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 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.
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.
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.

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.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Throwback Thursday: Favorite Survivor Series Teams

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

In 1987 when the Survivor Series pay per view was born it brought something new to the landscape of wrestling.  The concept was simple, "teams of five strive to survive."  That was the motto in the early days.  I miss those first four years of the event.  Tag teams, women, and even the world champion was involved in the five on five or four on four elimination matches. (Although in '91 Hulk Hogan defended the title against the Undertaker)  The first two years, it was five tag teams vs. five tag teams.  I think in 1992 when they basically gutted the concept they hurt the Survivor Series forever.  I don't believe it's been the same since then.  But I digress.

Ready for battle
Today I wanted to highlight a few of my favorite memories/teams from the early days of the Survivor Series.  The WWE recently named "The Warriors" as the greatest Survivor Series team ever.  I don't know if they were truly the best ever, but I did mark out for them.  I am still to this day a huge fan of Kerry Von Erich, who was the Texas Tornado during his WWF tenure.  But in World Class Championship Wrestling he was "The Modern Day Warrior".  The WWF teamed him with World champion the Ultimate Warrior and the Legion of Doom (Road Warriors) in 1990 against "The Perfect Team" of Mr. Perfect and Demolition.  The Warriors won with the Ultimate Warrior being the sole survivor for his team.  That helped him advance to the bonus Survivor Series elimination match in the main event.  The baby face survivors teamed up against the heel survivors from the undercard matches. This match saw Hogan and Warrior pick up the win as the sole survivors.  Their partner Tito Santana had been eliminated earlier in the match.  This was also the year the Gobbledy Gooker was hatched.

Savage's team
Survivor Series 1987
Photo from WWE
The first year of the Survivor Series featured a very well balanced team of Randy Savage, Ricky "The Dragon" Steamboat, Jake "The Snake" Roberts, "Hacksaw" Jim Duggan, and Brutus "The Barber" Beefcake.  This five man team wrestled circles around their competitors which included The Honky Tonk Man, Danny Davis, "Outlaw" Ron Bass, Harley Race, and Hercules.  Savage, Steamboat, and Roberts all ended up surviving.  I don't know why, but those five were one of my favorite units in Survivor Series history.

Mr. Fuji gets demolished
As I mentioned earlier the first two years of Survivor Series featured five tag teams taking on five tag teams.  That is something that would never be possible today, but again, I digress.  In 1988 things got a little fuzzy at the end as the heel tag team champions Demolition where looking to put away their baby face challenges of The Powers of Pain.  Just as it looked like champs (and their other partners, the Conquistadors) were about to win, Mr. Fuji, who was Ax and Smash's manager, caused his men to get counted out.  The POP helped Mr. Fuji back to his feet after Demolition slammed him outside the ring. They went on to win the match and turn heel while Ax and Smash became beloved fan favorites.  I think I liked it so much because I never saw it coming.

Piper's Team vs. Flair's Team
One final blast from the past, and I pick this just because it involves my all time favorite wrestler, Ric Flair.  He lead his team (Ted DiBiase, The Mountie, and the Warlord) against Roddy Piper, Virgil, Bret Hart, and British Bulldog.  Flair's team won, but only after everyone got counted out at the same time.  You really had to suspend your belief in wrestling logic on it, but my guy won so I guess that's all that really matters.  Flair went on to help Undertaker beat Hogan for the WWF title later in the show.

In closing, besides the lack of elimination matches at the Survivor Series, I also miss the cool team names.  Team Orton, Team Foley, Team Ziggler are just not creative at all.  The Rude Brood, Roddy's Rowdies, and The Enforcers at least showed a little creativity from the writers.

What are your favorite moments from this November tradition?

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Heartless WWE

Long live the King!
Lawler returns to Raw
Photo from:
By Chad Smart 
@chadsmart & @my123cents on Twitter

If you follow @my123cents on Twitter you may have noticed I usually do live tweeting during the first hour of RAW. Since RAW comes on during my last hour of work, if I’m not busy I’ll watch the show and throw out my thoughts as the show happens. Most of the time my tweets are full of snark and sarcasm. As I’ve stated many times over the past month or two here on the blog and on From the Rafter’s Radio, I find the current WWE product repetitive, uninspiring and downright lazy.  I am hard pressed to think of one current WWE feud or storyline I’m interested in seeing each week.

