Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Shock and ow! My experience with a taser

Ow!!!
By Kevin Hunsperger
@kevinhunsperger & @my123cents on Twitter
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Thanks to TimeHop and Facebook Memories I was reminded that on November 30, 2010, I had the most shocking experience of my lifetime. I was tased live on News 3 This Morning on WSIL-TV. To this day I still get asked questions about the experience and told by people who saw it, they laugh every time they rewatch it.

So let's start at the beginning. Producer Weston White (Dub Dub) had approached my co-anchor Emily Eddington and I about doing a segment on tasers to explain how and why police use the devices. Some of our colleagues had done taped segments on tasers, but this would be a much more detailed account of the use because we were live and could take as much time as we wanted. The segment would end with me on the receiving end of the jolt. 


I agreed and we contacted Chuck Doan who is a police training specialist. After meeting with Chuck prior to the segment, my trust in him grew and I knew that I'd be in good hands. That morning Emily interviewed Chuck as I laid on a mat on the floor. He attached several clips to me and soon had the taser to Emily. Watch the video, you can tell she is not wanting to pull the trigger and my shouts of agony didn't help her anxiety during the segment.

Close up of the taser
Before the zapping started, I was reminded it would last five seconds, no matter if Emily released the trigger. Five seconds does not sound like a long time, but when that much electricity is coursing through veins, it seems like an eternity. I was fearful of two things that day, peeing in my pants and cussing on live TV. I'm proud to say I did neither.


I've been asked if it hurt. I don't know that painful is the right word to use. It's still hard for me to articulate the feeling it was. Imagine putting your tongue on a 9-volt battery or touching an electric fence. It's like that only much more intense and you don't get any relief like you do when you pull away immediately. After the experience, I was helped up and continued on with the rest of the newscast, which was only a few minutes. We did have a plan in place if I was not able to continue, but I'm thankful that was not the case.


I'm proud of what our team did that day. We gave some really important information about tasers and we also entertained people in the process. To my knowledge, we're also the first (and only) station in this market to do a tasering live on the air. Most are recorded and the curse words bleeped out.

So if you're ever in a situation where police ask you to stop what you're doing or they'll use a taser, my advice is simple. Listen. Stop what you're doing. In the real world, you'll likely be hit by a couple of barbs and the jolt will drop you to the ground.

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

3 Reasons Owens vs. Reigns shouldn't have happened on Raw

Courtesy: WWE
By Kevin Hunsperger
@kevinhunsperger & @my123cents on Twitter
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I admit this post is probably going to have a negative tone, but I am really frustrated watching WWE champions lose in the name of declaring a number one contender. Yes, I know this is all predetermined, but I'm old school and still believe in the value of the championship no matter how many times it's treated like a hot potato (I'm looking at you Raw Women's division). 

On Raw this week Roman Reigns was tasked with facing WWE Universal Champion Kevin Owens. If Reigns won, he would be named number one contender at the next pay per view Road Block: End of the Road. Long story short (and despite an accidental spoiler by WWE) Reigns won and will be going for the gold in December. I don't have a problem with Reigns in this position, but the match shouldn't have happened on Raw.

Courtesy: WWE
  1. I know things are different from when WWF only had a handful of pay per views and no weekly live programming. But I miss the days of keeping opponents away from each other prior to big matches, especially title bouts. Look back at the buildup between "Macho Man" Randy Savage and Hulk Hogan in 1989. Other than the initial Mega Powers Meltdown on the Main Event in February the two didn't touch each other until their match at WrestleMania V on April 2. Now Owens and Reigns wrestled on "free" TV this week, I'm not anticipating their encounter on December 18.
  2. General Manager Mick Foley could have come up with a number of reasons to name Reigns as number one contender. He's the United States Champion. He has an impressive overall record this year. And he was the last member of the Raw team to be eliminated at the Survivor Series a few weeks ago. Any one of these reasons alone is believable enough that Reigns would be next in line for a title shot.
  3. WWE had apparently accidentally spoiled the outcome of the match by saying the championship match for Road Block had already been set. Chatter on social media took the intrigue out of the Raw match for me. 
Courtesy: WWE
I'll close the same way I always do when I'm not happy with the current situation. It's a marathon, not a sprint. I'll stay the course and wait to see what happens. My bitterness over Daniel Bryan losing to Randy Orton at SummerSlam 2013 developed into one of my all-time favorite angles, so I'm not going anyway with my fandom. 





