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Posts Tagged ‘Vince McMahon’

Schamberger Labs 035: Hulkamania Runs Wild, Brother!

Posted by flairwhoooooo on February 25, 2014

This week I show you how I did my new portrait of Hulk Hogan, dude! And besides my pythons, I also share new paintings of Mark Henry, The Miz, Madison Rayne, Vince McMahon, Aksana, and Alicia Fox! And for all of you Artamaniacs out there, I also go over my current items available at WWE Auctions! BROTHER!

http://www.robschamberger.com

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Joe Babinsack reviews “Somebody’s Obsession” by Matt Murphy

Posted by flairwhoooooo on February 9, 2011

“With each chapter, this book becomes more addicting. You don’t have to be a wrestling fan to enjoy it.”
– Jason King, Yahoo! Sports

“A heck of a story about the less glamorous side of the wrestling business.”
– Mike Mooneyham, author, Sex, Lies, and Headlocks

#1 Wrestling Book on Kindle Bestseller List

The Somebody Obsession
By Matt Murphy
www.mattsomebody.com
www.amazon.com
$12.95
Reviewed by Joe Babinsack

Harley Race is quoted as introducing Matt Murphy, to Vince McMahon, as “my first graduate and he has one hell of a mind for the business.”

There’s really not a better introduction to a review Matt Murphy’s book, The Somebody Obsession. It shows who Murphy knew, the opportunities he had, and the impression he had on one of pro wrestling’s greats, to the point where the former WCW Champion, WWE headliner and wrestling promoter/training school owner put his reputation on the line in saying that very line.

The wrestling industry has a thousand Matt Murphys, but each one of them has a slightly different story. Unfortunately, too many of them have ended up in an obituary. Matt Murphy’s story of leaving the business was, in many ways, a positive ending to his otherwise star-crossed career.

Murphy’s star streaked across two continents, several notable promotions in the Mid-west and Japan, and despite the constant suggestions for him to “hit the gym” he made impressions on decision makers who were never that easy to impress.
Harley Race being the first and foremost of them.

Yet Murphy’s star lasted merely a half-decade, and he was only 24 when he figuratively left his wrestling shoes in the ring. Injuries piled up, and while it was a car accident that really put him into retirement, the underlying struggle to work through various injuries wore him down up to that point.

Self-medicating on booze and sex were side effects of “The Somebody Obsession”, and the booze really did him in, yet the obsession to work, to struggle and to put up with the politics, lack of paydays and constant schedule cannot be ignored.
The only irony is that Murphy only really dedicated himself to the gym at the point where the accident made it a moot point.

Had he packed on some pounds and some muscle, would he have gotten a roster spot in Pro Wrestling Noah, or been regarded as a can’t-miss prospect from Harley Race’s WLW/Training School, or could it have gotten him into the WWE when he had a few excellent appearances to put over Kaeintai and Justin Credible?
It’s bittersweet to consider.

For the rest of Joe Babinsack review at Wrestling Observer/ Figure Four Online of “Somebody’s Obsession” by Matt Murphy click here

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MWR presents Larry Matysik with the 2009 MWR Lifetime Achievement Award

Posted by flairwhoooooo on December 27, 2010

Mickey Garagiola and Larry Matysik

When you say the name Larry Matysik to a wrestling fan in St Louis, you get the same warm feeling that St Louis Cardinal fans get when you mention former ST Louis Cardinal announcer Jack Buck. Admiration and great memories quickly come to mind.

Both men were the fans best friend when it came to providing them with the much desired information about what was transpiring in the sport that they were into.

Buck was the man to hear the play by play of Cardinal greats such as Bob Gibson, Lou Brock, Ozzie Smith, Willie McGee and Bruce Sutter. Fans watched as Matysik called play by play in matches that saw “King Kong” Brody, Dick “the Bruiser, Lou Thesz, Gene Kiniski, Pat O’Connor, Harley Race, Buddy Rogers and many more in action.

St Louis promoter Sam Muchnick was wise enough to know that for wrestling to succeed in St Louis, a sports town that he would have to bring the same respectability that the Cardinals brought to the city.

