Thursday, February 22, 2018

Who will induct Goldberg?

@kevinhunsperger & @my123cents on Twitter

I typically do not report rumors on My 1-2-3 Cents. In fact, I don't do much 'reporting' at all. But I do share links from time to time on the Facebook page. This blog was set up seven years ago to be a platform for me to share my thoughts on the world of pro wrestling. Instead of my 2 cents, it's my 1-2-3 cents. Get it?

Courtesy: WWE
Anyway, I've seen several sites resharing the rumor that Paul Heyman is going to be the man to induct Goldberg into the WWE Hall of Fame. I guess I can see the connection in that Goldberg's two (short) WWE runs featured feuds with the biggest 'Paul Heyman guy' on the planet, Brock Lesnar. But honestly, I figured Paul would be the man to induct The Dudley Boyz into the Hall of Fame.

So who would be a suitable Goldberg inductor? My first thought was Eric Bischoff. He seemingly makes the most sense, being the man who helped create the Legend we know today. Other candidates would be Hulk Hogan (I know), The Rock (he 'brought' Goldberg to WWE) or Triple H.

Don't get me wrong though, Heyman is a great speaker and will do the duty justice, assuming the rumor mill is right on this. After all, they got the Double J going into the Hall of Fame right... 

Monday, February 19, 2018

That's H-A-Double L - O-F -F-A-M-E

Selfie with Jeff Jarrett in 2016
@kevinhunsperger & @my123cents on Twitter

Many pro wrestling fans are buzzing today after NBC Sports and WWE announced Jeff Jarrett will be the latest inductee into the Class of 2018 Hall of Fame. Rumblings about the induction started last week online, most of which I discounted. It's not because I didn't think Double J was worthy. I always figured he'd eventually get the nod, I just didn't think it would happen this year.

I've been following Jeff Jarrett his entire career. I remember first reading about him in the Apter magazines when he was wrestling for Contentinal Wrestling Association. When Jeff wrestled for the AWA and USWA I actually got to see him in action. Then, of course, his cross over to WWF made a lasting impression. 

Jarrett and me in 2011
I'm not going to sit here and write about all of Jarrett's wrestling accomplishments, we know his record. I want to talk about my personal experiences with Jarrett. I met him for the first time in 1998 when I was a reporter in Florence, Alabama. Jarrett and the Harris twins were in nearby Tennessee playing in a celebrity basketball game to raise money for the school. That meeting was short and sweet. Then in 2011, I had an even more abbreviated encounter with Jarrett at a TNA Basebrawl event.

Fast forward to 2015 and I had a chance to interview Jarrett on the phone for the My 1-2-3 Cents podcast. The occasion came up again and I was able to have him as a repeat guest. Then Jarrett came to Marion, Illinois to promote Global Force Wrestling coming to Rent One park for a show. We met in one of the suites and spent some time chatting before and after the interview. He had remembered the podcast interviews and we talked about more than wrestling that night. I left with an even greater appreciation for Double J.

This is a well-deserved announcement. Jarrett has been through a lot over the last year or so. I wish him nothing but health and happiness and I hope this leads to a new relationship between he and WWE. 

Sunday, February 18, 2018

My favorite Kerry Von Erich moments

Kerry Von Erich after winning the NWA Title
@kevinhunsperger & @my123cents on Twitter

February 18, 2018, marks the 25 year anniversary of the death of Kerry Von Erich. Regular readers here know Kerry is one of my all-time favorites and growing up I ranked him higher than Hulk Hogan himself. Instead of focusing on his death though, I wanted to use this day to remember a few of my favorite Kerry Von Erich matches.

1. Without a doubt his winning the NWA World Heavyweight Championship is not only my favorite Kerry Von Erich match but one of my all-time favorite matches. It features two of favorite wrestlers. Kerry fulfilled his promise to honor the life of his brother David that day. In front of a then-record crowd, Kerry battled the "Nature Boy" for just over 11 minutes before catching Flair with a backslide and winning the gold. 

I was 11 years old then and through the roof with excitement. Kerry's reign only lasted 18 days and I was deeply disappointed by the loss, but I viewed it as a huge accomplishment for Von Erich. He went on to appear on the covers of many wrestling magazines in the weeks that followed holding that ten pounds of gold. I collected those mags and hung posters featuring the "Modern Day Warrior" on the wall of my bedroom and even my locker at school. Less than a year later, I was fortunate enough to see a rematch between the two in St. Louis. Flair got himself disqualified. 

