Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Alan Colmes Interviews Anne Rice

I came across this interview that Alan Colmes conducted on his radio show with author, Anne Rice. Well, not just any author, in my estimation. Nonetheless, my two favorite liberals engage in a pretty compelling chat where they discuss among other things:

- religion
- Anne's endorsement of Hillary Clinton
- rebuilding the Gulf Coast
- her earlier works vs. her current projects

In my opinion, Anne Rice possesses a great deal of insight and in this interview shows that she is very respectful of those who don't share her viewpoints, which is pretty rare these days. I've always liked Colmes, even though I don't agree with him on any topic.

Click here to have a listen. Makes me wish that Fox News Radio was available in the New York metro area.

100,000 Reasons Why This Match Should Be Made!

So the storyline appears to be on. We can all thank "Stone Cold" Steve Austin for this idea. "The Texas Rattlesnake" suggested some time ago that Ric Flair pull a "Rocky" by going on one last winning streak culminating in a championship match. The angle apparently got Vince McMahon's approval, but then nothing.

Austin got the idea from the movie Rocky Balboa, which was almost a year ago. Flair was on a brutal losing streak until he said enough is enough last spring. He had not been seen in a W.W.E. ring since. That is until this past Monday on Monday Night Raw.

Flair came out and in front of his hometown fans in Charlotte, North Carolina, said that he would have to drop dead in the middle of the ring before he stopped wrestling. Vince McMahon then came down to the ring to say the next match Flair lost, would be the last bout of his career. Finally, Randy Orton came out to say thanks to Flair for all he did for him early in his career and thanks very much for allowing him to force Ric Flair into retirement that night.

So anyway, Flair beat Orton in a non-title match, thanks to Chris Jericho distracting the "legend killer," thus the former World Champion gets to continue his career.

Flair's got a new three-year deal with the W.W.E. and his career is guaranteed to continue after he stops competing inside of the "squared circle." He didn't look great against Orton, but it was his first match in six months and the guy is 57-years-old.

My previous post I opined that although I would like things to be different, there may not really be a slot for the "Nature Boy." But if the W.W.E. is reading this - and I believe they are - I've got a solution.

Chris Jericho was brought in to challenge Randy Orton, so that takes the W.W.E. Championship out of the picture for a while. The Undertaker has been chasing Batista all year for the World Championship (and 'Taker actually held the title for about a minute before an injury), but now Edge (who also held the title for a minute before an injury) has been thrown into the mix. I propose having a "fatal four way" at Wrestlemania 24 at the Citrus Bowl in Orlando, Florida in front of over 100,000 fans. Yeah, from what I've read the place is already sold out and the event is not even until March 30. So who are the participants?

Ric Flair, The Undertaker, Edge, and Batista. I would give The Undertaker the "gold belt" at some point before 'Mania. Perhaps, Undertaker wins the "triple threat" match at next month's Armageddon pay-per-view against Edge and World Champ, Batista. This way you have Flair's career on the line, the World Championship, and also The Undertaker's 15-0 record at Wrestlemania. You probably couldn't convince the fans that Flair could topple The Undertaker in a one-one-one match, so that's why I came up with the idea to make it a "fatal four way." Yep, all by myself.

Ric Flair would win the title and once again be the World Champ (depending on who you ask, Flair has been champ a minimum of 16 times and a maximum of 20 times), and then the next night on Raw, he could retire. Flair deserves one more big match in front of a huge crowd. If Vince McMahon truly regrets the "Montreal Screwjob," then in some ways this would make up for it. By giving Flair a much-deserved sendoff.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

W.W.E. Raw Preview: A Sort of Homecoming for Ric Flair

Finally, there is something to be excited about on Monday nights once again. Yes, business is about to pick up! First, Shawn Michaels, then Y2J, and now the former 16-time World Champ, the "Nature Boy" Ric Flair makes his return. Monday Night Raw will take place tomorrow night in Charlotte, North Carolina, the hometown of Mr. Flair. What will Flair say to the audience? Will he announce his retirement?

Many fans, like myself, are rooting for one last run for Flair. Perhaps, something that culminates at Wrestlemania in March. Strange thing about Flair appearing on Raw is that he is a member of the Smackdown roster, which leads me to suspect a retirement may be in the offing. Rumors are that Flair will be inducted into the W.W.E Hall of Fame, which always occurs the weekend of Wrestlemania. Flair was losing left and right before he took a little hiatus, which was due to him being upset with all the losing. So who knows where this will go?

Does Flair announce his retirement? Does he come back for a few more months and possibly win the World Championship one more time? I think one more last great run is somehow a pipe dream as Flair really doesn't fit in to the picture. On Smackdown you have World Champ Batista engaged in a pretty contentious feud with The Undertaker and now Edge, with none of the three being friends. Over on Raw you have Chris Jericho gunning for W.W.E. Champ Randy Orton. The E.C.W. World title isn't really something that you would put Flair in the mix for. So where does that leave him? Your guess is as good as mine at this point.

