Archive for the ‘wrestling’ Category

The WWF has done its share of distasteful storylines, but this may be the worst. In the middle of a bitter feud, the former Hollywood Blondes tag team partners, Stone Cold Steve Austin and Brian Pillman, let things get a little too personal. With Pillman laid up with an ankle injury at his home in suburban Cincinnati with his well-endowed wife, Stone Cold saw it fit to interrupt the live interview Pillman was giving that night. Pillman had a little trick up his sleeve, however: a gun.

Even for the Attitude Era, this stunt was a bit too real but Austin’s got brass ones for coming back at Pillman and screaming, “Shoot me.” And kudos to Kevin Kelly for standing there like an idiot while a murder’s about to go down. The snow was also a total cop out. BUT WAIT, THERE’S MORE! This footage shows what happened when Raw went off the air. Looks like Mrs. Big Boobs Pillman wasn’t so scared after all. I hate this. It’s like seeing how hot dogs are made. I wanted to believe that Pillman was a second away from blowing Austin’s head off. It’s still real to me, dammit.

With “Santa Claus” holding court in the ring, Stone Cold Steve Austin took exception to St. Nick’s interaction with a young member of the audience. The Rattlesnake had it out with the imposter, leading to a stunner and a North Pole ass whooping. I hope he got extra presents that year. And yes, that wasn’t the most offensive religion-related occurrence in WWF history.

As part of this year’s Slammy Awards, WWF Champion CM Punk presented a honorary lifetime achievement award to his nemesis and current interim Raw GM, John Laurinaitis. As part of the tribute, Punk had a video package made of all of Funk Man’s “highlights” throughout the years. The video itself is classic but the music really brings everything together nicely. Despite his reputation as a hardass behind the scenes, Laurinaitis is actually a pretty good new onscreen character. He straddles the line between being a serious decision-maker and oblivious comic relief. I’d like to keep seeing more.

Trailer Park: The Reunion

Posted: December 18, 2011 by Keith Stone in John Cena, The Reunion, Trailer Park, videos, wrestling, WWF

Now we can get us killed in two langauges.

What do John Cena and Tyler Perry have in common? Despite the fact that their movies consistently look terrible, somebody apparently goes to see them and they keep rolling out more and more. In The Reunion, John Cena (apparently filming during one of his many firings) and a cast of Oscar winners playing his brothers start a private investigation agency after their father dies and promises to leave them a huge inheritance if they can successfully run a business together. What a realistic premise! Who wouldn’t want to see that? Cena can make fun of the Rock for being in the ring once in a blue moon, but at least when he does it, it’s entertaining. I think it’s about time for Cena to retire from the movie business.

Slobberknocker: The Torch Is Passed

Posted: December 11, 2011 by Keith Stone in Chris Jericho, Randy Orton, videos, wrestling, WWF

As part of a ceremony anointing himself as the future of the WWF, Randy Orton wanted the torch to be literally passed to him, so he went ahead and did the logical thing: he hired a runner to carry a torch from Miami to Ft. Lauderdale. The poor lad made the nearly 30-mile run only to be clotheslined in the final stretch by Chris Jericho, who was making his “second coming.” Jericho went on to confront Orton and cut one of his trademark promos to kick off a excellent final three-year run in wrestling. Although he dropped his sparkly-shirt wearing rocker gimmick for a more serious, suit-wearing character, Jericho’s stole the torch from Orton in more ways than one that night.

Normally I hate French Canadians but Maryse is the exception. The Hawaiian Tropic model-cum-wrestler-cum-fashion designer can talk to me in her broken English all she wants. It may sound like she has Down syndrome, but she certainly doesn’t look like it. After suffering an abdominal hernia in the ring, Maryse was recently released from the WWF. I’d like to rehab with her. Dayyyyyyyyyyyyuuuuuuuuuuuuum!

This has to be one of the most spectacular wrestling matches of all-time, with a finish for the ages. I didn’t even know it existed until like a week ago. Two future Hall of Famers fighting in the middle of Penn Station on the short-lived Shotgun Saturday Night. Of course I didn’t see it. It was on Channel 55. The Undertaker’s entrance down the escalator and through the crowd was awesome but I was a little disappointed he didn’t make the lights go off. Imagine rushing to take the LIRR home and bumping into the Undertaker. That’s a scary commute.

Slobberknocker: Gobbledy Gooker

Posted: November 27, 2011 by Keith Stone in Gobbledy Gooker, Slobberknocker, videos, wrestling, WWF

Is it a dinosaur? Is it a rabbit? Balloons? Is it the Playmate of the Month?

Leading up to the 1990 Survivor Series, a giant egg was frequently seen on WWF TV with the promise of a big surprise reveal at the event. Mean Gene was pretty excited about it but when the Gobbledy Gooker popped out and started dancing in the ring, the fans weren’t much pleased. Despite Gorilla Monsoon and Roddy Piper’s best efforts to sell the hell out of the gimmick, the Gooker (played by Eddie Guerrero’s brother Hector) wasn’t seen again for more than 10 years.


