Friday, September 30, 2011

Trick or Treat

Boo!
By Kevin Hunsperger
@kevinhunsperger on Twitter

Since it's October, I've decided to embark on a new blogging mission, and I've summoned Chad to help me.  He'll be throwing some posts into the mix soon.  The plan is a blog a day about something wrestling and Halloween related.  We'll look at gimmicks, matches, and pay per views that we've deemed scary, spooky, and just plain silly.

I've borrowed several copies of Halloween Havoc from the early years.  I'll be writing about some of the matches and performers on those shows.  I have only ever seen one of the pay per views (1991), so I'll be watching the first several years to come up with a few posts.

The Halloween Phantom (from WWE)
Remember the WCW Halloween Phantom from 91?  I'll talk about him in an upcoming blog.  If you do know who he is, don't ruin the surprise for those who might not.  He was brought in to WCW to help destroy Sting.

It won't be all scary or creepy memories either.  I'm counting on my Chikara Pro pro Chad to write about some of the crazy costumes in wrestling.  Chikara has plenty of them to chose from, I'm sure he'll share some of his favorites throughout the month.

But we also want to hear from you.  Are there wrestlers you want to know more about?  I may try to do a tie in with My 1-2-3 Cents on  YouTube too.  So post your suggestions here, or better yet like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.  Boo, boo, boo! You know it.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Over the Limit

By Kevin Hunsperger
@kevinhunsperger on Twitter

I'm going to try to write this without sounding like a "holier than thou" fan, but I make no promises.  Yet another wrestling star has been arrested for DUI.  It seems like this has been quite a trend lately.  The latest arrest: WWE tag team wrestler Jimmy Uso.

The son of Rikishi was picked up in Tampa early Thursday morning.  According to the popular website, TMZ, Uso was more than twice the legal limit in Florida.  He was also allegedly driving the wrong way on a one way road.

Booking photo
This news is disappointing, but not surprising.  Just thinking of the top of my head, in the last four or five months, at least four wrestlers have been busted for driving under the influence.  Alex Riley, Kurt Angle, and Matt Hardy all have mug shots floating out there after their DUI arrests.

Some may look at this as no big deal. And I'm certainly not here to point the finger of blame on wrestling, as I know people from all professions and walks of life make the bad decision of driving while intoxicated. But drinking and driving (or texting and driving for that matter) can have serious consquences.  Lucky for Jimmy, he was not involved in a crash (notice I didn't say accident).  Innocent lives could have been lost as a result of his careless.  Same goes for Kurt, Alex, and Matt for that matter. And in Matt's case, he actually did crash.  He's lucky he wasn't seriously hurt or killed.  He was just fired.

Booking photo
But Matt is obviously working on other demons in addition to the DUI problems.  Do Alex Riley and Jimmy Uso have demons too?  I don't know.  I'd be curious to know how the WWE handles DUI situations.  They've made the public well aware of their wellness policy regarding substance abuse.  I wonder if they have some sort of plan in place for drunk and impaired driving cases.

Again, I'm not making Jimmy Uso or any of the others who have been busted for DUI out to be bad guys.  Nor do I think they should be arrested.  But I do think they need to start making better choices.  Superstars who haven't been caught yet, take warning too.  There is no excuse for getting behind the wheel drunk or high.  Call a cab.  Call a friend.  Just don't get behind the wheel.  Wow, that felt like one of those old WWF magazine "Say No To Drug" ads.

Agree with me or think I'm out of my mind?  I want to know.  Post here or like us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter, and subscribe on YouTube.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Highway to Hell

By Kevin Hunsperger
@kevinhunsperger on Twitter

Sunday is the next WWE Pay Per View.  This time, it's Hell in a Cell.  You might be asking, wasn't there just a PPV two weeks ago?  Yes, yes there was.  And so far, three of the four announced matches were on that event.  Technically not all three of them, but John Cena, CM Punk, and Alberto Del Rio are all connected from Summer Slam more so than Night of Champions.  Instead of predictions, this is more of my Wish List or What I Think Will Happen list. (Also, keep in mind I haven't read any spoilers for SmackDown!)

As of this posting, Wednesday 9/29/11, Mark Henry will defend the world heavyweight title in the Hell in a Cell against Randy Orton.  I'm pretty sure this will be Henry's first time in the cage.  Orton has been in a few, including against John Cena, Sheamus, and the Undertaker himself.  I really hope Henry's push continues and he goes over Orton in this match.  I feel like (and lots of other fans do too) that there's more money to be made out of Orton being the challenger, rather than the champion. Plus, I really don't want to see another title change, since the championship has been passed around like a hot potato (keeping it PG). If Henry wins, that would prime him for a championship program against Sheamus.

