Wednesday, August 31, 2011

It's a Sin

From WWE.com
By Kevin Hunsperger
@kevinhunsperger on Twitter

Sin Cara has been less than exciting since his debut in the WWE back in the spring.  On the first ever Super SmackDown! Sin Cara apparently turned heel.  He had a pretty good match with Daniel Bryan and afterwards, instead of accepting Bryan's handshake, the superstar from Mexico kicked the former NXT performer in the head.

The heel turn by Cara baffles me.  I thought the original plan for him was to be the PG rated fan favorite to fill the shoes of Rey Mysterio, who will undoubtedly be hanging up his mask sooner rather than later.  Now that Rey is off the shelf for an undetermined amount of time because of his knee surgery, I thought Cara would get a push as being one of the top babyfaces.

Double vision... (WWE)
I know that this Sin Cara isn't the original one signed earlier this year.  Mistico first signed with the WWE in January.  Six months later he found himself being suspended for a wellness violation.  Then the company brought in Hunico.   While I don't mind the change, I do wonder if the character is going to become a modern day Doink.  Originally Matt Borne played the role.  Eventually, Steve Keirn, Nick Dinsmore, and a handful of others wore the makeup and colorful tights.

Undertaker vs. Underfaker (WWE)
I don't think it will become that ridiculous with Sin Cara, but as I write this I had the thought of the WWE bringing Mistico back in to feud with Hunico over who gets the gimmick.  Remember when that horrible Undertaker vs. Underfaker match at SummerSlam 94?  There was also the silliness of two Kanes.  Luckily that one didn't last long either.  I don't think a matchup between Hunico and Mistico would be nearly that bad, but it's just the idea that makes me shake my head.

Mistico as Sin Cara at Wrestlemania Axxess
Back to the heel turn, or apparent turn... Some could argue that they're planting the seed for a matchup between Sin Cara and Rey Mysterio at Wrestlemania 28.  My opinion is that it's not necessary to turn either man heel.  I think the fans could get behind a face vs. face match with the two masked superstars.  Now if they are planning a match between the two at Mania, they need to start pushing the heck out of Cara.  Maybe the win over Bryan is the first step in a new direction for Sin Cara.

Regardless of what happens, we'll keep an eye on it and share our thoughts.  We want to know what you think too.  Post here, or on Facebook, Twitter, or YouTube.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

nWo, Say it Ain't So...

From WWE.com
By Kevin Hunsperger
@kevinhunsperger on Twitter

This was going to be a purely speculative write up about the nWo reforming, but then I actually ran across this story on WWE's website.  So now I'm thinking maybe there will be no rebirth, but I'm still going to write about it.

The only basis I have for thinking that the WWE might be flirting with the idea of the umpteenth version of the once popular group is the fact that Kevin Nash is indeed back on camera.

WWE.com
They have also posted a bunch of old nWo videos on the WWE website, as well as on YouTube.  Plus, add in Nash coming in to attack CM Punk on Raw after the Miz and R Truth did the dirty work.  It makes me go "Hmmmm..."  Could this new version of the New World Order involve the two victims of "WWE conspirators"?  It's been reported that Triple H is in favor of putting the tag team division back together.  That could also include the building of the wrestling factions.

WWE.com
Personally, I'm not in favor of recreating history.  It was lightning in a bottle 15 years ago.  The original concept was groundbreaking for sure and it did change the face of wrestling.  But it literally only took a few months for Eric Bischoff and the powers that be at WCW to water it down and ultimately destroy the idea. When they added IRS and Vincent to the group, it was way past being over and done.  (No offense to Mike Rotunda or Virgil)

I'm cautious about the formation of any kind of super group in the WWE.  Look at what happened to the Nexus, the New Nexus, the Corre, and the Straight Edge Society in the last 18 months.  They all cease to exist.  It's unfortunate, because the wrestling stable is something that I miss from back in the day along with tag teams and managers.  But I'm all for them trying something different.  It appears Vickie Guerrero may be on the verge of starting a new group too.  Unless Dolph Ziggler ends up leaving and feuding with her and Jack Swagger...

I think the Miz and R Truth make a good pairing, however I don't want to see that nWo flag waving again.  The group died in 2002, I thought once and for all.  I know there are fans out there who are excited about the prospect.  They cheered when Nash's nWo theme hit on Raw.  I however, am not one of them.  Maybe I'm getting old.  There are kids on my lawn I must go yell at.

Oh, before I go, check out my thoughts on the Super Raw & Super SmackDown! concept.

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Monday, August 29, 2011

Character Flaws

Photos from WWE
By Kevin Hunsperger
@kevinhunsperger on Twitter

Growing up in the 80's, I'm probably a little biased when I say that was the greatest decade ever.  Movies, TV shows, and music.  It was all better back then.  It also seemed that wrestling was even better back then. I'm trying to decide if that's because I was a kid and not smart to the things that were happening back stage and that curtain hadn't been pulled back yet, or if it's because things really were better.

