Thursday, October 1, 2015

Happy Birthday Walt Disney World

Selfie at Magic Kingdom
By Kevin Hunsperger
@kevinhunsperger & @my123cents on Twitter
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October 1, 1971 the world changed for the better.  Walt Disney opened the Magic Kingdom providing families from around the world a theme park experience like no other.  It blows my mind to think Disney World is only a couple years older than me.  

I've been obsessed with Mickey Mouse for as long as I can remember.  My second birthday was nothing but Mickey.  My family made its first trek to Magic Kingdom when I was in kindergarten.  I don't remember much from that trip, but we did take a followup vacation there about four years later that I remember well.  

Honeymoon with Pooh
When I was a freshman in high school we spent Christmas break in Florida and an entire day at Epcot.  I got a Pluto t-shirt as a souvenier.  Other than that as a teenager I found the park boring.  Ten years later, my wife and I honeymooned at Disney. And as parents, my wife and I (along with my folks) have returned on three separate occasions.

The most recent trip was in October 2014.  Here's a highlight reel and blog about that trip.  

We are headed back in Spring 2016.  The high school marching band that my son is a member of will be marching at Magic Kingdom during spring break.  I can't wait to return, even if for a day or two.  Believe me when I tell you the Disney "magic" (although pricey) is a real thing.  

Monday, September 28, 2015

The Time I Dropped the F Bomb on the Air

By Kevin Hunsperger
@kevinhunsperger & @my123cents on Twitter
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I post this as I am confident that the statute of limitations has long passed since the incident.  I've already told my current boss the story and he's forgiven me, so I should avoid any trouble at work.  It was late 1998 or early 1999, and I was the news director as well as 6pm news anchor and producer and one-man band reporter.  As you've probably gathered, it was a small station. We all screwed up on a consistent basis.  Equipment failed as well. 

The combination of human and mechanical errors had come together one night in the early stages of the newscast.  My co-anchor and I would alternate reading stories and sending it to a soundbite or a package and no video would come up.  Since I was the producer too, we didn't have anyone in the control room to tell us what was happening.  That was the role of the director at this particular station.  And for whatever reason that night he wasn't communicating with us.

The gang
After five or six failures, a soundbite finally started playing.   That's when I blurted out in frustration "What the f*** is going on in there?"  Seconds later, the floor director's face turned pale.  He mouthed to me that my mic was open and my words went out over the air loud and clear.  I was so embarrassed and then immediately worried about my future in broadcasting. Not only had I dropped the F bomb on live TV, but I did it while the Alabama state school superintendent was on the air and supposed to be talking.  Instead viewers saw his lips moving with the F word loud and clear coming from my mouth.

As I mentioned the station was quite small and the management had a very indifferent attitude about things.  Little did we know at the time, plans were already underway to cease the news operations in a few months.  At any other station in the country I would have at least gotten into some kind of trouble.  My GM chuckled about it the next day as he recalled my foul mouthed message.  I think maybe one or two viewers called in, also punctuating the lack of viewers we had.  

But I learned a valuable lesson as a result. Even when you think the mic isn't open, it probably is.  I was lucky it happened at a station where the rules were more lax than other markets.  I didn't even get a slap on the wrist for the bomb dropped that night.

Friday, September 25, 2015

Global Force Wrestling Gets "Amped" Again

From: The Firm Public Relations & Marketing 

Global Force Wrestling “Amped” Event Returns to the Orleans Arena on October 23
LAS VEGAS— Global Force Wrestling returns to Las Vegas for its final event and TV taping, “Amped,” October 23 at the Orleans Arena.
“This event is going to be the biggest night in GFW history,” said Jeff Jarrett, GFW founder and CEO. “The first four GFW champions ever will be crowned, but we don’t know yet who will be fighting their way into the finals for the GFW Tag Team and Global Championship matches, because they won’t be determined until that night.  The fans who are in the arena at the final event of 2015, will be the first to see the championship belts live.”
GFW returns with four unique divisions: GFW Global Championship and GFW Tag Team Championship, whose competitors will be decided on the night of the event; as well as GFW Women's Championship and GFW NEX*GEN Championship, whose lineups are already set.  “Bullet Babe” Amber Gallows will take on Christina Von Eerie for the GFW Women’s Championship, while PJ Black, Jigsaw, Virgil Flynn and TJP will compete in a four-way match for the NEX*GEN Championship.
Showtime begins at 8 p.m., and the fight card is subject to change. Tickets are available from $30, plus tax and fees, and can be purchased by calling the Orleans Arena Box Office at 702.284.7777, or by visiting Room and show packages are also available.