Monday, November 28, 2016

Don't just give on Giving Tuesday


By 
Kevin Hunsperger

@kevinhunsperger & @my123cents on Twitter
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The Tuesday after Thanksgiving has been dubbed Giving Tuesday. It's become a call to action to remember it's better to give than to receive. Between Thanksgiving shopping, Black Friday, Small Business Saturday and Cyber Monday, Giving Tuesday serves a purpose of helping others. Here are a few ways to give back to your community.



You may be short on cash this time of year. It's understandable. Giving Tuesday doesn't require a monetary commitment. You can give your time too. The Salvation Army in most communities is in desperate need of volunteer bell ringers. This site, Register to Ring, matches volunteers with opportunities. But I was disappointed to see southern Illinois locations are not on the list. If you want to help in that region, call the office at (618) 993-5854.




Donate blood. Winter months are tough times for most blood banks. If you're able to give the gift of life, I'd highly recommend it. One donation can save up to three lives. The American Red Cross has opportunities to give on their website.


My running friends in the Yellow Donkeys are holding a food drive this weekend. On Saturday, Dec. 3 people can drop off non-perishable food items at the parking lot of John A. Logan College. Donations will be accepted between 9 and 10:30 a.m. The Saluki Food Pantry and the Good Samaritan House will benefit from your generosity.


This year's Ugly Christmas Suit
You can take your giving to the next level like my buddy Tom Harness. This year he is once again doing his Ugly Christmas Suit fundraiser (from Shinesty/Opposuits). This year he's helping The Promise in Marion. That group gives food and clothes to families in need all over southern Illinois. Last year Tom raised more than $4,500 for Team RWB (Red, White and Blue). This year the goal is $5,000.

So how can you help?


Step 1. Make a donation online or stop by The Promise (818 W Main St, Ste 3 in Marion, IL 62959) and make a food or monetary donation.

Step 2. Tom will come by your business or organization to spread Christmas cheer in the suit and take photos.

Step 3. Tom will upload the photos and help promote your business or organization.

These are just a few ways to give back this Giving Tuesday. Find a charity near and dear to you and give what you can. Or just pay it forward to a total stranger. It'll do wonders for your outlook on life. Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays.

Sunday, November 27, 2016

The craziest blog you'll read about a puzzle today

Puzzle time

By 
Kevin Hunsperger
@kevinhunsperger & @my123cents on Twitter
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After we sat down for Thanksgiving dinner Thursday my wife and daughter broke out a one thousand piece panoramic owl puzzle. My daughter picked it out on a shopping trip with my parents a couple of years ago and after a couple of tries and very few pieces assembled, the puzzle always ended up back in the box.

These ladies are determined and worked through the weekend, including a late night session Saturday night. I woke up at 5 a.m. Sunday and my wife and oldest son were finishing up the puzzle. But much to their disappointment ONE piece was missing. The other 999 pieces came together but that one little missing piece drove all of us crazy.

The finished product
After my wife woke up later in the day she was telling me how surprised she was that only one piece was missing. I nodded in agreement as I reached into the refrigerator for a jar of salsa. I pulled it from the bottom shelf in the door and glanced down after lifting the jar. Low and behold, there laid the missing puzzle piece. I was stunned. My daughter snatched it up and quickly added it to the puzzle, deeming the job done.

Because the puzzle assembly moved from the living room to the dining room table, I'm guessing that one piece stuck to the jar of salsa as I had it for lunch the day before. Now we're frame shopping and will have a fun story to tell about the Charlie Zabarte owl puzzle. 