Wrestling at the Chase

A main piece to the puzzle would be the Voice of Wrestling at the Chase. The television program which broadcast from 1959 to 1983 from the majestic Chase Hotel would be the face of wrestling in St Louis.

Larry interviewing David Von Erich after beating Harley Race

Matysik has been much more than a man calling the play by play of great matches in St Louis. At the young age of 16 in 1963, Muchnick hire Matysik and would be very supportive and helpful in the career that saw Matysik also man the publicist and office manager, as well as book the matches.

In 1984 he would begin working with Vince McMahon and then WWF (now WWE) till 1993.

Matysik has since gone on to write some of the must read books in the industry including

1) Wrestling at the Chase: The Inside Story of Sam Muchnick and the Legends of Professional Wrestling
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Wrestling at the Chase is a fond, informative, amusing, and even poignant look at the who’s who of professional wrestling and legendary St. Louis promoter Sam Muchnick.
St. Louis was the capital, and Muchnick the ruler of professional wrestling, before Vince McMahon’s World Wrestling Entertainment took over. What happened in St. Louis paved the way for today’s multi-billion-dollar sports entertainment industry. The centerpiece of this magical operation was “Wrestling at the Chase,” a television program which broadcast from 1959 to 1983 from the majestic Chase Hotel.

Larry Matysik was Muchnick’s protégé and longtime announcer for the television show. With an insider’s eye for detail and accuracy, he recalls funny and amazingly touching tales about the characters who created professional wrestling as we know it. Ric Flair, “King Kong” Brody, Dick “the Bruiser,” the Von Erichs, Lou Thesz, Gene Kiniski, Pat O’Connor, Johnny Valentine, Dick Murdoch, Harley Race, Buddy Rogers, Jack Brisco, and Andre the Giant are all prominently featured. So is Muchnick himself, the Damon Runyan of wrestling, a man who helped mould the bizarre business of circus and sport. The savage twists of the politics of wrestling are on display as well, particularly the changes that rocked the mat world during the early ’80s.

2) Drawing Heat the Hard Way
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Thrilling but flawed, entertaining despite the swerves and double-crosses, captivating even when repugnant… professional wrestling has enjoyed the attention and loyalty of untold millions for nearly a century. How and why is precisely what Larry Matysik examines in his third book, Drawing Heat the Hard Way: How Wrestling Really Works.

Wrestlers have their own private language, and in the unique world of wrestling “drawing heat” is a very good thing: the successful generation of crowd reaction and fan excitement. The Hard Way? That’s both exactly what it sounds like and something no one in the industry plans for: a legitimate and unintentional wound suffered because something’s gone awry. In Drawing Heat the Hard Way, Matysik explains what it takes to win the hearts and minds of wrestling fans, and how, at times, mistakes, controversy and unexpected turns of events have damaged the reputation or forever changed the business he loves.

If anyone understands wrestling, the problem-child offspring of whatever “real” sport is, it’s Matysik. Drawing Heat the Hard Way takes on the way wrestling is booked or planned; analyzes the roles of wrestlers and announcers, and explores steroids as an industry and fan issue. It also considers wrestling’s power-brokers, from those who influence the business by reporting on it, like Dave Meltzer, to those who make the final decisions on what gets broadcast every week, like the omnipresent Vince McMahon, and even to those who influence the sport with their pocketbooks — the fans themselves.

At times humorous, occasionally heartbreaking, always insightful, Drawing Heat the Hard Way is ultimately an objective take on what it means to be a wrestling fan, from someone who knows the business inside and out.

3) Brody: The Triumph and Tragedy of Wrestling’s Rebel

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The most unpredictable and charismatic grappler of all time? The brute that made brawling an art before the term “hardcore” was coined? The confrontational businessman who fought for every penny he felt he deserved?

“Bruiser” Brody had no peers when it came to blood and guts, controversy and independence. Most wrestling promoters portrayed their top talent as exactly that kind of free-spirited, take-no-guff personality. They didn’t mean it, though — which explains why so few would admit to respecting Brody even as they featured him time and again.
So why did they give him work? Simple. “Bruiser” Brody delivered the goods in the ring and at the box office.

