Thursday, January 31, 2013

Throwback Thursday: He's the Women's Champ

Hervina wins the women's title
By Kevin Hunsperger
@keivnhunsperger & @my123cents on Twitter

If you think the state of women's wrestling in the WWE is in disarray now, look back to this week in 2000.  On January 31, Harvey Wippleman defeated the Kat for the Women's Championship.  Keep in mind, Harvey was wrestling as his alter ego Hervina in the match, and Harvey wasn't really even a wrestler, having managed guys like Sid, the Warlord, and the Giant Gonzalez.  He also served as a referee for the company.

The title changed hands in a Lumberjill Snow Pool match.  The Kat and Hervina had to escape the pool to win the match.  Hervina prevailed and became the first male Women's Champion.  He lost the belt the next day to Jacqueline, but still it was a silly move in my opinion.  Women's wrestling for whatever reason has almost always seemed to get the short end of the stick in the big leagues, but especially the WWE.

So on one hand it's good that he only held the belt for a day.  On the other hand, why in the hell did this even happen?  Why not just have the Kat lose the belt to Jackie in the first place.  I don't mind inter gender wrestling between two WRESTLERS, but when it's a manager or referee or celebrity being thrown into the ring, it's ridiculous, and it's even worse in my view when a title is involved.

Is the Rock the New David Arquette?

David Arquette wins gold
Photo courtesy: WWE

@chadsmart & @my123cents on Twitter

I’m guessing a lot of wrestling fans won’t agree with the title of this blog but I think there may be some truth in saying The Rock winning the WWE title was akin to David Arquette winning the WCW title. I hadn’t thought about it until I saw a comment on a message board. Since then I’m been mulling this concept around trying to figure out how to properly present this hypothesis.

The first reaction to refute this claim would be to point out The Rock was a professional wrestler and had a successful seven year WWE career before heading off to the greener pastures of Hollywood. In those seven years, Rocky was a 10-time World Champion as well as multi-time Intercontinental and Tag Team Champion. This is all true but it was also ten years ago.

In the last nine years, The Rock has five times as many movies under his belt as he does wrestling matches (15-3).  The current WWE target audience probably knows Dwayne Johnson as the Tooth Fairy more than they know him as The Rock. So in that regard, I think a comparison between The Rock and David Arquette is justifiable.

The Rock wins gold too
Photo courtesy: WWE
When you consider The Rock is currently known more for being an actor instead of a wrestler then you can look at the similarities between his title win and Arquette’s win. Both wins were done, at least according to my theory, as a way to garner mainstream publicity. Neither win was the right decision when it comes to the story being told in the ring. If the Rock loses the WWE Title to John Cena (a nine time WWE Champion) at Wrestlemania 29 as many speculate will happen, then The Rock will merely be a transitional champion to get WWE back to the status quo of having John Cena on top.

Again, I realize The Rock was a successful wrestler. I do not want to take away from his accomplishments or imply he doesn’t have the talent to be WWE Champion. All I’m saying is WWE took an actor and put their most prestigious title around his waist as a way of getting the mainstream media to promote WWE for a couple of months. WCW put their prestigious title on an actor in hopes of getting people to talk about WCW. While the persons may be different, the actions are the same.

Agree or disagree? Share your thoughts on our Facebook page

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Dixie Carter's Big Announcement

Dixie Carter & Chad
Photo courtesy: My 1-2-3 Cents
By Chad Smart
@chadsmart & @my123cents

Dixie Carter, President of TNA IMPACT WRESTLING, tweeted the following this afternoon.

Dixie Carter @TNADixie
I will be making a major announcement on IMPACT tomorrow (8/7c) This will change everything for our wrestlers, company & YOU our audience!

I have not heard what this announcement is or if it has to do with Impact the show, Impact the Zone or the fabled Lucha star, Impact the Indestructible. But since I didn’t have anything else on my mind to blog about, I thought I’d throw out a few ideas of what Dixie will announce.

Goldberg will turn heel: The last time I recall the head of a wrestling organization make a statement like this it was Eric Bischoff claiming there was going to be something to big even Vince McMahon couldn’t stop it. Then on a PPV (I forget which one and since this blog isn’t serious, I don’t care to look it up) Goldberg half-assed a heel turn that if memory serves me right, was dropped within a couple of week. I know Goldberg isn’t on the TNA roster, but when has a wrestler not been on the roster stopped TNA from promoting said wrestler. (Corey Graves just tweeted from the NXT locker room he’s still hoping for votes in the Gut Check Challenge contest)

Jeff Hardy & Hulk Hogan
Photo courtesy: TNA
Hulk Hogan will challenge Jeff Hardy at Lockdown: Hogan recently claimed he wants to be TNA Champion in 2013 so why not put him in a cage match with Jeff at the next pay per view?

Impact is leaving Spike: With news coming out about the WWE Network possibly launching as a YouTube channel, and given TNA’s track record of trying to be like WWE, Dixie will announce Impact will now be seen exclusively on Ustream.

Entrance into the Impact Zone will require a ticket into Universal Studios: If I’m correct, currently people in the Universal theme park get priority access to the Impact Zone while fans can wait outside the studio in CityWalk and hope to get inside if seats are available. Starting at the next tapings, fans will only be allowed into the Zone once they’ve bought a ticket to the theme park. Also, wrestlers and staff will also have to purchase tickets to enter since Universal is revoking their worker access due to Hogan’s insistence of driving his Hulk Monster Truck to each show.