Saturday, November 26, 2016

I D'ohn't want to miss this marathon

My positioning on Black Friday

By 
Kevin Hunsperger
@kevinhunsperger & @my123cents on Twitter
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My productivity level has come to a screeching halt. Not that I'm all that productive anyway. But since Thursday afternoon I've been watching the Every Simpsons Ever marathon on FXX. I have of course gone to work and slept during the course of this 13-day event. Friday we took the kids to the movies and tonight we're going out too. I also tore myself away for an hour to clean out the garage. So I guess I'm doing better than I thought. 

I've been a diehard fan of the Simpsons since the characters first popped up on the Tracy Ullman show in the late 80s. I was in high school when Fox rolled out the series in late 1989. Because I had a job in the evenings, I would record the show and that obsession continued when I went off to college. My parents would tape the show each week and when the tape filled up I'd get a care package with goodies and a handful of episodes.



It's been more than 25 years and I still set the DVR and watch each week. This 600 episode marathon has been great a way to remember those first few years of the show. I've even quoted the show in sync with the characters, much to the chagrin of my family. There are a few episodes from more recent years that I've not seen, so I'm looking forward to catching up on those too. I never imagined so many years ago I'd still be watching NEW episodes of my favorite animated family.


Friday, November 25, 2016

Black Friday for wrestling fans

Brother Love

By Kevin Hunsperger
@kevinhunsperger & @my123cents on Twitter
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The holiday shopping season is in full swing and even wrestling fans can cash in and find bargains or just get some ideas of what to add to their wish list. Not only are wrestling companies grappling for your Christmas shopping money this year, so are innovative entrepreneurs and wrestling legends and stars with online stores.

Pro Wrestling Tees has a week long Black Friday shopping event going on right now. Shoppers get a 20 percent discount off orders until Tuesday, November 29. Purchases of $100 or more get a free "Macho Man" Randy Savage t-shirt. Pro Wrestling Tees allows wrestlers, personalities and podcasters set up shop. My goal is to get enough followers on Instagram (@kevin_hunsperger) and Twitter (@kevinhunsperger) to set up my own store. I have design ideas in mind and believe by Black Friday 2017 you'll be able to get some My 1-2-3 Cents swag.

Box of Gimmicks

But this year, I highly recommend selecting from the Bruce Prichard collection. He's podcast, Something to Wrestle With... Bruce Prichard has spawned some amazing designs. I will be shopping his store this weekend to add to my collection. By the way, you can listen to the show each Friday on iTunes. He and Conrad Thompson do amazing work.

Matt Cage
There are plenty of indy wrestlers offering deals on Pro Wrestling Tees too. From Matt Cage to "Farmer" Billy Hills to "Hitman" Jake Capone fans can support indy wrestlers in a whole new way. Prices aren't bad either, most starting at about 20 bucks, but remember you can save some cash until Tuesday. Just search for wrestlers or personalities by name to find their store.

My WrassleRoos
WrassleRoos is a great place to stock up on wrestling themed underwear and boxer shorts. There's also a collection of unique t-shirts available. Right now the site is revamping, but you can still shop and pick up underwear that looks like your favorite Superstar's tights.

From the WTF collection

WWE Shop, of course, is big business. The site is offering some deep discounts for Black Friday. In addition to t-shirts, championship belts and toys, WWE has some other interesting novelties. There's a wide selection of Christmas themed items, including ugly Christmas sweaters and stockings. But it's the gingerbread man ornaments that really got a chuckle. The Finn Balor one is the oddest of them all.

There's plenty of other shopping opportunities and ways to support the wrestling industry. Be sure to search your favorite company's site and complete your wish list.

Thursday, November 24, 2016

THANKSGIVING: What I'm thankful for this year

Garden of the Gods 2016
By Kevin Hunsperger
@kevinhunsperger & @my123cents on Twitter
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I have many things to be grateful for this year. But I'm going to narrow it down to a few of the biggest in this post. I'm trying to adopt a more positive outlook on life in general and remember no matter what cards you get dealt, make the best of them. It's not always easy, but it is possible.

First and foremost I'm thankful for my mom's health. Over the summer we found out she had bladder cancer. This was the second time in the last four years she's waged battle. In September she started a rigorous chemotherapy treatment with the goal of containing the cancer to the bladder and eventually removing the infected organ. 

