Sunday, December 26, 2004

I expected my next posting to be a simple overall review of the Christmas festivities and the chaos and joy that it provides. I want to talk about Marino, Manning, and Favre. I want to talk about those incredible Panthers. But unfortunately, I'm unable to think about anything right now due to the tragic news I was told once I came home today.

Listening to sports radio earlier this morning I heard the report that Vanderbilt RB Kwane Doster was shot to death early this morning. More than any other time of the year, I hate to hear tragedy befalling any family. On our trek from Charlotte to Burlington to visit my family, we passed one accident as one person is lying in the street being attended by paramedics. Much like Doster's case, I don't know the situation, I don't know the person; but it's terrible knowing that some poor family somewhere is going to get the news of the accident on Christmas Eve. It's not right for anyone to say that any one person's life is more valuable than another person's, but despite seeing or hearing about these tragedies, they weren't anything that would truly impact me the way I would be later in the day.

There are few celebrity deaths that truly jar me. There are only two deaths that really stand out to me that I can still remember where I was and what I was doing when I heard the news at that specific moment, that being Brian Pillman and Owen Hart. From the feeling in my gut, today is going to be another one of those days. Death is an all-too common news item in the sports world, whether it be of old age or drug abuse. When I got home this afternoon, Gee hit me with it...a story that I knew she must have misunderstood. She must have gotten confused about Doster's death. I mean, what she told me couldn't be true. Not him, not at his age. But she wasn't wrong.

Reggie White was dead.

At age 43, one of the finest human beings to ever enter the world of sports had passed away. Reggie died in Hendersonville, about 40 miles from my own home. Sometimes when people pass away, we over exaggerate their greatness and their legend, but that's impossible to do with Reggie. Yes, he was probably the greatest defensive lineman to ever play football but he was also the standard barer when it came to athletes doing things for their fellow man and their community.

Personally, I have many, many memories of Reggie as my travels and his frequently went side-by-side and some of my fondest football memories revolve around him. In the early 90s, Reggie White became a star with Philadelphia, and ironically enough, my image of him as an Eagle would be the one as he's holding up the late Jerome Brown's # in 1992, tears streaming down his face. He became one of the first premier NFL free agents when he left Philadelphia. There was talk that he would sign with my then-beloved 49ers. I waited with bated breath as this could very well signal a new dynasty in the NFL as my 49ers were in a war to the death with the Cowboys. Then came the news...Reggie White had signed with...Green Bay. WHAT??? Are you serious??? No one gave a crap about Green Bay! Why would Reggie go to that joke of a team?? They hadn't been anywhere even CLOSE to a championship in nearly 30 years and the Packers had been pretty much forgotten by even die-hard football fans.

Reggie made everyone remember.

Let's call it divine intuition. Somehow, someway, Reggie made people pay attention to Green Bay again. And around this same time, this strange quarterback called Favre starting winning games. And then the Packers fans began to rumble. And game after game after game, the Lambeau mystique began to grow...and grow...and live again. And once Reggie signed, other NFL players looked up at Wisconsin and said "Hey, if it's good enough for Reggie...". And they followed. Desmond Howard, Andre Rison, and others followed Reggie's path. Not for money, but because they trusted Reggie.

I moved to Green Bay in '96, just after they had been knocked off in the NFC championship by the Cowboys. I knew "Green Bay was back" but I didn't know just HOW back they really were till I got off that plane. You see, as much as Reggie had legitimized Green Bay as an NFL contender with his signing, it was NOTHING compared to the belief he has instilled upon the residents of that state. The strangest thing when I started working at WLUK was the fact that all of the PRE-season Packer promos had the SuperBowl trophy logo on them. The season hadn't even started yet and nearly every promo stated "Watch the Packers road to the SuperBowl!".