All WWE Divas will now be on Impact: Even though still under a WWE contract, Natalya Neidhart, Layla, Kaitlyn and the other WWE Divas will appear on Impact. This is not a sign of a working relationship between WWE and TNA. Simply put, Vince McMahon doesn’t care about the diva’s division and doesn’t even recognize WWE female wrestlers when he sees them. Dixie offered the Divas a chance to actually wrestle and they said yes.

TNA has bought the NWA: Going back to their roots, TNA is bringing back the NWA affiliation. The NWA territories will be rebranded as TNA shows after Panda Energy bought the rights to the organizations for $93 and two annual Universal Studios passes.

Impact will air in 3D: Fans will be able to get closer to the action as the stars of Impact Wrestling leap out of the TV screen in stunning 3D. Tazz will now appear life sized.

Impact is leaving the Impact Zone: This is the one I hope to see happen sooner rather than later. With the recent announcement of cutting back on PPVs and not holding any of the live PPVs in the Impact Zone, hopefully this means Impact on the road will soon follow.

In all seriousness, I don’t know what Dixie’s announcement will be or if I should get excited since her track record for big announcements isn’t that great. I do know TNA has been making great strides to get better and between TNA and WWE, I am more interested in what happens on Impact than I am for what happens on RAW or Smackdown. Just wish they’d strengthen then tag division and the Knockout Division. Also, either properly use the Knockout Tag Titles or get rid of them.

Anyway, I’m curious to hear what Dixie has to say. What do you think will be the big announcement? Give your thoughts on our Facebook page.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Hall of Fame: Stratusfaction Guaranteed

Trish Stratus
Photo courtesy: WWE
By Kevin Hunsperger
@kevinhunsperger & @my123cents on Twitter

Congratulations to Trish Stratus, the most recent name added to the WWE Hall of Fame Class of 2013. I must say I was surprised by this announcement, mostly because I've tried to avoid any HOF spoilers before actually hearing them on Raw.  I somehow managed to do that with Trish's announcement.

Trish is obviously a great choice for the Hall of Fame.  She is one of the best women to compete in the WWE through the years and she's not been gone long enough for current fans to have forgotten her.

When she first arrived on the scene more than a decade ago, I figured she'd just be another asset to the Attitude Era because of her looks.  She managed Test and Albert in a team appropriately known as T&A (insert your own joke here)  But once Trish started wrestling she proved she was more than a pretty face.  I feel like she earned her spot and the titles she collected while wrestling in the WWE.  She was involved in some great matches with competitors like Lita, Mickie James, and Jazz.

Snooki & Trish
Wrestlemania 27
Photo courtesy: WWE
She left when the time was right for her, not overstaying her welcome.  Two years ago she teamed up with Snooki at Wrestlemania 27 and it didn't look as if she missed a step. She has also passed her knowledge on to future superstars by helping judge Tough Enough.

It pains me to see someone younger than me (Trish is 37) be inducted into the Hall of Fame, but it's great to see she's being recognized for her accomplishments in and out of the ring.  She truly is deserving of the honor.  Just please tell me that Snooki won't be the one doing the ceremony.

Monday, January 28, 2013

Rumble Gets Rocked

The Rock is Mania bound
Royal Rumble 2013
Photo courtesy: WWE
By Chad Smart
@chadsmart & @my123cents on Twitter

The 2013 Royal Rumble is in the books. Heads up, this blog is going to be full of anger, snark and stereotypical Internet wrestling fan rage. If you’ve been reading my123cents for the at least two weeks or listened to last week’s From the Rafter’s radio show then you know everything we didn’t want to see happen at the Royal Rumble happened. Before I get into the complaining let me get the positives out of the way.

For the most part there wasn’t anything bad on the show from a pure wrestling standpoint. All the matches were laid out well and the in-ring action was perfectly acceptable. If I weren’t one to think about the outcomes and how it plays into a bigger picture, I wouldn’t have any issues with the show. So at least there’s that. Add in some genuine surprises into the Royal Rumble match (Chris Jericho, Godfather) and I would definitely think the show was worth the $15 I spent on food at Buffalo Wild Wings while watching the show. Unfortunately I look at the bigger picture and that picture resembles that refurbished picture of Jesus the old lady tried to touch up.

Last Man Standing
Del Rio retains
Photo courtesy: WWE
I don’t get why Big Show and Alberto Del Rio had another Last Man Standing match instead of a different gimmick, or straight up match. The match was perfectly fine as long as you overlook the logical gap of every Big Show match in which you wonder why he doesn’t punch his opponents in the face right from the beginning. While the match was fine, I didn’t like the ending. Ricardo Rodriguez duct tapes Big Show’s feet to the bottom rope preventing Show from getting back to his feet before the 10 count is administered. Yes, Big Show didn’t get back to his feet, however he was clearly trying to get up. To me the referee should have realized there was no way for Big Show to stand while his feet were taped and thus remove the tape before making a 10 count. Guessing we’ll get a rematch on RAW or Smackdown and then Big Show will be one of the competitors in the Elimination Chamber match at the next pay per view.

