Funko has a variety of figures from all walks of pop culture and sports. There are WWE Funkos, including the line of Mystery Minis. As you can see, I have the Andy Sandberg half of the 'Dick in a Box' figure from Saturday Night Live. My buddy Tom has Justin Timberlake.

I've seen Funko Pops pop up all over in recent years. Their popularity is what prompted me to reach out to the company and see about creating an affiliate page. So how can you help? It's quite simple. Click the link below and do your shopping. There's no extra charge to you. Thanks as always for the support in all my projects.

Thursday, May 17, 2018

Locked up: the history of steel cage matches

@kevinhunsperger & @my123cents on Twitter

Steel cage matches have been a staple in professional wrestling for decades. The very first was a match between Jack Bloomfield and Count Petro Rossi. It happened in 1937 in Atlanta, Georgia. The two wrestlers were enclosed in the ring with chicken wire and not the typical fencing that we've come to know today. (Information from Online World of Wrestling.)

The point of a steel cage match is to keep the rivals locked in and keep anyone from getting involved in the match to interfere. In most cases, a cage match is the wrap up to a feud. However, there are exceptions to that rule. TNA has famously done all-steel cage matches in the past. I've not been too keen on these events, in large part though because I don't actively follow TNA and don't know how their stories are being told.

I say that because on Saturday, May 26, Stride Pro Wrestling is hosting its first all-steel cage match event. I'm biased of course, but all six of the matches have built up to this and the rivalries are certainly intense enough to fall into the usual guidelines as a reason for having a cage match. Plus, yours truly is going to be involved in one of these matches. With years of experience as a ring announcer and commentator, I've never set foot inside a cage, much less wrestle in one. It's going to be interesting...

Here are the matches as they stand now.

Wraith, Ryzer & Chase King vs. Farmer Billy Hills, Jerry Travelstead & Jose Magnifico

Chris Hargas vs. Arron Brooks vs. Cash Borden vs. Scott Phoenix to determine the number one contender to the Legacy Championship.

Heath Hatton & Ax Allwardt (c) vs. The Midwest Monster Hunters for the Stride Pro Wrestling Tag Team Championships.

Roger Matheus vs. Kevin Hunsperger

Josh Plumlee & Tony Wilson (new principal) vs. Dexter Roswell & Brian Richards

Jay Spade (c) vs. Tony Flood for the Stride Pro Wrestling Heavyweight Champion.

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Instead of Slaughter, how about Jake

Instead of Sgt. Slaughter, how about Jake "The Snake" Roberts? 

@kevinhunsperger & @my123cents on Twitter

In the summer of 1990, it appeared a war between the United States and Iraq was imminent. Around this same time Sgt. Slaughter was finishing up with the AWA and heading back to the World Wrestling Federation. A handful of years before that, Slaughter was arguably the company's second top good guy, right behind Hulk Hogan. But the return of Slaughter saw a change in character. The American hero was sympathizing with Iraq and its leader Saddam Hussein. He even hired a manager who looked just like the dictator. 

This lead to Slaughter capturing the WWF Championship from the Ultimate Warrior around the same time tensions had boiled over in the Middle East. America needed a new hero and the Hulkster himself was anointed. That's how it happened. And I'm not knocking Sarge by any means. But by 1991 it seemed his best years had passed him. So instead of Slaughter, how about Jake "the Snake" Roberts.

Sure this would have taken the Blindfold match against "The Model" Rick Martel away from us (I really did enjoy that match and angle), but hear me out. Jake ended up turning heel over the summer of 1991. In my scenario, that process just speeds up a bit. "Macho King" Randy Savage would still play a factor in the Warrior-Roberts match at the Rumble, setting up the retirement match at WrestleMania VII (still my favorite WM match). 

