Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Off the Ropes Podcast

I'm doing a wrestling-ish podcast, it's called Off the Ropes and it's on The Nerdy Legion podcast network.

There's a guy named Martin who started the Valiant Central website which is all about Valiant Comics.  Cousin Paul and Martin started the Valiant Central Podcast talking about, you guessed it Valiant Comics.  That first podcast spawned many more and through the love of Valiant Comics Paula and Martin met Todd and Ronnie.

Todd and Ronnie started the Off the Ropes podcast and at Paul's urging I started listening and I like what I heard.  I was invited to be a guest on the shows, which I did with episode 7, it was a blast.  I earned the moniker the Dean of Wrestling and was invited to be a regular from them on.

We've done four episodes together with episode 10 being an interview, more of a conversation, with Ring of Honor's Adam Page.  It really well as we didn't ask him the same old questions the everyone asks, but went with some off the wall ones that he really enjoyed.

This podcast actually lead to my buddy John and I taking the plunge and starting a podcast of our own called "What Did You Watch This Week?"  It's basically what we've been doing for nearly 20 years, talking about TV shows and movies, and now we record it.  Episode 3 dropped March 28th and it's been a blast.

I also was a guest on the Nerdy Legion podcast talking about Daredevil Season 2 with Martin and Nick.

I've found a new addiction, and that addiction is podcasting!!

So please check us out at these links:

Thanks for reading, please take a moment to leave a comment, like my blogs Facebook page at www.facebook.com/thewrestlinginsomniac.com 

Later Readers! 

Friday, March 25, 2016

Limitless Wrestling Results 3/19 "Don't Fear The Sleeper!"

It was another great night for Limitless Wrestling as over 150 fans attended the “Don’t Fear The Sleeper!” event on March 19th, 2015 at the American Legion in Orono. 

Alex, Mikey, Canaan, and myself piled into Vanna and headed north stopping at the Fairfield for a beverage on the way.  As become the custom we parked at the venue and walked the 30 feet to the Orono House of Pizza for dinner.  There we saw Randy’s parents, Roy, Scott, and Cheryl.  Also Anthony Greene and his girl came in.

The show opened with the Fatal 4-Way that saw Da Hoodz get the victory beating The Influence, M1nute Men, and The Beaver Boys.  Da Hoodz are really, really good and Davey Cash reminds me of "Boston Bad Boy" Tony Rumble.

It was cool seeing the Beaver Boys in person, I would have like to have seen more in ring action from them.  I really enjoyed the match all 4 teams put on a great show and it really kicked the card off.

Alex chopping Xavier Bell while he's held by George Gatton
Xavier Bell was entertaining all night long, not just in his match with George Gatton.  He was exceptionally hilarious later on when he was on commentary.  I'm not to sure about Gatton, his style was very peculiar and I couldn't wrap my head around it. 

I wasn't very excited about Wrecking Ball Legursky being the mystery partner for DangerKid against Alexander Lee and Aiden Aggro.  This was the best match I have ever seen him in.  He was great as the big guy throwing Lee and Aggro around.  The heels won using a chair and they set up a match between Kid and Aggro for May, and possibly Kid and Lee in July.

I was shocked to see Scott Wild defeated Brian Myers, it was a good match.

Sonya Strong has fast become one of my favorites to watch in the ring.  This day she wrestled veteran and fellow Mainer Mistress Belmont.  When this match was announced I was really excited because I've seen Belmont in some pretty fantastic matches.  But these two just didn't seem to click in the ring.  And I mean that in the most respectful way, like Shawn Michaels and Mr. Perfect are two of the greatest of all time and yet I can't recall a good match where they faced each other.

It was a good match and I enjoyed it, one of my favorites of the night, they were just off a step at times.  Sonya is on the poster for the next show in May and I'm very excited to see who her opponent will be.

Alex Mason's losing ways continued this time against the Concept.  The crowd really loves to hate Mason and I think it great.

The 4 way elimination matched featured 3 guys I had never heard of before.  Sasha Jenkins was the stand out, very athletic, I would really like to see more of him in the future.  Johnny Clash looks good but we didn't get to see much of him in the ring, another guy I would like to see return.