I was surprised to see Team Hell No defeat Team Rhodes Scholars. I don’t know where Kane and Daniel Bryan go from here. The Primetime Players have fallen down to non-serious contenders. The Usos and Primo/Epico haven’t been presented as potential contenders for the past couple of months. Hunico and Camacho’s bicycle must have gotten a flat tire, as they haven’t been seen in some time. Rey Mysterio and Sin Cara returned during the Royal Rumble but if the rumors of the two of them squaring off at Wrestlemania are true, then there’s really no reason for them to get a tag-title shot. Maybe Hell No will renew their feud with the Shield. Or maybe we’ll get more Dr. Shelby and wacky skits and hope fans don’t realize the tag titles aren’t being defended.

Y2J Returns
Royal Rumble 2013
Photo courtesy: WWE
The Royal Rumble match was well laid out. As mentioned before, the return of Chris Jericho was a surprise and actually played into a storyline from more than a month ago. I don’t know if Y2J is back or if this was just a one-time event. I hope he’s not back just through Wrestlemania as I don’t like part-time guys taking Wrestlemania slots.

The return of Goldust was a nice surprise and I would really like to see a Goldust vs. Cody Rhodes match at Wrestlemania. Maybe throw in Dusty Rhodes as special guest referee.  For the second year in a row, Kofi Kingston wins the award for most creative way to avoid elimination.

Cena wins
Royal Rumble 2013
Photo courtesy: WWE
As exciting as the Royal Rumble match was, the ending killed not only the match but was the first step in making me dislike the show as a whole. John Cena winning his second Rumble foreshadowed a Rock victory and made me not interested in Wrestlemania 29. Cena is the holder of the “Being John Cena” title, which allows him a title match whenever he wants one. Instead of having Cena win, whoever is going to challenge for the World title should have won the Rumble. Though I suspect that Cena winning the guaranteed title shot at Wrestlemania is a way for WWE to claim last year’s promotion of Rock/Cena as “once in a lifetime” wasn’t a lie. “Cena just happened to win a title show and Rock is champion, it’s not like we set up that way.” 

During the Punk Rock match, I thought they might have Punk retain the title because a Rock victory seemed too obvious. If Punk retained, Rock could still win the title at Elimination Chamber and go on to face Cena at Wrestlemania. Because I had this thought, when Punk pinned Rock, I wasn’t too shocked. However my spirits were deflated and every bad thought I had came to a head once Vince McMahon came out to address CM Punk.

Punk wins...for a minute
Royal Rumble 2013
Photo courtesy: WWE
Due to the lights going out during the match and Rock apparently being attacked, I think maybe he just slipped, Vince claimed The Shield had helped CM Punk and pre-match stipulation declared if this happened Punk would be stripped of the title. The Rock grabbed a mic and said they weren’t going to end that way and demanded the match be restarted. One People’s Elbow later, the Rock ended CM Punk’s 400-day title reign.

This ending was pure dreck on many levels.  First off, Vince had no proof the Shield interfered. Who’s to say Rock didn’t arrange for the lights to be turned off so he could get Punk stripped of the title? Rock beating Punk with one of the weakest wrestling moves in the history of wrestling was also frustrating. Here’s a guy who has been champion for over 400 days, has defeated some of the best wrestlers on the roster and he gets beat after a movie star who’s wrestled two matches in ten years hits him with an elbow drop. Could they have made Punk’s title reign look any more pointless?

Now unless there’s some major shake up at Elimination Chamber, The Rock will defend the WWE title at Wrestlemania against John Cena. I have not heard one person who has said they want to see this rematch. Had I taken a survey at Buffalo Wild Wings, I may have gotten a handful of people who were excited for the match. In my opinion, Rock/Cena was the laziest booking decision that could have been made.

Seventy days until Wrestlemania and I have very little interest in the show. WWE really needs to build a strong undercard to make Wrestlemania 29 not be the weakest show on a weekend full of shows. Right now, I don’t have high hopes.  

Friday, January 25, 2013

Surprise! Who Do You Want in the Rumble?

Adrian Neville as PAC
AAPW Main Event
Photo courtesy: Wilkey Photography
By Kevin Hunsperger
@kevinhunsperger & @my123cents on Twitter

Before I saw that the WWE was holding a tournament with NXT stars to earn a spot in the 2013 Royal Rumble, I had already made my choice for what "surprise" entrant I wanted to see in the match.  Now that a tournament is in place, my surprise won't be much of a surprise, but I digress.  I really hope that it ends up being Adrian Neville.  I've blogged about him before and I really can't say enough great things about the guy.  The artist formerly known as PAC is definitely a future Superstar in the WWE, it's just a matter of time.  With his recent signing though, I'm not holding my breath that he'll win the tournament, but I'd love to see him get a little "prime time" action on the main roster.

So, Neville is my pick.  Chad says if it's someone on the current roster, he picks Christian, but with guys not on the roster he wants the Hurricane to return.  I polled the My 1-2-3 Cents Facebook friends to see who they wanted to see entry the Rumble this year and why.  Lots of great choices, thanks to all who participated.

Sam Banks:  "The Hurricane.  I would mark if I heard 'Stand Back' come over the speakers. Not a big name, but would be fun, and better than Carlito or Shelton."