John Cena will also defend the WWE title in the first ever 3 Way Hell in a Cell match.  I don't know where to begin with this one.  I'm not sure what the point was of having ADR lose the belt in the first place.  I think he'll end up winning the event.  Cena and Punk will cancel one another out.  They're the two big dogs in this match, and ADR has kind of been flying under the radar.  Although the former champ did make quite the impact Monday night.  There's all kind of talk about Del Rio holding the title when the WWE visits Mexico soon, so I'm also basing my guess on that.

I'm hoping the third time is a charm as Beth Phoenix challenges Kelly Kelly one more time.  Kelly has come a long way from her days with Extreme Expose.  I enjoy her work and find her to be the most beautiful of the Divas.  But I feel like Beth Phoenix and Natalya are exactly what the division needs.  They've both picked up where Kharma left off.  Plus I still like the scenario I wrote about a couple of months ago with Beth winning the Divas title and leading up to a one on one with Kharma at Wrestlemania.  Here's the link to that in case you missed it.

If for some reason Beth doesn't win on Sunday, I think her chances are over for now.  I could see Kelly entering into a program with Natalya then and defending.  I want to see more of the Divas getting involved here too.  Most of the time, it's a four woman show (admittedly, I haven't seen SmackDown in a few weeks, so I might be wrong)  I'm just hoping the WWE hasn't written Kharma off and she does come back once her baby is here and she's ready to be on the road again.  And I know Gail Kim says she quit, but I think she's still technically with the company.  Let's get her back in the ring too.

So far the only other match announced is Sheamus vs. Christian.  I like both these guys, but I do enjoy Christian more.  However, I think he's going to slowly slip back into that upper mid-card status once again.  I look for him to put Sheamus over and hopefully Henry goes over Orton and we get a rekindled feud between the two big men.  It looked almost like there's a hint of Christian joining forces with some of the other "mistreated" talent from Raw, so I'll be curious to see where he's headed.  I would almost bet after Sunday's loss, he'll be talking more conspiracy theories.

For more thoughts on Hell in a Cell and a quick history lesson, check out my latest video.





Post your thoughts here, or on Facebook or Twitter.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Getting Pushy

Triple H lays down the law (WWE.com)
By Kevin Hunsperger
@kevinhunsperger on Twtitter

This is going to be a quick write up about Monday Night Raw from 9/26/11.  I have to say, while the show did little to get me to order the Hell in the Cell pay per view, I did like what I saw.  Mark Henry continued to dominate as world champion.  It's good to see a fresh face at the top of the heap (even though Henry has been around 15 years, you know what I mean.)

Mason Ryan returns
Some other developments that happened that I enjoyed:  Zack Ryder enjoyed some more time in the spotlight.  Not only did the Internet Champion have one match on Raw, he had two.  He was 50/50, losing his U.S. title bid against Dolph Ziggler, but winning the 6 man tag match for his team.  Of course he had some help from Mason Ryan.  I'm not totally on board the Ryan train, but I do enjoy the fact that there's another fresh face out there getting some camera time.  I'll be curious to see where that match leads us.  All six men involved have great futures in the WWE.  I hope this trend continues.

A new group? (WWE.com)
Another development I liked from Raw is the work they're doing with David Otunga.  He's been a part of the company for more than a year now, and kind of lost in the shuffle.  It seems (at least as of right now) that they're letting him be himself and flex some mental muscle too.  Otunga has a law degree and is a bright guy.  I like where they're going with this angle, again it's something I hope the creative team has a plan for and it's not totally dropped.  I do however miss the fact that he and Michael McGillicutty were a tag team.  I'm curious to see if this group filing the suit will join forces with Kevin Nash, the Miz, and RTruth.  Of course, I'm probably putting the cart way before the horse here.

Cody lays the smackdown on Raw.
Cody Rhodes prevailing in the battle royal was another notch on his belt.  Sheamus looked strong, despite being eliminated.  And we got another look at the two Sin Caras.  Admittedly though, I wish they would have let the Daniel Bryan feud play out before bringing back the original.    But Cody in my opinion is a future world heavyweight champion.  I like the slow buildup they've done with him.  He has certainly come a long way since the Legacy days.  Keep up the good work with the development of his character.

Face plant, coming up!
Hopefully the third time is the charm for Beth Phoenix and she wins the gold at HITC.  But all four divas looked good in the match.  Kelly Kelly has come a long way since arriving in the WWE, and I have nothing negative to say about Beth or Natalya.  Eve had a good showing too and sold that face plant pretty well.

Like I said, this is quick.  With SmackDown being a supershow as well, maybe they'll do more to sell us on Sunday's PPV.  But even if they don't, I'm convinced that the creative team is at least starting to acknowledge there is more talent on the roster than John Cena, Randy Orton, and CM Punk.  And I'm not discrediting those guys, Punk remains one of my favorites.  I just think developing the next generation is long overdue.