Over the course of the next year, I began to understand and by season's end, you better believe that I believed as well. In a strange twist of fate, it just so happened that the trust every resident of the state of Wisconsin had put into Reggie would unfold against my favorite team, the expansion darlings, the Carolina Panthers in the NFC championship. Despite the Panthers loss, that game is still one of the most memorable, emotional sites I have ever witnessed which is exactly why it's listed on my blog sidebar as one of my favorite games ever. They would go onto win the SuperBowl two weeks later in a near-afterthought. Reggie, Favre, and all of those that came to Green Bay because they believed had indeed accomplished the ultimate goal.

Thanks to my work at WLUK and the endless Packer shows we produced, I was able to meet Reggie a couple of times during my stay in Green Bay, including during the "world" premier of his one and only feature movie, Reggie's Prayer. A "world" premier of a film that has it's premiere in Green Bay is obviously never going to be a blockbuster, but there was Reggie, in tux and all, greeting everyone under the sun like they were his new best friend. This would also be the first time I would meet Paul "The Giant/Big Show" Wight (who was also in the film), although for some reason, that didn't leave as much of an impact on me. Watching Reggie travel to my "home" during the summer and participating in my one true love, wrestling, as he did a few stints for WCW was quiet entertaining from my position behind the control board back in Green Bay at FOX.

I would move back to North Carolina in 1997 but still kept a watchful eye on the Packers, as they still own a big piece of my heart going back to those wonderful days working beside of Lambeau watching Reggie's belief come true. In yet another personal ironic twist, Reggie and I would continued our WI to NC swap as he came out of retirement to play for my Panthers (and even against his former Packers) for one season in 2000 before retiring again.

Alot of times people will say with an unexpected death that "God needed another angel". This is ridiculously overused as I'm pretty sure that when his fellow inmates did in Jeffrey Dahmer, God wasn't looking for an angel that day. But in Reggie's case...I can believe it. He took a chance on a team that no one else had any faith in and his contributes to his local community and church speak more volumes than I could in a hundred editorials. I will never forget my memories of him, whether they were from TV or in person. Unlike some of the self-proclaimed sports heroes, Reggie White was a TRUE hero to millions of fans and he will be greatly missed.

We love you #92.

Tuesday, December 21, 2004

One great weekend makes for one really looooong BLOG

Finally finding the time to sit down and do the weekend recap (upon request I might add!). A chaotic, but tremendous two days of fun, headlined by CWF's Battlecade V in Burlington. The 5th (technically 4th) anniversary show as Battlecade was the show that started it all back on December 30, 2000 and man, just try and go back and watch that original show now, comparing it to the current product. It's staggering. To say this was the best Battlecade ever would be a gross understatement as despite the previous ones all being special for what they represented, NONE ever came remotely close to this show. Much like the lists you see of "Rating the WrestleMania matches, from top to bottom"; if we did one of Battlecade, this show would dominate the upper half of the list...and man, I may just have to sit down and do that here soon (after my 2004 Top 25 Most Memorable Matches list but of course).

I begged Randolph to even break out a suit for the night and the Awards which I did myself, although the pants and jacket didn't match exactly (not that anyone except for CASS noticed). Accompanied with tennis shoes and my good old Batman film strip tie, fully prepared to sweat my ass off for 3 hours running the handheld in that getup. The Insiders-Tron even made it's debut which has TONS of potential in the future, utilizing it for angles and whatnot. The TV show played on it beforehand and it was a wonderful feeling to have the crowd captivated by a match (Vercetti-Andrews) that they had already seen live but were seeing in a new light, with the commentary and all behind it. The crowd itself was easily the largest CSA crowd ever as we legit had to turn away fans as there was NO room left. Despite the crowd size, they still weren't as loud as they COULD have been, but made up for it in numbers thankfully. The slightly smaller crowd for Ultimate Survivor was far more jakked early on, but overall, I'm not going to complain about this crowd's performance.