The main event six man tag was friggin awesome!  Everyone in that match is really good, and you would be crazy to say you don't want to see any of them back.  I think EYFBO should come back for one of the Fatal Four Ways matches. I would like to see Chris Dickinson vs. Ace Romero.

Randy delivered once again with a kick ass show.  He posted that he wasn't happy with the show and was going to make up for it in May, but in my opinion you would be hard pressed to find anyone of the fans that attended that night!

Thanks for reading, please take a moment to leave a comment, like my blogs Facebook page at www.facebook.com/thewrestlinginsomniac.com 

Later Readers!

Saturday, March 12, 2016

The Last Match - Legends of the Ring

For this edition of The Last Match we feature 6 of the all time greats in professional wrestling.  I have never meet and of these legends nor have ever seen them live in the ring. 

Pat Paterson & Manager The Grand Wizard
Pat Patterson

Considered to have one of the greatest minds in wrestling Patterson's career both in the ring and behind the scenes spanned more than 50 years.  Famously known for being the first WWE Intercontinental Champion and later as one of Mr. McMahon's stooges Patterson is well respected by all.  Patterson has two final matches, the first in 1987 as a regular competitor and the second in 2000 as he and Gerald Brisco briefly returned to the ring feuding for the Hardcore Championship. 

August 31, 1987 Montreal Forum lost to Brutus Beefcake, Mr. T was special referee
Second final Match
King of the Ring, June 25, 2000 lost Hardcore Championship to Crash Holly 
Patterson was defending the belt against Jerry Brisco in a hardcore evening gown match.

“Nature Boy” Buddy Rogers

The original Nature Boy, Buddy Rogers in ring career spanned more than 40 years he is a former NWA World Champion and the first ever WWE (WWWF) World Champion.  Rogers was the first bleach blonde arrogant heal and was the basis for many other that followed including Ric Flair.  It is little known that he was also the basis for Butch Reed's Natural character in the WWE.

On July 9, 1978 Rogers lost a battle of the Nature Boy match to Ric Flair.  He had agreed to wrestle Buddy Landel in early 1992 however the match never took place.  Rogers died on June 26, 1992. 

September 17, 1983 Baltimore WWF House Show
Teamed with Jimmy Snuka to defeat IC Champion Don Muraco & Lou Albano

Arnold Skaaland

The Golden Boy had an illustrious 30 plus year career both in the ring and out has a manger and later agent in the WWE.  Skaaland is known for managing both Bruno Sammartino and Bob Backlund during their Championship title runs and is best known for by my generation for throwing in the towel allowing Iron Sheik to defeat Backlund for the championship.  Skaaland died March 13, 2007.

January 1, 1984 Hartford, CT WWF House Show
Teamed with Jimmy Snuka to defeat IC Champion Don Muraco & Lou Albano

Pat O’Connor

From New Zealand O'Connor is a former AWA & NWA World Champion. O'Connor set many records for attendance and ticket sales in the Chicago against the likes of Yukon Eric, Bruno Sammartino, and his NWA World Championship loss on June 30, 1961 to "Nature Boy" Buddy Rogers.  O'Connor died August 16, 1990.  At Starrcade that year WCW held the "Pat O'Connor International Tag Team Tournament" which you can read a blog I wrote about it here.

February 4, 1982 defeated Takashi Ishikawa AJPW New Year Giant Series 1982 Tokyo

Lou Thesz

A legitimate hooker Thesz is considered by many as the greatest professional wrestler of all time.  Thesz career spanned an unbelievable 58 years from 1932 to 1990.  He held the NWA World Championship three times for a total of 3,749 days.  Thesz contribution to wrestling is immeasurable.  He passed away April 28, 2002 from complications to an aortic valve replacement.     

December 26, 1990 Hamamatsu, Japan NJPW King of Kings
Defeated by Masahiro Chono at age 74

Bruno Sammartino

The "Living Legend" debuted in 1959 in Pittsburgh his adopted home town.  Four short years later he would submit Buddy Rogers in less than a minute for the WWWF Championship, his two combined reigns lasting 4,040 days.  Although Sammartino has success around the world he primarily competed in the north east for the majority of his career where is sold out Madison Square Garden a record 187 times.  

