Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Wrestling Name Game

WWE Superstars & Divas

By Kevin Hunsperger
@kevinhunsperger & @my123cents on Twitter
Listen to the My 1-2-3 Cents Podcast here

I'm not going to take credit for this little experiment.  I saw it on Facebook a while back and thought I'd try it with my non-wrestling fan friends.  I gave them the picture you see above with 26 WWE Superstars and Divas and asked non-fans to identify each one.  If they didn't know the wrestler's name, I asked them to make one up based on the appearance.  The results are pretty fun.  (No surprises the Rock and Vince McMahon, owner of the WWE, were the two most recognized.)

Oh by the way here are the right answers:

1.  Adam Rose                 14.  Naomi 
2.  Stardust                      15.  Roman Reigns
3.  Big E                            16.  Brock Lesnar
4.  The Rock                    17.  Randy Orton
5.  Seth Rollins               18.  Dean Ambrose
6.  Damien Mizdow       19.  Fernando (from Los Matadors)
7.  Paige                            20. Nikki Bella
8.  Daniel Bryan              21. Mark Henry
9.  Vince McMahon       22.  The Undertaker
10. Cesaro                        23.  The Big Show
11. Dolph Ziggler            24.  John Cena
12. Rusev                          25.  Bray Wyatt
13. Bad News Barrett     26. Jimmy Uso  


The pic again
1. Latin Lover 2. The Meteor 3. The Crusher 4. The Rock 5. The Executioner 6. Borat 7. Dominatrix 8. Unibomber 9. The Godfather 10. Raging Cue Ball  11. Slammin' Surfer 12. Siberian Husky 13. The Caped Crusader 14. Tiana 15. Genghis Khan 16. White Russian 17. Ex Con 18. Wife Beater 19. Eduardo Corrochio 20. Tomboy 21. Fat Shaquille 22. The Shredder 23. The Bouncer 24. Shortstop 25. Swamp Ass 26. Happy Phantom

1. Rico Suave 2. Gold Dust 3. Blue Guns 4. The Rock 5. Greasy 6. Abdul Hussain 7. Pixie 8. Daniel O'Bryan 9. Vince McMahon 10. Caesar 11. California Boy 12. Rusev 13. Byron 14. Cici 15. Roman Reins 16. Brock Lessner 17. Randy Orton 18. Billy the Kid 19. El Matador 20. one of the Bella Twins 21. Tough Enough 22. The Undertaker 23. The Big Show 24. John Cena 25. Bray White 26. One of the Uso Brothers

1. I'm A Cool Dude 2. Star Thrower 3. Pecs of Steel 4. Tattoos Aplenty 5. Leather Lion 6. Fifty Shade 7. Purple Menace 8. The Savior 9. Donald Trump 10. Roaree 11. Big & Blonde 12. Stare Master 13. Ripper 14. Black Beauty 15. Roscoe 16. GI Joe II 17. Little Mike 18. Italian Delight 19. Zorro 20. Cher 21. Big, Bold & Black 22. Dark Force 23. Meat Packer 24. Hunky 25. Blues Brother 26. Ziggy

1. Ponytail Boy 2. Star Face 3. Muscles Malone 4. Baldy 5. Shiny Vest 6. Straightjacket 7. Hot Brunette 8. Can't Find My Razor 9. Vince McMahon 10. Watch Me Flex 11. Lex Lugar, Jr. 12. The Scowl 13. Count Dracula 14. Hot Nubian 15. Don't Mess with Me 16. I'll Deck Ya 17. Shawn Michaels Wannabe 18. Wife Beater 19. Douche 20. Hot Backwards Hat 21. Shaq 22. Spikey 23. The Giant 24. John Cena 25. Bam Bam Bigelow 26. Big John Stud

1. guy 2. guy 3. guy 4. the rock 5. highlights 6. sunglasses 7. violet 8. beardie 9. suit and tie 10. scream 11. thor 12. tough 13. cape man 14. toxic 15. vest 16. muscle man 17. tattoos 18. tanktop 19. luchadore 20. blue 21. security 22. death 23. how tough r ya 24. john cena 25. fedora 26. male kesha