Raw will also feature Umaga and Snitsky going against W.W.E. Intercontinental Champion Jeff Hardy and Triple H. Snitsky interfered in a great match last week between Umaga and Hardy. Triple H saved the day and so now we've got all four hooked up for tomorrow night. Triple H and Jeff Hardy have had their differences in the past, so I'm just waiting for Hunter Hearst Helmsley to turn on Hardy. There's a piece of me that would like to see Jeff Hardy beat Triple H to the punch and turn on him. Basically, I would like the W.W.E. to set up a Jeff Hardy vs. Matt Hardy match for Wrestlemania. Brother vs. brother with these two would be great. It might even rival the classic matches between Bret and his late younger brother, Owen Hart.

- Will Shawn Michaels and Mr. Kennedy duke it out at some point tomorrow night?
- Where is the whole Horsnwoggle/Finlay/Vince McMahon angle going?
- Does Carlito continue to get "jobbed" out as he apparently has given notice to the W.W.E.?

I suppose we will find out tomorrow night at 9 p.m. on Monday Night Raw!

By the way, I decided to post Chris Jericho's debut from eight years ago when he interrupted The Rock. A must-see classic battle of real good jabbermouths ensues!

Keep it in the Ring!

Saturday, November 24, 2007

New York Rangers: The Kids Are Alright

At some point a couple of years ago the New York Rangers started playing Neil Diamond's "Sweet Caroline" after each win. Well, these days it probably makes more sense to play The Who's "The Kids Are Alright" (posted above).

Just look up and down the lineup and you'll see it's filled with young talent. Yes, wily vets like Jaromir Jagr and Brendan Shanahan are still among the key leaders. But if you wanna see a young star leading the charge, you don't have to go any further than to start with the Rangers' goalie, a rock star in his own right, Henrik Lundqvist.

"The King" has been carrying the Rangers this year, so far. Lundqvist, 25, in his third year as a pro in North America, is quickly becoming known as one of the best goalies in the National Hockey League. New York is keeping their goals against down, which means they are playing more like playoff hockey in November, so they won't have too much trouble turning their defensive game up a notch come playoff time like most teams will have to do. Their outstanding defensive play - 1.91 goals against, which is the best in the NHL - is mostly a credit to the man between the pipes. Although, the rest of the team is more committed to defense than any recent Rangers' team, starting with and led by the youth of the blueline...

Twenty-year-old Marc Staal has been performing admirably as one half of the top defensive pair, along with Michal Rozsival. Then there is the number two pairing, Fedor Tyutin (24) and Dan Girardi (23). Neither guy is flashy - although "Toots" has more sparkle in his offensive game - yet they get the job done night after night. Girardi, in his first full season, plays the man extremely well and has a good sense of where he and his partner are at all times.

Then we move up to the forwards, where an Alaskan native is centering the top line with Jaromir Jagr on the flank. Scott Gomez, right? No, the Jagr-Gomez marriage lasted about as long as one of Elizabeth Taylor's forays into matrimony. Of course, I'm talking about 21-year-old Brandon Dubinksy. The 6'1", 224 pound, rookie has the tools to mature into a complete player some day. Dubinsky is as strong as a horse, and looks to be impossible to knock off the puck. He's also not afraid to drop the gloves and I'm glad to see that "pugilist" Jason Strudwick is helping Dubinsky out in that area.

Then, of course, there's my favorite youngen: Ryan Callahan. The 22-year-old Rochester, New York, native scored the first two goals of his career against the Boston Bruins on St. Patrick's Day last season. Oh yeah, he also won a scrap in that game. As if you would need more to like about this kid? Well, he's as quick as a hiccup, shoots the puck, and isn't afraid to go in the corners.

Although not exactly a "kid" line, I do love the "H.B.O." line which plays with grit and overwhelming tenacity. That line is, of course, Ryan Hollweg (24) Blair Betts (27), and Colton Orr (25).

Too bad former assistant General Manager, Don Maloney, isn't around the Rangers anymore to enjoy the maturation of some of his draft picks. Thanks to the Messiers declaring the head position being Mark's as soon as Glen Sather steps down. But that's another story, for another day. Didn't Mark ever get that memo which was delivered by Luc Robitaille to Wayne Gretzky soon after "Lucky" got dealt from L.A. to Pittsburgh? Well, I'll refresh. The memo read: "Players play and managers manage." Oh yeah, and bloggers blog. Whatever that means.

Stay Onsides!

Inside The Squared Circle: Hogan Divorce, Lex Lugar Update, Booker T Debut, Jericho vs. Orton? Matt Hardy Out 10 Weeks, Sting To W.W.E.? Much More...

Plenty of little tidbits to pass along:

Hulk Hogan's wife of 24 years, Linda, has filed for divorce. Hulk was notified by a reporter, of all people, looking to get a comment from Terry"Hulk"Hogan on the divorce. Holy smokes indeed!

Lex Lugar suffered a stroke last month, and the 49-year-old still has not regained movement in his arms or legs. I certainly hope for the best for Lugar, who has had tragedy after tragedy occur in his life the last few years.

Booker T will make his debut on television for T.N.A.(Total Nonstop Action) on Thursday night. In my book, T.N.A. is at this point not competition for the W.W.E. As long as they keep picking up castoffs or guys who fail their drugs tests (as in the case of Booker T), they won't be. Best bet for them would be to develop their own young talent. Similar to what R.O.H. (Ring of Honor) does. I'm rooting for T.N.A., mind you, because competition is better for all involved.

