Tag Archive: wrestlemania


 

Peter Carrette Archive Collection

I realized last night I didn’t make time for an annual wrestling post this year leading up to WrestleMania.  That can be taken a lot of ways I guess, but it’ll be on in the background Sunday.

Can’t hear this song without thinking of wrestling though.  Vince owes this woman a good deal for helping them hit the mainstream when WrestleMania started.

Enjoy!

 

Edge-Entrance

This year’s WrestleMania song of choice.

I’m not the first to say this, but it’s true: Edge’s theme just works as a great rock song.

Enjoy!

foley

One today for the wrestling fans. I imagine I’ll be posting this one annually it’s for a great cause.

The Hardcore Legend himself, Mick Foley, is the face of a raffle organized every year by the charity RAINN (Rape Abuse & Incest National Network).  For as little as $10, you get the chance for the Ultimate Wrestling Fan Weekend.  Tickets to WrestleMania, a dinner with Foley himself, tickets to JR’s One Man Show…those are just a few of the ridiculous amount of perks available to the grand prize winner.

Full information is here, and good luck.  Or rather in this case, Have a Nice Day!

Foley’s WrestleMania Raffle

macho-man

Like I do every year, I’m using the WWE Network to go through ‘the History of the WWE’ to get ready for WrestleMania.

Watched III and IV this weekend, which established my guy Macho Man Randy Savage as one of the best ever (disrespect meant, all you Pukeamaniacs).

Anyway, his theme was obviously a standard used every year for graduations.  Did a quick search to see if I could find a really epic version of it.

(Yep, I’d say this does it for me.)

Enjoy!

Mick-Foley

I’m not as interested in ‘the product’ as I was when I was younger, but still, for the hardcore wrestling fans among you.  This is an incredible chance at a once in a lifetime opportunity.

Mick Foley has been running his WrestleMania raffle for a few years now, but this year the winning package is incredible: in the suite for WrestleMania, Ring of Honor tickets, meet and greet with good old J.R., four star hotel stays…that’s like 10 WrestleMania trips in one.  And a $10 buy in gets you a chance.

All the details are at the site below.  Someone is about to win a trip of a lifetime, and for a charitable cause.

https://rainn.org/WrestlemaniaRaffle2015

 

yobumrushtheshow

You know, a few weeks back at the last MMA show, a few people asked me what my ‘walk in’ music would be if I was in a fight or a WrestleMania situation.  And I have so many hype songs, I really couldn’t pick one off the type of my head.

Then last night, young Mister Fallon and the Roots reminded me there is one song above all other that gets me bouncing off the walls!!!

Enjoy!!!

 

The Return of the Rock

Time for my annual pre-WrestleMania post…

The main event for this year’s event is current poster boy John Cena vs. the last generation’s poster boy The Rock.  So who will win?  The answer is obvious if you know how pro wrestling works…

The last true ‘Icon vs. Icon’ match also involved the Rock, when he went one on one with Hulk Hogan at WrestleMania XVIII in Toronto.  The Hulkster walked in as the heel (bad guy), but the crowd instantly turned him face (good guy) for the sheer nostalgia of seeing the guy we all grew up with back at ‘The Showcase of the Immortals’ for the first time in years.  The Rock won that night, but the memory of the match is seeing one of the Icons of the Business deliver a show on the big stage one last time.  That match, in my opinion, should be the blueprint for Rock-Cena.

But should the outcome be different?  WrestleMania this year is in Rock’s ‘hometown’ of Miami; this time around the roles are reversed and he’s a bigger mainstream star than his opponent.  And (as Cena has repeatedly pointed out in his promos), Rock is way more celebrity/movie star at this point than wrestler.  He’s been that way for years.  And when was the last time a celebrity guest lost or was made out to be the fool at WrestleMania?  Think Snooki, Floyd Mayweather…it just doesn’t happen.

But this time it will.

And generational bias aside, this is why it irks me to no end when people hate on the Rock as a wrestler.

Rock grew up in the Business.  He understood, like Ric Flair and Shawn Michaels, that ring psychology thrives when you make your opponent look like a superstar.

I ask you, who sold a Stone Cold Stunner better than the Rock?

I ask you again, when Brock Lesnar was pushed to the moon, who (unlike some of his peers) put company first and dropped the belt to make the new guy legitimate?

