Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Boo: Halloween with My 1-2-3 Cents

By Kevin Hunsperger
@kevinhunsperger & @my123cents on Twitter

Last year when I did the original Boo series of blogs, I ended with pics of fans dressed up like wrestlers.  I scoured the internet to come up with the images, and had a few from my own collection to share.  This year, I'm proud to say that all the images are of readers and viewers of My 1-2-3 Cents.  Your support has meant a lot since starting this two years ago.  Thanks to those who emailed me pictures too.

The Model Rick Martel, Jimmy Hart, Akeem, Macho Man,
80's Vince McMahon, & Jesse Ventura
Nathan Norman as Daniel Bryan
Yes! Yes! Yes!

Sean Mina as the Ultimate Warrior
Heath Hatton as Hulk Hogan
Check out those pythons!
Chris Hagstrom as the Hurricane
Martin Endersby as "The Model" Rick Martel
Chris Hagstrom as Zack Ryder
Chad as Shark Boy
Me as Papa Shango

Martin Endersby as Ric Flair
Woooo!
Chad as Strong Bad
If you haven't closed the page out after seeing these treats, check out the Papa Shango makeover video too.  Happy Halloween.








Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Boo: Superstars in Disguise

Masked men
Photos by Chikara Pro & WWE
By Kevin Hunsperger
@kevinhunsperger & @my123cents on Twitter

Through the years, wrestlers have taken to a mask to hide their identity for the sake of an angle.  Sometimes it was the result of losing a "loser-leaves-town" match.  Others were suspended or fired from the company.  Regardless of the reason, the angles have provided some entertaining moments in wrestling history.

Handsome & Mysterious Stranger
Photo by Chikara Pro
It doesn't happen as much anymore, but a good example that immediately comes to mind is the Handsome and Mysterious Stranger in Chikara Pro.  The man behind the mask is former band member "Marchie Archie" Archibald Peck.  It's part of the ongoing love triangle with Archie, Mr. Touchdown, and Veronica.  After Archie lost a loser leaves Chikara match earlier this year, he disappeared from the company.  But recently, the Handsome and Mysterious Stranger emerged.  Fans clearly know it's Peck under the mask, but as you'll find with Chikara fans, they are a different breed.  They (we've) embraced the angle and those in attendance chant "who are you?" or something along those lines.  The fans help keep the mystic alive.

Machines
Courtesy: WWE
In the 80's, we saw more of these angles.  Who can forget the Machines.  The group of Japanese masked men arrived shortly after Andre the Giant was suspended from the WWF.  Andre was of course Giant Machine.  Bill Eadie who became Demolition Ax played Super Machine and Blackjack Mulligan was Big Machine.  It was obvious to everyone except baby face announcers Vince McMahon and Bruno Sammartino that Andre was under the mask.  Eventually there was even a Hulk and Piper machine with Hulk Hogan and Roddy Piper in those roles respectively.

Midnight Rider
My memory is hazy on the Midnight Rider, but he came to life after Dusty Rhodes was beaten by Kevin Sullivan in a loser leaves Florida match.  That happened in 1983.  This was right before I started watching wrestling regularly, so I have no memory of this, but a couple years later, the Rider came back in main stream NWA when Dusty lost a stipulated match.  I don't remember who it was against, but I remember him coming out in the garb and helping other faces on the roster in battling the Four Horsemen.  Again, it was clear Rhodes was the masked man, but it was fun none the less.

Hulk Hogan donned a mask as Mr. America in the early 2000's on SmackDown! to battle Mr. McMahon and Roddy Piper.  Brian Pillman became the Yellow Dog in the NWA, and the Von Erich brothers were at one time the Cosmic Cowboys in World Class.  Who were some of your favorite masked men in disguise?


Monday, October 29, 2012

Boo: They're a Bit Odd

The Oddities
By Kevin Hunsperger
@kevinhunsperger & @my123cents on Twitter

The end of the 90's saw a big boom in the world of professional wrestling, due to the Monday Night Wars.  WCW and WWF were pulling out all the stops to get the leg up.  Part of the competition included bringing in talent outside of wrestling to attract crossover appeal.  The WWF (and eventually WCW) went after the Insane Clown Posse.