During the November 12, RAW I was expressing my displeasure with the show as normal. I mean the show opened with a singles match that Teddy Long turned into a tag-team match after interference. Such a scenario has become a parody of WWE booking.  I continued to watch until Jerry Lawler made his return to the broadcast table two months after suffering an on-air heart attack.  After Jerry thanked the fans, CM Punk and Paul Heyman came to the ring. Punk ran down Jerry and made fun of the heart attack while threatening to beat Jerry to death. That was my breaking point for the show.

Don’t get me wrong. I’m not complaining because I found the segment to be in bad taste. I am probably one of the most politically incorrect people who will meet. I think society is on a downward spiral because everybody is getting too sensitive and easily offended over the slightest thing. Case in point, the two instances where Native Americans complained in the past week because of the new No Doubt video and one of the Victoria Secret’s models wearing an Indian headdress on the catwalk. I’m not going to criticize WWE for showing footage of the paramedics working to revive Jerry Lawler backstage after the heart attack, or for Punk and Heyman mocking the heart attack. Instead, I’m calling WWE out for being lazy.

Heymen's "heart attack"
Photo from
Playing off the heart attack was the cheapest and easiest writing WWE could have done on the show. I’m not saying they shouldn’t have mentioned it but I am saying the length they went to with the segment did very little to increase interest in the show or the Survivor Series pay per view on Sunday. What does CM Punk verbally assaulting Jerry Lawler have to do with Punk’s match against John Cena and Ryback on Sunday? Sure, Punk mentioned how long he’s been champion and how he’s now the ninth longest reigning champion in WWE history, but is that enough to make fans want to see the match at Survivor Series? Later in the show, John Cena defeated Punk (with an assist from Ryback). Did that make people call their local cable company or satellite provider and order the show?

Add in other parts of RAW like the AJ/John Cena affair storyline that makes very little sense and has little, if any, chance of a positive outcome. Once again, Layla and Kaitlyn vied to become the number one contender to the Diva’s Championship while the other four divas on the roster were nowhere to be found. Wait, WWE only has 7 wrestling Divas? They only have 7 divas and can only focus on 2-3 at a time? This is sadder than I thought.  Four tag teams did get some airtime, yet none are, as of this writing, booked on the PPV. I know not every show is going to be a home run but if this was the best show WWE could do before a pay per view, there is a lot of work that needs to be done.

The angle mocking Jerry Lawler’s heart attack may have been in poor taste, but it was hardly the worst part of the show. There are several areas in the WWE Universe that need fixing. However, I’m guessing since 50,000 tickets for Wrestlemania were sold in the first day of sales, Vince McMahon and company will keep their heads buried in the sand and ignore the falling sky.

Follow my123cents on Twitter for your daily dose of snark and join the discussions on the My 123 Cents Facebook page. If you use Tout, um, why?

Here are Kevin's thoughts:

Monday, November 12, 2012

Time to Take a New Look at TNA

@chadsmart & @my123cents on Twitter

Last week on From the Rafter’s radio (past episodes available on iTunes) a question was asked whether TNA would get four straight weeks of a rating of at least 1.5 or higher by the end of 2013. Today on the My123 Cents Facebook page, I asked what does TNA need to do to get more people watching. Based on the answers received, I got the feeling a lot of people haven’t watched Impact much in the past 6-9 months as a lot of the criticisms don’t apply to the current product. Being a fan of TNA and wanting to see them succeed, I felt I should address some of the answers and try to clear up some misconceptions about TNA.

