Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Odds & Sods

I decided to close out the year with an "Odds & Sods" and a video of The Who performing "Tea and Theatre," which they play last at all of their concerts.

I'm stating the obvious by saying that things are really heating up with Israel's defense forces' onslaught on Hamas in the Gaza. Like everything in that part of the world, you always fear that it could spread like wildfire. Barack Obama has his hands full.

I read this interesting column entitled "2008 was the year man-made global warming was disproved." I'm not a scientist and I've heard opposing arguments on global warming, still I have to think that we are better off treating - within reason - our environment with respect as opposed to just polluting recklessly.

Bill Cowher told the Jets he's not interested, which was probably a good move for Cowher but speaks volumes about the Jets.

The N.H.L will play outside tomorrow afternoon when the Hawks and Wings go head to head at Wrigley Field. Some people think the novelty of this will wear off eventually, but before it does I really hope they get a game going in New York.

Only about 45 days until pitchers and catchers report...

I've recently begun former W.W.E. Champion, Chris Jericho's autobiography, A Lion's Tale: Around The World in Spandex. So far - I'm only 100 pages in - this is a much more light-hearted story when compared with Bret Hart's autobiography. Jericho, son of former New York Ranger Ted Irvine, has a unique ability of poking fun at himself without being too denigrating.

Well, enjoy New Year's Eve and be safe, be smart and be lucky!

Book Review: Hitman By Bret "Hitman" Hart Part II

A couple of weeks ago I was reading Hitman when I came to THE chapter: The Montreal Screwjob. I was tempted to continue on reading when I looked at the clock – around 11:30 p.m. – and I thought to myself, “No, I’m gonna save this part.” Which I did, until 12 hours later - a snowy Friday afternoon.

The story of Bret’s Hart last day with World Wrestling Entertainment has been well-documented by those involved, his adversaries, documentarists and Bret himself. However, Bret Hart outdoes himself in his autobiography by taking you through the entire day; from arriving at the Molson Centre in Montreal for Surivor Series '97 until the end of the evening when he stood tall after having one-punched Vince McMahon into la-la land.

We’ve all been in situations where our “belly barometer” told us something was awry, and that indeed was the case with Bret Hart. "The Hitman" stated that he had a feeling all day that he was going to get screwed in some manner.

I’ll never understand why Bret and Vince couldn’t work it out; allow Bret to win the match and then have him lose it the next night on Monday Night Raw to Shawn Michaels, instead Vince, at ringside, called for the bell to be rung when Michaels slapped on Bret’s finisher, “the sharpshooter,” on Bret. The referee, Michaels (with the W.W.E. Championship), Triple H and Chyna all got out of dodge, while Vince got spit in his face from Bret and then backstage a solid punch in the face and a sprained ankle, also courtesy of "The Hitman."

I wonder, though, if Vince didn’t know all along that he could prosper off of screwing Bret Hart. "The Hitman" talks about how he felt bitter sitting in a W.C.W. locker room and witnessing Vince McMahon play up the evil boss character on t.v. which led to a golden age for the W.W.E. Meanwhile, Bret was being completely misused as a performer for World Championship Wrestling.

Bettye Lavette Sings "Love Reign O'er Me"

There were three performances that stood out for me last night while watching the Kennedy Center Awards; Dave Grohl singing "Who Are You," Beyonce singing "The Way We Were" and Bettye LaVette singing "Love Reign O'er Me." The latter of which I have posted the video courtesy of YouTube above.

Let's forget comparing this singer to that singer or this actor to that actor for a moment and let's look at it this way: There are billions of people that have walked this planet; millions have tried to sing; and then there is a small percentage that gains some notoriety and then even a smaller percentage that gets honored by the President of the U.S. at such a classy and very well put together event. That's amazing to me and I'm sure those honored (Twyla Tharp, George Jones, Roger Daltrey, Pete Townshend, Morgan Freeman and Barbra Streisand) realize that as well.

Because Barbra Streisand is so out-spoken in her political views, I forget how talented and accomplished she is: winner of a Tony, Grammy, Emmy and Oscar!!!! I would say she has done quite alright.

Strong Words From Scott Steiner On Ric Flair, Triple H

Here's some harsh quotes from a recent interview conducted with Scott Steiner for the Miami Herald in which the T.N.A. star known as "Big Poppa Pump" and former all-American at the University of Michigan had some pretty derogatory things to say about two of wrestling's most notable names:

''Of course, you got the flip-side with pieces of ^%$# like Ric Flair and Triple H,'' he said. ``Ric Flair would rather wrestle in front of 200 people and have the belt than wrestle in front of 200,000 people and not have the belt. He's a piece of ^%$#."

"Triple H, the same thing. He wouldn't even be in this business, if he wasn't &^%$#@! the boss's daughter. I think everybody realizes that. He's viewed that way, and he's under the protection of the McMahons so nobody beats him up. Trust me, people wanted to beat him up.''

Steiner competed for W.W.E. from 2002-04

''When I was up there, it was ridiculous,'' he said. ``Flair was kissing Triple H's %$# so bad, carrying his bags to buildings. Now Triple H can't stand Ric Flair. To each his own."

"There's a reason why Flair's not there anymore. It's not because he's retired. Flair's a piece of ^%$#. I've been able to read people real good throughout my life. I knew Flair was a piece of ^%$#, and Triple H was a piece of ^%$#. It didn't take long to figure out.''

If you want to read the entire story, click this.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Tribute To Bret Hart vs. Mr. Perfect

I'm not really an Iron Maiden fan, but someone posted a really well-done montage of Bret Hart vs. Mr. Perfect at Summerslam '91 to the song, "Rainmaker" by Iron Maiden. Bret stated in his autobiography, Hitman, how good of a person he thought the late Curt "Mr. Perfect" Hennig was and how outstanding a worker Curt was inside the squared circle. I remember those Hart-Hennig matches and they were absolute classics. It's funny, even though I think Hulk Hogan was the best ever, I'd bet I have more favorite matches that involved Bret Hart then Hulk Hogan. Perhaps, I should rethink who I consider the best ever to be!

Christmas Can Be "Blue" Sometimes

I meant to post this link the other day and am glad to be putting it up now. My friends over at posted some of the lyrics of "River" from Joni Mitchell's Blue album.