Texas Tornado vs. Mr. Perfect
Courtesy: WWE
2. Kerry stormed into the WWF in the summer of 1990 as the Texas Tornado. It was my senior year in high school and when he was placed in the Intercontinental Championship match against Mr. Perfect at that year's SummerSlam, I was stoked. After five minutes of action, Kerry pinned Perfect and was crowned the IC champ. 

Again, his title reign didn't last nearly as long as I had hoped it would. But he got the rub of hanging with The Ultimate Warrior on several occasions. I think had Kerry been in a different place in his personal life back then, his WWF tenure and championship run could have had more meaning than it did ultimately. 

Kerry Von Erich vs. Kamala
3. As I mentioned earlier, Kerry was to me what Hulk Hogan was to millions of fans. Before the Hulkster bodyslammed Andre the Giant, King Kong Bundy or  One Man Gang for that matter, Kerry was performing these feats of strength. I remember vividly Von Erich battling Kamala on slamming him. I believe the announcer, Bill Mercer, said it was the first time the Ugandan Giant had been body slammed. I have no idea if that's true, but to me, it was a feat of superhuman strength. As the years passed, Kerry slammed other big men, including Gang. 

There are plenty of other fond memories I have of Kerry Von Erich. His feuds with the Freebirds, Chris Adams and Gino Hernandez are also among some of my favorites. There are too many instances in those battles to pick favorites. And I still think he should have won the battle with Jerry Lawler in the AWA Championship matches. What are some of your favorite moments of the "Modern Day Warrior"?  

Saturday, February 17, 2018

WWE changes its PPV format

@kevinhunsperger & @my123cents on Twitter

It's been a rumor for a week or so, but WWE confirmed the news Saturday. After WrestleMania, the company is going back to non-branded pay-per-view events. So that means a reduction in PPV events each year, which in my 1-2-3 cents is a good thing. Not counting the events planned for this month, there are nine more PPVs coming to WWE Network this year.

I can see pros and cons on this move. I liked the idea of dueling brands because Superstars were getting overexposed being on Raw and SmackDown Live each week. Then factor in the pay-per-views and storylines and angles got old fast. Now there's at least a break to just once a week. I know the company will keep the TV shows separate, or so it appears. But unless they add time to the pay-per-views, I worry some Superstars will once again become lost in the shuffle. I don't know what the pay scale is for Superstars in terms of these network events but I'd hate to think anyone is losing out.

I also like the idea of only having all brands on the same event for the big four shows; WrestleMania, Royal Rumble, SummerSlam and Survivor Series. I hope they keep the storylines separate until Rumble time and maybe Survivor Series. WWE Creative needs to come up with a purpose to have Raw vs. SmackDown Live if they're headed that way again in November.

Longer shows are tough on the live crowd as well as those of us watching at home. Three hours is already too long for Raw. Six hours for WrestleMania is ridiculous. Other shows are getting longer too. My friends over at Pro Wrestling Unscripted suggested featuring some of the mid-card feuds as the main event matches on Raw or SmackDown Live and saving the main eventers for the pay per views. That move could be a good one to keep lower tiered Superstars on TV. 

I'm not complaining about the situation, I just want to see how it all plays out. Will the company take turns alternating the main events on these PPVs? The move could also give us a break from some Superstars appearing each month too. Like everything in pro wrestling, we have to be patient and see how things play out.

Friday, February 16, 2018

Fun Fact Friday: Stride Pro Wrestling Tag Team Titles

Current Stride Pro Wrestling tag team champs:
The DR Party

@kevinhunsperger & @my123cents on Twitter

Stride Pro Wrestling is nearing its two year anniversary and in that time has had some great men and women come through. Some are guests, some are mainstays and for others, things just didn't work out... But one thing that has been consistent is the quality of the tag team division. There have been five sets of tag team champions in that time. Here are a few fun facts about titles.

1. 'Homicidal' Stephen Davis and Frank Wyatt are the first team to win the gold in Stride Pro Wrestling. They beat Jay Spade and Josh Totten in the championship finals of the tournament. It didn't take Spade long to reunite with his former partner, Joey O'Riley though. That duo captured the titles next.

Midwest Mafia
Courtesy: Steve Belcher
2. The Midwest Mafia, Red Daniels (RIP) and Jake Capone are Stride's biggest and shortest reigning tag team champions. The duo won the gold in February 2017 and lost them in their first defense in April. 

