Monday, December 31, 2012

5 Things That MUST Happen in 2013

PAC vs. El Generico
AAPW Main Event
Photo courtesy: Wilkey Photography
By Kevin Hunsperger
@kevinhunsperger & @my123cents on Twitter

2012 was a great year for me personally in the world of professional wrestling.  I had my first (and last match), got to see the Royal Rumble and Wrestlemania live in person, and experienced my first two live Chikara shows.

So I've decided to share 5 things that I think need to happen in 2013.  I'm basing my thoughts on the promotions that I regularly watch WWE, Chikara, TNA, and Pro Wrestling Collision.  I was going to include ROH, but I've literally seen one show this year (a live event in Chicago)

Adrian Neville
Photo courtesy: WWE
Adrian Neville needs to make his main roster debut.  For those who don't know him, Adrian Neville is the wrestler formerly known as PAC, and quite honestly one of the hottest prospects in the business.  It was about a year ago that PAC was first brought to my attention.  He and El Generico had been signed to wrestle at AAPW Main Event in January.  Since I would be calling the match I needed to do some research and of course turned to YouTube.  What I saw then amazed me.  Watching him work his magic in person was even more incredible.  In addition to his match against Generico, I was able to see PAC wrestle Low Ki at a Dragon Gate USA show in Miami.

It wasn't long after that I learned that PAC had been signed by WWE.  He's toiling away now in developmental, but with Dean Ambrose, Seth Rollins, Roman Reigns, and Big E Langston all being called to the main roster, I'd like to think that others will follow suit in 2013.  There is a lot of talent in NXT, but in my opinion, Neville tops the list.  I know he's new there and the chances of him moving up that quickly may be unrealistic, but with a resume like his, I feel he deserves a spot on the main roster, but I hope he doesn't get moved up and then lost in the shuffle.  Timing will be everything in 2013.

Mr. Touchdown & me
Photo by: My 1-2-3 Cents
Mr. Touchdown needs a shot against Chikara Grand Champion Eddie Kingston.  No doubt about it, 2012 was the year of Mr. Touchdown.  Mark Angelosetti made his debut as the cocky jock in Chikara earlier this year.  He and Dasher Hatfield formed an impressive team as the new Throwbacks.  Then he won the Young Lions Cup championship and had some amazing matches with ACH.  Outside of Chikara, Mr. Touchdown won the Top Banana title in Wrestling is Fun.  He also forced Mixed Martial Archie out of the Chikara and destroyed the mascot of the Handsome and Mysterious Stranger.

It seems that the next logical step would be a shot at the grand championship.  Don't get me wrong, Kingston has had an outstanding year too, holding the title since the end of 2011 when it was created.  Angelosetti has earned a shot at the big belt.  It seems right now he's still tying up the loose ends from the feud with Archie and Veronica.  I'll be curious what happens in the first couple of months of Chikara's new season in a couple of weeks.  Hopefully before the year's end, Touchdown will have at least earned a shot at Kingston.

ODB & Eric Young as Knockouts Tag Team Champs
Photo courtesy: TNA
TNA needs to do away with the Knockouts Tag Team titles.  I'll admit, I don't watch a whole lot of TNA at this point, but seriously the Knockouts Tag Team titles lost their luster a long time ago.  A company the size (and TV exposure) of TNA doesn't need six champions.  I'm not knocking female wrestling with this either, but really adding Eric Young into the championship picture in my opinion made the belts a laughing stock.  If TNA was serious about intergender wrestling, then I could get behind this idea.  It's something that's being done on the indy scene on a pretty regular basis, so it's not unheard of to do.

Bull Bronson vs. Justice
AAPW Summer Chaos
Photo courtesy: Bullbronson.com
Bull Bronson needs a shot at the Pro Wrestling Collision title.  Pro Wrestling Collision makes its debut on January 19, and already I'm calling for Bull Bronson to have his spot in the sun.  In All American Pro Wrestling, Bronson was the company's most dominate performer.  He went through everyone he faced, even in handicap matches.  He took out big names like Farmer Billy Hills, Justice, and the wildly popular (and larger) Mississippi Madman.  The next step for Bronson would be a title match.  He has an open challenge set for the January 19 inaugural show, so I'll be curious to see who's brave enough to step up to the plate.

Besides all the competition he's mowed over in AAPW, Bronson made it to the finals of the 7 Deadly Sins Deathmatch Tournament in Chaos Pro Wrestling.  Seeing the pictures from that event proved to me that Bronson is without a doubt a legit bad ass, but really I already knew that.  Bull is also a former NWA Midsouth Heavyweight champion as well.  2013 looks to be a promising year for this still rising star.