Comments?  Post them here or on Facebook or Twitter.  Also, check out my Muppets Take McMahon video and subscribe to the My 1-2-3 Cents YouTube channel.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Hit My Music

By Kevin Hunsperger
@kevinhunsperger on Twitter

A reader asked for something to be written on wrestlers' theme music.  I believe it was Michael Hayes (or at least he takes credit for it) who was the first wrestler to use theme music on the way out to the ring.  Nearly 30 years later, it's become the standard.  I did like the brief period when Vladamir Koslov was that monster heel and came out to no music at all.

So here are some of my favorite theme songs over the years.  There in no particular order, just songs I have enjoyed.  And please, don't judge me.

One of my favorite themes of all time though is that of Goldust.  When he first debuted in 1995, he brought something different to the ring.  His look, the gimmick, the attitude.  This was all before the Attitude Era had officially launched.  Some might argue that he was before his time.  But every time the golden one's theme hits, I sit and listen.  I can't exactly say why I like it so much, it's just one of those themes I truly enjoy.

Woooo!  Ric Flair's theme 2001: A Space Odyessy is another one of my all time favorites.  I like this one so much, that the band at my wedding reception played it as my wife and I entered the room.  And once we were front and center, I let out a big "Wooooo!" I'm sure the Nature Boy would have been proud.

Everybody's gotta price.  Just ask Ted DiBiase.  I love the Million Dollar Man theme song.  Actually a lot of the themes from the 80's and early 90's really held up.  I think I liked them so much more back then because the song was more specific to the character or gimmick.  Today, you could have almost anyone come out to the music.

The whole countdown to the arrival of Y2J in the WWF back in 1999 was awesome.  I loved the clock that would pop up each week and when it was finally revealed as Chris Jericho and the music that accompanied him was a big mark out moment for me.  Yes, I was 26 years old and marking out, so what?  Great theme, I like it better than the one they did for his 2007 return.

Probably the cheesiest of all my choices, and maybe the cheesiest theme song of all time, but it told the story of the American Dream.  It has a lot of soul and I can still see Dusty Rhodes and Sweet Sapphire dancing in the ring.

And finally, who would have thought the old high school graduation standard "Pomp and Circumstance" could be so cool?  Only the "Macho Man" Randy Savage could pull this one off.  Face or heel, this was his theme and when I'm at a graduation ceremony to this day, I think of Macho Man and throw out a "Oooohhhhh yeeeeaaaahhh!"  Rest in Peace Macho Man.

What are your favorite theme songs?  Post here or share on Facebook, Twitter, or YouTube.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Wild Wrestling Federation

By Kevin Hunsperger
@kevinhunsperger & @my123cents on Twitter
(Photos are from WWE.)

Part of the big boom of wrestling in the 1980's was the fact that Vince McMahon was trying to make the product more kid friendly.  If you think the PG environment today "sucks" (I do not), then you really would have hated the 80's.  This formula meant the use of all kinds of cartoony characters and larger than life gimmicks.  Real live animals also became a part of the show.

Perhaps the most famous wrestling animal (okay, he never wrestled, but you know what I mean) was Jake "the Snake" Roberts' pet python Damien.  When Jake arrived in the WWF in 1986, he was a dastardly dude.  He would knock out his opponent with the dreaded DDT.  Then after the match, he would open up his green sack and dump Damien onto his unconscious opponent.  Sometimes he would even stick the snake's head in the knocked out man's mouth.  The fans of course where horrified by these actions and would boo the Snake even more.

Andre doesn't like snakes
Then Jake turned baby face and fans would applaud the actions.  It seemed all of his opponents had a phobia of snakes.  This included the 500 plus pound Andre the Giant, who apparently was so afraid of snakes that he had a mock heart attack in the middle of the ring on a Saturday Night's Main Event back in 1988.  Then Andre eliminated himself from the 1989 Royal Rumble when Damien was slid into the ring by Roberts.  Others who were afraid of the snake included Big Bossman (who refused to retrieve the Million Dollar Belt from the bag, hence turning him face), "Ravishing" Rick Rude, and the Honky Tonk Man.  Earthquake was even so afraid of snakes that he delivered his patented splash to the bag containing Damien while Jake was tied up in the ropes.  Quake then served up "Snake Burgers" on an episode of Prime Time Wrestling.

Cobra attack!
It wasn't long after that incident that Roberts returned to his dastardly ways.  This time he sprung a snake attack on the Ultimate Warrior.  Then he held a cobra as it sank its "fangs" into the arm of a tied up "Macho Man" Randy Savage.  This action cemented Roberts as the most hated man in all of wrestling in 1991 and is still one of the most memorable things to happen on the old WWF Superstars show.