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Sting Gets Stung

Sting vs. Rollins
Courtesy: WWE 
By Kevin Hunsperger
@kevinhunsperger & @my123cents on Twitter
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Going into the Night of Champions pay per view I had no idea if Seth Rollins was going to retain his WWE World Heavyweight title against Sting.  In my opinion, not knowing is a good thing.  Yes, Sting is 56 and-a-half years old and had he won the gold, he would have become the company's oldest heavyweight champ ever.  I would have been fine with that on a very short term basis.  I'm glad it didn't go that way and Rollins is still the champion.

The bigger issue now is the injury Sting suffered during the course of this championship match.  I believe I'm correct in saying the Night of Champions event was just Sting's fourth match in WWE.  He lost to Triple H at Wrestlemania 31, beat The Big Show by disqualification on Raw and later that same night teamed with John Cena to beat Show and Rollins in a tag team match.  So he's .500 in WWE and after getting hurt against Rollins, he may be done.

Sting flyin' high
Courtesy: WWE

There is speculation the injury to Sting's neck could be career threatening.  I take online "reports" with a grain of salt, but at the same time I know Sting likely didn't have that many matches left in him anyway.  My hope is that he's not done just yet and has a chance to go out his way.  I'd love for that to be at Wrestlemania 32, where I intend to be among the 100,000 other members of the WWE Universe at AT&T Stadium in April.  It'd be fitting to induct him into the Hall of Fame the night before and have him go out in style although these days most retirement matches end with the retiree putting over the opponent to keep the circle of life going.

Courtesy: WWE
Sting's tenure in WWE has been short.  Like most fans, I wish he would have signed sooner.  And like most fans I hope he still has at least a few more matches in him.  However Sting has nothing left to prove to any of us, but most fans today weren't even alive during Sting's first run as WCW heavyweight champions 25 years ago.  Wow, I'm old...  No matter what the future holds for the Icon, I wish him nothing but the best.

Monday, September 14, 2015

What's Happening to My Childhood???

The Cosby Show
By Kevin Hunsperger
@kevinhunsperger & @my123cents on Twitter
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Summer is winding down and as I reflect on how quickly it's come and gone, I started thinking about what's happened to some of the entertainers from my childhood.  There were several deaths, arrests and allegations involving men and women I grew up watching on TV and in the movies.

As as kid, I loved watching Fat Albert.  Bill Cosby hosted the show and voiced many of the characters in the animated classic. Then years later, as Dr. Heathcliff Huxtable, Cosby played one of TV's greatest dads of all time.  However his image was more than tarnished in July when it was revealed that he'd given Quaaludes to women and had sex with them.  As of this publishing, Cosby has not been charged with any crime, but there are lawsuits pending against the comedian.

"Superfly" Jimmy Snuka
Courtesy: WWE
In early September, professional wrestling legend "Superfly" Jimmy Snuka was arrested and charged with third-degree murder and involuntary manslaughter in the 1983 death of his girlfriend Nancy Argentino.  Snuka, who is battling cancer, is free on bond and has since been removed from the WWE's Hall of Fame.

Hulk Hogan
Courtesy: WWE
So has the legendary Hulk Hogan.  In July a recording of the former WWE and WCW world heavyweight champion using racial slurs was released.  Hogan was quickly fired from the company and despite several public apologies, is still at odds with WWE as of this posting.