The rapping clowns become the cornermen for a group of wrestlers known as the Oddities.  Golga (who was played by the late, great John "Earthquake" Tenta), Giant Silva, the late, great Luna Vachon, and Kurrgan were all a part of the group.  It was kinda weird seeing these former monsters embrace the fans and work as faces. ICP performed the entrance tune for the group and even wrestled a few times.

The Oddities, originally booked as heels, were over with the fans and became faces.  They would dance before and after matches, and even though I'm not a big face of the ICP, I must admit the entrance theme is quite catchy.  I still play it in my iPod from time to time.

The Oddities with Sable
Photo courtesy: WWE
Even though the fans did love them, the Oddities weren't much more than a flash in the pan gimmick and mostly used to help get others over.  At one point Sable was involved with the group before feuding with Luna over the women's title.  ICP would eventually turn on the group too and join forces with the Headbangers.  But the clowns didn't stay in the WWF long and headed south to Atlanta and WCW.  Even George "the Animal" Steele briefly worked with the Oddities, proclaiming himself as an original.

The Oddities were odd and scary, but in a good way.  They were like the circus freaks, just as their song implies, but they meant no one any real harm.  I always found them fun to watch and entertaining as well.



Hell in a Cell: Right Decision, Wrong Execution

Ryback stands tall, but Punk wins
Hell in a Cell 2012
Photo courtesy: WWE
By Chad Smart
@chadsmart & @my123cents on Twitter

As I start to type this, WWE’s Hell In A Cell pay per view has been over for about 12 hours.  I debated on writing because I found the show to be the perfect example of why monthly PPVs and themed PPVs shouldn’t exist and I didn’t want to spread more negativity around the My 1-2-3 Cents offices.  With that said, I don’t think HIAC was a bad show. It was just a show that had it not happened, no one would have missed it.


Normally I would start with the things I didn’t like about the show and end with the positives of the show. Unfortunately, I think the negatives outweigh the positives for HIAC so we’re going to start with the good stuff.

Overall the wrestling was good. The problem I had though was there was no match that had me interested in the outcome other than the WWE and World title matches.  With the exception of the Diva’s title, all of the outcomes were fairly predictable. Though I do take exception at Team Rhode Scholars winning by DQ, as I picked Team Hell No in the Rafter’s Radio pick ‘em contest since I didn’t see them losing the tag titles.

Kaitlyn shines in the Divas match
Hell in a Cell 2012
Photo courtesy: WWE
The World Title match between Sheamus and Big Show was the match of the night in my opinion and was a near perfect example of two power wrestlers beating the tar out of each other.  While the match was good, there’s one aspect that has me scratching my head. I’ll get to that in the negatives section.  I also thought the Divas title match was much better than expected.  Eve and Kaitlyn busted out some innovative moves and submission holds. If WWE ever gave the fans a reason to care about the Divas the talent is there for a solid division.  Those two matches and the lack of anything terrible are really the only positives I have for the show.

In addition to the announced matches, in what is becoming a monthly fixture, there were two unadvertised matches on the show. The U.S. Title match between Antonio Cessaro and Justin Gabriel made sense given the events on RAW. The Prime Time Players vs. the ReySins served no purpose other than to put a popular wrestler (Rey Mysterio) on the show.  

Gabriel misses the 450 Splash
Hell in a Cell 2012
Photo courtesy: WWE
Due to these additional matches, which were not short matches, they clocked in at a combined total of 20 minutes not including entrance times; the main event of the show only went 12 minutes.  I’m not saying had those matches not been on the show CM Punk and Ryback would have went longer. But I am hinting at poor time management on the show.

I have not missed Jerry Lawler since he’s been gone. In fact, when I heard his voice in one of the preview packages, I was reminded how irritating his voice is to me. JBL and Jim Ross have done a good job of filling in in the King’s absence along with a toned down Michael Cole. At HIAC though, I wanted to hit the mute button several times.  It sounded as if the three guys had gotten into an argument before the show and were determined not to work together.  Several times one of the commentators would say something and then another would repeat what was said. Then the original speaker would ridicule the repeater for saying what had just been said. If I didn’t know any better, I would also think someone had made a bet with JBL to see how many Notre Dame references and Oklahoma insults he could fit into the broadcast. Maybe it was an off night, or their minds were focused more on Hurricane Sandy. Whatever the reason, the commentary pulled the show down a notch or two.