On a quick side note, let me just say that as always, the building could have used three more specific fans and I hate to read that they've been going through some tough times as of late. They're wonderful people that work hard and deserve nights to get away and join our little party at the CSA. I hope everything works itself out and the holidays are as good to them as those three been to us this past year.

Onto the show where Commish Cross makes the major announcement of an alliance with the modern-day AWA. I'm not even sure what to think initially as when I think of the AWA I really don't think "'s the AWA". This current AWA is just starting to seriously get off the ground so I HOPE it leads to good things (such as more financial backing so I can edit the TV show! Whoo hoo!) but I hate to get my hopes up too much just yet. In the short term (barring any immediate crash and burn), I do think it will help out as far as publicity; it's just going to be hard for alot of people to take the new AWA seriously when

1-it was never really "over" with fans down here and therefore it's not like they're blown away with it.
2-the original AWA hasn't existed in 15 years and when last it did, it didn't exactly go out with a bang. Go watch some AWA TV from 1990, of which I dare say that our current product is a heck of alot more enthralling than what theirs was then.

Now, by no means am I trying to bash the new alliance because Jeff and Danny will make it work as much as it possibly can work on our end; it's just up more to those behind the other AWA "territories" to step up to our level.

Ok, enough of that, let's move on to the IN ring action -

1. John Brooks and David Cole defeated Krazy K and Dexter Poindexter in 8:46 when Brooks pinned Krazy K - Everything you want from an opener really as despite the usual lack of psychology in these kinds of matches, it was all kinds of fun and the Chikara/Northeast guys fit in just fine. My only knock being that Brooks had ZERO form of gear, but work-wise, it was all gravy. **3/4

2. The Spoiler pinned "Classic" Chris Collins in 5:14 - Basically, the "debut" of the Spoiler and this went about 2 1/2 minutes too long as Collins got way too much offense in to get Spoiler over the way he should have gotten over. This falls more into the category of either one or both of the workers not really understanding the point of the match moreso than one wrestler trying to get his shine in. The work contained within was fine, by and large. 3/4*

Ric, Trent, Attitude (and eventually Corey) did an in-ring promo setting up the main in which the loser between Ric and Corey wouldn't receive another title shot for a YEAR (which meant that tonight would be the final Ric-Corey epic until at least 2006). Fine promo, no problems there but I really only wanted to mention this to point out that Ric struck GOLD and wore the vintage '87 "Macho Man" light purple t-shirt to the ring which I LOVED. Makes me seriously want to track down a "Strike Force" or "Killer Bees" one for myself.

3. Garry "Madd Trucker" Stevens pinned Ryin Andrews in 2:38 - Everything it should have been to set up for where we're going next year. I should note that in this match Andrews totally struck me as a young 1-2-3 Kid wrestling the mammoths like Yokozuna before getting CRUSHED. *

4. The New $outh$ide Playas (J-Money and Will B. Smooth) defeated Alex Adonis and Jay Sinn in 10:19 when Smooth pinned Sinn - The only match on the card that really went into the "Take it home!" category, not that it was bad by any means, it's just that when you have 10 matches to do and your 4th match goes 5 minutes too long, you start to send the cameraman into panic. The match itself was pretty much everything you would expect (both the good and the bad). *

5. Rob "the Bull" McBride pinned "Tremendous" Trent Wylde in 2:55 - A strange little bout to say the least as this would be Trent's final CWF match for quiet some time, a fact that wouldn't be turned into an angle until after the show had concluded. 3 minutes of goofiness, ending with Trent jobbing to Rob's "Boogie Kiss". *

6. "Mighty" Orlo Helmer pinned "Red Hot" Tim Blaze in 00:27 - Everything it should have been and even though it was a non-match, I'll still put it over for that. 1/4*

