Friday, May 26, 2017

Foreign Object Friday: J. Wellington Beauregard's clipboard

J. Wellington Beauregard & his clipboard
Courtesy: Steve Belcher

By Kevin Hunsperger
@kevinhunsperger & @my123cents on Twitter
Follow my blog with Bloglovin

Foreign objects have been a trademark of managers for decades. Jimmy Hart had his megaphone. Jim Cornette had his tennis racket. And Paul E. Dangerously lugged around a huge mobile phone. More often than not, the opponents of these manager's charges fell victim to said object. The same can be said about Stride Pro Wrestling's J. Wellington Beauregard.

Roll up
Courtesy: Steve Belcher
He carries around a clipboard with a large legal pad attached to it. Beauregard claims he's taking notes during matches, but at the recent Brave the Storm show (which will soon be up on the new Stride Pro Wrestling YouTube channel) the board was used for less than trustworthy reasons. J. Wells' duo, tag team champions Maximum Overdrive, were battling 'Stone Cold' Plumster and James Storm (yes that James Storm) in a non-title match. At one point during the match, Storm was blasted by the clipboard.

Ax with J. Wells
Courtesy: Steve Belcher
Ax Allwardt went for the pin, but it takes more than that to keep the former Impact Wrestling champion down. Storm and Plumster rallied and came back for the win. The clipboard has come into play in other matches through years. As long as there are "notes to be taken" you can bet Beauregard will get extra use out of the clipboard. Will have to wait and see if it will be a factor Saturday, June 3 when the champs face off against El Magnifico and Eugene Drip. 


Thursday, May 25, 2017

Goldust's second act

Goldust has a new attitude
Courtesy: WWE
By Kevin Hunsperger
@kevinhunsperger & @my123cents on Twitter
Follow my blog with Bloglovin

It's hard to believe that nearly 22 years ago Dustin Rhodes shocked the world and made his debut as Goldust. The character was one I immediately embraced, waiting each week to see a new vignette by the bizarre one. Without a doubt, Rhodes' career was given a breath of fresh air and the Goldust character was well ahead of its time in 1995.

Cody & Goldust
Courtesy: WWE
Goldust would come and go through the years, enjoying success in more recent years in tag team action. Goldust and his brother Cody Rhodes captured tag team gold before Cody made the transformation into Stardust. But like all good things, the duo came to an end and Cody exited WWE. That's when Goldust found a new partner in R-Truth and as the Golden Truth, the two had decent chemistry but just seemed to exist on the roster.


A couple weeks ago, Goldust turned on his partner and on Raw was featured in a promo that was a throwback to those early days in the company. I don't know how long this ride for Goldust's second act is going to last, but I intend to enjoy every moment of it. The gimmick is my favorite of any in the history of wrestling. And his theme song remains in my top five of all-time.

Goldust circa 1996
Photo by My 1-2-3 Cents
There are some guys cast into roles and you can't imagine anyone else doing it. Dustin as Goldust is on that level.  I have nothing but respect for what Dustin Rhodes has done in his career as both "The Natural" and Goldust. Here's to hoping for newfound success along with the new attitude. I for one will never forget the name of.... Goldust!


Wednesday, May 24, 2017

My MITB pick is ABC

MITB 2017 participants
Courtesy: WWE

By Kevin Hunsperger
@kevinhunsperger & @my123cents on Twitter
Follow my blog with Bloglovin

Money in the Bank is right around the corner and I'm pretty excited because I will be in the crowd that night in St. Louis. It'll be even more fun because I missed WrestleMania this year and I'm going with a group from Stride Pro Wrestling along with my long lost pal Weston. Chad and his nephew will also be there, so it's going to be a fun night. I'm also hitting up the Something to Wrestle with Bruce Prichard show earlier in the day. But I digress...

I have not picked a winner yet for MITB, I think it's too early to do that. As we know U.S. Champion Kevin Owens, Nakamura, AJ Styles, Baron Corbin and Sami Zayn are the combatants. My title says ABC, which means Anyone But Corbin. It pains me to say that because I have really focused on trying to be more positive with my posts in recent months. But I do not understand the love for Corbin from within the machine. 

Corbin talks, I don't listen
Courtesy: WWE
I have nothing but respect for anyone who becomes a WWE Superstar. But that doesn't mean they're all going to be liked by the fans. Corbin falls into that category for me. His character hasn't connected with me. That's not to say it never will, as there have been past Superstars I didn't like but then became a fan of later. Brock Lesnar, Billy Gunn and Albert/Tensai are just a few. 

Once MITB gets closer I'll expand more on my thoughts of a winner. I hope the rumors of a Baron Corbin push are just that and he does not ascend to the top of the ladder and grab that briefcase on June 18. But if he does, I'll get over it. I survived the Diesel years after all. 


Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Building the Titus Brand

Titus Brand
Courtesy: WWE

By Kevin Hunsperger
@kevinhunsperger & @my123cents on Twitter
Follow my blog with Bloglovin

Several months ago Titus O'Neil introduced the world to his brand. At first, I was skeptical of the idea, but I must say even with its moderate success so far, I'm a fan. Titus tried recruiting the New Day in the early phases of his brand building mission. Now it appears Apollo Crews is on board.


Prime Time Players
Courtesy: WWE
O'Neil is a talented Superstar in the ring and on the mic. He and Darren Young, under the management of Abraham Washington, were one of my favorite tag teams at that time. But the Prime Time Players eventually turned good and then split up and reunited and split again. Young got hurt and Titus seemed lost for a time.

Now he's on a solid path and I really hope WWE Creative has a big picture idea of what they're going to do with this angle. One thing that always seems to be missing is a strong mid card. The company tends to focus more on the main event players. 