Wrestling in the 80's, especially in the WWF was full of crazy characters.  It was like a real life cartoon.  Heck, at one point, wrestling was a cartoon.  (Hulk Hogan's Rock 'n Wrestling show).  The WWF roster was full of over the top characters.  This also carried over into the early 90's.  It seemed like there were no "real people" involved.  Or maybe they were real guys, who took their job outside the ring way too seriously. Everyone seemed to have a gimmick.  Brutus Beefcake was a barber.  Ray Traylor was a prison guard.  Kevin Kelly was a prison.  There was a model, a Mountie, a repo man, a tax man, and even an undertaker.

Admittedly, the Undertaker's gimmick has evolved a lot over the last 21 years.  He doesn't stuff his victims in a coffin or a body bag anymore.  But the gimmick is still alive (at least for now).

The mid 90's things started to change up.  The cartoonish image started to fade a bit (not withstanding the likes of the Blue Blazer and Doink the Clown), but the focus seemed to hit more of the "real" guy image.  Bret Hart, Shawn Michaels, and Diesel started their ascension into the spot light.  There were still some silly career gimmicks like the forgettable Goon, TL Plopper, and Duke "the Dumpster" Droese.

Nation of Domination (from WWE)
It really wasn't until the Attitude Era and the Monday Night Wars that we started seeing more of these real guys emerging.  While they still had some sort of gimmick to help get them over (the Nation of Domination, DX, and Stone Cold Steve Austin) these characters broke the mold of the silly gimmicks of guys carrying hedge clippers, or snakes, or pet birds to the ring.

Fast forward even further now and most everyone in the WWE is more of a "real guy."  Just off the top of my head, I can't think of any really gimmicky guys left with the exception of the rarely used Goldust and Hornswoggle.  Maybe that's part of the problem with today's product.  There's too much realism involved.  It's hard to suspend your sense of reality.

I think that's what I liked about wrestling in the 80's.  Guys like the Ultimate Warrior, Kamala, and the Honky Tonk Man were all larger than life.  The silliness made wrestling fun.  I miss that.  And don't get me wrong, I'm not suggesting a total step back in time to the crazy, silly, goofy gimmicks.  But I wouldn't be upset if they tired a few just to see if it sticks.

Me with one of my favorites, Honky Tonk Man 
What are your thoughts?  Post them here, on Facebook, Twitter, or YouTube.  And please tell your friends about My 1-2-3 Cents!

Saturday, August 27, 2011

With This Ring...

Before it's a ring, it looks like this...
By Kevin Hunsperger
@kevinhunsperger on Twitter

Earlier in the week I wrote about the importance of supporting local wrestling as All American Pro Wrestling in southern Illinois prepares for another television taping Sunday afternoon.  And to gear up for the event, I headed over to the site of the taping to help set up.  Little did I know I was going to get to help put the ring together.  It's something I've always been curious about, but had never really seen done.

The one time I did get to see a ring under construction was back in 1998.  I was covering a Thursday Night Thunder taping in Huntsville, Alabama.  While the crew was setting up the ring, I went over with my camera and started rolling.  Head of security Doug Dillinger yelled at me and took my tape and erased it.  This was the same night that the Giant destroyed the ring with his bare hands, so my guess is Dillinger thought I was getting footage of them rigging the ring.

Curly and Heath
Anyway, back to my original story, the ring we use for AAPW once belonged to wrestler Curly.  So he brought it down to Marion on the back of a trailer.  There's lots of boards (23 to be exact) and several steel beams that need to be put in place. While one group set up the sound system, I found myself working on the ring with Curly and his tag team partner Heath Hatton on setting up the ring.  Once we got the frame up, we added the boards, and then of course the padding.  But even with the padding in place, it's not exactly a soft place to land.  (I'll get to more on that in a moment.)

Feeling patriotic 
We covered it all up with the canvas, and then added the ropes.  The ropes for the ring are black, but since it's All AMERICAN Pro Wrestling, we had to cover the ropes in red, white, and blue tape.  Even with five of us working on it, this seemed to be the most time consuming part of it.  Final touches included adding the skits around the apron and putting on the turnbuckles.  Luckily we don't have to worry about George "the Animal" Steele coming in and gnawing on them.

Before Curly and Heath left they wanted to show me how to take a bump.  I'd never done it before, so I figured what the heck.  I always knew it's not easy being a wrestler, but just doing a couple of these bumps gave me a whole new appreciation for what professional wrestlers put themselves through.

Ouch!
Although everyone reading this is presumably a fan, I'd like for those who call wrestling "fake" to spend 10 or 15 minutes in the ring learning to take a bump.  It's not that easy, and honestly I'm still a little sore from it and I only did it a couple of times.

So in addition to being a manager, ring announcer, commentator, videographer, and referee; I can add ring assembler to my wrestling resume.  It was fun, and I hope to see everyone out at Black Diamond Harley Davidson Sunday afternoon.  Bell time is 2 p.m.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Support Your Local Wrestlers

From allamericanprowrestling.com
By Kevin Hunsperger
@kevinhunsperger on Twitter

This blog has a duel purpose.  Regular readers know that I recently became the play by play guy for All American Pro Wrestling, a group based in southern Illinois.  Even if you don't live in this area, I encourage you to keep reading, this post isn't just about AAPW.