Snake vs. Dragon
Ricky "the Dragon" Steamboat used fire to fight fire so to speak with Jake.  Actually it was reptile to fight reptile. Steamboat was feuding with Roberts at the time and he used a small alligator in some of his matches.  If I remember correctly though, the gator was only used briefly and mostly during just the matches against Roberts.  It's a good thing Skinner wasn't around when this feud was happening...

The Bulldogs, happy together


The British Bulldogs were my favorite tag team back then, and still remain in my top 5 of all time.  Part of their gimmick included the use of a bulldog of course.  Matilda was the beloved sidekick for this team.  She would chase evil managers around the ring prior to a match.  I can remember her nipping at the heels of Slick, Jimmy Hart, and Bobby "the Brain" Heenan.  And it was Heenan who took exception to this and he and his Islanders dog napped the pooch.  The dog was so popular that the WWF started a campaign for fans to send letters of support for the dog.  The company was also able to market a plush version of Matilda.

The kidnapping set up a feud between the Islanders and the Bulldogs and culminated with a six man tag team match at Wrestlemania 4, with Heenan dressed as a dog catcher to protect himself from the dog.  The heel team even went over that night, and the Bulldogs soon left the company.

Davey Boy and Winston
Then when Davey Boy Smith returned on his own in 1991, he brought a new pooch.  This time it was Winston, but I don't remember him being around too long.  However, there was an episode of Prime Time when Heenan nabbed him and it was all caught on tape.  DBS took care of business right there that night in the studio.

The Birdman
Koko B. Ware was much milder with his pet bird Frankie.  Dubbed the "Birdman", Koko came to the ring dressed in bright colors, just like his beloved mascot.  Fans would flap their arms like a bird when Koko came out and would celebrate with him when he won a match.  I don't recall anything bad ever happening to Frankie in terms of storylines, nor do I recall Frankie ever doing anything hurtful to anyone.  Sadly though, Frankie did perish in a house fire at Koko's home several years ago.

These are the animals that immediately came to mind when this idea was presented to me (thanks Chad).  I'm sure there are others that I've forgotten. Al Snow's dog Pepper during the Attitude Era ended up as dinner for the Big Bossman.  There were also Bad News Brown's sewer rats during his feud with Jake, but I don't recall ever seeing a rat.  And I recall someone riding a horse to the ring, at least briefly, but I don't remember who.

Post your thoughts here, on Facebook, Twitter, or YouTube.

Friday, September 23, 2011

I'm (Not) Honored

By Kevin Hunsperger
@kevinhunsperger on Twitter

I'm going to be up front (like always) with this post from the start.  I am biased in this one because of my association with All American Pro Wrestling.  But I'm writing this as a part of that company and as a wrestling fan.  Some haters may think I'm chewing on sour grapes, but please read the entire post before passing judgment.

I live and work in southern Illinois (which is no where near Chicago or Springfield).  Here in southern Illinois (Carbondale, Marion area to be exact) there is a wrestling promotion called All American Pro Wrestling.  AAPW has been around more than 5 years now.  On September 3, AAPW made its television debut on WSIL TV (which I also happen to work for as a news anchor).  I am a color commentator for AAPW, a position that I love and enjoy doing very much.  It's only once a month, I wish it could be more.

Anyway, our show Collision airs every other Saturday at noon.  The coverage area includes southern Illinois, southeast Missouri, western Kentucky, and a small part of northwest Tennessee.  The next show airs Saturday, October 1 at noon. Your support is appreciated.

In August, there was some buzz in AAPW, as it was announced the Ring of Honor champion Davey Richards would be making an appearance at a Collision taping.  The plan was for him to work the main event of one of our shows that is set to air in October.  We tape on Sunday afternoons at 2 p.m. at the Black Diamond Harley Davidson warehouse in Marion (here's the taping schedule for the rest of the year)  Our executive producer, Chris Hagstrom, called me around 10:30 that morning saying that Sinclair Broadcasting (which owns ROH) was pulling the plug on his appearance.

This news was disappointing on a number of levels.  My first thought was why in the world would they wait until the day of the show to pull his appearance.  For those who don't know, ROH is launching a new show on Sinclair owned stations around the country.  We offered to do the match as a dark match, with no cameras rolling.  Sinclair still said no. So there was no point in him showing up, and he didn't.

Now there happens to be two Sinclair stations in this market.  And it's recently been announced that the ROH show is airing opposite AAPW Collision on Saturday afternoons on one of the stations.  It's also airing on the sister station on Saturday nights.

AAPW champion Livewire McGuire with Sam Smith 
I am frustrated by this.  While I have no proof that ROH or Sinclair is doing any of this on purpose it has left a sour taste in my mouth.  Competition is great, but I personally think there's plenty of room in the market for a couple of wrestling shows.  My objection is with all the other time slots available why not pick another?  I know ROH is airing at various times in the afternoon and evening hours around the country.  I have nothing against ROH.  In fact, their social media guy, David Lagana is my favorite podcaster out there.