Looks as though Chris Jericho will get his shot at Randy Orton for the W.W.E. Championship at the next pay-per-view, Armageddon on December 16. Wondering if it isn't too soon.

Matt Hardy had an emergency appendectomy Wednesday and is scheduled to be out of action for up to 10 weeks. Hopefully, he will return sooner so he can compete at the Royal Rumble.

Sting - not the singer but the wrestler - has been offered a new contract by T.N.A. Rumors persist, though, that the W.W.E. is interested in nabbing the lone big star never to wrestle in the W.W.E. Wouldn't a Sting-Ric Flair bout at Wrestlemania be great to see? The matches between those two in the late '80s were awesome.

Brock Lesnar will fight Frank Mir in his first match for U.F.C. on February 2.

Some other songs that I should add to my list of pretty good wrestler entrance themes are: "Pomp and Circumstance March 1," by Sir Edward William Elgar, used by Randy "Macho Man" Savage; "Highway to Hell" by AC/DC used by The Dudley's in the old E.C.W.; "Frankenstein" by The Edgar Winter Group used by 911 in the old E.C.W.; "Enter Sandman," by Metallica used by The Sandman in, once again, the old E.C.W.

Keep it in the Ring!

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Raw Is Once Again Jericho

The waiting is indeed over, Chris Jericho has come home! The man who has been away from the ring for two years made his return to the W.W.E. and Monday Night Raw last night. He did so by interrupting W.W.E. Champ Randy Orton, who was in the middle of a "passing of the torch" ceremony.

Essentially, Orton had some local guy - apparently an aspiring wrestler - carry an Olympic-style torch from Miami to Ft. Lauderdale and into the arena. This, according to Orton, was meant to be symbolic because he should now be mentioned with the greats since he has beaten everyone and is left with no competition.

When the torch runner entered the arena and appeared headed for the ring; from behind the curtain jumped a "mystery man" to clothesline the runner. Moments later it would become fully apparent that it was Chris Jericho. Y2J entered the arena after a video played on the Titantron, which featured a countdown. Basically, Jericho came out, thanked the fans for their standing ovation and challenged a stunned Randy Orton. Incidentally, the above shot is of Chris Jericho playing in the NHL All-Star Celebrity Challenge in January 2002 for a good cause. Y2J and teammate Glenn Anderson look to score on Pete Peeters.

The return of Jericho closed a pretty good Monday Night Raw. Yes, the websites I consulted were flat out wrong in their prediction for the precise time of Jericho's arrival. Yet, overall the show was very good and I am anxious to see what the rating was.

Next week on Raw will feature the return of "Nature Boy" Ric Flair and a tag team match when Triple H and Jeff Hardy go up against Umaga and Snitsky. Plus, I am sure more from Chris Jericho. In addition, a pretty good feud was born last night when Shawn Michaels and Mr. Kennedy got into a tussle to open the show. Michaels is working a reduced schedule - which means only Monday nights and pay-per-views - otherwise he would be the W.W.E. Champ. Every time I see Michaels in the ring, it confirms my thinking that he is among the five greatest ever.

- Just a matter of time before Triple H turns on Jeff Hardy.

- Raw is in Charlotte, North Carolina, on Monday which is Flair's hometown. But he was a member of Smackdown for the last few months. I'm not sure if the move is permanent or not. Let's hope so.

- I read recently that Vince McMahon wants to play down the sexuality of the ladies of the W.W.E. - I can't call 'em divas - yet, if that's the case, then why is Mickey James kissing her opponents on the lips before flattening them for the pinfall?

- The W.W.E. spends way too much time on Hornswoggle and the women. Both storylines have their perks, I suppose, but I want to see more matches like the impromptu Michaels-Kennedy bout or the Jeff Hardy-Umaga contest. This may be a bit repetitive: I get the entertainment side of wrestling, but gimme Steamboat-Savage, Rhodes-Flair, Owen-Bret, Terry Funk-Sabu...that was entertaining!

Keep it in the Ring!

Top Wrestling Theme Songs

This is a bit different folks, a special for Thanksgiving, I suppose. I was thinking about the old days when wrestlers used "popular" theme songs. Due to mostly licensing agreements, the W.W.E.'s wrestlers use music that is not all that popular for radio, but usually and exclusively licensed to World Wrestling Entertainment. Although that isn't a bad thing either. So here we go with a top ten which lists the song, the artist and the wrestler that used the song. Most of these were from the '80s and '90s, however, Ric Flair is the exception in that he uses a popular theme and that he is still wrestling.

1- "Eye of the Tiger," Survivor, Hulk Hogan.
2- "Iron Man," Black Sabbath, The Road Warriors.
3- "Sprach Zarathustra (Thus Spake Zarathustra)" - The Vienna Philharmonic, a.k.a. 2001 Space Odyssey Theme, "Nature Boy" Ric Flair.
4- "Desperado," The Eagles, Terry Funk (video featured above).
5- "The Chase," Giorgio Moroder,Theme for Midnight Express movie and tag team of the same name.
6- "Sirius," Alan Parsons Project, Ricky"The Dragon"Steamboat. Before the Chicago Bulls it was used by a true wrestling legend.
7- "Freebird" (live version) by Lynyrd Skynyrd, The Fabulous Freebirds.
8- "Rock and Roll is King," by E.L.O., The Rock & Roll Express.
9- "Another One Bites the Dust," Queen, The Junkyard Dog.
10-"Tom Sawyer," Rush, Kerry"The Modern Day Warrior"Von Erich.

