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Recently joined the dating scene again after having a serious relationship end suddenly. It's been ~5 years since I was single and holy shit am I ever lost on how to go about meeting new people. ... Just curious if those are still big in the Calgary dating scene? Calgary Dating For singles 40-55 49 Members Adventure Calgary - 20s & 30s Social Group. Adventure Calgary - 20s & 30s Social Group ... Dating Advisor has built a listing of the best places, events and apps that guarantee quick recreational sex in Calgary. Are you looking to have a private sex in Calgary with an attractive, very special person? Here you can find tips on our best recommendations for having more sex in Calgary. ... Various speed dating events hosted by Calgary Speed Dating from now until the end of the year: Speed Dating event for women: 43-53, and… Find out more » Sophisticated Simplicity. Our events offer a fresh alternative to speed dating and matchmaking in Calgary. We don't find anything romantic about whistles, name-tags or over-the-top party trimmings typically found at singles events so we have done away with them. Various speed dating events hosted by Calgary Speed Dating from now until the end of the year: Speed Dating event for women: 43-53, and men: 45-56 December 8, 7:30pm. Speed Dating event for women: 43-53, and men: 45-56 December 15, 7:30pm. Speed Dating Event for women: 34-43, and men: 36-47 December 22, 7:30pm Niche dating sites, like Silver Singles, have done a lot to change people’s perceptions about singles of a certain age. Not all over-50 daters are afraid of technology or hesitant to meet someone new. It can actually be exciting to get back into the dating scene and feel like a teenager again. In comparison, Calgary's singles scene is crawling with people who are looking to settle down and have kids, or who've done so already and are back on the scene. EDITOR'S NOTE: T his is part one of a two-part special on dating in Calgary.. When I first moved to Calgary from Vancouver in early 2014, I had few expectations of the city — least of all that ... Dating scene for 50 yo men in Calgary ? I'm a recently divorced, clean, tall, active, athletic, self sufficient, hetero sexual 50 yo man. I'm thinking of moving to Calgary. What is the dating scene like for older people in the city ? Are there many single, vibrant, active, athletic mature women around ?
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2020.09.02 19:02 Spilled_MilkteaDoes anyone actually love living in Vancouver? Planning on moving here but people seem so negative about it.
I was born in Vancouver but grew up in Calgary. I've always said that Vancouver has a hold on me because it's my birthplace, and I've dreamed of moving back to Vancouver since I was 12. I am now 26 and married (no kids), still living in Calgary. My husband is from Vancouver, and we've talked about moving back even when we were dating. We visit his family 2-4 times a year in Vancouver, so I'm very familiar with the city and my desire to move there only increases with every visit. Now, we finally have an opportunity to move to Vancouver. My husband's parents are in a great location and are planning to build a laneway behind their house, and have offered to let us help design it if we want to move in. We would only have to pay for half of it, and would get the money back if they decided to move/sell. It's the kind of opportunity we've been waiting for. I'm not ignorant of all the challenges moving to Vancouver will bring. I know how expensive the cost of living is and how hard it can be to find a job, as well as the traffic, the people who take themselves too seriously, the gloomy weather, even the rats. I've always thought that the pros of living there would outweigh the cons, especially since we'll have a good housing situation. However, everywhere I look, it seems like people are shouting, "DON'T MOVE TO VANCOUVER." Whenever I tell people we might be moving there, they think we're crazy. There are hundreds of blog posts and articles trying to convince people that it's a horrible place to live. Don't get me wrong, I think Calgary is great and probably a better place to live in many respects, but the winters here make me miserable and I've always felt more at home in a rainy climate. Like many others, I'm drawn to Vancouver for the stunning nature, the interesting and aesthetic city, and the lifestyle that permits being outdoors all-year round. And as a creative, I've always felt somewhat stifled in Calgary (although our arts and culture scene here is improving). So what I'm asking is, is there anyone who genuinely loves living in Vancouver? Anyone who maybe isn't particularly rich but still enjoys the lifestyle and the city itself? What are the good things about living in Vancouver as a young lower middle class couple? Or is it really not worth the sacrifice? Also, is there anyone who has moved to Vancouver from Calgary and is glad they made the switch?
Going through old issues of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter and posting highlights in my own words. For anyone interested, I highly recommend signing up for the actual site at f4wonline and checking out the full archives. PREVIOUSLY:
In a shocking turn of events, NWA-TNA announced last week that Vince Russo was joining the promotion, less than 3 weeks after he returned to WWE. Russo's return to WWE was announced as joining the company as part of the creative team on 6/20, but after his first creative meeting, he was demoted to consultant and was paid $1,000 a week to sit at home and send in written critiques of the weekly TV shows. Russo didn't have a contract and it's no secret that his return was deeply unpopular in the locker room and even more unpopular in the office among those who still resent him for how he left in 1999. Russo has told friends that he feels like WWE is a mess and it won't change because Vince McMahon won't remove Stephanie McMahon from her position as head writer. Russo recently sold his record store in Atlanta and was planning to move back up north (he never liked living in the south, but moved there when he went to WCW) but he hasn't moved yet. According to TNA sources, Russo will essentially help with production and writing of the shows. TNA is way understaffed when it comes to people with experience producing live shows like this. Russo was introduced to the staff on 7/9 and, much like in WWE, there were a lot of unhappy people who weren't the least bit happy to see him. He's not exactly the most well-liked guy in the business. But he's still good friends with Jeff Jarrett and Russo had already been contributing ideas and storylines for this company before the brief WWE return anyway. At the time, Russo's involvement was being kept secret because of his lawsuit with Hulk Hogan. AOL/Time Warner was representing him (since the incident happened in WCW). They only agreed to represent him as long as he didn't go work for another wrestling promotion. When the WWE offer came along, Russo managed to get AOL/Time Warner to drop that stipulation, which allowed him to go work for WWE. And now, subsequently, TNA. The lawsuit with Hogan is still ongoing and AOL/Time Warner's lawyers are still repping Russo.
Kevin Nash will be out of action for god knows how long after tearing his left quad in a match on Raw. It was Nash's first match back since suffering a bicep tear back in March. After tagging in, he tore his quad on the first move. It's the same injury Triple H suffered that kept him out for over 7 months and there's no way that Nash—who's 10 years older than Triple H—is about to put himself through the same grueling rehab that Triple H did. Triple H moved to Birmingham and lived there 24/7 doing Dr. James Andrews full-time rehab program. Nash has kids and a family and shit, he's probably not moving to Birmingham so he can do rehab 3 times a day. Dave suspects this is gonna take a bit longer for Nash (ended up being around 9 months). The injury occurred in a 10-man tag match that Nash wasn't even scheduled for until he found out the day of the show. Nash's original return to the ring was supposed to be on house shows later that week. The match was planned and designed to get Nash over as a huge monster and build him into one of the top 5 or so major main event stars in the company, because the plan was to do Nash vs. Triple H at Summerslam in one of the top matches (with Rock/Brock and Hogan/Vince penciled in as the other top matches). But as soon as Nash tagged in, he kicked Booker T, but then tripped over him when trying to step over Booker and collapsed, grabbing his thigh and screaming in pain. The match fell apart and nobody knew what to do until Shawn Michaels (not even in the match, just outside the ring) took charge and started telling guys what to do and calling spots. He improvised a superkick on Booker T and told Big Show to chokeslam him to finish it. The next day, Nash underwent surgery from Dr. James Andrews, who has done several previous surgeries on Nash (knee, bicep, elbow, and more). All in all, not a bump gone wrong or anything, just a freak accident.
Bret Hart has written a new column in the Calgary Sun, his first since suffering his recent stroke. Dave copies and pastes the whole column here, but I'll just cliff notes it: Bret is doing as well as can be expected. Made a stupid mistake by bike riding without a helmet because he'd been too lazy to fix the broken chin-strap. Hit a pothole, crashed his bicycle, hit his head, believes he suffered a stroke on impact. Was unable to move the left side of his body. Used his cell phone to call for help. Thanks fans, doctors, nurses, wife, kids, family, friends, etc. for being there for him. Promises he'll recover. Dave says Bret's progress has been slow but steady over the past week. He can take small steps with help but is mostly still confined to a bed and wheelchair and is only just now getting feeling back in his left leg. He's spending his time doing therapy and working on his autobiography which is apparently already 960 pages deep and he's only up to the late-80s so far. Doctors were surprised Bret was able to work on his book since they expected him to have memory issues or problems writing due to the stroke, but he has neither. Dave says Bret has talked about dividing the book up into 3 parts and releasing them that way due to the length (it only ended up being around 600 pages so he must have had a merciless editor).
WWE reached an out-of-court settlement this week with the Parents Television Council which will award WWE $3.5 million and a public apology from the PTC, as well as a promise that they will leave WWE alone. As part of the settlement, PTC agreed to never have any involvement with WWE business in the future, to never urge boycotts of WWE or of WWE sponsors. PTC head L. Brent Bozell had to issue a public apology to the WWE and Vince McMahon and the apology must be posted on the PTC's website home page for 6 months. They also must remove all other content from its website relating to WWE, its advertisers, or the accusations that WWE held any responsibility in the deaths of several children. Also, if WWE decides to make him do so, they can request Bozell meet with WWE advertisers personally to further explain his apology, and he'll be required to do it. Long story short: the PTC got absolutely fucking SPANKED here. The PTC will not be paying the settlement out of pocket, it will be paid by insurance, which is the only thing that is allowing them to even stay in business because without them, that $3.5 million would have killed the organization. The case was expected to go to trial in September and WWE was seeking $55 million in damages. And they likely would have won easily, so the PTC didn't have much of a choice here. They had to settle.
In addition to the above, attorney Jim Lewis (who represented Lionell Tate, one of the kids who was convicted of murdering a young girl) must also publicly apologize for claiming that Tate's actions were inspired by what he saw watching wrestling. Dave recaps the history of the PTC going after WWF at the height of its Attitude Era success, crusading against WWF by targeting their sponsors. At first, the PTC made some valid points about some of the extremely questionable content WWF was producing. Problem is, then they started outright lying and their claims got more and more outlandish, and Bozell turned it into a personal mission to take down Vince McMahon and the WWE, to the point that they crossed over into libel and defamation. They also used fake and misleading statistics when pressuring sponsors. All of this led to WWE taking them to court and mollywhopping dat ass. (I've actually done a lot of research on this WWE/PTC case for some other thing I'm writing and it's a really fun case to read about. WWE's past is pretty indefensible sometimes, but Bozell was out of his mind obsessed with destroying them. He's a hardcore right-wing conservative and his battle with WWE was literally a moral and religious crusade to him. To this day, I bet it eats Bozell alive that he got owned so thoroughly and had to release such a humbling apology. And oh, bet your ass, we're about to read that apology):
Bozell's and PTC's public apology on their website reads the following:
`Media Research Center (MRC), Parents Television Council (PTC), Dr. Delores Tucker, Mark Honig and I have in the past made statements regarding so-called wrestling deaths — children killed by other children alleged to be mimicking “professional wrestling” moves they saw on television. We made such statements to members of MRC and PTC, the media, advertisers on World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) SmackDown! program, retailers that sell WWE-related toys and merchandise, public officials and the public. MRC and PTC also produced a videotape as part of a fundraising campaign in connection with its “National Campaign to Clean Up TV Now!”, which advanced the notion that the murder of Tiffany Eunick was caused by the influence of professional wrestling on Lionel Tate. The videotape included interviews with Lionel Tate’s lawyer advancing the notion that the murder of Tiffany Eunick, the victim, was directly caused by the impact that professional wrestling had on Lionel Tate. We based our statements on media reports and source information. We now believe, based on extensive investigation and facts which have come to light since making those statements that it was wrong for MRC, PTC, their spokespersons and myself to have said anything that could be construed as blaming WWE or any of its programs for the deaths of the children. Simply put, it was premature to reach that conclusion when we did, and there is now ample evidence to show that conclusion was incorrect. I now believe that professional wrestling played no role in the murder of Tiffany Eunick, which was a part of our “Clean Up TV Now!” campaign and am equally convinced that it was incorrect and wrong to have blamed WWE or any of its programs for the deaths of the other children. Because of our statements, PTC, MRC and the WWE have been in litigation since November 2000. WWE vigorously advanced its position that neither it, nor “professional wrestling” led to these deaths. WWE also contended that MRC, PTC, their spokespersons and I had misrepresented the number of advertisers who withdrew support from WWE’s SmackDown! television program after receiving communications from the PTC, some of which regrettably connected the WWE and SmackDown! to the deaths of children. As such, WWE exercised its right to initiate this litigation, during which facts came to light that prompted me to make this statement. By this retraction, I want to be clear that WWE was correct in pointing out that various statements made by MRC, PTC and me were inaccurate concerning the identity and number of WWE SmackDown! advertisers who withdrew support from the program. Many of the companies we stated had “withdrawn” or pulled their support had never, in fact, advertised on SmackDown! nor had any plan to advertise on SmackDown! Again, we regret this error and retract any such misleading statements. Finally, concerning the statements about child wrestling deaths, it was wrong to have stated or implied that WWE or any of its programs caused these tragic deaths. Specifically concerning the Lionel Tate case, recent developments lead us to believe that others and we were given, and relied upon, false information provided by parties close to the case. The information that we were given and relied upon may have been designed to make a national example of the Florida murder trial, pinning the blame on WWE. For example, we were told by a source that Lionel Tate was watching a WWE program when he assaulted Tiffany Eunick. In fact, Lionel Tate was watching the “Flintstones” and a cartoon entitled “Cow and Chicken.” We were also told, by a source, that Lionel Tate killed Tiffany Eunick while executing a wrestling move unique to a WWE character called the “Stone Cold Stunner”. We have since learned that this was not true, nor was there any evidence that it was true. It is now well documented that after the Tate trial concluded, the presiding Judge said it was “inconceivable” that Tiffany Eunick’s injuries were caused by Lionel Tate mimicking wrestling moves. Indeed, since the trial ended, Lionel Tate’s new lawyers have filed court papers in which they admit that the “wrestling defense” was, in their words, “bogus.” Given these facts, WWE was within its rights to be angry at the MRC, PTC, their spokespersons and I for contacting WWE’s advertisers to go beyond complaining about WWE content but passing along accusations which we now know were false. Because I feel a simple retraction is not sufficient, I have personally extended my apology to Vince McMahon and the WWE on behalf of MRC, PTC, Dr. Tucker, Mr. Honig and me. Through this letter, I now make this apology public and specifically directed to the advertising community that has in the past, is currently or may in the future consider advertising or sponsoring WWE programming. The PTC can have its concern with the content of WWE’s television programming – though these concerns have been reduced significantly over the past years as a reflection of WWE’s changed standards. But nowhere in that debate, including in the correspondence and statements to the advertising community, should there have been any discussion of “wrestling” deaths. I regret this happening. It wasn’t fair to WWE. And I say this emphatically: Please disregard what others and we have said in the past about the Florida “wrestling” death. Neither “wrestling” in general, nor WWE specifically, had anything to do with it. Of that I am certain.’
PRIDE and K-1 announced their plans to put on the biggest event in MMA history, with a joint show in August, with hopes to draw 100,000 people to the Tokyo National Soccer Stadium. The original plan was for the show to take place on Aug. 29th, but they changed it to the 28th to avoid going head-to-head with a major NJPW show at Buddokan Hall which would have drawn many of the same fans they're trying to get. However, this is during monsoon season in Japan and it's an outdoor stadium, so just in case, they've got the stadium on reserve for several days in the event the scheduled date gets rained out. Here's the problem: this stadium only holds 60,000 for soccer games, so even if you add ground seating, realistically, you can only pack probably 80,000 at most. So the claim that they're going to draw 100,000 fans is "just as legitimate as the 93,173 number that WWE uses for its record." Dave notes that the real record for biggest paid attendance for a wrestling show is Summerslam 92 with the Hart/Bulldog match drawing 78,927 confirmed paid. But whatever. The plan for this show is for it to be an 8-9 match card, with every fight being dream matches featuring big name fighters. Rules for each fight will be unique and it will air on prime time TV in Japan. The main event will be Kazushi Sakuraba vs. Mirko Cro Cop, plus Dave breaks down a bunch of other planned or rumored match-ups.
Dave looks at some business numbers and it ain't good news. Just to give one example, WWE's average attendance-per-show was 4,711 during the month of June, which is the lowest month for attendance since Feb. 1997. And most of the tickets for those shows were sold before Austin walked out. So once fans realize that Austin really is gone (at least for now) and not coming back anytime soon, the coming months could look even more dire for ticket sales.
AAA's Triplemania X event took place last week (again) and ended with Octagon unmasking Pentagon in a mask vs. mask match. I only mention this because there have been lots of "Pentagon" characters over the years in AAA and later the indies in Mexico, portrayed by different people. But this match ended up being the last time the Pentagon gimmick would be used in AAA for the next decade.....until AEW star Pentagon Jr. began using the gimmick in 2012.
Keiji Muto is apparently trying to shorten what's left of his career by being a complete madman. Muto is already beyond banged up, with knees that should have retired him years ago. He has no business working a full schedule at this stage in his career, but he's AJPW's biggest star and best draw, so he is continuing to work every show. But now he's taking it a step further. Muto will be working 3 separate matches in one night for AJPW's upcoming Budokan Hall show. He's doing the Mick Foley gimmick, where he will wrestle under a different gimmick for each match. He'll be wrestling as Muto, Great Muta, and Kokushi Muso (the gimmick he uses only when he teams with Hakushi and paints his body in similar fashion). So yeah.
Vader was arrested in his hometown of Boulder, CO earlier this month for allegedly spitting at a police officer, threatening the officers with rocks, resisting arrest, drinking and driving, careless driving, and leaving the scene of an accident. It ended up taking 8 officers and 2 police dogs on the scene before Vader agreed to be arrested peacefully, and they used multiple sets of handcuffs. It started when Vader crashed his van into some bushes, but then backed out, left the scene, and drove home (about a block away). Police came to his home and found Vader severely intoxicated and barely able to stand. At some point, Vader told the police, "I will and can kick all of your asses! Let's fight!" The police brought in the police dogs, but Vader still wouldn't back down and threatened to kill the dogs if they came at him. Then he picked up rocks and threatened to throw them and spit at one of the cops, but missed. The other cops showed up and they eventually calmed him down and arrested him. According to records, Vader has 2 prior DUI arrests in Boulder. This all occurred just days before he was scheduled to leave for Japan for the latest NOAH tour but he still went and is over there working shows now.
Kenta Kobashi finally made his real in-ring return after more than a year out of action (aside from the one comeback match where he re-injured himself for 4 more months). Kobashi has been told in no uncertain terms that one more knee injury and he's done for good. Dave figures that knee injury is inevitable. Kobashi is working opening matches all week, teaming with the rookies and doing hot tag spots for now.
Former IWGP champion Kazuyuki Fujita is scheduled to make his return to NJPW next week after being out of action the past 7 months with a torn Achilles that caused him to vacate the IWGP title. He's going to continue doing shoot fights as well.
Manami Toyota, arguably (is it even arguable) the greatest female wrestler of all time, announced she is leaving All Japan Women and jumping ship to Gaea. Toyota has spent her entire 15 year career working for AJW so this is a surprise and a pretty big blow to AJW.
Jesse Ventura was rushed to the hospital this week with a blood clot in his lung after complaining of chest pains. He's now in stable condition, on blood thinners, and should be okay. Ventura has a history of blood clots and a pulmonary embolism in 1984 took him out of action right before he was about to start a lengthy (and surely lucrative) feud with Hulk Hogan. He eventually returned and wrestled for another year, mostly in tag teams and such, before retiring due to the health issues.
Dave has some anecdotal evidence of how TNA's viewership numbers are going and it ain't pretty. Between week 1 and week 2, there was a full 50% drop in responses to the reader poll Dave put out on the show. That was to be expected. But the drop from Week 2 to Week 3 was another 41% drop from that. So we're only a few weeks in and it appears this company is already hemorrhaging viewers. Internally, TNA is basically flaunting the preliminary numbers they got from the PPV providers that show they're doing big buyrates. Dave feels sorry for them because he's been following the PPV industry since it began and the preliminary numbers from the providers are ALWAYS wrong and ALWAYS substantially higher than what the real number ends up being. Dave basically says TNA is getting excited over fake numbers and if they're basing their future on what they expect to pull in financially, they're going to be VERY disappointed a few months from now when the real numbers are revealed and those PPV checks end up being way less than they're expecting. TNA's weekly production costs are around $200,000, which means they need at least 50,000 buys per week just to break even on the production costs (and that's not counting all the other costs like paying the wrestlers, advertising, etc. that I'm sure they'd like to have some extra money for). So we're only a few weeks in and, yet again, this whole project still does not seem sustainable.
Notes from TNA Weekly PPV: this was by far the weakest of the 3 shows so far. Dave thinks they're trying too hard to copy much of WWE's formula, rather than focusing on what makes them different or what they can do better. They were in Nashville this week, with about 2,000 fans (1,100 paid, the rest freebies). There's a lot of young talent here and they have potential, but so many of them aren't ready for the national stage and it showed. They did almost nothing to promote or build for next week's show, which is a killer when you're depending on people to pay for it every week. Dave thinks it felt like an episode of WCW Thunder. More production mistakes (wrong names on the screen during introductions, etc.). They announced Japanese wrestler Takao Omori and Christopher Daniels will be there next week, but made no effort to educate fans on who those people are or why anyone should care. Monty Brown made his debut and Dave is impressed, since he looks good, was athletic, and has some good mic skills and he thinks TNA did a better job of debuting and protecting him than WWE usually does with new guys. Another angle with NASCAR driver Hermie Sadler and it sucked, leading Dave to joke that Sterling Martin carried their tag team last time. 6 matches into the show and Dave says not a single one of them has even reached the 1-star mark. Thankfully, AJ Styles and David Young saved the show with a 2.25 star classic. Brian Christopher turned heel on Scott Hall, leading Hall to do a stretcher job in what was a pretty good angle but, ya know....it's Jarrett and Brian Christopher.
Various other TNA news and notes: they've been taking out radio ads to promote the shows, with the tagline, "If you're tired of that other wrestling..." Dave is flabbergasted that TNA brought Jackie Fargo in for the debut shows (in Huntsville, where he wasn't really a big name) but didn't use him at all in Nashville this week, since he's the biggest drawing star in the city's history. Vince Russo and Disco Inferno were backstage at the show. TNA's new backstage interviewer Goldylocks was in the Los Angeles airport during the shooting there last week that left 2 people dead and several others injured. She was even interviewed by the local news about it.
More fun political games in WWE. Paul Heyman and Pat Patterson came up with an angle to continue John Cena's momentum following his debut match with Kurt Angle, in which Cena would slap Vince McMahon in the face and then have a match with Jericho in which he would almost win and Jericho would have to cheat to get the pin. You know, make him look strong in defeat kinda thing, same as the Angle match. Well, Triple H apparently went to Vince and convinced him to nix the angle, saying nobody should be laying hands on Vince right now since they're building to Hogan vs. Vince at Summerslam. This turned into a major issue backstage because most of the locker room doesn't like the "NWO group" (basically, Nash, X-Pac, Shawn Michaels, and Triple H, even though he's not part of the group on TV). The usual Kliq stuff. Some of the wrestlers said that everyone can see that Cena has major star potential and they feel like Triple H cutting him off at the knees like this is more about protecting his own spot. They compromised and had Cena slap Jericho instead (Dave says it was a hell of a slap, and on his podcast, Bruce Prichard has told this story. Apparently Jericho insisted that Cena really lay in the slap to make it look good. And so Cena damn near killed him). Patterson in particular was furious that his idea got scrapped and told everyone who would listen about it, feeling the original angle would have gotten people talking about Cena (something they haven't been able to do with any of the other news guys) and felt the compromise angle didn't really have the same effect. Dave notes there's been a lot of resentment towards Nash and Michaels because they're getting some of the biggest pushes in the company right now despite not working full-time like everyone else. And Triple H is going to always be a target of it because of his real-life relationship with Stephanie McMahon. And, of course, X-Pac is basically protected by all his friends and has gotten out of doing multiple jobs in recent weeks when Nash or Michaels complained on his behalf. For what it's worth though, Hulk Hogan is said to be the total opposite, doing exactly what is asked of him and working as hard as he's capable of doing, has had no problem doing jobs or putting anyone over, and is pretty much avoiding all this Kliq drama. So at least one of these guys is redeeming their reputation here a little (just don't turn any hidden cameras on when he's having a conversation).
Chris Jericho has agreed to a new WWE deal, but hasn't yet signed the contract and is actually working without one at the moment. His previous deal expired a week or two ago and he's been hammering out details with WWE ever since. With declining business and no real competition to use as leverage, Jericho's negotiating power was obviously not great. But he is one of the company's key guys and word is Jericho considers the offer "fair, under the circumstances." So probably not as good as he was hoping, but that's what happens when you work for a monopoly.
Notes from Raw: "one of those nights best left forgotten," Dave says, as WWE's 2002 continues to suck. Booker T cut a promo challenging the NWO, but Eddie Guerrero answered the challenge instead, "I guess since they could get him to do a job on TV without complaining," Dave quips. And indeed, Booker won. Chris Benoit was embroiled in the beginnings of an angle with Austin and Flair, but when Austin left, everything got changed, and now Benoit is feuding with Bubba Ray Dudley, which is quite the demotion. Shawn Michaels cut a promo talking about the Kliq days, full of insider references that were lost on most of the crowd and it was so quiet that you could even hear one heckler yell, "Get to the point!" Dave doesn't understand why they're fondly reminiscing about a time that was by far the darkest, lowest period in the last 30 years of the business, but whatever. William Regal lost to Jeff Hardy, leading Dave to wonder whatever happened to the Regal/Molly Holly storyline that has seemingly been dropped with no explanation. And, of course, the Kevin Nash injury to end the show.