Greg Mehocko:  "Charlie Haas BUT (wait for it) coming out in his old WWE schtick of impersonating a WWE Superstar.  Can you imagine the pop when Stone Cold's glass shatters before Haas comes out?  What do you mean I'm re-hashing an old angle?  I thought we were talking about the WWE.

Stone Cold! Stone Cold! Stone Cold!
Photo courtesy: WWE
Randy Livingston: "Glass shatter 'Stone Cold' Steve Austin runs to the ring, Stunners every SOB over the top rope, wins the Rumble, begins celebrating with a few beers.  Grabs a mic and calls out the Rock for some unfinished business.  CM Punk comes out pissed at Austin and tries to run him down.  Austin laughs in his face and of course kick, wham, Stunner."

Ken Johnson: "I think it would be fun to see someone like Vader back.  I always like watching all the wrestlers try to lift the big guys over the top ropes."

Adam Hackbarth: "John Morrison in a Street Fighter Vega gimmick."

J.M. Knight: "I would love to see some of the old WCW Luchadores come out.  The reaction would be priceless.  'Who are you?' chants."

Will Jones: "'Stone Cold' ET.  Because he's freakin' hilarious.

Jason DeBoer: "Bob 'Mr. Hall of Fame' Backlund.

Corey Ellet: "Brock Lesnar coming back would definitely be exciting! That's my best guess anyway.  And I'm also a huge 'Stone Cold' ET fan too, so that would be an acceptable choice."

Craig Cox: "Jason DeBoer."

"With a tear in my eye..."
Flair wins the 92 Rumble
Photo courtesy: WWE
Erik Stensland: "Ric Flair, because he is the greatest to ever step foot in the squared circle and he could school half the wrestlers on the roster even at the age of 63."

Rusty Smith: "Kassius Ohno.  It's time for Hero to graduate to either SmackDown! or Raw."

Weston White: "Shelton Benjamin or Gilberg."

Casey Hammond: "I think Undertaker will be back.  But 'Stone Cold' or Goldberg would be cool to see again."

Why CM Punk Must Beat the Rock

Rock & Punk at Raw 1000
Photo courtesy: WWE

@chadsmart & @my123cents on Twitter

Last July on the 1000th episode of RAW, The Rock announced he would challenge the WWE champion at the Royal Rumble. At the time, I doubt anyone expected CM Punk to still be champion when the Rumble rolled around. Everyone was probably anticipating a Wrestlemania 28 rematch between John Cena and the Rock. With CM Punk still the champion, most are speculating The Rock will win the title and go on to Wrestlemania 29 to have the rematch with John Cena. In my opinion, a Cena/Rock rematch is a bad idea but more importantly, The Rock winning the WWE title is one of the worst business decisions WWE could make at this point in time.

I can see the reasoning behind putting the title on The Rock leading up to Wrestlemania. Over the next four months, The Rock has four movies hitting theaters. Two of those are big budget franchise movies, GI Joe 2 and Fast and Furious 6. Presumably, The Rock will be hitting the media circuit to promote the films. Wouldn’t it be wise to have him win the WWE title so when he’s doing the interviews he can be questioned about being the champ and his match at Wrestlemania?  As long as The Rock is going to be involved at Wrestlemania anyway, and judging by all the promotional material he will be there, when he’s being interviewed he could easily bring up Wrestlemania anyway. Plus, if The Rock walks into Wrestlemania with the belt, especially if he ends up facing John Cena, most fans will be expecting him to lose the match since after Wrestlemania he’ll be heading back to Hollywood.

The Champ
Photo by My 1-2-3 Cents
CM Punk on the other hand will be around after Wrestlemania. CM Punk is the longest reigning WWE champion in the past 24 years. When Punk loses the title it should be a significant moment. Over the past 13 months, CM Punk has defended the title against Dolph Ziggler, Daniel Bryan, Chris Jericho, The Big Show, John Cena, and Ryback. That list contains five former WWE/World Champions, a potential beak out star and Ryback that CM Punk has defeated on his path to greatness.

Losing the title to a guy, who has wrestled two matches in nine years, even if it is just a ploy to grab headlines, sends a bad message to fans and other wrestlers. Basically it’ll tell fans a guy who from the past who isn’t even a part time wrestler now is better than “the best in the world.” It will tell the other wrestlers, your contribution and hard work for 300 days a year isn’t as important as someone who gets talked about on Entertainment Tonight and Extra.

Is it worth the potential extra publicity The Rock may bring being the champion to sabotage CM Punk’s title reign?  Especially if The Rock is only going to hold the title for a couple of months? Wouldn’t it make more sense to either build up a credible challenger to unseat Punk or even have some underdog contender defeat Punk and hold the title for an extended period of time in order to build a new star? The Rock winning would be a throw back to the Attitude Era, from which Rocky emerged, when titles were used as props instead of being a valuable possession wrestlers strived to own. 

Rock's verbal smackdown
Photo courtesy: WWE
One of the positive things I can say about the 2013 Royal Rumble is for the first time in several years the outcome of both the Rumble and the WWE title match are near impossible to predict a winner with any sense of confidence. The uncertainty will hopefully make for an entertaining show and provide excitement as the road to pointing at the Wrestlemania sign officially gets underway.