So as much as I’ll be rooting for the Rock Sunday night, the smart fan in me knows he’s going to do what’s best for business and, in all likelihood, lose clean to John Cena.

But not without being The Most Electrifying Man in Entertainment along the way…

If all goes well, I’ll have a KU post going into Monday night…

 

I’m good for one wrestling column a year, and Wrestlemania is this weekend, so…

The draw this year for Wrestlemania is the return of ‘the People’s Champ’, the Rock, as the host of Wrestlemania (don’t ask what that means exactly, nobody really knows.)

Anyway, immediately upon returning, the Rock referenced having a showdown with John Cena, the current face of World Wrestling Entertainment.  The heat between them comes out of some comments Cena made in an interview saying the Rock doesn’t love the wrestling business since once he started making Hollywood movies, he never looked back.

In a series of skits since then, the Rock, one of wrestling’s great talkers (and with the possible exception of Nature Boy Ric Flair, wrestling’s greatest/funniest trash talker) has defended himself (saying he’s made it easier for Cena and other wrestlers to get into movies and other mainstream venues) while at the same time ripping apart every weakness of the John Cena character (his main fans are women and children, he’s hard working but not really a great ‘worker’, the character as a whole has gotten stale).

Now I’ll say that over time I’ve come to respect John Cena.  He’s the face of the WWE in a down time for wrestling as popular entertainment.  He’s the face of a company that is caught between wanting to be seen as ‘family entertainment’, but has its roots in the lower classes and bloodsport.  But what happens when your main attraction is getting booed by your core audience (boys and young men)?

A few suggestions…

1) John Cena, Go Away

Not meant in a mean spirited way.  Here are a few of the guys who are either gone completely or missed most of the past 12 months: Shawn Michaels, Triple H, the Undertaker, Chris Jericho, Batista.  Five well established main eventer and former World Champions.  To his credit, John Cena has been the mainstay in a transition year for the company.  There were hints of it during a ‘Cena’s fired’ angle earlier in the year, but nobody would benefit more from just being gone from TV for a few months than John Cena.  It’s just human nature, people just get bored and tired of seeing the same thing after awhile.  Speaking of which…

2) Character Development

Cena’s best promo in this battle with the Rock was when he became ‘the Doctor of Thuganomics’ again.  Even though Cena rapping always makes me laugh in a condescending way, it did remind me he wasn’t always the ‘goofy Superman’ he is now.  I’m not saying a ‘Hollywood Hogan’ heel turn is needed.  Much as the Miz has also earned my respect as someone ‘running with the ball’, I don’t think he’s ready to be the new face of WWE (yet).  Regardless, it’s way past time to adapt the John Cena character in some way.  I caught the ’50 Greatest Superstars in Wrestling’ DVD over the weekend, and damn near everyone on that list kept evolving their character until (and sometimes after) they stopped being active in the ring on a regular basis.  Hell, when people turned on the Rock when he started making movies, what did he do?  He came out in a bigger pair of sunglasses, and a golden belt buckle and become a heel you couldn’t help but laugh with and cheer for at times.  By comparison, here’s what the other three main guys on Cena’s show in the past show:

The Miz: annoying snot midcarder to ‘the guy in the gym who’s good but really believes he’s the best’

CM Punk: self righteous ‘better than you’ leader to straight out cult-type leader

Randy Orton: heartless, sadistic heel to ‘Stone Cold’ light badass antihero

Speaking of Orton…

3) Find Your Kryptonite

It’s a fair analogy in today’s WWE to say John Cena is Superman and Randy Orton is Batman.  And like in the movie world, Batman is making great movies and Superman is still not connecting to this generation.  In large part, because Superman is seen as ‘too god-like’.  Likewise, Cena needs something, anything, that can be established as a known weakness to his character.  And no, being outnumbered doesn’t count.

For example, everyone knew Shawn Michaels had a bad back.  For the second half of his career, any time an opponent went for the back, there was an instant story.  Stone Cold Steve Austin wore two knee braces and a busted neck.  (I won’t make the millionth joke about Cena’s ability to sell injuries.)  We’ll see where it goes, but Cody Rhodes spent a year building a character that was overly vain.  When he suffered a ‘facial injury’, that meant something.  What’s the one thing that can be expressed within the confines of a wrestling match that brings John Cena to his knees?  The character desperately needs that.

