Friday, December 9, 2016

Two Stride wrestlers attacked, changes coming Saturday

Hargas leaving the gym
@kevinhunsperger & @my123cents on Twitter
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Some late-breaking news out of the Stride Pro Wrestling front office. General manager Sam Hunter texted me earlier today and asked me to cover what has happened. Two of Stride Pro Wrestling's best and brightest performers have been attacked in two separate incidents and will not be in action Saturday night at Hostile Holiday.

The attacker
Chris Hargas was set to be a part of the main event fatal four way Stride Pro Wrestling championship match. Earlier this week I wrote about that, Heath Hatton defends against Ax Allwardt and Roger Matheus as well. Hargas was jumped by a man in a hood Thursday night leaving the gym. We have a few surveillance photos posted on the Stride Pro Wrestling Facebook page. It's hard to tell, but the arrow is pointing at the suspect. We're told Chris' injuries are not career threatening, but he has been pulled from the match per doctor's orders.

Jay Spade in action
Jay Spade was also attacked in a separate incident. Spade and Joey O'Riley are the Stride Pro Wrestling tag team champions and have been feuding with The Midwest Mafia, Jake Capone and Red Daniels. We're still getting updates on Spade's condition, but it appears he will not be a part of the Hostile Holiday event either. 

Now for my 1-2-3 cents on these situations. I have no idea who is behind the attacks. But looking at the big picture, who has more to gain from Hargas and Spade being out of action? Members of Midwest Mafia, which also include Matheus now as well as Damage Inc. I'm not blaming any of the men involved in those factions, but it's very convenient that this has happened less than 48 hours before the big event. 

My thoughts are with Hargas and Spade as they recover. GM Hunter will address the situation Saturday night at the CMA Dojo at the Illinois Star Centre Mall in Marion. Bell time is 6:30. If there are any new updates, I'll be sure to let you all know. Hope to see you Saturday.

Thursday, December 8, 2016

Battle of the sexes

Alexxa & Tony Flood vs. Farmer Billy Hills & Sarah Summers
Courtesy: Steve Belcher

Kevin Hunsperger
@kevinhunsperger & @my123cents on Twitter
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A feud that's been brewing for quite some time in Stride Pro Wrestling involves the very popular Farmer Billy Hills and the "Canadian Saint" Tony Flood. These two competitors have a rich history of not only being opponents but partners. But that's all behind them now and they've had some classic matchups in the nine months Stride has been around.

Once again the ladies in each man's life is getting involved in the action. Sarah Summers will team with Farmer to take on Tony and Alexxa Flood. Earlier this year we saw a variation of this match in the form of a six person tag. Tensions have risen since that night August. 

Summers battles Flood
Courtesy: Steve Belcher
Just last month Summers showed up ringside during the fatal four-way to determine the number one contender for the Stride Pro Wrestling Legacy Championship. Tony Flood happened to be a part of that contest. Long story short, there was an incident with a chair and Alexxa being knocked out and Tony ended up going face first into the post outside the ring.

Courtesy: Steve Belcher
This intergender match will be a great one no doubt. All four competitors have made it clear in the past that they have no problem with men and women facing off in the ring. As JR would say both Sarah and Alexxa are tougher than a two dollar steak. I'm more worried about the well-being of Farmer and Flood. 

Test of strength
Courtesy: Steve Belcher
Speaking of which, I look for both men to be more aggressive than usual. There are now two singles championships up for grabs in Stride Pro Wrestling and each is deserving of an opportunity. General Manager Sam Hunter should be watching this match closely to see who is worthy of a future match for either belt. But hey, that's just My 1-2-3 Cents (get it?) 

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Can this Phoenix rise to the occasion?

Scott Phoenix & J. Wellington Beauregard
Courtesy: Steve Belcher

By Kevin Hunsperger
@kevinhunsperger & @my123cents on Twitter
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Stride Pro Wrestling returns to the CMA Dojo inside the Illinois Star Centre Mall in Marion this Saturday. The show is one week before the release of Rouge One: A Star Wars Story and that's the theme for the night. The new Legacy Championship will be defended for the first time that night.