Oh yeah....and then there's this. Raw also featured a match with Trish Stratus & Bradshaw vs. Chris Nowinski & Jackie Gayda, which Dave calls "the longest 3:14 in pro wrestling history." Basically every spot that Gayda and Stratus did was completely blown, some so badly that Dave can't even figure out what they were trying to do. Nowinski and Bradshaw brawled into the crowd. "I think they were running out as fast as they could to preserve whatever reputation they have left." Jim Ross on commentary used the dreaded "bowling shoe ugly" phrase which is JR Code for "holy shit this is a bad match." The ending was completely botched but this time, Gayda at least had the sense to realize that they botched the finish so bad that she probably shouldn't eat a pin from it, so she tried to kick out instead. But Trish and the referee didn't get the memo and so the ref counted the 3 anyway, which made the whole thing look even worse. Crowd booed this like crazy and Dave says it was clear to everybody that Gayda has no business on Raw yet, she's still waaaaaaay too green (If you haven't seen it, this match is legendarily bad and is widely known simply as "That Jackie Gayda Match."
Notes from Smackdown: on the complete opposite end of the spectrum, this was a great show. Lillian Garcia singing "America the Beautiful" was interrupted by Team Canada, who got the most heel heat Dave has seen anywhere in wrestling in a long time. They're trying to redo the 1997 Hart Foundation/Canada angle, except this time, it's Christian, Test, and Lance Storm. Whether it will be successful or not depends on who the babyface is. In 1997, it was Steve Austin. If they pick Rikishi or somebody here in 2002, it's not gonna get over near as big. Batista working tag matches is the best thing for him, because he's looking a lot better lately while being able to hide his weaknesses. The Cena/Jericho angle was good (though probably not as good as the original idea would have been). During the Billy and Chuck segment, Chuck had a line about being tired from walking all day on Sunday. The joke wasn't explained, so if you didn't get it: that recent Sunday was the day of a lot of major national gay pride parades in major cities around the country. And Hogan and Edge won the tag titles in a fun match that the crowd was nuclear hot for.
Chris Benoit didn't do any actual matches in developmental before his return, he was just there training and taking bumps, so the matches he's been doing on TV the last week or two really were his first actual matches since the neck surgery. Benoit is said to be in less pain than he expected to be and is hopeful to get back to his old self.
Dave saw a recent picture of Rey Mysterio and he's worried. Mysterio has bulked up waaaaay too much for his frame. Dave compares him to The Patriot, another masked wrestler who's career was pretty much ended due to repeated muscle tears from being too steroided up. With Mysterio's size, there's zero reason or advantage to him being so muscular and it's only going to increase his risk of getting injured, especially when he starts working that 200-dates-per-year WWE schedule (yeah, this proved to be pretty accurate. Despite the success he had during that time, the next decade or so of Mysterio's career is pretty much injury after injury after injury).
Latest on Goldberg is that he has no plans to do anything in wrestling until later this year, if at all. Dave thinks that's smart, since WWE business looks like it's going to keep plummeting, at which time they'll be even more desperate for him to come in. Dave thinks Goldberg could probably command a pretty large offer to come in around the beginning of 2003 and build to a big Wrestlemania match (close, but not quite what happens).
Various WWE notes: Triple H has been out of action since King of the Ring after getting elbow surgery. He's been back in Birmingham again, doing 24/7 rehab. Stephanie McMahon hasn't been working in the WWE offices for the last few weeks because she's been with him. Stacy Keibler asked for time off because she's burned out and was replaced with Dawn Marie for all her scheduled bra and panties matches on house shows this week.
During the Sunday Night Heat/Raw tapings, someone held up a sign that said "Big Show is not over" when Big Show was out during Heat. Show saw the sign, flipped the guy off, and pointed it out to security. They tried to get the sign but I guess the guy holding it ran away and actually escaped them. Later during the night, when Big Show was out again (this time on Raw), the sign got held up again. Show once again saw it, once again pointed it out to security, and this time, they jumped the rail and caught the guy and took his sign. Imagine being that sensitive.
NEXT WEDNESDAY:Eric Bischoff debuts in WWE, X-Pac suspended, more on Russo in TNA, and more...
Going through old issues of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter and posting highlights in my own words, continuing in the footsteps of daprice82. For anyone interested, I highly recommend signing up for the actual site at f4wonline and checking out the full archives. • PREVIOUS • 1987 FUTURE YEARS ARCHIVE: The Complete Observer Rewind Archive by daprice82
The big story this week is WWF has announced a 14-man tournament for Wrestlemania IV. The word going around is that there will be four other matches: a battle royal (which ought to get another dozen guys on the card for the big payday, probably two tag matches (Dave speculates Demolition vs. Strike Force and Bulldogs vs. Islanders) and an Intercontinental title defense for Honkeytonk Man. The leading candidate for challenger there is Brutus Beefcake, so they’ll need to get on top of shooting an angle for that this week if they want to try and get it over. Anyway, the real meat of Wrestlemania is this tournament, and the bracket has already been announced on the syndicated shows.
So looking at this bracket, what are the likely outcomes? Dave thinks there’s really only two possibilities, and there’s only two possibilities for the final match. Hogan vs. DiBiase is the obvious finals if Hogan is to win, and if Hogan’s filming schedule for his upcoming movie (it begins in April) allows for it, this will be the finals. If he can wrestle during the summer, Dave expects him to win, if not he expects DiBiase to win overall since the winner of the tournament needs to be a heel to drop it back to Hogan when the company decides the time is write (Dave thinks the ppv in August looks like that time). If DiBiase wins, Dave thinks it’s going to be Don Muraco he beats in the finals, however. Dave then goes down the bracket and explains who he thinks wins when, ruling out combinations of guys (if Roberts beats Rude, Bravo beats Muraco, so we get Roberts vs. Bravo, for example). Savage doesn’t go out in the first round, obviously, but neither should Steamboat lose to Valentine, so that’s probably our token face vs. face match leading probably to a draw or double elimination. Notice anything weird about this bracket, though? WWF changes plans and redraws the bracket. They swap Roberts/Rude and DiBiase/Duggan’s place so DiBiase is on the same side of the bracket before Wrestlemania, so all this speculation by Dave ultimately goes nowhere because that one shift completely changes the tournament. More on that change when it happens. Dave is definitely right about one thing, though: there are going to be way too many matches on this show, so they're definitely going to have to have some fuck finishes to get the number of matches down in the tournament so things work.
The Main Event’s final rating was a 15.1 and a 25 share, ranking 31st for the week. Dave feels like this has to be a major disappointment for WWF and NBC, as both figured the show would be in the top 10 easily. It won its time slot and the rating was better than the 11.6 average NBC has gotten in that slot with Rags to Riches, but it’s not as big a winner as they hoped. So in the LA Times and USA Today, Dick Ebersole (who co-produced the show with Vince) said that they weren’t interested in a weekly prime-time show because it would hurt live gates. But the reality is they won’t even be offered a slot, because they won’t be able to sustain competitive ratings. Dave was really surprised by the rating, and this show’s rating was the most interested he’s been in something wrestling related for a long time, because it was a test of just how much the general public would bite on wrestling. And what we’ve learned is that to the general public the biggest wrestling match possible, with the biggest hype possible (Andre vs. Hogan) with a month of buildup on all shows and even big news media attention (almost every newspaper ran a feature about the show at some point during the build) only got mediocre mainstream support. Wrestling fans are supremely loyal and will watch no matter the time slot, and the same show on Saturday night at 11:30 pm would have gotten at least a 12 rating), but moving to prime time didn’t get them a big increase in viewers. It renders moot the question of how first-time viewers will take the evil twin angle and such, because few of the viewers were first-time watchers. The audience was the same wrestling audience we’ve always had, and 85% of the general public just ignored the show and hype outright. Nothing wrong with that, people like and dislike what they want to, and WWF can still make loads of money off the 12-15% of people who do have an interest in wrestling.
But this really puts Hulk Hogan and his appeal/drawing power into perspective. To the cult wrestling audience, he’s bigger than any wrestling star has ever been in the U.S. But he’s not mainstream, not really. He can help get wrestling on prime time network television a couple times a year, but they can’t build wrestling on him to make a mainstream appeal. And Hogan, for as over as he is here, clearly falls short of the most over acts to have graced Japan (Inoki in his heyday) and boxing (Larry Holmes, for example). WWF did prove they can be put in a weak time slot during sweeps with a lot of hype behind a special card and win the slot, which is no small thing. We can probably expect another prime time special in the future, but probably no more than one or two a year. You won’t read about wrestling’s resurgence in Time Magazine, and networks won’t discover Crockett’s shows because nobody’s looking at wrestling as a hot item (if the show had cracked the top five, maybe they would). The long and the short of it is, WWF is no worse off than they were two weeks ago, and Wrestlemania will still make a lot of money. And although Vince has gotten WWF to the point where they are making more money off wrestling than any other promotion in history, their “mainstream” interest in this country doesn’t even come close to New Japan’s tv heyday (1982-1985), and Hogan’s ability to draw a rating is probably more than anyone else in the modern era in the U.S., but probably isn’t as strong as Chigusa Nagayo’s ratings drawing power is in Japan.
And you might be wondering if it’s appropriate to compare to Japan, or if the comparison is ridiculous given cultural differences. Dave notes that the U.S. is more tv oriented in Japan, which should put things in greater perspective - Hogan has all the advantages of American television culture and is still behind Nagayo and Inoki in terms of relative mainstream appeal/drawing power in their culture. In short, Dave had a conversation with a WWF employee a couple months ago about wrestling style (serious, hardcore vs. sports entertainment fast food) and if it was the style, being the best run promotion, or how much money they spend that makes WWF number 1. Their conclusion was that they couldn’t figure out a clear answer. No other promotion that offers a traditional product has hundreds in the front office, $250,000 to spend on every tv taping, etc. There’s no way to control for the sheer magnitude of advantages WWF has to be able to tell if they would be beatable, and the only way to know the answer about style would be if there was another promotion that had a traditional style but also had the production values, the front office staff, etc. And on the flip side, would people like Carlos Colon, Riki Choshu, Antonio Inoki, or Chigusa Nagayo be as over as they are if their local markets had a dozen different wrestling promotions on tv?
[Memphis] Financial News Network announced on Tuesday that they’ll start airing CWA Wrestling weekly beginning in April. Dave forgot to write down the time slot, but thinks it’s Saturday nights at 9 pm eastern. ESPN signed a new exclusive deal with AWA for 2 years, which kicks World Class off ESPN. Angelo Savoldi’s ICW in New England got a deal with Tempo cable, so all other wrestling will be dropped from that service.
AWA is “restructuring the company.” No word on what that means other than that their Las Vegas card this Sunday will be their last for about a month before they reopen in late March. Maybe they’ll change some major things about how they run? Dave thinks Verne’s gotten tired of people making decisions that cost him money, so he’ll probably be booker again. From what Dave hears, Curt Hennig will be the only wrestler getting paid during the time off, so expect Verne to fob him off to Memphis for the interim. The Midnight Rockers will probably also work Memphis in that time. No idea about the rest of the roster, but they’ll probably have to find new work in other territories if they can find work in wrestling, or regular jobs if they can’t.
Over in Puerto Rico they sold out on January 30 a big show at Roberto Clemente Coliseum. That’s roughly 32,000 fans to watch Carlos Colon vs. Iron Sheik for the Universal Title, with manager Chicky Starr in a shark cage above the ring. Carlos won, of course, as Sheiky baby is heading back to WWF. Dave talks a bit about Carlos - he’s over like Rover, but the man’s comebacks are dull as hell. It’s a bizarre thing, what gets over with crowds.
Stampede’s February 5 show had what was probably the best match in Calgary in months. Bruce Hart and Brian Pillman defended the International Tag Titles against Great Gama and Jerry Morrow, with three assigned referees (Wayne Hart, heel ref Jurgen Herman, and heel ref for Karachi Vice Akeem Singh). Herman wound up being the main referee, but got knocked down by Gama, and after that when Pillman went up top to do a dive, Akeem threw powder in his eyes and Gama did a cobra hold. When Herman came to, he saw Pillman passed out and awarded the match and titles to the heels and they celebrated with champagne until Wayne Hart told Herman what happened and the decision was reversed.
Les Thornton has been given a promoter’s permit by the Calgary Boxing & Wrestling Commission. He’ll start running shows against Stampede in the spring.
WWF is doing a Wrestling Challenge taping on March 9 in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. That’s about 20 miles from Greensboro, so they’re encroaching a bit on Flair country, which means they’re making moves to kill the competition dead.
WWF has a Saturday Night’s Main Event scheduled for March 12, to be taped on the 7th.
Honkeytonk Man was supposed to drop the Intercontinental Title at The Main Event but vetoed the title change. Lots of chaos backstage as a result of it, and the match was also supposed to be shorter than it wound up being. He held out and refused to job and he’s still champion, so in the end he got what he wanted. You might wonder why not just have Savage win anyway and not give in by having him shoot on Honkeytonk, but the key is Honkeytonk realized that Vince wouldn’t want to take a chance of anything bad happening on tv, and you definitely aren’t going to want a match turning into a shoot and getting real violence on live tv. This also probably explains why he’s not in the tournament.
Billy Jack Haynes apparently asked Vince McMahon for help starting a promotion in Oregon to run against Don Owen’s promotion. Vince wasn’t biting, and this ultimately is the real reason he was let go, probably, as those close to him say it wasn’t his health, but that he wanted to get out anyway because he wasn’t being pushed (and neither was Brady Boone).
Jesse Ventura will get to do color commentary this season on some New York Yankees games for local pay-tv. He’s apparently thrilled about this.
Correction: Bam Bam Bigelow didn’t have arthroscopic knee surgery. He just took a week off to rest his knee, and isn’t planning to get surgery until just after Wrestlemania.
Bam Bam also had a drug possession charge dismissed against him in Freehold, New Jersey on the grounds that the evidence was obtained illegally and that state police had no grounds to search his car. They found a small bag of marijuana under his seat and he got a misdemeanor possession charge, but again, no probable cause to search so that’s a 4th amendment violation. They pulled him over and searched his car, apparently, because he waved at the officers. If convicted, he would have been in big trouble because he’s still on probation from a 1986 conviction for threatening to kill a local sex worker (that’s a big yikes right there), so he would have caught a 5 year prison sentence for revocation of probation.
Memphis has a revolving door of talent, as Bill Dundee is leaving and Manny Fernandez, Scott Hall, and several others have disappeared. Dundee is going to the new promotion that will be running out of Knoxville. New to the area this week are the Rock & Roll Express, Tommy Rich, and Samoans Samu and Kokina. Samu is Afa’s son, and Kokina is, from the information Dave has, Sika’s son (he’s Afoa’s son, not Sika’s son). Kokina is impressively large at 400 lbs, but Samu is definitely the more impressive wrestler. Kokina, of course, will later on travel to Japan for a kayfabe sumo career and come back to the WWF as Yokozuna.
[Memphis] Tommy Rich is apparently a babyface, going by his recent interview. He apologized for all the bad things he did and said he was wrong to team with Austin Idol and Paul E. Dangerously, but he said he still hates Jerry Lawler. There’s legit heat between him and Lawler which is why Rich left last year anyway while he was a top heel. So he said he wanted all the fans in Memphis who hated Lawler to come support him. Expect a 50/50 crowd for their february 15 grudge match - although the promotion can’t draw without him, there is a large group of fans who don’t like that he’s constantly on top of the card.
[Memphis] The manager with the preacher gimmick has dropped that gimmick, and the Choir Boys tag team are gone. Too much negative attention in the form of phone calls to the studio last week. The manager, Ernest Angel, now manages CWA Tag champs Max Payne and Gary Young, and his behavior has been toned down and he’s apologized somewhat for his behavior the previous week.
Continental (Alabama) had its last week this week as a unified promotion this week, since the Knoxville office ran its first show this weekend. They drew 7,000 in Knoxville on February 12. Dave’s not sure what the eventual talent split will work out, but known guys going to Knoxville are Johnny Rich, Bill Dundee, Hector Guerrero, Ron Fuller (didn’t he announce his retirement a few weeks ago?), Austin Idol, Lord Humongous, Doug Furnas, Mongolian Stomper, the Armstrongs, and Tracy Smothers.
[Oregon] The Frank Bonema Memorial Show is scheduled for February 16. Boneme was their long-time tv announcer who passed away five years ago. Curt Hennig vs. The Grappler (Hennig as babyface) for the AWA Title is the main event. The show will also have a battle royal for the TV Title, Mike Miller vs. Rip Oliver in a cage, The Assassin vs. Avalanche in a mask vs. headgear match (Avalanche lost his hair in a match and has been wearing headgear like Kurt Angle or Molly Holly to hide it), and a couple more matches.
Steve Estes, a former wrestler local to the Kansas City area, pleaded guilty to a Class B felony. The charge was related to the hold-up of a Mexican restaurant in October. He was charged with a Class A felony, but the charge was reduced on plea bargain. He faces five to fifteen years.
Mean Gene Okerlund’s son Todd is on the U.S. Olympic Ice Hockey team right now. At the time of writing the team will have won their first game, but their fortunes turn south over the rest of the group stage and they don’t qualify to go to the knockout rounds of the tournament.
Mad Dog Vachon is suing the University of Iowa Hospital and Clinic for several million dollars. His claim is that if he had received proper treatment he would never have needed to have his leg amputated. This starts a big series of cases lasting all the way until 1994, and you can read the final case summary here.
There’s a movie in Japan called “The Crazy Family” which includes the family’s 13 year old daughter doing nothing but weightlifting and training and singing so she can be like Chigusa Nagayo. It’s from 1984, so I don’t know why Dave’s only just noticing it now.
Florida has dropped legislation that would have created a state athletic commission that would regulate wrestling. Legislators met with Duke Keomuka and Gerald Briscoe, and were subsequently convinced that wrestling is pure entertainment and not a sport at all.
In Southern California a new group is starting up called the American Women’s Wrestling Federation. They’re running ads for beautiful women who want to be trained as wrestlers. Mando Guerrero and Debbie Pelletier (The Killer Tomato, later Dallas in GLOW) will be training, and Dave remarks that Debbie doesn’t know the first thing about wrestling.
Bruiser Brody is promoting a show in St. Louis at the Fox Theater on March 4. He’ll face Jerry Blackwell in the main event, and Sam Muchnick will be there to raise the winner’s hand. The building is apparently the nicest building within 500 miles of St. Louis and not the sort of place that would ordinarily let wrestling in. Muchnick apparently felt used by the NWA at a recent taping by constantly showing him on camera and making it out like he endorsed the NWA and that they have continuity with the NWA he ran back in the day. So that’s why he’s on board. Crockett’s NWA has a show in St. Louis two days later.
Wrestling fanzine publisher David Leehy promoted a show that drew 200 in Richmond Virginia on February 5 for Virginia Wrestling Association.
Ohio’s state senate passed a bill that would put a 5% tax on all wrestling receipts, with money raised going to the boxing commission. The money would be earmarked for creating a medical advisory board for boxing. No regulation of wrestling is proposed in the bill, and the bill still has to pass the house. Seems a bit unfair.
WCCW drew 3,800 (buy one ticket, get a second for a penny, same deal for concessions) in Dallas on February 12.
Michael Hayes is back in WCCW as a babyface. No surprises there. They’re building to a Hayes concert on March 5 at the Sportatorium, and that’ll probably have a big angle. Somebody’s gotta attack Hayes. Won’t be Terry Gordy, since he’ll be in Japan, but somebody will.
WCCW’s tv show is airing mainly tapes of old matches. That’s fine in the Fort Worth area, since they had no live cards for two weeks, but Dave’s puzzled nonetheless. Maybe they somehow missed a taping?
Ken Mantell has this idea of reopening Wild West and starting their tv back up and having Wild West and World Class feud. Where’s the logic in that? Plus, there are enough promotions that this would only confuse the average fan.
Steve Williams told the press in Japan he’ll be coming to work in World Class. It’s not been announced stateside yet, but he said he’d wrestle in WCCW as UWF champion and defend the belt against the Von Erichs.
AWA is putting all the heat with the recent Hennig/Gagne title match on Stanley Blackburn. They’d billed the match as a title match, Gagne won and was presented with the title, but Stan refused to honor the title change because it was a cage match. Something to talk about in the month they don’t run shows, I guess, but this is what passes for creative in AWA.
AWA will use the University of Minnesota’s Williams Arena as their new home base now that the Minneapolis Auditorium is gone. There’s some concern that the arena’s ban on alcohol will adversely affect ticket sales.
Despite some screw ups, New Japan did fairly good business with their most recent tour and jr. heavyweight tournament. Inoki beat Choshu decisively on February 4 to retain the IWGP Title, which puts a final end to Choshumania and any chance he had of regaining the popularity he’s lost over the past six months. On the final night of the tour, Shiro Koshinaka won the Top of the Super Juniors tournament. Vader and Inoki went to a double countout for the IWGP Title that saw the return of the masked pirate who was attacking Inoki last year.
In bad wrestling stuff in New Japan, Choshu’s performance has noticeably slipped and Buzz Sawyer seems to be trying to sabotage Owen Hart. Choshu just looks like he doesn’t even want to be in the ring anymore. As for Sawyer, he’s been teaming with Owen and when Owen starts up his more flashy offence, Sawyer starts barking, howling, and playing to the crowd to distract them from what Hart’s doing. Buzz Sawyer is a total buzzkill.
New Japan plans to tour Brazil in late March.
Steve Williams gave an interview saying he’s tired of touring all over the U.S. and he wants to spend more time with his wife. He also said the NWA broke a bunch of promises they made to him when they bought out UWF, and he seemed pretty upset that Dusty never followed through with the promised unification match with Flair. He said “I don’t go back to NWA Crockett promotions anymore. I’d like to wrestle for promotions which set a high value on ability. New Japan is good because they use Vader, Buzz Sawyer, Bob Orton and Owen Hart who can do hard wrestling.
All Japan Women is looking pretty healthy right now. They drew 3,500 fans on January 28 for a big grudge match pitting Yumiko Hotta and Hisako Uno against Yumi Ogura and Kazue Nagahori. It was last year on April 27 when Ogura tombstoned Hotta off the middle ropes and broke her neck, and there was worry that Hotta would never wrestle again. The next night they drew 4,500 as Ogura won the AJW Title (their tertiary belt after the “Red Belt” WWWA World Singles Title and the “White Belt” WWWA All Pacific Title) from Bull Nakano via disqualification. Both shows work out to over 100,000 gates given ticket prices in Japan, and AJW’s merch machine is better than anyone else, as they get more money selling merch per capita than any other promotion. Monster Ripper (Rhonda Singh from Stampede, in the future Bertha Faye), is working here now too.
Paul Boesch was elected/appointed to the NWA board of directors, making him the first non-promoter ever on the board. Back in the NWA’s glory days, the board would select the world champion, but that’s probably pretty much up to Jim Crockett now and the board is more or less a figurehead thing. The real value for the NWA here is using Boesch’s name value in the Houston area, and he’ll be starting as they return to Houston on March 4. He’s not on board as the promoter, however, and has no financial stake in the show, so it’s pretty much just a “Hey, remember Paul Boesch? He’s with us” kind of thing.
More details will be forthcoming about the Crockett Cup next week, but Dave has a bit to report right now. The original plan was two sites on two dates: April 9 in Greenville for the first round and April 10 in Greensboro for the finals, but they’re already advertising on tv now that the Cup will take place in Greensboro in late April. No information on if they’ll be filling out the 24 team slots with outside teams, but if they can get World Class and Stampede, maybe even New Japan involved that could help. But with the egos involved it might be impossible.
Crockett’s TBS show this weekend had a balding, blond jobber named Randy Hogan. Subtle.
Shane Douglass is back in Crockett and is using a sleeper hold for his finisher. He seems to be getting a bit of a push, but they don’t seem to know what they’re doing, as Schiavone is calling him the 1986 rookie of the year and Jim Ross is calling him the 1987 rookie of the year.
Road Warrior Animal’s eye injury is legit and he’ll be out of action for a few weeks. He broke his orbital bone when Konga the Barbarian botched a move on him and was nearly blinded (similar injury to what Maeda inflicted on Riki Choshu). They were billing him as returning this past weekend, which had Dave thinking it was a work at first. Dave’s not sure how effective the angle with the weights was in terms of increasing crowd turnout. So far, middling turnout says not very effective.
It’s astonishing how fast Luger’s face run has fizzled. Luger’s the kind of guy you can look at and in a snap decision decide he’s a future top babyface star and begin the push, but when you look at him close you realize he just doesn’t have it. He’s got the body, the good looks, the hair, all the surface level stuff you want in a guy. It almost convinces you he’s over and the future of the business. But having a good body and blond hair is pretty common, and his looks aren’t anything special either. He could still be a big star and almost certainly will be a star at some level in the future, but he just doesn’t have the connection to the audience that will make him the guy. He didn’t have it in Florida (the promotion literally died trying to get him over as a babyface in 1986), and he doesn’t have it now. Sting needs a lot of work on promos, and he’s not got the body Luger has, but he has the connection with the fans and has just eclipsed Luger in their eyes. And it’s super obvious to anyone watching. The crowd comes alive for every little thing Sting does, and they don’t really care about Luger and Windham when they talk. Sting’s look comes across as more cool to the fans too. Dave has this feeling that Crockett will want to keep all three at the same level, ensuring nobody gets over enough to make a difference. And Luger’s not to blame for the crowd reaction. The promotion wasted no time making him just one of the boys after his face turn, and Dave thinks they should have given him a few months of a major singles babyface push rather than just ruining the impact of his face turn by making him a tag team guy.