The song talks about Christmas not always being so cheery for everyone. Fortunately, I had a nice Christmas this year and I hope you did, as well. But some folks did not. Obviously, the people who were were killed by that nut dressed like Santa, but there were other examples as well, some not as obvious as others.

Have you ever noticed there always seem to be celebrities that die on Christmas? Eartha Kitt this year and I remember when an inebriated Billy Martin died in an auto accident in 1989.

If you want to read more about Mitchell's song, click this.

Many say Blue was her finest album, but I think she has some others that are just as good.

Mr. Burgess The Angriest Person Ever Gets Pranked

This is my final prank call posting of the year, I promise, but this one is a real gem. I have to suspend disbelief for these calls to Mr. Burgess because I just can’t imagine there is someone out there getting this upset over a telemarketer’s call. The video is a prime example of why I believe people should have to undergo a psychiatric evaluation before being allowed to get a license for a firearm. Could you imagine this nut carrying a weapon? Scary, indeed. Let’s hope it is all a hoax and there really isn’t someone as short-fused as Mr. Burgess in this world.

The Who "Love Reign O'er Me"

I can't imagine having a more difficult song to sing then, "Love Reign O'er Me," so Godspeed to the person or persons that tries to perform it and do it as well as Roger Daltrey could back in his heyday. I couldn’t find video yet – probably will be available tomorrow – of Bettye LaVette’s performance at the Kennedy Center Awards show, however, I did find this video which someone made that fits pretty well with the song. The tune closes out the Quadrophenia album.

Kennedy Center Honors The Who, Others Tonight

Tonight at 9 o’clock on CBS, the Kennedy Center Awards show will air which was taped earlier in the month. The honorees are The Who’s surviving members Roger Daltrey and Pete Townshend, Barbra Streisand, Morgan Freeman, George Jones and Twyla Tharp.

This has to be the crowning achievement for Pete and Roger being welcomed to the White House. Roger stated that The Who were influenced by American music so things have kind of come full circle. I don’t know how much of the event will be aired, but I would imagine that the much talked about performance of “Love Reign O’er Me” by Bettye Lavette will make the broadcast. Lavette's rendition of the tune brought Townshend to tears and caused Streisand to ask Pete if he was the one that wrote the song!

I’ll be watching…

Bret Hart Talks About His Autobiography

More about the long-awaited release of Bret Hart's autobiography, Hitman. This time it comes from the man himself, Bret "Hitman" Hart in the above video. Honestly, I know people who are very bitter about the way their lives have turned out and just as I wish for them peace, I wish the same for Bret. I grew up watching Bret wrestle and remember him right from the beginning as "Cowboy" Bret Hart to the end. The conclusion of Bret's career was not pretty; the Montreal Screwjob, the death of his brother, the horrible booking job by W.C.W. in regards to Bret, the clumsy Bill Goldberg causing Bret to become concussed and then finally his stroke. I have empathy for Bret Hart and hope that somehow he can just move on, as hard as it may be.

Oh yeah and the guy that did the documentary Wrestling With Shadows is coming out with a 10-year anniversary special. The Montreal Screwjob is unquestionably a compelling story and I can't get enough of it. So I disagree with Jim Ross that the story should be put to rest. That being said, I think people that still shout "Bret Got Screwed" at W.W.E. events may want to consult with their local psychiatrist.

Book Review: Hitman By Bret "Hitman" Hart Part I

I've got plenty to say about Bret Hart's autobiography, Hitman, and why wouldn't I, being that the book was some 550 pages. So I decided I would have multiple parts to reviewing the book.

This book took on many lives of its own; first there was the background of Bret’s life which entailed his growing up in Calgary in a big family; then it went into the ups and downs of his wrestling career; and finally the book concluded with Bret’s stroke and where his life stands today.

Bret Hart’s attitude is also different throughout the autobiography. At times I felt like I was reading a book by a man that believed wrestling was real and that he had difficulty separating himself from the character he played on t.v., at other moments Bret comes across as extremely arrogant and bitter; while the ending I felt like there was some peace for Bret “Hitman” Hart.

Ultimately, though, I highly recommend Bret's book for every wrestling fan. Those who love autobiographies and stories about people who have made it, also would like this book. Though, they may be taken aback by how much Bret outside the ring believes he really is "The Hitman." But I suppose that happens with actors that play a certain character their entire career.

More to come...

Cheraponv Used Performance Enhancers

New York Rangers superprospect Alexei Cherepanov used performance enhancement drugs for months leading up to his death. That is the news from Russia about the 19-year-old that died during a hockey game while playing for Omsk. He also had a bad heart to begin with and should not have been playing hockey, according to the report.

The Rangers were hopeful that they would get a supplemental draft pick in next summer's draft as compensation for the death of the Russian. But this report opens a whole can of worms. Were the Rangers in some way negligible? Didn't they pick up the heart ailment or that he was using drugs? This story gets more and more strange.

The report also found that the medical crew at the arena that responded after Cherepanov collapsed on the bench were negligent and unprofessional.

Very sad story.

For more, Larry Brooks of the New York Post has this.

Old School E.C.W.: Rey Mysterio vs. Psicosis

Rey Mysterio was lighter and much younger (about 12 years) when he took on his archrival Psicosis in this action-packed match at the old E.C.W. arena. Wow, those were some great matches. I watch this match and it makes me miss the old E.C.W. and I realize that sadly we will never see anything like it again.

Just right time, right place for the anti-establishment, Extreme Championship Wrestling and what better place for the promotion to be formed than Philadelphia!

Monday Night Raw Thoughts

It’s kind of weird that John Cena will be defending the World Championship against JBL at the Royal Rumble, however, the actual Royal Rumble match is what sells the pay-per-view so anything else on the show is secondary. JBL is not a main event guy and the Cena-JBL match is not the main event, so that’s why this can work.

I’m not sure why Jerry Lawler and Shawn Michaels referenced Wrestlemania so often last night and the thought of a Michaels-JBL match at ‘Mania would be a bummer. Michaels can steal the show with virtually anybody, yet with JBL I’m not so sure. I’m hoping for a Michaels-Undertaker match at Mania, but won’t hold my breath.