Big Show beats Sheamus
Hell in a Cell 2012
Photo courtesy: WWE
During the Big Show/Sheamus match, the announcers made mention of Dolph Ziggler guaranteeing cashing in the Money In The Bank briefcase. They showed Dolph backstage watching the match. There were several references to Big Show’s 45-second title reign in December when Daniel Bryan cashed in the MITB case to become champion. After Show won the match, there was no Ziggler. There was no mention of Ziggler cashing in to try and become champion.  Maybe they should bring in Scooby Doo and the Mystery Gang tonight to solve the case of the Missing Zig. Seriously, what happened to Dolph cashing in during the show?

The backstage segments involving Paul Heyman and CM Punk trying to get the match with Ryback cancelled made little sense. First Heyman went to Vickie Guerrero to get the match cancelled and she said no. After a few matches, Heyman was shown going up to Vickie and thanking her for cancelling the match. She said the match was still on and Paul slinked off. Who told Paul the match was cancelled? Why did he go to Vickie a second time when she already said the match was happening?  It’s the little logic gaps or unexplained issues in WWE storytelling that brings down the entire story.

Punk with the kendo stick
Hell in a Cell 2012
Photo courtesy: WWE
Now, the main event, or “how to tell your fans you just wasted fifty dollars.”  Ryback losing was the right call. He’s not ready to be champion and ending the streak is a positive step.  Looking back at Goldberg’s streak, and how The Giant was unstoppable and quickly won the WCW title history will show you the longer one goes undefeated, the bigger and faster the fall is when they eventually lose. When a wrestler gets to the top of the mountain with little resistance it is harder to logically keep them of the perch after they get knocked off the top.  So Ryback losing will, in theory, help make him a bigger star in the long run if used properly.

Punk wins...with some help
Hell in a Cell 2012
Photo courtesy: WWE
That said, the cheating referee angle was not the way to end the unbeaten streak. Granted, it was better than Heyman using a cattle prod. Either because knowing the match wasn’t going to go long due to what time it started, or because the match was more a one sided affair with CM Punk getting in some offense but mostly being on the run for the match, the match just didn’t click with me. Yes, the visual of Ryback delivering the Shell Shock to Punk on top of the Cell will be a visual used in highlight packages for years to come, but the ten minutes preceding that moment weren’t good.

As I said, overall there’s nothing bad on the show and there are worse shows to spend your time watching. On the flip side, there’s nothing on the show that is must see. I’m guessing between the next 4 Raws and Survivor Series; we’ll see at least 90% of rematches from this show.

What did you think of the show?  Weigh in here or like us on Facebook and share your thoughts.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Boo: Tag, You're It

Meet Laser Tron
By Kevin Hunsperger
@kevinhunsperger & @my123cents on Twitter

In the 80's wrestling was obviously much different than it is today. At least main stream wrestling is.  Case in point, yet another crazy character based off something from pop culture.  This time it was LaserTron.

The masked man was actually Hector Guerrero of the famous Guerrero family.  I'm still not sure why the NWA felt the need to put him under the mask and crazy costume, which was a tribute to the popular game, Laser Tag.  LaserTron wrestled as a face and teamed up from time to time with the "Boogie Woogie Man" Jimmy Valiant.  The two were mildly successful as a unit, most notably feuding with the New Breed, a couple of weird guys who thought they were from the future.  Tron and Valiant teamed up in the second annual Crockett Cup Championship Tournament but didn't make it past round one.

 However, Tron did enjoy some success on his own.  He held the NWA Jr. Heavyweight Championship for several months in 1987 before vacating it to leave the company.  The gimmick seemed to have a short shelf life and I believe took away from the very talented Guerrero.

Hector returns...
as Gobbledy Gooker

But that's just one awesomely lame gimmick Hector had to work in his career.  About three years after LaserTron got zapped into the future, he burst from a giant egg and became the Gobbledy Gooker; a wrestling turkey.

Despite the gimmicks he's faced, Hector Guerrero has proven himself in the ring.  And while fans may look back and groan at these story lines, I remember them fondly.  Thanks for the memories.