An anonymous wrestler or referee from Oregon writes in about the latest athletic commission business in Oregon. Short version: Don Owen and the commissioner were arguing over enforcement of certain rules in the combined boxing and wrestling rule book. The commissioner wanted to regulate wrestling exactly the same as boxing. He saw a guy thrown over the top and saw the top rope break during a match, leading to a nasty spill. He told Owen that having four ropes would fix that problem, and he didn’t like seeing heels use foreign objects in front of the referee and would appoint a commission referee if that kind of stuff continued. Three weeks later, he came back with a changed point of view after meeting commissioners from other states. Clearly someone smartened him up about what wrestling actually is, and he changed his mind about the ropes and foreign objects, though he did want drug testing and a ban on blading. He lied in the media that he said what he said about the ropes and referees, but he did say it. In the writer’s opinion, the commission is on the right track now. They check tickets closely, seem concerned for the welfare of fans and wrestlers alike, and have introduced changes that the Northwest has needed for a while. It doesn’t solve the big problem out there, though. And that problem is that Don and Barry Owen run things like it’s the 1940s and are afraid to try new things. They also don’t want to pay well, and with the death of the territories happening, they can get away with it because there aren’t that many places to work. A lot of wrestlers would prefer if Sandy Barr ran things in the region, because he’s been seen as very fair. Finally, unrelated, a paragraph about shoot style and shooting that I think is very interesting as we see things like MMA begin to take nascent form in the next few years:
One other thing I would like to touch upon. That is the people who seem to get off on “shooting style” pro wrestling. Shooting is NOT pro wrestling. In fact it’s the very antithesis of pro wrestling. Why anybody who claims to be a pro wrestling fan would like to see it is beyond me. Pro Wrestling is an art form. Making it look good WITHOUT hurting anyone is what makes you a good worker. Good technique, a light touch and a gift for gab is what constitutes a top-notch pro. Wrestlers who deliberately hurt people in the ring may be feared, but they are not respected. We find many of these asses in Japan, but we have our share in the United States and Canada as well. When you give someone your body, you expect them to take care of it. People pay to see action and drama. Legitimate wrestling matches have never proven to be able to draw any significant following.
Another writer writes in about the Observer yearbook and how a large chunk of it was super professionally done and could be the basis for expansion into a proper book, but there’s also sophomoric and childish stuff (like the nicknames) that hurt it. The writer thinks Dave’s passed the point of just being a fanzine and shouldn’t bog down the quality of his publication with stuff of that sort. Dave, for his part, thanks the writer for his points, but maintains he’s never wanted or claimed the Observer as a professional publication. The Observer is a publication for hardcore wrestling fans and plays on a lot of the inside humor they want to hear.
There’s an entire page devoted to letters about The Main Event. Some folks think Andre should retire with what dignity he still has, because he just shouldn’t be in a ring anymore. Some loved the finish to the title match, others hated it and found it ridiculous. One reports that just before the show started, the local tv announcer pivoted from Wheel of Fortune to the show by saying “Join Hulk Hogan and Andre the Giant next for live wrestling comedy.”
Correction on the above about Road Warrior Animal’s injury: He apparently hurt his eye the night before the bench press contest. A move was done wrong, or he took it wrong, but either way, his eye popped out of socket. Major credit to him showing up the next day to do the contest angle before going to the hospital. It explains Ellering’s comments about $50,000 not being worth the price of an eye, which didn’t make sense at the time.
New Japan has changed plans and their big show they were going to have in the Tokyo Dome (capacity 55,000) will now be at a tennis stadium in Tokyo (capacity 10,000) on May 7. Looks like he’ll wrestle Vader, Willem Ruska (a former gold medalist judoka), or Chris Dolman (a sambo wrestling champion), and none of those pairings has the drawing power to fill the Dome. If he really wanted to sell out the Dome he’d need Koji Kitao (who was recently kicked out of sumo) or a big name boxer like Michael Spinks or Larry Holmes, but he couldn’t get them. On Kitao, he recently was contacted by Wajima, which means Baba’s on the hunt for him, although things are so early they haven’t even had preliminary talks yet.
THURSDAY:Clash of the Champions is born, the Wrestlemania lineup has been finalized, Road Warrior Animal update and clarification, and more
Going through old issues of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter and posting highlights in my own words. For anyone interested, I highly recommend signing up for the actual site at f4wonline and checking out the full archives. PREVIOUSLY:
Bret Hart was seriously injured in a bicycle accident in Calgary last week. As of press time, Dave has very little info. Hart was thrown off the bike and flipped over the handlebars going at a high speed and landed on his back and hit the back of his head. Over the next couple of days, he's undergone a number of tests due to issues he's had since the accident. Bret was forced to retire 2 years ago after he suffered a serious concussion during the Starrcade 99 match with Goldberg and it's believed the fall may have aggravated the issues he's had since then. Hart is expected to be hospitalized for at least a week and has little movement on the left side of his body and can't see out of his right eye. He's also suffering severe back pain, though x-rays and scans haven't shown any physical damage to his back. That's all Dave knows right now. (Much more on this next week, obviously).
After a year of questionable decision-making, Vince McMahon made his most questionable decision yet when he announced the surprise re-hiring of Vince Russo. It's a shocking decision for lots of obvious reasons, not the least of which is most of the wrestlers either outright don't like him or at the very least, don't respect him. And many front office employees feel even more strongly about him. Not even Stephanie McMahon, who is the head of creative, knew Russo was coming back and she was just as blindsided by the news as everyone else. It's believed the deal has been in the works for a few weeks. Russo had owned a CD store in Marietta, GA but he sold the store recently. He also stopped submitting ideas to the Jarretts for TNA a couple of weeks ago. There's also the fact that Russo's lawsuit against Hulk Hogan over the Bash at the Beach 2000 incident is still pending and now they're in the same company again, although Dave suspects the legal issues must be wrapped up for Russo to take the job (Turner was still paying his legal fees so long as he didn't work for any other wrestling company, which is why everyone was denying his involvement with TNA). Another rumor going around is that Russo is planning to write a tell-all book about his time in WWF and when word about that got out, the company rehired him in an effort to squash the book. Dave thinks that might be believable if Russo was just hired and stuck in a closet somewhere. But he was brought back in a key position in the creative department, which means that likely wasn't the reason (or not a big part of it). Most likely, it's exactly what it appears on the surface: Vince McMahon is getting desperate and he's going back to what worked in the past.
When word got out about Russo's hiring, needless to say, everyone was shocked and, as you'd expect, it was an overwhelmingly negative reaction. The plan for Russo on day one was for him to be in control of the creative team, answering only to Stephanie McMahon. The next day, those plans changed after McMahon, Russo, Stephanie, and the rest of the writing team had a big meeting. There's been multiple stories about what happened during the meeting. One version of the story is that Russo's ideas were so bad that he pretty much buried himself with everyone immediately. Another version is that Stephanie pretty much buried all his ideas and shut him down. And yet another version is that Russo obviously hadn't kept up with the product and was unfamiliar and out of touch with many of the characters and ongoing storylines, and that soured Vince McMahon on him. Regardless, the result was the same: the very next day, Russo was no longer part of the creative team. Word is he has already been sent home and will be brought back if/when they need ideas, as sort of a consultant on retainer. Officially, his role now is to critique the TV shows and report back to Vince McMahon what he thinks. So he's basically paid to be a critic and tell McMahon how he would do it better. Anyway, that's the story for now. Dave runs down Russo's history in the business, how he came into power in WWF, jumping ship to WCW with no notice, where he proceeded to help kill the company and all the drama that happened there (can't wait for that one Vince Russo superfan that always accuses me of lying about him to chime in on this one).
For the record, one of Russo's big ideas for TNA's debut was taking the Shane Twins and dressing them up as giant penises and calling them the Big Johnsons. Thankfully, when the show aired, the announcers downplayed the "penis" aspect of it a lot, leading Russo to tell friends that the idea flopped because the commentators didn't sell it hard enough. Just in case you're wondering what Vince Russo is bringing to the table in 2002.
WWE's King of the Ring is in the books. For the first time since Wrestlemania, it was a legit sellout on PPV. And sucks for them because this was a pretty blah show. Undertaker retained the WWE title over Triple H in a bad match that was hampered because Undertaker is banged up in general and Triple H came into the match with an elbow injury. 2 days after the show, he underwent elbow surgery to remove bone chips, one of which was embedded in cartilage and had caused his arm to lock up. He was nowhere near 100% during the match, but if he had been, Dave suspects they probably would have put the belt back on him. But for now, they stuck with Undertaker. They did a post match angle to set up Rock vs. Undertaker vs. Triple H at Vengeance, assuming Triple H is ready by then (he was not).
The biggest story of the PPV, in Dave's opinion anyway, is the Kurt Angle/Hulk Hogan match, in which Angle beat Hogan clean as a sheet by submission. Dave gives Hogan credit: he didn't treat this like Kidman. Hogan put Angle over as strong as he possibly could. Dave believes it's the first time in Hogan's entire career that he lost via submission as a babyface. He did have a few submission losses as a heel (once to Inoki in NJPW in 1981 and a handful in WCW during the NWO era) but that's it. If he had any as a babyface, it would have been before 1979, before he was a national name. Whether this ultimately springboards Angle into a certified top guy that fans take seriously remains to be seen, but Hogan did everything he could. Probably didn't help that, as soon as the match was over, Angle put his goofy wig back on, at a moment that should have been used to turn him into a serious threat. But regardless, nobody can fault Hogan here if it doesn't get over.
Other notes from the PPV: Jericho vs. RVD in the opening match was easily the best match on the show. Lesnar got loud "Goldberg" chants and Dave thinks he sold way too much for Test, especially since the rumor is Lesnar is being groomed for a Summerslam main event with Rock. Nidia in her hillbilly gimmick with Jamie Noble was great and Dave thinks they might have something with Nidia and this gimmick. Ric Flair vs. Eddie Guerrero was.....not what you'd think. Dave has seen Flair drag talentless hacks to great matches for 20 years but somehow, Flair vs. Guerrero was a drag and should have been better than it was considering the two men involved. Two all-time greats just had a misfire somehow. Molly won the women's title from Trish and Dave thinks this whole storyline where they claim Molly is fat is insulting to probably every single female viewer they have and a lot of the males too. A backstage segment with Rock, Goldust, and Booker T was the most entertaining thing on the show. Lesnar won the King of the Ring tournament by beating RVD in a nothing match. And of course, the main event, which was an overbooked mess with two guys who probably didn't have any business wrestling that night anyway.
NWA-TNA's debut show is in the books! Actually, so is their second show because it was a double-taping. And buckle in because we have a metric fuck-ton of TNA news to cover. Overall, it was a well-received debut. A lot of the young wrestlers were hungry and some of the old guys worked like they had something to prove. Guys like Konnan and Buff Bagwell looked the best they have in years and many of the people who worked the show said this felt like the real deal (many of those same people had worked the recent WWA shows and saw those as paid vacations, nobody took it seriously). Scott Hall, said to be the highest paid wrestler in the company ($3,500 per week) didn't do anything special but he got by far the biggest reaction and, according to all accounts, was sober and professional. There were about 3,000 fans in the building, but only 400-500 were paid. More than 10,000 freebies were given away around Birmingham the week of the show, but the crowd they got was actually a good, active audience, so it worked. Mike Tenay on commentary was great and full of knowledge, though Ed Ferrara playing heel announcer was useless. Don West was enthusiastic as hell, but knew nothing about the product. Regardless, he knows how to work a camera and he took charge of the commentary booth and Dave thinks he did fine in the role and will only get better. Ricky Steamboat was there, giving an emotional interview and putting over the NWA title. Ken Shamrock won the gauntlet battle royal (basically the same thing as a Royal Rumble match) to win the title, beating Malice (former WCW wrestler The Wall) in the final match after they were the last 2 left in the battle royal. There's been talk of doing a Shamrock vs. Don Frye match to try to catch some of that crossover UFC/PRIDE audience, but Dave is doubtful it'll be a draw here like it is in Japan.
What else? Country music star Toby Keith did a series of angles with Jeff Jarrett and Keith was by far the biggest star to the live fans. Keith got involved in the battle royal and eliminated Jarrett. NASCAR drivers Hermie Sadler and Sterling Martin got involved in a racial angle with K-Krush (R-Truth) using a bunch of "your kind" and "my kind" talk and Dave thinks that was pretty pathetic. The company was hoping all this celebrity involvement would get them some mainstream publicity but it got practically none. They brought in a bunch of women, most of whom were total unknowns except for ECW's Francine, Electra, and former WCW valet Daffney under the name Shannon, and their battle royal on the second show was said to be awful. The whole event definitely had a southern/regional feel to it. The opening match of Jerry Lynn, AJ Styles, and Low-Ki vs. Jorge Estra, Sonny Siaki, and Jimmy Yang was the show-stealer and was better than most of the matches in WWE this year.
Now the bad news: TNA was under the impression they had Dish Network cleared to air their show, but no dice. They don't have Cablevision in the U.S. either. For a company that needs to draw 50,000 buys a week to break even without a corporate sponsor, that's extremely bad news. They're also losing their Canadian PPV after the response to the debut show was said to be lackluster. At press time, InDemand has allegedly told TNA that their debut show did 80,000 buys but preliminary numbers are always drastically higher than the final result, so it'll almost certainly be less than that (for example, InDemand's number for WWA's first PPV was originally 40,000 but later got revised to 15,000). In WWE, they don't take any PPV numbers seriously at first because the thought is any numbers you hear within the first 2 months of the show are always wrong, the final tallies take time to come in. Regardless, even if this show did well, the more important question is how will they be doing in 4-5 weeks when the new has worn off?
Despite TNA claiming they aren't even interested in TV and are 100% committed to running exclusively on PPV, that's obviously not true. They have already struck syndication deals in Nashville and Chattanooga and are actively working to get a national television deal. The problem is that, as you can tell by looking at WWE ratings over the last year, the business is in a sharp decline, meaning the TV industry isn't chomping at the bit to give TV deals to some new startup nobody company. But anyone who understands the industry knows they have no chance of surviving on weekly PPV alone so getting on TV sooner than later is going to be essential to TNA's survival. The local syndicated deals they struck will mostly be hype shows with interviews and highlights designed to drive viewers to buy the weekly PPVs. Dave lists, like, 10 different promotions that have folded over the years in part due to the costs of paying for television.
Tons of TNA news in this issue which brings us to the debut "Random TNA News & Notes" section! Here we go: Bert Prentice will be working with the company and will no longer be running his own weekly shows in Nashville. There will be a one-night tournament at the next show to crown NWA tag team champions. Fun fact, those belts are currently held by The Shane Twins, who now wrestle in TNA as The Johnsons, doing the aforementioned masked penis gimmick. They'll be in the tournament even though they were already the champs in their previous gimmick. But the titles are being vacated and they will crown new ones.
We ain't done with TNA news. The dark match of the show featured a 450 pound dude named Cheex who is basically ripping off Rikishi's gimmick of doing things with his big ol' ass. And in case the ass gimmick and the "Cheex" name wasn't clear enough, he's being managed by a woman named Brown Eye Girl. So....yeah. If this ain't Vince Russo, I'll eat my shoe. Anyway, during the dark match, because Cheex is so big, the ring broke. As the show was going on the air live, the ring crew was frantically struggling to fix the ring, which is why it felt like they were stalling so much for the first 15 minutes. Because they were. The ring breaking also caused them to not be able to do the second dark match they had planned. Both matches were being taped to air on next week's show.
Actual notes from TNA's debut show (I'm gonna divide this into multiple paragraphs because there's a lot): it opened with some pyro, which is meant to make them look major league, but everyone else always looks minor league compared to WWE's huge pyro show every week and this was no exception. No graphics or details on any of the wrestlers, which is a mistake considering so many of them are complete unknowns to most fans. Started with a bunch of legends coming out to put over the NWA title, including Ricky Steamboat cutting one of the best promos of the year in any promotion and Dave thinks they need to hire Steamboat and put him in an on-air role as a commissioner or something ASAP. Jeff Jarrett cut a promo saying it was stupid to crown a new champion in a battle royal. Way to bury your own main event 10 minutes into your debut show, especially since most people also agree that it's a pretty dumb way to do it. But they still did. Then Ken Shamrock and Scott Hall came out and they both cut promos and they also shat on the battle royal idea, leading Dave to worry already that this company hasn't learned anything from WCW's mistakes. As mentioned earlier, the opening match easily stole the show. Next up was a little person match, with the jobber actually being referred to as "an enhancement midget." The Shane Twins did the penis gimmick, but as mentioned, it was severely played down from the original idea as conceived by Russo.
More notes from the show: They brought out a bunch of women for a big segment and Dave, who spends his entire life watching wrestling, didn't know half of them. And even if he did, it wouldn't matter because there were no graphics to name any of them and even if there had been, the cameras were often showing the wrong woman when a name was announced. Anyway, among them were Francince from ECW (who Dave is worried about because she looked sickly thin), Shannon (formerly Daffney in WCW), Alexis Laree (better known years later as Mickie James), Elektra from ECW, Taylor Vaugn (formerly Barbara Bush in WWF), Erin (who was a finalist on Tough Enough season 1 but got booted from the show before production started because other contestants saw her out on a date with one of the judges and they complained and got her kicked off), and some others. At least one of the no-name chicks was a stripper they hired specifically for this show because they needed one more woman to make 10. Anyway, this all led to the expected brawl with Elektra getting her shirt ripped off to show her bra. It wasn't even that risque. If you're trying to use sex appeal to draw viewers, the worst thing you can do is be less risque than WWE is on free TV when you have the luxury of PPV (give em a few months and we'll get actual nudity on this show). Alicia Webb, formerly known in WWF as Ryan Shamrock (and who is dating Ken Shamrock in real life) was playing a prostitute collecting money from referee Mark Johnson.
Even more notes from the show: the NASCAR guys got a bigger pop than any of the wrestlers. K-Krush came out to confront them about not being real athletes and they did the racial angle. Brian Christopher got involved and funny story there, they were debating whether to use the last name Christopher, or his real last name of Lawler. Nobody told the announcers which it was gonna be so Mike Tenay kept using "Christopher" while Ed Ferrara kept using "Lawler." More WCW-level shit. Toby Keith performed. The gauntlet battle royal to crown the new champion featured Buff Bagwell, Prince Justice (later becomes Abyss), Konnan, Rick Steiner, Scott Hall, Jeff Jarrett, etc. Toby Keith ran in and suplexed Jarrett, causing him to get eliminated because why not? Chris Harris, Vampire Warrior, Steve Corino, and more. And when it got down to the last two, it became a regular match and Shamrock beat Malice to win the title with Steamboat as the special referee.
So that's the notes from the debut show. Are we done with TNA yet? Not by a long shot. They taped a whole second show, remember?! It hasn't aired yet so Dave hasn't seen it so here's the scarce details. The crowd started filing out after the first show ended and kept leaving as the second one was going, to the point that Jeremy Borash and Bert Prentice had to get on the mic and beg everyone to stay and then moved a bunch of people to the hard camera side so there wouldn't be visible empty seats all over the place. Lenny Lane and former WCW star Kwee-Wee were put together as a gay tag team called Rainbow Express, managed by Joel Gertner, and kissed each other instead of tagging each other to swap in and out during the match, which got a lot of heat because Alabama. A 9-woman battle royal (guess they didn't let the hired stripper actually work) to crown Miss TNA resulted in a bunch of women getting stripped half naked. They did a 4-way elimination match to crown the X-Division champion which was won by AJ Syles in what was said to be easily the best match of either show, with even Harley Race going on record later to say it was one of the best matches he'd ever seen. But by then, there were very few fans left in the building. And that is finally it for TNA news for now. Whew.
PRIDE's latest show is in the books and once again featured pro wrestlers drawing the crowd. NOAH's Yoshihiro Takayama replaced Mark Coleman in the main event (out due to injury) against Don Frye, leading to last minute interest from wrestling fans that packed the house. Frye defeated Takayama in what many are calling the best fight in the history of PRIDE. Takayama has had 3 fights in PRIDE and has lost all 3 of them, but all 3 of them were also show-stealing outright wars that, despite losing, has grown Takayama into an even bigger star. Afterward, Frye hinted at retiring from MMA and returning to NJPW full time. Dave hasn't seen this fight but it was described to him as "something out of Dragonball Z or a comic book" the way they were just throwing bombs at each other, with the crowd going insane (yeah the opening minute or so if this fight is absolute madness, video below). The show also featured Bob Sapp vs. Kiyoshi Tamura, which was a total mismatch. Tamura is a skilled MMA fighter, but Sapp outweighed him by literally almost 200 pounds and the fight was over in 11 seconds, with Sapp basically murdering him. Dave says it's clear they're trying to turn Sapp into a huge unbeatable monster psychopath and it's working. But Dave thinks it's bullshit to put fighters this mismatched against each other in real shoots. It was funny though because after what happened in Sapp's K-1 fight a few weeks ago, they made some new rules like no knees and no kicking a downed opponent, which is fine. But they also announced other rules for the fight, such as no flying sentons or splashes off the top ropes, which have never been done in an MMA fight and is utterly ridiculous (If Cormier doesn't hit Miocic with a Canadian destroyer at UFC 252 next month, what's even the point?). Another NOAH star, Takashi Suguira, lost a split decision with Daniel Gracie and Suguira had several NOAH wrestlers at ringside cheering him on. And of course, Antonio Inoki came out at intermission and did his catchphrase.
UFC made its TV debut with a half-hour segment on Fox Sports Net's "Best Damn Sports Show Period" which featured a full Robbie Lawler vs. Steve Berger bout, as well as highlights of other fights. "Fear Factor" host Joe Rogan did commentary with Mike Goldberg and Jeff Osbourne. They aired several warnings during the show, but the violence ended up being far less brutal than most average boxing matches. The show drew a strong crowd and there's talk that this may become a regular thing on the network. They also hyped the planned Tito Ortiz vs. Ken Shamrock fight for later this year and Dave thinks TNA would be wise to get the NWA title off Shamrock before the fight, because he's going into it as the underdog. Plus, Shamrock would likely not want to risk injury or spend time flying to Nashville every week during the last few weeks of training. Wouldn't be a good look for TNA if Shamrock goes to the octagon with the NWA title belt and gets demolished by Ortiz. Also on the show, Chuck Liddell defeated Vitor Belfort in a war that catapulted Liddell into title contention and he'll likely face the winner of Shamrock/Ortiz sometime down the road.
Dave got his hands on a copy of Shaun Assael's new book "Sex, Lies, and Headlocks: The Real Story of Vince McMahon and the World Wrestling Federation" even though it hasn't been released yet. Review time! The original concept for the book was to chronicle the Monday Night Wars, but just as the book was being finished, the whole business changed and since Vince became the lone survivor, the book was changed to focus on him and the WWF primarily. The book is fair and accurate for the most part. Assael didn't run from any of the controversial stories, but he also didn't sensationalize things to make them seem bigger than they were. If you're a long-time Observer reader, you already know all this stuff and could probably point out details or inconsistencies in the story, but to the average fan who hasn't been following all the behind-the-scenes stuff for the last 20 years, it's sure to be an eye-opener. Anyway, Dave recaps the book in detail, mostly just correcting things that the author got wrong but also acknowledging that this is an early review copy and some of these mistakes will be corrected before it's published and released. Otherwise, he just pokes holes in various myths and stories that are covered. The Observer was credited in the book for being one of the author's sources, specifically in regards to Dave's coverage of the steroid trial (yeah, if you haven't read it, go back and check those out. Dave actually attended the trial and his recap of it is one of the most must-read issues of the Observer in its entire history). The book pretty much ends at the death of WCW, though it does note that business has declined significantly since then. Overall, Dave says it's by far the best book on the real modern history of professional wrestling that he's ever read and is a must-read for any wrestling fan. But it's also too short (288 pages) to really get into all the detail needed to tell so many of these stories. But for what it is, best book of its type that Dave's ever read.
In AAA in Mexico, there's a new guy named Canibal who's gimmick is pulling his opponent's trunks down and biting them on the ass. It's too late. You already read the sentence. You can't un-know that now.
AJPW stars Kaz Hayashi and Kendo Kashin were supposed to be working some shows for AAA at the moment. Fun story, when they arrived in Mexico, nobody from AAA was there to meet them at the airport and nobody they called from the AAA office would answer the phone, so they basically found themselves stranded in Mexico with no idea what to do and unable to speak the language. Dave says the exact same thing happened to Great Sasuke several years ago when he went to Mexico. Anyway, last Dave heard, Hayashi and Kashin were trying to get themselves booked on some indie shows in Mexico so they can get some pictures of them working there to take back to the magazines in Japan (which was the whole reason for their trip) so they're just looking to work one or two shows and then go back home. They can't work for CMLL because that promotion has a business relationship with NJPW.
Last month, AAA held its 10th annual Triplemania show in Los Angeles. Here's the problem though: it was an utter flop, with embarrassing attendance and almost nobody even realizing it happened. So AAA has decided to just pretend it didn't happen and has now scheduled Triplemania X again, this time in Mexico (maybe WWE should do that next year. Since Wrestlemania was pretty much just in an empty warehouse this year, they shouldn't even acknowledge it. Just redo Wrestlemania 36 again next year and pretend it's the first time).
Remember the story a couple months ago about how Invader 1 (the guy who murdered Bruiser Brody) left the WWC promotion? Well, he was scheduled to return this week as a special referee for a Carlos Colon match but it ended up not happening. He said he wanted his return to be a surprise, but the story was already out on the internet that he was coming back. For what it's worth, almost none of the wrestling fans in Puerto Rico have internet (I did the research, only 17.5% of the country had internet access in 2002 and you gotta figure only a fraction of those are wrestling fans, so Dave is likely correct here) so it still would have been a surprise to probably 99% of them. But either way, Invader 1 pulled out of the show over it and still isn't back with the promotion.
Spanky (Brian Kendrick) won a tournament at an indie show in California to get a shot for the Zero-1/UPW unified title. That's not the important part. How it happened is the original guy who was scheduled to win ended up pulling out of the show at the last minute because his pregnant wife was overdue so he stayed behind to be with her. So they made a call to Spanky, who was in Cincinnati. He immediately packed up his car and was on the road 30 minutes after receiving the call. And didn't stop. He drove 30 hours straight, some 2,200 miles, and made it to the venue literally an hour or so before showtime and did the match. That's freakin' dedication (I think he's talked about this in a shoot interview before. Said he masturbated to stay awake and started vomiting uncontrollably halfway through the drive or something, but still made it. Madness.)