Melina is one of the few women in the W.W.E. that is a good wrestler and not just all looks, having her against Phoenix at the Royal Rumble has the potential to be a good match.

The six-woman battle royale - which featured Candice Michelle, Kelly Kelly and Mickie James (all pictured) along with Melina, Katie Lea and Jillian was too quick.

The 10-man tag was overdone…

Despite the fact that W.W.E. is more PG these days, Randy Orton told Kelly Kelly that it was just one night with her and it wasn’t all that special. Hmmmm….

I love watching Rey Mysterio in the ring. He doesn’t have the right guys to work with, but he’s still great fun to see.

I’ve heard the horror stories about Vince McMahon screaming into the announcers’ headsets, well I felt like screaming into Michael Cole’s headset after all of the mistakes he made last night. Rough night at the office, indeed. But we’ve all had ‘em.

Monday Night Raw/E.C.W. Results/Spoilers From Manchester, N.H. 12/29/2008

Ricky Ortiz beat Tommy Dreamer in a dark match.
The Miz and John Morrison opened the show with The Dirt Sheet.
Matt Hardy beat Mark Henry via DQ due to interference from Jack Swagger.
DJ Gabriel (w/Alicia) beat Paul Burchill (w/Katie).
The Miz and John Morrison beat Finlay and The Boogeyman when Morrison pinned Finlay.

Monday Night Raw
JBL def. Chris Jericho, Randy Orton and Shawn Michaels in a "Fatal Four Way" match to determine who will face World Heavyweight Champion John Cena at the Royal Rumble.

ECW Champion Matt Hardy def. Manu. This supposedly means that Manu is out of "Legacy."

John Cena, Rey Mysterio, Cryme Tyme & Kofi Kingston def. Kane, Mike Knox, World Tag Team Champions The Miz and John Morrison & Dolph Ziglar.

Sim Snuka def. “Superfly”Charlie Haas.

Melina wins Six-Diva Battle Royal and then gets into fight with Women’s Champion Beth Phoenix & her stalker fan.

Cody Rhodes def. CM Punk by count-out.

WWE At MSG Results 12/28/2008

Here are the results from Sunday night's W.W.E. house show at Madison Square Garden. Looked to be a pretty good card and nice to hear that old-school ring announcer Howard Finkel did the honors at The Garden.

Finlay w/Hornswoggle defeated Mark Henry w/ Tony Atlas.
Melina and Kelly Kelly defeated Beth Phoenix and Jillian Hall.
Matt Hardy beat Jack Swagger.
Miz and Morrison over Cryme Tyme.
Shawn Michaels w/John Bradshaw Layfield defeated Kane.
William Regal w/ Layla beat CM Punk.
Kofi Kingston and Rey Mysterio defeated Randy Orton and Cody Rhodes w/Manu.
World Heavyweight Championship Match inside a Steel Cage: John Cena defeated Chris Jericho.

Ring Of Honor Results From Hammerstein Ballroom 12/27/2008

Final Battle 2008, Ring of Honor’s final show of the year, took place Saturday night at the Hammerstein Ballroom in New York City. I read that this was a very strong card, although it was marred a bit by Austin Aries punching out a ringside fan. Here are the results:

Kenny Omega beat Claudio Castagnoli with a rollup.

Jerry Lynn beat Necro Butcher, Chris Hero and Rhett Titus in a Four Corner Survival match after a Cradle Piledriver on Hero.

Kevin Steen and El Generico beat Jimmy Jacobs and Delirious to retain the ROH World Tag Team Titles.

Brent Albright, Roderick Strong and Erick Stevens beat the American Wolves & Go Shiozaki in a New York City Street Fight when Shiozaki tapped out to Albright’s Crowbar submission.

The Briscoe Brothers beat Kensuke Sasaki and Katsuhiko Nakajima.

Austin Aries beat Tyler Black after botched interference from Jimmy Jacobs.

Nigel McGuinness beat Naomichi Marufuji with the Jawbreaker Lariat to retain the ROH World Title.

Bryan Danielson beat Takeshi Morishima in a Fight Without Honor after Morishima passed out in the Cattle Mutilation.

Al Pacino Calls A Working Class Man

This one is too much! I'm practically on the floor right now laughing over this Al Pacino prank call. I'm going to assume these are legit, but I can't see how somebody can stay on the phone this long. I would have either hung up a long time ago or just cursed the guy out and then hung up, but it's kind of weird how someone can stay on for that long. Still, makes for some good fun.

Monday, December 29, 2008

I Missed This One: Sarah Palin Got Pranked

In the run-up to the election I saw a ton of stuff disparaging Sarah Palin – particularly on Facebook – that was really just cruel. I never noticed this one before, where Sarah Palin is pranked by a French-Canadian comedian impersonating French President Nicolas Sarkozy. It’s pretty funny and I don’t find it to be mean-spirited at all. I give the guy credit for pulling this off!

Click here for the audio, courtesy of eBaums World.

JBL's Wife Named "CNBC's Power Player Of The Year"

Oppenheimer analyst Meredith Whitney (and wife of pro wrestler John Bradshaw Layfield) was named the "Power Player of 2008" with 67% of the vote; beating out Warren Buffet amongst others to win the award (as voted by viewers of CNBC).

Click this for complete poll results.

I recall JBL (pictured with Whitney) staying off the road for a while after his wife received death threats in late 2007 for writing a negative report on Citigroup. Whitney has been and continues to be bearish on Wall Street's biggest firms.
I'm interested to see how JBL will play this up on t.v. Layfield has had his own business success aside from pro wrestling and is regularly featured on Fox News and the Fox Business Channel providing analysis.

Outdoor Hockey On NBC: Chicago vs. Detroit

I’m sure not many people equate the first day of the year with an outdoor N.H.L. hockey game. Though, that’s what the league is hoping for as they will once again present an outdoor game. Where? When? Who? Wrigley Field; Thursday at 1 p.m.; Chicago-Detroit.

This could be a real classic and hopefully for the National Hockey League a ratings bonanza. Not only is it cool for the game to be played at the historic baseball field, but Detroit and Chicago – two “original six” teams - are tops in the Central Division of the Western Conference.

I know I’ll have my t.v. tuned into the game. Want to know more, click here.