Saturday, October 27, 2012

Boo: Bark at the Moon

The Moondogs
Rex & Spot
Photo courtesy: WWE
By Kevin Hunsperger
@kevinhunsperger & @my123cents on Twitter

By the time I started really watching wrestling in 1984, the Moondogs had become nothing more than enhancement talent, but these two mangy men had quite a reputation in the early 80's.  Moondog Rex and Moondog King won the tag team titles in 1981.  During their reign, King had to leave the company over visa issues and was replaced by Moondog Spot.

The Moondogs were a tough team, with shaggy hair and shredded jeans.  Lead by then bad guy manager, Captain Lou Albano, they carried giant bones to the ring and didn't hesitate to use them on opponents when the opportunity arose.  In the early days of their gimmick, their bite was worse than their bark.

Like I mentioned at the start of this post, most of my memories of Rex and Spot were putting over other guys.  I remember a young Barry Windham and Mike Rotunda beating the Dogs on their quest for the WWF tag team gold.

Moondog Rex as Smash
The Moondogs eventually split and Rex was actually an original member of Demolition.  Randy Colley played the role of Smash, but legend has it that his face paint wasn't quite good enough and fans chanted "Moondog!" when they saw him.  Add that to the fact that he had contract issues with the company and he was soon out and replaced by Barry Darsow.

Moondog Spot would head south and work in the USWA where he was paired with new dogs, including Spike and Cujo.  They were a force to be reckon with under the management of Richard Lee.   The vicious dogs feuded with crowd favorites like Jeff Jarrett and Jerry Lawler.

The Moondogs with Capt. Lou


Spot, who was played by Larry Latham, died in the ring back in 2003 after suffering a heart attack.  He was 51 years old.

Through the years other members like Splat, Max, and Mange were added to the mix.  There's no denying these guys were some of the most brutal during their time in wrestling.







Friday, October 26, 2012

Boo: Bring on the Carnage

Carnage chokes out Curly
AAPW Collision
Photo courtesy: Adam Testa
By Kevin Hunsperger
@kevinhunsperger & @my123cents on Twitter

The very first independent wrestling show I ever attended in southern Illinois was an IWA:Midsouth show called "April Blood Showers."  I was actually the ring announcer for the night, so I got to hang out backstage and meet all the wrestlers.  Among the talent on the card that night, a masked man by the name of Carnage.

He was a massive individual, very menacing and certainly living up to the name that his moniker implied.  He battled CJ Otis that night and even though Carnage didn't get his hand raised, Carnage displayed brutality and raw strength that I would come to see again and again on the southern Illinois indie scene.

Shortly after All American Pro Wrestling had its debut show, I attended an event a few weeks later (I was in Europe for the inaugural show).  Carnage was on the show and defeated Ax Stevens.  Again, Carnage impressed me, going toe to toe with Stevens (who is now Ax Allwardt).  This time the hooded menace won.

Inflicting pain on Jay Spade
AAPW Fan Fest 2011
Photo courtesy: Adam Testa
Little did I know that many years later I would be a part of the AAPW family and calling matches involving Carnage.  He ended up being one of the final participants in the first ever Saluki Maroon Melee during the second episode of AAPW Collision.  The much larger Mississippi Madman tossed Carnage to the floor before eliminating Allwardt for the win.  Carnage also showed up at last year's Fan Fest, defeating Jay Spade in a body slam challenge.  The much smaller Spade actually slammed Carnage from the top rope after a failed attempt to fly.  However, the referee was knocked down before the move, and didn't see the slam.  Being the diabolical player that he is, Carnage took advantage of that fact and easily slammed Spade and won the contest.

We haven't seen Carnage lately in AAPW, but through the years he's proven to me and the fans that he is a force to be reckon with.  He's likely lingering in parts unknown, perhaps plotting to destroy all that is good in the world.  He's one dude I would not like to run into in a dark alley.


Thursday, October 25, 2012

Boo: 1985

Team Heenan
Saturday Night's Main Event 1985
Photo from WWE
By Kevin Hunsperger
@kevinhunsperger & @my123cents on Twitter

I'm able to tie in another Halloween topic with the Throwback Thursday theme this week.  We go back in time to 1985 for the first ever WWF Halloween party.  It happened on Saturday Night's Main Event. In between the matches, there were several Halloween games and skits to entertain the fans.