Moments after defeating Rogers for the WWWF Championship

WWF house show Baltimore, MD August 29, 1987
Champion Hulk Hogan & Bruno Sammartino defeated King Kong Bundy & the One Man Gang when Hogan pinned Bundy

Legends Battle Royal

In 1987 WWF hosted a battle royal that featured some of the greatest wrestlers of all time.  For many of these wrestlers is would be there last match in wrestling and for other their only match in a WWF ring.  For the purposes of my column "The Last Match" I only count traditional wrestling or tag team matches.  

The competitors:
Lou Thesz, Pat O'Connor, Nick Bockwinkel, Bobo Brazil, Gino Brito, Edouard Carpentier, Al Costello, The Crusher, Dominic DeNucci, Tony Garea, Rene Goulet, Gene Kiniski, Killer Kowalski, Pedro Morales, Baron Mikel Scicluna, Arnold Skaaland, Chief Jay Strongbow, & Art Thomas. 

WWF House Show East Rutherford, NJ The Meadowlands November 16, 1987
Lou Thesz won last elimination Pat O'Connor at 11:11

Thanks for reading, please take a moment to leave a comment, like my blogs Facebook page at www.facebook.com/thewrestlinginsomniac.com 

Later Readers!

Sunday, March 6, 2016


 Sadly on March 3rd Eiji Ezaki better known to the world as professional wrestler Hayabusa died from a subarachnoid hemorrhage at the age of 47.

I first saw Hayabusa when he teamed with Jinsei Shinzaki in a tag team match against Rob Van Dam and Sabu at ECW's Heatwave 1998 for the ECW World Tag Team Championships.  Thanks to PWI and other publications I had heard of Hayabusa before and was anxious to see him in action.

Initially my reaction was that he was the Japanese version of Sabu.  They even wore the same gear in the ring, except Sabu didn't have a mask.  I would learn that Hayabusa was not a carbon copy of Sabu and in fact may have been even more extreme than the homicidal, suicidal, genocidal, death defying maniac himself.

A still from ECW Heatwave 98
In October 2000 Tokyopop started releasing DVD compilations featuring the matches of Frontier Martial Arts Wrestling or FMW.  One release was nothing but Hayabusa matches showing violent and bloody feuds with "Gladiator" Mike Awesome, Mr. Gannosuke, Atushi Onita, and more.

Hayabusa competed in some of the most violent and bizarre matches I have ever seen.  Later in his career he competed as H wearing no mask and basically daisy duke style cut off jean shorts.  As H he wrestled Mr. Gannosuke, who at this point was dressed as Hayabusa wrestling under the name Darkside Hayabusa, in an anal bomb explosion match.  Essentially a roman candle was jammed up H's butt and lit it...yes this happened in a wrestling ring.

On October 22, 2001 at the FMW PPV Power Splash 2001 Eiji once again wrestling as the masked Hayabusa was wrestling against Mammoth Saski and went a springboard moonsault.  This was a move he had performed probably hundreds of times, a move that several other wrestlers have performed hundreds of times, and yet on this day his feet slipped on the ropes and he landed on his head breaking his neck paralyzing him.

Moments after the  botched springboard moonsault that ended his career.
FMW closed down shortly thereafter amidst controversy.

Hayabusa would regain some feeling in his legs and in mid 2015 would walk to and enter the ring with only the assistance of a cane.

You should take some time and go to YouTube and watch some of Hayabusa's art, is art of wrestling.  I've taken the liberty to give you some links of matches.

Thanks for reading, please take a moment to leave a comment, like my blogs Facebook page at www.facebook.com/thewrestlinginsomniac.com 

Later Readers!

Saturday, March 5, 2016

My tour of Titan Towers

Originally Posted on my Facebook Page

My tour of Titan Tower aka WWE Headquarters

August 30, 2008 at 7:44pm
July 9, 2008 was one of the greatest days of my life. That was the day that I toured Titan Towers, the headquarters of World Wrestling Entertainment.