Goal Of The Year

You may have already seen this, if not, enjoy what should be considered the goal of the year on any level by Team Canada's John Tavares in the World Junior Championship last week. Tavares, the projected number one pick in the 2009 NHL Draft scored the goal against Slovakia.

Monday Night Raw Fatal Four Way

Randy Orton, Chris Jericho, Shawn Michaels and JBL will all square off tonight in a “Fatal Four-Way” match on Monday Night Raw. I hope to be wrong about this one but I think that John Bradshaw Layfield will emerge victorious and thus go to the Royal Rumble on January 25 to face John Cena for the World Heavyweight Championship.

I foresee Shawn Michaels playing a major role in either laying down for JBL or giving over his chance at Cena to Layfield as part of their “working agreement.” I’m not in love with the Michaels-JBL storyline, but what would make this work would be if Michaels screwed Jericho out of a title shot in favor of JBL, thus reigniting the Michaels-Jericho feud.

Randy Orton, in all probability, will not face Cena at the Rumble because the W.W.E. will hold him until Wrestlemania for a chance at the title.

Mangini Out, Time To Get Cowher

So the Jets have gone and fired Head Coach Eric Mangini; the boy genius is gone. Well, folks that means the bidding war can now begin for Bill Cowher between the New York Jets and the Cleveland Browns (who have fired Romeo Crenell).

If I’m the Jets, though, I’m all over Cowher; he’s got New York written all over him. Some might say this is another case of a New York team going for the big-name, but Cowher is more than just a name, he’s a heck of a football coach and he’s tough. There will be no question as to who is in charge and he’ll be good with the media. The Jets aren’t that far away from contending and from where I sit there’s no other guy out there that can guarantee Jets' fans playoffs right away except for Bill Cowher.

Maryse Hurt, McCool Heel Turn Thoughts

Maryse is apparently going to be out a while due to some sort of knee injury she sustained in a tag team match over the weekend in North Carolina. Too bad for her, because she recently won the W.W.E. Divas Championship from Michelle McCool.

McCool would turn heel in that match by beating up guest referee Maria in one of the worst heel turns I have ever seen. I think back to when Paul Orndorff turned on Hulk Hogan by laying him out with a piledriver or when Shawn Michaels turned on Hogan with his superkick. Those turns were quick and definitive; there was no question as to the performer going over to the side of the heels.

But McCool beating up Maria after she somehow cost her the title with a slow count was ridiculous. McCool dragged Maria around, but there was nothing definitive about it. In fact, I thought Maria was going to be able to fight back and beat up McCool.

If the W.W.E. wants to build a more solid stable of women wrestlers on Smackdown then they need to put someone over in an unquestionable fashion. A memorable finishing move would be a start for McCool.

Back to the original part of this post, I’m going to assume that Maria will take the Divas title now in some kind of squash match since Maryse will be limited or quite possibly we will see the title vacated and a tournament with a Maria-McCool final.

Regardless, another injury hits a W.W.E. performer. Don’t these things usually come in threes, let’s hope not.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Wrestlemania X: Bret Hart vs. Owen Hart

Wrestlemania X did not have as much pomp and circumstance as the prior 'manias, however, the show did have some quality matches. The opening bout of the big show at Madison Square Garden in March 1994 was Bret vs. his youngest brother, Owen. 

If you asked me to list my favorite matches ever, I would have to include the preceding posted match Bret Hart vs. Davey Boy Smith at SummerSlam 1992 and the videos below of Bret-Owen.

Owen "The Rocket" Hart and his big brother had contrasting styles; Bret more of an on-the-mat wrestler, while Owen was the high-flying grappler.

Little brothers around the world cheered when Owen bested Bret, though later on in the evening "The Hitman" would win the W.W.E. Title from the 500-pound Yokozuna to close the show.

Watching this match makes me miss Owen, who died so tragically in 1999.
Commentary provided by Vince McMahon and Jerry "The King" Lawler.




SummerSlam 1992: Bret Hart vs. Davey Boy Smith

I recently finish Bret "Hitman" Hart's autobiography, Hitman, and I will definitely have at least one post up to offer my comments. However, I wanted to post video of what Bret stated was his favorite match of his career and certainly was one of the best matches I have ever seen.

Let's go all the way back to SummerSlam in August 1992 where 80,000 fans jammed Wembley Stadium in the U.K. to watch Bret Hart defend the W.W.E. Intercontinental Title against his real-life brother-in-law, the late Davey Boy Smith. The "British Bulldog" hailed from the U.K. and was clearly the favorite of the crowd; though both men were babyfaces. Hart dropped the title, however, he, Smith and Bret's sister, Diana all embraced after the match.

Just classic theater and a match that elevated both men's careers and showed the incredible ability of Bret Hart to bring out the best of his opponent.

Bobby Heenan and Vince McMahon provide the commentary.




Friday, December 26, 2008

Is Triple H Returning To Raw? is now acknowledging the Batista hamstring injury, though, they are saying it occurred at SummerSlam in his match with John Cena. Regardless, of when the injury actually occurred, the bottom line is that Batista is out until next summer and so any current plans have to be scrapped.

All roads apparently were headed for a Cena-Batista II match at Wrestlemania, with the possibility of Randy Orton being added to make it a "triple threat" match. So now what does W.W.E. do?

Cena and Orton have good chemistry, but it's been done before. Does the W.W.E. find a way to bring Triple H back to Monday Night Raw to spice up the Cena-Orton rivalry? The problem though is we've seen that before also.

Currently, there are rumors that Hunter Hearst Helmsley was going to be brought back to the Raw roster in order to be involved with his real-life spouse, Stephanie McMahon.

I have no idea how this will play out, but I'd love to see a way in which Smackdown GM Vickie Guerrero gets two of her archrivals, The Undertaker and Triple H off of the show. Undertaker on Raw would set up a Shawn Michaels-'Taker match at 'Mania and a rematch of last year's "triple threat" showdown between Orton-Cena-Hunter.

Stay tuned...

After Sundin, What's Next For Rangers?

While the N.H.L. and the New York Rangers enjoy a freeze on roster activity during the holidays, it's time to speculate on what may be coming for the Blueshirts after not being able to lure free agent Mats Sundin into the fold.