GET RID OF ANYONE FANS ASSOCIATE WITH WWE/WCW/ECW: Two years ago I would have agreed with this assessment. Back in 2007 when I was living with my cousin, after watching the Victory Road pay per view, he thought Vince McMahon owned TNA because of all the ex-WWE guys who were on the show. Today, while there are still several ex-WWE/ECW/WCW guys on the roster, I feel for the most part they are being better utilized.
Of all the ex-guys, Mr. Anderson is the only person I can think of that I would cut due to just not being a fan. I also think Kurt Angle needs to freshen up his act as he’s very repetitive these days. Sting is being used in a way that helps elevate younger talent. Bully Ray has reinvented himself and created a completely different persona separate from Bubba Ray Dudley. Devon has been used to help mentor newer talent. Jeff Hardy is arguably the most popular guy on the roster and seems to be motivated and trying to re-establish his reputation after a couple of down years. Chavo Guerrero is still relatively new to TNA but after the way he was used for the last couple years in WWE, I’m hoping he wants to show what he’s capable of inside the ring. Rob Van Dam, while a step slower than he was in his prime is still popular and can put on good matches.

I do wish TNA would not relay on putting titles on ex-WWE guys as soon as they come into the company. For the most part though, established guys are being used to help establish the next generation. That is something I think a lot of fans overlook. If TNA didn’t use any established stars, a lot of fans wouldn’t see the homegrown talent as being very good because they haven’t been in the ring with anyone of note. I once had a friend ask me why he should care about Jerry Lynn appearing on a local indy show because “Lynn didn’t do anything important when he was in WWE.”  While I think wrestlers should be able to cement their stature based on their work, there is a section of the fan base that doesn’t care how good a match guys have, if they haven’t heard of at least one of the wrestlers in the match, even though they’re on TV the wrestlers are on the same level as the local indy wrestlers who wrestle on the weekend in front of 30 people.

In a perfect world, TNA’s roster could exist of only guys they’ve made but this isn’t a perfect world. So TNA uses ex-WWE who fans know as a way to draw an audience and bring in wrestlers who may have wrestled in WWE but didn’t achieve much success and (hopefully) uses them in a way to make them bigger names.

DITCH HOGAN AND ALL THE GUYS OVER 50. FOCUS ON THE YOUNG GUYS:  I believe Sting is the only other TNA roster member who is over 50. I just looked up Stings age and was surprised to find out he’s 53. Sting is definitely no spring chicken but he’s also not a broken down relic. To repeat myself from the last section, Sting has been used to help elevate newer talent and he’s not embarrassing himself in matches. Hogan if the General Manager but what separates him from a WWE GM is rarely does he get 20 minutes of in-ring talk time. I feel TNA has done a good job of relegating Hogan to backstage segments, which help propel the storytelling aspect of the show. Even though I wasn’t crazy about Hogan taking out three Aces and Eights members at Bound For Glory, the reaction from the crowd showed fans still like seeing him do his act. Hogan isn’t dominating the show and, say it with me, he is being used to help put over new talent. When he says Matt Morgan, Joey Ryan or Austin Aries are the new generation that tells fan to pay attention to these guys.

I also wonder how many of the fans who complain about the use of ex-WWE guys are the same ones clamoring for Steve Austin to come back to fight CM Punk or cheer every time The Rock and Mick Foley show up on WWE TV.

GET RID OF THE DUMB STORYLINES: I don’t think that’s TNA specific. I’m trying to think of all the ongoing storylines in TNA and the only one I would throw into the dumb category is the ODB/Eric Young story. The main reason I think it’s dumb is because once Vince Russo was fired, I was hoping the Knockout division would regain some focus and importance. Instead Eric Young is one half of the Knockout Tag Champions. Other than that, since the Claire Lynch story was ended all the stories in TNA make sense, are logical and put an emphasis on either being champion, wanting to be champion or wanting to be in TNA. Even though I don’t understand why TNA has a camera in the Aces and Eights hideout, the story being told is the A&8s want to be in TNA and will do whatever they need to to get a spot on the roster. 

Compare TNA to what’s going on in WWE. If fans aren’t watching TNA because of dumb storylines yet continue to tune into RAW every week, well maybe it’s not the storylines that are dumb.