Man, I wrote way more than I planned on this one.  Answers may come this Sunday at Wrestlemania.  We shall see.

 

ricflair078

“Whether you like it or don’t like it, learn to love it!  WHOOO!”

As a kid growing up in Kansas City, we’d make frequent trips to my parents birth state of Louisiana, where most of my aunts and uncles reside.  My mother’s hometown would be considered rural South; I lived there for a short while.  There aren’t gutters like in the city; just huge ditches that run up and down the residential streets (helpful if say, a hurricane type storm comes through).  While I don’t hear my Midwestern accent, I always hear the accent of my cousins.  The parts of the vocabulary that passed on to me, calling my elders Ma’am and Sir, saying ya’ll as opposed to you all, I definitely picked up in my time spent down South. 

My grandfather didn’t have cable the way we think of it now.  Anytime I’d go to his house, two things stood out that I didn’t see in Kansas: the joint JFK/Martin Luther King portrait in the living room (all the other pictures were family), and the huge television that he must had going back to the 60s.  That television didn’t pick up local news (cause there wasn’t really any TV station in that town) but we did get Superstation TBS.  My grandfather was a huge baseball fan, so anytime the Atlanta Braves were playing, that TV was on.  One of my most cherished memories as a kid was going with my grandfather to a Kansas City Royals game.  To the best of my knowledge that’s the only time he ever went to a live major league game. 

The other thing I could count on from Superstation TBS growing up was World Championship Wrestling.  World Championship Wrestling in the 80s meant one man.  The wheelin’ and dealin’, kiss stealin’, limosuine ridin’, jet flyin’ son of a gun!  The Nature Boy Ric Flair!  Ninety percent of the time Flair was the ‘heel’ or bad guy, but he was so charming, so stylish, so funny, he was to me the first in a long line of bad guys who were so good at being bad I ended up cheering for them anyway (followed in no particular order by the Joker, Tony Montana, and Barry Bonds to name a few). 

If the 80s were the last real era of excess, Flair’s style was the perfect personification of that.  Why did he dress so well?  Because that’s how he felt ‘the Man’, the World Champion should present himself.  Not just the best in the ring, but the best out of the ring too.  One promo which I’ll never forget for obvious reasons, was when he started railing about how all the girls wanted Slick Ric, and wanted to take a ride on Space Mountain, then looked inside his suit jacket and read ‘This coat made for the World Champion, by Michael’s of Kansas City!”  How in the hell was I not going to get geeked off of that?

Another Flair attribute I always tried to emulate was his trash talking style.  Everybody does some version of “I’m big, I’m bad, I’m the best!”  Flair was the first (and best) person I ever saw who knew how to talk trash and make you crack up laughing at the same time (even as a bad guy).  For those of you who watched my own ‘wrestling persona’ on TV, I have no problem admitting I watched all the ‘Naitch’ I could to try to nail the comedic timing aspect that goes with the type of smack talk I gravitate to. 

My personal favorite smack talk line of all time:  Flair was cutting a promo against Ricky ‘the Dragon’ Steamboat to promote their championship match at an upcoming Clash of the Champions.  Flair comes into the ring with four or five girls, he’s wearing a fur coat, he’s stylin’ and profilin’ (and he was the bad guy by the way).  The Dragon comes to the ring, as ‘Mom’s Apple Pie’, a well known married man, with a son known as ‘Little Dragon’, who represented the family unit and family values.  Two men who stylistically couldn’t be more opposite.  Anyway, as Ricky finishes running Flair down for being a bad example for all the kids in the audience, Flair arrogantly grabs the mic, blowing Steamboat off with the still classic line:

“I’m going to go out, and live life the way a World Champion should live life.  Why don’t you go home, and help the missus with the dishes?”

It was one of the biggest jerk things I’ve ever heard someone say, and I couldn’t have been cheering any louder.  That was Ric Flair.

Even though it was long overdue, when Flair finally retired as an active competitor at last year’s Wrestlemania, there was a genuine sadness in me, and for many of the kids of my generation.  Wrestling of course, is no more real than what I do, but like what I do, it’s a form of storytelling.  Ric Flair was both one of the best and the most passionate performers within his craft.  I still keep one eye on wrestling to see if there’s anything going on that interests me, but I keep an eye on it knowing there will never be another Nature Boy Ric Flair.

WOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!