Christian Rose & Matt Cage
Photo courtesy: Jason Wilkey
Indy guys need to be recognized more for their efforts.  This is more of a blanket statement. I think 2012 proved that the rising stars on the indy scene have a place with the big boys.  Heath Hatton and Ace Hawkins appeared on WWE Extreme Rules as Jay Hatton and Aaron Relic in a squash with Ryback.  Sure, it was a squash match, but it meant a lot to these guys and their fans to have their names in the spotlight briefly.

I want more indy talent to get a shot on the national scene.  Besides Hatton and Hawkins, guys like Matt Cage, Christian Rose, Brandon Espinosa, Joey O'Riley, Bull Bronson, Alex Castle, The Great Cheyenne, and Angelus Layne all deserve a chance to shine on the national stage.  As Chikara continues to grow in popularity, I'm hoping some of these guys can find a place with the company.  Of course as more NXT guys get called up to the main WWE roster, it'll create openings there as well.  Indy wrestling is the lifeline for the national scene.  It's time for all of us to start supporting these men and women more often.



 

Sunday, December 30, 2012

In Memory (2012)

By Kevin Hunsperger
@kevinhunsperger & @my123cents on Twitter

Another year is passing, and we here at My 1-2-3 Cents wanted to take a little time to remember those in the wrestling business who died in 2012.  May they all rest in peace.















Saturday, December 29, 2012

2012 Centy Awards

By Kevin Hunsperger
@kevinhunsperger & @my123cents on Twitter

Wow, it's been a while since I've posted anything.  Chad and I once again collaborated and came up with the 2012 Centy Awards, honoring the best and worst of 2012 in the world of professional wrestling.  We announced our choices on a recent episode of From the Rafters Radio along with co  host Chris Hagstrom and friend of the show "Big Z 38" Greg Davis.  Here's our picks, and be sure to watch the video at the end, as there is an explanation behind the picks that Chad and I made.  Thanks for supporting My 1-2-3 Cents through the years!

Wrestler of the Year
Chad: Austin Aries
Kevin: CM Punk
Chris: CM Punk
Greg:  CM Punk

Most Hated
Chad: Randy Orton
Kevin: Brooke Hogan
Chris: Triple H
Greg: Rob Van Dam

Most Under-appreciated 
Chad: SHIMMER
Kevin: PAC
Chris: Dolph Ziggler
Greg: El Generico

Most Overrated
Chad: Jeff Hardy
Kevin: Alberto Del Rio
Chris: Randy Orton
Greg: Rob Van Dam

Breakout Star of the Year
Chad: Mr. Touchdown
Kevin: Mr. Touchdown
Chris: PAC
Greg Davis: ACH

Show of the Year
Chad: TNA's Bound for Glory
Kevin: AAPW's Main Event
Chris: AAPW's Main Event
Greg: Chikara's King of Trios Night 3

Star on the Horizon
Chad: Michael Elgin & Willie Mack
Kevin: Heath Hatton
Chris: Matt Cage
Greg: Paige

Female of the Year
Chad: Sara Del Rey
Kevin: Miss Tessmacher
Chris: Sara Del Rey
Greg: Sayra Knight

Best Use of Social Media
Chad: The Batiri
Kevin: The Batiri
Chris: Jim Ross
Greg: CM Punk

Biggest Fall from Grace
Chad: Zack Ryder
Kevin: Zack Ryder
Chris: Zack Ryder
Greg: Jim Cornette


Monday, December 17, 2012

Season's Beatings: Choir Boys (and Girls)

The WWE Choir
Courtesy: WWE
By Kevin Hunsperger
@kevinhunsperger & @my123cents on Twitter

If you've yet to see the latest video by the WWE with the Superstars and Divas wishing their fans a Merry Christmas, shame on you.  This is one of those creations that is awesomely bad in my opinion.  I was always a fan of the group sings on the Wrestling Album and Piledriver.  This holiday remake captures some of that old time magic for me.

Wrestlers can't sing, or at least most of them can't and that's what makes this fun.  John Cena serves as the maestro, and superstars like the Prime Time Players, Hornswoggle, and the Big Show all have singing parts, making this little ditty is fun as far as I'm concerned.

The little cartoon at the beginning (or the end, I don't remember) adds to the entertainment.  Check it out.