THEY NEED TO CHANGE THEIR BOOKING STYLE: Again, anyone who has watched TNA in the last 6-9 months should have seen a change in booking style. Stories have logical advancement and a focus. 90% of what happens on Impact has a reason for happening. Instead of throwing random guys into a match or having the same match week after week, there is purpose and story advancement to the majority of each segment on Impact.

HIRE YOUNGER GUYS. SIGN MORE INDY TALENT: There are several wrestlers on the Independent level I would like to see get a shot at national exposure. However, there are several factors into bringing them into TNA. First off, TNA can’t just sign every talent that’s out there and have them appear on Impact. That roster should remain at a level where everyone can be properly utilized and honestly, that’s one of TNA’s problems. There are several wrestlers already on the roster who don’t get airtime for weeks or month at a time. Bringing in more wrestlers would only add to the problem unless TNA cuts several talents. In which case fans would probably complain TNA cut the wrong people.
Even if TNA is interested in talent, the talent may not be interested in TNA. If talent as heard WWE may be interested in signing them in the future, they will be less likely to take a TNA offer and not being available when WWE calls. If they are top-level indy talent, being able to control when and where they work could be more enticing then having a company dictate where you’re going. Money could also be factor. Someone who works every weekend could potentially make more money working indies and selling merchandise than a TNA position pays. Would it be worth bigger exposure to take a pay cut?

FINAL WORD:  After looking at the reasons fans seem to not like TNA, I think a lot of people need to take another look at TNA. And I don’t mean tune in for ten minutes and as soon as you see someone you don’t like change the channels. I mean actually watch an entire show for a few weeks. Learn the story lines and see the action in the ring. I will make a challenge to anyone. Watch TNA for a month. If after a month, you think WWE is better than TNA, well, I don’t know what I’ll do. Plus, I’m still skeptical that with the Thanksgiving episode of Impact next week that we’ll see AJ Styles in a turkey costume again. Seriously though, today’s TNA is not the same TNA that a lot of fans claim to hate. I honestly believe that if you are a wrestling fan, I said wrestling fan not WWE fan, and you can’t enjoy Impact, then the problem isn’t with TNA.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Throwback Thursday: To a Tee

Yes, this happened.
"Real men don't wear skirts!"
By Kevin Hunsperger
@kevinhunsperger & @my123cents on Twitter

When I was a kid I had a few WWF t-shirts.  One was of the Junkyard Dog.  I'm guessing I was probably about 11 or 12 at the time.  Then I got an anti-Roddy Piper shirt. It was the height of his heel run and says "Real Men Don't Wear Skirts!" My parents brought it down to my house from storage and just for kicks I tried it on.  As you can tell from the pic, it's definitely working overtime.

The one shirt that has stood the test of time for me is my Iron Sheik and Nikolai Volkoff one.  I got it for my 14th birthday in 8th grade. It was a little big on me then, and to this day it still fits.  It's been 25 years and I still wear it on occasion, usually just for videos as it is so thin now you can read the newspaper through it.

A fool for Old School
When my wife and I were dating, she took the shirt and said she threw it away.  Like I said, it is thin and full of holes and at that point was about 10 years old.  She didn't really trash it and was only hiding it to make me go on a wild goose chase for it.  So as a bit of revenge, I wore the shirt under my tuxedo shirt at our wedding.  I don't think she was too impressed with it though.

I don't really buy wrestling shirts anymore.  I do have a couple of hand-me downs from Chad and I bought a Wrestlemania 22 jersey to commemorate my first trip to the biggest show of them all.  Last year Chad gave me a "Will You Stop?" shirt from Barbershop Window.  I wear it quite often and people ask me about it all the time.  I will say that many of their designs are funny and I would love to add more to my collection, but as you've read in previous posts, I'm paying for a return trip to Wrestlemania and of course WrestleCon.

Nerd alert
I do wear the two different versions of the My 1-2-3 Cents t-shirt too.  That's done mostly as a marketing tool.  When trying to sell them failed, we started giving them away.  At the April Chikara show in Lafayette, Indiana Dasher Hatfield, Tim Donst, and Arik Cannon were all recipients.  During a recent interview on From the Rafters Radio, Donst said he wears his to the gym.  That impressed me.