The folks there have been working hard for the last 5 years.  That hard work has paid off, and now AAPW has landed a television show.  Collision debuts September 3 on WSIL TV at noon.

Working on the shows has made me realize just how hard it is to put together a wrestling program.  I have a very minor role in all this, the show's executive producer, (and my cohort at the announce table) Chris Hagstrom has done a tremendous job putting all this together.

There are countless hours of set up and tear down before and after each taping.  Then there's the editing and revoicing if necessary.  He adds in the commercial spots and gets everything sent off to the TV station to make sure it's ready for the big debut.  I have seen the show in raw form 2 or 3 times now.  I can't wait to see the finished product.

One more plug, and then I'll get to my original point.  On Sunday, August 28 we're taping two more episodes of Collision at Black Diamond Harley Davidson in Marion, Illinois.  Belltime is 2 p.m.  Besides the usual suspects like Shane Rich, "Golden Boy" Greg Anthony, and Curly; the reigning Ring of Honor champion Davey Richards will also be on hand.  I'm looking forward to meeting him and hope to talk with him for the My 1-2-3 Cents YouTube channel.

I think it's great that local wrestling is finally getting some time on television.  If you live in a community that has an independent wrestling organization, I would encourage you to check it out.  The men and women who are in the ring and behind the scenes bust their asses to keep the fans entertained.

Admittedly these wrestlers aren't on the same level as the stars you'll see on Mondays, Thursdays, or Fridays.  But you never know who you'll end up seeing on Raw, SmackDown!, or Impact one day.

Matt Sydal (aka Evan Bourne)
The rigors they put themselves through for very little pay and maybe even less glory should be commended.  I'm not just talking about AAPW talent.  I'm talking all the indy stars out there.  Here's a fun fact, I worked a couple of IWA: Midsouth shows several years back that featured Matt Sydal.  If the name isn't familiar, he's the current coholder of the WWE tag team titles, Evan Bourne.  I wish back then I would have paid more attention to his work.  You just never know where some of these guys are going to end up.

Supporting local wrestling also supports your community.  You're putting money in these wrestlers' pockets.  Many of them probably live and work in your town, or nearby.  They spend that money they make at stores, restaurants, and other businesses where you live.  So going to a wrestling show keeps you entertained and helps the local economy.

Southern Illinois readers, hope to see you Sunday.  And don't forget to tune in to WSIL TV in September.  It's going to be awesome. (sorry Miz)


Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Legen (What for It) Dary

Terry Funk & Roddy Piper at Wrestle Reunion
By Kevin Hunsperger
@kevinhunsperger on Twitter

Regular readers know that I'm a fool for old school.  But I'm also in favor of pushing new and fresh talent.  It's a conundrum sometimes.  While I'm not a fan of watching Stone Cold Steve Austin stun up and comers or the Rock deliver a Rock Bottom to someone who is climbing the ladder to the main event, I understand why the WWE does it.  I understand it, but I don't agree with it.  As Chad pointed out in a previous post, we never saw guys from the 80's coming in during the Attitude Era and delivering their finishers on the Rock, Stone Cold, or the Undertaker.

That being said, I do think there is a place for the legends and Hall of Famers of the wrestling world.  If the WWE ever launches that much anticipated cable/satellite network, I think there could be a show dedicated to them, as active performers.  Wait, hear me out.

The recent legends event at the Gathering of the Juggalos had me very interested in attending the show.  The likes of Roddy Piper, Terry Funk, Mick Foley, and Hacksaw Jim Duggan all on the same card made me kinda mark out a bit.  I know the wrestling quality isn't what it was 20 years ago, but I still enjoy seeing these guys in the ring.

I think the WWE could create a Legends show, make it an hour long.  Do a couple, three matches.  Have a Piper's Pit segment or Barbershop or Funeral Parlor, whatever you want.  Heck, you could rotate out these segments too.  Rotate the talent.  You wouldn't have to have them signed to exclusive WWE deals.  Bring them in and do a short program and let them do their own thing for a while and come back when they're needed.

from WWE
I also like the idea of doing the Legends Roundtable that's on WWE as more of a TV show too.  Personally, I love hearing the guys talk about the good ol' days and show highlights and share some of the behind the scenes parts of the story.  We don't need to know everything, but it's neat hearing their perspective on things.

Ideally, I'd have Mean Gene and Jesse Ventura doing the commentary on the wrestling show.  Bobby Heenan isn't in the best of health to do the talking.  And of course Gorilla Monsoon and Gordon Solie are no longer with us.

"Dangerous" Danny Davis
Now how do you decide who's a legend?  I hate saying all guys over 40 get pushed to this show, as I feel like there are guys in their 40's who can still have an impact on the main roster.  Of course all Hall of Famers would be welcomed.  Big stars of the 80's too.  You could also still use some of these guys on Raw and SmackDown! to help PUT OVER the younger guys.  Sorry Hot Rod, no more pin fall wins over the Miz.