Posted: November 21, 2011 by Keith Stone in Denver Broncos, football, Hulk Hogan, NFL, TEBOW!, wrestling

Whatcha gonna do when Tebowmania runs wild on you?

With Tebowmania running rampant around the country and dare I say, the world, my buddy Matt takes a look at the phenomenon and how Tebow compares to a certain icon from the past:

The babyfaced athletic hero takes the stage with great fanfare. Women and children scream for him. Grown men wear his outfit. The air is thick with anticipation of the history that is about to unfold. But then our hero spends most of the contest looking entirely inferior to the competition, bringing virtually nothing to the table. He makes his adversaries gain a sense of superiority, makes neutral observers scoff, and makes even some of his backers start to question why they bothered investing their emotions in this guy in the first place. Yet like clockwork, just when all hope seems to be lost, it happens. Our moribund hero springs to life and lets loose in a storm of fury on his tiring opponent. In the blink of an eye, it is over. Somehow, in the closing minutes our hero made a remarkable rally and added to his growing legend. Music blares over the PA and fans go wild as he assumes his trademark pose, victorious.

If the character we know as Timothy Richard Tebow didn’t exist, someone would have to create it. As it turns out, someone already did create it more than a quarter-century ago. But in its initial incarnation, the character wasn’t an NFL quarterback named Tim Tebow. He was a WWF wrestler named Hulk Hogan.

As I watched Tebow lead the Broncos on their improbable game-winning drive Thursday night, culminating in a 20-yard touchdown run to upset the Jets 17-13, I began searching through my memory. Precisely who did this unorthodox (perhaps that’s the wrong word given his devout faith) phenom remind me of? We hear a lot of Doug Flutie comparisons, but that doesn’t quite fit. As anyone who’s ever seen film of his Hail Mary pass to beat Miami while at Boston College can attest, Flutie had a fantastic arm. He had trouble getting a crack at a NFL starting job not due to a lack of arm, but a lack of height.

I realized that I had never seen a quarterback quite like Tebow, that I’d need to search outside the world of football to find an apt comparison. And finally, it hit me. Tim Tebow is the closest thing the NFL has ever seen to the Hulkster.

Before his public life degenerated into aging, balding, wrinkled, steroid-addled, reality show-starring, womanizing, wife-divorcing farce, Hogan was a cartoonish grappler who inspired kids across America to do the right thing. Clearly, the mid 1980’s were a different era in both the WWF and our nation for this situation (pro wrestler as role model) to even be possible. His mantra to America’s youth was to “train, say your prayers and eat your vitamins.” The children watching him didn’t imagine the “vitamins” to mean steroids. We assumed he meant Flintstones chewables, especially the purple Dino shapes. Those  were tasty.

Tebow’s persona is similarly straight out of a comic book. I’m tempted to call him a throwback, but to what? He’s a throwback to a past that never existed even in the popular imagination. Perhaps baseball superstars were once imagined to be as wholesome as peanut butter on whole wheat with a glass of milk, but quarterbacks were generally rough-hewn gladiators at best. At worst, you’d expect them to show up drunk on national TV asking Suzy Kolber to kiss them.

With more than two decades since his heyday to blur the memories, it would be easy to recall Hogan’s character in the ring as that of an irresistible force. We remember the bulging eyes, the driving “Real American” entrance music, the yellow shirt ripping off as if it were effortless. But here’s the thing: Hogan almost always struggled through his matches. In fact, he often brought virtually nothing to the table. He was a big, muscular guy to be sure, but if Mel Kiper Jr. scouted 80’s WWF wrestlers Hogan would’ve been given the dreaded “tweener” tag.  He would have underwhelmed at the combine. He had decent size for the WWF, but was no Andre the Giant or Big John Studd. He never was particularly quick on his feet. I’m fairly certain the Ultimate Warrior could have destroyed him in a bench-press competition. And he had no aerial moves anywhere near the class of a “Macho Man” Randy Savage or a Jimmy “Superfly” Snuka.


Slobberknocker: Deadly Game

Posted: November 19, 2011 by Keith Stone in Slobberknocker, The Rock, videos, wrestling, WWF

With the Survivor Series in town this Sunday and the Rock making his return after being inactive for seven years, this is only appropriate. After Vince McMahon screwed Bret Hart at the 1997 Survivor Series, he (or rather Mr. McMahon) and his cronies took meddling to new levels. Just one year later at the ’98 Series, the WWF Title sat vacant after the Undertaker and Kane pinned Stone Cold Steve Austin simultaneously at Summerslam.

To rectify this, McMahon set up a 14-man tournament for the event with the winner to be crowned Champion. Along with his long-running hatred of Austin, McMahon had a new nemesis in the Rock, who called himself the People’s Champion. Well, McMahon hated the people but appeared to be growing fond of Mankind, who would do anything for “his dad.” When he and the Rock met in the Finals, it seemed like Mankind would have his day but he learned like the Hitman did, never to trust Vincent Kennedy McMahon, and the Rock had won his first WWF Championship.