1. chester 2. Dr Doom 3. the Rock 4. Tat 5. Nicky normal 6. Prof 7. Princess 8. Hercules 9. Out of place 10. Putin 11. Joe Football 12. Palace guard 13. Mandrake 14. Satin 15. Hair 16. Crewvut 17. Joe 18. Hey Stella 19. Matador 20. Mrs. Appeal 21. Black death 22. Obi Wan 23. Bluto 24. Marine 25. I coulda been somebody 26. Chief

1. Man Eater 2. Star 3. Brutus 4. Tooth Fairy 5. Joe 6. Achmed 7. Temptress 8. Duck Brawler 9. The Boss 10. Middle Child 11. Fabio 12. Sergio 13. Yoplait the Greek 14. Eva 15. Enforcer 16. Rocky 17. Fast & Furious 18. Fighting Irish 19. Orlando 20. Play Girl 21. Snack Shaq 22. Todd 23. Mongo 24. Pretty Boy 25. The Hustler 26. Banshee

1. Scorpion 2. Gold Man 3. Black Ice 4. The Rock 5. Trash Collector 6. Sheik 7. Kiesha 8. Michael 9. Vincent, 10. Screaming Jack, 11. Justice, 12. Rosenthal (took that off of his waistband) 13. Spartacus 14. Dash 15. Force 16. Andrew 17. Aiden 18. Rocket 19. Torro 20. Eva 21. Goliath 22. Grim Reaper 23. Jumbo 24. GI Joe 25. Beats 26. Peacock.

1. Snake Handler 2. SuperStar 3. Ice man 4. The Rock 5. The Creeper 6. Ali G, 7. Vixen 8. Mountain Man 9. Vince McMahon 10 RAHH Guy! 11. Slick Willy 12. The Russian 13. The Persian 14. Taxi Cab Kate 15. Sphinx, 16. Buster 17. Bad Boy Bill 18. The Southern Man 19. El Toro, 20. Jill 21. Bouncer Bob 22. The American Samurai 23. The Big Show 24. Captain Awesome 25. Bodega Bob 26. Billy Wallace

Monday, March 30, 2015

Seth Rollins Makes History Three Times in the Same Night

Cashin' in
Photo courtesy: WWE
By Kevin Hunsperger
@kevinhunsperger & @my123cents on Twitter
Listen to the Wrestlemania recap podcast here

I'm going to encourage you to check out our Wrestlemania review show over on the Jittery Monkey Podcasting Network.  The link is above, or you can find it here as well.  My overall grade for Wrestlemania 31 was a B-.  The ending gave the show a few extra credit points in my book.

Seth Rollins did make history three times in that one match.  He's the first WWE Superstar to cash in his Money in the Bank briefcase during a match to make it a triple threat encounter.  This was the perfect way to get the title off Brock Lesnar and make him continue to look strong.  Chad didn't like the triple threat element, but as the rules state, the holder of the contract can cash in at ANY time.  I loved it.


Rollins curb stomps the champ
Photo courtesy: WWE
Secondly, Rollins becomes the first man to use the briefcase at Wrestlemania.  It's been talked about for years, but no one has ever come out and done it on the grandest stage of all.  I thought two years ago Dolph Ziggler was going to do it, but he elected to wait until the next night on Raw.


New champ
Photo courtesy: WWE
Finally, Rollins becomes the first WWE World Heavyweight Champion born AFTER the start of Wrestlemania.  He was born in 1986.  Wrestlemania of course started a year earlier in 1985.  Truly this is a good sign for the "youth movement."

I'm disappointed Rusev lost the U.S. title.  But Rollins as World champ, Daniel Bryan as Intercontinental champ and Cesaro and Tyson Kidd with the tag team titles all make me happy and indicate a step in the right direction.