7. Kid Justice pinned Jesse Ortega in 10:47 of the "Rising Generation League" tournament finals to win the vacant RGL title - this match kicked off the "big 4" home run stretch and thankfully, the show wasn't running behind schedule much to everyone's surprise. I had alot of fear heading into this one, as it was arguably the biggest match in both guys' careers and they had just had a less-than-awe-inspiring outing in Mt. Airy three weeks earlier. The crowd didn't help much in this one as it was baby-baby, but after the slow start, things did pick up, and by the end, somehow they ended up pulling off one of the better matches either have ever had. Very enjoyable finishing sequence and yeah, the match did surpass my expectations and was a perfectly acceptable RGL final despite all my earlier fears. **3/4

8. CWF Mid-Atlantic tag team champions Brass Munkey and American Steel Ninja defeated Drake Tungsten and Matt Houston in 5:22 of a non-title match when Munkey pinned Tungsten - This match should be shown to every worker that every enters this promotion. If there was EVER a perfect example of keeping your stuff condensed, keeping the crowd hot, and still getting everyone over, it'd be this sucker. See, all four of these guys could have easily gone 20, but in doing that, would have possibly lost the crowd on a show where there will still two major matches to go, and I love these four for doing everything we needed in just over 5 minutes. The biggest problem with workers sometimes is that they feel if they don't go 10+, then they don't get their shine, or don't get themselves over or whatnot which is ridiculous. Jeff drummed that "less is more" thing in my head three years ago, and he couldn't be more right. Anyways, fun stuff, wonderful finish which saw Tommy die and then the lights go out, screams are heard, Munkey and Ninja are KO'd with chain and the previously stolen title belts at their feet. Beautiful in every way. **1/2

9. CWF Mid-Atlantic TV champion Mikael Yamaha battled Xsiris, Kamakazi Kid, Number Man to a 10:00 time limit draw in a "Fatal 4 Way" match - Very interesting match with great psychology although it dawned on me during this that great psychology doesn't always make for a great match. Yamaha plays total chicken shit (as he should have) for the first 5 minutes before getting cornered and then trying to hang on for the final 5. Fun stuff, by and large, although the post-match festivities had the focus on Number Man and Yamaha which seemed to make Xsiris and Kazi role players by default (which is kind of a shame considering his heat with those two is just as strong as it is Numbers). **3/4

10. "Slick" Ric Converse pinned "Dangerous E" Corey Edsel in 14:29 to win his second CWF Mid-Atlantic Heavyweight title. Brad Attitude was the special guest referee - Alot of times in these types of matches, the guest referee becomes the focus of the match and distracts from the workers but thankfully, in the final Ric-Corey hurrah, this wasn't the case and Attitude let them do their thing while still getting over his angle with Ric. The match itself was on the usual Ric-Corey level of greatness and a fitting end to the feud. IN addition, all the post-match angles went over beautiful and by god, we have direction! 2005 is poised to be ALOT of fun. ****1/4

Overall thoughts: Wow, 10 matches. That is scary on paper but thankfully, for the most part, everyone kept their time to what it should have been and in the end, even WITH the Awards segment, the show only ran 2:30 in taped time (which is a good 20 minutes shorter than Ultimate Survivor). The crowd stayed with us through the whole thing thankfully and by the end, was probably the best feeling I've had after a show in a looooong time.

Oh yes, the Awards ceremony. Between matches 6 and 7, intermission was also the home for the "5th Annual 2004 Indy Insiders Awards Ceremony", hosted by Randolph and myself. I've mentioned my thoughts on these things in previous columns so I won't go into much detail here on that but I will run down the winners. The first half of the awards seemed VERY forced as the workers weren't as participatory in these as they had been in previous years but due to some shooting and emotion, the Awards would certainly culminate with exactly what we had set out to accomplish.

First off, we officially inducted Chris Troxler in as an Insider, for whatever that's worth. The 2004 Insiders Hall of Fame Inductees were Dick Murdoch and Harley Race, for all their influence on many of the Mid-Atlantic wrestlers and specifically, some of the Award winners this night.