Honorable Mentions: "Boy From New York City," The Manhattan Transfer, "Boogie Woogie Man" Jimmy Valiant; "Living After Midnight," Judas Priest, The Midnight Rockers (Shawn Michaels & Marty Jannetty) from their days in the American Wrestling Association (AWA).

Keep it in the Ring!

Monday, November 19, 2007

W.W.E.: Jericho Countdown; Survivor Series Fast Results, Shaq, Damon at PPV; USA Today Article; Cena News; Nicolas Cage/Wrestler Movie

The moment has finally arrived, at least that's what we are being told. The W.W.E. website is saying that "all questions will be answered tonight" in regards to the cryptic videos that have been airing on W.W.E. programming for the last couple of months. The exact time, however, is apparently different than originally reported. Last week's video contained a countdown which would have put the arrival of the former undisputed World Champion Chris Jericho at 9:28 p.m. this evening. However, I read a report earlier that said a video aired during last night's pay-per-view which stated: 23 hours 32 minutes to go and aired at 10:13 p.m. Doing some quick math means that Y2J will make his return at 9:45 p.m. tonight. W.W.E. has to be expecting big ratings on the USA Network for this evening's Monday Night Raw. I know I will be watching...

Survivor Series Fast Results
defeated The Undertaker in a "Hell in a Cell" match due to outside interference from Edge. Batista retains World Title. Randy Orton defeated Shawn Michaels. Orton retains W.W.E. Championship. The Great Khali defeated Hornswoggle via disqualification after Finlay interfered. Triple H and Jeff Hardy win traditional Survivor Series elimination match. Lance Cade & Trevor Murdoch defeated Hardcore Holly & Cody Rhodes to retain World Tag Team Titles. Mickey James' team wins ten-woman bout. C.M. Punk retains E.C.W. World Title by defeating The Miz and John Morrison.

-- Shaquille O'Neal, Johnny Damon, and Alfonso Soriano were among some of the luminaries at last night's Survivor Series pay-per-view in Miami, Florida.

- There's more on Congress going after the W.W.E. in today's USA Today. Click me for more.

- Former W.W.E. Champ John Cena, who is due back from a severe biceps injury in five months, will not be on Donald Trump's Celebrity Apprentice. No word as to why. Cena had already filmed an episode a few months back.

- Turns out that Nicolas Cage will not be in the movie The Wrestler, instead it will be Mickey Rourke.

Well, It's finally here folks...the return of the "Ayatollah of Rock and Rollah."

"The suspense is killing me, I hope it will last." - Willy Wonka

Keep it in the Ring!

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Inside The Squared Circle: Edge, Y2J, Ric Flair All Returning; Congressional Hearings, Imus Reference

So many three counts to report this evening so let's hop right to it.

- Edge will be returning tomorrow night at the Survivor Series pay-per-view after being out for a few months with an injury. Expect him to get involved in the "Hell in a Cell" match between Undertaker and World Champ Batista.

- As most of you know "Y2J"Chris Jericho will make his much-heralded return on Monday Night Raw at 9:28 p.m. this Monday. You know where I'll be...

- Meanwhile, Ric Flair who has been off of television for several months after a blowup with Vince McMahon regarding the "Nature Boy's" roll with the W.W.E., will return to action a week from this Monday when Raw comes to Flair's hometown of Charlotte, North Carolina. I, and most fans, are still hoping for one more great run for Ric Flair before the 57-year-old legend retires.

- Some of you may be wondering about the injured Bobby Lashley. Word is that his return will come at the beginning of 2008, perhaps not until the Royal Rumble.

- Congress is going to have hearings on steroid use after all. The House Energy and Commerce Committee will hold those hearings in January and will focus on baseball and pro wrestling. The push came from Representative Bobby Rush (D-IL) on the heels of the Barry Bonds' indictment.

- T.N.A.'s Christian Cage referred to Booker T's wife Sharmell as a "nappy headed ho" at a recent t.v. taping. Booker T and Sharmell recently signed on with the promotion after "King" Booker got a 60-day suspension from the W.W.E. for violating their wellness policy. Instead of returning to the W.W.E. after serving his suspension, the former World Champion decided to jump to Total Nonstop Action(TNA). Most people know that those words got Don Imus in a whole heap of trouble. No word if Rev. Al Sharpton will be showing up at T.N.A.'s Impact Zone in Orlando, Florida, to confront Christian Cage.

Keep it in the Ring!

The Who Sing "My Generation"

The Who simply kicked ass with this one at the Monterey Pop Festival in 1967. If I only had a time machine...anyone seen my flux capacitor lying around?