Saturday, December 15, 2012

Seasons Beatings: Gold Christmas

The Artist Formerly Known as Goldust
Merry Christmas
Photo courtesy: WWE
By Kevin Hunsperger
@kevinhunsperger & @my123cents on Twitter

The Attitude Era created some very memorable characters and storylines.  One of my favorite stars before the era official started was Goldust.  By 1997, after a face turn, Goldie went back to his heel ways, but changing his name to the Artist Formerly Known as Goldust.  He broke away from his traditional garb, but had that air of mystic about him still.  He also dumped Marlena (or Terri) and added Luna Vachon as he valet/sidekick.

In late 97, the two were feuding with Vader.  The couple had come out to the ring during a Raw in Christmas gear.  TAFKAG was dressed liked a Christmas tree.  He paraded around the ring with lights that lit up and was even topped with a star. Luna was a deranged looking Mrs. Claus.  TAFKAG started reading Twas the Night Before Christmas when Santa interrupted by handing out gifts to the fans.

The aftermath
The two heels didn't appreciate the interruption and when they asked St. Nick to leave, he came into the ring and blindsided the former golden one with a sack full of goodies.  Santa then pulled off his beard and hat and revealed himself to be Vader.  It was a short segment as Goldie and his companion quickly left the ringside area.

Props to Dustin Rhodes for playing the Goldust character so well.  Without a doubt he was one of my favorite characters ever.  Click here to watch the segment.



Friday, December 14, 2012

Seasons Beatings: Santa Claas

Ziggler lays the smack down on Santa
WWE Raw
Photo courtesy: WWE
By Kevin Hunsperger
@kevinhunsperger & @my123cents on Twitter

I'm modifying last year's blogs on Christmas themed storylines and gimmicks. This year instead of calling it 12 Days... (since I learned that the 12 Days of Christmas actually start on December 25) I'm calling it Seasons Beatings.

In the early days of Dolph Ziggler's gimmick he faced jolly old Saint Nick.  Actually it was Santa Claas.  No, that's not a typo.  It was Charlie Haas in a Santa suit.  This was the period when Haas was dressing up like WWE Superstars and Legends and adapting his name to fit the character.  Personally, I loved the gimmick, but will always remember Haas best for his work with Shelton Benjamin as the World's Greatest Tag Team.  I would still love to see them come back to the WWE for another run.

Anyway, as I mentioned, Ziggler was making a name for himself and working as the heel, he not only beat Santa in the match, he proceeded to beat him up afterwards, stripping Haas of his red suit and padding.  It's a great way to get heat, and who knew back then that we'd see Ziggler hanging with the big boys like John Cena, Edge, and Randy Orton.


Thursday, December 13, 2012

The Punking of Punk's Title Reign

Your WWE Champion, CM Punk
Photo by: My 1-2-3 Cents

@chadsmart & @my123cents on Twitter

Longtime readers of the blog, or loyal listeners of From The Rafter’s Radio have heard myself and Kevin talk a lot about the lack of logic in today’s wrestling storytelling.  Last week on Rafter’s Radio, I praised Chikara (as I normally do when the company comes up in discussion) for their attention to detail in their stories and how all the stories told over the 11 months of Season 11 were logical. In the last two months of watching (or more honestly, reading recaps) RAW, I am impressed with how much WWE has changed the CM Punk character and tainted his title reign.

What started out as a solid reign with a champion vanquishing foe after foe first turned into a champion demanding respect. At this point there was some truth to CM Punk’s complaints. Even though he had been champion for nine months, he had only headlined one pay per view and was taking a backseat to John Cena even though Cena wasn’t challenging for the title.  Then for some reason, even though CM Punk had defeated John Cena on two consecutive pay per views a year earlier, Cena claimed Punk still had to beat Cena in order to had legitimacy to Punk’s reign. 

After winning a triple threat match against John Cena and the Big Show, Punk then had to once again face Cena in Cena’s hometown in order to get respect. That match ended in a draw as both men had their shoulders on the mat for a three count.  With respect still not earned, even as he was closing in being the longest reigning champion in the last 25 years. Punk was faced with another big challenge, the undefeated monster, Ryback.

Suddenly, the cocky Punk was trying to get out of matches and running like a scalded dog whenever Ryback would appear. In their first match at “Hell In The Cell,” Punk needed the help of crooked referee Brad Maddox to help put the first notch in Ryback’s loss column.  The next month at Survivor Series, Punk used the debuting attack of The Shield on Ryback to take advantage and pin John Cena. For over a year CM Punk wasn’t necessarily a dominant champion, but was clearly capable of holding his own against any competitor. What happened in the last four months to make Punk lose his mojo?