To fully explain how this came about we need to go back in time to June 6th, the day I wrote WWE Magazine about an error in the current issue. It was just a small paragraph about how a match on the new Steve Austin DVD had never before been released on home video, nor had it ever been seen on TV. The match in question is Steve Austin vs. Yokozuna that took place prior to SummerSlam 1996.

In my letter I corrected them telling them how it was on the "Free For All" the old PPV preview show that featured a match and hype for the upcoming event. It was also released on a Coliseum Home Video called "Free For All." In my letter I noted that I had no proof to back up my claim as that tape, as well as most of my wrestling collection including over 400 VHS tapes, over 150 figures in package, every issue of Raw Magazine from May/June 1996 to September 2007, and irreplaceable personal items all destroyed in a flood on April 29th.

Being a WWE magazine subscriber for over 20 years and a lifelong fan of WWE I had written them about 2 dozen times and never gotten a reply. I was shocked to see a reply in my inbox only 3 minutes after I sent my e-mail. It stated: "In literal terms, you're right. Sorry to hear about the flood. Do you have picks of that disaster?"

Over the next 7 days Magazine Editor Rob Bernstein and myself exchanged e-mails that went a bit like this: I sent him several photo's of the damage, he asked if they print a few with my letter in an issue and said they might be able to replace something in my collection, but no promises. I was stoked at the idea of having my letter and pictures printed in the magazine, and told him so. Then he asked if I would be willing to drive down to Titan Tower for a tour of WWE HQ. It was a no brainer of course I would be willing to go, so after I checked with the wife, I immediately replied that I would be more than willing to drive to Stamford, CT.

As it happened we were going on vacation to Pennsylvania to visit my brother-in-law the first week of July so we worked out that I would stop in on July 9th on the way back home. The only catch would be that I would have to be willing to be photographed for a feature in the magazine and if they gave me anything I couldn't put it in my basement. Deal!

This was all worked out by June 13th, the only downer was that I would have to wait almost a full month for this once in a lifetime opportunity. Honestly I was extremely nervous that from some reason or another they would postpone or cancel my visit all together. I didn't hear back from them until July 3rd telling me where to park and how to enter the building.

Mr. Bernstein called me on July 8th asking me if there was one thing I could have from the WWE Shopzone what would it be. I hesitated for a minute and then said "Shooting for the stars? The WrestleMania 24 winner's plaque, but I'm realistic and I would love the new Ric Flair DVD that came out today." He asked for more info about the plaque, I told him and reiterated that I was realistic and the Ric Flair DVD would be great.

My wife and I travelled to Pennsylvania with our son in our vehicle, and my mother and father-in-law, sister-in-law, her husband and their son in their vehicle. We all left to go home on July 9th, but stayed the night at Foxwoods on the way. So my wife and son road with them straight through to Foxwoods and I drove myself to Stamford.

I left Penns Creek, PA just after 4am for the 234 mile drive to Stamford. That would give me 6 hours to get there, leaving time for breakfast and extra time in case I ran into traffic. Along the way I listened to "Don't eat this book, the Supersizing of America" by Morgan Spurlock, a book on CD I picked up for like $5. It was informative and it got me there. I stopped in Sleepy Hallow, New York at the Horseman for breakfast, excellent.

I got to Titan Tower just before 10am. I had entered through the gates and into the parking garage to level B and entered the guest entrance. The building is completely secure with electronic key card locks on all the doors, and 2 gates to get into the parking garage. You don't get into the building unless they want you to.

After waiting a few moments in the lobby I went to the first flood and was greeted by Mr. Bernstein, my host for the day. He brought me into the Magazine department and introduced me. We went into his office to talk briefly and go over the days events. Jeremy Brown joined us as he would be the one to bring me around Titan Tower and the TV Facility. Mr. Bernstein told me that my story would be in the October issue and it would be a two page feature. I was shocked to say the least.