Finally, I think this would be a good way to draw in fans from the 70's and 80's and 90's who may have left after the Monday Night wars came to an end.  I would like to think there is a niche for this and the fans who stopped watching would like to come back and see their favorites from childhood have a final swan song.  It's been said before, wrestlers never really retire, and I think it would be a fun way to pay homage to the men and women who we cheered for back in the day.

Your thoughts are always encouraged.  Post them here or "like" us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter. My 1-2-3 Cents is also on YouTube.  Please subscribe.


Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Rebuilding the Tag Team Ranks?

New champs!
By Kevin Hunsperger
@kevinhunsperger on Twitter
All photos are courtesy WWE


So the WWE has new tag team champions in Kofi Kingston and Evan Bourne.  Someone please correct me if I'm wrong, but wasn't last week the first time these two teamed up?  Maybe they've had some other matches over time, but it seems like this pairing is just a couple of guys that creative has nothing for, so let's put them together.

Now please, don't get me wrong.  I am a big fan of each of these guys individually.  And honestly, I'm probably passing judgment too soon on how they'll gel as a tag team.  My frustrations with the tag team division or lack there of have been well documented on this blog and on YouTube.

That video is from about 9 months ago.  I still maintain the WWE has done very little to breath any life in the tag team ranks.  This makeshift team of Kingston and Bourne is a start in the right direction.  But in my opinion, the first thing they need to change is their separate entrances.  I never understood why any team enters the ring as individuals.

I really felt like Michael McGillicutty and David Otunga were finally coming into their own.  I really hope the WWE doesn't do the usual splitting of the former champs like they've done so many times before.  If you count Otunga and McGillicutty (they need a catchy name), and Kofi and Evan (again, another name), the Usos, and sometimes Santino and Zack Ryder are there any other regular tag teams on the roster?  Of course there's been speculation that the Kings of Wrestling (Claudio Castagnoli and Chris Hero) are WWE bound.  I hope this is true and I hope they keep this unit together.

Kings of Wrestling (photo from ROH)
If they are in fact bringing in the Kings, this could actually launch a rebirth of the tag team division.  I think Kofi and Evan would have a better feud with the KOW.  But I'm probably putting the cart way before the horse here.  Remember when the Legion of Doom arrived in WWF in 1990?  We all wanted to see them battle Demolition for the tag team titles (at least I did) and instead they ended up helping the Bushwhackers against the Natural Disasters while Demolition dropped the tag team titles to the Hart Foundation and Ax was soon out of the company.

Back then though there were plenty of tag teams that they could have different programs with different teams going on at the same time.  Now it's a week to week thing and sometimes we go several weeks without even seeing the tag team champions.

I know tag team wrestling will likely never boom like it did back in the 80's and 90's.  Teams like Demolition, the Hart Foundation, Rockers, Brain Busters, British Bulldogs, Killer Bees, Road Warriors, Steiners, etc.  I really think the attitude era and the Monday Night Wars lead to the demise of the tag team at least in WWE.

This blog is a lot of wishful thinking, but I'm hopeful this time that we may see something happening on the tag team scene.  I'm still disappointed they let David Hart Smith go and a Hart Dynasty reunion is no where on the horizon.  Again, I think the WWE needs to let some of these teams simmer for a bit.  Don't split them up after a run as champions.  Help keep the tradition of tag team wrestling alive.

What do you think?  Post your comments here or on Facebook, Twitter, or YouTube.

WrestleFlix

Part of the DVD collection
By Chad Smart
@ChadSmart on Twitter


A little over two years ago I looked around my small apartment and saw six DVD shelves filled with approximately 750 DVDs. I started questioning why I had so many DVDs. Many I had only watched once or twice. There were about 20 DVDs that weren’t even opened. In that collection of DVDs were about 300-350 wrestling related DVDs. Over the last 24 months I have dwindled my collection to around 200 and am still trying to figure out what DVDs can hit the chopping block. Most of the DVDs were sold back to local DVD stores. The wrestling DVDs were mostly split up and passed on to the other 2/3 of my123cents, Kevin and Travis. Then there were the five years of Chikara DVDs that I sold on ebay for a fraction of what I paid for them. I consider that moment a lack of common sense.

While I was making room on my DVD shelves, I pretty much took a year off from watching independent wrestling. This year I started getting back into Chikara and have ordered all of their shows this year up to their two latest shows. I haven’t ordered them yet partially due to waiting until I had the money and partially due to thinking I don’t want to rebuild my DVD collection. Most of the DVDs I buy, I watch once and then they sit on the shelf until I get bored and decide to throw them on as background noise. Why do I need to keep buying DVDs that will spend more time gathering dust than actually getting played?

Punk in ROH
While debating on whether or not to order the newest Chikara DVDs I looked at the Smart Mark Video (www.smartmarkvideo.com), where Chikara DVDs can be purchased, website.  There are at least 20 different promotions available. That doesn’t include Ring of Honor DVDs which can be bought on ROH’s website, or Pro Wrestling Guerrilla DVDs which are available on www.highspots.com. With at least four major independent companies putting on one or two shows a month and only being able to be seen via DVD, a die hard wrestling fan would have to spend at least $80 a month to stay on top of the wrestling scene. That doesn’t include money spent on cable/satellite to watch WWE and TNA and money for WWE/TNA DVDs.