Do you have any wrestling t-shirts?  Do you wear them in public?  What's your favorite?  Post here or on Facebook.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Wrestling with Politics

Hogan's Presidential Announcement
Monday Nitro, November 9, 1998
By Kevin Hunsperger
@kevinhunsperger & @my123cents on Twitter

Linda McMahon is making a second run for the U.S. Senate on this Election Day (November 6, 2012).  I'll be curious to see what will happen in the WWE if Mrs. McMahon ends up winning the seat.  We all know Jesse Ventura was the first wrestler to become governor (he won the race in Minnesota in 1998), and through the years he's hinted at a run for the Oval Office.

"Monica" & Hulk
A week after Ventura was elected to his state's highest office, WCW and Hulk Hogan pulled one of the lamest publicity stunts in the history of the company.  Hogan announced his plans to run for President of the United States.  The company went so far as to hire a Monica Lewinsky look-a-like to present Hogan with a cigar.  This was during the final days of the scandal with Lewinsky and then President Bill Clinton.

The segment ended with Scott Hall turning on fellow nWo members Eric Bischoff and Hogan.  He was  saved by Kevin Nash as Hollywood choked out Hall with a feather boa.  Thankfully the presidential idea didn't last long.

President Backlund?
Photo courtesy: WWE
This was nothing new though, as in 1995, Bob Backlund had announced aspirations for the White House as well when he was in the WWF.  I don't remember that angle really going anywhere either or having much of a point.

But the point of this blog, if you haven't voted yet, do it.  Polls are still open for a few hours if you are reading this on November 6.  Ha.

Monday, November 5, 2012

My 1-2-3 Cents Video Editing

I edit on iMovie
By Kevin Hunsperger
@kevinhunsperger & @my123cents

If you're not a wrestling fan and are reading this, don't stop.  This post isn't about wrestling.  Well, not totally.  I am writing it because my obsession with wrestling is not a cheap one.  Wrestlemania 29 is coming up in the spring and with it is WrestleCon, featuring many great companies like Shimmer, Chikara Pro, and Ring of Honor to name a few.  Couple all the indie action with the tradition WWE events like Axxess, Hall of Fame, and of course Wrestlemania and you're looking at a pretty big expense.

I was crunching the numbers recently and while the YouTube channel and blog are a fun hobby, neither is really producing a major source of income.  When I started doing both about two years ago, the goal was for it to become extra income to help pay for these types of trips.  The growth is there, but it's just not happening very fast at all.

That's why I'm starting a new endeavor in hopes of being able to afford all the fun things I want to do while in New York and New Jersey in April and not have to jeopardize my kids going to college (slight joke there, we jeopardized that years ago)

Anyway, all joking aside, I'm starting a video editing service.  Basically if you've got photos or videos you'd like edited and set to music for a birthday gift, Christmas present, or even during a visitation at a funeral, let me know.  I have more than 15 years of editing experience and I edit on iMovie. Besides the videos I edit on my YouTube channel I have done several family projects with old photos and music.  Last year, I edited a piece for my high school reunion.  Click here to see that project.

Contact me via email if you're interested, we can work out pricing.  Click here for my info.  Thanks for reading and hopefully we can work out a deal!

Saturday, November 3, 2012

A Million Reasons to Smile

Check presentation
Monday Night Raw
Courtesy: WWE
By Kevin Hunsperger
@kevinhunsperger & @my123cents

The past month I've devoted my blog writing time to my Halloween tradition of the "Boo blogs".  Now it's time to focus on current story lines and goings on in the world of wrestling.  Sure there are plenty of interesting stories developing as we head to the Survivor Series, and I'll focus on that in the coming days.  Today I want to acknowledge and tip my hat (if I was wearing one) to the WWE and their efforts to raise money and awareness about breast cancer.