The Who:"Real Good Looking Boy"

Pete and Roger got together to do a charity show in New York City a few years ago and Roger performs this song solo. He really puts everything into it, which he has always done. Pete Townshend said this was the moment that he believed they could do another studio album together, which produced Endless Wire. That album was released in October 2006 and stands as one of my top couple of favorite Who CDs. The two were asked recently what their plans were and Pete said nothing is definite. However, Roger stated in an interview a week later that Pete is working on some new stuff for another Who album. There also is word that they may do an Unplugged which would be awesome. The above song is one of the reasons why I think so. I got to see them do some songs acoustically at their Quadrophenia concerts 10 years ago. Songs like "Won't Get Fooled Again," "Behind Blue Eyes," and "Drowned" were really, really good in that format.

Pete Townshend said that when he, Roger and John Entwistle first met, Roger Daltrey was the best guitarist of the three. He certainly shows himself here to be quite formidable. Some folks may think they should not do another album and should go off into the sunset. Maybe those people should go jump into the sun. Thanks very much!

Friday, November 16, 2007

The Who: Rare "I Can See For Miles"

This is one of the first rock songs that I ever heard and it grabbed me instantly. I was hooked on The Who at a very young age and this song is one of the reasons. Interestingly enough, this video is of a rehearsal on June 13, 2002. Bassist John Entwistle would be found dead in a Las Vegas hotel room on June 27. Very tragic! "The Ox" was one of the greatest and most influential bassists ever! His death took place on the eve of a Who tour, but ironically his passing brought Pete and Roger closer than they had been in years.

I got to see them on that particular tour at Madison Square Garden and session player Pino Palladino had taken "The Ox's" place. I won't say "replace" because no one can replace "Thunderfingers." Palladino has shown to be really, really good.

For whatever reason, the band doesn't perform this song live.

Odds & Sods

There is so much going on in the world right now that I had to dust off Odds & Sods in order to transmit this information in the proper vehicle. But be forewarned, many of the following words are dripping with sarcasm.

The most compelling story in news is not that CNN has zero credibility, I mean, especially after Wolf Blitzer got a ringing endorsement from Hillary Clinton’s staff. No, what is occurring in Pakistan is fascinating to me beyond anything. Thankfully, the mainstream media is more concerned with other pertinent things like the effeminate nature of John Edwards. Thank God for that. A country with nuclear weapons, a strong Islamic presence, and an extremely shaky government isn’t something that’s newsworthy.

I’m just waiting for Bert Sugar to tell the government that they should “grow up” in regards to the Barry Bonds issue. Or perhaps Michael Kay can represent Barry Bonds in court. His argument that Bonds drove to Mexico, took steroids, and then drove back to San Francisco sounds like a winning defense to me.

I’m so shocked that the Yankees are able to hold on to their free agents. What with the dismissal – can it be called anything else – of Joe Torre, I most certainly thought that every Yankee free agent would be signing with other teams or those under contract would be demanding a trade. To quote former W.W.E. superstar Ted DiBiase, “Everyone’s got a price for the million dollar man.”

I guess we can call off that collection for Joe Torre; passing the hat probably wouldn’t have been helpful anyway. I was just so glad that he was able to ink a contract with the Dodgers, because that “insulting” deal the Yankees offered wouldn’t have allowed Mr. Torre and his family to stay in their mansion on Sterling Avenue in Harrison. Joe lost me on that one…

During my commute to work I’ve been listening to a tape I have of The Who performing Quadrophenia at Madison Square Garden in 1996. It’s cool because I was at that concert and a friend of mine somehow came up with a bootleg CD, which he gladly made me a copy of. Anyway, I remember that concert like it was yesterday. So what does this have to do with sports? Well, Mark Messier was allegedly in the building that night and I recall how significant that was at the time. Messier, though, has also lost me a bit over the years. What he did for the Rangers will never be forgotten – largely because he, his family, and the MSG Network won’t let us forget it! It’s gotten to the point where it has been shoved down our throats. Yes, prior to the last couple of years, the Rangers were dreadful and oh, by the way was not Messier on those teams? Wasn't leadership lacking during Messier's second stint with the Blueshirts? Anyway, sure, MSG had to focus on something positive. But the constant flag raising and honoring has taken some luster off of a great event, which was the 1994 Cup. Watching Messier’s induction into the Hockey Hall of Fame was special for him. But not as special to me or many fans, because it just seems like déjà vu. Every time I turn around Messier is being celebrated and he starts crying. Mark, if New York was so heavenly, why did you go to Vancouver? Was it the three year $20 million guaranteed contract? No, I get it, the additional two years at your option was really the kicker!

If Mess had kind of gone away for a bit after his retirement, Monday’s induction would have been really special. In some ways Messier crying and carrying on takes away from the other guys he went in with, and even borderlines on disrespectful. I guess our heroes are flawed. But aren’t we all…except if your name is Mike Francesa!

I’ll never forget how he railed against the book, Game of Shadows, and how to Mike it was a “joke” and he "killed" the authors over it. Uh, Mike I don’t think anyone in baseball is laughing now.

My interest in wrestling was renewed about 18 months ago for one reason or another. For years prior to that, my attention capacity was minimal when it came to what was going on inside the squared circle. Really, from the “Montreal Screwjob” in 1997 on, I would flip Raw on now and again or check the W.W.E.’s website to see who was W.W.E. World Champ. but that was it. However, I have to say that one of the things that draws me in, is the fine work of the best broadcasting duo outside of Greenwich, Connecticut, and that would be Jim ”Good ‘Ole J.R.” Ross and Jerry ”The King” Lawler. They are the best in the biz and might be better than Jesse Ventura and Vince McMahon or Gorilla Monsoon and Bobby “The Brain”Heenan. Which, believe me folks, is saying a lot!