AJPW news: there are no truth to the rumors of a WWE/AJPW relationship, which was mentioned last week. Motoko Baba and Tenryu were at WWE's show in Hawaii to take photos for the Japanese magazines to make people think something is up, but there's nothing there. They were just visiting because Johnny Ace got them backstage. Also, the newspapers in Japan have begun reporting that Keiji Muto will take over as AJPW president when Ms. Baba retires, which confirms what Dave has been saying for months.
Kenta Kobashi's first match back for NOAH will be this week at Korakuen Hall. He'll be working undercard tag matches so he won't be doing too much. If you recall, he was out for over a year with knee injuries, had one match in February in which he re-injured himself again and has been out ever since.
Speaking of Korakuen Hall, NJPW's latest show there only drew 1,200 fans, which means the building was only half full. Just in case you're wondering how NJPW is doing in 2002. Not great.
Don Frye did an interview claiming Antonio Inoki is working to put together a match between himself and Mike Tyson. "Nobody is taking that seriously," Dave says.
Speaking of Japanese companies trying to latch on to the WWE train and speaking of lyin' ass Inoki: there have been rumors that Inoki is putting together a relationship with WWE. Not true. Inoki claimed recently that he had met with Vince McMahon about using some of WWE's undercard guys in NJPW and of starting his own promotion in the U.S. Dave says the meeting with Vince never happened and, in fact, the two men haven't gotten along or really even spoken at all in nearly 20 years.
More on Jesse Ventura's decision not to run for re-election as Minnesota governor. Part of the reason may be that the polls are showing he would likely lose the race. Of course, that's what the polls said last time and he shocked the world. But after 4 years in office, his popularity isn't near what it was back then, when he was the exciting outsider. Now the voters have seen what he brings to the table and they don't seem to like it too much. Ventura was already planning to make the announcement, but then the story about his son hosting parties at the governor's mansion broke, and Ventura made the announcement 2 days earlier than he'd planned. Using the criticism that his son has gotten in the media as his excuse for not running provided Ventura a good "out" but he was already planning not to run long before that story happened and the press conference had been scheduled nearly 2 weeks earlier, so take it with a grain of salt. Most likely, he saw the writing on the wall and knew he was going to lose if he ran again.
Notes from the latest Ring of Honor event: it was said to be an incredible show, with guys like Bryan Danielson, Low-Ki, Christopher Daniels, Spanky, Jerry Lynn, AJ Styles, and more all having amazing matches. There was a moment during the show where Scoot Andrews went to hit Christopher Daniels' valet, Lucious. But then he stopped himself and said he'd never hit a woman, but he knew somebody who would. This was a tease to bring out another female wrestler, but the crowd started chanting for Steve Austin. The show drew 450 fans and sold out the building, which is the largest crowd ROH has drawn so far.
Famous St. Louis Cardinal announcer Jack Buck passed away a couple weeks ago and Dave notes that Buck actually had some involvement in wrestling back in the day. He used to do radio broadcasting of Sam Muchnick's shows live for KMOX radio in the 1960s and there's even a picture somewhere out there of Giant Baba picking Buck up and holding him like a baby. (I actually just watched the 30 For 30 documentary on the McGwire/Sosa home run race and they talked about Jack Buck in there. Good times. Anyway, someone find that picture because I'm having no luck).
Sting is scheduled to make an appearance, but not wrestle, at an indie show Harley Race is putting together this week in St. Louis. This will be Sting's first wrestling-related appearance since WCW folded.
In case you're wondering what XPW and Rob Black are up to these days, allow Dave to fill you in. Black is currently doing an angle where he's pretending he had a stroke and he pisses and shits on himself all over TV. They also did a segment where wrestler GQ Money (now a producer for NXT) broke into Black's home and tried to rape his wife until somebody made the save. The next week, they showed Money supposedly raping a girl in the parking lot and leaving her for dead, and the week after, he got sprayed with raw sewage. Now they're building up to a raw sewage match, based on this rape storyline. XPW, folks.
Dave has some more notes on Cody Runnels, the son of Dusty Rhodes who was backstage at WWE's show in Atlanta last week. Cody is a sophomore in high school and placed 6th in the state in amateur wrestling the past year. He also plays football. He was described to Dave as having a similar physical look as Randy Orton, "but with a face like Dusty."
WWA's scheduled tour of Europe has been officially canceled. The German and Switzerland shows had abysmal ticket sales and pretty much had to be canceled. The show in Ireland had more than 4,000 tickets sold and would have been a success, but even so, that one show alone wasn't going to make enough money to offset the cost of the whole tour.
This is actually hilarious. UFC fighter Vitor Belfort and his training partner were in a taxi before the UFC show when a bunch of cops showed up and surrounded the car. Why, you ask? Well the cab driver overheard Belfort and his partner talking about "shooting at the legs" and she got scared, not knowing what they were talking about, and called the police. Seems like they got it all straightened out though.
Rock will be working nearly full-time on TV from now until Summerslam, at which point he's leaving for a few months to go film his next movie. He won't be on every Smackdown, but he'll be on most of them.
Nothing new on the Goldberg/WWE negotiations. Vince McMahon told Goldberg's agents that he will clear his schedule any time Goldberg wants to have a meeting, but Goldberg doesn't seem particularly interested. The fact that WWE rehired Russo probably won't help matters because Goldberg is one of the many who doesn't like Russo.
Shawn Michaels is booked to be in Kevin Nash's corner on upcoming house shows once Nash is cleared to wrestle again. There's still no plans for Shawn to wrestle, but given how depleted the WWE roster is right now, Dave is sure they'll probably start pushing him to sooner than later (Nash ends up getting injured again almost immediately, so I don't think Shawn ever did these house show appearances).
Looks like this is one of those issues where I went over the 40,000 character limit. Hit the comments below for the rest.
2020.07.09 01:15 MinervatorAny former Torontonians?
I'm a 32F in Toronto and thinking of moving to Calgary. My dad lives in Lethbridge so I have a sense of Calgary but Lethbridge is too small for me (plus I don't drive). Anyone who can shed light on some of the following? Weather: Calgary seems to get colder than Toronto but it is also sunny and dry so overall which feels warmer? Dating/social scene: Toronto has been really hard to me to maintain relationships in and I was born here! I have basic interests like drinking and road trips so which city is easier to make friends and find decent guys looking for serious relationships? Travel: Speaking of road trips, Toronto has some cool places nearby like Montreal, Niagara, NYC, etc so does Calgary pale in comparison for long weekend getaways? Cost: Most importantly, I'm the type who hates working lots of hours so looking for cheaper rent. If I'm willing to have one roommate, can decent rooms (with a shared living room and kitchen) be had for under $700?
2020.07.01 03:34 LetsRead_YouTubeOnline Gaming Story 1
In 2017, just three days after Christmas, a group of young American men are playing a new Call of Duty game, set during World War Two. The young men were using a website known as UMG, or Unorganised Management Gaming, in order to organize matches in which there were bets placed. Obviously, whenever money is on the line, even if it is relatively small amounts, intensity and competitiveness go into overdrive; and this is no different when it comes to video games. Two of these gamers, named Casey Viner and Shane Gaskill, were playing together on the same team when an incident of ‘friendly fire’ occurred. Due to confusion, frustrated, or both, one of the players ended up accidentally eliminating their own teammate from the proceedings. This meant that each man would each lose $1.50 that had been placed as a wager. In a distinctly unsportsmanlike follow up, the two players took to Twitter and began to argue among themselves, each blaming the other for the lost match. This is about the time that Casey Viner threatened to ‘Swat’ Shane Gaskill. ‘Swatting’ is a criminal harassment tactic of deceiving an emergency service into sending a police and emergency service response team to another person's address. This is triggered by false reporting of a serious law enforcement emergency, such as a bomb threat, murder, hostage situation, or a false report of a ‘mental health’ emergency, such as reporting that a person is allegedly suicidal or homicidal and may or may not be armed. The term derives from the law enforcement unit ‘SWAT’ (special weapons and tactics), a specialized type of police unit in many countries, carrying military-style equipment such as door breaching weapons, submachine guns, automatic rifles, and sniper rifles. A threat may result in the evacuations of schools and businesses, or sometimes even graver consequences. Like many of you, Shane Gaskill was very familiar with the concept of ‘Swatting’ as a phenomenon with an almost decade long history. He was never about to give away his actual address, but he also didn’t quite believe that Casey Viner had it in him to commit such a destructive, irresponsible act. So he simply called his bluff, Gaskill gave Viner and address in Wichita, Kansas, that had an element of truth to it, since it was a residence Gaskill and family had previously called home. 1033 West McCormick Street. As it turns out, Gaskill was right. Viner did not have the mental facilities to ‘Swat’ his one-time teammate, but he knew someone who would. Tyler Raj Barriss was twenty five years old and technically homeless at the time of the incident. He was known throughout online gaming communities as ‘SWAuTistic’, a portmanteau of the acronym ‘SWAT’ and the word ‘Autistic’. But Barriss was also known to law enforcement for quite another reason, as he had once served sixteen months in the LA County Jail for making false bomb threats against local TV stations, elementary schools and a middle schools throughout the greater LA area. He was wanted by police in Florida for calling approximately thirty other bomb threats; and also wanted up in Canada on fraud and mischief charges, as well as for online harassment of a woman in Calgary. Using a system known as ‘voice over IP’, Barris was able to use the free Wi-Fi provided by a South Los Angeles library to call the Wichita police department. This is a crucial piece of information in what unfolded, given that the ‘voice over IP’ technique used by Barriss meant that the call would be transferred from southern LA to Wichita City Hall. Meaning that, from the perspective of the dispatcher in question, the call appeared to be coming from the city of Wichita itself, there was absolutely no reason to suspect the calls authenticity, as there may have been if it was evident that the call came from California. Barriss, identifying himself as ‘Brian’ and claiming he was calling from 1033 West McCormick Street, went on to tell the dispatcher that he had fatally shot his father, and was holding family members at gunpoint. He asked if police were coming to the house, saying he had already poured gasoline all over the house and was threatening to set it on fire. Over a thousand miles away, in Wichita, local Police Officers scrambled into action. It is unclear why the city’s actual SWAT team wasn’t called into action, but the most likely explanation is that given the seemingly urgent nature of Barriss’ call, senior officers made the call to simply get to the scene as quickly as was physically possible. Any later, and the fictional ‘Brian’ might set about burning his own family alive. And so, a handful of police officers who were not SWAT team members, and therefore untrained for tactical situations or hostage rescues, responded to Barriss's call and surrounded the house at 1033 West McCormick Street. Meanwhile, inside the house, twenty eight year old father of two, Andrew Finch, was going about his evening as normal. The Finch family were no strangers to tragedy, just a few years prior, Andrew’s sister had died suddenly in a horrific car accident that had left Andrew as guardian of her teenage daughter. That might seem like enough heartbreak to last a lifetime, but that night, tragedy would once again visit itself upon the Finch family. Andrew, the man of the house, always took his role as his niece’s guardian very seriously, and upon hearing a noise outside in the street, went out to investigate. To his utter chock, he was greeted by red and blue flashing lights, unable to see the men who screamed at him to show them his hands. One can only imagine the terror and confusion experienced by Andrew Finch that night; the contradictive emotions of knowing those heavily armed Cops were screaming at him, yet knowing full well that he hadn’t done anything remotely illegal. However, Finch knew the only rational thing to do in that situation would indeed be to comply with the officer’s demands, and raise his empty hands, calmly and slowly. Yet for some unknown reason, Finch didn’t throw his arms all the way up. It’s likely that he was turning to tell the other members of his family to stay indoors, since it was already an obviously tense and dangerous situation. But this would prove a fatal mistake, as police officers later stated that his movement appeared to mimic that of retrieving a firearm from a hip holster. A single shot was fired from a police issue AR-15 assault rifle, one which pierced Andrew Finch’s heart and right lung. He collapsed right there on the porch, a steady flow of blood pumping from the hole in his chest. Finch’s traumatized family members were forced to step over his bleeding body as the Police ordered them out of the house. Andrew Finch was driven to Via Christi Hospital St. Francis, but was pronounced dead on arrival. To the attending officers, they had done their job almost perfectly, defusing a dangerous hostage situation in mere seconds and rescuing all vulnerable parties. But that could not have been further from the truth. As Police questioned Finch’s family members down at the station, the truth began to come out. In the aftermath of the shooting, outraged Wichita residents used the opportunity of a city council meeting on January 9 th to voice concerns on the subject. They questioned the release of only seven seconds of the police body cam footage, and argued that the city should assume full responsibility to avoid a lengthy struggle by the Finch family for justice. The council did not comment directly, but indicated a willingness to consider training procedures at a later time. Nearly a week later, Andrew Finch's mother, Lisa, wrote to the Wichita mayor and police chief stating that she did not know where her son's body was being kept and that she wanted to give him a proper funeral service and burial. “Please let me see my son's lifeless body”, she wrote in a letter dated January 3 rd . In the same letter, Mrs. Finch asked why the police officer who killed her son had not, at that time, been identified, why the family was handcuffed in the immediate aftermath, and when police will return their belongings, including two cell phones and a computer, seized from the house. The family attorney, Andrew M. Stroth, has also called for the city, police department, and officer involved in the shooting to be held liable for the unjustified shooting of Andrew Finch. On December 29 th , just a day after the Wichita Swatting incident, Tyler Raj Barriss was arrested in Los Angeles on a fugitive warrant stemming from a 2015 charge of making false bomb threats to KABC, a local TV station. He was then charged with false alarm, which happens to be a federal offence. In the investigation that followed, it was discovered that Barriss was responsible for potentially hundreds of Swatting incidents all over the country. It wasn’t long before investigators discovered a connection between him and the Wichita Swatting incident. Communication channels were opened between the California and Kansas state governments, and on January 12 th , 2018, Barriss was extradited to Kansas where he was charged with involuntary manslaughter, and was held in Sedgwick County Jail. As the extent of Barriss’ criminal activity was being unearthed, investigators turned their attention to the police officer who fired the fatal shot. Justin Rapp, a seven-year veteran of the force, was identified as the officer who had killed Andrew Finch. Attending court in May of 2018, Officer Rapp testified that he had been given absolutely no information when he arrived at the scene, including when Finch was given his first verbal command, when the 911 call ended, or whether officers at the scene were aware the caller was still on the phone with 911. Sedgwick County Department of Emergency Communications has also denied an open records request pertaining to the 911 call, stating the police department had asked that no more records be released. It was clear that, despite firing the shot that killed Andrew Finch, Justin Rapp was simply doing his job. If the hostage situation had been a genuine one in which Finch was indeed threatening to kill his family, Rapp would have legitimately been a hero. It was only because of malicious intent on the part of a complete stranger that the shooting even occurred in the first place. As a result of these testimonies, the Sedgwick County district attorney, Marc Bennett, has announced that no charges would be brought against Officer Justin Rapp. On May 23, 2018, Tyler Barriss, Casey Viner and Shane Gaskill were indicted in the United States District Court for the District of Kansas on charges related to the swatting. Viner was charged with wire fraud, conspiracy to make false/hoax reports, obstruction of justice and conspiracy to obstruct justice. In April 2019, he pleaded guilty to conspiracy and obstruction of justice. Then, more than a year later in September 2019, he received a 15-month prison sentence in addition to two years' probation, during which time he would be banned from playing video games. Gaskill was charged with obstruction of justice, wire fraud and conspiracy to obstruct justice. However, in July of 2018, as his trial unfolded, a horrifying revelation was revealed to the court when it was announced that Gaskill had encouraged Barriss to “try again”. Apparently completely undeterred by the death of Andrew Finch on the night of the 28 th of December, Gaskill gloated that he had not been successfully swatted. This could easily have caused yet more deaths in what was a pathetically petty war of words between two man-children. Gaskill's case was originally scheduled to go to trial April 23, 2019; if convicted on all charges, he was facing over 60 years in prison. In September 2019, it was reported that Gaskill struck a deal for deferred prosecution that could allow the charges against him to be dropped. For the previous two defendants, the charges only really reflected their involvement in the Wichita Swatting incident; but for Barriss, the arrest lead to his entire criminal past coming back to haunt him. He was charged with false information and hoaxes, cyberstalking resulting in death, making threats of death or damage to property by fire, interstate threats, conspiracy to make false reports, and wire fraud. However, on October 26 th , 2018, a whopping forty-six additional charges against Barriss were added, which included financial fraud, and fake threats of bombs and shootings made to police and schools; some of these charges involved unindicted co-conspirators residing in Illinois, Florida, Michigan; and Missouri. Just two weeks later, on November 13 th , he pleaded guilty to fifty one federal charges. Under the terms of his plea agreement, Barriss has also been required to formally apologize to Finch's family and pay $10,100 in fines and restitution, and has agreed to five years of supervised release. On March 29 th , 2019, Barriss was sentenced to 20 years in prison. The sentence includes one hundred and fifty months imprisonment for the Kansas case and 90 months imprisonment for the federal charges in California, to be served consecutively; and 30 months in prison for the Washington, D.C., bomb threats, to be served concurrently. No officer was charged with a crime for the event. But the tragedy didn’t end there. On the 9 th of January, 2019, Adelina Finch, the daughter of Andrew Finch’s deceased sister who entered her uncle’s guardianship after her mother’s dead, shot herself in a south Wichita apartment. Andrew’s Mother, Lisa Finch, said she blames her granddaughter’s suicide attempt on the events of that fateful December evening, when Andrew was shot to death by Wichita Police. “Because Adelina was made to step over his dying body and she had to hear him breathe,” Lisa Finch said. “And she’s been going downhill ever since. She didn’t know how to handle it. She has internalized everything, if somebody even mentions Andy’s name, she withdraws and walks out of the room. She has not been able to deal with it. I guess this was the way she was dealing with it.” Adelina Finch had been a certified nursing assistant and wanted to get more education to become a registered nurse. But thanks to the trauma inflicted by Tyler Barriss and others involved in the Swatting incident, her aspirations would never be realized. Numerous pieces of legislation have been passed in recent years to prevent such incidents from ever occurring again. Some Police Departments have gone as far as training their dispatchers to be able to recognize hoax calls and the kind of people likely to attempt them. Yet passing laws has never been able to suppress the desire or ingenuity of people who simply want to hurt their fellow man.
Going through old issues of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter and posting highlights in my own words. For anyone interested, I highly recommend signing up for the actual site at f4wonline and checking out the full archives. PREVIOUSLY:
We start with more on the death of Davey Boy Smith, including a full-length super long obituary, because apparently 2002 is nothing but people dying. I feel like I've done nothing but recap obituaries since starting back with 2002. Anyway. in the wake of Smith's death, the reaction has sadly not been one of surprise. Anyone who saw Smith in the last 4-5 years pretty much saw it coming. The cause of death, pending toxicology results, was ruled a heart attack caused from prolonged steroid use. But until the toxicology results are back, the belief among his friends and family is that there was probably more to it. Dave talks about the staggering number of wrestlers who have died under age 40 in recent years, with upwards of 20 of them being due to drug issues.
Smith died while on vacation with his girlfriend Andrea Hart, estranged wife of Bruce Hart. Despite that, Smith was actually on good terms with most of the Hart family, although Andrea is not. The Hart family believes Andrea knows more than she's letting on about the circumstances of his death, but she's not talking to anybody. Andrea's children (that she had with Bruce) were also there and they each apparently have different accounts of how he died (he was sleeping! he was in the pool! he was eating!) but they all pretty much agree he collapsed doing whatever he was doing. Andrea told the press that she believed Smith had overdosed, but Smith's dad did his own interviews and denied it, saying his son had stopped using drugs and was clean when he died. Needless to say, most people aren't buying that given his track record. Smith's father decided against having the body cremated and instead ordered it sent back to England for examination to make sure he wasn't murdered. "I cannot believe his death was natural," he said. "If they find drugs in his body, then he didn't put them there. Davey was clean." (Eeeeeeehhhhh....) Shit got even messier when Andrea and Smith's ex-wife Diana Hart each tried to claim the body. Despite her book (in which she accused Smith of drugging, abusing, and raping her), Diana played grieving widow in the media even though they're divorced. It may not have been an act though. Some in the family believe Smith and Diana were trying to reconcile, and they were on good terms at the time of his death. Andrea claimed to be his common-law wife, even though she's still legally married to Bruce. She later claimed Smith had proposed to her 2 weeks before his death and said they were engaged, which was the first anyone had heard about that. Smith's father claims in their last conversation, Davey Boy had told him he was planning to break up with Andrea after their vacation. So who knows. Anyway, both Diana and Andrea planned their own separate memorial services, while Smith's dad is planning his own 3rd service. Smith's body wasn't at either of the Hart family memorial services because, as mentioned, it was sent back to England where authorities are launching an investigation at the behest of Smith's father.
Andrea's service was said to be small and simple, just a few dozen people, and she seemed sincere in her sorrow. Diana's service was larger and more public, with hundreds of attendees and press, along with several WWE names. Vince McMahon, Hulk Hogan, Bret Hart (who attended both services), Chris Benoit, Chris Jericho, Jim Ross, and others all attended and several of them spoke. Diana's eulogy featured a professionally produced video featuring Davey Boy footage from WWE that had never aired on television before. She thanked Vince for trying to help Davey with his addiction issues. She never acknowledged everything she wrote about him in her book last year. Smith's children as well as Stampede wrestler TJ Wilson gave speeches as well. 16-year-old Harry Smith was composed and gave a great speech about teaming with his father in his last matches. And then Ellie Hart got up there and....it went about how you'd expect. She started ranting about Andrea and blaming her for not giving the family the answers they wanted and it started to turn into some drama, but the minister gently interrupted her and got things back on track. And finally, Bret Hart gave a speech, directly addressing Smith's children and saying that Davey Boy and Owen would want the children of all these Hart family members to get along with each other better than the adults have. From here, Dave gets into the actual meat of the obituary, recapping Smith's life and career. As always, an excellent read but very long to recap.
WWE Confidential, the new show the company is producing, aired its debut episode this week, focusing on the Montreal Screwjob. Dave once again talks about how Vince McMahon tried to downplay the incident recently, giving an interview just a couple of months ago calling the Screwjob a minor incident that almost no one cares about. Vince went so far as to say he could count on one hand the number of people who even still care about that old news. Turns out one of those must be Vince because this week, they dedicated the premiere of this new show to the story and highlighted it as the most controversial night in the history of wrestling. The hook of the show was Shawn Michaels revealing publicly, for the first time, that yes, he was in on the screwjob and knew about it in advance. Dave says this isn't really a secret. Shawn denied having any knowledge of it that night but as soon as the day after Survivor Series 97, he was bragging to friends about it. Vince McMahon also later confided in Undertaker that Shawn knew ahead of time. So it was kind of an open "secret" that Shawn knew but this is the first time he's admitted it publicly. Triple H still denies knowing about it ahead of time, but Dave is pretty skeptical there too (and indeed, it's later revealed that yes indeed, Triple H also knew). Dave thinks lots of people had to know. Even the guy who cued the music had to know, because Shawn's music was queued up and ready to play the second Vince ordered the bell to be rung. Pat Patterson always claimed not to know and Bret has said he wants to believe it, because he likes Pat, but the way Pat interrupted the match-planning conversation and specifically suggested the sharpshooter spot to them makes Bret question it (I think Patterson still denies it to this day, but I have my doubts there too). Anyway, the show recapped the history of the Screwjob and if you know Dave, you know he's about to poke a whole bunch of holes in WWE's revisionist bullshit. Here we go...
The story of the episode was WWF was close to going out of business due to the WCW war and couldn't afford Bret anymore, so Vince nobly allowed Hart out of his contract so he could negotiate a better deal with WCW. Actually, Dave says, Vince first talked to Bret about deferring some of his contract to later on but that was a couple months earlier. At the time, WWF really was having some financial struggles, but it's an exaggeration to say they were almost driven out of business. They were never even close. But regardless, that's irrelevant because in Sept. 97, they raised the price of PPVs by $10. That added revenue, which was nearly $1 million per month in pure profit, was easily enough to get them out of financial trouble. By the time Survivor Series 97 rolled around, WWF was doing just fine, money-wise, and were only a couple months away from catching fire and getting nuclear hot. So no, they did not need to get rid of Bret's contract. And in fact, in October, a couple weeks before Survivor Series, Vince changed his mind and asked Bret to stay, saying that the financial situation had turned around. But by this point, Hart's negotiations with WCW were full speed ahead and Vince allowed Hart to continue negotiating. But after talking to both sides, it was clear Vince had no real plan for Bret and he didn't really seem like he wanted to keep him, so Bret took the WCW deal and the rest is history. But of course, none of that is mentioned in this show. The episode also claimed Hart refused to drop the title to anyone (again, not true. Only Shawn. Bret even offered to lose it to Brooklyn Brawler if they wanted. In fact, Dave breaks down all the different scenarios that were presented here, and Bret was willing to lose the title to anyone other than Shawn, anywhere other than that show in Montreal, at any date before or after the PPV. They had actually presented Bret with dozens of different scenarios, all of which he agreed to, only for Vince to keep coming back around to Shawn at Survivor Series, which was the one and only thing Bret wouldn't budge on). They also tried to paint the picture that Bret could have taken the title to WCW the night after Survivor Series. In fact, Bret's WWF contract didn't end until Dec. 1st, and he was booked on more than a dozen house shows after Survivor Series and had even agreed to work the early December PPV because Bischoff had given his blessing. There was zero chance Bret was going to show up with the belt on Nitro. There was concern that Bischoff would go on Nitro the next day and announce he had signed Bret, and Dave says it's true that Bischoff certainly was planning to do that. But Bret had also asked Bischoff to hold off on the announcement and Bischoff had agreed. Vince knew about that too, but in recorded conversations with Bret (from the Wrestling With Shadows documentary), Vince didn't seem concerned since the word was already out and everyone knew Bret was leaving already. This just goes on and on. We all know the story already. Anyway, TL;DR - interesting show, but WWE's version of the story is bullshit. But we all knew that.
At the latest NJPW show, Antonio Inoki came out and cut a promo. He talked about being in attendance recently at the World Cup and said wrestling needs something like that. Inoki claimed he had put together a deal with WWE for a joint NJPW/WWE show to take place later in the year. Dave doesn't know if there's any truth to that story, but this is the first he's heard of it and he doesn't think it makes any sense for WWE so he's skeptical.