On the October 29 episode of Raw, the WWE presented the Susan G. Komen Fund for the Cure a one million dollar check.  It was the result of a month long campaign and the first time the WWE focused on breast cancer.  In addition to the testimonials from WWE Superstars, the company sold special pink merchandise with the proceeds going to support the charitable group.  The ring also got a makeover and featured a pink rope in the middle.

Rise Above Cancer
I know some people have lambasted the WWE for doing this.  Some say the check presentation and announcement was grand standing.  I however disagree with those who are critical of it.  Personally, I don't care if the WWE had ulterior motives with this campaign.  I honestly think they were out there doing a good thing for the sake of doing a good thing.  Raising a million bucks in a month and donating it to someone who needs it is noble in my opinion.  A lot of businesses have started doing fundraising for breast cancer awareness during October in recent years, and the WWE has the ability to reach a whole different demographic that companies may not reach.

Cena and his gear
Courtesy: WWE
This project also proved to me again that John Cena is truly a class act.  He has earned his spot as the company spokesman as far as I'm concerned and has been the ideal representative for WWE.  Yes he's been in the main event or upper tier for years, but at this point, I don't see anyone in the locker room who stands out as being that "corporate face" that Vince McMahon has always wanted.

Kudos again to the WWE and the WWE Universe for supporting such a worthy project.  I suspect that this is the start of more campaigns for other groups who need the support.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Throwback Thursday: WWF Gets Animated

By Kevin Hunsperger
@kevinhunsperger & @my123cents on Twitter

In 1985, wrestling was at a fever pitch, thanks in large part to Vince McMahon.  I know some blame him for the demise of the territories, but I think without his vision and marketing abilities; wrestling would not be where it is today. Wrestlemania and the Rock 'n Wrestling prior to it showed the main stream that wrestling was not to be taken lightly.  Hulk Hogan, Roddy Piper, and Andre the Giant were becoming household names.

In the fall of 85, riding the wave of success of Wrestlemania and Saturday Night's Main Event, the WWF launched a 30 minute animated series on CBS.  Hulk Hogan's Rock 'N Wrestling Connection debuted on September 14, 1985.  I was 12 years old at the time and starting to outgrow cartoons, but my love of wrestling had me tuning in each Saturday morning.

I do remember being taken aback learning that the WWF Superstars were not supplying the voices of their animated counterparts.  But it made sense to use actors, as in those days the WWF travel schedule was hectic and the company didn't have all the connections and hookups that it has today.

Hogan, Albano, and Ritcher
The show of course featured Hulk Hogan (who was voiced by "Everybody Loves Raymond" star Brad Garrett.)  His baby face buddies including Hillbilly Jim, Jimmy Snuka, Tito Santana, the Junkyard Dog (voiced by James Avery who was Uncle Phil on "The Fresh Prince of Bell Air"), Wendi Richter, and Captain Lou Albano.  Piper lead a cavalcade of heels including Big John Studd, Nikolai Volkoff, Iron Sheik, Mr. Fuji, and the Fabulous Moolah (looking at the picture at the top of the blog, it appears that Moolah wasn't originally going to be on the show as there's a drawing of Mad Maxine, who was managed by Moolah briefly) Mean Gene Okerlund was also a part of the show.  Someone correct me if I'm wrong, but I'm almost certain that Bobby Heenan was animated on one episode.

There was always some kind of confrontation or challenge between Hogan's crew and Piper's posse.  The babies would always end up "winning" if you will, teaching kids that being a bad guy isn't all it's cracked up to be.

There were live action vignettes that aired in between the roughly 15 minute long cartoons as well.  Those featured the real life superstars on the show.

Hot Rod in his hot rod
The show only lasted two seasons, but with titles like "Captain Lou's Crash Diet", "Robin Hulk and His Merry Wrestlers", and "Big Top Boobs" (I'm not making that one up) how can you go wrong?  I would love for the WWE to either release these on DVD (I do have a VHS copy of a couple) or once the network finally gets off the ground include the shows somehow.  It would also be interesting to see them attempt something like this again in the future.  I know the upcoming Scooby Doo animated movie will include some WWE talent, so I can't wait to see that.