After Survivor Series 1990 there is a battle royal on Superstars of Wrestling to determine who will face the Ultimate Warrior at the Royal Rumble. Jake wins by eliminating Martel and putting an end to their feud. Jake focuses his efforts over the next few weeks on preparing for the championship match and convincing Warrior they're still friends and may the best man win. But unbeknownst to the rest of us, Jake has made an alliance with Savage who runs interference in the match just like he did in the real scenario. Then we learn to 'never trust a snake.' 

Hogan, disgusted by Roberts actions, confronts the Snake on the Brother Love Show. This leads to a sneak attack from Savage, setting up a vulnerable Hogan to be DDT'd on the red-carpeted floor of the Brother Love Show. Hogan wins at WrestleMania VII and feuds with Roberts through the summer. Snake aligns himself with the Undertaker. SummerSlam's main event becomes Hogan-Warrior vs. Roberts-'Taker. The two heels are frustrated with their loss that night and take it out on Savage and Elizabeth during the wedding reception, taking us to that memorable feud.

Let me know what you think of this and other 'Instead of' blogs listed below.

Monday, May 14, 2018

CCW gives back

@kevinhunsperger & @my123cents on Twitter

If I've said it once, I've said it dozens of times (maybe more) one of the things I love about independent wrestling is the willingness for the men and women involved in it to give back. Stride Pro Wrestling and Cape Championship Wrestling both have big fundraisers coming up this month. Today, we're focusing on CCW as the company's annual benefit for St. Jude Children's Research Hospital in Memphis is coming up Saturday, May 19.

Ashlynn McClure
The Ashlynn McClure Memorial Cup is an eight wrestler tournament put together in memory of the girl who died of cancer in 2013. She was just two years old. Proceeds from this event go to St. Jude's, a hospital that works to help families facing a childhood cancer diagnosis. I've been to the hospital before for a news story and can't say enough about the work happening there.

Scheduled to appear: 

Ashlynn McClure Memorial Cup
Marko Stunt vs. CCW Champion "Best of the Best" Austin Lane
Brandon Barbwire vs. Justin "The Juice" Smart
"Farmer" Billy Hills vs. Van "The Man" Van Horn
Jacksyn Crowley vs. Hollis Giroux

CCW Women's Championship

"#Summertime" Sarah Summers
Marni Gras

Grudge Match

"Sexy" Sarge O'Riley
The show is at the Delta Center in Delta, Missouri. You can get your tickets here. Doors open at 6 p.m. and bell time is 7 p.m. If you're able to make it to the show, please do and support indy wrestling and St. Jude Children's Research Hospital. 

Click the pic for this week's podcast

Sunday, May 13, 2018

My top 5 non-WrestleMania moments with Chad

Hanging out at Stride Pro Wrestling 

@kevinhunsperger & @my123cents on Twitter

May 13 is my buddy Chad Smart's birthday. He and I met in 2004 when I moved to southern Illinois to take a job at WSIL TV. Chad was the morning show director and we became fast friends bonding over pro wrestling and all things from the 80s. In the spirit of Chad's favorite podcast Tom & Jim's Top 5, I've come up with my top 5 non-WrestleMania moments together. We've been to nine WrestleManias, so there are plenty of lasting memories there.

Chad met Delirious at the Apri Bloodshowers show in 2005
5. Our Dinner with Ian. In 2005, Chad had the idea to bring Ian Rotten's IWA: MidSouth Wrestling to southern Illinois. We did some research and Chad reached out to Ian. In a matter of weeks, we found ourselves eating a basket of riblets at Applebee's with Ian and Mickie Knuckles. It was a surreal experience, to say the least. A short time later the show happened and that led to Billy Gunn appearing on the morning show. We played Chad's Playstation live on the air. Another surreal moment. Ian ended up bringing his company back two more times. 

TNA Basebrawl 2011
4. TNA: The early years. When I moved here, Chad had an open invitation to his house each Wednesday night. He ordered the TNA pay-per-views. I had never seen TNA until then and quickly learned more about the company. I was never able to make the road trip with him and other co-workers to Nashville to watch live, but those Wednesday nights at his place were a great time for bonding and learning more about my new found wrestling fan friends. We did make it to a live TNA show when the company held a Basebrawl event at Rent One Park in Marion. Chad flew in for it and we did a meet & greet with several wrestlers, including Kurt Angle.