Saturday, March 28, 2015

Axxessing Wrestlemania Weekend

Wrestlemania 22
By Kevin Hunsperger
@kevinhunsperger & @my123cents on Twitter
Listen to My 1-2-3 Cents the Podcast here

Our first Wrestlemania adventure happened in 2006.  It was number 22 in Chicago.  At that point Axxess was basically a big tent set up outside the Allstate Arena with a variety of memorabilia from the past.  Hillbilly Jim hosted a brief event, but there wasn't much to it.  The event was free though.  I suppose you could argue for the fans with the package deals (like us) you had a meet and greet session with different Divas and Superstars.  But you had to have that special ticket for it.

From what I remember, the situation was the same at Wrestlemania 24.  Then at 25 in Houston we heard about Axxess.  We ventured to that venue early that Sunday to check it out prior to Mania, but it was sold out.  So when it came time to go to Wrestlemania 26, we bought our tickets early.  Before we even got to the event Friday night, we were contacted by WWE about taking part in a focus group.  It was a neat experience and we got tickets to come back to Axxess on Sunday because we had spent so much time with the group.

Axxess is fun, but because we've gone every year since 2010, a lot of the things remain the same.  I've read this year that they've add the Elimination Chamber cage to it.  That would be cool to see up close.  I'm hoping next year to see it as well as the newly unveiled Ultimate Warrior statue.  I decided since we can't be there this year, I'd share some of my favorite pics from years past, so take a look.


Vince's limo

The champ is here!

Money Inc. action figures

Undertaker's graveyard

Tiffany with Money Inc.

The Heenan Family in Vince's office

Beth Phoenix


Blassie & Wizard with Andre

Scanning the QR Code, really...

Vince & Jesse

So close

Ricky "The Dragon" Steamboat

Rematch?

Meeting the NXT gang

Sheik hates Hulk

Bruno Sammartino




Friday, March 27, 2015

Battling for Respect


By Kevin Hunsperger
@kevinhunsperger & @my123cents on Twitter
Listen to the My 1-2-3 Cents Podcast here

WWE announced that it's moving the Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal to the kickoff position for Wrestlemania 31.  Before the creation of the Network, I would have been more bothered by this decision.  But now since so many people will be watching Wrestlemania on Channel 999, I'm not as irked.

I am curious, because WWE makes the distinction, does it affect the entrants' payday?  I know that's an issue that CM Punk had brought up after the Network was first announced.  I also can't help but to wonder does that move affect the "streaks" of those within the company.  WWE mentioned the other day that Kane, Randy Orton and John Cena are all in second place for the most consecutive appearances on Wrestlemania.  Kane should have more, but he worked a pre-show (or kick off) on Sunday Night Heat before Wrestlemania 19.

Cesaro last year
Photo courtesy: WWE
I'm not trying to be nit picky either, but I still feel like the battle royal is still an afterthought.  I like that they're honoring Andre the Giant, but I think for me to truly embrace this event it needs to have a more meaningful purpose.  Besides a larger than life trophy, what is the winner going to gain from winning this battle royal?  A title shot seems too passe between the Royal Rumble and Money in the Bank.  Plus, as  I mentioned before I think it's fair to say the majority of the participants have been MIA on Raw and SmackDown for the most part.  Until his recent success with the tag team championships, last year's winner Cesaro floundered throughout 2014. (He's also a part of the kick off show this year)

Hideo wins!
Courtesy: WWE
Since I don't have any better solutions at this point, I will not further criticize the battle royal.  I am glad that one NXT star is getting a shot at the event.  Congratulations to Hideo Itami.  I am truly curious to see who will win and what the victor's reward will be over the next 12 months.  

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Blame it On Roman Reigns

Brock and Reigns face to face
By Kevin Hunsperger
@kevinhunsperger & @my123cents on Twitter
Click here to listen to My 1-2-3 Cents on the Jittery Monkey Podcasting Network.

I'm a fan of the 80's and the group Milli Vanilli.  Obviously I'm a wrestling fan.  I also like Roman Reigns and the Rock.  Brock Lesnar and Daniel Bryan too.  I mean no disrespect with any of this, it just came to me one night as something funny to do.  Hope it gives you something to smile about.



Blame it on Roman Reigns...
Blame it on Roman Reigns... 