In the 1970s and early 80s, Brody was one of the few performers, along with Hulk Hogan and Ric Flair, to be recognized as a national star. With his fiery personality, Brody also conquered the international market.

Nearly two decades after his murder in Puerto Rico, Brody: The Triumph and Tragedy of Wrestling’s Rebel delivers a complete portrait of Brody’s remarkable life. Co-authors Barbara Goodish, Brody’s widow, and Larry Matysik, a close friend, offer a first-time opportunity to truly understand one of the sport’s most complex and controversial human beings. Goodish’s account of her husband’s horrific murder and its aftermath is both heartbreaking and compelling, while Matysik’s insider knowledge of the business puts Brody’s place in wrestling history into perspective. With a foreword by WWE announcer Jim Ross, Brody offers readers the unvarnished truth about one of the greatest wrestling legends of all time.

4) An electronic book- From the Golden Era

This unique digital publication offers a complete record of every twist and turn, of every performer, of all the battles from television’s legendary Wrestling at the Chase, and every card presented at both the historic Kiel Auditorium and The Arena (Checkerdome) during the glory era of the St. Louis promotion.

Wrestling at the Chase announcer and St. Louis insider Larry Matysik adds background about the personalities, business, secrets, and politics to make this electronic book a revealing, in-depth account of three decades of wrestling’s golden era. Featuring everything from attendance figures, to booking strategies, to insights and NWA championship bouts, From the Golden Era: The St. Louis Wrestling Record Book is the once-in-a-lifetime document that every serious wrestling observer must have.

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Matysik has also been instrumental in keeping the history of one of the highest rated wrestling television programs Wrestling at the Chase alive with Classic St Louis Wrestling, hosted by Matysik himself. In 2007. Matysik headed a team to bring to St Louis the St Louis Wrestling Hall of Fame.

He was joined in this effort by promoter Herb Simmons, webmaster Mitch Martsey, sports journalist Keith Schildroth, and longtime fan Nick Ridenour. The Hall of Fame was created to honor the role St. Louis played in helping to establish professional wrestling in North America. Today the hall can be seen at the historic South Broadway Athletic club.

In 2011 fans in St Louis will once again be able to hear the Voice himself call wrestling matches when he returns to TV on Sunday February 6, 2011 at 11:30 am and then rebroadcast on Sunday evening at 10:30pm on Charter Cable channel 8. The matches will be taped in East Carondelet Community Center on Saturday January 22nd.



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Photo Credit Mike Van Hoogstraat

We were thrilled and excited when Matysik agreed to accept the 2009 MWR Lifetime Achievement Award. Earlier this month at MMWA-SICW, MWR’S Dubray Tallman had the honor to present the plaque to a true gentleman and ambassador of pro wrestling, Larry Matysik

Once again, thank you so much for your positive contribution to pro wrestling Larry Matysik.

Please join us at MWR on January 1st when we will announce the recipient for the 2010 MWR Lifetime Achievement Award.

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The Golden Circle: 30 By Greg Anthony

Posted by flairwhoooooo on July 11, 2010

Today’s wrestlers aren’t afraid of being paralyzed,the long term effects of steroids or a half a dozen other reasonable things to be afraid of. The most terrifying thing for a pro wrestler in this era is the number 30. Or more specifically the age 30. The general consensus is that once you’ve hit the magic number, you’ve missed the boat. You may get good opportunities to work good shows but a dream of being a WWE contracted wrestler is over. Is this fact or merely a bitter fiction that has made its bed in our world.

I did some heavy research for this article. I asked the question of several veterans who use to work the territories. Were they afraid of 30 or some other magical number? it wasn’t that they were afraid of 30 but aware of it. If someone hadn’t become a star or had gotten a good as they were going to by the time they hit 30 they usually started making alternative plans for the future. The big difference between then and now is that it was their decision. Plus with several profitable companies and bookers, if one promoter didn’t see anything in you, whose to say the next one wouldn’t.

