Thursday, June 30, 2016

Tarzan will help us find our abs

By Kevin Hunsperger
@kevinhunsperger & @my123cents on Twitter
Listen to the podcast

Weight stats:
January 1: 193.6 pounds
June 30: 185.4 pounds 

It's hard to believe 2016 is half over. By my calculations, I should have at least a three-pack by now. But sadly I don't. The year started off strong as I suspected it would, and then I got caught up in life and stopped making the gym and healthy eating  a priority. 

Alexander Skarsgard as Tarzan
So Chad and I are going to start the Tarzan Challenge in July. It's a six week program created by trainer Nick Hounslow. The great thing about this is the workout can be done from home. I need that because in addition to the blogging streak I've created with My 1-2-3 Cents (this is day 35) I have also picked up new clients for my freelance writing business. Working out at home will save me about 35 minutes of travel time a day, but I do plan to still hit Gold's Gym from time to time. I'm also running daily (hit day 61 today). And before you say it, I know I'm not going to look like Tarzan at the end of six weeks.

I like craft beer and I can not lie...
My diet has to change. I write about this each month, but sweets are my kryptonite. While cutting them out completely isn't likely going to happen, I'm imposing stricter limits. I've never done much fast food so that's not a concern. But I will still continue to be a part of the Craftbeericans. Drinking craft beer will become my "cheat days".

Since writing these monthly updates I've been approached about signing up for different nutrition and supplement programs. I'm not ready for that at this point. Thank you to all who have taken an interest and offered me the opportunity to join your program.

WrestleMania bros
I hope I'm not annoying people with these posts. It's about two middle aged dudes trying to improve their lives and hopefully inspire some others along the way. I also look forward to the day I can tell people who keep asking "find those abs yet?" "Yes, yes I have."

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Wrestling with Logic: Shooting blanks

Courtesy: WWE
By Chad Smart
@chadsmart & @my123cents on Twitter
Listen to the podcast
Follow my blog with Bloglovin 

I didn’t have a Wrestling with Logic last week due to there not really being anything to nitpick. Those weeks are few and far between. This week’s topic goes back to something we’ve discussed her several times; the little details.

At the beginning of RAW, Seth Rollins took center ring to talk about the triple-threat match at Battleground. During his promo, Seth mentioned he wasn’t supposed to talk about Roman Reigns’ suspension but since it was live TV and he had a live microphone, he was going to talk about Roman embarrassing the WWE.

As soon as Seth started to talk about Roman’s suspension, the production team put Roman’s apology tweet up on the Titantron. If Seth wasn’t supposed to talk about Roman, why was there a graphic already made and ready to be displayed? So once again, WWE’s desire to plan out every aspect of their shows takes away from unpredictability or intrigue.

A lot of people like to talk about how shocking CM Punk’s “pipe bomb” promo was as to what it takes to be a good promo in WWE. While Punk’s promo was most likely just as pre-planned and approved beforehand just like Rollins’ promo, the difference is WWE allowed Punk’s promo to come off as spontaneous. Had WWE production put up images of people Punk talked about during his promo or shown highlights of John Cena, Vince McMahon or ice cream bars, the impact of Punk’s words would have been nullified.

Steve Austin recently talked about the lack of realism in WWE at the moment and I couldn’t agree with him more. Realism comes down to the little details. If WWE wants to continue overproducing their product, that’s their choice. They just have to accept that doing so makes their programming as edgy as a Leave it To Beaver rerun.

John Cena Surprise

The John Cena Surprise
By Kevin Hunsperger
@kevinhunsperger & @my123cents on Twitter
Listen to the podcast

In general many of us are too negative. Cynicism and sarcasm rule our days. We're guilty of it here at My 1-2-3 Cents through some of the podcasts, blogs and YouTube videos. I am making a real effort to find the 'bright side' of things. This isn't to say I won't still voice my opinion and share 'My 1-2-3 Cents' when I don't like something, but I'm hoping good vibes and positive posts will encourage others to do the same.

I came across this video by Cricket called #JohnCenaSurprise. Spend 3:45 and watch it. The reactions from the unsuspecting fans are priceless. Nearly all of them made me laugh. All of the encounters put a smile of the person's face, which was the goal.

Cena gets bashed consistently by the Internet Wrestling Community for being 'Super Cena'. Some argue he's been around too long and hasn't shared the spotlight. After watching the John Cena Surprise it's even more clear why he's been THE MAN longer than anyone else in WWE's history. He's every man. He's willing to give back and spend time with the fans. Cena's appeal and reach is amazing.