Jerry Travelstead
Rewind to November 5 and Jerry Travelstead battled Tony Flood in an epic ladder match to crown the new champ. Travelstead ascended and won the gold. A week later, newcomer Scott Phoenix shocked fans when he beat Flood, Luke Chambers and Brian Richardson in a fatal four way to become the number one contender.

Courtesy: Steve Belcher
Phoenix has been training at the Stride Pro Wrestling school and only has a handful of matches under his belt. He has a lot of potential and with the devious J. Wellington Beauregard in his corner, the sky is the limit. As a member of Damage Inc., I have no doubt Phoenix will rise to the occasion... eventually. 

The champ
Courtesy: Steve Belcher
Jerry Travelstead is no pushover. He too is relatively new to the business. He's a school administrator who has a passion for the wrestling business. Not only did he climb the ladder to success that night in Pinckneyville last month, he's also climbed to stardom in Stride Pro Wrestling. Jerry is a likable guy with the fans and is never afraid to try something new in the ring.

The match set for Saturday night will be a great contest between two men who are hungry and passionate about wrestling. It's exactly what this business needs. I'm excited to see guys like Jerry and Scott living out their dreams and fighting for a championship so early in their careers. 

Be sure to join us for the action. It's Stride Pro Wrestling's Hostile Holiday. Don't forget, we're celebrating the release of Rogue One: A Star Wars Story so dress appropriately. 

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Heath Hatton will need the Force this Saturday night

Heath Hatton meets Luke Skywalker

By Kevin Hunsperger
@kevinhunsperger & @my123cents on Twitter
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Stride Pro Wrestling returns to the CMA Dojo inside the Illinois Star Centre Mall in Marion this Saturday. The show is one week before the release of Rouge One: A Star Wars Story and that's the theme for the night. And in the main event, new Stride Heavyweight Champion Heath Hatton defends the title against three top contenders.

Guess what's on their Christmas wish list?
Former champ Ax Allwardt, "Big" Roger Matheus and Chris Hargas are all part of this fatal four way for the title. Hatton is at a disadvantage for a number of reasons and could use the Force on his side. For starters, this contest is winner takes all. So technically speaking, Hatton can lose his title without actually being pinned or made to submit. The champion is always at a disadvantage in these types of matches.

Secondly, Matheus, Hargas and Allwardt are all bigger than Hatton. While bigger doesn't always mean better, it certainly needs to be a consideration. Plus all three challengers are extremely hungry. Ax is bitter and wants revenge after losing the gold last month. Hargas is a rising star on the indy scene and wants gold. And Matheus is one of the meanest, toughest guys I've seen step into the ring. I do not envy Hatton at all.

Hatton the Jedi
But Hatton is no stranger to overcoming the odds. I've watched him in the ring against some of the best, including Adam Pearce, Christian Rose and Matt Cage. He's also got big market experience, having wrestled for OVW and WWE in his short career. Hatton worked hard to get to where he is today and don't look for him to let his three opponents pick up the win.

Allwardt will have J. Wellington Beauregard in his corner. The Midwest Mafia is watching Roger Matheus' back. Hopefully, Hatton has talked with Luke Skywalker and can use the Force to pick up what would be his first win as Stride Pro Wrestling champion. We'll see you Saturday night at 6:30.

Monday, December 5, 2016

Why Elf on the Shelf still appears in our house

Nick and the leg lamp

By Kevin Hunsperger
@kevinhunsperger & @my123cents on Twitter
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It seems this time of year there are two types of people. Those who hate Elf on the Shelf and those who love Elf on the Shelf. I am in the category of love. While I don't understand the hate, I certainly respect those of you who do not enjoy this Christmas-time tradition.

Our family was introduced to the Elf in 2007. St. Nick brought the book and my three kids voted and named our elf Nick. By now you probably know how it works, but just in case you don't... the Elf magically transports to the North Pole each night while everyone is sleeping to report to Santa Claus. The original idea was to encourage kids to behave this time of year. Yes, there are memes of belts saying that's how they were made to behave back in the day, but I digress.