My mom and dad
A week ago my mom underwent her final chemo treatment and on Monday we got word that the chemo did its job. It's been a huge burden lifted, and now we're asking for continued thoughts, prayers and well wishes as "Memaw" gears up for January's surgery. So many friends and even strangers have been extremely supportive. For that, I'll be forever grateful. Thank you simply isn't enough.

Holiday World 
I'm also thankful for my wife and kids. Raising teenagers and a tween is no picnic, but I couldn't think of a better partner in this life mission than my wife Lisa. We've had some good times this year including a trip to Disney World over Spring Break and some closer to home excursions like Garden of the Gods and Holiday World. It's been a good year and I'm looking forward to celebrating Christmas too. 

News 3 This Morning fam
When I'm not a home, I'm at work. My work family is a true blessing too. We laugh and argue together just like a real family. I'm grateful to have the opportunity to be a part of an amazing team and being a part of the WSIL Family for nearly 13 years has been a great ride.

Craftbeericans on location
I've got some amazing friends too. From my Craftbeericans buddies to Yellow Donkey racers to my friends from all other walks of life, I always have a good time. I've also made a lot of new friends this year through Stride Pro Wrestling. It's never a dull moment for sure.

Finally, thanks to all of you. Since creating My 1-2-3 Cents in 2010, I've seen steady growth in readers and listeners on the podcast. I'm humbled that people care enough to read and share my thoughts on everything from pro wrestling to the crazy adventures in my life. Happy Thanksgiving to all of you. 

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Why I drove two hours for Thanksgiving stuffing

A Thanksgiving staple here

By Kevin Hunsperger
@kevinhunsperger & @my123cents on Twitter
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Three years ago my mom introduced our family to a new Thanksgiving tradition: White Castle stuffing. I'm not sure where she found it, but the idea has been around 25 years, debuting in 1991. For the last few years, my family has made the trek to St. Louis to spend Thanksgiving with our loved ones. 

I work in TV news and don't get the holiday off, so we normally drive up in the afternoon, have dinner at a couple of houses and spend the weekend up north. This year we're not making the trip home, so when my wife started the menu planning for our family of five she asked what were the "must haves." My son and I agreed White Castle stuffing had to be on the list, but the nearest White Castle to southern Illinois is in Cape Girardeau, Missouri which is just over an hour from us.



So on Thanksgiving eve I hopped in the car and made the trek to Cape. Since it took more than an hour to get there, I decided to treat myself to a few sliders and sweet potato fries. I ate inside the restaurant and savored the flavor that usually only happens a couple times a year these days. Before leaving I picked up a Crave Case (30 burgers) and made the trip home.

Thanksgiving 2013
The sliders give the traditional stuffing an amazing boost. Plus there's always extras so we get to celebrate early with some "Belly Bombers." Here's the recipe. Enjoy and have a Happy Thanksgiving.

10 White Castle burgers (buns, onions, and pickles)

1 1/2 cup diced celery

1 1/4 tsp. thyme

1 1/2 tsp. sage

3/4 tsp. pepper

1/4 cup chicken broth


In a large mixing bowl, tear the burgers into pieces and add diced celery and seasonings. Toss and add chicken broth. Toss well. Stuff cavity of turkey just before roasting. Makes about 9 cups (enough for a 10- to 12-pound turkey). Note: Allow 1 hamburger for each pound of turkey, which will be the equivalent of 3/4 cup of stuffing per pound.

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

STRIDE PRO WRESTLING: New champs, new beginnings

The new Stride Pro Wrestling champion
By Kevin Hunsperger
@kevinhunsperger & @my123cents on Twitter
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Because I did a Survivor Series countdown blog, I missed the chance to write about the happenings in Stride Pro Wrestling in Marion, Illinois. On November 12 a new champion was crowned in the company's first ever "road show." Heath Hatton emerged victorious in his battle with Ax Allwardt at the Redbird Rumble.

Falls-count-anywhere
Courtesy: Steve Belcher
Hatton's win came after a hard fought falls-count-anywhere match. The two long-time rivals spilled on the floor of the West Frankfort gymnasium on more than one occasion. Despite some attempted outside interference from Allwadt's manager J. Wellington Beauregard, Hatton overcame the obstacles (including a picture perfect piledriver) to win the gold.