Between the cost and the amount of space needed to be a die hard wrestling fan, there needs to be an alternative to simply buying DVD after DVD. I don’t know what it would take to implement it but I would like to see a Netflix type service for wrestling videos. I would gladly shell out $10-20 a month to be able to watch as many Indy wrestling shows as I could get through. I believe there was a site that offered such service with Chikara shows a couple years ago, but I couldn’t find it so I guess it must have shut down.

I don’t know if there is a big enough interest in such a service to make it feasible. I’m not sure how much money each wrestling promotion would want for the rights to distribute their shows. You’d have to assume if WrestleFlix was a reality promotions would see a decline in DVD sales so the companies would need enough of a licensing fee to offset any loss of DVD profits.

On the positive hand, if WrestleFlix was around it may lead to more fans checking out wrestling promotions they wouldn’t otherwise see due to not wanting to spend money on random DVDs. This could lead to larger live audiences and more support for Indy wrestlers in their attempt to make it to the major leagues.

I’m curious to hear what you think of this idea. Would you want to see a company that either rents wrestling DVDs or allows instant streaming via the interweb? How much would you be willing to pay? Is there any specific wrestling company you would like to see offer this service?  Share your thoughts on Facebook or Twitter

Monday, August 22, 2011

A Tale of Two Hardys


If you can't tell, photo is courtesy: TMZ

@ChadSmart on Twitter

If you haven’t heard the news, over the weekend Matt Hardy was arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence after driving his Corvette into a tree.  A few hours after news of the arrest broke, TNA released a statement saying Matt had been fired from the company. In my eyes this is a curious move by TNA and opens up a flood of questions I have about their business decisions.

From Impact Wrestling
Matt debuted for TNA in January 2011 after the 90 day no compete clause in his WWE contract had expired. During the last six months or so of his WWE tenure, Matt’s behavior off screen was questionable. I don’t know this to be accurate, but based on reports I’m going to speculate a possible scenario. Matt’s brother Jeff had left WWE in September of 2009. In January 2010, Jeff began working for TNA and was quickly pushed into a World Title reign. Matt on the other hand was stuck in mid-card purgatory in WWE. I feel Matt saw the success Jeff was having and felt he could have similar success in TNA. Matt then asked for his release from WWE and was denied. After that, Matt decided to do whatever he needed to in order to get WWE to release him.  Matt started posting youtube videos and making comments on his Twitter account that led to many fans questioning his sanity.  Eventually after being sent home from a European tour, Matt was released in October of 2010.

Matt at BaseBrawl June 2011 (by My123Cents)
Anyone who had followed TNA for at least a year knew it was only a matter of months until Matt would show up in the company. TNA has a habit of picking up discarded WWE talent and making them the focal point within the company. With Jeff Hardy on the roster it made sense to hire Matt and reform the Hardy Boyz tag team. Personally I was hoping TNA would stay away from Matt as hiring him condoned his behavior during the last few months of his WWE stint. When someone blatantly tries to get himself fired, welcoming them into another job gives the appearance their behavior is not an issue that concerns the company.

Matt wrestled for TNA for a little over six months before being sent home at the end of June as a disciplinary action due to showing up to events late. After being sent home, Matt took to Twitter claiming he hadn’t been suspended and asking fans who attended TNA shows he wasn’t on if they asked for a refund. Then came the arrest on suspicion of DWI and TNA outright released Matt.  Considering Matt’s name brand awareness and the fact other TNA wrestlers have been arrested for the same offence but weren’t released, I feel there is more to the situation. Though I don’t know what, something just seems odd with how quickly TNA acted to remove Matt from their roster.

From Impact Wrestling
When you factor in the Jeff Hardy story, the Matt Hardy situation is even more bizarre. Following a main event push in WWE, Jeff left the company when his contract expired in August of 2009. On September 11, 2009, Jeff was arrested on charges of trafficking in controlled prescriptions pills and possession of anabolic steroids. While his case is still ongoing, Jeff’s arrest didn’t deter TNA from bringing him into the company in January 2010. Nor did it stop TNA from making Jeff World Champion while he still had the cloud of his arrest hanging over him.

At the Victory Road Pay Per View on March 13, 2011, Jeff wrestled Sting for the TNA Title. Shortly before the match took place, TNA management made a decision Jeff was in no condition to wrestle and had Sting legitimately pin Jeff in 90 seconds. After the show TNA announced they had sent Jeff home from the Impact tapings for the week. That was five months ago. Jeff has not been seen or mentioned since then.

In the past couple of weeks, TNA has released some new products including a Jeff Hardy kid’s Halloween costume. Apparently TNA feels money can still be made off of Jeff Hardy. A pending criminal trial and showing up in no condition to perform is less important than milking a few extra bucks from kids whose parents don’t care who their kids look up to as role models.

What’s the lesson to be learned here? Matt Hardy posts strange comments online, gets a DUI and is fired. Jeff Hardy runs a personal pharmacy, shows up to a major show unfit to compete and gets a nice vacation and new merchandise. This is a time when I’d really like to be able to conduct an interview with everyone running TNA.