It just seems like Sinclair is going after the little guy.  And trust me, we are little, but we are mighty and we are strong.  I'm proud to be a part of All American Pro Wrestling.  Watching this show will truly support the local wrestling movement.  Episodes are also available on line by clicking here.

Kevin Hunsperger & Chris Hagstrom
I would encourage you to watch live on WSIL if you live in the area.  If not, please take a look and watch online.  Things are definitely getting interesting with the storylines and the wrestlers give 110% when they're in the ring.  I'm still learning as far as the commentary goes, please give me your feedback.  I've never done play by play for anything before.  I'll admit I'm "greener than goose poop" in those first couple of episodes.  But I really think Chris and I have found a groove in the most recent shows we've taped.  So please, support your indy wrestling whether it's here in SOIL/SEMO/WKY or in your own community. Thanks.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Sweet 16

Photos from WWE
By Kevin Hunsperger
@kevinhunsperger on Twitter

I've read a lot of other sites in the last couple of days with writers worked up about the fact that John Cena is now at 12 champion reigns, putting him only four behind the magical "Sweet 16" that Ric Flair held.  Let me preface this post by saying Ric Flair is my all time favorite wrestler, and I do not hate John Cena.  I actually like the guy.  So please, don't think I'm hating on anyone because I'm voicing my opinion.

From WWE
Honestly I don't care if Cena, or Randy Orton, or Triple H win 100 world champions, they will still never "be the man" as far as I'm concerned.  While wrestling is mostly entertainment these days, die hard fans take things like championships and Hall of Fame inductions seriously.  I do too.  But I'm not going to let this issue bother me.  Here's why...

John Cena is a great wrestling superstar.  He's got the looks, the charism, the mic skills (kinda).  Cena is the total package.  (Sorry Lex Luger)  He's exactly the kind of guy you want representing your company.  The problem with today's product is the writers and executives at WWE (and TNA) are constantly changing the title.  At this point in the game, there are champions who have had title reigns that can be counted in minutes rather than months or God forbid, years.  (Rey Mysterio's last run and Dolph Ziggler earlier this year come to mind)

Two great champions (From WWE)
Oh, and for the sake of argument, I'm referring to Cena's run as WWE and World champion as one, so consider that.  His first win was in 2005.  It's 2011.  So in 6 1/2 years he's held the title 12 times.  Remember, Bruno Sammartino once held the WWF title for 7 1/2 years STRAIGHT.  Flair won his 16 world titles over the course of about 15 years (give or take)  So that's another reason I don't get so worked up about this.  Flair had title runs that lasted more than a year in some cases.

I don't bring this up to put Cena down, it's just to me does winning a title X amount of times mean more than the length of time the championship was held?  When you add up Cena's reigns to date (September 2011) he's at 1,050 days.  For Flair (combining the WWF, WCW, and NWA reigns) it's 3,720 days.  This is approximate as I've found the info on line and did the math as best I could.

Flair held the WWF title twice
So while I still believe there is an importance associated with the heavyweight title, I think that the playing of hot potato with it has devalued the championship (all of them).  And again, I'm old school and say it's the quality of the title reigns and not the quantity that will matter over time.  I have no doubt that John Cena will match the 16 title runs, probably even exceed it.  But I seriously doubt he'll add another 2,700 plus days to beat Flair.

I'm curious what you think.  Is this much ado about nothing, or do wrestling fans have a legit gripe?  Post here or on Facebook, Twitter, or YouTube.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

You're Fired

Not quite as effective as Vince's "You're fired"
By Kevin Hunsperger
@kevinhunsperger on Twitter

On Raw recently WWE COO Triple H (who that's a lot of letters) fired R-Truth and the Miz.  In fact, just like when Bobby "the Brain" Heenan got fired from the WWF (he was leaving for WCW) and tossed from the building by Gorilla Monsoon, Awesome Truth had a similar fate.

But I think we all know that Miz and Ron Killings aren't going to show up on TNA anytime soon.  Or ROH or even in my beloved AAPW (cheap plug).  I think most of us know that these "firings" just like Kevin Nash's are part of the storyline.

From WWE.com
The WWE could probably have pulled this angle off a little better had they not gone on to their website and posted reaction from other Superstars about the releases.  And now there is an interview on the site with the Miz's mom, reacting to her son's termination.  Of course this has never happened with any other future endeavoured star, so as a fan are we really supposed to believe the firings are legit?

At least the WWE did take the step of removing the bios of the Miz and R-Truth from dot com.  Hopefully creative will keep them off TV for a bit (at least until the next pay per view which is less than 2 weeks away) to sell this.  Remember last year when John Cena was "fired", but was on Raw every week?  It just made that angle suck even more.