So the next time you wanna complain about someone or something, think about using a different approach. Try to make more people smile and if you can make them laugh that's even better. More love, less hate.

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Naming my monkey is driving me bananas

Name me...
By Kevin Hunsperger
@kevinhunsperger & @my123cents on Twitter
Listen to the podcast

A couple of weeks ago I started a contest to name the My 1-2-3 Cents monkey. Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat and Instagram friends and followers all weighed in. I narrowed down the choices to the four that seemed to be the most logical. 

I want to establish my brand and the monkey is going to become a big part of my marketing effort. My hope is to get on the site Pro Wrestling Tees by the end of the year with a variety of monkey shirts. To do that I need 5,000 Twitter and Instagram followers combined. I'm about 1,800 away from that as we speak. (Cheap plug: follow @kevinhunsperger on Twitter & @kevin_hunsperger on Instagram).

Long term plans include other merchandise featuring the monkey. My thought is if he has a name, it'll be even easier to brand. But here's my problem, even after talking with marketing and social media specialists who are not wrestling fans, fellow fans and just a random Snapchat sampling, I can't seem to seem to make up my mind. So I'm turning to you all again.

Gorilla Monsoon
The two finalists are Jitter (based off his appearance and the fact that the podcast I do is on the Jittery Monkey Podcasting Network) and Monsoon (named after the late, great Gorilla Monsoon).  I have reservations about both for various reasons. But I want more input from you.

So should the monkey be named
a) Jitter
b) Monsoon
c) None of the above, start over
d) Don't name the monkey

You can comment on this post, message me on Twitter (@kevinhunsperger) or on the       My 1-2-3 Cents Facebook page. There's also Instagram and Snapchat too (hunsperger). Thanks for playing (again).

Monday, June 27, 2016

HOPE is my favorite four letter word

Tom, Roxi and Kevin
By Kevin Hunsperger
@kevinhunsperger & @my123cents on Twitter
Listen to the podcast

Over the weekend I encountered one of the most humbling experiences of my life. I was
asked to co-emcee the Relay for Life of Williamson County for the American Cancer Society. My buddy, Tom Harness and I did our best to encourage those in attendance to donate and help support the projects in this area and the research efforts happening on a grander scale.

Isabella singing
Photo courtesy: Wes Bennett 
The evening started with a song by a young girl who has bravely fought a brain tumor the last two years. Six year old Isabella Borgens moved everyone to tears with her rendition of "Fight Song" to kick off the 2016 Relay for Life. Survivors and caregivers then walked the first lap of the night.

Courtesy: Melissa Lanelle
Throughout the evening I met and talked to many survivors and people still fighting the disease. Cancer does not discriminate. It does not care what race you are, what religion you practice or how old you are. Men, women, children, rich, poor, gay or straight. Anyone can be diagnosed.

Veterans' lap
Besides their cancer diagnosis, the people I met Saturday night had something else in common: HOPE. Each one of them smiled and spoke with such positivity it was encouraging. As new treatments and advancement are made, we know the phrase "you have cancer" is no longer a death sentence. There were plenty of fighters to prove that. 

Courtesy: Tom Harness
During the chalk lap, I took a moment to honor my mom who is in remission from bladder cancer. She received her last treatment more than three years ago and continues to be closely watched by her doctors. She fought very hard, stayed positive and had a lot of people praying for her and her doctors. I also remembered three friends who had their lives cut short by this dreadful disease.

The rain didn't dampen the spirit of the luminaria ceremony. Hundreds of paper bags with the names of survivors or people who have died served as a reminder of why we were all there Saturday night. I remembered my Aunt Rita and Uncle Dan who each died of cancer.

Courtesy: Tom Harness
Even though storms coming through ended the evening earlier, I learned that HOPE goes a long way. This disease is horrible and even though some people do die from it, there are many who don't. More birthdays are being celebrated, thanks to the support given to programs like Relay for Life. Learn more here.

Sunday, June 26, 2016

My wrestling resume

AAPW Commentary team in 2012
By Kevin Hunsperger
@kevinhunsperger & @my123cents on Twitter
Listen to the podcast

I'll be up front from the start. My soul purpose for this post is to catch the eyes of Jeff Jarrett as his company Global Force Wrestling makes a stop near my home in southern Illinois. I want to be a part of the show and this post will aim to convince him of that.