Usually in Japan, TV-Asahi airs the finals of NJPW's G1 Climax tournament live. But this year that may not happen, as they're looking at airing one of Inoki's MMA shows instead. This is a direct result of the terrible rating the recent Tokyo Dome show drew when it aired live. This company is struggling mightily lately.
Random news and notes: Inoki recently recruited a 23-year old Brazillian MMA fighter named Lyoto Machida to come to NJPW (he never really does anything in NJPW other than train at the dojo, but he had a long career in UFC and still fights for Bellator to this day). Dusty Rhodes is the new co-host of Turner South's Atlanta Braves pre-game show called "Hey The Braves Are Next!" Scott Hall will be working Insane Clown Posse's upcoming Gathering of the Juggalos event. Former WCW wrestler Evan Karagis recently filmed a role on the soap opera "Passions."
In the main event of FOX's Celebrity Boxing show, Chyna lost by decision to Joey Buttafuoco. Chyna's mystique of being a woman who only wants to compete with men got pretty much obliterated here, as the larger Buttafuoco manhandled her with ease for much of the match, which probably makes all those big tough wrestlers who sold for her feel kinda silly. But Buttafuoco came in as a hated heel to the audience and despite how she got pummeled, many people felt Buttafuoco was fighting dirty and cheating, so Chyna wasn't too hurt by it. She talked about wanting a rematch and Dave says if PRIDE really wants to break into the U.S. market, they could throw it onto one of their cards. Hey, this show did a really strong TV rating, maybe a rematch would be just the kind of freak-show attraction needed for PRIDE to get attention in the U.S. Nothing else they've tried has worked. Dave also suggests NWA-TNA could book it, but a worked wrestling match between the two probably wouldn't get as much media attention.
Big Dick Dudley's ex-wife, former ECW valet Elektra, did an interview talking about his death. She said he'd had stomach pains all week and couldn't urinate. But didn't go to the doctor because he didn't think it was a big deal. Then at one point he got up to go to the bathroom but collapsed on the floor and died there on the spot. Jeez. At the time of his death, he had lost over 100 pounds from his peak weight of 320 in ECW several years ago.
Vince Russo is going to be writing a book about his time in WWF. Due to legal reasons and the ongoing lawsuit, it won't include much about his WCW tenure (I think he's written a book or two, but I've never read them, so if anyone has any insight, feel free to share).
Shaun Assael's book "Sex, Lies, & Headlocks: The Real Story of Vince McMahon and the World Wrestling Federation" will be published next month and is getting strong early reviews. Dave has talked to several of the people who spoke with Assael for the book and some of them expect it to be good while others feel that Assael fell victim to the cons and charms of wrestlers who were working him. We shall see, says Dave.
The debut NWA-TNA PPV will feature some sort of tournament to crown a new NWA champion. Dan Severn is no longer the champion after not agreeing to work the show (he already had a prior MMA booking for that date in New Mexico). As a result, the NWA (which is now working with TNA) just stripped him of the belt, which is convenient because they didn't really want to use Severn anyway, so now they can do whatever they originally planned to do with the belt without having to book an excuse to get it off him. The Jarretts and this new promotion now have full control over both the NWA world and tag team titles.
Mike Tenay has been named the lead announcer for the new NWA-TNA promotion. They're also trying to get Lex Luger to appear for the debut show, but Dave thinks its unlikely since Luger is financially set for life and has shown no interest in doing any wrestling since WCW folded.
Jeff Jarrett had talks with Bret Hart about coming in to do a Team Canada gimmick. Latest Dave heard is that Hart isn't interested, but they may bring in some of the new generation of Harts for it. There's been talk of bringing in TJ Wilson, Harry Smith, and Teddy Hart as a new version of the group. Smith is still only 16 and it's way too early to put him on the national stage yet and in a lot of states, he wouldn't even legally be allowed to perform. Wilson is also a teenager, from a bad home who pretty much grew up as an honorary Hart member in the Hart household. And Teddy Hart is a natural in-ring performer who would already be in WWE if not for the fact that during his two training camp tryouts, he had behavioral incidents both times. But they're all talented and will likely be big stars in the future. Last time WWE was in Calgary, Vince McMahon personally requested to meet with all 3 of them for a private tryout, but it didn't amount to anything.
Little bit of a change in the WWF writing teams. Brian Gewertz is now the official head writer for Raw, while Paul Heyman is the lead writer for Smackdown. Stephanie McMahon will continue to oversee creative for both shows and, of course, Vince still has final say on everything. Dave expects this to result in Raw being a more comedic show while Smackdown will be the more serious in-ring product (pretty much, yeah. And thus, we have the official beginning of Heyman-era Smackdown and soon we'll see the birth of the Smackdown Six).
Notes from Raw: show opened with Chris Benoit making his unannounced return to a huge pop. Dave still expects Benoit to eventually be managed by Arn Anderson, which has been the plan for months (and never happens). That was actually the original plan before the NWO was brought in. If Benoit was healthy in time (which, turned out he wasn't so it didn't matter anyway), the original idea was Benoit vs. Austin at Wrestlemania 18 with Anderson managing Benoit. But that obviously all changed. Anyway, what else? Dave once again mentions that Jeff Hardy looks physically awful. He seems to know about Hardy's drug issues and seems to be hinting about it without saying it. Tommy Dreamer continued his gross gimmick by drinking Undertaker's tobacco spit. Lesnar beat Bubba Ray Dudley but had to sell a ton in the match and Dave doesn't get it. For a guy that they so clearly want to turn into a Goldberg-like star, selling for midcarders every week isn't how Goldberg got over. Jim Ross went on and on about how Lesnar has never been pinned, which Dave says is an insult to all the fans who have seen Lesnar do jobs at house shows. RVD beat Eddie Guerrero in a 20+ minute ladder match and Dave says it's the longest match on Raw in at least a year. Dave gives it 4 stars and considering how messy and sloppy it was, that shows you how good it was. Lots of dangerous spots, some botched moves, and most notably a moment when a fan ran into the ring and knocked over the ladder while Eddie was climbing up. Eddie and Earl Hebner started stomping the fan until security dragged him out. Still an awesome match though. And finally, Benoit returned at the end of the show and turned heel on Austin. Dave says Benoit actually isn't ready yet and isn't supposed to be back in the ring until July, but the company is so desperate for anything to give them a shot in the arm that they may have pulled the trigger on this angle early.
Notes from Smackdown: the only thing Dave talks about is the Hulk Hogan retirement angle they did and he's got mixed feelings on it. First the positive: he gives Hogan credit for being an absolutely incredible performer when the heat is on. And Hogan gave a tremendous performance in this and Dave doesn't let it go unrecognized. But then the negative: in the promo, Hogan talked at length about when his dad was dying, he was basically expressionless except for Monday and Thursday nights when he'd watch WWF and his face would light up. So Hogan said his dad's last words were he wanted to see his son return to the WWF. So that's all sweet and nice, right? Weeeeeell....Hogan has told a different version of this story in the past. In previous interviews, Hogan said his dad was disgusted by what wrestling had become and he wanted Hogan to "clean it up." The idea that he was laying in the hospital and only coming to life when his beloved WWF was on doesn't exactly jibe with what Hogan has said before. And no matter what the truth is, Dave is uncomfortable Hogan using his dead dad as a way to get this storyline over, but hey, he ain't the first and won't be the last.
WWE's first show in Hawaii in probably 15 years is scheduled for later this month. Rock is scheduled to work the show and tickets sold out 2 hours after they went on sale. While we're at it, the Australia show in August also sold out the 47,000-seat Colonial Stadium in Melbourne in only 4 days. Once they scale the stadium for production, they plan to open up more seats.
It's "basically a sure thing" that Hogan vs. Vince McMahon will be one of the top matches at Summerslam. How they get there seems to change weekly. There's been talks of having Hogan take time off after King of the Ring and return for the Vince match at Summerslam. There's also been talk of him sticking around through the entire summer. So who knows? (Ended up being a mixture of both: Hogan stuck around the entire summer, but then he did an angle to get written off TV right before Summerslam. And he didn't come back until early 2003. And, of course, we got the Hogan/Vince match at Wrestlemania)
More info on the incident from a couple weeks ago where Kevin Nash and X-Pac reportedly threw a fit and got the script changed. They were told by writer Ed Koskey what the plans were for them on the show. Nash and X-Pac didn't like it, especially X-Pac since it involved him doing 2 jobs during the same show. X-Pac said he was quitting and told Nash he'd meet him in the car. Nash told Shane McMahon he'd go calm X-Pac down and straighten everything out. Nash and X-Pac came back, had meetings with Shane and Jim Ross, and then later with Koskey and Brian Gewertz (who wrote the show). They managed to convince the writers to change it more to their liking. Nash was also upset about how Ric Flair went on TV and said he'd fired Scott Hall. Nash didn't like the idea of Flair on TV being able to hire and fire people from their NWO, because that kinda takes away from the idea of the NWO as an autonomous, outsider group that doesn't play by WWE's rules. So that's why Nash was able to go out on TV on this night and cut the promo about how Flair doesn't control the NWO. Of course, Hall is still gone, so I guess he still does. Anyway, both Nash and X-Pac were pissed over all this and caused a scene, especially X-Pac, to the point others in the locker room wondered why they weren't disciplined instead of being given their way. But if you wonder that, you clearly ain't been paying attention to Nash over the years. Anyway, X-Pac still did the job in the Hardyz match, but not in the second match.
Random news: house shows in Alexandria and Baton Rouge, LA were both canceled this weekend due to low ticket sales. Shit's selling out in record time in Australia and Hawaii, but they can't give tickets away in Louisiana apparently. Undertakers hips were both banged up after the Hogan match at the PPV but he continued working, although he was limited (and years later, he'd have to get major surgery on both those hips). At Raw in Edmonton, Ric Flair was getting huge pops and "woo!" chants for him before the show started, so they filmed a backstage segment where he told Arn Anderson how much he hates Edmonton so they would boo him when he came out live. Lance Cade won the HWA title from Johnny the Bull down in developmental. WWF was pushing the city of Edmonton to present Benoit with the key to the city on Raw, but Edmonton wasn't so keen on the idea. And finally, during a bikini contest at the house show in Winnipeg, Ivory's top got pulled down, exposing her boob, much to the delight of many in the crowd.
Remember how MTV's The Osbournes was the only show routinely beating Raw in the cable ratings? That's changing. The Osbournes is over for the season, but this week, Raw fell to #4 behind the Lakers/Spurs NBA playoff game and 2 different episodes of SpongeBob. Patrick's a draw, brother.
Raven has been doing commentary on Sunday Night Heat, but he recently asked to be removed from it because he feels like it hurts his wrestling character. Dave thinks this is pretty risky. Raven as a wrestler is probably nearing the end of his shelf-life and lord knows WWE hasn't shown any desire to push him. And he was actually pretty fantastic at commentary. So giving up a safe job that he was excelling at for one that WWE doesn't really seem to see any value in him for seems like a good way to find yourself on the chopping block next time they decide to get rid of some people (yup, he'll be gone from the company in another 7 months or so). For what it's worth though, this isn't the first time Raven has been in this situation. Back in the 90s, he was a manager and commentator in WWF then too, under the name Johnny Polo. But when they weren't interested in using him as a wrestler, he quit the company and reinvented himself in ECW as Raven. Sometimes you gotta bet on yourself.
Jim Ross has a weekly WWE.com article where he usually just shares all the latest injuries everyone has. This leads Dave on a bit of a tangent when Ross wrote about how Triple H has a fractured patella. The injury was diagnosed by Dr. James Andrews in Birmingham and Andrews told Triple H to be careful with it, but he could continue wrestling as long as he can take the pain. Basically one of the world's top sports doctors saying, "Yeah you've got a broken knee, but throw some dirt on it, you'll be fine." It's no wonder so many of these guys end up on pain pills rather than getting the medical treatment they need.
Also in his article, Jim Ross admitted that the WWE is not doing a good job lately of providing a product the fans want to see. Dave thinks that's just about as strong a statement he's heard on the current state of WWE from someone so high up within the company. Ross admitted they need to create new rivalries, elevate new young talent, and effectively introduce new stars. However, Ross also blamed the economy and the abnormally high number of injuries everyone is dealing with right now for part of the problems too. Dave says the economy may play a small role in the declining live event and PPV numbers, but usually when the economy is in the toilet, TV ratings go up because people are staying home more. Not the case here. Injuries, yes that's a problem for sure. But the core of all WWE's problems right now comes down to the simple fact that the show pretty much sucks. And at least someone high up in the office seems to finally be publicly admitting it.
Tough Enough 2 is down to the final four. Dave talks about how Jackie Gayda is now the sentimental favorite because she tore her ACL during the show but has still refused to quit, which opened a lot of eyes on her. Speaking of Tough Enough, in a WCW-like comedy of errors, they aired a promo for next week's episode before the current episode was finished, thus spoiling who the final 4 were going to be, before it was revealed on the show people were watching.
The WWF Forceable Entry album has sold around 364,000 copies total since its release. But it's actually considered a pretty huge failure because WWF had to pay so much money in fees and up front advances to the various artists on the album, and they're nowhere close to recouping that cost. (The album eventually sells over 500,000 and goes gold but still a flop).
NEXT WEDNESDAY:A look at the dismal state of WWE in 2002, Tough Enough II finale, Riki Choshu's departure from NJPW, Dave reviews several new wrestling books, and more...
2020.05.18 18:22 bt1234ytWarnerMedia has just announced what titles from Criterion will be available on HBO Max at launch
I got the info from here (scroll down to where it says "Criterion Collection"). Full list for those who don't want to leave Reddit is as follows: 8½ ...And God Created Woman 16 Days of Glory 2 or 3 Things I Know About Her The 3 Penny Opera The 39 Steps The 400 Blows The 47 Ronin: Part 1 The 47 Ronin: Part 2 Ali: Fear Eats the Soul Amarcord An Angel at my Table Ashes and Diamonds Atlanta’s Olympic Glory Au Revior Les Enfants Autumn Sonata Babette’s Feast Battle of Algiers Battleship Potemkin The Beales of Grey Gardens Beauty and the Beast Belle De Jour Bicycle Thieves The Bitter Tears of Petra Von Kant Black Girl Black Narcissus Black Orpheus Blithe Spirit The Blob Blood Simple Breaking the Waves Breathless Brief Encounter A Brief History of Time The Brood Brute Force Buena Vista Social Club Calgary ‘88: 16 Days of Glory Carnival of Souls Chimes at Midnight La Ciénaga The Circus City Lights Cleo from 5 to 7 Cranes are Flying Cries and Whispers Crisis: Behind a Presidential Commitment Cronos Daisies A Day in the Country A Day’s Pleasure The Daytrippers Dead Man Desert Hearts Destroy All Monsters Diabolique Divorce Italian Style A Dog’s Life Don’t Look Back Down by Law The Earrings of Madame De Eating Raoul Ebirah, Horror of the Deep Elevator to the Gallows The Emporer Jones The Entertainer Equinox Eraserhead Europa Europe ‘51 Eyes Without a Face F is for Fake Faces Fanny and Alexander Fantastic Planet Fat Girl First Man Into Space For All Mankind Foreign Correspondant The Four Feathers Fox and His Friends The Front Page Funny Games George Stevens: A Filmmakers Journey George Stevens: D-Day to Berlin Germany Year Zero Gidorah, The Three Headed Monster Gimmer Shelter Godzilla Godzilla Raids Again Godzilla vs Mechadodzilla Godzilla vs Megalon Godzilla vs Gigan Godzilla vs Hedorah Godzilla, King of the Monsters! The Gold Rush The Gold Rush: 1942 Version The Grand Olympics Gray’s Anatomy The Great Dictator Great Expectations Grey Gardens Hamlet Hanzo the Razor: Sword of Justice Hanzo the Razor: The Snare Hanzo the Razor: Who’s Got the Gold? A Hard Day’s Night Harlan County U.S.A Haxan: Witchcraft Through the Ages Hearts and Minds Henry V The Hidden Fortress Hobson’s Choice The Honeymoon Killers Hoop Dreams House I Married a Witch I Shot Jesse James I Was a Teenage Zombie The Idle Class Ikiru The Immigrant In the Mood for Love In Vanda’s Room Intermezzo Invasion of Astro-Monster Irma Vep Ivan the Terrible Part 1 Ivan the Terrible Part 2 Jubilee Jules and Jim Juliet of the Spirits The Jungle Book The Kid Kill! The Killing of a Chinese Bookie A king in New York The King of Kings Knife in the Water Kwaidan Lady Snowblood Lady Snowblood 2: Love Song of Vengeance The Lady Vanishes L’Amore L’Argent The Last Emperor The Last Metro The Last Wave Late Autumn Late Spring L’Avventura Lillehammer ‘94: Days of Glory Limelight The Lodger: A Story of the London Fog Lola Lola Montes Lone Wolf and Cub: Baby Cart at the River Styx Lone Wolf and Cub: Baby Cart in Peril Lone Wolf and Cub: Baby Cart to Hades Lone Wolf and Cub: Baby in the Land of Demons Lone Wolf and Cub: Sword of Vengence Lone Wolf and Cub: White Heaven in Hell Loneliness of the Long Distance The Runner The Long Voyage Home Look Back in Anger Lord of the Flies The Lost Honor of Katarina Blum Love in the Afternoon Major Barbara Man Bites Dog The Man Who Knew Too Much Marriage of Maria Braun Masculin Feminin Metropolitan Mikey and Nicky Modern Times Mon Oncle Mona Lisa Monsieur Hulot’s Holiday Monsieur Verdoux Monterey Pop The Most Dangerous Game Motha vs Godzilla Mr. Arkadin Multiple Maniacs My Brilliant Career My Dinner with Andre My Life as a Dog My Night at Maud’s Nagano ‘98 Olympics: Stories of Honor and Glory The Naked City The Naked Kiss Nanook of the North Nice and Friendly A Night in the Show Night of the Living Dead Of Mice and Men Oliver Twist Onibaba Paris, Texas Pather Panchali Pay Day Pepe Le Moko Permanent Vacation Persona Picnic at Hanging Rock The Pilgrim The Player Police Story Primary The Private Life of Henry the VIII Pygmalion Quadrophenia Querelle Rashomon The Red Ballon Red Desert The Red Shoes Rembrandt The Return of Bulldog Drummond Return of the Scarlet Pimpernel Richard III The Rink The Rise of Catherine the Great The Rite The River Rodan Rome Open City A Room with a View The Ruling Class Sabotage Safety Last! Salesman Le Samourai Samurai Trilogy 1: Musashi Miyamoto Samurai Trilogy 2: Duel at Ichijoji Temple Samurai Trilogy 3: Duel at Ganryu Island Satan’s Brew Sawdust and Tinsel Scanners The Scarlet Pimpernel Scenes From a Marriage Schizopolis Seance on a Wet Afternoon Secrets and Lies Senso Seoul 1988 Seven Samurai Seventh Seal The Seventh Veil Shadows Shock Corridor Shoot the Piano Player The Shooting The Shop on Main Street Shoulder Arms Sisters Smithereens Solaris Son of Godzilla Speedy Stagecoach La Strada Stranger Than Paradise The Stranger Stromboli Summertime Sunnyside Sweetie Taste of Cherry A Taste of Honey Terror of Mechagodzilla The Testement of Dr Mabuse That Hamilton Woman The Thief of Bagdad Three Colors: Blue Three Colors: Red Three Colors: White Throne of Blood Through a Glass Darkly Time Me Up! Time Me Down! Time Bandits The Times of Harvey Milk The Tin Drum To Be or not To Be Tokyo Olympiad Tokyo Story Tom Jones The Trial of Joan of Arc True Stories Twin Peaks: Fire Walk with Me Two English Girls Ugetsu Umberto D. The Umbrellas of Cherbourg Under the Volacno Vampyr Victim Vivre Sa Vie Voyage to Italy The Wages of Fear War and Peace The War of the Gargantuas The War Room Watership Down Weekend Wild Strrawberries Wings of Desire Wise Blood Withnail and I A Woman of Paris A Woman Under the Influencer The X From Outer Space Yojimbo Young and Innocent Young Girls Z
2020.03.27 19:51 GuillaumeBrdetAn Interview with INF1N1TE
An exclusive interview with Robert Tarrant Steedman. With over 20 million streams to his name, INF1N1TE has established himself as a promising up and coming artist in the dubstep scene and taken his project from his home of Calgary, Canada, to all around the globe. On top of 10 singles throughout 2019, INF1N1TE saw the release of his “Enemy EP” on Steve Aoki’s highly acclaimed Dim Mak Records as well as filling the roles of support on both Spag Heddy’s “Noodle Neck Tour,” and Herobust’s “Busted Takeover” tour. Smashing dates across North America throughout the year, he also made his China debut while performing at Ningbo’s ‘ASL’ Festival. With a full release schedule set for 2020 and new tour dates stacking up, INF1N1TE will continue perfecting his already vast knowledge and profound ability in his work. It looks like you have some great designs done for your socials and even your website. How important do you think your overall branding is? A: Ahhh, thank you very much — I really appreciate that! I think it’s super important, especially in what day & age we’re in right now. Everybody’s competing for everyone’s attention online so I think having a really consistent unique & dope looking image really helps catch people’s eyes and help be remembered. You’ve been grinding for a while, what do you believe has helped you the most besides consistency? A: Yeah it’s been quite a while now! I guess aside from consistency, just maintaining a solid work ethic has really helped. It’s really easy to let yourself slide into lazy habits when you work from home / you’re your own boss so having good self discipline helps stay somewhat focused. How did you go about signing with your management or booking agent? A: My manager was brought onto 24–8 MGMT last fall and at the time he was working for my booking agent. He brought me on as his first artist when he joined the company and we just recently signed with Corson Agency for bookings! What are some ways artists could find the right management or booking agent for them? A: My manager approached me about signing. I think A LOT of up and coming artists get really focused on having ‘management’ or ‘an agent’ and don’t really know what these roles are supposed to do. There’s loads of people in the industry who like the whole image of being a manager or agent but aren’t really in it for the right reasons and aren’t busting their asses for their artists. I think it’s better for an artist to sit back and let a manager or agent approach you rather than actively seek out representation. If management or an agency comes to you with interest in working with you, chances are they have been following you for a bit and are actually interested in working on the project. How would you recommend upcoming talents to grow their Spotify? A: Release consistently and always submit your music to the Spotify editorial team on the Spotify for Artists app! What have you learned from your previous shows that you are expecting to use this year? A: Always be prepared for one of the CDJ’S to be broken, haha. Looking back at your music career, has there been one moment that stands out particularly for you? A: I played terrorfest in Minneapolis last October with Snails & SVDDEN DEATH. One of my best friends flew out with me for the show and it was one of the best / biggest events I had played so that was a really great experience. Have you been able to make close friends in the music industry? A: Definitely! Some of my closest friends and people I talk to every day are people I met through the industry. What software are you using nowadays or which would you recommend to someone starting out? A: I started out on FL studio and still use it! I really love the program and have never had any desire to switch DAWS. Highly recommended! Any other tips to help make the most out of a track? A: Don’t over think things! I will so often finish a track and then convince myself it needs more when really my ears just need a few days break. Give yourself a couple days away from a project and then go back to listen to things. If nothing blatantly obvious is sticking out to you as something that needs changed, chances are it’s sounding great and doesn’t need to be messed with a whole lot more. When you have a new track ready, what are the first steps you make to get it prepared to be scheduled for release? A: There’s a lot of back and forth that needs to happen between myself and my management to get a track sorted and locked in for release. We’ve gotta make sure it makes sense with the calendar, decide what kind of artwork / branding we want to push with the release, and then go about making an actual release plan. Once you have a release date in mind, do you have any go to marketing plan you would be open to sharing? A: I tend to run things the same for all of my independent releases. If there’s no labels involved and myself and my management are handling everything, once we have a release date picked I’ll go to my graphic designer with some rough mock up concepts or sketch ideas to get the artwork concept rolling. Once that gets turned in I go and make a pack of visual & graphic assets to help push the release. Once that’s all done and release day comes around it’s pretty well just sending the track around to friends, connects, and engaging with listeners to make sure it does well. How did you go about getting a release on Dim Mak Records, Disciple, Buygore? A: Releases on those labels all happened just from my management sending in music and then interested being sparked that way! Upcoming Projects: I’m working on finishing up an EP of my heaviest music to date as well as locking in some plans to get a bunch of remixes and singles out as well. With the world as messy as it is right now, I’m not sure when I’ll be back out touring so as of right now I’m planning on just locking myself in the studio and writing as much music as I can. https://open.spotify.com/artist/3TbFfHyWvQdppfL0TpWufG A big thank you to Robert for taking the time to go through these questions. Make sure to check out his releases on Spotify and stay tuned with all the new tracks he will be coming out with! We hope you have found this interview interesting. Let us know who we should interview next. Twitter: Twitter.com/edmalertcom Instagram: Instagram.com/edmalertcom Demo Submissions: EDMAlert.com/submit or [email protected] Check out our profile for more interviews.