I had mixed feelings about bringing in Sundin; yes he's a good player but I'm not sold that a big name with a big contract was the answer. I see this Rangers' team as a low profile type that will win games based on hustle and outworking the opposition. That being said, the Rangers are neither tough enough, nor big enough to win a Stanley Cup as presently constituted.

Before the March trade deadline, I'm hopeful New York will bring in either a gritty checking forward that can score the odd goal or a big defenseman that is tough in front of the net. Would I like to see more than that? Yes, of course, but the issue of the salary cap is now and forever a deciding factor.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah and Happy New Year!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Arnold Schwarzenegger Pranks Some Lady

Seeing the late Bruiser Brody in that last video I posted was a bit of a downer, so I had to follow up with something funny. This above prank call "from" Arnold Schwarzenegger is what started it all for me. This one never fails to get me laughing. I don't know how someone could not recognize Arnold's voice, but I guess we all get fooled by seemingly obvious things at times. What's even funnier is that he calls her back several times, why not just let the answering machine get it?

Warning: Profanity.

Tribute To World Class and The Von Erichs

I had to see what YouTube had in regards to videos and the Von Erichs and I came across this one which is a tribute to not only the Von Erichs, but the Texas-based territory World Class Championship Wrestling. For a regional promotion it’s just amazing how many top guys they had. Sadly, though, so many in the video are gone from this world. I watch and see the Von Erichs, Terry Gordy, Gino Hernandez and then Bruiser Brody.

Some have compared Mike Knox with Brody, but let me tell you there was nobody like Frank ”Bruiser Brody” Goodish! The wildman with the crazy hair and unpredictable ring persona was as tough as they come – and supposedly he was a legit tough guy. Brody was killed by a fellow wrestler while working down in Puerto Rico. By some crazy technicality, the man who stabbed Brody to death after he stepped out of a shower was able to get off and did no time, though everyone in the business knows who did it.

W.W.E. News: Batista Seriously Injured

You wonder if the W.W.E. will ever have a completely healthy roster. Too often over the last couple of years a significant wrestler has been out with an injury and unfortunately it has usually meant that wrestler missing Wrestlemania. This time Dave Batista is going to need surgery on a torn hamstring, which will mean he won't be back until the summer of 2009. Terrible news for the W.W.E. losing such a big player as the company goes into its peak season.

Now that Batista is out, I wonder who will be facing John Cena at Wrestlemania XXV. Originally, it seemed like all roads led to a Cena-Batista II match, but now that plan will obviously have to be revised.

Texas Stadium and The Von Erichs

Texas Stadium will soon be no longer. The Dallas Cowboys lost their final game at Texas Stadium Saturday to the Baltimore Ravens, as the team will move into a brand new building next season. There have been many fantastic moments at the Stadium; from football to concerts to wrestling. Back in the 1980s, Texas loved three things: the Dallas Cowboys, Dallas the t.v. show and The Von Erichs of World Class Championship Wrestling.

I don’t think I know of a family with a more tragic story then the Von Erichs (real name Adkisson). Fritz Von Erich and his wife lost five of their children! One as a child (Jack) was electrocuted; three committed suicide (Kerry, Chris and Mike); while another (David) died due to reasons still disputed to this day with some saying it was an accidental drug overdose and others saying it was purposeful. There is only one of the boys left and that’s Kevin.

When David Von Erich passed away in 1984, the regional territory that the Von Erichs ran and made famous, World Class Championship Wrestling put on a show at Texas Stadium in memory of David. At that show, Kerry Von Erich defeated Ric Flair for the N.W.A. World Title in front of 40,000 fans.

I’ve only seen that match on replay and indeed there were fans in the audience crying. In a business where so little is authentic, that event and those tears, were so very real.

Remembering The Hoosier Dome: Rowdy Roddy Piper vs. Bret"Hitman"Hart

PART I: Rowdy Roddy Piper vs. Bret Hart

Part II: Rowdy Roddy Piper vs. Bret Hart

Last week the Hoosier Dome in Indianapolis was brought down via implosion. Many great sporting events took place over the years at the sports complex, however for me, one of my favorite wrestling matches ever occurred at Wrestlemania VIII in 1992 when Rowdy Roddy Piper defended and subsequently lost the W.W.E. Intercontinental Title against Bret ”Hitman” Hart. The match was a battle of two babyfaces, which was a rarity in those days. Hart said he was always grateful for Piper giving him the type of match that helped to springboard Bret’s career. The videos, courtesy of YouTube, are above.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Al Pacino Pranks One Angry Guy

While I write this, I am wiping tears from my eyes after laughing so hard. I really wish I knew whether or not these prank calls were legit or not, regardless though, it provides for some great entertainment!

Warning: Again, no shortage of profanity.

Al Pacino Pranks A Retired Couple

This is so classic! I don’t know if it is real or not, but the above video is the audio of someone using an Al Pacino soundboard to prank call an unsuspecting couple. Most of the Al Pacino clips I recognize from Glengarry Glen Ross. The first three minutes are especially funny!

Warning: No shortage of profanity.

Monday Night Raw/Smackdown Visit Toronto Tonight

Tonight Monday Night Raw will take place in Toronto at the Air Canada Centre – with a taping of Smackdown preceding the Raw show. E.C.W. will not be taped this week and instead they will air a “best of” tomorrow night. Hopefully, that doesn’t mean another "riveting" Finlay-Mark Henry match.
Anyway, tonight’s Raw show features four big matches, although one is in doubt according to Jim Ross. The four matches are Kane-Shawn Michaels, JBL-Rey Mysterio, CM Punk-Chris Jericho, Batista-Randy Orton. The winners will all face off in a fatal four-way match on the December 29th Raw and then the winner of that will face John Cena at the Royal Rumble on January 25 for the World Title. Batista is most likely not going to be appearing, according to Jim Ross, due to the punt to the head that he took on last week’s Raw.

Trish Stratus (pictured) has been quoted as saying that she will be at tonight's Raw show. I had thought maybe she would have been at last week's Monday Night Raw to set up some kind of angle, but she wasn't. Stratus has said that she doesn't know if she will be on-camera or not.