It’s not that I am upset over the change in character per se. It’s more that the change in character seems forced for the sake of the story being told instead of natural. Most successful wrestlers evolve their characters over time. One of the biggest criticisms against John Cena is that his character is stale and needs to change. CM Punk could have easily, and logically, morphed from cocky champion to paranoid champion. Unfortunately, WWE writers jumped from step one to step four and completely bypassed steps two and three. Perhaps John Cena’s elbow injury and unforeseen time off, as well as the sudden ascension of Ryback to challenger eliminated the plans for the subtle character change.

After the double pin fall at “Night of Champions,” CM Punk could have shown the hint of vulnerability and commented that even though he walked out as champion; John Cena pushed him to the brink of near defeat.  Paul Heyman, Punk’s mouthpiece, could then inform Punk that he was only a few short months away from taking the record of longest title reign from John Cena. This plants the seed of desire in Punk’s mind that he must at whatever cost keep the title for as long as possible.

With each passing day, Punk’s love for the WWE title grows and he becomes very Gollum-like thinking of the title as his Precious.  After Ryback is announced as his next challenger, Punk could keep up a brave face inside the ring when cutting promos while expressing doubt to Paul Heyman backstage. Heyman could offer his sincerest assurance Punk has nothing to worry about. After the Brad Maddox help and the Shield interference, Punk, while not in on the plans, starts to regain his cockiness thinking he is unbeatable.

Preparing for the Royal Rumble
Photo courtesy: WWE 
Getting through the end of 2012, Punk is heading straight to the “Royal Rumble” and a date with The Rock for the WWE Title. CM Punk, once again full of attitude and bravado, cuts promo after promo detailing how he has no fear of the Rock and how the WWE Title will remain around his waist until he decides to hang up his boots. The week before “Royal Rumble,” while Punk is going on and on about how he’s the best champion and The Rock doesn’t concern him because no Hollywood actor is as tough or talented as the WWE Champion, The Rock shows up on the Titantron and informs Punk that Paul Heyman had nothing to do with Brad Maddox or The Shield.  The Rock wanted to make sure CM Punk was WWE champion when the “Royal Rumble” rolled around so he, The Rock, did what he needed to do and enlisted the services of the four men to help Punk retain the title.

Okay, I’m getting off track and didn’t mean to go into fantasy booking mode.  I hope you get the point I was trying to make and that is appears WWE has/had no long term plan in place for CM Punk’s title run and therefore has to change his character on a whim when they come up with a new direction. That lack of foresight has been one of the biggest problems in WWE over the last few years.

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Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Christmas Wish List: Team Rhodes Scholars

Team Rhodes Scholars
WWE Raw
Photo courtesy: WWE.com
By Kevin Hunsperger
@kevinhunsperger & @my123cents on Twitter

I'll admit when Damien Sandow and Cody Rhodes first started teaming up, I wasn't impressed.  I was afraid they were just another flash in the pan team paired together because they're two singles stars with nothing better to do.  It reminded me of the way Cody was thrown together with Drew McIntyre, only to split a few months later.

But lately, Team Rhodes Scholars has grown on me.  The only real complaint is the way the WWE insists on adding the word "team" in front of tag team names.  Imagine Team Hart Foundation or Team Demolition or Team Bushwhackers.  It doesn't sound right.

Anyway, on the 12/10/12 episode of Raw, Cody Rhodes returned after being seriously injured early in November, and Team Rhodes Scholars defeated the Usos (who really impressed me too by the way), The Prime Time Players, and The Colons.  By winning the four way elimination match, Sandow and Rhodes now face Sin Cara and Rey Mysterio at TLC for the right to face the champions, Team Hell No at a later date.

I have no doubt this match Sunday will be a good one.  These four guys know how to do it in the ring, and even with the weakness Sin Cara brings to the mix, I think the other three will help carry him into an excellent tag team contest.

Courtesy: WWE.com
So my wish for Team Rhodes Scholars is to win the match against Rey-Sin (I don't know if that works or not) and go on to face Daniel Bryan and Kane again.  I do think in the not so distant future, the duo of Sandow and Rhodes will be the tag team champions.  I love the fact that the WWE has been working to rebuild the tag team ranks.  Sure there are things I could nit pick and be critical of, but I'm going to keep this positive.  Team Rhodes Scholars continues to prove themselves in the ring and on the mic and I look forward to seeing more of this tandem in the months ahead.  I'm also curious to see where the mustache is going for Cody.