I’ve got plenty to say on Amazing Journey: the Story of the Who, which I might just do a separate post on. I really thought it was very fair and have watched it three times and counting. I know some fellow “Wholigans” are going to rip it, but I thought it was well done. I do wish they had interviewed current drummer Zak Starkey on what it is like to perform with The Who and how he feels about being compared with Keith Moon. Starkey is an interesting story to me because his father, Ringo Starr was buddies with Moon, and in fact, Keith Moon gave Zak lessons on playing the drums. Bottom line is I loved the movie. To put it in perspective: If my love for the New York Rangers is a 10 on a scale of 1-10, then my love for The Who is about a 1,000 using that same scale. I’ve never grown tired of them or their music. I hope I never do.

Stay Onsides!

Call out the Instigators...

Thunderclap Newman says the revolution is here!

W.W.E.: Where Will You Be When The World Is Saved?

Blogger Note: The following post is an attempt, albeit a pathetic one, at humor. Any sudden strong desire to sell off possessions or to pray to a head of lettuce is not the intent of the writer of this blog. The staff, management, callers, hosts, and guests are not responsible for anyone becoming a "Jeri-aholic" or "Jericholic" after reading and inevitably re-reading this post.

We all remember where we were when significant things have occurred. Maybe, who we were with, the time, the weather, etc. For example, big events like the breakup of the Fat Boys or the moment Chevy Chase ceased being funny, we can probably name every single thing that was going on in our life at that exact moment. The problem is, quite often, we don't know when earth shattering events are going to occur. Yet, in this instance you are about to know the exact time of the return of the “Ayatollah of Rock & Rollah.” I'm about to tell you all the essential details. Are you ready?

It will be this Monday on Monday Night Raw, which is televised on the USA Network. OK, so Raw runs from 9-11 p.m. and you don't want to watch the whole two hours and risk being disappointed if there is no Y2J. Well, just be patient. Because the exact time is 9:28 p.m. The current cryptic video airing on all three of the W.W.E’s brands has a countdown clock, and a website that I frequent has figured out the precise moment. Now you can exhale.

Chris”Y2J”Jericho, the son of former New York Ranger, Ted Irvine, will arrive at 9:28 p.m. Where will you be? Are you ready to be saved?

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Fear Not Jeri-aholics...It's Time To Be Saved!

Last night's video - which is posted above - gave it all away. The worst kept secret that Chris Jericho is returning to the W.W.E. is now official. It had been reported recently that Stephanie McMahon blew a gasket after some wrestling websites gave away the exact date Jericho was set to come back, so they held off on his debut as long as they could. Former World Champ, Edge, returns from injury this Sunday night at the Survivor Series pay-per-view so the W.W.E. did not want to take away from the "Rated-R Superstar's" return. So next Monday night on Monday Night Raw, Chris "Y2J" Jericho will be back on the W.W.E. scene. Check your local listings...

Meanwhile, CNN made complete asses of themselves by trying to embarrass John Cena and the W.W.E. Cena's hometown newspaper did a good job of covering it here.

Keep it in the Ring!

Friday, November 09, 2007

More About Greenwich vs. Naples

One other thing I forgot to mention in my previous post is that before the big game during the 6-7 o'clock hour, I'll play an interview Rob Adams recorded this week with former GHS Head Coach, Mike Ornato. Steve Young mentions Ornato during his enshrinement speech at the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

I'm not one to tell people what to do, so I'll just urge you to listen to us from 6 p.m to around 10 p.m. You'll get the extensive pre-game show from 6-7; the pre-game show from 7-7:30 with Rob Adams, Nick Angotto, and Jason Intrieri, and then of course the big showdown between Greenwich and Naples. Plus, updates throughout the evening on Staples-New Canaan. So turn your dial to AM 1490 WGCH, or anywhere you have a computer you can click the "listen live" tab at

Greenwich vs. Naples

Well, tonight is the night! Two premiere high school football programs will duke it out on the field in Naples, Florida, and WGCH will have the call. Rob Adams has more at his quite useful website, Exit 55. Meanwhile, I'll be on the air shortly after 6 p.m. with MSG's Mike Quick, Connecticut Post's Sean Patrick Bowley, and Tim Parry, who writes another quite useful blog here. There will be plenty more stuff, as well. Here's how tonight goes as far as programming on AM 1490 WGCH: The game starts at 7:30; with the pre-game show at 7:05; I'll be on from 6-7 with an extensive pre-game.

As far as the game itself goes, Greenwich, as successful as their program has been, never seems to be able to muster anything in the big games, more often than not. I think tonight is especially key for the Cardinals, because I think a loss to Naples would be a huge emotional letdown that could send their season into a tailspin, especially with Staples looming. We'll see. I hope it's a good game and that everyone involved is enjoying themselves in Florida.

Hope you tune in tonight!