Meanwhile, Candice Michelle has a new commercial for Go Daddy here.
Interesting interview here in The Sun with William Regal who says that although Santino Marella is funny, humor will only take you so far and that Santino needs to work on his in-ring ability to have a lasting career. Regal also says that there are few that can handle his style - which is more stiff or real - and looks forward to working with CM Punk; someone that Regal believes is up to the task.

Thursday, December 18, 2008


It’s another video that you have probably already seen, but this one of the Iraqi reporter throwing his shoes at President George W. Bush is a classic. Fortunately, Bush did not get hurt, although the shoe thrower reportedly has some busted ribs and a broken arm. But this video speaks a million words. Different people will say different things about the incident depending on their political leaning. After putting everything aside, the ridiculousness of it made me really laugh out loud.

Bill O'Reilly Flips Out

I know that you have in all likelihood already seen this video, however, I just can’t get enough. I like Bill O’Reilly and have always enjoyed his work; be it his books, t.v. show, radio show, or his column in the New York Post. I have to admit I love watching people flip out. Don’t know why, though I must admit I like seeing it on t.v. and do not like one bit being around it for real.

Tyson Tomko We Barely Knew Ye?

Tyson Tomko made his return to World Wrestling Entertainment this past Monday where he worked the dark match of Monday Night Raw against Paul Burchill. Vince McMahon was reportedly furious over Tomko’s poor conditioning and there is talk that Tomko may already be finished with W.W.E. Supposedly, before Tomko made his return he was to train at the W.W.E.’s developmental F.C.W. facility in Florida. Tomko was also photographed at an airport on Tuesday with his arm in a sling. D'oh!

Pougheepsie Man, Former Wrestler Dead at 37

Sad news again of a former pro wrestler dying way before his time. Mike Bell passed away last week at the age of 37, although the cause of death has not been released. He was never formerly contracted by the W.W.E., although he did job to some of the stars in the 1990s at t.v. tapings. Bell admitted to steroid use in a documentary called "Bigger, Stronger, Faster," which was released this past summer and was directed by his younger brother Chris. The Poughkeepsie Journal has the full story here.

The Haunting In Connecticut

Coming to the big screen next year is The Haunting in Connecticut, which is a horror movie based on a true story. The gist of the movie is that a couple moves to Southington, Conn. in order to get treatment for their son who is suffering from cancer. But the house they move into is haunted and the boy’s condition gets worse as a result.

Believe it or not, I remember seeing the story of the family's plight on the Discovery Channel within the last couple of years. I was especially interested in the story because there really aren’t many local haunts that I know of, especially since the legend of Buckout Road has for all intents and purposes faded to black.

Click this for more on The Haunting in Connecticut.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

E.C.W. Faction?

I have always been a big fan of factions in wrestling and as we watch the incarnation of Randy Orton’s “Legacy,” perhaps we saw the birth of another group last night on E.C.W. when World Tag Team Champions John Morrison and The Miz teamed up with Jack Swagger to defeat C.M. Punk, Kofi Kingston and Ricky Ortiz – with Swagger covering Ortiz for the victory.

I think these three would work very well together and represent a new breed of wrestlers in the W.W.E. Heck, they could even play off the fact that they aren’t second-generation and didn’t have the leg up that Randy Orton’s group may have had. This trio, arrogant already, could play up the fact that they are "self-made" and didn't need their fathers to get them "in."

It’s just an idea and one that might give Swagger the extra push that he will eventually and hopefully get. In all likelihood, one faction is probably enough for right now. Especially since a “new” Hart Foundation is on the horizon with T.J. Wilson and Harry Smith (managed by Natalya) being brought up to the Smackdown roster soon.

Monday Night Raw in Pittsburgh Thoughts

I'm a few days late with this, but here goes anyway...

Monday Night Raw was a pretty good show and it seems like Randy Orton’s faction, “Legacy,” will eventually add Sim Snuka to the fold. I’ve got a feeling that Ted DiBiase will be the odd man out of the group once he returns from filming The Marine 2. Although, initially DiBiase will most likely be a part of the group, I bet jealousy will rear its ugly head between Orton and DiBiase and they will enter into a feud. DiBiase’s name has been bandied about as the man to end The Undertaker’s undefeated record at Wrestlemania, which would be ironic, given the fact that Ted’s father was the one that introduced Undertaker to the W.W. E. in the first place.

I loved the swerve in which Kelly Kelly told Kane that her boyfriend was The Miz, but then later she denied it to Candice Michelle and Mickie James. I have no idea who the boyfriend will turn out to be.

Snitsky goes, so in comes Mike Knox.

Tomko defeated Paul Burchill in the dark match of Raw. Tomko is one of several former T.N.A. wrestlers making their return to the W.W.E. As much as I like seeing new blood come into W.W.E., I hate to see it at the expense of T.N.A. Competition is good for everyone and although Vince McMahon may be happy that W.C.W. is gone, it has not really been good for the fans.

Alec Baldwin - I Am God (Malice)

This video is another great example of Alec Baldwin playing the role of an arrogant, mean-spirited person. This gem comes from Malice.

Glengarry Speech

This somewhat of a monologue by Alec Baldwin in the opening minutes of Glengarry Glen Ross is an absolute classic. Baldwin, does a nice job in these instances where he has the floor in the role of a bully, such as his speech in The Departed.

Glengarry Glen Ross Spoof

Sometimes I come across a real gem on YouTube and this video is definitely a perfect example. I love the movie, Glengarry Glen Ross, and would definitely rate it as one of MY favorites that I have ever seen. There are some real LOL scenes from Glengarry, which someone has sewn a few of them together into "Glen & Gary and Glen & Ross" in the above YouTube video.

Warning: Video contains profanity.

The Shadow People

Whether or not they are called shadow people, shadow persons or shadow beings, they are pretty scary if you can suspend disbelief or if you do, in fact, believe. I came across this interview with Heidi Hollis - who's been described as the "Dr. Phil" of the paranormal - which was conducted on Coast To Coast AM with George Noory in May 2007 and one of the main topics is shadow beings. I really loved the interview, unfortunately, they broke it up on YouTube into 10 parts, so I decided to put the videos in one place, just in case someone comes "Google searching" for them.