3. Staying positive. About a year ago (I think) Chad created a podcast for the Jittery Monkey Podcasting Network. Positive Cynicism was originally a look at politics and other things going on in the world. Chad has evolved that and has several entertaining features on the show. He's actually inspired me to add new elements to 
My 1-2-3 Cents. I've been on his show a couple times and his new pledge to positivity should be an example for all of us.

Monstruos Azules del Dragon
2. Support Indy Wrestling. After moving here, I discovered there were a handful of independent wrestling companies in southern Illinois. Here are some of my favorites. Chad and I went to an AAPW show (before I became involved). We sat in the front row the entire time with lucha masks on. We were doing a gimmick Monstruos Azules del Dragon (Monsters of the Blue Dragon, but I think we have our Spanish messed up.) Then there's the night we went to Mugsy McGuire's in Carbondale. It was a bar that hosted a show. Maybe 20 people were there. "Cowboy" Bob Orton was in the main event and he signed my LJN card from his action figure. But not wearing his glasses he had no idea what I was showing him at first. Then there's the roadtrip we made to Chicago and Lafayette, Indiana for Ring of Honor and Chikara shows. It was the first live Chikara event I had been to and I have Chad to thank for that introduction. He's also flown back in and attended AAPW and Stride Pro Wrestling shows in the past. What a pal. 

Breakfast at Tiffany's and Pyscho shower
1. Hooray for Hollywood. Chad moved to LA in 2007. In 2010, I finally made the trip out. It was in part because WrestleMania was in Phoenix that year and we'd be driving there from Chad's place. I went out a day early and we tackled Tinsel Town. I got to see Madame Tussaud's Wax Museum, famous Hollywood cemeteries, Grauman's Chinese Theatre, The Hollywood sign and much more. We ate at Roscoe's Chicken & Waffles and In & Out Burger, I just need to remember to not order it the way he does because I don't like Thousand Island Dressing. It was a great trip I won't soon forget. All the other WrestleMania trips were great too, I didn't include them because I count them as part of the Mania experience. (My blog, my rules.)

These are just off the top of my head. We've had a ton of fun together and I'm looking forward to many more years of tomfoolery. 

Saturday, May 12, 2018

Some pro wrestling limericks

@kevinhunsperger & @my123cents on Twitter

May 12 is Limerick Day. So I got the creative juices flowing and decided to put together a few rhymes to help promote the Stride Pro Wrestling all-steel cage match show coming up on Saturday, May 26.  

Hatton is a wrestler with great pride.
He's been all three champions in Stride.
He teams up with Ax.
Skips all the snacks.
And never eats anything fried.

Two big guys you all should know
Jason and his partner named Bo.
It's monsters they hunt.
And tag gold each want.
Watch out for them at the next show.

Dexter wants Stride to be great.
But he's one the fans love to hate.
J. Wells and the rest
all try their best 
to change the DR Party's fate. 

Stride has a big, scary bully.
His actions are often unruly.
Matheus slammed Brooke.
And that's all it took.
As I plan to make him pay fully.

Wraith has risen from the dead.
No words have he ever said.
With Ryzer and King
he rules the ring.
So please stop calling him Red.

Farmer's and T-Dog's fists will swing.
Opposing Ryzer, Wraith and King.
They'll take out their rage
inside the cage. 
But who else joins them in the ring? 

Flood used a pipe to beat Spade.
That caused the fans to throw shade.
They've teamed in the past
but that didn't last.
And the heavyweight title they trade.

Cash, Hargis, Brooks and Scott
will all be fighting for a shot
at Legacy gold.
How will it unfold?
They'll give it all they've got.

Hope to see you Saturday, May 26 at Pinckneyville High School. It'll be a great show for a great cause.

Click the pic for the latest My 1-2-3 Cents podcast