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Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Hugh, Hugh, Hugh, U Know It

A new Broski
By Kevin Hunsperger
@kevinhunsperger on Twitter

So actor Hugh Jackman made an appearance on Monday Night Raw recently, and this was actually one of the more enjoyable guest host appearances for me.  I'll be perfectly honest with you, I don't think I've ever seen a Jackman film, so I'm completely unbiased with my analysis.

His role on Raw made sense to me.  Jackman helped the underdog Zack Ryder beat the U.S. Champion Dolph Ziggler in a non title match.  My only concern with this development is that everything ended after the bell rang.

Jackman loosens some of Ziggler's teeth
By that I mean, is this angle between Ziggler and Ryder over?  One would hope (or at least I hope) that Ryder's victory will result now in a rematch for the championship.  Ryder is red hot in terms of being over, at least with a certain population of the WWE Universe.  I want to see this match and time in the spotlight with Jackman develop into a more regular spot on WWE programming.

I'm not sure what the WWE has planned for Ziggler and Jack Swagger and Vickie Guerrero.  Personally, I'd rather see these guys working together and developing a new stable in the company than have them feud.  I think the WWE is lacking good, solid heel characters and I think Dolph is one of the best.  So if he drops the U.S. title to Zack Ryder, I'd like to see him work toward getting back into the WWE or World championship picture.  His feud with Edge in late 2010 and early 2011 really proved that he's got the goods.  That short lived run as champ needs to be extended into a legitimate reign.

Zack gets the win!
Of course Ryder would benefit from this too.  He's gone from zero to hero over the course of the last 32 weeks or so.  His YouTube show put him on the map for a lot of fans.  Of course now that he starts getting some time on TV, will it hurt Zack's show on YouTube?  A few months back, you may remember Zack came out during David Otunga and Michael McGillicutty's celebration in the ring.  I had really hoped they were working on a plan for Zack to become a contender for the tag team titles, but instead he showed up with Santino Morella (nothing against him) but it was a real disappoint.  So WWE, please don't drop the ball this time around.  At least give Zack an actual title match with Ziggler.  If he doesn't go over, so be it.  I'm content with either man as the U.S. champion.  Woo, Woo, Woo! You know it, bro.

Hey by the way, I was Broski of the Week in Episode 22.  Here's the video I submitted.


Post your comments here, on Facebook, Twitter, or YouTube.  Would love you thoughts!

Monday, September 19, 2011

Arrrrrr!

Burchill, LaFitte, Knight Eye
By Kevin Hunsperger
@kevinhunsperger on Twitter

In case you didn't know, September 19 is International Talk Like a Pirate Day.  So, get ready to walk thee plank and learn more about some of wrestling's best (and worst) pirate gimmicks.

Photo from WWE

I'll admit, I didn't remember a whole lot about the "Pirate" Paul Burchill gimmick.  Of course I remember Burchill did the gimmick, but until I did a little online research I had forgotten how it all came about.  To me, this was one of those gimmicks the WWE could have cashed in with the popularity of the Pirates of the Caribbean films.


Flyin' in...
Burchill seemed to be over initially with the gimmick and he really did look like a pirate.  Personally, I've never been into that genre of characters so for me, it was just another guy out there trying to get over.  I had forgotten he would come swinging onto the entrance ramp like a swash buckler, that was pretty clever.  I give that some points for making the entrance a bit more entertaining.

While the fans seemed to enjoy the gimmick, the stories I have read say that Vince McMahon did not.  And at least one online report says that Vince was unaware of the Pirates of the Caribbean movie and that's part of the reason why the plug was pulled on the gimmick.  I believe it was Mark Henry (who was being booked as a monster back then too) put Burchill on the shelf after attacking him.  Then of course he returned with his "sister" Katie Lea in what was originally going to be an incestuous angle between the two.  Glad that idea was buried at sea, along with Burchill's pirate gimmick.

JPL stole from the Hitman Bret Hart
Jean Pierre LaFitte went from being a Quebecer to a pillaging pirate in 1995.  The original story line with him was that JPL was a direct descendant of real life pirate Jean LaFitte.  Of course that was just part of the act.  JPL was a heel, and Carl Ouellet did a good job with the character.  He ended up stealing items from Bret Hart, including his famed sun glasses and ring jacket.  Hart would get his revenge on the sticky fingered pirate at an In Your House pay per view.

This was the mid 90's, and a time when the WWE was at one of its lowest points.  Gimmicks like Mantaur, Aldo Montoya, and TL Hopper were running rampant.  Ouellet was a good worker, but again, I'm not crazy about pirates and I felt like the Quebecer gimmick was better done when Jacques Rougeau did it as the Mountie on his own in 1991.  Anyway, supposedly he was released from the company for having a conflict with the Kliq over the ending to a match against Diesel.  I don't know if that's true, but I've heard several stories like that about other guys parting ways with the WWF during that same time period, so I wouldn't be surprised.