There's no doubt Hatton will be a fighting champion, having held titles in All American Pro Wrestling, Pro Wrestling Collision and Southern Illinois Championship Wrestling among others. I have no doubt Heath will represent Stride well as he not only defends his championship but also continues to train future wrestlers at the Stride Pro Wrestling School. 

Climbing the ladder of success
Hatton isn't the only new champion in the company. Earlier in the month I posted a blog about Jerry Travelstead and how he became Stride Pro Wrestling's first-ever Legacy Champion. He'll have a list of contenders to face as well and so will the company's tag team champions Joey O'Riley and Jay Spade. All four men are just what indy wrestling needs right now. They're hardworking professionals who put their bodies on the line for the enjoyment of fans.

Piledriver!
Courtesy: Steve Belcher
The road ahead isn't going to be an easy one. Hatton's first title defense is against Allwardt, "Big" Roger Matheus and Chris Hargas at the event Hostile Holiday. It's Saturday, December 10 at Illinois Star Centre Mall in Marion. The evening also includes Travelstead's first defense against Scott Phoenix. Wear your favorite Star Wars gear to celebrate the release of Rogue One. The new champ is a huge fan.

Monday, November 21, 2016

SURVIVOR SERIES: The Toronto Screw Job

Spear!
Courtesy: WWE
By Kevin Hunsperger
@kevinhunsperger & @my123cents on Twitter
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I realize the title of this is pretty harsh. While I don't necessarily think what went down at Survivor Series was a screw job, I do have some heavy criticism of the way the Brock Lesnar-Goldberg match happened. I'll preface this with a couple things. I try not to be negative because as we've learned in the past, wrestling is a journey and we have to wait and see what's next. Second, I am not nor have ever been a big fan of Goldberg, so take My 1-2-3 Cents today with a grain of salt. 

WrestleMania 20
Courtesy: WWE
In 2004 when Goldberg and Lesnar first met at WrestleMania 20, I had high hopes for the match. However, those hopes were quickly dashed once I learned both men were leaving WWE. The match was a big disappointment in its execution. The highlight was the guest referee "Stone Cold" Steve Austin delivering Stunners to each man. 

Fast forward 12 and a half years and a rematch is announced. In that time Lesnar went to the UFC and became a champion. He also returned to WWE and was quickly established as a true beast. In less than a year, he dismantled the Big Show, ended the Undertaker's WrestleMania Streak and handed John Cena his ass in a match for the WWE Championship. He dominated 2014 every time he stepped into the ring.

Goldberg did no wrestling in his time away from WWE. Last year he saved Rob Van Dam from an attack at a Legends of Wrestling show. But I'll say when he returned to WWE a few weeks ago he looked to be in great shape. He'll be 50 next month but doesn't look like it at all. So kudos to him for either maintaining his physique all these years or for busting his ass to get into shape for the match.

Survivor Series 2016
Courtesy: WWE
My gut reaction to the Survivor Series match is that Goldberg should not have won. But as mentioned I don't know what's next, so I'll accept the victory. Now I'm going to nitpick how he won. For years Lesnar has been billed as this huge threat to mankind. He's a beast. He's not like any other Superstar. Then he gets beaten by a guy who hasn't wrestled a match in more than a decade in less than 90 seconds. The total time of the match was 1 minute 24 seconds. 

I can't even begin to understand why that happened. In an era of guys kicking out of Tombstone Piledrivers, F5s, AAs and every other finisher it's hard to once again suspend belief that two spears and a jackhammer would be enough to keep the mighty Brock Lesnar down, especially after just over a minute of action.

The agony of defeat
Courtesy: WWE
I'm fine with the loss, but it's the quickness in how it happened. What's the payoff? How will this affect Brock's future? Will Goldberg wrestle again? Time will tell, but as a fan of more than 30 years, I did not like the execution of this angle... 