We got a closer look at "Rowdy" Roddy Piper's home and how he prepared for Halloween.  Hot Rod was still a heel at this point and was trying to pass off bowling balls and bricks as treats for the kids who came to his door.  Of course when he drops the heavy items in the treat bags, they bust open and the kids lose their candy.  Pure heel, but the kids get revenge, including one dressed like Hulk Hogan, after giving Hot Rod chocolate covered hot peppers.

Albano vs. Bundy: Pie Eating Contest
Saturday Night's Main Event 1985
Photo from WWE
A team of heels all dressed in costume took on a team of faces.  Bobby Heenan, King Kong Bundy, Roddy Piper, "The Macho Man" Randy Savage and others battled the Hillbillies, Hulk Hogan, Junkyard Dog, Capt. Lou Albano, and Tito Santana in pumpkin passing contests, a pumpkin bobbing event, and a pie eating contest.  (No Rock sightings, as he was only 13 years old at the time)

It was a fun evening of Halloween activities, the costumes were creative as well.  I loved the fact that Iron Sheik and Nikoali Volkoff dressed like Batman and Robin.  Savage and Elizabeth made a great Tarzan and Jane.  The Junkyard Dog was a mummy and Tito Santana dressed like Zorro.

Hogan & Andre vs Bundy & Studd
Saturday Night's Main Event 1985
Photo from WWE
Four matches were also a part of that show, it wasn't just 90 minutes of Halloween games.  Savage got his first shot at the Intercontinental title that night and battle Santana to a double count out.  Terry Funk beat the Junkyard Dog, Ricky Steamboat beat Mr. Fuji in a Kung Fu Challenge match and Hulk Hogan and Andre the Giant beat Bundy and Big John Studd by disqualification.

Stroll down memory lane and check out some of the clips from that night.  I've include a few of the challenges here.

 

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Boo: Papa Don't Preach



Papa Shango
Photo by WWE
By Kevin Hunsperger
@kevinhunsperger & @my123cents on Twitter

The WWE has had its share of memorable, yet ridiculous characters through the years.  Case in point, today's subject Papa Shango.  This voodoo master was arrived in the WWF in 1992 (holy cow, I can't believe it's been 20 years already).  His biggest claim to fame in my view was when he ran interference during the Hulk Hogan-Sycho Sid match at Wrestlemania VIII.

As the two heels were double teaming the Hulkster, the Ultimate Warrior made his big return.  This set up a feud between the former champ and the unusual Shango.  One particularly memorable time of the feud was when Papa put a hex on the Warrior, forcing him to vomit pea soup much like Linda Blair in the Exorcist.

Shango did these kinds of tricks all the time, mostly to the jobbers he beat in the ring.  I can remember one having either his boots or hands catch fire.  That did happen, didn't it?  Another time, the Warrior began sweating what looked like motor oil.  It was reminiscent of those cheesy B movies from the 1970's and 80's.  You definitely had to suspend reality when Shango was around.

Wrestle Reunion 2012
Los Angeles
Photo by My 1-2-3 Cents

I only got to see him live in action once, and that was at a house show in Cape Girardeau.  He challenged Bret Hart for the WWF heavyweight title.  Hart won the match of course, but I can't remember if it was via the sharpshooter.

Of course we know Papa Shango morphed into Kama the Ultimate Fighting machine before finding his most successful gimmick of the Godfather.  No doubt though that as Shango, he made a good first impression on the WWE Universe before evolving into more realistic characters.


Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Boo: Out of the Darkness

Darkness Crabtree
Courtesy: ChikaraPro on Photobucket
By Kevin Hunsperger
@kevinhunsperger & @my123cents

When my co-blogger Chad introduced me to Chikara Pro several years ago, I wasn't overly interested in the product.  Fast forward to 2012 and picking up some hands on experience in the world of indie wrestling, I've come to appreciate Chikara and can say that I am a big fan of what they do.  Back when I first watched, "Sweet 'n Sour" Larry Sweeney was the biggest standout for obvious reasons.  But close behind him was Darkness Crabtree.