The General Lee
The Dukes of Hazzard
The General Lee from the famed Dukes of Hazzard has been parked for good.  Warner Brothers has stopped production of toy versions of the car because the Confederate Flag is painted on the roof of the legendary vehicle.  Reruns of the show have been pulled from syndication too.  It's all in response to the uproar over the flag and the role it allegedly played in the shooting deaths of several black church members in South Carolina in June.

We lost some greats as well. Wrestling legends "The American Dream" Dusty Rhodes, 69, and "Rowdy" Roddy Piper, 61, died within weeks of each other.  Both men were fixtures during my formative years as a wrestling fan and were still making an impact until their deaths.  I miss them both very much already.

Can't Buy Me Love

Another shocking death was that of Amanda Peterson.  She played Cindy Mancini in one of my favorite teen years films Can't Buy Me Love.  According to the autopsy report, Amanda died of an accidental drug overdose.  She was only 43 years old. 

Joaquin Andjuar
I'm not a huge sports fan, but one of my favorite Cardinals players died earlier this month.  Pitcher Joaquin Andjuar had battled diabetes for years before his death at the age of 62.  I remember watching him during the 1982 World Series and in the years that followed.  Fans affectionately (at least I think) referred to him as "Walking Underwear." 

These are just a few of my childhood memories that have changed for the worse.  I guess this is what growing older is all about.  

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Choose Your Own (Podcast) Adventure

Recording a show (not on my phone)
By Kevin Hunsperger
@kevinhunsperger & @my123cents on Twitter
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Regular readers here know I've been doing a podcast for almost a year now.  This weekend I'll be recording episode 42 for the Jittery Monkey Podcasting Network (and iTunes).  For most shows I've either had an interview with someone involved in the world of wrestling or Chad has joined me.  But episode 42 is going to be different.  I want YOU to be my guest.

Interviewing "Beautiful" Bobby Eaton
While I can't obviously record something with each and every one of you, I want you to be involved in the process.  My plan is to record the show Sunday, September 13 at 11 am CST.  If you want to be a part of it, you can join me on Periscope that morning and post wrestling related questions, comments or concerns.  I'm @kevinhunsperger on that live streaming app.

Let's Snap!
If you don't use that form of social media, SnapChat me.  Yes, this old man is on SnapChat.  Record a question and I'll include it in the show.  My ID there is just hunsperger.  If you'd rather, just post your questions on this blog, Facebook or Tweet me @kevinhunsperger or @my123cents).  Or if you'd prefer snail mail, we can do that too.  Join me.  It'll be a first for the show, but I hope not the last.  

Saturday, September 5, 2015

King of Trios: Night 1

The bWo reunites
By Chad Smart
@chadsmart & @my123cents on Twitter
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The first night of Chikara’s 2015 King of Trios is in the books. As a first time attendee, I can say the night more than lived up to expectations. There’s no way to do a quickly written recap can do justice to the night. I highly recommend buying the show when Chikara makes it available on their website. Here are some quick thoughts on the night as best as I can remember them.

As with most shows, the night was split into two halves. The first half of the show was the matches that had little storyline implications or teams the audience weren’t familiar with while the second half featured the more invested matches.

United Nations vs. Team Attack
The first match saw United Nations defeat Team Attack. This made me 0-1 for my predictions. Sean “X-Pac/123 Kid” Waltman was on commentary and got into a stare down with Prakash Sabar after the match. Mister Azerbaijan had the pin but elected to let team captain Juan Francisco de Coronado get the victory for his team. Solid opener and Team Attack looked good in their debut.

While Team Attack had a good showing, it was their British counterparts Team Fight Club Pro that had the breakout night with their mild upset victory over the BDK.  Derek Sabato refereed the match. When the BDK was at their height in 2010, Sabato was the crooked ref who helped them win. Before the match, current BDK leader Jakob Hammermeier told Sabato it was nice to see him again and then gave an exaggerated wink. Fight Club, I think due to having a tag team called Mustache Mountain, walked in to a crowd that was polite in welcoming them to the Easton Funplex but walked out with a crowd fully behind them for the weekend.