Monday, December 10, 2012

Nick: The Elf on the Shelf

Nick makes his return in 2012

By Kevin Hunsperger
@kevinhunsperger on Twitter

If you're a regular here, you've figured out by now this is not going to be a wrestling related post.  Standby, the wrestling isn't going anywhere, I'm just expanding my horizons with this blog and phasing out my old one.

I have a lot of female friends who blog.  Many of them call themselves "Mommy Bloggers" and they talk about a variety of things.  This is more of a "Daddy Blog" today, but I'm entering uncharted waters, as Elf on the Shelf is something I've only seen the moms blog about.

But I love Christmas and the tradition of Elf on the Shelf.  In 2007 we received our elf as a gift from St. Nicholas.  We celebrate that holiday each December 5 by hanging stockings.  St. Nick comes overnight and fills the socks with candy, toys, and a Christmas ornament for each of my three kids.  When we received the Elf on the Shelf book and doll five years ago, my children quickly named him "Nick", which seemed appropriate since St. Nick delivered him.

For those who don't know, each night the elf appears somewhere in your home and leaves at night to report back to Santa how the children are behaving.  When the kids wake up in the morning, the elf is in a new spot somewhere in the house.  The first few years, Nick was pretty tame around here.  But over the last couple of years, he's been getting into some trouble.  My daughter rushes out of bed each morning to find Nick and what kind of hijinks he's up to.  So here are a few of the more fun pics from last few years.  I'll update them this season as more are taken.  Enjoy.

Got milk?

Party animal

Making angels
Hey, baby.
Nick on safari, kinda
Cereal killer
Roasting marshmallows

Teepeeing the tree






Sunday, December 9, 2012

Christmas Wish List: Jake "The Snake" Roberts

We met Jake the Snake a WrestleReunion 2012
Courtesy: My 1-2-3 Cents
By Kevin Hunsperger
@kevinhunsperger & @my123cents

The intent of my Christmas Wish blogs is to highlight the things I hope for wrestlers in the coming months.  Some of them are written to fit into current storylines, but they are all sincere.  Today's submission is a more serious one.

As many fans know Jake "The Snake" Roberts has struggled with addiction for years.  It's been documented through storylines during his days in the WWE as well as in the film Beyond the Mat.  Recently, former WCW champion "Diamond" Dallas Page has come to Jake's aid, trying to help the ring legend stay sober.  It's part of a project called Accountability Crib.  I don't know a whole lot about it, but I truly hope that it works out for the best for Jake the Snake.

DDP & Jake the Snake
Accountability Crib
Photo Courtesy: Steve Yu
That's really my wish for Jake, and anyone else who is struggling with addiction.  I used to be of the mindset that it was the problem of the addict.  That they didn't want to get better.  However, I don't place all the blame there.  I know that people who are addicted have a real illness.  I understand that in some cases, people who develop a disease like cancer or diabetes, can take steps to prevent the illness, it's the same sort of thing with addiction.  But when critics make fun of or solely blame the addict for being stupid and not quitting the destructive behavior, it annoys me.

I don't know if Jake will stay sober this time, but I applaud him for trying again and putting his struggles out there for all to see.  I also want to commend DDP for helping a fellow wrestler who has been in need for so many years.  This may perhaps be springboard for something much bigger.

Get well Jake.  This is one fan who hasn't abandoned hope and thinks you have the strength to put your personal demons to rest once and for all.



Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Christmas Wish List: CM Punk

CM Punk undergoes surgery
Photo courtesy: WWE
By Kevin Hunsperger
@kevinhunsperger & @my123cents on Twitter

This is an easy one.  Most of you already know by now, WWE Champion CM Punk underwent knee surgery early this week, forcing him out of his upcoming title defense against Ryback at TLC.  It sounds like things went well with the surgery and Punk is expected to make a full recovery.  No word on how long that might take though.

So my wish for Punk this season is for a full and speedy recovery.  After surpassing John Cena as the longest title reign in the modern era of WWE programming I would hate to see him lose the title due to an injury.  I'm also actually looking forward to him defending the gold against The Rock at the Royal Rumble.  I hope he gets some much needed rest and recovers well and is able to go full steam ahead in the new year, including a defense at Wrestlemania.


Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Christmas Wish List: Brad Maddox

Brad Maddox
Photo courtesy: WWE
By Kevin Hunsperger
@kevinhunsperger & @my123cents on Twitter

I'm going to go on record and say I enjoy the Brad Maddox character.  That may not be a popular opinion, I haven't done a whole lot of web surfing on him, so I don't know (or care) what the IWC thinks of him.