The Montreal Screwjob: Ten Years Later

It was a night that changed pro wrestling history like few others. Hulk Hogan beating the Iron Sheik? Yes, definitely a significant moment back in 1984. But this event was as significant for other reasons, and most, if not all of them were bad ones. Just like when a new era dawned thirteen years prior, when Hogan broken the camel clutch and pinned Sheik in the middle of the squared circle at Madison Square Garden; a new era also began on this night in Montreal. Wrestling fans know where this is going and even casual observers of the grappling biz may recall the infamous night.

Bret Hart was screwed on this night, or so he said. Perhaps, Vince McMahon was really protecting his company's interests. Nonetheless, I will do my best in the following paragraphs to explain this complex web of chicanery, known as the "Montreal Screwjob."

It was 1997 and Vince McMahon was sweating bullets because his competition, World Championship Wrestling (W.C.W.), was stealing his wrestlers and seemingly had better storylines at the time as opposed to what was then known as the World Wrestling Federation(W.W.F.). Sitting atop the W.W.F. as World Champion was Calgary native, Bret"The Hitman"Hart. A man, who in his W.W.F. career won the title five times. He also was a former co-holder of the W.W.F. tag team titles and the W.W.F. Intercontinental Championship, each on two occasions.

McMahon had signed Hart to a 20-year contract in 1996, which he would later regret. The W.W.F. was going public and had to be free of any long-term debt. W.C.W. and its owner Ted Turner were dangling major bucks in Bret's face, and amazingly Vince McMahon encouraged Hart to take it. Most likely because he wanted Hart out of the long contract. So Bret Hart signed a deal with W.C.W. that would pay him $3 million per year.

For the record, Hart felt that he was not going to be a major player in McMahon's promotion going forward, and was dismayed in the storylines that were becoming more and more edgy.

So Bret Hart was set to face Shawn Michaels at the Survivor Series pay-per-view in Montreal at the Molson Center, or what is today called the Bell Center. Now let me put all of this in perspective: Bret Hart considered himself to be a hero in Canada and the storyline for months was Bret playing the role of the anti-American, despised in America, while adored in Canada. Michaels, was a member of Degeneration-X, which was a faction that also included Triple H, Rick Rude, and Chyna (think amazon woman). Michaels was doing things like insulting Bret's father, spitting on the Canadian flag, and even accusing Bret of having an affair with Tammy"Sunny"Sytch. The accusations of an affair led to a real fight backstage between Michaels and Hart.

Bret Hart had signed the deal with W.C.W. and was set to debut for the arch rival in December, the date of the Survivor Series was November 9, 1997. Hart absolutely refused to lose the W.W.F. Championship to Michaels in his home country, though he was willing to drop the belt any time after his "farewell" match. McMahon feared a repeat of what W.W.F. Women's champ did when she jumped to W.C.W. Alundra Blaze appeared on W.C.W. Monday Nitro and dropped the title in a garbage can, mimicking boxer Riddick Bowe's disposal of the W.B.C. World title in similar fashion.

McMahon, Hart, Michaels and some of the top brass of the W.W.F. met and came up with an outcome that worked for everyone. The Hart-Michaels match would end in a disqualification which meant that Hart would walk out with the title. A championship can only change hands via pinfall or submission. The plan was for Davey Boy Smith and Owen Hart to interfere on behalf of Bret and get into a brawl with Triple H, Rick Rude, and Chyna, who would interfere on Michaels' behalf. The night after the Survivor Series, he would surrender the belt to McMahon on Monday Night Raw and thank him for all the years with the promotion. This way everyone would save face. But it was never to be.

Allegedly, McMahon met with Michaels and Triple H along with some other W.W.F. brass and came up with what eventually did happen. Michaels would put Hart in Bret's own submission move, the sharpshooter, and the bell would immediately be called for. This is just what happened. McMahon was ringside and jumped up calling for the bell. Michaels was awarded the championship and took off. Bret, stunned, was in the middle of the ring and spit in Vince McMahon's face. Hart then went on to smash up the W.W.F. t.v. monitors at ringside.

Vince McMahon holed himself up in his office with two of his top agents, Sgt. Slaughter and Gerry Brisco. That was, until Mark"The Undertaker"Callaway went back and demanded that McMahon apologize to Bret. When Vince went to explain things to Bret, McMahon got leveled with a punch in the face. Vince ended up with a black eye and a broken ankle as a result of being inadvertently stepped on by someone trying to separate the two.

Hart, moments before had confronted Michaels who swore he did not know about the screwjob. Michaels and Triple H then took off out of the arena. However, on the way back to the locker room from the ring (Triple H had run down to the ring as part of the planned storyline) some fans shoved Michaels and Triple H. The two were also later confronted by some fans in the lobby of the hotel they were staying at.

W.W.F. wrestlers threatened to quit or boycott the promotion. In fact, Mick Foley did not show up to Raw the next night. But Foley would later continue working for McMahon because of his contract. To his credit, Hart encouraged all the wrestlers to fulfill their contracts. Let's see, is there anything I am forgetting?

Oh yeah, the next night on Raw McMahon stood in the middle of the ring and uttered the infamous statement: "Bret Hart says I screwed Bret Hart. Well, Bret Hart you screwed Bret Hart." Thus was born the Mr. McMahon character; an obnoxious, overbearing boss that was a stickler for the rules.