From WWE
Don’t get me wrong; I don’t feel Matt Hardy got the short end of the stick. As I was discussing with Kevin over the weekend, Matt is the Kevin Smith of wrestling. A guy who built up a loyal and vocal fan base but through his constant whining and “everyone’s to blame except me” attitude has slowly driven the fan base away. Will Matt or Jeff ever reclaim their past glory and live up to their expectations? Time will tell. For now I think they would both best be served with stepping away from the wrestling industry, getting themselves cleaned up from all personal demons and reevaluating what they want out of life.

Any thoughts on the Hardy Boys? Let us know on FacebookTwitter

Friday, August 19, 2011

Their Own Worst Enemy

By Chad Smart
@ChadSmart on Twitter
Photos come from Impactwrestling.com


Do you know how hard it is to write about TNA without complaining about TNA?  As stated several times in the past, Kevin and I try not to be negative for the sake of being negative. We would rather write positive pieces that promote aspects of the wrestling business that reinforce why we are wrestling fans. I have been racking my brain for the past two days trying to find a silver lining in the TNA universe to write about. I’m still searching.

My first impulse was to write about how for some reason the people in charge feel that in 2011 fans want to see Sting vs. Ric Flair and Sting vs. Hulk Hogan. Not only does TNA think fans want to see these matches, but that they will PAY to see them. With a roster full of young talent eager for their chance to shine, why can’t TNA understand WCW’s heyday was 14 years ago?  What is their obsession with living in the past?  Throw in the way the booking is leading to a Rob Van Dam vs. Jerry Lynn match at Bound for Glory which coincidentally is in Philadelphia, you know, home of ECW, and I really start to wonder what separates TNA from Wrestlereunion.

Crimson
On the other end of the spectrum, when TNA decides to push young talent, they pick talent that is either not ready for the main event (See Crimson) or they pick bland, stale WWE rejects (Mr. Anderson).  Name a star that TNA has created (Samoa Joe, AJ Styles, Christopher Daniels garnered a reputation in ROH) and has kept in the spotlight.  Now name stars they had that were replaced as soon as the 90-day clause was up on ex-WWE wrestler’s contracts. I guess as long as WWE keeps releasing talent, TNA will continue to have a roster. I expect to write a column in May 2012 talking about new TNA Champion John Morrison.

After deciding not to write an entire piece on the bad booking, I thought about writing about the upcoming potential TV title match between Eric Young and Scott Baio. I have to admit that I like less than stellar television shows and “Charles in Charge” is in my top ten ‘80s syndicated shows list. I also enjoy the goofy Eric Young character. I know the idea of Eric thinking because he’s the TV champion he can only defend the title against people who have been on TV is pretty hokey but there’s something about it that amuses me. Maybe it’s the fact it’s not taken seriously. Or the fact the TV title was previously the Global title and before that it was the Legends title and thanks to TNA’s poor booking the title really is nothing more than a prop so who cares if it’s being played for laughs. But really, how was I going to get a 700-word blog out of this match up?

While surfing the Internet last night, I saw an ad on a wrestling site promoting next week’s Impact taping in Alabama. I like the idea of TNA getting out of the Impact zone. What I still fail to understand is why they are taping the show on a Thursday night.  Do they not realize that’s when Impact airs and by having house shows or TV tapings on Thursday takes away viewers?  Granted, it’s a small percentage of their audience that will be at the live show. But having not seen the latest episode of Impact means the audience won’t know which wrestler turned from face to heel or heel to face and will therefore give them the wrong reaction when said wrestler is in the ring. Plus any major events will be online before Impact has finished airing. Remember last time TNA taped Impact outside Orlando? Impact ended with a promo teasing the return of Sting. An hour before the tease aired, the result of Sting winning the TNA Title was already on every wrestling website.

This blog didn’t go the way I thought it would when I started writing. I had intended to write about UFC leaving Spike and what that means for TNA. Honestly though, I don’t know what it means. As long as Spike is happy with the numbers Impact gets then that’s really all that matters. TNA can continue to run a tribute show to the past and have twists and turns in their stories that even M. Night Shyamalan would call preposterous but at the end of the day as long as Spike keeps Impact on the air, that’s all that counts.

Is there anyone who really likes the TNA product? Let us know on Facebook or Twitter.


Thursday, August 18, 2011

Champs or Chumps

By Kevin Hunsperger
@kevinhunsperger on Twitter
Photos are from WWE.com


Regular readers of this blog know that I (we) vent a lot about the lack of focus on the champions in WWE. Most recently on the Summer Slam pay per view.  I think many still consider this one of "the big 4" events on the WWE PPV calendar.  But once again there was no tag team title match.  No Intercontinental title match.  And no U.S. title match.  Not only were there no title matches, but fans didn't see Dolph Ziggler, Cody Rhodes, David Otunga, or Michael McGillicutty that night.