I'll admit I can't even begin to predict what exactly the WWE has planned for him, but I hope they continue to use him on TV and work something out with him.  When I first saw him as a referee, I figured there were plans for him.  He didn't look like a typical ref.  Right now he's looking more like "Dangerous" Danny Davis in his wrestling endeavors, but at least he's getting some TV time.  I've talked before about the need for new blood on the WWE roster and with the Shield and Brad Maddox and others introduced this year, I fell like we're finally getting it.

So for Brad my Christmas wish is simple.  A permanent spot on the roster and a chance to grow and develop in the new year.


Monday, December 3, 2012

Christmas Wish List: Veronica

Veronica & Mr. Touchdown
Chikara Pro: Under the Hood
Photo by: Larry Powell (@Luckyrock009)
By Kevin Hunsperger
@kevinhunsperger & @my123cents on Twitter

Chikara's season finale "Under the Hood" is in the books and I must say I really enjoyed the show.  I wasn't able to see the main event, but congrats to Eddie Kingston on retaining the Grand Championship.  Something else of note on the show was the crowning of Veronica Ticklefeather as Homecoming Queen.

The majorette turned cheerleader had been campaigning for the honor with her boyfriend Mr. Touchdown.  The two are wrestling's true power couple in my opinion.  After Mr. Touchdown's hard fought Young Lions Cup defense against ACH, it was announced that Veronica was in fact the queen. But to the surprise of Mark Angelosetti, he was not the king.  You'd expect the football star and his cheerleader girlfriend to win the honors, but instead the Mysterious and Handsome Stranger was announced as homecoming king.

Just when it looked like Veronica and the Stranger were going to lock lips, the Stranger dumped a bucket of slop Veronica's head, then unmasked himself as Archibald Peck, a former love interest to Veronica.  The fans cheered with excitement as Archie made the reveal and was eventually escorted from the ring. He technically is banned from Chikara after losing a "Loser Leaves Town" match earlier in the year.

So my wish for Veronica is to continue her reign as queen and to figure out who she wants to be with.  She seems confused again as she seemed prior to the summer of love angle.  I've mentioned it before, I'm not a big fan of wrestling love angles (see the current mess with AJ-John Cena-Vickie Guerrero).  There's something compelling about this storyline to me. Maybe because Chikara isn't on every week rehashing the same stuff.  Maybe it's because I like the characters better.  I don't know the reason, but

I'll tell you I'm looking forward to the season premiere in 2013 and I really hope I'm able to catch another show in person.  The experiences earlier this year in Chicago Ridge and Lafayette were great.

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Christmas Wish List: Dolph Ziggler

Photo courtesy: WWE
Reworked on Christmasfy
By Kevin Hunsperger
@kevinhunsperger & @my123cents on Twitter

It's December 1, so I'm breaking out the "Christmas Wish List" blogs again.  I'm starting off with Dolph Ziggler, who I had picked as one of 2012's break out stars in last year's year ender blog.  I still stand by that thought.

Dolph had a good year.  Despite coming up short against CM Punk at the Royal Rumble, Ziggler rebounded well by winning the Money in the Bank match to earn a shot at the World's Heavyweight champion.  To date, Ziggler still hasn't cashed in, and after a few months of ups and downs with Chris Jericho and Randy Orton, it looks like Ziggler is back on the upswing.

He was the sole survivor for his team at Survivor Series and even though I had Team Foley picked to win the event, I'm glad to see they went with Ziggler.  No doubt he's proven himself time and time again, not only looking good in the ring, but making any opponent look like a million bucks too.  Sometimes I think that's become a hindrance to him, but ultimately I believe it'll pay off.

I'm not sure where they're going right now with him and John Cena in his AJ-Vickie Guerrero affair angle, but I certainly hope it wraps up soon and we see Ziggler cash in his briefcase and win.  I don't see it happening with Big Show as the champion, but I wouldn't be surprised to see him take advantage of Sheamus, should he win the title back at TLC later this month.

Personally though, my Christmas wish for Dolph Ziggler is this:  Keep the briefcase until Wrestlemania.  Cash it in and win the world title.  Have your Wrestlemania moment.  Honestly, I have felt that in recent years there hasn't been that big moment, and I don't know if Dolph cashing in and winning the title would qualify, but I do believe it would give him another boost in his quest for domination in the squared circle.  Bottom line, Dolph is one of the best on the roster right now and I think he's more than proven he deserves a run with the gold.


Thursday, November 29, 2012

Gone, But Not Forgotten: Buddy Roberts

Buddy Roberts
By Kevin Hunsperger
@kevinhunsperger & @my123cents on Twitter

I couldn't let the passing of Buddy Roberts go by today and not write a few words about it.  For those who remember World Class Championship Wrestling from the mid 1980's, Roberts was one third of the Fabulous Freebirds.  Along with Michael Hayes and (the late) Terry Gordy, Roberts was one of the company's best heels.