Part I










Monday, December 15, 2008

Bobby Lashley Debuts In MMA, Wants Brock Lesnar

Former W.W.E. star Bobby Lashley defeated Joshua Franklin in his mixed martial arts debut on Saturday night in Miami. The fight was stopped after only 41 second had elapsed due to Lashley opening a nasty cut on Franklin's forehead. Lashley fought in the debut of the promotion, Mixed Fighting Alliance (MFA).

Despite one MMA fight, Lashley already has his sights on bigger fish. An article in the Miami Herald quotes Lashley as saying:

''I am a wrestler, and Brock is a wrestler. If [Lesnar] wants to match skills, we match skills,'' said a confident Lashley, after defeating Joshua Franklin in their MMA debuts Saturday, Dec. 13 at the American Airlines Arena in Miami.

For the full story click this.

Honestly, U.F.C. Champ Brock Lesnar is a bit unproven and Lashley is especially untested, however, if these two could get a few more fights under their belts a Lesnar-Lashley match would be a huge draw.

Many people think that Kurt Angle is the one that Vince McMahon let get away, but I think Lashley can be put in that category as well, for other reasons though. When you consider the dearth of African-American wrestlers in W.W.E. – that don’t use stupid gimmicks like R-Truh and Cryme Tyme – the 32-year-old Lashley would have been someone that could have been a top star in W.W.E. for many years. Yes, he needed some work on the mic, but with his amature wrestling background (three N.C.A.A. wrestling championships while at Missouri Valley College), there was no reason to think he would not have been a $u$tainable draw.

Someone over at Titan Tower in Stamford goofed big-time with Lashley!

Former W.W.E. Star Trish Stratus Returns To Tonight's Raw

It seems likely that former W.W.E. Women's Champion Trish Stratus will make an appearance on tonight's Monday Night Raw. Basically, she will be setting up an in-ring return at next Monday's Toronto show in which both Raw and Smackdown will be taped. Stratus has been called out recently by both Natalya and current champion Beth Phoenix, so it's anyone's guess as to which of the two would be facing Stratus. But as far as comedy goes, some back and forth between Santino Marella and the former star could be quite amusing.

Keep in mind, though, any return of Trish Stratus at this point is not full-time.

Armageddon 2008 Results: Jeff Hardy New W.W.E. Champion

Finally, Jeff Hardy has reached the pinnacle of his career by winning the W.W.E Championship last night at Armageddon. Hardy’s problems outside the “squared circle” have been well-documented and the story of JH just coming so close but never going over was reaching the point where you began to think it was never meant to be. But last night Jeff Hardy was the star of the show by winning the "Triple Threat" match against W.W.E Champion Edge and Triple H. I’m curious to see how long he holds the title and if jealousy rears its ugly head, causing brothers Matt and Jeff Hardy to feud. Here’s a look at the rest of the show:

World heavyweight champion John Cena defeated Chris Jericho
Cena got Jericho to tap out to the STFU, which surprised me. I’m left scratching my head as to where these two go from here. Cena-Batista? Jericho-???

Batista defeated Randy Orton
Good match, however, I would have liked for them to have shaved five minutes off of this one and added it to the Cena-Jericho bout.

CM Punk defeated Rey Mysterio
Rey Mysterio most likely suffered a broken nose at the end of the match as a result of Punk’s GTS (Go To Sleep) finisher. I thoroughly enjoyed this one and would love to see a rematch, perhaps tonight on Raw?

Vladimir Kozlov defeated E.C.W. champion Matt Hardy in a non-title match
Solid opener and nothing more.

Finlay defeated Mark Henry in a Belfast Brawl
OK match for E.C.W. television, not pay-per-view quality.

Michelle McCool, Mickie James, Maria and Kelly Kelly defeated Maryse, Natalya, Victoria and Jillian Hall in a “Santa’s Helper’s" Match
This had no business being on the show and should definitely have been saved for Monday Night Raw.

Shawn Michaels’ promo
Ditto for this spot with Shawn Michaels and JBL. As usual Michaels was great on the microphone, but the segment would have been much better on FREE t.v. I loved the "Joey Styles" chants from the crowd.

Overall, the show had four solid, worthwhile matches; otherwise there was too much talk; too many advertisements and too many promos, but seeing Jeff Hardy finally win the "big one" was worth it.

If they eliminated the talk and The Great Khali kiss-cam, they could have inserted a World Tag Team Title match onto the show or maybe a match featuring some of the young talent such as Ricky Ortiz or Jack Swagger.

Is anybody over in the Stamford headquarters listening to me?

Sunday, December 14, 2008

The Who News

Things never seem to be dull for the boys from Shepherds Bush...

Roger Daltrey will narrate a special documentary commemorating the 25th anniversary of the death of Beach Boys' drummer, Dennis Wilson, for BBC Radio 2, called Pacific Ocean Blues: The Life and Death of Dennis Wilson.

Meanwhile, Pete and Roger were among the honorees at the annual Kennedy Center Awards. Click this for more.

Spitfire Productions has been, well, on fire, lately for The Who; The Who: Live at Kilburn 1977 sits atop the Billboard DVD music charts, while Amazing Journey: The Story of The Who has been nominated for a Grammy in the category of "Best Long Form Music Video."

Dallas Finished With Sean Avery

Although Sean Avery is eligible to return to the Dallas Stars, the team announced that his services are no longer needed. Of course, they'll either have to trade him, buy him out over the summer or send Avery to the minors. Sean Avery could be a real good player in the N.H.L. if he would only cut out all the over-the-top stuff. Too bad he hasn't learned anything yet. Thankfully he is no longer with the Rangers. For more, click this.

Armageddon Predictions

The W.W.E. presents, Armageddon, live from Buffalo on pay-per-view tonight. Here are some thoughts on the show:

World Heavyweight Champion John Cena vs. Chris Jericho
Should be a good match and although I think W.W.E. most likely wouldn't take the World Championship off of Cena so quickly, I wouldn't be entirely surprised to see him lose. Having said that, I think Cena wins but gets mauled after the match by Randy Orton, Cody Rhodes and Manu.

W.W.E. Champion Edge vs. Jeff Hardy vs. Triple H
It's now or never for the enigmatic one, Jeff Hardy. Hardy's pursuit of the gold has been fun, but for the story to remain interesting he has to actually, you know, win the title at least once. Otherwise, his pursuit becomes a bore because the fans won't see any possibility of Jeff going over. Although I would love to see JH win, the best heel on Smackdown, Edge will retain.