Bret Hart jumped to W.C.W. as planned, as did his brother-in-laws, Jim Neidhart and Davey Boy Smith who demanded their immediate releases from the W.W.F. Owen Hart stayed with the Federation.

The last few years has seen a thawing in the relationship with Vince McMahon and Bret Hart. A relationship that was further strained as a result of the tragic death of Bret's brother, Owen. Bret's got a book coming out in January that has already been released in Canada. In it Hart writes about how he would have talked Owen out of entering the ring by being lowered from the rafters with cables. Owen, as most people know, tragically died when one of the pulleys snapped.
Bret has stated that McMahon has since admitted to him that he wished things were done differently and Hart says that he wishes he never left the W.W.F. Hart was inducted into the W.W.E Hall of Fame two years ago. He still does not forgive McMahon, Michaels, Triple H, or anyone else involved, but says he doesn't carry it around with him

Ten years ago today pro wrestling changed. It's fun to wonder "what if" the event had never happened. Hart's talent was wasted in W.C.W. where he would later suffer a career ending concussion while wrestling Goldberg. I put Bret Hart third in my tops of all-time, behind Hulk Hogan and Ric Flair. What was great about Hart was that he was as real as you could get in a world of great showmanship. Hart wasn't flashy or a great interview like Flair, nor was he a "superman" like Hogan. Bret Hart was Bret Hart. The question is did Bret Hart screw Bret Hart or did Vince McMahon screw Bret Hart?

"The Montreal Screwjob," ten years later, wrestling's whodunnit, leaves us with more questions than answers.

Monday, November 05, 2007

Swan Song

Some of you may dismayed to hear that my final meal at Hubba Hubba was Saturday night. Holy chili dogs, Robin! Well, allow me to explain:

After Brunswick won their football game, myself, Rob Adams, and Nick Angotto went over to Port Chester's central hub for grease and had some grub. When I finished eating my food, I suddenly thought that I had left the W.G.C.H. van unlocked. I went out to see and happily everything was fine. No hats or clipboards were missing! Whew! After about five minutes of chatting with Rob and Nick, I drove off and that's when the fun started. A rather peculiar grumbling sound emanated from my stomach, followed by an acute pain, followed by an overwhelming feeling of regret. My stomach was not in the best of spirits Saturday night, nor for much of the day Sunday and so that is why when it comes to me and the Hubba, my only response can be: never more!

Fast Three Counts

Some news from inside the squared circle and beyond...

- Huge Monday Night Raw tonight from L.A. where DX (Shawn Michaels and Triple H) will team up to take on W.W.E. Champ Randy Orton and Umaga.

- "Stone Cold" Steve Austin will return to answer Santino Marella's derisions

- Jeff Hardy and Rey Mysterio will face Mr. Kennedy and Finlay in a inter-promotion bout.

- Will Chris Jericho finally return tonight? Jericho was a guest last week on Opie and Anthony and took one of their sidekicks to task for making fun of the late Christopher Reeve. I just can't get where the humor is in making fun of someone like Reeve.

- D.H. Smith and Chris Masters were both suspended for violating the W.W.E.'s Wellness Policy, which means they both had some form of steroid in their systems. For Masters it was his second offense, which means he won't be around for 60 days. For Smith, 22, it is especially sad being that his father Davey Boy, died in 2002 at the age of 39 of an enlarged heart most likely due to years of steroid use. D.H. was only recently brought up to the Raw roster and has "superstar" written all over him. I hope he gets it together for the sake of his health. I saw some articles already comparing him to his father, for all the wrong reasons.

- Former Women's Champ, The Fabulous Moolah, passed away over the weekend at 84.

- Nicolas Cage was ringside Saturday night for Ring of Honor (R.O.H.) wrestling at the Hammerstein Ballroom in New York City. Cage was there scouting in preparation for his role in The Wrestler which begins shooting this winter.

Keep it in the Ring!

Thursday, November 01, 2007

A True Hero Passes

One of the reasons I like to blog is the off chance that maybe I can bring attention to a story or two that will get little or no attention. This story is a perfect example of one which will probably get zero notice by the New York Times and MSNBC. But forget all that. Today, a true American hero died. Paul Tibbets, passed away at the age of 92.

Tibbets, piloted the B-29 bomber that he named the "Enola Gay" after his mother and dropped the atomic bomb on Hiroshima, which essentially ended World War II. The U.S. would drop a second bomb a few days later on Nagasaki. Japan may not recognize their atrocities during World War II and certainly there are enough people in this country who like to make America out to be the bad guys. However, what Tibbets did was save the lives of perhaps two million people. If the bombs were not effective, the U.S. would have launched a full-scale invasion, that best case scenario would have killed hundreds of thousands of American servicemen.

The "Little Boy" bomb was dropped on August 6, 1945 and killed or injured 140,000 people. Incidentally, before the bomb could be loaded onto the B-29 bomber, it was delivered to the island of Tinian by the USS Indianapolis, which is also an amazing story of bravery. For more on that go here.

Tibbets, was certain of his mission and believed until the day he died, that what he did was right. Yes, he realized there would be many people who would die, but the mission prevented the deaths of so many thousands more. Many of the freedoms we enjoy today are as a result of the brave actions of men like Paul Tibbets. Too bad not enough Americans will recognize this true hero.