When I was a kid I hated the Freebirds.  They of course were engaged in war with the hometown superheroes The Von Erich brothers.  One of my favorite memories of Roberts was when he was battling Iceman King Parsons in a hair match.  Roberts cheated to win, but ended up losing his hair anyway when Parsons rubbed the mysterious "Freebird Hair Cream" on Roberts' head.  He ended up wearing head gear after that for a time, using it to gain the upper hand in his matches.  Here's the link to that match.

The 'Birds and the Von Erichs battled it out for years in WCCW, trading the six man tag team championships several times.  Roberts would go on to manage the Samon Swat Team and team up with Parsons after he turned on the Von Erichs too.  His raspy voice (due to years of smoking) was his trademark, as well as his love of Jack Daniels, earning him the nickname "Jack."

In addition to tag team gold, Roberts won the UWF TV title as well as the WCCW version of the belt.  He may not have been the biggest dog in the fight, but at times he was certainly the dirtiest.  He truly had a man you love to hate type personality in my view.

The Freebirds with singles gold
Prior to his time as a Freebird though, Roberts was a part of the Hollywood Blonds with Jerry Brown.  This was in the 1970's, long before I started watching wrestling, but it's my understanding the duo was successful in Florida, Georgia, and other parts of the mid-south region.

Roberts was successful wherever he went, but an underrated star of the 70's and 80's.  He was just 65 years old.  Rest in Peace Buddy Jack.


Zero Hour on DVD

Zero Hour available on DVD
By Kevin Hunsperger
@kevinhunsperger & @my123cents on Twitter

In my Black Friday: Wrestling Style post last week, I failed to mention the availability of AAPW's Zero Hour.  That was partly because when I wrote the blog I didn't have all the details.  Now I can say that thanks to the hard work of All American Pro Wrestling Marketing Director Adam Testa the October show is now available, and at a special price.

You can pre-order right here and just pay $8.  Click on the SHOP tab at the top of the page.  That special is only good until Sunday, December 2.  Orders will start shipping soon.  It's your chance to see AAPW's first ever steel cage match between Mike Masters and Edmund "Livewire" McGuire.  Also, the AAPW tag team titles were defended in a ladder match as Team Overkill (Matt Cage & Christian Rose) defended against Brandon Espinosa and Ace Hawkins.  Honestly, this was one of the greatest ladder matches I've ever seen.  AAPW also crowned its first No Limits Champion as Joey O'Riley battled KC Jackson in the tournament finals.  Colt Cabana, Heath Hatton, Ax Allwardt, Bull Bronson, the Great Cheyenne, the Mississippi Madman and more stars appear on the show too.

Preorder today and don't forget to like AAPW on Facebook.  Follow @aapwrestling on Twitter and subscribe on YouTube for AAPW Collision.


Friday, November 23, 2012

Black Friday: Wrestling Style

Head to TheBatiri.com for details
By Kevin Hunsperger
@kevinhunsperger & @my123cents on Twitter

Last year I wrote a post on Black Friday about the cool wrestling related items one can pick up online or in the store.  This year, I'm better versed in the world of indie (or is it indy?) wrestling, so I've moved away from the WWE and TNA shop zone sites.  Don't get me wrong, they have good stuff too, but I want to focus on some of the "outside the box" deals I've come across.

First up is the Batiri.  They of course are a trio from Chikara Pro, Wrestling is Fun, and AIW.  Two demons and a goblin who are quite the online businessmen.  Their site (click here for more) has a number of items up for grabs.  Two have caught my eye.  One being the new Batiri hoodie.  As you can see it features the members as legendary rockers Kiss.  It's an awesome design, and they're running deals with it on their website.  The other thing from this threesome that I actually bought was their Mystery Bag.  Although the experience was not exactly what I thought it would be, I did have fun with the reveal.  Check out the video below for the details.  None the less, if you do order something from them, they do a good job getting it shipped out and communicate well via email if you run into any problems.