Most Improved Wrestler of the Year was Kid Justice, which was pretty much a foregone conclusion with only 1-2 other names being tossed around in the discussion.

Female Wrestler of the Year was Krissy Vaine (who was actually mentioned for the previous award as well) and was probably one of the most surprising awards we handed out. I HATE that she couldn't be there cause I really want to see her acceptance speech. Even though dedication isn't exactly a factor in voting (as only in-ring performance is really taken into account), K's combination of dedication, in-ring work, improvement, and overall progression in her career (even outside of our covered territory) made her this year's selection.

Comeback of the Year was Amber O'Neal, via an unanimous decision for her return from reconstructive knee surgery.

Our "fun" award, the Big Donnie Golden Burrito Award was presented by Big Donnie himself, and given to Garry "Madd Trucker" Stevens.

Most Over Faces was given to Kamakazi Kid, which was probably one of the toughest calls of the night. Disturbingly enough, I did hear some booing from the back when we announced this one. Not that I need to justify myself, but I do think it's important to understand why Kazi was given this award. There is a huge difference between being over when you have an angle behind you to get you over and being over when you have no direction or angles to work with. In the first 6 months of 2004, Kazi had NO direction and nothing behind him but STILL got these monster pops each and every time. Brad Attitude, who certainly deserved some form of award, didn't officially turn babyface until this very show and has had a monster angle pushing him the past few months. GeeStar would win this award if it was named "Best Babyface" because no one plays that role better than her, but even she's not AS over once removed from the angle itself. Kazi survived all of that and still got the love from the fans, hence that decision.

Most Hated Heel went to Mikael Yamaha which was pretty unanimous, with only Trent and Adonis as serious contenders. Yamaha sparked the first real "moment" of the awards as he became somewhat unprofessional as he ranted on about "pissing Amber off and pissing everyone off". During that "acceptance speech", Brad Stutts also accepted the
Most Impressive Newcomer for Gregory Vercetti. That was a fairly wide open race as there have been SO many fine workers make their debuts in the second half of 2004 in this territory.

Any number of CWF shows could have won this award, but Event of the Year was given to RCW "Boogie Jam" (10/17/04), which was the final match ever in Greensboro for Jimmy Valiant.

Tag Team of the Year was Brass Munkey & American Steel Ninja, which was pretty much a two-team race that wasn't really decided until the final month.

We called Commissioner Cross out to accept the Promotion of the Year award (again...) for CWF and tried doing an ill-fated "Happy Birthday" song for Gemini Kid, which was probably not my wisest of ideas lately. For the second year straight, we screwed Cross out of his always-deserving "Man of the Year" award and handed it to "Pops" Wenkel, who at 70-something years old, busts his ass for the promotion more than the majority of the guys 1/3rd of his age.

That brought us to the Corey Edsel-Ric Converse section of the awards which almost seems like an annual event sometimes. With their main event matchup still to come later in the show, Gee and Trent actually accepted the awards on their behalf, which was a treat in itself as Trent could have TOTALLY Brian Pillman'd the awards but instead, told the crowd to go screw themselves in a much more professional manner than what Yamaha had did moments earlier. Feud of the Year for Corey-Ric was a no-brainer. We were very split on the Singles Wrestler of the Year award, and you better believe Ric deserved that sucker too, but in the end, it was awarded to Corey. Both also won for Match of the Year for the 10/2/04 classic although that was really a "take your pick" as their 10/17 match, as well as 8/28, 9/18, and 11/13 matches also were WAY up there on the list of year's best. They did have to share Match of the Year honors with one match that I prefaced with these words: "You know the toughest thing about these awards is judging greatness. Because really, it is YOU (talking to the crowd) that really determine greatness. It is you that are the final judge, jury, and executioner in what is great and what is not inside this ring. You can make a bad match can make a good match great...and a great match? You can turn into magic. And magic did happen one night here in the CSA this year. It was the one night that not only did fans cry...but wrestlers in the back cried...and the promoter behind this said it was his proudest moment ever. You see, when I said that Corey Edsel and Ric Converse shared Match of the Year, I didn't mean with one another...I meant with GeeStar and Xsiris from April 17th."