Titus and his kids
Courtesy: WWE
I like Titus O'Neil a lot. His in-ring persona as a bad guy works, despite his real life good guy reputation. I'm also a fan of Apollo Crews, but both guys have floundered on their own in recent months. Hopefully, this new union will move both guys up the ladder. When it comes to the Titus Brand, I'm buying. 


Monday, May 22, 2017

Please don't hinder Jinder

Jinder Mahal wins the gold
Courtesy: WWE

By
Kevin Hunsperger
@kevinhunsperger & @my123cents on Twitter
Follow my blog with Bloglovin

Big night for WWE fans. I woke up this morning to social media feeds celebrating Jinder Mahal's WWE Championship win. I was mildly surprised he beat Randy Orton for the title because I don't bet against Orton usually, especially since he lost to Bray Wyatt a few weeks ago. However, Mahal won not only his first championship in WWE, but his first ever pay per view match (I read that somewhere, but I don't know if it's true and I don't have the time to research it, sorry.)

Mahal's rise to the top of the SmackDown Live roster has been unconventional, to say the least. He was released from WWE in 2014 but came back last year after the brand split and didn't do much to impress me at the time. He had a mini-alliance with Rusev and Lana. I actually liked the pairing, but they broke up and Rusev ended up getting hurt. I'll be the first to admit I was surprised when Mahal won the challenge to become the number one contender.

Mahal vs. Orton
Courtesy: WWE
But I didn't hate the notion by any means. WWE needs youth and freshness to survive. Mahal has both of those qualities. There's speculation he's in his spot because of the company's plans to expand into India. I simply say, "so what?" That could be a factor in the decision, but I find it laughable when some fans say it's the reason why. Others are pissy that he looks so much bigger than before and is not being tested for the Wellness Policy. Unless you're an insider with WWE and have proof, leave those claims at the door.

While I'm happy for Mahal, I must say I fear WWE Creative will hinder Jinder. Chad texted me earlier and said he hopes Orton doesn't regain the championship Tuesday night on SDL. I hadn't even considered that. Taking the belt away now would reek of the crappy reign Jack Swagger had. The company never fully got behind him. The same could be said for Wyatt's quick run. I'm hoping history doesn't repeat itself and Jinder can continue to grow in the eyes of the WWE Universe. This could also mean big opportunities for the Singh 


Sunday, May 21, 2017

Meeting the Butcher

Meeting Abdullah


By Kevin Hunsperger
@kevinhunsperger & @my123cents on Twitter
Follow my blog with Bloglovin

A couple days ago, my buddy Heath Hatton invited me to ride with him to SICW (Southern Illinois Championship Wrestling). He had two matches, a six-man tag and he was a participant in the Bruiser Brody Memorial Battle Royal. We talk about the experience in this week's podcast which drops Monday. 

I was excited about the opportunity to go for several reasons. I'd never been to SICW plus I wanted to meet promoter Herb Simmons, as well as the legendary Larry Matysik who was the voice of Wrestling at the Chase and is involved with SICW. Brody's widow Barbara Goodish was there Saturday night as well as WWE Hall of Famer Abdullah the Butcher. All four were very kind and inviting to me as I stayed in the locker room and chatted with the other wrestlers throughout the show.

At one point, I looked around and it was just Abby and I there watching on the large monitor. It was one of the most surreal moments I've experienced as a wrestling fan. I was watching a match with one of the biggest legends in the business. He was pretty quiet throughout the evening, and me being an introvert I dared not initiate a conversation. But it's a memory I won't forget.

Thank you to Heath for letting me tag along and to Herb and the rest of the men and women on the card for being so inviting to me. It was a great evening and I look forward to making the trip again in the future. Oh and look for a podcast interview with Larry soon. We chatted about setting something up. I'll also have an interview soon with new SICW Heavyweight Champion Chris Hargas. Congrats to you!


Saturday, May 20, 2017

Backlash 2017 preview

Orton vs. Mahal
Courtesy: WWE

By Kevin Hunsperger
@kevinhunsperger & @my123cents on Twitter
Follow my blog with Bloglovin


My TV consumption has dropped significantly in the last week or so. Our rabbit chewed the cord to our DirecTV router, so I missed Raw & SmackDown Live and hadn't finished watching the previous week's shows either. So I'm a bit disconnected but have been keeping tabs online. That being said, here are some quick thoughts on Backlash. And sorry I'm neglecting NXT: Takeover, as I haven't tuned into the program in a while either.  Too many side projects going on... but I digress.

Randy Orton will retain the WWE Championship. I don't think the feud with Jinder Mahal is over yet and with rumors swirling that WWE wants to give him a big push I won't be surprised if he wins the belt, but I fear they're also gearing up Baron Corbin for a run against Orton.

That being said, Corbin will beat Sami Zayn. Then I and half the IWC will scowl.

Breezango will win the WWE Tag Team Titles. I can't believe I just typed that, but they seem to be over like rover right now and why not give them a chance?

Kevin Owens will retain the U.S. Title against AJ Styles. Had they not hot potatoed the belt with Owens and Jericho recently, I would have figured Styles for the win. I still think AJ will win the match, just not the belt.

Nakamura will beat Dolph Ziggler. But I could see this ending with Dolph winning to throw a swerve at the fans and piss off most of the IWC. (For the record, I'm a big Dolph Ziggler fan still.)
Luke Harper will beat Erik Rowan in a 50/50 booking match.

The Welcoming Committee will beat Naomi, Charlotte Flair and Becky Lynch, hopefully after Charlotte turns on her partners.

Tye Dillinger will beat Aiden English.