When Vince started offering contracts to guys like to build a national WWF. He didn’t hire guys 18-20 years old. He hired guys that were seasoned, guys that he knew he could be in relativly any situation and they could perform because this wouldn’t be their first rodeo. And it made for a great product, were from top to bottom you had genuine workers. Guys that were working together to make money. Now everyone wasn’t a Randy Savage or Ricky Steamboat but everyone played their role perfectly.

Now it isn’t to say that WWE has never and will never hire someone over the age of 30. Because they have, most notably guys like The Boogyman and Rico, who were in their late 30s even 40s when hired. The ratio to twenty-somethings vs thirty-plus is a one sided margin for sure. So what is “being in your prime” in pro wrestling now?

Shawn Michaels vs The Undertaker

You look at Shawn Michaels vs The Undertaker, two guys in their 40s who went and had probably the greatest match in Wrestlemania History. Neither man could have had that match when they were 25. Because they hadn’t had the 1000s of matches prior to learn from.

I personally know for a fact that if WWE would have hired me when I was 20 years old, I would have screwed it up in some way. Because I was stupid like all 20 year olds. Its like any sport, you draft someone directly out of high school and you have to deal with a maturing process. You draft a college senior and 4 year starter then,for the most part, you take that maturing process out of the equation. I personally would rather hire someone who is a great worker at 33, that could work for 10 more years than someone who is gonna be just “ok” for 20. But I promise I don’t know everything.

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Dingo wrestles across the country, trains Midwest talent

Posted by reimaginejournalism on July 2, 2009

By Kari Williams

After battling in a losing effort for the Lethal Wrestling Alliance (LWA) Tag Team Championship with NickTyson, Dingo talks with fellow wrestlers backstage after the show. His endearing personality engages his Dynamo Training Gym Student Brandon Aarons. They joke about events of the past few days. Despite the calm exterior, a burning desire for pride and success lies within the Independent Wrestling Association-Mid South (IWA-Mid South) Heavyweight Champion.

“I want to go across the world. I want to work for Vince McMahon one day, eventually. I know all the independent guys [say], ‘Oh, I want to work for Vince,’ but I really, really do,” Dingo explains with intense determination burning in his eyes.

Dingo has traveled the country working for promotions such as Ring of Honor, Combat Zone Wrestling, and Full Impact Pro (Florida), as well as numerous Midwest Promotions. Photo by Brian Kelley

Dingo has traveled the country working for promotions such as Ring of Honor, Combat Zone Wrestling, and Full Impact Pro (Florida), as well as numerous Midwest Promotions.

“I mean, that’s the top of the mountain, what else are you going to aspire to? Work for World Wrestling [Entertainment]…I step back to the box, and I realize I’m a little guy, and is it possible for me to win the championship? It is; it’s not beyond means, but is it probable? I don’t know. We’ll see what happens in the future,” he continued.

With the future still uncertain, Dingo focuses on the present, where he travels the country working for Combat Zone Wrestling, Ring of Honor (ROH), Full Impact Pro (FIP) and an assortment of other companies. His ‘big break’ came from Samoa Joe when they worked on the same card, and he told Dingo to come to Chicago, IL. Although Dingo did not wrestle on the show because it was booked full, another opportunity came his way.

“Joe looked at me, and he said, ‘Right now, you make your promise that you’ll come to Detroit, and I’ll make sure that you wrestle in Detroit.’ Joe was retiring that night from Ring of Honor because he was moving on to TNA, and I said, ‘I make you that promise right now,’ and he goes, “Okay.” So, I went to Detroit, and I got on, and that was the rocket that just blew my ass into independent wrestling,” Dingo said.

From that moment on, Dingo immersed himself in his new world and never looked back. Perhaps seeing that burning passion, ROH Star Davey Richards gave Dingo another means with which to excel.

Dingo battles with Kahagas at High Voltage Wrestling on Jan. 10, 2009 as Referee Eric Davis officiates. Photo by Brian Kelley

Dingo battles with Kahagas at High Voltage Wrestling on Jan. 10, 2009 as Referee Eric Davis officiates. Photo by Brian Kelley

“Davey Richards really, really helped me out. Davey Richards, as much of a hardass as he can be, every now and then just a tiny bit shines through and if you grab on to it, Davey’ll fuckin’ help you out. But you pay for it. You pay for it. He’s a tough dude. He’s a tough dude…God, he’s tough. He’ll beat the crap out of you.