Sarah Summers vs. Ax Allwardt
Courtesy: Steve Belcher
3. Sarah Summers is the only female wrestler to compete for the Stride Pro Wrestling tag team titles. She and Farmer Billy Hills were part of a multi-team match. It was on that night that Ax Allwardt and Scott Phoenix won the belts, making Ax the only former Stride Pro Wrestling Heavyweight Champion to win a second title in the company.

4. Speaking of Scott Phoenix, he is the first man in Stride to hold the tag team titles with more than one partner. Due to the "Freebird rule" applying to the DR Party now you can say each member has held the gold with the other three. But the originally billed champions were Dexter Roswell and Phoenix, the night he screwed over Ax.

The DR Party
Courtesy: Steve Belcher
5. J. Wellington Beauregard has managed three of the five tag team champions. Eighty percent success rate isn't bad.

Ax teams up with Heath Hatton on Saturday, March 3 at Christopher Grade School. This odd couple will go for the gold that night against the DR Party.

Thursday, February 15, 2018

Pick the next Stride guest

@kevinhunsperger & @my123cents on Twitter

Stride Pro Wrestling is turning to fans to help determine the next guest who comes to one of our shows. Note we already have James Ellsworth lined up for the April 14 show in Mt. Vernon, Illinois. You can vote on the choices here. Note I am merely fantasy booking here and have no influence on what's going to happen with these particular stars. The contenders include:
Ryback vs. Hatton
Courtesy: WWE
Ryback. He, of course, is a former WWE Intercontentinal Champion. Could Heath Hatton and Ace Hawkins team up and get revenge on the former Skip Sheffield. Remember that duo faced Ryback at WWE Extreme Rules in 2012.

Billy Gunn and I have gone against each other in video game form. We also told the crowd in Herrin to "Suck it!" back in April 2005. He's a former WWE tag team, Intercontinental and Hardcore champ. Maybe he and I could team up for a match... 

Courtesy: WWE
Who is most likely to get hardcore with Hardcore Holly? He's been the Hardcore champ along with tag team champion in WWE. He's tougher than a two dollar steak, just like Roger Matheus.

J. Wellington Beauregard and the "Million Dollar" Man Ted DiBiase could compare bank accounts if you chose the former tag team champion. I'm sure DiBiase wouldn't mind funding the DR Party's mission to "Make Stride great again" either.

And last but not least, we'd all give Jerry "the King" Lawler the royal treatment should he be selected. He's old school like Ax Allwardt. Maybe the two could team up against members of the DR Party.

Please vote. We'll let you know soon who we are able to strike a deal with.  

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

3 of wrestling's oddest couples

Mae Young and "Sexual Chocolate" Mark Henry
Courtesy: WWE

@kevinhunsperger & @my123cents on Twitter

"Macho Man" Randy Savage & Elizabeth, Goldust & Marlena, Eddie Gilbert & Missy Hyatt. They're among my favorite couples in pro wrestling. They all seemed to match together perfectly. But this is pro wrestling of course and not all matches are ones made in heaven. Since it's Valentine's Day, I thought I'd look at three of my favorite odd couples in the biz.

The delivery
Courtesy: WWE
1. Mark Henry & Mae Young. This pairing was created during the Attitude Era. Mark Henry was an admitted sexaholic. And Mae Young was a sassy old timer who needed some lovin' too. The romance budded and Mae ended up pregnant and giving birth to a hand. Yes, a hand. I don't know why, but that hand showed up at Raw 1,000 years later all grown up.

Ellsworth and Carmella
Courtesy: WWE
2. James Ellsworth & Carmella. There was something about this duo I really enjoyed. Ellsworth was an unexpected signee with the company after being destroyed by Braun Strowman. After spending some time with Dean Ambrose I knew Ellsworth was on borrowed time. He added to his 15 minutes of fame by joining forces with Carmella. I loved the way she treated their relationship. But let's not get too caught up in the Money in the Bank incident. Some still argue Ellsworth is the true winner of that match, I, however, am not in that camp. The relationship was fun while it lasted.

3. The Missing Link and Sunshine. Get in your way back machine for this one. The Missing Link had worked as a heel in World Class Championship Wrestling and WWF before coming back to Texas. Sunshine found herself in a tough spot and Link made the save. I don't recall him ever talking and I don't believe they were ever an actual couple, but I did enjoy the pairing of a 'Beauty and the Beast' scenario. The idea carried over into MidSouth or UWF when Link joined up with Dark Journey. If only George "The Animal" Steele could have wooed Miss Elizabeth.

These are just a few of my favorite odd couples in wrestling. Who are your favorites?