I can't exactly explain what it is about Darkness that I enjoy, but I find the character to be very entertaining.  He's the perfect representation of not taking wrestling too serious.  For those who aren't aware of Darkness Crabtree he's an elderly wrestler who has taken on all comers.  His slow saunter to the ring makes it seem like the Undertaker is speed walking.  His moves are slow and comical, but not in a Kevin Nash sort of way.  In short, Crabtree is awesome.

Matt Classic & Darkness Crabtree
Photo from TheBurningHammer.com
I do know who the man under the mask is, but for the sake of not ruining it for those who don't want to know,  I won't say.  However, you can pretty much find it anywhere online these days.  And that's the beauty of Chikara fans.  They (we) know who some of the characters are, but unlike fans of other companies they don't try to ruin the storyline with chanting names.  It's what we're currently seeing with the Mysterious and Handsome Stranger storyline right now.  It's great getting into a storyline or character without over analyzing things.

Anyway, back to Darkness, obviously he'll never be the Young Lions Cup champion as he's too old.  At this point, I don't see his Stone-Age Stunner putting Grand Champion Eddie Kingston down for the three count.  Perhaps he and Matt Classic compete for the Campeones de Parejas, but dare I say it Darkness Crabtree doesn't need a title to get over with me.  I hope to see him wrestle in person some day.  He wasn't on the shows I attend back in April, maybe he'll be wrestling Wrestlemania weekend.  I'm seriously crossing my fingers (and now having trouble typing) that he will be.


Monday, October 22, 2012

Boo: Bang Your Head

Bobby Heenan & the Missing Link
Photo from WWE
By Kevin Hunsperger
@kevinhunsperger & @my123cents

In the mid-1980's one of the most bizarre characters in the world of professional wrestling was the Missing Link.  He hailed from parts unknown and had his face painted crew.  I'm not sure how exactly to describe his haircut, I'll let the pictures do that for me.

Missing Link w/Akbar & Kamala
Devastation Inc.
I first saw the Missing Link on World Class Championship Wrestling.  He was a member of Gen. Skandor Akbar's Devastation Incorporated.  Missing Link's trademark move was the head butt, and he came to the ring to Quiet Riot's hit "Bang Your Head."  One memorable moment for me as a kid was when he literally went head to head with the Junkyard Dog in WCCW.  The two exchange head butts on the company's "Parade of Champions" show.  The Dog may have been the only opponent Link met with a harder head than his.  Link ended up pinning JYD, but with the help of Akbar, which promoted a second referee to come out and reverse the decision. In an act of frustration, Missing Link picked up the steel steps and began head butting it.

It wasn't long after that big show that the Missing Link's photo appeared in an issue of Sports Illustrated along with a cover story on the WWF.  It wasn't long after that he ended up in New York working for the company.  During his stint in the WWF he faced mostly jobbers, and was under the tutelage of Bobby Heenan.  Near the end of Missing Link's tenure with the WWF (which was only about 8 months), Heenan traded him and Adrian Adonis to Jimmy Hart for the contract of King Kong Bundy.  Link tried and failed to win the Intercontinental title from Tito Santana and collect Bobby Heenan's bounty of "Mr. Wonderful" Paul Orndorff.

Link eventually headed back to Texas, and despite his scary appearance and brutal ways in the ring, he turned face after saving valet Sunshine from an attack.  It was a modern day Beauty and the Beast situation.  His good ways carried over when he headed to the UWF and took on Dark Journey as a valet.  The two feuded with Johnny Tatum and Missy Hyatt among others.

The Missing Link, who was played by Dewey Robertson, died in 2007 after a battle with cancer.  He was only 68 years old.  The WWE has since added him to their alumni page, so check out more videos and stories on this deranged character of the 80's there.


Sunday, October 21, 2012

Boo: Kennel from Hell

Al Snow has some "pepper" steak courtesy Big Bossman
By Kevin Hunsperger
@kevinhunsperger & @my123cents on Twitter

In 1999, the WWF had a secure hold on the ratings in the Monday Night Wars.  But that doesn't mean bad ideas were not a part of the battle.  I give you Exhibit A: the Kennel from Hell Match from Unforgiven.  The match featured Al Snow and the Big Bossman.