“Davey helps me—and I know a lot of people too—but very few times is it like, ‘Hey, you’re invited,’ based on your work ethic. And that just really helped me seal the deal,” Dingo said with pride emmiting from his being.

Both Richards and Dingo act as Co-Trainers at the St. Louis-based Dynamo Training Gym, which Dingo, Jim Yount and Crystal Yount opened approximately two years ago. According to Dingo, Dynamo acts as, “a conservatory for wrestling where people can hone their skills,” and not worry about company affiliation.

One of Dingo’s students, who wishes to remain anonymous, attributes nearly all of his success to the training he has received at Dynamo.

“[Dingo has] helped me with everything wrestling wise. He taught me 95 percent of the things I know from wrestling; he’s taught me about respect and what not to do and how to act, in front of fans and in front of other wrestlers, and he’s gotten me to IWA already, and I’m sure he’ll get me to bigger and better places in the future,” the student said.

Dingo pummels Pierre Abernathy in his and Nick Tysons attempt to win the LWA Tag Team Titles on May 30, 2009. Photo by Kari Williams

Dingo pummels Pierre Abernathy in his and Nick Tyson's attempt to win the LWA Tag Team Titles on May 30, 2009. Photo by Kari Williams

The IWA-Mid South Heavyweight Champion can attest to that claim through his own experiences and his own connections in the wrestling industry.

“If you really want to earn it, and you do earn it, we’ll help you go to places like IWA, places like FIP, if you want to go to Ring of Honor. We have connections with TNA. I came up in the same school as Delirious and MsChif and Daizee Haze and Evan Bourne. We’re all from the same group. We’re all from the same mold. We’re all doing things on the road. Delirious, and MsChif and Daizee all work for Ring of Honor and Shimmer. Evan Bourne works for the [WWE]. That’s what we do. We provide the ability to move it on,” Dingo said.

As a student of Dingo’s since July 2006, Aarons can attest to his trainer’s statement.

“[Dingo] has more experience and knowledge as a wrestler than anyone one in the area, and he knows what you have to do to take it to the next level. He wants the best out of the wrestlers he trains, and he is willing to work with you if you are willing to give it all you have,” said Aarons.

A protégé of Dingo’s, “Spitfire” Davey Vega, has earned a wealth of knowledge in the three years that the two have worked together.

“He has increased my stamina, my agility and my overall confidence in myself as a person and a wrestler. He has also helped me get my name out by allowing me to travel with him and the opportunity to learn from him and my peers,” Vega said.

Dingo takes on Michael Strider in a Dog Collar Match at CSW on March 8, 2008. Photo by Brian Kelley

Dingo takes on Michael Strider in a Dog Collar Match at CSW on March 8, 2008. Photo by Brian Kelley

Dingo looks at wrestling as a ‘you get what you give’ type of business that he holds dear to his heart.

“Basically, wrestling is about paying it forward, and if you earn your keep [at Dynamo] through rigorous physical activity, I will show the wealth of what I’ve learned. And that’s the way I was taught. You give this gift, and if you’re deemed worthy, you’ll get the receipt of the gift. And it’s really hard. It’s very, very hard. Very rigorous. People think that it’s not all that bad, but it’s amazingly hard,” Dingo said with a sincere seriousness about his voice.

Aarons echoes Dingo’s warning. After three years of training with the IWA-Mid South Champ, Aarons continues to learn. On April 18, 2009 Aarons had the opportunity to wrestle his mentor in LWA. This was Aarons chance to prove that he is a legitimate competitor, that he could hang with, in his opinion, the best in the Midwest.

“I knew what to expect coming into the match, but Dingo is amazing. He has so many things he can puill out of know where, and even though I have been training with him for three years, he still caught me off guard—Proof that with experience comes great skill, which he attains to the maximum degree,” said Aarons.