Fans said they don't need me...
They booed and they cried...
I won the Royal Rumble...
But they still hurt my pride.
Now the IWC wished
That had Daniel Bryan
in the main event of Wrestlemania...
But Bray tossed him away...
Now Wrestlemania just don't look the same...
Gotta blame it on something...
(Gotta blame it on something)
Gotta blame it on something...

Blame it on Roman Reigns  
Cause I won it all...
Blame it on The Rock, we both stood tall...
Whatever you do don't put the blame Vince...
Blame it on Roman Reigns, yeah yeah...
You can blame it on Roman Reigns...

Not gonna tell the fans that I'm sorry...
That Daniel lost out...
Now the IWC will just pout...
Fans take it so serious, lets have some fun...
I'm in the main event of Wrestlemania 31...
But fans just hate that fact...
Gotta blame it on something
(Gotta blame it on something)
Gotta blame it on something...

Blame it on Roman Reigns, I'm just like the Rock...
Blame it on Paul Heyman, he'll help me beat Brock.
Whatever you do don't put the blame on Vince...
Blame it on Roman Reigns, yeah yeah
You can blame it on Roman Reigns...
Cos Roman Reigns don't mind...
And Roman Reigns don't care
You got to blame it on something

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Raw is... Entertaining???

Sean: A one time Hulkamaniac 
By Chad Smart
@chadsmart & @my123cents on Twitter

After facing reality that no matter how rash of a decision I wanted to make, I just wasn’t going to be able to make to WrestleMania this year, I decided that if I couldn’t make the 5 hour drive to San Jose, I’d make the one hour drive downtown to see the last Monday Night Raw before WrestleMania. Knowing that  attending a show alone isn’t the most enjoyable experience, I decided to ask my 
friend Sean to tag along. Sean hasn’t watched wrestling since Hulk Hogan was a cartoon character. I wanted to see how a non-fan related to the show that I am often very critical of these days. Sean agreed and on Monday night we had a more enjoyable WWE experience than I would have expected. 

Because the show was actually entertaining (maybe it was due to be in the arena instead of watching on TV) I didn’t get to question Sean to get deep analysis into the show. Instead, we just sat back, watched the show and enjoyed the ride. 

Hulkster, Snoop Dog and Axel
Without a doubt the highlight of the night was a surprise appearance from The Immortal one, Hulk Hogan. Sean was enjoying the in-ring antics of Snoop Dogg, as were the kids in front of us who kept holding up their “Keep Calm Snoop is Here” sign, when out of nowhere, “Real American” started blasting through the speakers. Sean and I looked at each other and for a split second I let go of my 
great dislike of the Hulkster and marked out like a small child reacting to John Cena. I’m curious where Axelmania goes from here but for one night it wasn’t about criticizing the booking. 

Rusev rules
The second highlight for Sean was Rusev’s destruction of John Cena. First off, I have to point out at the last Raw I attended which was in August 2014 before SummerSlam, I saw Rusev vs. Jack Swagger. Wasn’t thrilled that the booking of both guys hasn’t advanced that far in seven months to where I was watching the same match again.  The match not withstanding, the destruction of Cena was a nice sight.  Though the WWE cynic in me is now afraid Super Cena will prevail at WrestleMania. For Sean, it was flashback to his childhood when he would cheer Ivan Drago in his match against Apollo Creed. 

Everything else on the show was just kind of there. Thankfully though the crowd was into almost everything. Even Zack Ryder got a huge “woo woo woo” chant during his match.  There was one segment the fans weren’t into though. Unfortunately for WWE, that segment was the face off between the two guys fighting in the main event of the biggest stage of the year. 

Lesnar taunts Reigns
If Raw’s crowd was any indication, come WrestleMania, the audio team better have a loop of Roman Reigns cheers on standby.  There were definitely more “Let's go Lesnar” chants in the Staples Center than any cheers for Roman Reigns. The tug of war to end the show did not go off very well with the fans. Now that Brock Lesnar has announced he is sticking with WWE, I wonder if the Roman Reigns project becomes more like the 1995 Shawn Michaels project instead of the 1994 Diesel project. 