While Corey-Ric set the standard for workrate, Gee and X set it for emotion and there was just no denying the legend of that one match. Gee was emotionally taken aback as expected, although Xsiris seemed somewhat...disinterested which bothers me cause god knows if anyone deserves a special nod for what they accomplished and the lengths he went to inside the ring to put on some unforgettable moments this past year, it's him.

The final award was the "esteemed" Performer of the Year award and as I said there live "It doesn't necessarily go to the man that can fly the highest, run the fastest, or won the most championships..this award goes to the man that pretty much defines why we love wrestling here in the Mid-Atlantic...and despite some personal problems this past year, he came to every show with a smile on his face and in doing so, had the greatest series of matches I've seen him have since I've known him...Performer of the Year is Rob 'the Bull' McBride!" Rob was speechless for the first time ever and the crowd chanting "Bull" for him was one of the great moments. The last two (or 3, going back to Pops) awards totally made the entire ceremony. Time wise, we clocked in at 25 minutes (10 over the usual intermission), shorter than last year but my goal for 2005 is to get it to 20 minutes (which Jeff and Danny would greatly appreciate I'm sure).

On the heels of the awards, Trent has actually posted his "Worst of" Awards on his BLOG and I actually agree with more than I disagree with, much to my own surprise. With him moving away, I would think that he's not going to hold back on anything at all he has to say.

Post show, a good 25 of the crew or so invaded IHOP once again to bagger those poor, poor waitresses to death. I turned down a very profitable table dance only because I wanted my food BEFORE I got kicked out no matter what others may so. I also got a Hall of Fame cut on Adonis which I will now transcribe for everyone:

Adonis: "Grant, there's been something missing in my matches lately and I can't figure out what it is. Is there anything you've seen that's been missing?"
Me: "Workrate."


But really, had a great, great time hanging out with everyone (including Adonis) and whether it be the holidays or just the atmosphere, our crew was full of love which is just about the best feeling in the world.

But wait, that wasn't all this weekend offered! Had Xmas with mom a week earlier and much to my shock, she announced she got engaged the night before!! She's only been dating this guy a few months (who certainly seems nice enough) and while I'm out doin Battlecade she's out getting a ring...crazy how life works sometimes. Lots more bloggin to come on that one in the future I'm sure...

I stopped back by the CSA on Sunday during training to drop off the equipment and Kazi is there which immediately spells my doom as he's been beggin me to workout with him for awhile. Even though I have no real desire to do so, I have a feeling that between Stutts, Rob, Kazi, Corey, etc; I'm gonna end up in some damn gimmick match at Rider's before 2005 ends. So I begrudgingly work out a bit with Kazi (who for some strange reason, is one of the few that I trust to flip me around in circles). The ability of Kazi to carry one through moves is quiet impressive and it's my fault that I about get KO'd. After a little chop exchange, he begs me to do a hurracanrana, which is all good and all but I slip down off his shoulders a touch and don't have the room to get under without smacking my head on the canvas. No biggie really, except when I clear the cobwebs and sit up I have this clear liquid pouring out of my nose. Keep in mind that I never hit my nose at any point but this strange liquid is pouring out of my nose like a faucet. It wasn't blood, it wasn't was...clear...and brown? Do I have some brain matter leaking? No...I have...DR. PEPPER?? Yes, I smacked my head hard enough in the proper location that it made the soda that I had drank a full hour earlier poor out of my nose like I'm a fountain machine. A little unnerving to say the least but hey, overall, it's at least one of those things that the new trainees can look at and go "well, damn, if the cameraguy can suck it up and do it, I sure can't bail".