Brandon Aarons (center) has trained with Dingo since July 2006, which has helped him advance his career. Aarons and Dingo are pictured with A.J. Styles from when Aarons began training. Photo courtesy of Brandon Aarons

Brandon Aarons (center) has trained with Dingo since July 2006, which has helped him advance his career. Aarons and Dingo are pictured with A.J. Styles from when Aarons began training. Photo courtesy of Brandon Aarons

A number of wrestlers, including “Thee” Brandon Espinosa and Aarons, have named Dingo as one who taught them the most about the business. Aarons went so far as to say that he “would not be the wrestler I am today without him. I would not have the confidence and intelligence on the business that I have today without him.”

With nervous laughter, Dingo said, “I feel very worried and very blessed and very honored by that. I worry because I don’t want them to get hurt or ruin themselves doing stupid stuff that I did because I tell them to go out there and give there all. And sometimes their all means they’ll put themselves at very, very big risks, but I feel very blessed and honored at the same time. I don’t have any children, but I liken it to seeing you put that thought process [in their heads], and they turn around and make good out of it.”

The zeal with which Dingo both trains and performs in front of the crowds makes him a role model for other wrestlers just breaking into the business.

“There is nobody in the world that I look up to more than Dingo. Nobody. Not my parents. Not Bruiser Brody. Not Jesus. Nobody,” the Dynamo Trainee said.

Dingo prepares to go to war against Jeremy Wyatt in the NWA-CSW title match from August 2009. Photo by Kari Williams

Dingo prepares to go to war against Jeremy Wyatt in the NWA-CSW title match from August 2009. Photo by Kari Williams

In the next five to 10 years, Dingo hopes to go to Japan and earn a contract or work for TNA or WWE. He realizes the difficulty that sits in front of him, but has no desire to hang up the boots. He will push forward and pursue his dream.

“It’s hard to imagine because I’m a small person. I’m not going to deny the fact of what I am, but at this point in this time from this moment on, I’m putting myself on the line because it’s now or never,” Dingo said.

From bell to bell, from New Jersey to Florida, whether he wrestles the first match on the card or the last, one can rest assure that Dingo will not leave professional wrestling without leaving his mark—not only in the Midwest, but throughout the country.

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Absolute Wrestling Radio 11-30-2008 Ring Of Honor

Posted by flairwhoooooo on December 3, 2008

 rohpromoweb

The 11-30-2008 episode of Absolute Wrestling Radio has Mark Bland going solo. He talks about this Friday’s exciting Ring of Honor show. Find out why Vince McMahon is not happy with Hulk Hogan!! This and much more at http://mwr.podomatic.com/

 

 

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Your Trip to Space Mountain

Posted by Admin on January 23, 2008

Your Trip On Space Mountain

By Brian “Flair” Kelley
Another Monday night is upon us and pro wrestling’s biggest show will be on, WWE’s Monday Night Raw. Will I be home to watch it? Well, there is a chance that I will come in late and watch it tomorrow. Maybe it could be a week later.

How, you may ask? Well, because of one of the greatest inventions since the TV, TIVO. TIVO allows you to set your TV to record a show prior to it coming on. With the push of a button you can have a season pass to all of your favorite shows such as Survivor and American Gladiators… and to boot you can even skip the commercials! Earlier today I asked myself how this technology shaped the way I have been able to watch wrestling.

It seems like only yesterday that I had a mere 3 channels living in the country. I would wait all week to watch pro wrestling on Saturday nights with All-Star Wrestling after Saturday Night Live. To see such stars as Harley Race, Bulldog Bob Brown, and Rufus R. Jones in action in towns that seemed like they were millions of miles away (though it was less than an hour’s drive at times) was a great treat. I came from a family that did not like wrestling, so there was no chance of going to see it live. If I was lucky, sometimes there would be a special WWF Saturday Night show with Hulk Hogan before my favorite All-Star Wrestling. I would be treated with back to back shows of my first love, pro wrestling. For some reason there were many times when All-Star Wrestling was a rerun, though. It was a lot better than the times when it wasn’t on at all and the western program “Branded” starring Chuck Connors took it’s place (to my chagrin).