Do you think The Rock should win the title? Who do you want to see win the Royal Rumble and go on to “main event” Wrestlemania. Share your thoughts on our Facebook page or tweet us. 

The Tooth Fairy's Magical Money

By Kevin Hunsperger
@kevinhunsperger on Twitter

Sorry wrestling fans, this isn't a post about the Rock's movie "The Tooth Fairy."  Today I'm writing about the real Tooth Fairy's visit to our house.  Our youngest, Brooke, lost her first tooth recently.  It made me realize, this is the final time my wife and I will be going through the Tooth Fairy routine.  I wanted to make this special for Brooke.  As most parents would tell you, when their children are happy, they're happy.

I saw the idea on Pinterest several months ago to create Tooth Fairy money.  The original concept is to use glitter hair spray to give the dollar bill a  magical look.

Earlier in the week, Brooke's tooth started wiggling around a lot and I knew it was a matter of days before it would come out.  After she munched on an apple as an after school snack I thought that would be the day.  So in a mad scramble around town, I tried to find the glitter hairspray.  Much to my dismay the stores I checked with said they only carry it around Halloween.  I had to come up with a Plan B, and that's when I remembered we have glitter finger nail polish here.

I used a blow-dryer to speed things up
I locked myself in the bedroom and brushed two George Washingtons with a thin layer of nail polish.  I don't think the look was as impressive as I had hoped, but it certainly did the trick.  A day later when the tooth finally popped out, the Tooth Fairy left the loot under Brooke's pillow and she woke up excited by this unique looking money.

The only drawback of it was she said to me "It smells like nail polish."  I ignored that, thinking how lucky we are that she's still a kid and believes in the things her older brothers dismissed years ago.  I know it's cliche, but kids really do grow up so fast.  It's important to me to keep part of her a little kid for at least a little while longer. I just need to find some of that hairspray for the next tooth that pops out.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Throwback Thursday: U.S. Express Rolls In

Mike Rotundo & Barry Windham
By Kevin Hunsperger
@kevinhunsperger & @my123cents on Twitter

This week is a significant one for title changes through the years in wrestling.  The Royal Rumble hitting this time of year plays a big factor in those stats.  This week also marks the 29 year anniversary of Hulk Hogan winning the WWF title from the Iron Sheik.  I've blogged about the significance of that moment before, so I'm going to write about another big title change from back in the day.  At least it was a big deal to 11 year old Kevin.

It was January 21, 1985.  Even though I'd been watching wrestling for about a year, I still considered myself new to the sport, especially the WWF.  My favorite tag team at the time was the up and comers of Barry Windham and Mike Rotundo.  The two were dubbed "The U.S. Express" and were quickly making a name for themselves among the other tag teams.

I remember watching in almost shock when the duo beat tag team champions Dick Murdoch and Adrian Adonis.  This was the era of no Internet, so I had no clue the title change was about to take place.  I remember seeing the match on Tuesday Night Titans (I think it was TNT, as Prime Time Wrestling wasn't around yet)  As a kid and a huge mark for the baby faces, I was satisfied with the new tag champs.

Windham and Rotundo had added Capt. Lou Albano as their manager at some point too. This helped the champs as they geared up for their high profile defense against the Iron Sheik and Nikoali Volkoff at Wrestlemania.  Despite Albano's presecence, the champs lost their belts after Windham was nailed by Freddie Blassie's cane.  Again, this loss came as a huge surprise to me, as it was probably the biggest upset of the night (at least in my pre-teen mind).

It didn't take long for the U.S. Express to get on track again and regain their gold.  They held the titles for most of the summer before dropping them to the unlikely duo of Brutus Beefcake and Greg Valentine.  This time it was Johnny V's cigar that cost the champs the belts.  Windham and Rotundo split a short time later and Windham headed back to the NWA.  Their partnership was brief, but memorable to me.  I had always hoped LJN would release them in action figure form, but it never happened...

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Getting Fit: DDP Yoga

DDP Yoga
@chadsmart & @my123cents on Twitter

Kevin has written a few blogs about trying to alter his lifestyle and become more fit as he approaches 40 in the next couple of months. While I still have a year to go before hitting the milestone, I myself have been saying I need to change up my habits and lead a healthier lifestyle. The big question was how did I want to implement this change and could I stick with it.

Last August, a friend gave me the P90X workout. I started doing the daily workouts and had a good routine going for about two weeks. Then my chaotic lifestyle kicked in again and I was having trouble finding time to squeeze in a workout just one day a week.  Needless to say I stopped even trying to convince myself I was going to be able to achieve the goals I had set for myself and went back to living my normal life.

As the end of the year drew near, I started thinking about new year resolutions and with Kevin doing his “Facing 40” series, I found a motivation to stop making excuses and follow through with getting into shape. After all, I can’t have Kevin showing me up in New Jersey for Geek Week. He’s the married one with kids. I’m supposed to be the cool one. Right?