Think back to past Summer Slams.  The IC title match some years was THE MATCH of the card.  Mr. Perfect vs. Bret Hart, Davey Boy Smith vs. Bret Hart, and Shawn Michaels vs. Razor Ramon come to mind immediately.  Tag team title matches also meant something back then.  The Brain Busters vs. the Hart Foundation and Demolition vs. Hart Foundation come to mind.

This year, we didn't even see any of these champions on the card. But Dolph Ziggler defended the U.S. title in a dark match against Alex Riley.  I'm curious why the WWE didn't save the Cody Rhodes-Ezekiel Jackson IC match for Summer Slam instead of having it two nights earlier on SmackDown!  And the tag team division is in the toilet right now, so I guess it's better there was no tag team title match.

You have to go back to Summer Slam 2009 for the last time the tag team titles were defended on that PPV. It was the Big Show and Chris Jericho defeating Cryme Tyme.  And get this, the last time the U.S. title was defended at a Summer Slam, it was 2005.  Chris Benoit beat Orlando Jordan.  Call me crazy, or old school, but in my opinion pay per views should feature title matches.  All the champions need to be defending their gold.  And when's the last time there was a scheduled and announced tag team title match on any PPV?  Not just one that was announced that night.

This likely goes back to the problem we've talked about before.  The focus seems to only be a handful of superstars.  That leaves guys like Cody Rhodes, Wade Barrett, and Kofi Kingston as after thoughts.  Then guys like Zack Ryder, Evan Bourne, and Jack Swagger who are lucky to appear on a show at all.  While I don't claim to have all the answers, I think it's important to include your champions on the show, whether it's a Raw, SmackDown!, or PPV (especially if it's one of the "big 4").  Night of Champions is around the corner, let's hope they're ALL a part of the show, and we get some buildup leading their defenses.

Your thoughts are always encouraged.  Post here.  Or like us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter, and subscribe to the YouTube channel.  (I'll have some new videos soon, I promise.)


Tuesday, August 16, 2011

I've Cena Nuff

By Chad Smart
@ChadSmart on Twitter

Photos in this post come from WWE.com



Oh man, that headline never gets old. Long time readers know I’m not the biggest John Cena supporter. I actually think Cena is a decent enough wrestler and from all reports outside the ring, he seems like a stand up kind of guy.  My biggest complaint is the way John Cena the character is presented on television. After the 8/15/11 episode of Monday Night Raw, the longest running episodic program in television history on Monday nights, I am firmly back on the “Get Cena off the air” bandwagon.

We almost got through an entire episode without Cena. I posted a comment on Facebook/Twitter wondering if it is possible to do a show completely void of a John Cena appearance. Remember, even when Cena was “fired” he was on the show. About four minutes after posting, Cena came running down to the ring to save Rey Mysterio from an attack by new undisputed (not sure why they are now referring to the champion as undisputed instead of just WWE Champion) champion Alberto Del Rio.  After running Del Rio off, Cena grabbed a microphone and made several comments that were both moronic and signaled Cena as being the first feud for Mr. Destiny.

Let’s look at the moronic statements first. Cena criticized Del Rio for the way he won the title. Granted, Del Rio cashed in the Money in the Bank briefcase on a hapless CM Punk winning the WWE title in a time frame that King Kong Bundy would envy.  But so what, every MITB winner except Rob Van Dam has won the title in that fashion. Cena made it seem like Del Rio was unfit to be champion because of the way he won. Cena’s complaint was made even worse when you consider less than an hour earlier CM Punk (the man Del Rio pinned for the title) came out and said he had no problem with Del Rio’s actions because Punk himself had won the title on two occasions in the same fashion. So if the guy who was “robbed’ of the title is okay with it, why is Cena so upset?

Cena went on to tell Del Rio once he (Del Rio) starts defending the title there would be a huge bulls eye on his back. The way Cena made the comment completely invalidated the match Del Rio had just finished with Rey Mysterio. Apparently John Cena only considers himself to be a worthy title challenger. And therein lies my biggest complaint.

Alberto Del Rio won the title from CM Punk, yet John Cena is going to be the guy challenging to get the title Cena lost the title at Money In the Bank and technically lost the rematch at SummerSlam so why is he getting the first feud with Del Rio? Why has CM Punk seemingly been transitioned into a feud with Kevin Nash instead of getting a rematch for the WWE Championship? Why is the Miz doing Subway promos instead of actually wrestling? Why feed Del Rio to Super Cena right off the bat instead of putting some fresh faces into the title picture and build Del Rio up as champion?  Has WWE not learned anything from the way they used Jack Swagger, Dolph Ziggler and Christian as champions?

Again, I want to make it clear, I do not hate John Cena. I hate the way John Cena has to be the focal point of every show. Part of the reason why I find WWE to be so boring is because even though they say, “anything can happen,” something new rarely does.  It’s time to move Cena into role of helping establish up and coming talent for at least a year. And oh yeah, he’s got a little match at Wrestlemania against the Rock already penciled in. Will the anticipation for that match suffer if Cena isn’t holding the title above his head and yelling, “the champ is here!”  I don’t think so.