In other weekend festivities, the NFL season is drawing to a close far quicker than I want it to. Much like a good CWF match, the NFL has perfected the "less is more" philosophy and rather than give you a never-ending regular season followed by 27 playoff teams spanning two months like the NBA, NHL, and now Nascar does; the NFL sticks with their 4 month regular season, 1 month playoff, and only 1/3rd of the teams even go to the post-season. The NFL always leaves you wanting more and it's a loooong off-season in which us rabid fans are so desperate for some action, that we religiously follow the NFL draft and wait for bated breath on that 275th pick by the Cardinals.

As we reach the close to this regular season, the NFL is facing a situation which seem an impossibility until now. A sub-.500 team could make the playoffs in the NFC. Sure, it happens in the NBA all the time but NEVER in the history of a non-strike NFL season has a sub-.500 team gone to the post season. Hopefully it won't happen this year either and the Panthers will finish 8-8 but you know Commissioner Tagliabue is scared to death of this happening. To this dilemma I present the solution (a solution that wouldn't shock me if it was implanted for the future if this glomming reality did come to life this year): In the occurrence of a sub.-500 team making the playoffs in EITHER conference as a Wild card, their playoff spot would be taken by the highest-ranking team in the opposing conference NOT to gain a Wild card spot. For example, this year's NFC Wild card race for the final playoff spot, looks like such:

6-8: Carolina, New Orleans, St. Louis
5-9: NY Giants, Dallas, Washington, Detroit, Chicago, Tampa Bay, Arizona

A 5-9 team even in contention for the playoffs is a joke. Under my new solution to this dilemma for a true Wild card, the race would look as such for hat final spot:

8-6: Buffalo, Baltimore, Denver
6-8: Carolina, New Orleans, St. Louis, Cincinnati, Houston, Kansas City

Automatically, all 5-9 teams would be eliminated from the race and ensuring us of at absolute worst, an 8-8 team making the playoffs and entering the NFC race (which is hardly a guarantee at this point).

Ok, back to reality, the playoffs...the AFC playoffs should be the greatest series of playoff games in modern history the way things are sizing up. You have the greatest QB of the modern-era (sans Favre) possibly coming in as a FOURTH seed which tells you how good that race is. Meanwhile, the NFC is suddenly wide open in the opposite vein with Terrell Owens being down and out. Atlanta fans must be salivating despite the fact that their team is still as beatable as the Cardinals. Any number of teams could easily represent the NFC in the SuperBowl at this point, and it wouldn't shock me to see either the Panthers or Packers in it.

Haven't talked much abut my Fantasy Football team and for good damn reason...I've messed with Fantasy sports off and on since back in '92 and have a couple of championships on my resume. My general philosophy is the more love and care you give to your team, the more it will be reflected in wins. Boy, was that not the case this year. In our Insiders Smashmouth football league, I made the third most roster transactions of anyone and finished in DEAD last. Here's the final standings through the end of the regular season:

Gemini Kid.......11-4*
Dark Claw.........8-7*
Corey Edsel.......8-7*
Brad Stutts........7-8
Morgan Dollar.....6-9

4-11??? Are you kidding me? And in a triumphant close to the regular season, I lose to Stutts' team by four TENTHS of a point. Nice. Oh, and congrats to Gemini, as to me, the regular season championship was the real prize as in Fantasy sports, it's alot tougher to get that than it is to squeeze in as the fourth playoff team and make one good two week run.

Ok, now that I've typed for two days in putting this sucker together let's post before the damn computer crashes. Love to all and happy Holidays!

Saturday, December 11, 2004

This CWF blowjob is sponsored by yours truly...

With the last month of the year upon us, my concentration is on matters like Battlecade V, the 5th Annual Insider Awards, and my 25 Most Memorable Matches of 2004 a heck of a lot more than it is in Christmas.