2020.02.18 17:00 THEOILLUMINATIEdmonton Oilers 2010s History Project: 2018-2019
Fresh off the heels of a disappointing 2017-18, the Edmonton Oilers were looking to get back on track as they headed into the 2018-19 season, which was the 40th in franchise history. The prospect of missing the playoffs for the 12th time in 13 seasons loomed large in Oil Country. In the words of our captain, the Oilers have "just got to be sick of losing". Off-Season At the entry draft, we selected Evan Bouchard with our 1st round, 10th overall selection. Bouchard had 87 points in 67 games in the OHL as a defenceman. This was a guy who could be a top pairing D-Man in Edmonton for a long time. Peter Chiarelli didn’t make huge moves in free agency (to the relief of many Oilers fans), signing Kyle Brodziak, Alex Chiasson, and Tobias Rieder, the goal scoring legend himself. Also, I, _tobi4s, share a name with Tobi, so there’s that. This Oilers team didn’t look drastically different to the roster from the previous season, but every new season brings a prospect of hope... and playoffs. October The season started off in Gothenburg, Sweden, where the Oilers had their opening game against the Devils. They would drop the game 5-2. 3 more road games followed, with the Oilers capping off the roadie with a thriller 5-4 comeback victory against the Jets. It was October 18th when the Oilers finally held their home opener, a dramatic overtime win which featured Kailer Yamamoto’s first NHL goal, a top shelf beauty at that! He was followed by Evan Bouchard, who scored his first career goal three games later in a 4-1 win against the Caps. October was looking good; there was a stretch where the Oilers won 6 out of 8 games; the start of the season looked promising. Hope in Edmonton and in this sub was sky-high. October: 6-4-1 November November kicked off with 2 straight wins, improving the record to 8-4-1 at that point. But in true Oilers fashion, they lost 6 of the next 7 games. The holes in our roster (specifically our lack of depth scoring and solid goaltending) were really starting to show. The lack of recent success amounted to the firing of Todd McLellan on November 18th. His replacement, Ken Hitchcock, came out of retirement to take the helm. The Oilers started to trend upwards under their new boss, grabbing points in 4 of the next 5 games. November: 6-7-1 December The Oilers picked up in December where they left off in November, which is to say that they were actually winning hockey games. The coaching change seemed to have worked (a.k.a Hitchcock playing McDavid and Draisaitl 25 minutes a night) and the team’s record was 18-12-3 in mid-December. The good times wouldn’t last long though, as the monumental collapse arrived - Oscar Klefbom took a shot to the hand. Our #1 D-Man was injured, and our defence paid dearly. With many D-Men already on the IR, our D group included players such as Kevin Gravel, Chris Wideman, and Jason Garrison. Rough. 6 consecutive losses capped off 2018. Happy New Year I guess. December: 6-7-1 January If you had to remember one thing from this month, or even this season, remember this... Yes, I’m talking about January 22nd, 2019, the day that Peter Chiarelli was fired from the Oilers. All of Edmonton was rejoicing! In the words of u/Beef--Whore, it was "Like the fall of the Berlin Wall, a great event that happened way too late in history." However, Peter, in true Chia fashion, signed Mikko Koskinen to a whopping 13 million dollar contract over 3 years… right before he got fired. Yikes. It reminds me of the scene in Iron Man 2 where the villain loses but detonates a bunch of explosions after, leaving a trail of destruction in his wake. Peter was gone, but the damage had been dealt. Following the firing was the all-star break, where Leon Draisaitl (as the last man in) and Connor McDavid casually picked up first place in their respective competitions: premier passer and fastest skater. However, the real highlight from the break was the Spittin Chiclets interview with the boys themselves (explicit warning). If you haven’t watched it yet, I highly recommend it. Some great stories and you get a glimpse of Drai and McD’s real personalities. January: 5-6-0 February In a sentence, February was not kind to the Oilers. Among multiple overtime losses was a 4 game losing streak. Cam Talbot was dealt to Philly as a cap dump. This also caused the workload and fatigue to increase for Koski, who had to start nearly every night and was looking real shaky. This was one of the worst times for Mikko to crumble since he just signed that $13 million contract… Among the losses were some highlights, such as Leon’s crazy end-to-end rush against the leafs, and some dynamic duo overtime magic against the Islanders. During that same game, McDavid got suspended for a debatably questionable shoulder to the head of Nick Leddy. In the midst of all the media drama, this was a golden opportunity for Leon to prove that he’s an elite player with or without McDavid on his line. Proving he did, putting the team on his back while grabbing 2 goals and 1 assist in 2 games. February: 4-6-4 March Too little too late was the theme of March. The Oilers rallied to grab 4 straight wins early in the month, but at that point, missing the playoffs again was all but confirmed. It felt like they were finally hitting their stride; they just picked the worst time to do it. The Oilers closed out the month with .500 hockey, their season close to coming to an end. One bright spot in March was this highlight by no other than CSP himself, an insane between the legs goal that was arguably the Goal Of The Year. March: 7-5-2 April On April 1st, the Oilers were mathematically eliminated from the playoffs. Once again the mood was low, and losing 4 straight games probably didn’t do anything to help. Seeing Calgary lock in a playoff spot and finish top 3 in the league just rubbed salt in the wound. However, I did enjoy seeing them get knocked out by a second wild card team in 5 games... April: 1-3-0 The Injury Where were you when you saw it happen? Yes, I’m talking about the injury that Mark Giordano inflicted on McDavid during the BOA on the last game of the season. I was in my buddy’s basement watching that rush up the ice, the grab by Giordano, and the crash into the post. Felt sick to my stomach as he lay there for what felt like an eternity. This would be the inciting incident to which Connor’s extreme recovery would begin. After playing in a meaningless game where the Flames had already clinched the playoffs and the Oilers were relegated, McDavid’s crash into the post really just added insult to injury (or injury to insult) at that point. On top of that, the Oilers actually won that game, which vaulted them ahead of the Rangers in the standings… and the Rangers ended up getting the second pick in the draft lottery. Additionally, Draisaitl hit 50 goals and was about to tie Ovechkin for the Rocket Richard Trophy with an empty netter when Rasmus Andersson batted the puck out of the air… What a series of unfortunate events that turned out to be. Season record: 35-38-9, 7th in Pacific Division The Wrap Up The 2018-19 season was just another brutal pill for us fans to swallow. It felt like the team was just spinning its wheels, returning results very similar to 2017-18. However, there was light at the end of the tunnel; Chiarelli was gone 🦀and the prospect of a new coach and GM was imminent. There were also some bright spots in a rather lacklustre season: Nurse had a breakout year with 41 points and Nuge quietly had a 69 point year (nice). Draisaitl had a monstrous year, 50 goals (!) and 105 points. McDavid, although his injury status was up in the air, also had a Hart-caliber year. Despite the Oilers having two of the top 4 point getters that year, they finished 20th in goals scored, a statement to our lack of depth. We had the two best players in the world; we just needed better supporting pieces. It was time to enter a re-tool and transition mode, and to dig ourselves out of the cap hell that Chiarelli put us in. Who could possibly solve our depth issues and offload some horrifying contracts with no money whatsoever? It would truly require a miracle.... All in all, this season was the cherry on top of a whole decade of suffering. However, heading into the 2020’s, the Oilers are looking ready to put an end to the Decade Of Darkness with an amazing young core, new management, and exciting prospects. Here’s to a new decade of EdmontonOilers, full of playoff runs, McDavid Cellies, Drai Snipes, Bouch Bombs, heated rivalries, quality memes ... and maybe, just maybe - some cups. Personnel
General Manager: Peter Chiarelli (Oct. 6 - Jan. 22), Keith Gretzky (Jan 23 - Apr. 6)
Head Coach: Todd McLellan (Oct. 6 – Nov. 20), Ken Hitchcock (Nov. 20 – April 6)
Captain: Connor McDavid
Assistant Captains: Adam Larsson, Milan Lucic, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins
Mod Note Well folks. That's it. The decade summed up. Thanks to _tobi4s for this submission and everyone who contributed to this project. I know this decade was a tough pill to swallow to say the least but hey, good with the bad right. If there were any links from previous years that you wanted included send us a message and I'll edit them in. When I find the time I'll make a post in the wiki with these in there all polished up. Other than that we're in the homestretch boys. 23 more games left. Anyone else getting.......tingles? Stats
2 (from Montreal)
June 23rd, 2018
2018 2nd round pick (#62 Olivier Rodrigue)
2018 3rd round pick (#71 Jordan Harris), 2018 5th round pick (#133 Samuel Houde)
June 24, 2018
2019 5th round pick (#131 Rhett Pitlick)
October 1st, 2018
St. Louis Blues
2020 Conditional 6th round pick (Needed to play 50 games in 2018-2019 to be upgraded to a 5th, not met)
November 16th, 2018
New York Rangers
November 22nd, 2018
2020 Conditional 6th round pick (Jakub Jerabek needed to play 50 games in 2018-2019 to be upgraded to a 5th, not met)
December 30th, 2018
Brandon Manning, Robin Norell
Drake Caggiula, Jason Garrison
December 30th, 2018
Chris Wideman, 2019 Conditional 3rd round pick (#69 John Ludvig)
2020.02.10 13:00 dap312Considering moving to Calgary from Ireland.
I'm considering immigrating to Calgary for the relative low cost of living and ease or access to the outdoors. I'm still undecided on where to move and would appreciate your guys opinion. And if you would recommend Calgary as a good option for someone moving to Canada. I'm wondering what are the job prospects for a software engineer? I'll be moving alone so what's Calgary like for meeting people and the dating scene?
2020.02.07 07:55 RocknockerDEMOLITION DAYS, PART 88
Continuing The metasediments are intensely folded along the contact with the intrusive. The mine area is located along the limbs of the anticlinal structures with most of the workings following either the igneous-sedimentary contact, or the southeast-trending fault and vein systems. Super easy geology. Super easy mine layout. A large, open adit; one way in, one way out. Easy access main draft, all nicely gobbed, cribbed, and trussed. Safe as houses. No shafts to surface, and only a few lateral drifts. It’s drier than Carrie Nation’s panties, no moisture at all. It’s probably a real honeycomb hangout for the locals; all the more reason I chose this property to blast first. I arrived there in my new Hummer in only 75 minutes. Damn, that MIL-spec truck has some power. I back the truck and trailer in so the trailer is right up against an outcrop wall of some of the nicest, cleanest sandstone I’ve seen in a quite a while. It forms a nice, natural amphitheater, about 250-300 meters in length, with a slight concave curve. It’s a great place to pitch camp and less than 10 minutes later, I’ve got a nice little campfire going in my nice, little, newly constructed campfire pit. I have my feet up in my new, Bureau-supplied camp chair, a beer in one arm of the chair, and a cigar in the ashtray in the other arm. I have the Bureau-supplied (from now on: “B-S”) spotting binoculars and I’m looking directly down the only route available that’s not pocked with VW Beetle-sized potholes and refrigerator-sized boulders. It’s not just an easy mine, it’s fairly easy access. I’m working on my ubiquitous notes, and a fourth beer, when about an hour later, I hear a couple of vehicles headed my way. I look through the binoculars and see it’s the catering service the Bureau has laid on for the duration of the trip. They are contracted to do everything. Feed us, clean up, stock groceries and drinks, provide Port-A-Johns, and follow us from mine to mine. Sounds weird, I’ll admit. I never had such service out in the field, but it’s fairly common in these parts. As mines were becoming old, less profitable, harder to work, or just plain playing out; the owners would plump for big mine-mouth parties in order to entice investors to stick a crowbar in their wallets and pony up for percentages of the mine’s operation and take. Whatever the story, it’s made logistics much nicer since someone else has to look after the madding crowds. They arrive with two large, carnival funnel cake-style trailers in tow. They ask me where is the best place to park, so I lead then down the arenaceous amphitheater and have them park and set up in its shadow some 150 meters distant from me. That done and dusted, I return to my notes, cigar, and beer. All I hear are the trailers unfolding and being prepared. One contains a Texas-style and size pit bar-be-que, rotisserie, flat-top grills, and waffle irons. The other has all the drinks, seats, cutlery, MASH-style chow trays, dishwashing, and refuse facilities. These guys are set up and grilling lunch in less than an hour’s time. They have got their shit together. About 20 minutes later, a large flatbed truck with an overhead crane and about 8 Port-A-Johns arrives. I direct him over to an adjacent hillock, which has a nice, flat area for him to set up the PortaSan farm. Out of sight, out of mind, and hopefully, out of olfactory range. He sets up and is gone in less than half an hour. Still, no one from the project has shown up. I christen the Porta-loos and look down the ‘road’ for any sign of anyone. The Port-A-John truck is long gone, as is his dust cloud. There’s nothing on the horizon, so I go back to my notes, beer, and a comfy chair. I stoke the campfire, because reasons. I do a walk around what I consider to be the campsite. No rattlers, scorpions, cougars, tax attorneys, estate agents, or other nasty critters in evidence. I pound in some stakes and string bright orange tape, delimiting what would be a good assortment of places to park a trailer or set up a tent. Another hour later, and still no sign of the group. I heave a sigh, crack a beer, add a bit of Russian Imperial, and settle back down with the latest issue of Mining Monthly. The “Slushpit” is a monthly mining humor column. This month is a cracker. I’m sitting there, giggling like a loon. I finish that issue, and still no one, and no sign of anyone on the trail. I wander up to the mine adit and it’s a doddle. A large, gaping earthen maw, surrounded by rusty barbed wire, a torn down and destroyed “STAY OUT! STAY ALIVE!” sign. The iron door had been ripped off, by someone with a chain and a pickup, no doubt. I shine my torch down the main tunnel and see plenty of piles of party puckle. I’m going to really enjoy demolishing this place. “If anyone else ever fucking gets here!” My shout echoing down the abandoned mine tunnel. It was five hours from departure time before any one of our group arrived. No trailer, just a University of Pennsyltucky four-by-four. They were going to be tenting. I pointed out my spontaneous trailer park layout and said: “First come, first served.” They chose slot #1. Very creative. I told them I was over on the backside of the bluff. “Come on over and grab a beer,” I told them. I figured they’d set records pitching camp and hot-footing it over. I was wrong. I forgot these weren’t real geologists. It was getting late in the afternoon and a couple of trailers actually showed up. I pointed out the trailer park, listened to them bitch about one thing or another, and left them to their own devices. I was the only one who had a lovely catered lunch that day. I spray-painted an outcrop with biodegradable blaze-orange paint, which would only last a week or two out here. It was pointing out the mine adit direction, direction to the trailer park, the route to the PortaSan farm, and direction to camp central where the food, drink, and the administrator of this little project were parked. “They’re supposedly clever people,” I mused on the walk back, “If they can’t figure this out, I weep for their generation.” Back at base camp, I dragged out my B-S cooler and fished out another beer. May as well, ain’t nothing of any importance going to get accomplished today. 100 grams of Russian Imperial made me feel much better and able to ignore the gripes of tyros filtering over the adjacent outcrop. “Jesus Q. Queefmonsters,” I thought aloud, “What a bunch of whiners. Can’t wait until I get them in a nasty ol’ flooded mine full of mud, bat shit, and piles of breakdown.” The dining cars were whipping up a wonderful smelling dinner. I was on high alert. That amount of smoke and that delectable aroma would draw scavengers of both the two and four-legged variety from miles around. I decided that we needed some form of identification before we fed people. Can’t let the Bureau feed all of Nevada now, can we? With a roll of CSI-style “Crime scene: Do Not Cross” tape, I whipped up about two dozen armbands. Get one from the camp boss feller, and wear it proudly. That way you get fed. Don’t have one? Tough tits. No soup for you, one year! I fired up a new cigar, and shoved a cold beer in my empty Estwing hammer holster, which just so happens, will hold a 16-ounce beer like it was designed for it. Gotta love those Estwing geological supplies folks. Armed with a dozen armbands, I walk over to the trailer park to distribute them. Good thing I’m used to the cold, for the glacial reception I received would have slain any non-ethanol-fueled organic lifeform. “Fuck,” I mutter on the way back to camp, “You’d think I was handing out smallpox popsicles. What’s with these wigglers, anyways? Why are they here if they’re going to be so damned contrary and fucking miserable?” I received no answer, as the wind just sighed Maria. I wandered over to the cook shacks and explained the armband system. They understood completely and was glad I was there. I got to sign what seemed like a hundred inventory lists. Back at my camp, I was working on my field notebooks, a beer, well, Yorsh, and a cigar. I figured that when a few more folks filtered in, they’d figure out the system, and they’d have to traipse past me on the way to dinner. No such luck. By now, perhaps 75% of the project participants had found their way here. They were either setting up tents or fucking around their trailers, muttering about how bad the roads were. If they only read the prospectus I had written. “Rough roads where roads exist at all. Four-wheel drive a necessity. Primitive camping. Limited or non-existent facilities.” I thought the Bureau went above and beyond the call laying in the food, drinks, and personnel to handle the care and feeding of these ungrateful bastards. One last time, I wandered over to the trailer park and announced that dinner was ready anytime you were. Armbands were necessary. I have them here. Get them while they’re hot. Stomping back to camp, I floomp heavily down in my chair and grab a solid 200 grams of Russian Imperial, drain half a new beer and pour in the potato juice. “What a bunch of fucking…early Leos!” I laughed, in spite of myself. Suddenly, the absurdity of the situation hit. Do what you want or don’t do what you don’t. Makes no never mind to me. I get paid either way. The only thing I can really get ratty about is if they don’t listen to safety lectures. Then I can toss their ass, so I have that going for me, which is nice. I went to the cook shack and started in on dinner. Texas-style barbequed side of beef, sausage, smoked pork, brisket, pinto beans, sweet corn, pickles, sliced onions, and cornbread laden with jalapenos. These guys knew how to do a camp dinner. Afters were Peach Cobbler and vanilla ice cream. Ah, you can’t beat a classic. Filled to near critical mass, I thank the cook crew, clean up after myself, and head back to my camp. It’s about to get dark so I fire up my Coleman lantern. I set it on a stump of wood I found back near the mine adit. It lit the surrounding area nicely. I could see a few people in the dark try and sneak by me unseen on their way to dinner. Some had armbands, most did not. The ones with armbands took food enough for two people and shared it with the no armband crowd. I waited until the malefactors departed, went to the cook shack, and explained that they are to dole out the chow, no more self-serve. As much as reasonable for one person. No sharing. They don’t like that, tough tits. Dems da rules. I whipped up some signs and had the cooks post them: “No armband, no food.” “No sharing.” “No arguing with the cooks. Problems? See the camp boss.” Well, if nothing else, I had the cooks solidly on my side. I couldn’t really believe this absurd situation. Not even the end of the first bloody day and I’ve got educated idiots breaking the rules, whining like whipped puppies, and bitching and moaning like a Communist on Wall Street. How’s that for a dated metaphor? I walk over to the trailer park. I survey the situation. Lots of MASH trays lying around. Evidently, people were sharing armbands and bringing back their trays to eat back here. Then they’d go back for seconds and share. Goddamned lazy fucking bastards. Now I’m really pissed. I went back to my truck and fished out the B-S megaphone. I walked over to the trailer park. “ATTENTION!” I shouted. Very few people even bothered to look. “EVERYONE ON THE DOI ABANDONED MINE PROJECT! FRONT AND CENTER! NOW!” That got a few more head swivels. I walked down the line of trailers and tents. I was shouting instructions. No one was listening. Slow burn. I counted from twenty back to one, slowly. One more time, I figured. One more time. If not, then… “FRONT AND CENTER! NOW! ABANDONED MINES PROJECT!” No one even bothered to look. “OK, clever Dicks.” They didn’t realize that I’m writing up participation and cooperation reports on each and every one of these SOBs. They might be PhDs, but some were struggling for tenure. Some were trying for a raise. Some were grappling to land a promotion. “ONE LAST TIME! MINE PROJECT CAMP! FRONT AND CENTER!” Zip. Zilch. Zero. Not so much as a dirty look. I felt a tap on my shoulder. I spin around and almost deck the person responsible. “Whoa, whoa, whoa! Easy. Steady, Rock,” the voice said. I knew that voice. But, from where? From whom? “Don’t you remember me?” the voice asked. “Damned if I don’t. Sorry…” I say. “Damn, you must be really pissed off. “ the voice says, “Don’t you remember back in Antarctica?” “Yes, I do….HOLY FUCK! LUCUS!” I shout. “About fucking time.” Be smirks. “Let us leave this place. On to my camp, where we will regale each other of our manly stories over beer, vodka, and cigars!” I say. “I couldn’t agree more.” Lucas agreed. Back at camp central, Lucas and I were catching up on old times. He never finished his Ph.D. as he got a job at the Royal Tyrell Museum as a field operator and preparator. “I saw your notice for this field project. I whored myself out to Dr. D who is Canadian and hasn’t arrived yet due to him leaving Calgary late.” He explained. Lucas was to go on ahead and see to logistics. Dr. D would follow as soon as he could. Dr. D was a mining geologist/paleontologist up in Canada and they have a very similar problem with abandoned mines. Lucas pointed out my project to him and one thing leads to another, and well, here he is. “Lucas,” I asked, “What’s with these people? Is it me? What?” “Rock,” Lucas explains between puffs on a cigar and slurps of Yorsh, “It’s not you. They hate all authority. They’re a bunch of environmental watermelons. Y’know, all green on the outside, red on the inside. They genetically hate being told what to do or not to do.” “And I not only represent authority,” I add, “But I’m evil personified because I work in the oil fields. And the mining industry. And in helium. Hell, I once even dabbled in selling Siberian larches…” “Yep, yer evil,” Lucas replies, “What are your intentions?” “I’ve got a right mind,” I say, between slurps of beer, “to run their scaly asses off. They’ve violated every fucking rule since this little shindig has begun. Y’know, fuck’em. Let’s go make some ignoble people really unhappy.” “Right behind you, Rock,” Lucas says. “Let’s do this thing.” We walk with fixity of resolve back to the trailer park. I go up to the first trailer and knock. “Oooh. What do you want?” was our oh-so-cordial greeting. “Your asses out of here. You’re gone. Finished. Pack up and get the hell out. Right now. There will be no second alert. Vamoose!” I say, satellite phone prominent in my hand. The second trailer was a repeat of the first. As was trailer three through eleven. Lucas and I are walking back down in front of the trailer park. There’s an irate mob of industrial scientific Refuseniks that Lucas and I had just bounced. “Argle bargle! Vorbel! Moosh! You can’t do this. You have no authority! I’m privileged so you can’t do this to me! I’m entitled! I have a degree! You can’t do this to me!” they cried. Since I finally had their attention, I spoke up: “Yes, I do have the authority. You agreed to that when you signed on. Not my problem you didn’t read the whole project description. I have every right to kick your ignorant asses out. Without the refund of any fees.” “We have PhDs, you know. We’re not ignorant.” Some fool shouted. “So do I, you moron,” I replied, “That you have advanced degrees simply indicates that you’re educated fools as well as oblivious.” That actually gave them pause. “Plus, I will be writing official and certified communiques to each and every one of your institutions, companies, or day-cares a detailed report of what transpired since this morning. I’m certain that will help immensely all your wrangles with tenure, promotions, or raises.” I said, turned to Lucas and continued, “Let’s go. I have a lot of poison-pen letters to author. There’s also a lonely case of beer calling out in terror. We must save it!” The hubbub hubbubbed all hubblybubbly as Lucas and I walked back to my camp. Lucas said he’d return in a trice; he was getting his tent and bunking over here, out of the range of retards. I flopped down heavily in my camp chair. I decided to await Lucas’ return before cracking a cold one. A half an hour later, Lucas comes running over. I had been futzing with the truck radio trying to find a weather report. I saw what I thought might be lightning flashes in the distance. They may be trailer park idiots, but I don’t want them to drown…well, not too much. Lucas runs in and breathlessly tells me there’s evil afoot that must be cast asunder. “What’s up?’ I asked. “Bikers,” Lucas explained, “Drunk or drugged up bikers. They either saw the camp lights or smelled the food. They’re over at the trailer park right now terrorizing the enviros.” “Fuckbuckets.” I groaned. “OK. Let’s go save the thankless masses.” But first, a new cigar, and my miner’s hardhat with high-intensity lamp. I outfitted Lucas similarly and gave him the satellite phone, already pre-programmed with the Nevada State Police’s number. “Let’s go read ‘em the riot act, Lucas,” I said, wearily. “Right behind you, Rock,” Lucas chuckled, as he was being quite literal. We left my camp and trudged down to shantytown, the habitat of the educated idiot. There were four or five scruffy-looking Nerf-herder types on dirt bikes spewing rations of figurative shit on the terrified trailer park residents. Spinning their bikes in circles, spraying earthen rooster-tails everywhere. Revving engines. Displaying gross mammalian threat postures. Making demands for money. Generally being type-section assholes. Lucas and I walk up and ask in a loud steady voice: “RIGHT! What’s all this then?” The bikers all stop what they were doing and focus intently on Lucas and me. With our high-intensity headlights, they only saw jagged, sparkly silhouettes. We both had gone all Empire Strikes Back Ben Kenobi on them temporarily. “We were just asking for a little handover. We want whatever you got, motherfucker. Hand it over!” The lead tough said, laughing. “Now, now, gentlemen.” I say, slowly and silently unclipping the restraining strap on my .454, “Is this how people act in a polite, civilized society?” “Fuck you, motherfucker!” Mr. Sparkling Dialogue continues, revving forward aggressively on his machine, “Gimme what you got. Gimme your fuckin’ wallet. Gimme your…” He never got the opportunity to finish that statement. It had been a tiring, unpleasant day. I was in no mood to deal with these assholes, on either side of the trailer park. I snap-drew my Bureau-supplied sidearm and loosed a shot that I’m very certain was heard in the next county. The lead tough’s hand flew up against his head, scared to look at what might have disappeared. I deliberately missed all the biker gang members, but not by very much. “You wanted something?” I asked, “That was 350 grains of .454 Magnum copper-jacketed hollow point lead at 2,100 feet per second. Like another, this time between your fucking beady little eyes, Buckwheat?” Lucas shouts, “You dare cross the Motherfucking Pro from Dover? He’s a dead shot and has five rounds left, one for the each of you. You called down the fucking thunder this time, assholes!” It’s great having a good wingman. True, I only had four rounds left, but they didn’t know that. I did have two full speed loaders in my field vest, though. I walked over closer, pistol at high alert. I dimmed my headlamp and sauntered up to the lead miscreant. “OK, here’s how it goes.” I quietly explain, “You stole anything from these folks, you return it now, or I’ll kill you. Simple as that. No drama. No ‘I’ll blow your brains out’. No ‘I’ll drop you where you stand’. I’ll just fuckin’ kill you, simple as that. You or your buddies try and rush me or my comrade; I’ll kill you, simple as that. You annoy me or my friend here any further; I’ll kill you, simple as that. Whatever might happen in the next 30 seconds, you die first. There is no scenario where that fact changes. Got that? We green?” “Wha…wha…what?” he stammers, transfixed on the huge, still smoking barrel of my pistol. “We green? Are we in agreement? Do you understand me? You savvy, Scooter? You diggin’ me, Beaumont?” I ask quietly. No reply. “Y’know, you are really starting to irritate me, lunchmeat,” I say. Lucas walks closer, and tells the head hooligan, “That’s not a good idea, you know. He’s a bit cranky right now. And heavily armed. Plus he’s very upset with you. Not a good combination.” One of the toughs in the background was slowly easing off his bike. He was deliberately going for a length of pipe or metal rod that was lying on the ground; an old claim marker probably. He supposed I didn’t see him, what with me being so focused on the leader of their pack. Without warning, I crack off another round and send a leaping gout of dirt and shattered rock all over the character going for the pipe or the inanimate metal rod; as well as the three idiots standing behind him. The rod lands about six feet distant. Did I ever mention that the report of a fired .454 Magnum is kind of loud? About 135 decibels to the unprotected ear, as I recall. I’m already half deaf, so I only get 67.5 decibels. I return my sidearm to a high alert stance. The cordite and gunpowder fumes wafted over the head malefactor who was currently searching for his hearing, testicles, and voice. “Oh, dear,” I say, loudly, “Now I only have four rounds left. Some of you are just going to have to share.” Slowly, and in unison, their hands go skyward. “OK, seems we have a quorum,” I say over the barrel of my weapon, “Off the bikes, and stand over there in the light where we can see you. One false move and Scooter here gets a .454 caliber lobotomy. Lucas, give them a hand with any ill-gotten gain, drugs, or weapons.” They realized they were fucked; well, good, and true. They try something, and their leader gets messily scattered all over the landscape. I made out like I was a bit on the wild side, so they really believed I’d change their leader’s name to Jack O ’Lantern if they didn’t comply immediately. And then, they’d be next in line. They hadn’t yet stolen anything, yet, but Lucas did find a couple of cheap-ass switchblade knives, a nasty looking rusty sheath knife, a hunk of 1.5” diameter cold rolled inanimate bar stock with a big fresh gouge in it, a small .32 caliber Saturday Night Special, several glassine bags of some white crystalline powder, filthy glass smoking pipes, a couple of diabetic-supply syringes, some rainbow-colored capsules that I don’t think were Sudafed, and a fair quantity of Cannabis sativa. Lucas also found a fucking set of brass knuckles. Go figure. Lucas ordered all of the ruffians to sit down upon the dusty ground, on their hands. They obeyed immediately. I growled at the lead miscreant to do likewise. He shook his head in the affirmative quickly as I followed the motion with the barrel of my gun. Now, all five were sitting on their hands in the untidy loose red earth. I asked Lucas if he’d be so kind as to carefully remove all the bikes from out of the line of fire. “No use ruining good saleable hardware over a bunch of worthless degenerates,” I said very loudly. I pulled a speed loader out of my vest and topped off my pistol. They saw that although I didn’t carry six rounds, I still had five. Which was more than enough. “OK,” I asked, “What’s the fucking deal here? We’re a bunch of scientists out on a state-sanctioned field trip and you dudes show up and start in a ruckus. I mean, what the actual fuck?” There was absolutely no answer, just some whimpers as I swept my newly reloaded pistol over their heads. I put the fire to my cigar and looked at the bozos on the ground. They could tell that was not the answer for which I was looking. I blew a large blue smoke cloud in their general direction. “Y’know something, boys?” I said, very calmly, with distinctly Jokerish overtones, “It’s been a pure bitch of a day. From the get-go, I ask questions, and all I get is silence or static. Y’know something? That really makes me angry. VERY ANGRY INDEED!” I raise my weapon and amp up my miner’s headlamp so they all have a clear view. I let them see my wide, staring eyes, and that I was serious. Or unhinged. Or seriously unhinged. “Now, I will politely ask one more time. The final time.” I note, “What the actual fuck, Scooter?” “We were jes’ having some fun,” one finally stammers out. “Dying for trinkets sure doesn’t sound like any fun to me,” I reply. “Wha…wha...wah...” he stammers. “Oh, make no mistake, me old muckers,” I state to all seated on the ground, “I go ahead and shoot each of you from this distance, right in the fuckin’ head, we won’t even need to dig you any shallow graves. Maybe, I’ll just first march you over to that old mine over yonder we’re going to demolish tomorrow. Now, isn’t it nice how that’d all work out?” The guys on the ground were sweating like Nixon during a Senate Subcommittee hearing. They were shaking like a bartender when ‘James Bond’ vodka martinis are on special for happy hour. “And these sorry-ass characters?” I motion over my shoulder with my thumb to the trailer park, “They’re all deaf-mutes, I think. They can’t or won’t say word one. So, I tell the State Boys that I had to shoot you all to a bloody, gory death in self-defense. Pfft. They won’t say fuckin’ ‘boo’. You see, gents, I’m licensed to carry, so I’m legally justified.” “Plus, I’m from Texas,” I add, smiling through my cigar. Their eyes go wide as Christmas dinner platters. I think one wet himself as I slowly cocked and uncocked the huge double-action revolver in my hand. “Yeah, fuck, but it’s sure gonna be wicked messy,” I smile, doing my best Jack Nicholson impression, “But, hey. That’s what coyotes, crows, and worms are for! They gotta eat too, the poor little critters.” Lucas just can’t contain himself at that last line. He busts out laughing. “Oh, ignore Lucas,” I warn them, “He just laughs out of nervousness and the thought of the unholy mess I’ll make out here.” It finally registers with the guys on the ground that I was either deadly serious, out of my mind; I guess they figured that from my Hawaiian shirt, or completely hopping mad. Whatever way you sliced it, it didn’t look too good for the hometown team that night. “So,” I ask, “What’s the deal here, guys? Hit a remote campground, terrorize the campers, steal what you can, rough them up a bit, and then motor off to buy some fresh ice, meth, or Special K?” They said nothing. “You know, gentlemen”, I said, disarmingly charming and calmly as I walked over, getting right in their faces with Mr. Caliber .454, “I am getting a little AGGRAVATED with no one answering me today. You can’t talk? Fine. Just motion to which knee you really don’t like. I’ll shoot you there and see if you’re all really a bunch of literal dummies.” Lucas walks up smiling, fully in on my little game, and adds: “He’ll do it, too. I've seen him do it.”, shaking his head rapidly in agreement. I stand straight up and ease back the hammer on my pistol. The gun is now fully cocked and aimed at Cygnus I-4G. Lucas continues: “Talk to me, boys, he's crazy when he's like this.” KA-I’M-PISSED-OFF-BOOM! I expend a round out into the ether. I know there’s nothing out there for miles but rocks, sand, and Pleistocene alluvium. “NO! WAIT!”, one of them screams. “We were out riding around looking for something to do. We saw your camp and figured it’d be easy pickings. We rode in and started rousting the campers. We’re sorry. Oh, so sorry! Real sorry!” I turn to look at Lucas, but still keeping the idiots in my field of peripheral vision, “See?”, I said, “All it took was a little persuasion.” The guys on the ground didn’t know what to think about this turn of events. “Well, well, well”, I say, “Now that we have a full confession, I guess it’s all legal and above board if I dispense some high-velocity frontier justice. Besides, someone did say I was stuck in the 1880s.” The guys sitting there were shaking like a grove of aspens in a spring thunderstorm. “But, I have this problem now, “ I said to Lucas, “I’m down to four rounds, and I’m getting really tired of refilling this thing. I ‘spoze I could just shoot four of them and let one live to tell the other curs to run…” I look to the darkening sky, into the looming darkness, smiling crazily. “So run, you cur. Run! Tell all the other curs the law is comin'! Tell them I’m coming! And hell’s coming with me! You hear me? HELL’S coming with me!” I yell. Lucas looks at me like I’ve genuinely lost it. “Damn, I love that movie.” I laugh, “’Tombstone’ is the best.” Lucas can’t help but laugh. Even a few of the trailer park denizens are snickering. “OK, I’ve decided.” I say, “Which one of you morons is first?” They sit there like the sniveling cowards they were. “Guess I’ll have to decide”, I say, I point to Mr. Inanimate Carbon Rod. “You. Up! Now!” He just sits there. “One last chance, Chuckles.”, I remind him, “Stand up now or…” I didn’t need to finish that line. He stands and shakily faces me. “OK. Much, much better.”, I continue, “Now you apologize to all these nice folks. Then if I think you were sincere enough, you get your bike, and push it the fuck on out of here. You fire that fucker up before you hit the 500-yard mark, I’ll shoot your sorry fucking ass dead. Got that?” “Yes, sir”, he says and turns to address the gathered crowd, “I’m so very, very sorry. We made a foolish mistake. I hope you can find it in your hearts to forgive us.” The crowd murmurs. “Ignore them.” I say to the standing scoundrel, “Language isn’t their strong suit. Mr. Lucas, opinion?” “Well…if pissing your pants means you’re sincere”, Lucas laughs, “He’s real sincere.” “OK”, I say and motion him away with the barrel of my sidearm, “Get your bike. Haul ass. Remember what I said. You or your buddies, assuming they live, come within a mile of our camp, and I’ll shoot you dead before you even hear the gun’s report. Now GET!” He wobbles over to his bike, kicks up the kickstand, and hauls ass the best he could. I turn to the gang of four remaining, “Next?” Three apologies later, and only the ringleader remains. “Get to your bike.” I say, “And push it the fuck on out of here. You’re really fucking lucky I’m in a good mood tonight. You remember well what I said. You or your idiot friends come within a country mile of me or my field camp, and I’ll shoot your worthless asses dead. This isn’t my only firearm. I’ve got a LAR Grizzly .50 caliber sniper rifle with which I can castrate houseflies at 1,000 yards with me. Think I’m kidding? Try me.” I look over at Lucas. “Oh, yeah”, Lucas confirms, “Real fucking moose of a rifle. .50 caliber, based on a World War One tank round. He’s so fuckin’ into it, he machines all the projectiles himself out of solid brass. Damn. Get hit by one of those, no matter where, and you’re a pink mist. POOF! No need for a funeral.” The miscreant’s eyes go double-wide. “We ain’t just whistlin’ Dixie here, boy”, I say, “Think I’m kidding? Come back within a mile of here and I’ll show ya’ just who’s fuckin’ around. Now, GET! And don’t you ever fucking come back.” He bows, dips, gets his bike, and hauls ass as best he can. I spin the cylinder on my sidearm, refill it to full capacity, and shove it back in my holster. “Fuckbuckets,” I grouse, “Now I’ve got to clean the damned thing. C’mon Lucas, let’s go. I’ll buy you a beer.” We both walk out of the trailer park and over to my camp. We were 100 yards away when the trailer park clan erupts into a volcano of shouting and yelling. “Hmmm. I say, “Guess they’re not all deaf-mutes after all.” Lucas laughs. He asks me, “Rock. You weren’t really going to shoot those assholes, were you?” “At $4.50 a round?” I replied. “Fuck that.” I chuckle. I empty and begin cleaning my sidearm. Lucas presents two frosty Coos freshly-liberated from the cooler Gulag. “Y’know something, Luc?” I ask, “I really didn’t want any of this. They tried to squeeze me out, couldn’t find anyone else, then they practically begged me. I’m off to the Middle East after all this. You think I really need all this aggro before my family and I head out?” “All I know”, Lucas chuckles, “Is that I never want to even mildly annoy you. You may have been just fuckin’ with those boys heads, but holy shit, you had me convinced. That last shot? I figure I needed to go find a shovel and a mop. Ever considered acting as a backup career?” We both smile and chuckle at the thought of me playing Hamlet. “Alas, poor Yorick. I knew him, Horatio. Sheesh, what an asshole.” I chuckled. I finish cleaning my sidearm, reload and park it back in my holster. I mean, it is 1888, right? Lucas and I were a bit, well, galvanized after the events of the evening. We sat around the campfire, having a few tots, reminiscing over things past, smoking ridiculously expensive cigars, and discussing the immediate future. The next thing you know, I smell the wonderfully intoxicating aroma of fresh camp coffee and bacon sizzling. Dawn did an end-around and snuck up on us both. Over at the breakfast trailer, Lucas and I are savoring our morning coffee soupçon. The aromas of breakfast cooking are simply inebriating. I’m usually not one for a big breakfast, but today they were offering waffles. Big, homemade, yeasty bastards with berries, or fresh fruit, or crème fraise, or real maple syrup. I had two waffles with fresh, creamery butter, real maple syrup, and a side of bison patty sausage. Real field food. Not just some bellytimber. Lucas and I retired to our camp with our coffees as it was getting light enough to see without a miner’s cap. We noticed a slow progression of trailer folk, all of whom waved to us, and offered dawn greetings. To be continued.
2020.01.29 21:59 TeamGreen142Dating in Calgary area
Thought I would post about my (38M) dating experience in Calgary. Bumble: The app where women have to message first. Unlimited daily likes, you can swipe for hours on end. The first day you sign up you sit on the top of the list, so it tells you that there may be 30 or more people that swiped right on you. I have subscribed to see the people who righted me only to be disappointed in the quality. Im sure there is a lot of good women on here, just a crap shoot in order to match with them. Im sure that the superswipes you can buy don't make a difference at all. I have bought a few times, and never matched with someone who I sent it to. As a guy, I have lots of matches expire as the woman didn't send a message to open up a dialogue. This app is promoted as one for relationships, and not hookups. Hinge: Another free app. You can buy a preferred membership for $26/month. Preferred gets you unlimited likes to give away instead of the daily limit of ten. You can pick a persons picture or part of their profile and make a comment on it, and hope that they reply. The app claims its designed to be deleted, as caters more towards people looking for a relationship. Personally found that you don't get many people liking you unless you send the max amount of likes per day. If you X people and don't use the app you go to the bottom of the pile and get no action. Match: A free site that has an app. Phone app and computer site are quite different. If you don't pay the subscription you have very limited access. You can't see pictures, read messages, basically just send likes. When you subscribe you get full access. I paid about $45 for a month. Lots of profiles, many people that claim they are looking for a long term relationship. Problem is many of the profiles don't pay for the subscription, or have left the site altogether, leaving messages with people you find compatible very infrequent. I cancelled my month early as I didn't want to renew and be put through another month of sending messages and getting no replies. Tinder: I haven't used this in years, I have always seen it as more of a young person hookup app, and that's the opposite of what Im seeking. Not sure how many people in their late 30s have had success, but would love to hear peoples opinions. Meetup: Not a dating app or site, but a way to meet new people with similar interests. I have attended a few events in the past, but haven't seen anything decent in the last while that made me want to attend an event again. A few groups that do charity work, but looks like very few people sign up. So what's the best way to meet a partner in Calgary? *my post has been up for 24 hours, thanks to everyone making replies. Some good info for people in the dating scene on here.
2019.12.29 17:19 Matty11180[Unresolved Disappearance] Was Pro Wrester Teddy Hart involved in the disappearance Of Samantha Fiddler?
Someone on the Wrestling Observer forum has dug up a bunch of info on him and his story is that he was in jail when Samantha Fiddler went missing. That is not true. I hope this brings more awareness to her disappearance. Credit to Fantomas on F4WOnline.com's board for all of this. I got interested in Teddy's missing ex-girlfriend Samantha Fiddler, so I went on a rampage the other day and dug up all the info I could find on the topic. Teddy's wiki page doesn't really have a lot of details and I am very curious as to whether Teddy was actually involved. 2012 Teddy Hart: Prostitute Wrangler According to Rolling Stone, after he was fired by AAA in 2012, Teddy started commercially breeding cats and worked as a security driver for escort services. "Teddys job was to wait outside until the sex worker inside texted him. Then hed knock twice on the door and wait for her to exit safely. This is how he met the two women whove now accused him of sexual assault and unlawful confinement." In the article, Teddy says: It was too easy making $800 a night driving girls around and not having to climb to the top ropes and wear the boots for $200. I dont want anything to do with that lifestyle anymore, which is why I went to Dallas in the first place. This Rolling Stone article is important because Samantha Fiddler was present during the interview. 2014 Teddy's Sexual Assault Charges The Calgary Herald has a story on this case: In 2014, Teddy was accused of sexual assault, unlawful confinement and assault of two women. "The specifics of the 2013 and 2014 events that led to the charges arent publicized, and the identities of the women are under a strict Canadian publication ban. However, the women, who had relationships with Teddy, allege multiple instances where he threatened to kill their pets and family members, physically and sexually assaulted them and confiscated their IDs and phones. They say he filmed sexual acts to blackmail them. One of the women says that she wasnt a sex worker until Teddy pimped her out, and that he drained her of $229,000 in a matter of months, mostly for weed and cat food." "Hart maintains that the charges are false, calling them revenge for money theyve lost through his marijuana operations. " The charges were withdrawn at the start of a preliminary hearing May 26 2016. A spokeswoman with Alberta Justice says the Crown determined after a review that the case did not meet the criteria needed to proceed. The same day the charges were withdrawn, Hart signed a peace bond agreeing not to contact the two women for two years. Teskey said Hart has no interest in contacting the complainants. Teddy later claimed that the 2 women were convicted of perjury (on his "addressing the allegations" youtube video), but there is no evidence of that. I get the feeling that the two women in question were his wife, and his wife's girlfriend. Teddy's Prostitute Ring: On a Colt Cabana podcast Teddy claimed that his wife ran an escort service. Skip to 12:51 on that podcast where Teddy is saying that he doesn't bring escorts to his shows. "No, dude, these are girls like, bartender, mother of 3.. I owned an escort agency with another woman..." Samantha Fiddler was a mother of three. Being an escort is legal in Alberta, he says. Teddy says that the escorts were managed via phone and his wife was eventually fined because two girls didn't have the proper license. Due to this, his wife got into financial trouble and to get out, she became a high end escort. Teddy claims he went along on some "couples calls." He says that he had an $800,000 mansion and he brought 4 girls in to service clients. So... he ran a whore house for a time. Documentary: The makers of the Teddy Hart documentary (which as far as I can tell, was never released) talked about Teddy on this short podcast. They filmed Teddy during this alleged whore phase and apparently Samantha Fiddler is present in the house and was filmed. The producers brought footage of the documentary to Animal Planet. The executives saw film of Teddy juggling his cats and were appalled, and that was it for that meeting. The film makers talk about how while Teddy is sometimes entertaining, he did a lot of awful things. They started to question if they should even be making the documentary. The sexual assault lawsuit changed the nature of the documentary. The film makers said they had "unprecedented access" to everyone in the lawsuit, and were unsure of how much they should say. Jail Time: Teddy says he went to jail for rape. When the cops came to arrest him, he threatened to shoot himself in the head. This claim was made on "Best Friends with Teddy Hart", where Chuck Taylor is visibly uncomfortable. I believe when he says rape, he's referring to these sexual assault charges that he ultimately beat. But he uses this time in jail as an alibi for why he had nothing to do with Samantha Fiddler's disappearance. On this video he gives some details about his time in jail. 2017 Teddy's Assault on the Disabled and Attempt to Evade Arrest In 2017, he was arrested for a hazardous traffic violation and an attempt to evade lawful arrest. The charges were dropped a month later. Teddy tells the story of this arrest to a very obviously uninterested Chris Jericho. Teddy Slaps Disabled Man: So, the story starts like this: "I was facing 7-10 years in jail for assault on elderly, child, or handicap and a DUI." A guy that Teddy was sharing an apartment with was disabled (Teddy claims that the guy was lying about his disability). Teddy says that the guy started a fire at 4 AM and the smoke detector went off, so Teddy slapped him across the face. The guy was scared of Teddy, and he fled the apartment. The guy's mother claimed that Ted was going to kidnap and confine the guy, so she called the cops on him. Teddy was charged. 6 months later, while he was dealing with the legalities of the assault charge, the cops found pills on Teddy - ephedrine. Not sure how that fits in to everything, but Teddy's stories are all over the place. Teddy the Stripper Uber Driver: Teddy says got a job as an uber driver driving strippers home. One night, he was drinking a glass of water at the strip club (like we all do) and someone must have spiked his drink. He tried driving home inebriated and got in a 90 minute police chase and was tasered 13 times (come on, Teddy). Of course, his car was dangling over a precipice as the police repeatedly tazed him. He had 4 cats in the car who apparently went un-tazed. Teddy says that he falsely claimed to have a drinking problem to go to rehab because it would look good - even though he doesn't have a drinking problem. WWE paid for it. This fucking guy. Teddy's Time in the Clink: Teddy says: "Seven and a half months of my life was locked up during that time and two months of that was in rehab so that's 9 months out of a year and a half that I was dealing with the rules and limitations on what I could do and I still took 40 matches or bookings and I think all of those matches were four star matches..." "For whatever reason, I beat this last charge. I was facing 10 years in jail and I asked all the guys to pray for me..." and of course everyone in the prison prayed for him because they knew he was such a nice guy and that Teddy brought people of all races together. 2016 Teddy's Missing Ex-Girlfriend Samantha Fiddler, the woman who has gone missing, was actually present during the Rolling Stone interview published on March 23, 2016. Here's a quote from the article: "Beside him, Sam Fiddler, his wrestling-student-cum-girlfriend, rests sleepily in a XXL purple fur robe, one of the many outlandish wrestling costumes her mentor-cum-boyfriend has at hand. The mother of three has just put her kids to bed after filming scenes for a pair of documentary filmmakers following Teddy. Although his criminal charges precluded the comedic Hart Attack series from being realized, the producers, Frederick Kroetsch and Kurt Spenrath of Open Sky Pictures, rechristened it a documentary called Hart of Darkness after it transpired that what they really had was a tragedy." So. There is video footage of their relationship, filmed for the documentary. There is a teaser trailer for Hart Attack here In it, his then-wife Fay kisses another woman - not sure who that other woman is. Training at Team Vision: Samantha Fiddler (also known as Lucy Morningstar and Samantha Steele) took classes at the Team Vision Dojo run by sex offender Chasyn Rance. In 2011, Chasyn was convicted of sexual battery of a victim aged 12-15. Arrests: Fiddler was arrested twice for misdemeanor trespassing in Florida in Feb 2016 and in November 2016. She want missing on November 19th 2016. Team Vision Chloroform Porn: It has been alleged that Chasyn Rance uses his gym in the BMZ Partnership/Nar-Vista Commerce Center, and his Waterford Trails home, to produce unlicensed sadistic chloroform pornographic videos for private overseas customers under his alleged porn aliases Chase Sinn and John Michaels. Teddy Hart is alleged to appear in the videos as "Teddy Trouble." Chasyn wrote about Samantha's disappearance on twitter: "As for Teddy Hart, 4 years ago, Teddy came to stay with me briefly with his girlfriend, Samantha. They trained at my facility but after their split, she trained elsewhere. I had not seen her in over 3 months prior to her disappearance. I spoke with Sam's sister and did everything I could to help. I gave her the number of the person I saw her training with and told her if she needed anything else, she could contact me. I hope Sam is found alive and well soon." Teddy Gives Details About Samantha: In a youtube video called "addressing the allegations", Teddy stupidly discusses Samantha. First he rambles about Leonardo DiCaprio. Then he says that Samantha Fiddler wasn't a wrestler. She went to Chasyn's school once, and then she got a job as a gardener. She was happy, had her own place, she didn't look like she was on any drugs. Teddy makes this nonsensical statement: "I wasn't personally down there for more than 2 days. Then I left. You can confirm this with a few different people. Probably because the guy that I picked up who ended up putting me in jail was from Florida, and he ended up getting put in jail. So I went back to Dallas and lived in Dallas, and eventually that guy called me back and wanted a job. He thought he could be a referee and get training." On the Jericho podcast, Teddy mentions a guy named Paul who testified against him in the "assaulting the disabled" trial. I think this Dallas guy is Paul. Someone Bought Her Breast Implants: Ted says that while he was in jail, Samantha Fiddler was doing her own thing. "I helped her out. My friend Bill Kas (?) paid for her tits - not me. He liked her. He liked her daughters. He was a good guy. He has his own foundation to raise money and help people." She Was Violent and Lived With Chasyn's Student: Ted says that Samantha did like to drink. "She punched a few guys in the face, and she got in a bit of trouble and they didn't want her in Calgary or Edmonton any more." She moved to Florida and lived in a house owned by Dan, one of Chasyn's students. Teddy Blames Chasyn: Teddy once again stupidly discussed Samantha Fiddler on the Dec 17, 2019 youtube video: "Late Night Thoughts Ep2: mental illness, MLW truth, & twitter drama" Skip to the 19:50 mark. Teddy says: "...Chasyn Rance has a bunch of shit happen to him. I don't fucking know what that has to do with me. I was a fan of Chasyn's and a lot of other guys are fans of Chasyn's too, but what he did is not my problem and what he's responsible for is not my problem, it's his problem, and it's a fucking terrible problem to have. And it's even worse when a bunch of guys out there bring it up over and over and over again. They bring it back to me and some fucking poor girl that I've known for 2 months in Calgary.. or Edmonton.. and wanted to get into MMA" [at this point, as Ted is talking, Maria leaves the back room and gets close to Ted, listening]. "Somebody comes up with a story that she's been missing again and I said she's been missing the whole fucking time. I've been in jail when she was in jail. She got out first. She was free after that. They knew where she was and they knew where I was - locked up/locked up, both of us. She got out, spent some time on her own, according to who? Either she was with someone or she was by herself! But either way she's fucking out and she disappears, and I have fucking no idea what's going on. I'm hearing quotes and shit and all of a sudden my name gets dragged through the dirt and I'm fucked now. I've lost like 10 bookings on a bunch of shit and a lot of them are smart and let it blow over because it's absolute horseshit and we'll just get on to the new year and we'll start using you in February..." Then he talks about how God has a plan for him. So basically, his ex-girlfriend (a beautiful woman and a mother of 3 children) went missing and all he cares about is how it affected his bookings. When Was Teddy in Jail? Teddy is saying that Samantha and he were in jail at the same time. She was put in jail on two separate occasions. Once in February 2016, and once more in November 2016. It's possible that Ted was in jail in February, as the sexual assault thing was still happening. But that case ended in May 2016. From what I can tell, his other stints in jail weren't until 2017 or later, meaning that Teddy Hart was not in jail when Samantha Fiddler went missing. His weird story about legal trouble stemming from slapping a disabled man makes it possible that he was in jail in November 2016, but I can't find any info on it. Teddy Trouble and Chasyn Rance's Chloroform Porn Matthew Brown alleges that Rance runs a porn studio out of the Team Vision Dojo specializing in "unlicensed sadistic chloroform" videos that he sells to "overseas customers." Teddy was allegedly a performer in those videos under the name of "Teddy Trouble." Right now you can find homoerotic "Teddy Trouble" videos on a site called "Clips4sale". The Rance Rapers: Apparently the girl that Chasyn raped was related to him. Chasyn's brother, Ashtyn, was arrested for raping a child in 2005 ("Assault/Battery on a child - Bodily Fluids") There is a news report of Chasyn's rape arrest.. Chasyn's victim was a 15-year-old girl. The reporters actually go to Chasyn's house to get a comment (but nobody answers the door). There is a good article featuring images of Samantha here. MLW Note: I'd also like to mention that I listened to MLW radio a lot during the early part of this decade, and remember clearly that Mister Saint Laurent, a Florida indy guy,, lived in Chasyn Rance's house. I think Larry Zbysko lived there, too. Anyway, I remember distinctly one discussion where Court Bauer (owner of MLW) point blank asks MSL if he is dating Chasyn. Court asks this because the two are really close and have a very intimate relationship. MSL denies it. Hijinks at Chasyn's house were discussed quite frequently. I remember in particular Konnan being offended at MSL's claims that he turned down the advances of So Cal Val. I think MSL is an observer subscriber, so maybe he can give us some details on what happened to Samantha. I'd like to know who Dan was, the student of Chasyn that Samantha lived with. And this Bill Kas guy, who paid for her cosmetic surgery. Teddy Hart was not in jail when Samantha Fiddler went missing. I checked his cage match listing. He actually wrestled a match on November 19th, 2016, the last day she was seen alive. https://www.cagematch.net/?id=2&nr=287&page=4&s=100 I was looking for footage of Samantha Fiddler accompanying Teddy to the ring. I found this angle where a woman who looks like her gets superkicked: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k9em5hkTmYo I also found this footage, not sure if it is her. She comes out at the 0:25 second mark https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jm-KKT2WDW8 Both of these shows were apparently held in or around March 2016, which is shortly after she was arrested the first time for trespassing.