Initially I had planned on going back to P90X. I knew the workouts and they were something I could do at home on my own schedule. The problem quickly arose where instead of staying home at night as I planned, I was once again finding myself going out with friends to movies or special events and not getting home until 11:00 at the earliest. Doing an hour-long high impact workout at that time just wouldn’t work. I thought maybe I could get up an hour earlier every day and do the workout at 5:30. However, because I am usually awake every half hour starting around 2am, I could never motivate my body to get out of bed at 5:30. Two weeks into the new year and I had only done one work out. It was looking like my lack of focus and determination would come back to sabotage me once again.

One day while talking about my lack of workouts with a co-worker, he mentioned he had just gotten the DDP Yoga DVDs and was going to give them a try. I knew former wrestler “Diamond” Dallas Page had come up with a yoga routine, but I had never actually looked into finding out what it entailed. Doing a quick YouTube search, I found the video of Arthur Boorman, a former paratrooper who went from not being able to walk without assistance to 
being able to run.  

I was intrigued to know if DDP Yoga was really that good or if Arthur’s story was the exception to the rule. After watching some other videos and reading blogs from people trying DDP Yoga, I decided to order the DVDs and give it a try.

One of the aspects I was most intrigued with is DDP Yoga is a No Impact workout. I was born without the upper part of my right hipbone. As a result, my right leg is about 1.5cm shorter than my left. It also means I have less range of motion in my right hip and have occasional hip pains. One of the issues I found with the P90X workouts was the amount of lunges would usually cause my hip to flare up in pain. I have been advised by my doctor in the past to do normal activities and if I experienced pain to stop. Basically I need to not take it too easy because I need to strengthen the hip as much as possible. Getting back to the DDP Yoga program, I was curious to see if I’d be able to perform the yoga positions with my hip not having full range of motion and if the moves would produce pain.

I borrowed my co-workers DVD and went through the Diamond Dozen, which are the 12 basic positions/moves, used in the workouts. There was only one move that I couldn’t do as well as I had hope. With a confidence that I would be able to do the workouts, I went ahead and order all three DVDs, bought a heart monitor and then waited for my package to arrive.

The DVDs arrived on Tuesday and it was time to take the first step to living 90% as DDP says. I started off with a refresher of the Diamond Dozen before moving onto the Energy workout.  For about the first half of the program I questioned if this would really work as I didn’t feel like I was working out. By the end of the workout though, I had worked up a sweat and could feel my body asking was going on, as it wasn’t used to being this active. This morning I woke up and did the Wake Up mini-workout. 

In addition to being No Impact, the workouts appear to be 20-30 minutes long, which will hopefully be easier to accommodate my schedule, though I have done well the past two weeks of not being as crazy busy. Plus, technically the DDP Yoga system is scheduled for every other day though as DDP mentions, you can customize the workouts depending to fit your schedule.

It’s only been one day, but given the relative ease of the workouts, the fact I’m putting this out for the world to see so I’ll have some accountability as I don’t want to look like a quitter, and my personal competition with Kevin, I can see myself sticking with it and hopefully I’ll get the results I’m aiming to achieve. The hardest part will be changing my eating habits. As a confirmed bachelor who is used to fast food and take out, actually buying groceries and cooking meals could take some time to become a normal occurrence.

My goal is to provide updates every 30 days. If I have success with this, hopefully it’ll help someone else who is trying to lead a healthier life. For more information on DDP Yoga, click here.  If you have success stories of your own or are trying to get in shape/live healthier yourself and want to share your progress, let us know on the My123Cents Facebook page or Twitter

Update:  Kevin has started the program too:

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Gut Checking TNA

By Chad Smart
@chadsmart & @my123cents on Twitter

On Monday, TNA announced a new online voting system to determine future contenders for the Gut Check segment. As with most ideas TNA has had over their 10-year existence this one takes a good concept and botches it in the execution.

The participants for Gut Check consideration are made up of wrestlers and at least one announcer who have previously taken part in a local Gut Check tryout TNA holds before house shows. On the Gut Check Challenge website, voting is broken down over 16 brackets. This is where my biggest complaint comes into play.

There are roughly 20 names to vote for in each bracket. With the exception of Lince Dorado, all of the names are the wrestlers real names and not their wrestling gimmick names. When I first looked at the list, I didn’t immediately recognize anyone. It wasn’t until reading message boards and other wrestling blogs that pointed out who certain wrestlers were that I realized I am familiar with about 15-20 of the participants. I can understand TNA not having guys use their gimmick names on TV, (although I don’t think any of the televised Gut Check competitors so far have used any name other than the one they’re “famous” for using.) but when you want fans to vote don’t you think you’d want fans to know the person from whom they’re voting. Would TNA set up a Best TNA Wrestler contest and list the nominees as Terry Bollea, Steve Borden, Allen Jones, Daniel Covell and James Cox?

In each bracket, each name is a link to a mini-profile of the wrestler complete with a video of a match. So technically if a fan was curious enough they could spend the day clicking on names on familiarizing themselves with each contestant. The downside is there are nearly 300 names to choose from. Who is going to click on 300 names?  Perhaps it would have been better to only unveil one or two brackets a week to avoid fan burnout. Maybe TNA is counting on the wrestlers to promote this online vote to their fans and figure the fans will simply vote for their favorite wrestler without looking at the other nominees so overloading them with choices isn’t a big deal.