I had to turn to my Chikara Pro pro Chad for Jolly Roger.  He was the wrestling pirate of Chikara Pro.  Together he and Lance Steel were known as Knight Eye for the Pirate Guy, a tag team managed by Allison Danger.

From the looks of things, he did a lot of tag team work feuding a lot with the late, great "Sweet & Sour" Larry Sweeney.  Jolly Roger doesn't wrestle anymore.  It's my understanding he's been sidelined with an injury.  Although, he returned to the ring in 2010 for an 8 person tag team match, in which his team came up on the losing end.

As you can see from the picture, Roger isn't built like your typical wrestler.  But he did have a lot of charisma and of course got into the character, coming out dressed with bright, multi colored pirate pants, a patch, and a "pet" parrot.

These were the only pirate gimmicks that immediately came to mind.  Have I missed one?  What are your thoughts on this type of character?  Post your thoughts here or on Facebook, Twitter, or YouTube.
Arrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr!!!

Night of Champions Thoughts

By Chad Smart
@ChadSmart on Twitter
All photos are from WWE.com


What a difference two months can make. When the Money in the Bank pay per view rolled around, I was so eager to watch the show, I was even considering bribing friends to let me order the PPV. Last night was Night of Champions. A show I only ended up watching because I was home trying to rest a sore throat. Overall, I kind of wished I hadn’t seen the show because it was the epitome of everything wrong in today’s WWE.

Before I get into thoughts, I must admit I didn’t watch most of the first half of the show. I was in and out of consciousness so I mainly listened to the show. So instead of basing this review on how good the wrestling was, I’m going to base it on the outcomes and how I feel about the way the show went down.

Miz loses his temper, then the match
First up was the Tag Title match between Air Boom and Awesome Truth. The first red flag for a bad show went up early with Michael Cole saying the tag titles had been held by such great teams as Edge and Rey Mysterio, Chris Jericho and Big Show and DX. Booker T then commented he was one half of a great tag team, Booker and Goldust. Yep, forget great teams like the Hart Foundation, Money Inc or The Quebecers, in the WWE universe the only good teams are two guys thrown together. (Aside, who was the last actual tag team to hold the tag titles? Hart Dynasty?) Well, and DX of course. I wasn’t thrilled with the DQ finish but feel if WWE really wants to build up the tag ranks, Air Boom should hold the titles for a few months.

Trivia question, what was the last pay per view Ted DiBiase had a match at and whom did he fight? Seriously, I don’t know. Ted being thrown onto Night of Champions 48 hours before the show didn’t give me much hope that he would actually win the I-C title. Again, I feel Cody Rhodes needs to hold the I-C title for a few months to give the title some meaning.

I didn’t see any of the US title match so I’m not going to comment on it.

The Glamazon dominates, but K2 wins

Skipping to the Diva’s match, I was surprised to see Kelly Kelly retain again. I felt the ending was very similar to the SummerSlam match, which kind of hurt the match in my eyes. But much like their SummerSlam match, I think Beth either brings out the best in Ke2 or Kelly Kelly has really improved over the last couple of months. Either way, I think if WWE could learn to have more than one Diva storyline at a time, there is a lot of potential in the Diva roster.



Finally...
I only caught the end of Mark Henry/Randy Orton match. I was very happy to see Mark Henry win the title. Part of the reasoning is because I find Orton very boring to watch and think Mark Henry’s recent push of destroying people to be very entertaining. Going back to the running theme of this review, what I’d like to see is Mark to get a lengthy title run to really cement his dominance. I know the odds of this happening are about 2%, but I’d really like to see Mark destroy guys left and right all the way to Wrestlemania then have Daniel Bryan challenge and win the title. It could be a good David vs. Goliath match up. And let’s face it, when has the Smackdown title match been a big selling point of Wrestlemania. With Cena/Rock on the card, I have a feeling Wrestlemania will be pushed as a one-match show.  Though, I won't be surprised to see Randy Orton win the title back at either the Smackdown taping or the Hell In A Cell pay per view in two weeks. 

Super Cena prevails
John Cena regained the WWE title. Why? Why? Why?  WWE has spent the last year building up Alberto Del Rio’s destiny to be WWE champion. Del Rio wins the Royal Rumble only to lose at Wrestlemania. Then Del Rio wins Money In The Bank, cashes in the briefcase to win the title in the typical “champion is already beat down and tired” fashion and gets put right into a program with John Cena. Even though I’m still not on board the Alberto Del Rio bandwagon, I was hoping WWE would use this as a way to solidify Alberto’s meteoric rise to the top. Instead we get the status quo and once again John Cena is champion. I understand he sells a lot of merchandise and is the face of the company, but would any of that really change if he doesn’t have 20 pounds of gold around his waist?