Los Ice Creams
If I’d made official predictions for the tournament, I probably would have picked Crown and Court (Princess Kimber Lee, Los Ice Creams) to be the most likely to pull off the biggest upsets and advance to the finals. It’s a good thing I didn’t actually put any money on my prediction. Crown and Court fought a valiant fight only to end up losing to the Arcane Horde (The Batiri and Oleg the Usurper). As I said in my King of Trios preview, fans have really taken to Oleg this season and were happy to see him advance in the tournament. However Oleg will always be a murderer and therefore I can’t cheer him. RIP Dragon Dragon. Los Ice Creams looked better in this match than they normally do. Maybe in a year if they keep working together Crown and Court may be able to go on a winning streak.

Devastation Corp. vs. bWo

The last match of the first half was the Devastation Corporation taking on some up and comers calling themselves the Blue World Order. Dev Corp thought this would be a cakewalk to the pay window. They were wrong. The bWo proved to enough of a challenge that the “King of Managers” Sydney Bakabella had to interfere helping Flex Rumblecrunch get the victory.  One of the highlights of the match was the first time “Hollywood” Nova and Blaster McMassive were in the ring together. For those not in the now, Nova does a Hulk Hogan rip-off character and Blaster is a black man. Seeing the two of them face to face led to a “This is Awkward” chant and Nova bailing out of the ring to avoid having to fight. After the match the crowd gave the bWo a standing ovation and chanted, “Please come back.”

The second half of the show started with Dasher’s Dugout vs. Battleborn. I have Battleborn picked to win the tournament so I was glad to finally see one of my predictions for the first round come true. Former Grand Champion, Icarus seemed to take a nasty bump early in the match and then was hit with a chair to the face allowing Battleborn to pick up the victory. After the match, Icarus lay on the mat for a while and the doctor came over to check on him. Hopefully he’s okay and wasn’t too shaken up. My favorite part of the match was when Battleborn leader Kevin Condron was on the apron, the crowd had a dueling chant of, “We want Kevin,” “No we don’t.”  I wanted to record this and make it my ring tone for when Kevin calls me to ask why I haven’t written a blog in three months.

The Bullet Club defeated the team of Fire Ant, Worker Ant and Pharaoh Ant. While this match was really good, I don’t think the Young Bucks threw enough Superkicks for this to really classify as a Superkick party. I was seated near the Bullet Club’s corner. At one point, AJ Styles looked at the guys in front of me who were harassing him and said, “If this wasn’t a PG show, I’d give you the DX chop. I’ve got to be good.”  During the match, AJ went to do a top rope move and slipped. He blamed the “lucha ropes” for causing the mistake. After the match, in a bit of retaliation, AJ had the Bucks superkick the rope.

Kingston & Hallowicked
The story during the Nightmare Warriors vs. Snake Pit was former Grand Champion Eddie Kingston trash talking current Grand Champion Hallowicked. This was a brutal match that saw “The Last of a Dying Breed” Kingston working with his team only to end up on the losing end. After the match, Hallowicked and Frightmare tried to get Soldier Ant to become a full-fledged member of their team. Soldier eventually pulled off his mask revealing another mask that was a hybrid of his camouflage look mixed with the style of Hallowicked and Frightmare’s masks.

Swamp Monster!
The main event saw the Gentleman’s Club square off against Team AAA. Aerostar entered with a flamethrower. Gentleman’s Club captain Chuck Taylor suggested if Aerostar gets to use a flamethrower, Chuck should get to use a gun. A wild a crazy match, which is pretty much a given when on one side of the ring is a dragon and the other side features a swamp monster. The finish came after Colonel Doc Angus and Orange Cassidy tried to interfere to help the Gentleman’s Club only for Drago to mist Cassidy and Team AAA getting the victory shortly thereafter.

That was just night one. Can’t wait to see what nights two and three have in store as well as the fan conclave. I’m predicting come Monday, I will be sleeping all day in an attempt to recoup from the weekend.  Check out more pics on Facebook!