I loved wrestling so much that I would wake up early on Sundays and skip church so that I could see if the weather was nice enough for a channel that broadcasted pro wrestling out of Texas. World Class Championship Wrestling would broadcast without a picture, but I could hear the play-by-play of wrestlers like One Man Gang and the Fabulous Freebirds. It brought excitement to my ears.

Then there was that day (I don’t remember the exact day) that All-Star Wrestling featured a wrestler that was brought in to defend his belt against the Central States’ best. I watched a wrestling show on TBS that Saturday evening at my Uncle’s that introduced me to the wrestler I would look up to, and embodied my pro wrestling love, “The Nature Boy” Ric Flair.

The man was everything I wanted to be. He had all the ladies and he could really talk. His promos sold me, mainly because he told me he was the best and also had the belt to prove it. Yes, he made me believe… and boy, did he work me over! Anytime I could get in town on Saturday nights (which wasn’t very often) I turned on the TV to see what Flair had done. With the money I had earned by mowing yards and doing other odd jobs, I never missed an issue of Pro Wrestling Illustrated (PWI) at the newsstand. I swear, I would read them over and over again… always checking out the rankings in each organization and stories of dream matches like Flair versus Hogan.

I was fortunate enough to live in the coming age of the VCR, and if I got to rent an event such as Wrestlemania or Starcade then the show was months (if not years) old. That didn’t deter me from watching every match or promo on that tape over and over again, loving every minute of it.

One Christmas right before I turned 16, Santa brought me a VHS titled “Road Warriors: Tag Team Champs”. It was only 30 minutes long, but I got to relive the history of the tag team that introduced me to “Iron Man” and prompted a search through my father’s albums at the age of ten to find the album “Paranoid” by Black Sabbath. That jump started my love for Heavy Metal. If there ever was a perfect VHS then this was it, as you had the Road Warriors at their best. They nearly caused a riot as they destroyed a very young and future great Curt Hennig and his father Larry “The Ax” Hennig. All this and more can now be found easily on DVD in the WWE’S “Road Warriors: The Life and Death of the Most Dominant Tag Team in Wrestling History”.

Fast forward to the present, and pro wrestling has changed considerably. It seems like there is a show on every day and a PPV every Sunday. I feel that there is possibly too much wrestling, but you can contribute some of my lack of interest to the fact that some of the magic has been taken out of the sport since Vince McMahon broke down and said that pro wrestling is in fact sports entertainment. I can’t really say that, though, because it has allowed me to know the wrestlers better as they are more accessible for autographs and pictures (which of course I enjoy).

The Internet Age has allowed me to keep up with all that is happening in the world of wrestling, keep in contact with fellow fans and build friendships with them along the way. I now know of shows that are headed my way farther in advance, and know more about the sport than ever. Many have complained about the impact of the Internet, but I must say it beats paying nearly $10.00 an issue for my beloved magazine PWI only to be given watered down information.

That brings us full circle to the beginning of my article and TIVO, the device that allows me to watch wrestling when I want. Once, I would hurry to make it on time to watch wrestling with my friends because I didn’t want to hear about it second hand. Now, my son always says “Dad, your not even watching it, your listening to the show while checking out the web”. He definitely has a point. If I hear something that appeals to me then I just push the rewind button, and truthfully I don’t see a whole match anymore due to that.

What once made shows like Saturday Night Live, David Letterman and any pro wrestling show special and “must see” has lost that pizazz with technology such as TIVO.

Times have changed, as they should, but at one time I took a break from wrestling for almost 10 years because of these changes. WCW closed the doors and my wrestling love was lost. Thankfully, my love for pro wrestling was reborn when I took a trip to Lawrence, Kansas to see an independent show put on by Central States Wrestling. It rekindled my love for the sport, and unlike TIVO or DVD, at a live independent show you need to keep all eyes focused. You never know what you may miss, because you can’t push a button to see it again. For that 3 hours you have the sport the way it should be.

I hope you enjoyed your first “Your Trip On Space Mountain” and I want to see you at a show soon.

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