Meeting Jeff Jarrett
I met Jeff Jarrett a couple weeks ago when I interviewed him for the TV station I work for, promoting the event on July 1 at Rent One Park in Marion, Illinois. I've also talked to him twice on the phone for the My 1-2-3 Cents Podcast. But I'm more than just a fan with a wrestling blog, podcast and YouTube channel.

Billy Gunn & Kevin Hunsperger
April 2005
In 2005 I got my first taste of the business. Ian Rotten asked me to be the ring announcer for the IWA: Mid-South April Bloodshowers show at the Herrin Civic Center. Billy Gunn wrestled Tracy Smothers that night and prior to that faced me on News 3 This Morning in a video game contest from hell. Ian had me back a couple other times, probably because I worked for free.

In 2010 I debuted as a referee for an event in McLeansboro for USCW. It was a challenging, but fun experience. Then about six months later I was asked to be on the commentary team for All American Pro Wrestling. This was an exciting opportunity because the show aired on WSIL-TV, the ABC affiliate in southern Illinois. That summer I also "managed" Velvet Sky at the TNA Basebrawl event in Marion. I'm not saying she beat Winter because of me, but I'm not saying my presence didn't hurt.

Courtesy: Jason Wilkey Photography
A storyline in AAPW developed where I had to get in the ring and wrestle. On January 14, 2012 I wrestled and defeated Mike Masters in my one and only match. It was one of the greatest nights of my life. The AAPW commentary gig transitioned into one for Pro Wrestling Collision. I did a guest spot at the Du Quoin State Fair in 2014 for USA Championship Wrestling. Finally in 2016, I became the ring announcer for Stride Pro Wrestling.

Stride Pro Wrestling 
I'm not looking for a paying gig on Friday, July 1 at Rent One Park. I just want to be a part of the action. Mr. Jarrett, give this long time wrestling fan a chance. You won't be disappointed.

Saturday, June 25, 2016

My path to the anchor desk

My work ID 20 years ago
By Kevin Hunsperger
@kevinhunsperger & @my123cents on Twitter
Listen to the podcast

Earlier this week I realized today (June 25) marks my 20 year anniversary in the news business. I had graduated college six months earlier and was working as an assistant manager at Chuck E. Cheese Pizza in Cape Girardeau. I finally decided it was time to get serious about my career search so I moved back to St. Louis. I had a freelance writing gig for a local newspaper and was substitute teaching until summer break started. 

Then I started working for a division of McDonnell Douglas changing out hardware on employee computers. It was the furthest thing in the world I wanted to do, but with a wedding one year away and no other source of income I happily showed up to work each day.

One night I saw an opening in the paper (the internet was still pretty new) for a Broadcast Assistant at KMOV. Basically it was a person who separated scripts for the anchors, producer and director and ran the Teleprompter during the 6 and 10 p.m. newscasts. I knew I was not going to land a reporting job in a top 25 market right out of school so at least getting my foot in the door could help me start networking with other journalists. I applied and got a call a short time later that the job had been filled. It was a 13 week position and I'd be added to the list of interested candidates for the next cycle. 

I was getting ready to leave to cover a city council meeting for the paper when my phone rang. On the other end was Aleta Harris, the executive producer at KMOV. She informed me the person they hired didn't show up and if I wanted the job it was mine. I eagerly accepted and was told I'd start the next day.

Julius Hunter & Larry Conners
That day was the first time I'd ever been inside a newsroom. I remember it like it was yesterday. It was 3 p.m. and there was a hustle and bustle going on with reporters, producers and photographers moving around the room. Copies of scripts were being printed. Writers were typing away feverishly at their desks. Anchors asked questions about content and what the plan was for the night.

Margie Ellisor
Courtesy: Fox 2 News
I was in awe. I soaked it in while trying not to be a fan boy. I had grown up in St. Louis and seeing the likes of Julius Hunter and Larry Conners in person was a nerdy news fan's grew come true. I also had a chance that evening to meet Margie Ellisor, someone who would become a mentor to me once I transitioned into a permanent job at KMOV. My 13 weeks ended and I was hired on as a production assistant. 