The match came about after the Bossman cooked up Snow's chihuahua "Pepper" and served the dog for dinner.  Snow thought he was eating pepper steak, not Pepper steak.  The two decided to settle their differences in the Kennel from Hell, which saw the old school blue cage.  Then around that was the traditional Hell in a Cell structure, and in between the cell and the cage were rottweilers, and their handlers.

The dogs' bark was definitely worse than their bite as they never really played a factor in the match.  Besides hearing them snarl and growl and snap a bit at the competitors, the dogs seemed to serve no purpose here.  However, there was one shot of a couple dogs getting it on.  Sadly that may be the highlight of this match.

Battling it out in a kennel from hell
The video I've posted is not from the original pay per view.  Mick Foley and Kevin Kelly provided the commentary for another project.  Foley's overselling and hyping of things make this more fun to watch. Kevin Kelly even comments on the mating dogs, expressing concern that if more puppies are born there would be dozens of rotweilers ringside.

Unlike Hell in a Cell, the Kennel from Hell concept never went beyond this original match in 1999.  I think we can agree, that's probably a good thing.  Despite many critics calling it one of the worst matches ever, it served its purpose of being fun and allowing Snow to get some revenge on behalf of Pepper.  It made wrestling fun, and sometimes I think that's forgotten in today's current environment.


Saturday, October 20, 2012

Boo: A Grave Experience

The Taker's Graveyard
Wrestlemania Axxess 2010
Photo by My 1-2-3 Cents
By Kevin Hunsperger
@kevinhunsperger & @my123cents on Twitter

For more than 20 years the Undertaker has been the official "deadman" of the WWE.  So it's only natural that the company pay homage to the legend with a graveyard of his victims from all his Wrestlemania victims.

Each year at Axxess during Wrestlemania weekend, fans get a chance to look at the tombstones.  It's a pretty cool set up actually.  It's like walking through a cemetery.  Headstones for everyone from "Superfly" Jimmy Snuka to Triple H are on display.  For those wondering, there are individual markers for the opponents he's faced more than once.

In a giant casket
Wrestlemania Axxess 2012
Photo by My 1-2-3 Cents
Walking through the graveyard is a stroll down memory lane of sorts.  The opponent's name and the Mania they were "buried" is printed on the tombstone.  Of course it's also a great opportunity to get pictures taken too.  At the Wrestlemania 28 Axxess, there was an actual photographer on hand taking pics of fans posing in an oversized casket.  I can't remember now if it was the casket Undertaker and Paul Bearer built for Kamala when they wrestled at Survivor Series 92 or not.  Anyway, it was huge and as you can see from the photo, it's like a real funeral home set up.  The WWE really does do a top notch production on this and gives the fans a real cool experience as a part of Axxess.

Since we couldn't take video inside the graveyard, here's a look back at the Undertaker's Wrestlemania streak.


Friday, October 19, 2012

Boo: Heart Breakers

Luna & the Blackhearts
By Kevin Hunsperger
@kevinhunsperger & @my123cents on Twitter

In the early 1990's a tag team by the name of the Blackhearts was taking over the Stampede area.  The wrestler we all know now as Gangrel sported a mask and wrestled as Destruction.  His partner, Tom Nash was known as Apocalypse.  They were managed by Luna Vachon.

The original idea behind the gimmick was the masked twosome were the illegitimate sons of Stampede founder and promoter Stu Hart, hence the Black Hearts moniker.  (At least I read this part somewhere online, so take that with a grain of salt)  The trio eventually left Stampede and wrestled in a handful of other organizations, including the reincarnated UWF.   I never saw them on TV, but remember seeing pictures and reading about them in the Apter magazines.  I found all three of them to be beyond bizarre, which makes them a perfect fit for this series of blogs.

Luna leads the Blackhearts
UWF on EPSN Classics
They wore white masks on the outside of their regular masks when they headed to the ring.  But the black masks they wore in the ring wasn't your traditional mask.  It was a plain black one with no eye, nose, or mouth holes.  Luna not only managed the team, but would get involved in their matches and helping beat up opponents.  She also carried a snake to the ring, at least during the UWF days.

Luna and Nash were married at the time, but eventually split up.  Of course that lead to the end of the tag team, and Luna ended up marrying Gangrel (David Heath).  Ironically (or maybe not) they tied the knot on Halloween 1994.  He became the Vampire Warrior in USWA and eventually Gangrel in the WWE, leading Christian and Edge in the Brood.