Batista vs. Randy Orton
This will be a typical Randy Orton match - which isn't necessarily a bad thing - with Orton getting a first class beating before nailing the RKO finisher out of nowhere.

E.C.W. champion Matt Hardy vs. Vladimir Kozlov (non-title)
Non-title matches on a pay-per-view brings about as much satisfaction as one would get from kissing their sister (although I have no experience in that department). Non-title also means that Matt Hardy is going to get squashed by the "Moscow Mauler."

Rey Mysterio vs. CM Punk
BREAKING NEWS: CM Punk/Kofi Kingston dropped the World Tag Titles last night in Canada to John Morrison/The Miz. What does that mean? More than likely that Punk is back to singles competition and a probable win over Mysterio in a real exciting match in which the winner is named number one contender to William Regal's Intercontinental Championship.

Finlay vs. Mark Henry in a Belfast Brawl
You would think a "Belfast Brawl" would ensure a win for Fit Finlay, however, Henry needs this victory to stay relevant on E.C.W.

Michelle McCool, Mickie James, Maria and Kelly Kelly vs. Maryse, Natalya, Victoria and Jillian Hall
McCool's heel turn will be complete as she'll help the other team get the duke.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Danny Hodge Book Release Date

I've read some really good books over the last couple of months and while I am thoroughly enjoying Bret Hart's autobiography, Hitman, I am also looking forward to the release of Mike Chapman's biography about the great Danny Hodge. Chapman, a former newspaper reporter for 35 years, is the author of 19 books and runs the Dan Gable International Wrestling Institute and Museum (I.W.I.M) in Iowa. 

Danny Hodge, a former pro wrestler, was an outstanding wrestler at the University of Oklahoma. Hodge was a three-time NCAA champion and was never taken off of his feet while competing.

Anyway, I emailed Chapman today and he wrote in his response that the book is due to come out January 5.

Thursday, December 04, 2008

Lt. Col. Darrel Vandeveld And Gitmo

I was really drawn into this story, "Guantanamo a stain on US military," after watching the BBC the other night. I'm always intrigued by instances when one's faith clashes with their work.

BBC News Security Correspondent Gordon Corera wrote this in the opening of his extremely well-written article:

For Lt. Col. Darrel Vandeveld, a devout Catholic, the twin responsibilities of religious faith and military duty led to a profound moral crisis.

The rest of the story is here.

The Benoit Wikipedia Hacker Interview

Irv Muchnick is the author of a book about the Chris Benoit murder-suicide and he recently wrote a story for SLAM! Sports about a number of items in relation to his research. One part that I found to be extremely interesting was the interrogation interview by the Stamford, Conn. police of the man that altered Chris Benoit’s Wikipedia page to say that he had missed a W.W.E. pay-per-view because his wife had died – this all before the horrible news came out. The link to the story is here. If you wish to watch the interrogation, click here.

Muchnick is also asking fans or anyone with information about the murder-suicide to email him:

Bret Hart Off The Record

I came across this very compelling interview which was conducted on TSN's Off The Record in February 2003; the first public appearance by Bret Hart after he suffered a stroke. Michael Landsberg, in my opinion, did a solid job interviewing the "Hitman."







W.W.E. Rewind: Tomko, Chris Jericho and Christian vs. Shawn Michaels, John Cena and HULK HOGAN!!!

This match took place on Monday Night Raw on June 27, 2005. Interestingly, Tomko and Christian are both rumored to be headed back for the W.W.E. Hulk Hogan was reportedly asked to go to Iraq for the "Tribute to the Troops" show (which is being taped this week), however, Hogan declined because he said that his divorce has been a "full-time job."



Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Sports Shorts: The Good, The Bad, A Comeback and The Sad

Fifth and sixth grade students at Reed Intermediate School in Newtown, Conn., heard that WWE was bringing WWE Superstars and Divas to visit the troops in Iraq for the sixth annual Tribute to the Troops tour. They wanted to do something to participate, so right before Thanksgiving, with the help of their teachers – Jill Beaudry, Julie Shull, Sara Strait and Barbara Mancher – they wrote letters to the men and women of the U.S. military for WWE to bring to Iraq. To see some of the letters, click here.

The WWE Universe can join the Reed students in sending holiday wishes to the troops by joining the WWE Tribute to the Troops Forum at

The W.W.E. wrestlers left yesterday for Iraq.

Sean Avery had this to say on Calgary Flames' Dion Phaneuf dating Sean's ex, Elisha Cuthbert:

“I am really happy to be back in Calgary, I love Canada,” Avery said on camera yesterday morning in Calgary. “I just want to comment on how it’s become like a common thing in the NHL for guys to fall in love with my sloppy seconds. I don’t know what that’s about. Enjoy the game tonight.”

The N.H.L. has rightfully suspended Avery indefinitely, pending a hearing. The Dallas Stars' players have not liked Sean Avery from the time he signed his big contract over the summer and I'm sure management is regretting bringing him in. Incidentally, the Stars beat the Flames, 3-1.

Claude Lemieux is making a comeback with the San Jose Sharks' farm team, the Worcester Sharks. Lemieux is known for his on-ice antagonistic play, but he is also the winner of Stanley Cups with three different teams (Montreal 1986, New Jersey 1995, Colorado 1996 & 2000).

Let's all keep former golfing great Seve Ballesteros in our prayers as the 51-year-old undergoes a fourth brain operation in Madrid. Ballesteros was diagnosed with brain cancer in October.

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

The New Four Horseman? Cena Attacked On Raw

John Cena was attacked by Chris Jericho, Randy Orton, Manu and Cody Rhodes last night on Monday Night Raw. There have been rumblings for quite a while now that the W.W.E. would have some sort of faction consisting of second- and third-generation wrestlers. The problem is that Jericho's father (Ted Irvine) was not a pro wrestler, but a New York Ranger.

Still, factions work in wrestling and I would love to see these four - plus Ted DiBiase whenever he comes back - form a new group. Unless, of course, if they are going to make DiBiase a face when he returns.

Martha Wainwright "You Cheated Me" Video