Another point of contention is who is on the list and who isn’t. I know of at least one wrestler who went through a local Gut Check seminar that isn’t on the list. There could be a valid reason he was omitted. I don’t know the reason nor do I know if there are other wrestlers who should be on the list but have been left off for some reason. In addition there’s at least one name on the list, Chase Stevens, who is a former TNA wrestler. Not only is he a former TNA wrestler, he’s a former TNA Tag Team Champion. Then again, Christian York wrestled for TNA in their early days and took part in a televised Gut Check so the precedent has been set. Gut Check is more like The Voice than American Idol. What’s more confusing is there’s one talent, Matt Polinsky, who is a NXT wrestler. Apparently, the bio video mentioned he was a member of the NXT roster. (ED. NOTE. Since typing this, Matt Polinsky’s name has been removed from the list of names. Guess once people online pointed it out someone at TNA decided the name shouldn’t be there.)  How does something like one of your competitors being signed to another company slip through the cracks?

I like the Gut Check concept. I like how TNA is giving fans the opportunity to vote for who they want to see compete as there is a lot of great independent talent out there who deserve to be seen on a bigger stage. I just feel TNA has once again dropped the ball in how they handle new concepts.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Throwback Thursday: He's a Studd

1989 Royal Rumble
Photo courtesy: WWE
By Kevin Hunsperger
@kevinhunsperger & @my123cents on Twitter

For the last 20 years, the winner of the Royal Rumble has earned a title shot at Wrestlemania.  I think in most cases (there are a few exceptions, 1997 and 1999 come to mind) the winner went on to Mania for the shot.  In the early days of the Rumble though the champion competed in the match and you only earned bragging rights for winning.  Hacksaw Jim Duggan won the first event which only aired on TV.  In 1989, Big John Studd won the Rumble.  This was the first year it was on pay per view, making it the fourth of the "Big 4" PPVs.  (Quick history lesson: Hulk Hogan won in 1990 and 1991 and Ric Flair won the title in '92, then in '93 the title shot stipulation started with Yokozuna winning)

Anyway, to my original point, the '89 rumble happened 24 years ago this week.  The returning Big John Studd threw out the "Million Dollar Man" Ted DiBiase to win.  Studd had been gone from the WWF for a few years and came back as a face.  He was back to extract revenge on Andre the Giant who had turned his back on fans two years earlier.

Jake vs. Andre
Wrestlemania V
Photo courtesy: WWE
You'd think winning the Rumble would have lead to better things for Studd.  Maybe because this was the first year for it on PPV, they weren't sure what to do with the winner.  Studd appeared at Wrestlemania V as the special guest referee for the Andre-Jake "the Snake" Roberts match.  If you consider Duggan won in 1988 and ended up in the world title tournament at Wrestlemania IV.  Hogan was the champ when he won in '90 and then got the title shot in '91 against Sgt. Slaughter although it wasn't technically part of the Rumble stipulation.  And like I mentioned Flair won the gold in '92.  So really, Big John Studd (and Vince McMahon) are the only two Rumble winners to not WRESTLE on that year's Mania card.

Mega Powers implode
Royal Rumble 89
Photo courtesy: WWE
Other notables from that Rumble in 89 included the cracks in the foundation of the Mega Powers.  Hogan and "Macho Man" Randy Savage nearly came to blows after Hogan dumped the champ and Bad New Brown over the top rope.  Ax and Smash of Demolition started the Rumble match off that year.  It was a surprise start to the match, as the tag team champions pounded each other in the opening minutes.  The Ultimate Warrior and "Ravishing" Rick Rude had a pose off ahead of their Wrestlemania match for the Intercontinental title.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Facing 40: A Hard Habit to Break

Breakfast of (Wannabe) Champions
By Kevin Hunsperger
@kevinhunsperger on Twitter

Let me start by explaining what you're looking at in the picture.  That's a typical breakfast for me.  Blueberries, bananas, and chocolate protein powder, washed down with a Diet Mt. Dew.  I get up at 2 a.m. and I don't like coffee, so I've become dependent on soda as my source of caffeine.

My addiction to Mt. Dew started 20 years ago when I was working at Chuck E. Cheese.  I used to fill a large plastic cup with this nectar from the gods and drink it all day and night during my shift.  Back then it was the hard stuff.  Straight Dew, no diet.  After all, I was 19 years old, who needed to be on a diet, right?

About eight years ago I tweaked my lifestyle and swapped out pop tarts, Little Debbie, and Hostess snack cakes at breakfast for berries, bananas, and protein powder.  Lunches went from two sandwiches to one and instead of chips I eat carrots. And the regular pop was replaced with diet.  I also started restricting myself to one can a day.  On Fridays, I usually drink another soda when me and my peeps go out for breakfast.

I've been reading a lot lately about the dangers of diet soda.  I'd known that it's not exactly good for you, but my mentality has always been in moderation it's okay.  The artificial sweetener, aspartame, is 180 times sweeter than sugar (that's according to Men's Health Magazine).  This of course causes you to crave more sugar.  The problem I have here is that I justify eating cookies or candy or sugar coated sugar with "I had a diet soda, it's okay."  But it's really not okay.  The working out, the rest of the eating right, and drinking water most of the day is thrown out the window with a few sweet treats.