Thursday, October 18, 2012

Boo: Funk Gets Buzzed

Chainsaw Charlie
Photo courtesy: WWE
By Kevin Hunsperger
@kevinhunsperger & @my123cents on Twitter

Terry Funk is a wrestling legend.  In the 1970's he held the NWA world's heavyweight title.  He wrestled all around the world, beating many of the all time greats in the business.  By 1998, he was back in the WWF for another stint, but this time there was something different about the Funker...

You see the man from the Double Cross Ranch had an identity crisis.  He traded in his cowboy hat, chaps, and branding iron for a chainsaw, thermal underwear top, and panty hoses over his face.  Terry Funk had became Chainsaw Charlie.  I don't know if this was based on the success that WWF alum Cpl. Kirschner enjoyed as Leatherface in Japan and on the indie scene or if something else motivated the character.

The highlight of the gimmick was seeing Funk and Mick Foley (who was Cactus Jack) team up.  The two had a match on Raw, when the tag team champions, the New Age Outlaws interfered.  This set up for a title match with the winners stuffing their opponents in a dumpster.  The faces won the match and titles, but a weird ruling came down that the wrong dumpster was used, so the two teams faced off again on Monday Night Raw, this time in a steel cage.  I'm pretty sure this is when Sean Waltman returned to the WWF and Degeneration X was formed with Triple H, the Outlaws, and X-Pac.  Someone please correct me if I'm wrong here.

Chainsaw vs. Cactus Jack
Photo courtesy: WWE
Funk aka Chainsaw Charlie didn't stick around too long, he had one last match with Foley on Raw and wrestled a few more times before heading back to ECW and WCW.  Despite the mask, announcers did refer to Chainsaw as Terry Funk from time to time.

Nevertheless, Funk is a legend and whether Charlie adds to or detracts from his legacy is up for debate. Charlie was a fun alter ego that Funk seemed to enjoy.  The fans responded well too, and I think at the end of the day that's what matters.  Of course this was the Attitude Era and the fans loved just about everything, except Beaver Cleavage...



Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Boo: What the Truck?!?

Monster Truck Sumo Match
Halloween Havoc '95
Photo courtesy: WWE
By Kevin Hunsperger
@kevinhunsperger & @my123cents on Twitter

Let's face it, through the years, wrestling as a whole has probably had more misses than hits.  But when the hits are good, they're awesome.  When they stink, they're probably a WCW idea.  I'm kidding, the WWF/WWE has had its fair share of goose eggs too.  But for this blog, I'm picking on WCW's Sumo Monster Truck match at Halloween Havoc 1995.

Hulk Hogan was the WCW world heavyweight champion and was flirting with the dark side.  He had abandoned the yellow and red and was sporting a black bandanna and tights.  He was challenged in this "match" by The Giant.  The two monster trucks in the challenge were welded together to add to the suspense of it all.

Timber! The Giant falls
I never been one for NASCAR, Monster Trucks, or any other competition of the sort, so to me this was quite a poor and a time waster.  Giant drove the Dungeon of Doom's "Monster", while Hogan drove a yellow truck that sported his trademark "pythons" on either side.  Hogan eventually forced the Giant and his truck out of the circle, but the future Big Show sought revenge against the champion.  The two fought on the roof for a couple of minutes before the Giant tumbled over the side.  Hogan tried to save the fallen monster, even running for help.  The reaction of the commentary team was priceless, with Bobby Heenan (I think he said it), "What do we do now?" Eric Bischoff of course over sold the whole thing, which made me cringe.  In all honesty, it was Heenan's wit during the entire showdown that even made this watchable for me.

Hogan vs. Giant
Giant wins by DQ
This of course is where you have to suspend reality.  Had the Giant really fallen off the roof, would the show have continued?  Keep in mind this is pre-Owen Hart, and a different company, so there's no telling what would have actually happened.  But perhaps the silliest part of the night came when the Giant actually made it to the ring to wrestle and defeat Hogan (by disqualification) in the main event.  Hogan's manager Jimmy Hart turned heel, hitting both the referee and Hogan with the championship belt.  Blah.