Do you think Cena should remain in the title hunt while he prepares for his match at Wrestlemania? Give us your thoughts on our Facebook page. Follow us on Twitter

It's 2011, Not 1996

Kevin Nash talks down to CM Punk
By Kevin Hunsperger
@kevinhunsperger on Twitter

Pics in this post come from WWE.com

One of my biggest pet peeves about the world of wrestling is how some folks like to hold on to the past.  People like Hulk Hogan, Eric Bischoff, and now Kevin Nash who continue to talk about how they changed the world of wrestling in 1996 with the creation of the nWo.

Yes, it was a game changer for sure.  It was a big part of wrestling history and helped ignite the Monday Night Wars and create a boom period for the business.  But it was 15 years ago.  Get over it already.  I'm talking specifically about Kevin Nash's promo on Raw (8/15/11).  He and CM Punk traded some barbs, and Nash took us all back to 1996 and the New World Order.  He basically told Punk he should be thanking Nash for helping create the NWO and making sure "guys like him" got a big payday too.

Personally, I feel like the NWO is overrated.  Back in '96 at its inception it was great.  The angle was creative and cutting edge, but a few months down the road, just like ALL wrestling gimmicks it seems, it got old fast.  Let's not even bring up the multiple incarnations of the group.

As I watched Raw and the promo between Punk and Nash, I noticed something else.  Punk clearly buried the big man alive on the mic.  It seemed to me that Nash knew it too and was getting frustrated.  I don't remember who it was, but someone tweeted that Nash does his best shoots when he has a glass of wine in his hand.  By the time the segment was over, Nash looked more like a bully who got owned by the smart ass kid in the class and couldn't do anything about it but stand there and seethe.



I'm not exactly sure where this whole angle is headed.  I can see it being the Corporation 2.0 with Stephanie McMahon, Triple H, Mr. John Laurinaitis, Nash, and maybe Alberto Del Rio.  Or we get the return of the Kliq with Shawn Michaels, Sean Waltman, and Scott Hall.  Shawn of course would only work one big payoff match for this (read on).  I'm also going out on a limb and predicting the Cena and Punk end up as allies and try to help the returning Mr. McMahon "regain his company."  With the level of patience the WWE has, this should all go down by Night of Champions.  While I'm not a fan of this scenario, if they do go this route, take it to Survivor Series and create some kind of old school Survivor Series elimination match with the two opposing sides.  This all came from a "worst case scenario" talk I had with a coworker this morning.  It will likely not happen, but it's something I've mentally prepared for.

Punk tears it up.
But even in doing that storyline we're getting an angle from a decade or more ago.  I understand it's difficult coming up with fresh material 52 weeks a year for several different shows, but I think this also goes back to the WWE (and Impact Wrestling for that matter) not letting things build up and simmer.  There's that instant gratification mentality.  Maybe that's because of the fans.  But the ones I know want to see more buildup and less flash in the pan, fly by the seat of your pants booking.

Don't get me wrong, I enjoy seeing legends and Hall of Famers return to the WWE from time to time.  But the way this is heading, Nash is becoming a key player in the CM Punk storyline.  Of course, I'm being very speculative with all of this.  I need to just shut up, sit back, and watch and see what happens.  But let's face it.  The WWE doesn't have the best track record for delivering on those "epic" storylines that start off white hot.

Thoughts?  Leave them here, or on Facebook, Twitter, or YouTube.

Monday, August 15, 2011

My 1-2-3 Cents Characters Future Endeavoured

Say good-bye
By Kevin Hunsperger
@kevinhunsperger on Twitter

The WWE is not the only company making cuts.  We here at My 1-2-3 Cents YouTube division have decided to lay off all of the characters on the channel.  Since creating the YouTube channel back in December 2010, I have tried hard to attract viewers to it.  I had some people tell me to come up with some over the top characters.

And so the Old School Warrior was born.  His first video brought a slight spike in viewers.  Maybe double what I had been experiencing.  So with the Warrior on board, I thought it would be fun to add more characters to the mix.  That's where the Wrestling Wizard, Professor Wrestlestein, the Old, Old School Warrior, Warrior's Mama, and Dr. Dropkick all came about.

Smartie the Wrestling Dummy
While the characters were not overly obnoxious, they did draw criticism from some people.  There was concern that doing these characters might hurt my reputation as a journalist.  Then I got the bright idea of doing "Smartie" the Wrestling Dummy.  That guy was way over the top and caused me to reevaluate my channel and the image I am portraying.  Plus I have kids and I don't want them to get ridiculed by their classmates because their dad is some weirdo on YouTube.

So after careful consideration, I've decided to put the characters on the shelf.  At least for now.  I've moved all the videos to private.  I have kept all my One on One interviews active.  Quite honestly, they have a lot more views compared to the silly characters anyway.  Now my mission is to find more wrestlers to do interviews with.



Wrestling is a passion of mine.  I'm blessed that so many people have started reading this blog and watching the YouTube channel in the first place.  Chad and I will continue to bring wrestling views for intelligent fans.  The  YouTube channel will continue to be updated, but without the silliness.  But seriously, I'd appreciate your feedback.

Post here, or on Facebook, Twitter, or YouTube.  Thanks!