Nick likes craft beer (2016)
For our family, Nick was never meant to be something to "make them be good." Let's face it, I've heard plenty of parents threaten their kids long before the Elf on the Shelf craze that Santa Claus wasn't coming if they didn't straighten up. But I've never once seen a parent follow through on that threat. No kid that I know of has never awoken on Christmas morning to a stocking full of coal or no presents under the tree because of how they behaved.

Minonizing the bananas (2015)
The last few years it's become more fun for me to see what exactly Nick is going to do each night. There are plenty of websites with good ideas. Last year after Christmas when our youngest daughter wanted to know the truth about Santa, I decided the Elf tradition was going to stay. 

Nick battles Harry Potter
So here we are in a house of non-believers in Santa or the Elf, but Nick still makes his evening trek to the North Pole. It's fun. The kids still like seeing what silliness will ensue. No one is getting hurt in the process and it's created a tradition for our family. If you don't like it, go elf yourself. :) 

"Stone Cold" Stunner
Sure the Elf industry is booming and I applaud the authors Carol Aebersold and Chanda Bell. Every time I see the display in the story with all the new accessories for the Elf, I wonder "why didn't I think of that." Merry Christmas and take a minute to enjoy the Elf. 

Sunday, December 4, 2016

TLC 2016 Predictions

By Kevin Hunsperger
@kevinhunsperger & @my123cents on Twitter
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In all honesty, I'd forgotten tonight is the annual TLC pay per view. SmackDown Live Superstars will be battling it out on this event. I have not kept up with the blue brand (or Raw for that matter) like I should be. The last couple of weeks have been chaotic and I've not made the time to watch the DVR. I blame the Simpsons marathon on FXX for part of this. But anyway I digress. Here are my quick picks for the TLC.

AJ Styles will retain the WWE Championship in the Tables Ladders and Chairs match against Dean Ambrose. This will be a crazy match, I have no doubt. I just hope no one is seriously hurt.

Alexa Bliss will win the SDL Women's Championship from Becky Lynch in a tables match. This will be like the first time Sheamus beat John Cena for the gold. Simply going through a table protects Becky.

The Miz will retain the Intercontinental Championship in a ladder match against Dolph Ziggler. I see no point in putting it back on Dolph just weeks after having him lose it. But this is the one match I'm not 100% certain of.

Kalisto will beat Baron Corbin in a chair match. This will be the match I leave my chair for and go do something else.

Bray Wyatt and Randy Orton will win the SDL Tag Team Championships from Rhyno and Heath Slater. I like the pairing of Wyatt and Orton and having them win the gold would be an interesting dynamic to this partnership. As of this writing, that match is the only one without a gimmicky.

Carmella will beat Nikki Bella in a no DQ match. I usually never bet against John Cena or his female counterpart, but I am this time. Natalaya will help Carmella win, revealing she's the Survivor Series attacker. 

Saturday, December 3, 2016

Will run for food

Yellow Donkeys "run for hunger"
Courtesy: Tom Harness
By Kevin Hunsperger
@kevinhunsperger & @my123cents on Twitter
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A couple of years ago I joined a running group here in southern Illinois called the Yellow Donkeys. Not only is this a supportive group of runners, but also many are my friends. Earlier this year the Yellow Donkeys became a non-profit group and is set on helping members of the community.

Some Donkeys in action
Courtesy: Brian Flath
The group wrapped up the unofficial week of giving with a Run for Hunger. Members and folks in the area were invited to run or walk with the Donkeys and bring some non-perishable food items or cash. The food and money were evenly divided and distributed to the Good Samaritan House in Carbondale and Saluki Food Pantry on the SIU campus.

Just a fraction of the food collected
After all the items were collected we headed out for a brisk run in the 30 something degree weather. Yes, it was chilly, but the Donkeys were on an important mission. I felt a sense of proud that warmed my heart as I ran the course. It was great seeing so many friends out supporting the cause. 

Today's event reminds me it doesn't take much to make a difference in your community. You may not be able to organize a food drive or donate a mountain of cash, but that's okay. Dropping off a few things at the food pantry in your community or some spare change in the Salvation Army's Red Kettle will make someone's holiday season a little brighter.