A tough assignment as KMOV
Arm wrestling the Honky Tonk Man
I worked any and all shifts, but primarily was on the morning show, where I bonded with Margie and her co anchor Marc Cox and reporter Kathryn Jamboretz. The three offered me so much advice and encouragement during my year long stint that I'll be forever grateful. They'd take me out on stories with them, help me shoot stand ups and do whatever it took to prepare my own resume tape. Margie also took me out for my first wrestler meeting with the Honky Tonk Man (another fanboy moment).

20 years later with the News 3 This Morning on air team
Fast forward to today and I would have never in a million years imagined I'd still be in the business and anchoring the morning news. I started here at WSIL in 2004 and have been given some amazing opportunities. I can only sum up the last 20 years with one word: grateful. Thanks to all who have influenced and been a part of this journey.

Friday, June 24, 2016

Famer Friday: Rocky Johnson & Tony Atlas

The Soul Patrol
Courtesy: WWE
By Kevin Hunsperger
@kevinhunsperger & @my123cents on Twitter
Listen to the podcast

I know Rocky Johnson and Tony Atlas were not inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame together, but when I first started watching wrestling the duo was the tag team champions. I believe they were the black first tag team to hold the WWF titles, having beaten the Wild Samoans in late 1983.

Courtesy: WWE
Johnson and Atlas, better known as The Soul Patrol, would come out and defend the titles and do some fancy footwork in the process. They worked well as a team and the fans seemed to love what they were doing. As their momentum was building, it seemed as if the rug was suddenly yanked from under them.

It was April 1984 and an unlikely tag team (at least in my 11 year old mind) of Adrian Adonis and Dick Murdoch upset the Soul Patrol for the belts. Johnson and Atlas had such great physiques it baffled me that two guys could lose to a pair in the shape of the heels. Remember, I was 11 and new to wrestling. In the closing moments chaos ensued and Adonis rolled up Johnson for the pin. I thought as this was happening, he's so powerful, why can't he push that guy off of him. Again, I wasn't in on the act yet and sulked after the champs were dethroned.

Saba Simba
Courtesy: WWE
Both Johnson and Atlas stayed with the company as singles wrestlers for a bit after the loss. I lost track of Rocky, but Atlas would go to World Class and compete as "The Black Superman." Yes that sounds ridiculous, but when you consider his return to the WWF in 1991 as Saba Simba, you'd long for his days in WCCW. That stint was brief and Atlas fell on hard times.

Years later WWE would not only induct Atlas in the Hall of Fame (2006), but bring him back as a manager for Mark Henry. The duo seemed to work well together, but it wasn't a long term plan. The Hall of Famer was released, but was a part of Legends House on the WWE Network. And long before any of that Atlas was press slamming Hulk Hogan (a heel) over his head and making magazine covers for doing it. He was a beast.

Son & father
Courtesy: WWE
Johnson was inducted in 2008 by his son The Rock. Prior to that he had made a few appearances on WWF programming, with the most memorable being when he saved Rocky Maivia during a three-on-one attack by The Sultan, The Iron Sheik and Bob Backlund at WrestleMania XIII. The father-son combo beat up the bad guys and I thought it would lead to at least a one and done tag team match for the combo. It never did though.

Regardless, both Johnson and Atlas were a big part of my early fandom days. From their time as tag team champions, to their stints as singles Superstars, I appreciate what each man did for the business. I consider myself lucky to have been on hand to see each go into the Hall of Fame.

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Getting poked by the doctor

Not me

By Kevin Hunsperger
@kevinhunsperger & @my123cents on Twitter
Listen to the podcast

Life as you well know can be stressful. One of the ways I deal with that stress is quarterly visits to an acupuncturist. I was a skeptical man in 2009 before actually giving the ancient Chinese practice a try. My wife was seeing Dr. Ying Li at Southern Illinois Acupuncture when she was doing fertility treatments for her first surrogacy.

She was so satisfied with the results and the improvement to her sleep, I decided to give it a try. At first I was going every few weeks. Then after a period of time the appointments became quarterly. Each time Dr. Li focuses on a different set of organs. The Summer treatment I just received is for the heart, small intestine and circulatory system. She says it'll help keep my body cool in the heat, which I'll put to the test as my run streak moves forward. The Winter treatment also includes flu prevention. I haven't had a flu shot in years and I haven't had as much as a cold since doing the acupuncture. 

The 45 minutes or so that I'm on the table and looking like a pincushion are some of the most relaxing I've ever experienced. I'm asleep within a minute or two and feel completely recharged at the end of each session. I sleep better and don't get as stressed out, but I still have my moments. Unfortunately insurance doesn't cover the cost, which is $80 per session, but I look at it as an investment in my health. That's a small price to pay when it comes to your well-being. And no it doesn't hurt.