Awesome Truth gets involved

Now we get to the main event. A match so ridiculously overbooked even Jeff Jarrett said, “This match is overbooked.”  Lets forget the match and just examine the ending sequence of events. Awesome Truth run in and attacks both CM Punk and Triple H. After laying both men out, R-Truth pulls Punk on top of Trips for the pin.  After Trips kicks out, Awesome Truth attack the referee knocking him out of the ring. Johnny Ace comes down to ringside and motions for a new referee. Triple H pedigrees Punk and covers for the pin. Ace prevents the new referee from making a count. Punk gives Triple the Go To Sleep and covers for the win. R-Truth pulls Punk out of the ring. Kevin Nash lumbers in from the crowd complete with spotlight and cameraman shooting his “surprise” entrance. I stop caring. 

He's back...
Triple H goes on to win the match and I’m still trying to figure out the logic behind the decision. Does this mean Trips is done wrestling again so he can be COO? If so then the hottest star in WWE got treated like a punk. Will there be a rematch? If so, how many times will Triple H wrestle before the Board strips him of his COO position? Why did R-Truth try to get Punk the victory then pulls him out of the ring three minutes later? Who is Awesome Truth working for? What ramifications will this have on the Triple H, Johnny Ace working relationship?  These are questions I think WWE wants fans to ask and care about, but I don’t care. I just want to know why CM Punk was sacrificed at the alter of Hunter. I know others are saying, well it took two pedigrees and a power bomb to pin Punk so he wasn’t buried. I say we won’t know for sure until Raw tonight and see how Punk is presented.

Overall the only real positive to come out of Night of Champions was Mark Henry, World Champion. One last comment, can someone please get Booker T out of the broadcast team. Or at least give me the Spanish announcers audio for future shows?

What are your thoughts? Are you excited for another Cena championship run? Do you think Triple H should have won? Do you know the last pay per view to feature Ted DiBiase? Share you comments on Facebook or Twitter

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Rockin' the Survivor Series

Photo from WWE.com
By Kevin Hunsperger
@kevinhunsperger on Twitter

So the Rock and John Cena will be joining forces and teaming up with three other superstars at the Survivor Series in two months.  The funniest thing to be about this announcement is the fact that it was put out there BEFORE the Intercontinental title match at Night of Champions between Cody Rhodes and Ted DiBiase. That pay per view by the way is Sunday.

Anyway, this announcement of the Rock and Cena teaming up is by no means breaking news.  And let me be clear with this, I love the Rock.  I really do.  But what I don't love is the fact that in all likelihood this match will see Rock and Cena going over.  We've discussed this in the past, we're not big fans of seeing guys from the past come back and be put over the current active roster.  It's bad for business in the long run.  Yes, there's a quick buzz from the Rock coming back.  But next year at this time when he's making the Tooth Fairy 2 or Fast and the Furious 6, what happens to the five superstars that are on the receiving end of he and Cena's onslaught?

Ultimate Warrior & Hulk Hogan at Survivor Series 1990
Maybe I'm putting the cart before the horse.  Maybe these two won't go over, and they'll end up eliminating one another from the match in some sort of lame count out scenario.  But in all honesty, I'm picturing something like this at the end of the night------------------------>

That's former rivals turned buddies Ultimate Warrior and Hulk Hogan nearly 21 years ago the 1990 Survivor Series.  The two had just beaten a team of heel survivors from the earlier matches.  (Tito Santana was also on the Hogan-Warrior team, but was eliminated)

Anyway, I picture the Rock and Cena playing the Hogan-Warrior roles, only with one of them doing their finisher moments after the two hold each other's arms up in victory.

Rocky Mavia's debut at Survivor Series 1996
I guess it somewhat makes sense to have the Rock back on Survivor Series on a couple of counts.  It's where he made his WWE debut 15 years ago.  Same building, same pay per view.  It should be an epic night.  Adding someone with so much star power will most certainly help make the Survivor Series feel like a Big 4 pay per view again too.  Let's face it, in recent years, the show has lacked that big time feel.  And it's sad that I have to Google it to find the results, as I can't remember what happened a year ago.  Yet I could sit here and give you all the results from that first year with no problem.  Tell you all the teams, etc.

So as you can see, I'm flip flopping on this issue.  I'm a fan of the Rock.  I enjoy watching him come back, but at the same time I don't want to see the WWE use guys that are there 365 who are trying to make a name for themselves be fed to him and made to look like fools.

What do you think?  Post your comments here, or like us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter, or subscribe to the YouTube channel.