I guess the point of this blog is actually to solicit some advice.  I know people who have given up soda cold turkey.  I don't know that I can, or quite honestly want to give up pop.  Getting up at 2 a.m. is brutal.  Most nights I get about five hours of sleep, so I need the caffeine pick-me-up.  Or do I?  If you're an early riser, how do you keep your energy levels up?  I do want to start weening myself slowly off soda, but I'm not ready to commit to an all out self imposed ban.  Please share your thoughts.  Thanks.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Raw 20: Hitting Rock Bottom

By Chad Smart
@chadsmart & @my123cents on Twitter

I have a feeling that every time I write my thoughts about RAW after The Rock has been on the show all the blogs are going to say the same thing. Let me throw out this disclaimer, I do not hate The Rock. I’ve never been a big fan, but I understand his place in wrestling history and understand why fans cheer him. However, I feel The Rock had his time and now needs to go back to Hollywood because what made him popular 15 years ago is now at least 12 years past its expiration date. Before I write more about The Rock, here are some quick points regarding the rest of the 20th Anniversary of RAW, in no particular order.

Kaitlyn wins gold
Photo courtesy: WWE
Kaitlyn finally won the Diva’s title from Eve. Eve then quit the WWE. Hate to see Eve leave as I feel she’s improved a great deal in the ring over the last couple of years and she had a good character. One positive from Eve quitting is we won’t have any more Eve/Kaitlyn matches so now hopefully a new challenger will step up. Over the last year the Diva’s division has taken a hit. The Bella Twins, Kelly Kelly, Kharma, Beth Phoenix and now Eve have all left the company. Alicia Fox and Tamina are the only Divas, besides Kaitlyn, who have wrestled more than one or two singles matches in the past year. I don’t know how the Divas division in NXT is faring, but if WWE really wants fans to care about Divas, it’s about time they start adding some talent to roster.

Both members of Team Hell No defeated members of Team Rhodes Scholars in singles matches. Based on WWE booking philosophies, guessing this is a sign that Damian and Cody will become champions at Royal Rumble. As entertaining as I find Kane and Daniel Bryan, I think it’s time for them to lose the tag titles and go back to singles competition.

Ric Flair & the Miz
Photo courtesy: WWE
Ric Flair was the special guest on the Miz’s talk show segment. While I think the Nature Boy is beyond his prime and should never wrestle another match, I can’t deny I was marking out during the Woo off and strutting. It is sad though that Flair has been reduced to making fun of his failed marriages and huge debt. Still not sold on the idea of a face Miz, but his upcoming match with Antonio Cessaro should be entertaining.

Mick Foley was introduced as the first inductee into the 2013 Hall of Fame. Before he could get too far into his talking points, the Shield hit the ring. I was hoping for a Dean Ambrose, Mick Foley face off, which had been teased about a year ago with Ambrose posting videos on YouTube mocking Mick for destroying his body during his career and inspiring backyard wrestlers to do crazy stunts. Unfortunately, before anything could be said, Ryback hit the ring and chased the Shield out of the arena.

The first two and a half hours, while not blow away great, were entertaining. Even without a bunch of former star cameos to highlight the 20th Anniversary, the show was one of the better episodes in recent weeks. Then it all came crashing down.

Cena vs. Ziggler
Photo courtesy: WWE
We were treated to another John Cena vs. Dolph Ziggler match. This time they would fight in a cage. Much like their match last week, Big E. Langston interfered, Ziggler hit Cena with everything but the kitchen sink, but when it was all said and done, Cena was standing tall after hitting the Attitude Adjustment. I’ve said it before, and I’ll probably say it again week after week, John Cena doesn’t need to win every single match. He’s the biggest star on the roster. He could not win another match this entire year and he’d still sell the most merchandise. Dolph Ziggler is the potential future of the company, yet fans are being conditioned to not care about him.  The only difference between Ziggler and Heath Slater is their position on the card.

Finally, after three hours of wrestling, it was time for The Rock Concert. Is WWE still promoting the Be A Star campaign? I don’t think I’ve seen a promo for it in the last month or so. If they are, they should stop and if they aren’t, I wonder if it has anything to do with The Rock’s constant bullying persona.

The Rock Concert
Photo courtesy: WWE
I hated, HATED, this segment. The Rock performed a song making fun of Paul Heyman then called out Vickie Guerrero to run her down as a second rate hooker. The bad part is the fans ate it up. Maybe I’m a snob. I just really hate lowbrow humor. The Rock’s concert also did nothing to make me want to see him wrestle. I want The Rock to take his low-rent comedy act, his stale catchphrases and go back to Hollywood. Again, I don’t hate Dwayne Johnson. I hate The Rock. I enjoy Dwayne’s movies. GI Joe 2 would have been my top film of the year had it officially been released last year. I’m looking forward to seeing it again to see what changes they made. Dwayne is really good in it. I just feel he’s still living in the past and needs to evolve his character.

CM Punk vs. Rock
Photo courtesy: WWE
The brawl to end the show between Rock and Punk was intense and would have made sense on next week’s show to entice fans to buy the Royal Rumble. I like how Punk is not backing down from The Rock. I’m still worried though that WWE will put the title on The Rock to get some more mainstream publicity heading into Wrestlemania.

We’ll see what happens next week. Hopefully John Cena will make someone other than Dolph Ziggler his whipping boy and The Rock will leave his grade school joke book at home.