Sunday, November 20, 2016

SURVIVOR SERIES: Favorite team number 1: The Warriors

The Warriors
Courtesy: WWE
By Kevin Hunsperger
@kevinhunsperger & @my123cents on Twitter
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I'm counting down to the 30th annual Survivor Series by looking back at my ten favorite teams in the history of the event. Survivor Series ranks among my favorite events every year and if you've read this blog in the past you know I'm a fan of the traditional elimination matches. 

One of the first wrestlers to catch my eye before I even became a wrestling fan was Kerry Von Erich. It was the early 80s and he was one of the top guys in World Class Championship Wrestling, eventually becoming the NWA World Heavyweight Champion. Then in 1990 he arrived in the WWF as the Texas Tornado and quickly won the Intercontinental Championship. He lost it days before the Survivor Series but was already an established member of The Warriors.

Courtesy: WWE
The team was led by the WWF Heavyweight Champion The Ultimate Warrior. He and Kerry were joined by The Legion of Doom. But in past lifetimes Kerry was the Modern Day Warrior and LOD was, of course, The Road Warriors. This foursome is the most physically intimidating team in the history of Survivor Series. 

Not only did they all look amazing, they had many accomplishments in the ring. Warrior, as I mentioned, was World Champion. Plus he had two runs as IC champ. Kerry won gold everywhere he wrestled as was a former WHC and IC champ. The Legion of Doom had been NWA and AWA Tag Team Champions and were on course to win the WWF's version of those belts too. They could have been named like their opponents, The Perfect Team. 

Courtesy: WWE
Simply put, on paper, this was a dream team. But the execution of the match was a nightmare for this fan. That might be too much of an exaggeration. I was disappointed that Kerry wasn't one of the final survivors, but looking back at the big picture I understand why. I also hoped he would have eliminated someone. But more frustrating was the LOD and Demolition (Smash & Crush) double-disqualification. I've mentioned before I don't like when more than two people are eliminated at a time via count-out of DQ. By the logic applied here all three members of Demolition should have left the ring when Ax was pinned early on in the match.

Despite those nitpicks, The Warriors still hold up 26 years later as my favorite team. I dare argue anyone will knock them from that status. Thanks for checking out my countdown. Now enjoy the 2016 Survivor Series! 


Saturday, November 19, 2016

SURVIVOR SERIES: Favorite team number 2: Team Macho Man

Team Macho Man 
By Kevin Hunsperger
@kevinhunsperger & @my123cents on Twitter
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I'm counting down to the 30th annual Survivor Series by looking back at my ten favorite teams in the history of the event. Survivor Series ranks among my favorite events every year and if you've read this blog in the past you know I'm a fan of the traditional elimination matches. 

The fall of 1987 was an awesome time to be a wrestling fan. It was the post-WrestleMania III era of WWF. Hulkamania was still running wild after beating Andre the Giant. But a new force was emerging: Macho Madness. Randy Savage had turned good while pursuing the Intercontinental Championship from the Honky Tonk Man.

Around this same time, a new pay-per-view concept was being introduced to compete with the NWA's Thanksgiving night event, Starrcade. Survivor Series made its debut Thanksgiving night 1987. Although there was plenty of buzz around the main event of Team Hogan vs. Team Andre, it was Savage's team that stood out to me.



Team Macho Man was filled with some of the most talented Superstars on the roster at that time and in the history of the company. Savage, of course, was the captain and led former IC champ Ricky "The Dragon" Steamboat, "Hacksaw" Jim Duggan, Brutus "The Barber" Beefcake and Jake "The Snake" Roberts. Honky Tonk's team was thinner on the talent and included Hercules, "The King" Harley Race (a legend who was winding down), "Outlaw" Ron Bass and "Dangerous" Danny Davis. 

Team Honky Tonk Man
The good guys dominated the match, only losing Duggan via a double count-out with Race and Beefcake was pinned by HTM. That left Savage, Steamboat and Roberts as the survivors. I do remember thinking it was odd that these three co-existed given the brutality of the feuds that had already been engaged in against one another. 

It was a great time to be a wrestling fan and Team Macho Man was the torch bearer for great teams for this new PPV concept. (Side note: Andre's team was indeed a strong one too with Rick Rude, Butch Reed, King Kong Bundy and the One Man Gang.)