While I’m still not entirely sold on WrestleMania, after Raw, my interest is up a couple of notches. As for Sean, I don’t think he’ll be coming over to watch WrestleMania on Sunday. He said something about his girlfriend from Australia coming into town, but he did say that he did contract a full-blown case of Hulkamania.  Hopefully a couple shots of penicillin will take care of that before his skin starts to turn orange.

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

My Mania Moments

Ringside (for the pic) at Wrestlemania 22
By Kevin Hunsperger
@kevinhunsperger & @my123cents on Twitter
Listen to the My 1-2-3 Cents Podcast here

I have had the good fortune of attending eight of the last nine Wrestlemanias.  My buddy Chad and I went to Wrestlemania 22 in Chicago back in 2006.  It was the first one for both of us.  The annual trip has become our version of a bromance getaway.  This year, due to some unforeseen circumstance$, I decided not to make the trip to Levi's Stadium.  But instead of bellyaching and complaining about not being there, I'm remaining grateful for the shows I've seen and gearing up for Wrestlemania 32, where I hope to be front and center again.

There have been title changes, retirements and a very special streak ended at the Wrestlemanias we've attended.  I'm going to start with the whole experience of Wrestlemania 22. Looking back on it, there's nothing in particular that night that stands out to me, but it was my very first Wrestlemania in person and as they say you never forget your first.   The atmosphere was electric at the Allstate Arena.  Attendance was just over 17,000.

We've got spirit....
We dressed like the Spirit Squad and some fans actually thought we were members of the infamous group of cheerleaders.  We had also purchased the package deal which included lots of WWE swag, including the chair from the event (I still have it) as well as autograph sessions and meet and greets with different Superstars and Divas.  It was on that trip that I felt like my life as a wrestling fan was complete.  I had no idea I'd return seven more times.

Flair's last WWE match
Two years later Wrestlemania 24 invaded Orlando.  It was a much warmer climate and the event was held outdoors.  I worried it would rain, but lucky for us it didn't.  The special part of that night for me was getting to see Ric Flair's final (WWE) match.  He lost to Shawn Michaels and per the prematch stipulation he had to retire.  I grew up idolizing Flair so it was important to see this match.  We stuck around and went to Raw the next night for what was the greatest tribute to a living professional wrestler I've ever witnessed.  It was an amazing weekend.

Undertaker after the Streak ended

I've talked before about the length of the Undertaker's streak.  It started my senior year in high school.  I'd watched it grow each year on pay per view and finally in person. Through college, marriage and my kids hitting their teen years. I never thought it would end, so you can imagine my shock when Brock Lesnar pinned the Deadman at Wrestlemania XXX.  It was the first time in two decades that the Undertaker had lost at the biggest event of the year.  The ending of the Streak even netted main stream media coverage.  It was a big deal and I'm fortunate enough to have been in the SuperDome for it.

Farewell, HBK

Shawn Michaels has a long legacy with Wrestlemania as well. He and Marty Jannetty wrestled as the Rockers at Wrestlemania V.  Despite a few years away recuperating, HBK came back and competed in several more Manias before the Undertaker ended his career.  I believe Shawn had 17 actual Wrestlemania matches under his belt and getting to see his last one in Phoenix meant a lot.  As did watching Edge wrestle for the last time.  But I don't think anyone in Atlanta expected his title defense at Wrestlemania 28 to be his swan song.  

The Rock's return
Before going to Wrestlemania 22 in 2006, I hadn't attended a live WWE event since 1997's Badd Blood: In Your House. Rocky Maivia wasn't quite The Rock yet, but was working with the Nation of Domination at that event.  Fast forward to 2012 when The Rock signs on wrestle John Cena at Wrestlemania 28.  It was the first time I'd seen The Rock as the megastar step into the ring.  Even though I was critical (at that time) of a part timer coming back, it was awesome getting a chance to see him wrestle in person.

These are just a few of the magical moments for me at Wrestlemania.  It's been a wild and memorable ride.