2019.12.29 08:46 PopForImpactTeddy Hart was not in jail when Samantha Fiddler went missing
Someone on the Wrestling Observer forum has dug up a bunch of info on him and his story is that he was in jail when Samantha Fiddler went missing. That is not true. I hope this brings more awareness to her disappearance. Credit to Fantomas on F4WOnline.com's board for all of this. I got interested in Teddy's missing ex-girlfriend Samantha Fiddler, so I went on a rampage the other day and dug up all the info I could find on the topic. Teddy's wiki page doesn't really have a lot of details and I am very curious as to whether Teddy was actually involved. 2012 Teddy Hart: Prostitute Wrangler According to Rolling Stone, after he was fired by AAA in 2012, Teddy started commercially breeding cats and worked as a security driver for escort services. "Teddys job was to wait outside until the sex worker inside texted him. Then hed knock twice on the door and wait for her to exit safely. This is how he met the two women whove now accused him of sexual assault and unlawful confinement." In the article, Teddy says: It was too easy making $800 a night driving girls around and not having to climb to the top ropes and wear the boots for $200. I dont want anything to do with that lifestyle anymore, which is why I went to Dallas in the first place. This Rolling Stone article is important because Samantha Fiddler was present during the interview. 2014 Teddy's Sexual Assault Charges The Calgary Herald has a story on this case: In 2014, Teddy was accused of sexual assault, unlawful confinement and assault of two women. "The specifics of the 2013 and 2014 events that led to the charges arent publicized, and the identities of the women are under a strict Canadian publication ban. However, the women, who had relationships with Teddy, allege multiple instances where he threatened to kill their pets and family members, physically and sexually assaulted them and confiscated their IDs and phones. They say he filmed sexual acts to blackmail them. One of the women says that she wasnt a sex worker until Teddy pimped her out, and that he drained her of $229,000 in a matter of months, mostly for weed and cat food." "Hart maintains that the charges are false, calling them revenge for money theyve lost through his marijuana operations. " The charges were withdrawn at the start of a preliminary hearing May 26 2016. A spokeswoman with Alberta Justice says the Crown determined after a review that the case did not meet the criteria needed to proceed. The same day the charges were withdrawn, Hart signed a peace bond agreeing not to contact the two women for two years. Teskey said Hart has no interest in contacting the complainants. Teddy later claimed that the 2 women were convicted of perjury (on his "addressing the allegations" youtube video), but there is no evidence of that. I get the feeling that the two women in question were his wife, and his wife's girlfriend. Teddy's Prostitute Ring:On a Colt Cabana podcast, Teddy claimed that his wife ran an escort service. Skip to 12:51 on that podcast where Teddy is saying that he doesn't bring escorts to his shows. "No, dude, these are girls like, bartender, mother of 3.. I owned an escort agency with another woman..." Samantha Fiddler was a mother of three. Being an escort is legal in Alberta, he says. Teddy says that the escorts were managed via phone and his wife was eventually fined because two girls didn't have the proper license. Due to this, his wife got into financial trouble and to get out, she became a high end escort. Teddy claims he went along on some "couples calls." He says that he had an $800,000 mansion and he brought 4 girls in to service clients. So... he ran a whore house for a time. Documentary: The makers of the Teddy Hart documentary (which as far as I can tell, was never released) talked about Teddy on this short podcast. They filmed Teddy during this alleged whore phase and apparently Samantha Fiddler is present in the house and was filmed. The producers brought footage of the documentary to Animal Planet. The executives saw film of Teddy juggling his cats and were appalled, and that was it for that meeting. The film makers talk about how while Teddy is sometimes entertaining, he did a lot of awful things. They started to question if they should even be making the documentary. The sexual assault lawsuit changed the nature of the documentary. The film makers said they had "unprecedented access" to everyone in the lawsuit, and were unsure of how much they should say. Jail Time: Teddy says he went to jail for rape. When the cops came to arrest him, he threatened to shoot himself in the head. This claim was made on "Best Friends with Teddy Hart", where Chuck Taylor is visibly uncomfortable. I believe when he says rape, he's referring to these sexual assault charges that he ultimately beat. But he uses this time in jail as an alibi for why he had nothing to do with Samantha Fiddler's disappearance. On this video, he gives some details about his time in jail. 2017 Teddy's Assault on the Disabled and Attempt to Evade Arrest In 2017, he was arrested for a hazardous traffic violation and an attempt to evade lawful arrest. The charges were dropped a month later. Teddy tells the story of this arrest to a very obviously uninterested Chris Jericho. Teddy Slaps Disabled Man: So, the story starts like this: "I was facing 7-10 years in jail for assault on elderly, child, or handicap and a DUI." A guy that Teddy was sharing an apartment with was disabled (Teddy claims that the guy was lying about his disability). Teddy says that the guy started a fire at 4 AM and the smoke detector went off, so Teddy slapped him across the face. The guy was scared of Teddy, and he fled the apartment. The guy's mother claimed that Ted was going to kidnap and confine the guy, so she called the cops on him. Teddy was charged. 6 months later, while he was dealing with the legalities of the assault charge, the cops found pills on Teddy - ephedrine. Not sure how that fits in to everything, but Teddy's stories are all over the place. Teddy the Stripper Uber Driver: Teddy says got a job as an uber driver driving strippers home. One night, he was drinking a glass of water at the strip club (like we all do) and someone must have spiked his drink. He tried driving home inebriated and got in a 90 minute police chase and was tasered 13 times (come on, Teddy). Of course, his car was dangling over a precipice as the police repeatedly tazed him. He had 4 cats in the car who apparently went un-tazed. Teddy says that he falsely claimed to have a drinking problem to go to rehab because it would look good - even though he doesn't have a drinking problem. WWE paid for it. This fucking guy. Teddy's Time in the Clink: Teddy says: "Seven and a half months of my life was locked up during that time and two months of that was in rehab so that's 9 months out of a year and a half that I was dealing with the rules and limitations on what I could do and I still took 40 matches or bookings and I think all of those matches were four star matches..." "For whatever reason, I beat this last charge. I was facing 10 years in jail and I asked all the guys to pray for me..." and of course everyone in the prison prayed for him because they knew he was such a nice guy and that Teddy brought people of all races together. 2016 Teddy's Missing Ex-Girlfriend Samantha Fiddler, the woman who has gone missing, was actually present during the Rolling Stone interview published on March 23, 2016. Here's a quote from the article: "Beside him, Sam Fiddler, his wrestling-student-cum-girlfriend, rests sleepily in a XXL purple fur robe, one of the many outlandish wrestling costumes her mentor-cum-boyfriend has at hand. The mother of three has just put her kids to bed after filming scenes for a pair of documentary filmmakers following Teddy. Although his criminal charges precluded the comedic Hart Attack series from being realized, the producers, Frederick Kroetsch and Kurt Spenrath of Open Sky Pictures, rechristened it a documentary called Hart of Darkness after it transpired that what they really had was a tragedy." So. There is video footage of their relationship, filmed for the documentary. There is a teaser trailer for Hart Attack here. In it, his then-wife Fay kisses another woman - not sure who that other woman is. Training at Team Vision: Samantha Fiddler (also known as Lucy Morningstar and Samantha Steele) took classes at the Team Vision Dojo run by sex offender Chasyn Rance. In 2011, Chasyn was convicted of sexual battery of a victim aged 12-15. Arrests: Fiddler was arrested twice for misdemeanor trespassing in Florida in Feb 2016 and in November 2016. She want missing on November 19th 2016. Team Vision Chloroform Porn: It has been alleged that Chasyn Rance uses his gym in the BMZ Partnership/Nar-Vista Commerce Center, and his Waterford Trails home, to produce unlicensed sadistic chloroform pornographic videos for private overseas customers under his alleged porn aliases Chase Sinn and John Michaels. Teddy Hart is alleged to appear in the videos as "Teddy Trouble." Chasyn wrote about Samantha's disappearance on twitter: "As for Teddy Hart, 4 years ago, Teddy came to stay with me briefly with his girlfriend, Samantha. They trained at my facility but after their split, she trained elsewhere. I had not seen her in over 3 months prior to her disappearance. I spoke with Sam's sister and did everything I could to help. I gave her the number of the person I saw her training with and told her if she needed anything else, she could contact me. I hope Sam is found alive and well soon." Teddy Gives Details About Samantha: In a youtube video called "addressing the allegations", Teddy stupidly discusses Samantha. First he rambles about Leonardo DiCaprio. Then he says that Samantha Fiddler wasn't a wrestler. She went to Chasyn's school once, and then she got a job as a gardener. She was happy, had her own place, she didn't look like she was on any drugs. Teddy makes this nonsensical statement: "I wasn't personally down there for more than 2 days. Then I left. You can confirm this with a few different people. Probably because the guy that I picked up who ended up putting me in jail was from Florida, and he ended up getting put in jail. So I went back to Dallas and lived in Dallas, and eventually that guy called me back and wanted a job. He thought he could be a referee and get training." On the Jericho podcast, Teddy mentions a guy named Paul who testified against him in the "assaulting the disabled" trial. I think this Dallas guy is Paul. Someone Bought Her Breast Implants: Ted says that while he was in jail, Samantha Fiddler was doing her own thing. "I helped her out. My friend Bill Kas (?) paid for her tits - not me. He liked her. He liked her daughters. He was a good guy. He has his own foundation to raise money and help people." She Was Violent and Lived With Chasyn's Student: Ted says that Samantha did like to drink. "She punched a few guys in the face, and she got in a bit of trouble and they didn't want her in Calgary or Edmonton any more." She moved to Florida and lived in a house owned by Dan, one of Chasyn's students. Teddy Blames Chasyn: Teddy once again stupidly discussed Samantha Fiddler on the Dec 17, 2019 youtube video: "Late Night Thoughts Ep2: mental illness, MLW truth, & twitter drama" Skip to the 19:50 mark. Teddy says: "...Chasyn Rance has a bunch of shit happen to him. I don't fucking know what that has to do with me. I was a fan of Chasyn's and a lot of other guys are fans of Chasyn's too, but what he did is not my problem and what he's responsible for is not my problem, it's his problem, and it's a fucking terrible problem to have. And it's even worse when a bunch of guys out there bring it up over and over and over again. They bring it back to me and some fucking poor girl that I've known for 2 months in Calgary.. or Edmonton.. and wanted to get into MMA" [at this point, as Ted is talking, Maria leaves the back room and gets close to Ted, listening]. "Somebody comes up with a story that she's been missing again and I said she's been missing the whole fucking time. I've been in jail when she was in jail. She got out first. She was free after that. They knew where she was and they knew where I was - locked up/locked up, both of us. She got out, spent some time on her own, according to who? Either she was with someone or she was by herself! But either way she's fucking out and she disappears, and I have fucking no idea what's going on. I'm hearing quotes and shit and all of a sudden my name gets dragged through the dirt and I'm fucked now. I've lost like 10 bookings on a bunch of shit and a lot of them are smart and let it blow over because it's absolute horseshit and we'll just get on to the new year and we'll start using you in February..." Then he talks about how God has a plan for him. So basically, his ex-girlfriend (a beautiful woman and a mother of 3 children) went missing and all he cares about is how it affected his bookings. When Was Teddy in Jail? Teddy is saying that Samantha and he were in jail at the same time. She was put in jail on two separate occasions. Once in February 2016, and once more in November 2016. It's possible that Ted was in jail in February, as the sexual assault thing was still happening. But that case ended in May 2016. From what I can tell, his other stints in jail weren't until 2017 or later, meaning that Teddy Hart was not in jail when Samantha Fiddler went missing. His weird story about legal trouble stemming from slapping a disabled man makes it possible that he was in jail in November 2016, but I can't find any info on it. Teddy Trouble and Chasyn Rance's Chloroform Porn Matthew Brown alleges that Rance runs a porn studio out of the Team Vision Dojo specializing in "unlicensed sadistic chloroform" videos that he sells to "overseas customers." Teddy was allegedly a performer in those videos under the name of "Teddy Trouble." Right now you can find homoerotic "Teddy Trouble" videos on a site called "Clips4sale". The Rance Rapers: Apparently the girl that Chasyn raped was related to him. Chasyn's brother, Ashtyn, was arrested for raping a child in 2005 ("Assault/Battery on a child - Bodily Fluids") There is a news report of Chasyn's rape arrest. Chasyn's victim was a 15-year-old girl. The reporters actually go to Chasyn's house to get a comment (but nobody answers the door). There is a good article featuring images of Samantha here. MLW Note: I'd also like to mention that I listened to MLW radio a lot during the early part of this decade, and remember clearly that Mister Saint Laurent, a Florida indy guy,, lived in Chasyn Rance's house. I think Larry Zbysko lived there, too. Anyway, I remember distinctly one discussion where Court Bauer (owner of MLW) point blank asks MSL if he is dating Chasyn. Court asks this because the two are really close and have a very intimate relationship. MSL denies it. Hijinks at Chasyn's house were discussed quite frequently. I remember in particular Konnan being offended at MSL's claims that he turned down the advances of So Cal Val. I think MSL is an observer subscriber, so maybe he can give us some details on what happened to Samantha. I'd like to know who Dan was, the student of Chasyn that Samantha lived with. And this Bill Kas guy, who paid for her cosmetic surgery. Teddy Hart was not in jail when Samantha Fiddler went missing. I checked his cage match listing. He actually wrestled a match on November 19th, 2016, the last day she was seen alive. https://www.cagematch.net/?id=2&nr=287&page=4&s=100 I was looking for footage of Samantha Fiddler accompanying Teddy to the ring. I found this angle where a woman who looks like her gets superkicked: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k9em5hkTmYo I also found this footage, not sure if it is her. She comes out at the 0:25 second mark https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jm-KKT2WDW8 Both of these shows were apparently held in or around March 2016, which is shortly after she was arrested the first time for trespassing.
2019.12.19 18:04 SaintRidleyWrestling Observer Rewind ★ June 15, 1987
Going through old issues of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter and posting highlights in my own words, continuing in the footsteps of daprice82. For anyone interested, I highly recommend signing up for the actual site at f4wonline and checking out the full archives. FUTURE YEARS ARCHIVE: The Complete Observer Rewind Archive by daprice82
Rewinder note:Rewinds will resume on January 7. Happy holidays, everybody.
The Honkytonk Man has become WWF Intercontinental Champion. This was a surprise title change, occurring at the June 2 Buffalo tapings. It should air the weekend of the 13th/14th. The main reason behind the change is that Ricky Steamboat is going on a sabbatical due to the impending birth of his first child. With Steamboat heading out, WWF has taken massive hits to its babyface roster. Aside from Hulk Hogan, only Ken Patera currently stands a chance of being a significant babyface draw out of their current healthy face roster. Losing Roberts, Duggan, and Steamboat so quickly means they need to scramble. The time might be right to turn Randy Savage, and this also partially explains the return of Junkyard Dog recently (he was already gonna be brought back, but they might have sped this up after the Roberts shoulder injury and Duggan arrest).
Speaking of Duggan and Sheik getting arrested. According to Dave’s source, they have been fired and “Will never work for Titan again.” Wrestlers have been told neither name is to be mentioned in promos or otherwise ever again. The obvious leap is for Duggan to go back to UWF, but Dave finds that unlikely. Dave doesn’t think Duggan’s going to be in too much legal trouble over a little marijuana, unless a judge wants to make a reputation for himself. Sheik might be in deeper trouble. As for what his source has to say, Dave says to remember that when it comes to wrestling, never say never.
The Rock’n’Roll Express won the NWA tag titles for the fourth time, but not in the way you’d think if you just watched the tv shows this weekend. Rick Rude left Crockett without dropping the title, and on tv last week they announced Manny Fernandez would team with Ivan Koloff as the new tag champ due to Rude’s “injury.” They were supposed to drop the titles to the Rock’n’Rollers on May 30, but Fernandez went AWOL. So they announced on May 2 that Morton and Gibson beat Rude and Fernandez (both seemingly gone now) to win the belts, and they aired a match where the title changed hands. That match looked familiar because it was taped last winter and aired in Japan in February, and Dave’s pretty sure it originally was a non-title match. Fortunately for Crockett, the belts were going this way anyway, so no big changes. Manny Fernandez may just be up and out of Crockett - no mention of him on any shows this weekend, and Paul Jones is now managing Koloff and Vladimir Petrov. We should know for sure by next week since Fenandez was still advertised for house shows as late as this weekend.
Meanwhile, everyone expected Tully Blanchard to drop the TV title to Dusty Rhodes but he didn’t. Blanchard and Rhodes met on June 6 in Greensboro in a “$100,000” winner-take all match where Rhodes got counted out chasing J.J. Dillon, who stole the bag of money from Magnum T.A. Dave thinks they’ll keep Blanchard and Rhodes feuding through the Great American Bash tour and have Rhodes win by the end. This would lead to fewer Rhodes/Flair matches, which Dave was afraid would dominate all of July. Dave gives some dates for the tour that are confirmed, and the only confirmed card he has yet is the July 2 show, which will feature “a cage match with the Four Horsemen against the Road Warriors-Dusty Rhodes-Nikita Koloff.” No, it’s not WarGames yet, but we’re on the way to it.
In tv related news, Crockett’s syndication package debuted i Electronic Media Magazine’s ratings at number 11 last week. The package includes the two JCP shows (NWA Pro and Worldwide), the Florida shows (Southern Pro and CWF), and the UWF shows (UWF and Power Pro). Crockett’s Wrestling Network covers 77% of the country in terms of availability. WWF’s syndication was ranked number 3 and is available to 93% of the country.
Canadian tv has a few debuts coming up. Power Plus Wrestling, a more Canadian-focused version of Pro Wrestling this week will debut on June 10. TSN Wrestling (a weekly 90 minute Stampede show) will debut July 20 at 5 pm Monday, Toronto time.
Eddie Sharkey, who trained guys like the Road Warriors, Jesse Ventura, Rick Rude, and more was arrested on May 31. He got in a fight with a local promoter in Eau Claire, Wisconsin, leading to the promoter (Dave Streckor) being hit with a beer bottle and needing 30 stitches. Sharkey spent the night in prison and was charged with felonious assault and attempted extortion, while his story is he was standing up for his guys when the promoter tried to screw them.
More on Lawler’s claim of gimmick infringement by Harley Race. Dave saw a news piece where WWF was ordered to drop the gimmick on May 20 because Lawler claims to hold exclusive rights to the name “The King of Wrestling” and this infringes on Lawler’s registered trademark. A Memphis judge signed a temporary restraining order on WWF prohibiting them from promoting Race as the “King of Wrestling” and prohibiting Race from wearing a crown or cape at any wrestling event in Tennessee. Nashville and Memphis arenas are also enjoined not to disburse ticket income to WWF until the court can calculate monetary damages due to Lawler. Dave guesses this only applies to Tennessee, since WWF is still promoting Race as the King.
Rumors still fly that Verne Gagne is trying to make a national thing with Jerry Jarrett (Tennessee), Don Owen (Oregon), Bob Geigel (Central States/Kansas City), and Ron Fuller (Alabama). The story Dave has is that Gagne’s AWA and Jarrett’s CWA will merge in September with the other groups coming on board in early October and that WGN in Chicago and the Chicago Tribune Company are behind this. There’s a whole lot of bizarre stuff in this story - that the goal is a “scripted” tv show focusing more on entertainment than athletics with Jimmy Snuka and Curt Hennig as featured performers, that they’ve made big money offers of $1 million per year to Ric Flair and the Road Warriors (turned don, naturally), that they’ll be getting a lot of talent to jump from Crockett and McMahon. Dave is highly skeptical and reminds that tales of big money backers and promotional cooperation almost never materialize, and also these promoters have had their business go down the toilet in recent years because they couldn’t figure out how to adapt, so clearly putting them all together’s going to fix things. Dave will keep us posted on the rumors until when/if this gets off the ground.
WWF notes on Junkyard Dog and Billy Graham. JYD is on 90 day probation - if he can make it without any unexcused missed bookings he has a job and maybe a decent push as the token black babyface. If he misses a show without prior notice, he’s gone and won’t be asked back. As for Billy Graham, they’ve been doing comeback segments complete with showing footage of his hip replacement surgery. Dave’s loved the segments, though he’d rather not watch the operation, and thinks Graham will get over great, though he wasn’t a great worker before the artificial hip so that’s probably not going to change. The template has been laid for HHH’s return vignettes following his quad surgery in 2001.
Uncle ElmeStan Frazier has started a new promotion in Mississippi. Showing great originality, he’s named it Mid-South Wrestling and he billed himself for the first show as WWF World Superheavyweight champion. His son, Chris, debuted andis believe it or not, a pretty-boy type of babyface. He’s super green.
[Florida] Kevin Sullivan is still lost in time. He demanded this week a match against world champion Dusty Rhodes and was confused when told Ric Flair was the champ. He’s wearing a lot of makeup to look like he’s not slept in weeks, and it looks like this might lead toward a face turn for Sullivan.**
Bruiser Brody has cut down his booking with WCCW to about once every other week. “This territory is left with almost nothing.”
Brian Peters, a 25-year old trainee of the Hart Dungeon who was set to debut last week, was killed by a shotgun blast on May 21 in Calgary. The shooter has been charged with murder. Peters was considered one of the best prospects of recent Dungeon trainees.
[JWP] Shinobu Kandori made her comeback on May 27 in Korauken Hall in front of 1800 fans and beat Miss A. Her next match is June 1 against Lola Gonzales. Meanwhile, Jackie Sato & Harley Saito & Sochi Hamada (Xochitil Hamada, daughter of El Gran Hamada and older sister of Ayako Hamada) did a double count out finish on the show against Gonzales, Nancy Kumi, and Vicki Caranza.
UWF lost a June 23 date in Albuquerque set up with a big card featuring Flair vs. Windham, Steve Williams vs. Dick Murdoch and a whole bunch of other big matches. Somebody never told the state commission, and the commission instead approved a June 16 WWF date and with some behind the scenes magic involving promises of the Hulkster, WWF has blocked UWF out until July 31.
Dave points out some issues with UWF’s tv production on their recent show. First, the Steve Williams vs. Eddie Gilbert match didn’t come off well. There were two major focal point spots in the match: Williams knocking himself out by running into the ringpost (which leads to Gilbert controlling most of the match) and Williams making his comeback. Both of those happened during ad breaks. Second, they had Brad Armstrong and Tim Horner win the tag belts from Rick Steiner and Sting. It was a good match, great in the arena, but didn’t work on tv because they announced the title change two weeks earlier on tv. Makes the viewer feel like they’re watching dead material.
Manny Fernandez’s no-shows this past week turned out to be due to a family illness. He’ll be back soon.
Dave thinks there might be a connection between Florida rookie Johnny Ace and Johnny Weaver. Weaver’s first ring name was Johnny Ace, and Ace uses Weaver’s sleeper to finish matches. And he’s allowed to win matches, unlike other rookies in Crockett’s stable. Gordon Solie makes a big deal about his charisma (what he needs is a charisma transfusion). He’s a good looking kid like Ricky Morton, but 8 inches taller. He’s pretty good considering his experience level. Makes sense, he’s got that people power.
Hisako Uno (Akira Hokuto) suffered a neck injury from a top rope tombstone delivered by Yumi Ogura on April 27. She may be forced to retire, but definitely won’t return until 1988. Ogura’s not going to be doing that move in the future.
NEXT ISSUE:Lots on the upcoming Great American Bash tour, WCCW's first show working with Bum Bright, Terry Taylor injured in a car crash
GayCalgary - Spencer Reed at PURE Pride Calgary 2012
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Les Entremetteurs - Speed dating pour célibataires au Québec
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