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Absence will not make the heart grow fonder

Roman Reigns
Courtesy: WWE
By Kevin Hunsperger
@kevinhunsperger & @my123cents on Twitter
Listen to the podcast

Roman Reigns has been suspended for 30 days. Some fans are excited by this news. I will not revel in the situation as many within the Internet Wrestling Community have. However, I will not give Reigns a pass either. He's owned his mistake and in 30 days he'll be back.

Many times when a Superstar is sidelined, usually with an injury; their return blows the roof of the arena. Seth Rollins being the most recent example. Of course when retired guys like Steve Austin, Mick Foley and Shawn Michaels get a huge pop when they return, as to "attractions" like Brock Lesnar and The Undertaker. 

Suspensions historically are different. Many times society in general vilifies a person with any sort of issues involving drugs or alcohol, which many assume is what lead to Reigns' suspension. (Disclaimer: I don't know what the violation was, but remember the policy covers health and wellness issues and not just substance abuse.) Add that with the fact that Reigns has the approval rating comparable to the United States Congress and it's easy to see when he returns for the Battleground event he'll receive a chorus of boos louder than when he departed.

Reigns vs. Ambrose
Courtesy: WWE
I'm basing this on the assumption that he will still be a part of that triple threat match against WWE World Heavyweight Champion Dean Ambrose and Rollins. However, there's a lot happening between now and then, including the brand split so anything can happen. One thing I'm certain of is it is time for WWE to change how they've marketed the former champ. Playing hot potato with the title between he, Sheamus and Triple H didn't help either. Remember, Reigns is not the second coming of John Cena or his cousin the Rock. Let Roman be Roman. 

Bring in Estrada to manage Reigns
Courtesy: WWE
Since I'm fantasy booking and want more managers on the roster, I'd bring back Armando Estrada and pair him with Reigns. He needs a mouth piece and since Estrada once managed Reigns' cousin Umaga, I can see this duo working. Reigns has been presented as a dominate guy already, change his look so he's not so "Shield-like" and let someone else do the talking for him.

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

But first, let me take a selfie

On the 7 Dwarves rollercoaster at Disney World
By Kevin Hunsperger
@kevinhunsperger & @my123cents on Twitter
Listen to the podcast

June 21 is known as National Selfie Day. It's a real thing, trust me. Good Morning America celebrated by having correspondent Sara Haines snapping as many selfies as possible with people. They reached 1,177. According to GMA, The Rock holds the record for the most selfies in the shortest amount of time. The former WWE Superstar took 105 in three minutes. For those who don't do math, that's 35 a minute. 

The Rock layin' the smack down on selfies
Some people hate selfies and in turn will probably not even have made it this far into the post. I however have no problem with people who take pictures of themselves. It's become a part of society. Is it a good thing? Probably not. Is it narcissistic? Probably so. But is it fun? Yes. Does it make the person snapping the pic feel good? Yes. Then why do we care?

I'll admit there are some situations where a selfie probably isn't necessary. I don't judge those who do it, but I wouldn't take one at a cemetery, funeral home or other place to honor lost lives; like the 9-11 Memorial in New York. I understand why some people might though. We want to prove to the world we've been places and experienced things. 

Ellen's selfie
Ellen's selfie from the Oscars a couple years ago is still the most shared one on social medial. Gone are the timed camera shots of everyone trying to squeeze in or simply having one person left out of the photo so they can take it. Now we have selfie sticks and other devices to help in the process. Heck there's even a song about selfies and a now-defunct TV show. Here are some of my favorite selfies. (Go ahead and call me an egomaniac).  

Beach selfie

Newsroom selfie

Cigar smokin' selfie

Top of 30 Rock selfie

Sometimes I'm in other's selfies

Even when getting beaten up, there's time for a selfie

Thumbs up selfie

The rare triple selfie

Golfin' selfie

Up on a ladder selfie

Hangin' out in Pigeon Forge, TN selfie

No Dave, but we have a selfie

Inflatable 5K selfie

Merry Christmas selfie 

Running selfie

Magic Kingdom selfie

Craftbeericans on location selfie

Big family selfie

Santa selfie (he told me I was good)

Team No Sleep selfie 

Double J: Jeff Jarrett selfie