First and foremost I must say that everyone I met at Titan Tower and the TV Facility was extremely nice to me and made me feel welcome. My main goal on the tour was to stay out of everyone's way and show my respect and appreciation for bringing me in for the tour. At each department I would be introduced and told why I was on the tour. They would invite me into their office or work area, show me in great detail what it is that they do.

Everyone seemed genuinely happy with what they do for work. They had no problem answering any questions that I had, and for certain departments there were a lot of questions. I made sure to thank everyone and tell them that I appreciated their time.

We toured the halls of Titan Tower with a photographer named Sam with us taking pictures, candid's and posed photo's of me through-out the building. Through-out the building they have multiple TV's that are constantly looping that week's shows. I got detailed tours of the almost every department from the Magazine to creative to accounting. Employee's offices and cubicles were decorated with loads of wrestling memorabilia old and new. It was sensory overload trying to take everything in see everything.

The executive floor were Vince's office is, is wicked nice. They have a huge wall of enlarged photo's that are lit from behind of the current champions. It is bad ass. We went to the roof to Titan Terrace where they have tables and chair set up for nice days. We took a couple photos of me with the flag in the background, once the wind picked up.

The halls of Titan Tower have event posters all over them and wrestling memorabilia in glass cases through-out. The coolest being Andre The Giants boots, and Triple H's leather & jean jacket.

We drove a couple miles down the road to the TV Facility. It's in an unmarked building behind a security gate as well. Next door is the daycare center Titan Tots, awesome name. TV was extremely cool! I got to see the video vault! The room is massive in size with more tapes than you could possible imagine. I learned about the HD conversion, the WWE 24/7 editing process, how they catalog the shows into the computer data base.

I got to enter the editing suite where "Mean" Gene Okerlund, Sean Mooney, and other did the Updates and home Video Openings. They were currently editing that week's episode of Smackdown!. They showed me how they edit out a camera shake during Edge's entrance.

At the graphic design department they showed me how they do the bumpers and teasers for the upcoming matches, the graphics for the Pay Per Views and whatnot. It was all quite impressive and they have top of the line cutting edge technology.

We headed back to Titan Tower to conclude the tour. I sat and spoke with Rob Bernstein in his office. He wanted to go over the days events and ask what I liked the most. There was a knock on the door and in walked Shane McMahon. I did a double take and, to be honest, freaked out on the inside. Shane said, "Hey man what's going on?" It took me a moment to realize that he was talking to me. We spoke briefly for a few minutes, he thanked me for being a loyal fan and for supporting WWE through the years. I was able to get a picture with him, which was very cool. He was wicked nice and I was grateful that he took a few minutes of his day to come over and see me.

Finally they brought me into a conference room that was laid out with TONS of stuff. I was blown away by the shear volume of stuff they gave me. The whole magazine staff was in there clapping for me, I almost got emotional.

One of the items they gave me a piece of that is 16 X 16 with the WWE Logo on it. I had the entire Magazine staff sign it for me in a silver sharpie. They help me box up all the swag and load it into my blazer, it filled it.

It was such a surreal day and the 3 ½ hours I was there flew by so fast. Words can't fully describe what the experience meant to me.

Once I got home I was able to sort through everything. I got:

10 T-shirts and a Sweatshirt

18 autographed pictures

20 Classic series Action Figures

66 DVD's 1 of those was the WrestleMania Anthology so I guess 87 DVD's.

Every Issue of Raw Magazine, plus various WWF Magazines dating from 86 – 90's

The entire current run of WWE Magazine

3 Hats & a Rey Mystero Mask

The Logo wall art

WrestleMania pin set from 1 through 20

The WrestleMania XXIV Winner's Plaque

They called me a week later to ask me some questions for the article in the magazine. I thanked them several times again for the spectacular day.

I debated about posting this blog sooner, but decided to wait until the magazine came out. Again anything could change between then and now and I didn't want to talk about it to not have it happen. Yesterday though, I got the October issue in the mail and there it was, my two pages of glory. My buddy Jay bought it today at Hannaford, so it's on newsstands if you're interested.

Again it's the October issue with Batista on the cover.