Barbershopwindow.com
The Barbershop Window is a relatively new site, at least to me.  I discovered it about a year ago and I love their selection of tshirts.  Some of their designs and ideas are very original.  The Monsoon/Heenan 2012 was a neat idea for the recent presidential race.  They've also done fundraising tshirts to help wrestlers in need.  The Kamala one they did earlier in the year was really neat.  Co-blogger Chad picked up a couple of their shirts late last year.  He bought me the "Will You Stop" featuring Gorilla Monsoon and he got himself Vince McMahon's "What a Maneuver" design.  Even non-wrestling fans ask me about the Gorilla shirt.  It's one of my favorite shirts to wear.

coltmerch.com
Colt Cabana may be the king of merchandising.  He's a one man show, traveling city to city all over the world selling his wares.  He has a ton of cool shirts and poster designs on his website Colt Merch.  When he wrestled at AAPW's Zero Hour back in October (which will also soon be available on DVD, check here for details soon) I picked up a poster.  I had Colt sign it too.  I haven't done anything with it yet, as I plan to create some kind of My 1-2-3 Cents backdrop for the YouTube channel after the first of the year.  Colt's poster will be a part of it.  But if you're not into posters, like I said, there's plenty of other things there.  He personally ships everything himself too.  To me it's good knowing that my purchase is going directly into Colt's (or whatever indie star's) pocket and not through several other channels along the way.

I've only scratched the surface here.  There are plenty of great items out there and for fairly reasonable prices.  Good luck in your pursuits.  Thanks for reading.






Tuesday, November 20, 2012

She's Pretty Fly

Tamina attacks AJ
Survivor Series 2012
Photo by WWE
By Kevin Hunsperger
@kevinhunsperger & @my123cents

I think it's probably way too early for this blog, but I figure what the heck.  Even though we don't know exactly what role Tamina Snuka is playing in this Vickie Guerrero-AJ Lee-John Cena feud, personally I'm glad the second generation diva is finally getting some on screen time again.

I think the last big push for Tamina came earlier in the year when she had an unsuccessful run against then Divas champion Beth Phoenix.  Since then she's been on again, off again on SmackDown! and Raw, depending on when she was needed.  But the WWE tends to do that with the Divas, you see one for about eight weeks, then they disappear again.

Superfly!
Survivor Series 2012
Photo by WWE
Now that Beth is gone and rumors of Eve taking time off to get married, the WWE desperately needs a dominate heel female in my opinion.  Snuka can clearly wrestle as she has improved vastly in the two or so years she's been on the main roster.  I hope her alliance with Vickie Guerrero takes her to the next level and we get to see more of what she's capable of.  The skeptic in me fears she'll end up being a victim who will succumb to AJ as she battles Vickie and her clan.

I will remain optimistic that big things are on the way in 2013 for this deserving diva, and her fellow multi generation cohort Natalya Neidhart gets some time in the spotlight too.

What Are You Thankful For?


The Gobbledy Gooker
Survivor Series 1990
Photo by WWE
By Kevin Hunsperger
@kevinhunsperger & @my123cents on Twitter

As we prepare to give thanks this week with family and friends, the From the Rafters Radio crew is planning to do the same with you.  We want to know what you're thankful for this year in the world of wrestling.

We're going to air a one hour special show on Thanksgiving night (click here for details on how to listen).  Please record a 30 second (or less) clip of what you're thankful for and upload it to this site, or do a video response to the My 1-2-3 Cents YouTube channel.

Thanks and Happy Thanksgiving.


Monday, November 19, 2012

New Kids on the Block

Dean Ambrose, Seth Rollins, & Roman Reigns
Survivor Series 2012
Photo courtesy: WWE
By Kevin Hunsperger
@kevinhunsperger & @my123cents on Twitter

I'll be the first to admit that I know little to nothing about the three newcomers we saw interrupt the main event of Survivor Series.  Dean Ambrose, Seth Rollins, and Roman Reigns helped WWE champion CM Punk walk out of the main event with his title, which means today (November 19) marks 365 days as champion.  Congrats.

Back to the topic at hand.  I've seen some different reaction to the appearance by the NXT stars on the main stage.  It's an exciting opportunity for them to say the least, and will give the WWE Universe some fresh blood on the roster.

Of course only time will tell what their role and function will be in the WWE.  I sincerely hope they get used and not just drop back into obscurity like the one time appearance by Brett DiBiase a few years back at SummerSlam.  Anyone else remember that?

The other question, with bringing more guys up to the main roster, there's been a lot of on line speculation that the WWE will be thinning the herd with layoffs.  Between aging superstars and others nursing nagging injuries, this would not necessarily be a bad thing.  I hate to see anyone lose their job, but in the world of professional wrestling, we know it's a natural part of the process.

I wish I had the ability to watch NXT and catch the work of Ambrose, Rollins, and Reigns.  I will certainly start doing my homework on these guys so in the near future I can provide more in depth opinions on each.