Battlecade V is actually one HELL of a lineup at this point. Of course I'm sure it will change slightly the day of, but just going by the basic outline, I would actually pay to see this show myself. Ironically enough, a year ago I wrote an editorial for Indy Insiders in which I pretty much stated that I felt like last year's Battlecade was the pinnacle of the recent growth of Indy wrestling in this territory. So many great feuds were coming to a close and with no real direction laid out for the future, it seemed to all be heading downhill after Battlecade IV. In a small way I guess I was right as for the first few months of 2004 there was little direction and the entire promotion rested on the shoulders of the TV title (or more specifically, Xsiris' run with it and Gee's chase for it). The transition of Heavyweight titleholder from Corey to Ric wasn't exactly smooth sailing for the first few months and the tag titles were an afterthought. Things started to change during the summer as the undercard really started picking up and we were pumping out great show after great show. With Battlecade upon us, things have been going extremely well with the upsides conquering any occasional booking issues and forcing onward past the on-again, off-again crowd. My outlook for 2005 isn't anything as gloomy as what I envisioned for 2004. I think there is unlimited potential in the current roster if they can be continued to be used properly. There are certain company veterans that still have unexplored avenues to go with their character that could be very fascinating if executed correctly (Corey, Gee, Ninja, Trent among others come to mind). Combine that with the occasional appearance of certain "stars" (Joey, Rainz, Otto, etc.), the influx of new talent (Vercetti, Andrews, Sinn, Dollars), and the continued development of the 2004 young guns (Orlo, Ortega, Tank, and hell, even McAllister); the sky continues to be the limit in 2005 for CWF. And yes, I may be reestablishing myself as the premier company cocksucker but I honestly have a faith and belief in the company that was not nearly as strong as it was a year ago.

Of course Battlecade brings the Insider Award ceremony which Hedd and I host and this was, BY FAR, the toughest Awards decisions we've ever had to make. The decisions were all made a few nights back as us Insiders converged to debate, argue, and beg to determine who would be the deserving winners and who would be the jipped runner-ups. Of the 15 awards that will be given out, at least half were probably decided by some form of tiebreaker and some of the final results will surely shock some and upset others. There is simply no way to keep everyone happy with these things and I thank Jeff for even allowing us to have the platform to present awards that are a dedication to the entire Mid-Atlantic territory, not just CWF, on a CWF show. In the end, all decisions are based on in-ring performance and I assure all, none have been based on backstage politics or any personally feelings towards anyone. I definitely expect some rare, genuine emotion out of some individuals that night and hopefully no decision will cause unnecessary heat in the weeks to come. For the record, no one and I mean NO ONE, will know our choices until we unveil them in the ring.

Between the loaded show and the awards, Battlecade V is gonna be close to PPV length so I plead with ALL fans to BRING THE ENERGY! Knowing you support us isn't enough, we have to HEAR it. Once the show is over, Hedd will of course post the Award results on and I will release my list of my 25 Most Memorable Matches of 2004 on both the Insiders site and the BLOG right here. And for the record, much like the awards, the cut is MUCH tougher this year than it was last. The workrate has ridiculously improved and will make it much tougher to squeeze on the psuedo-classics like I did last year with epics like Munkey vs. Mark Michaels.

It freakin' sucks that Battlecade will be ran directly opposite of the Panthers-Falcons game next Saturday which has turned into a MAJOR game for the Cats after a convincing win over the hapless Chris Chandler-led Rams. Even with a loss in this game, Carolina could still fall into the playoffs as they have the tiebreaker over both Minnesota and St. Louis. Rest assured, an 8-8 team is making the playoffs in the NFC.

One quick movie review to wrap things up: Dodgeball. Holy god, I loved this movie. And I cannot stand Ben Stiller. As I stated in my "Along Came Polly" review: "His 'normal' persona bores me now and his over-the-top roles are just TOO much". Thankfully, the scenes where Stiller is left alone to carry them by himself don't ruin an otherwise wonderful film. In fact, the ONLY time the movie drags into an "ok, I know this is supposed to be funny, but it's not...AT ALL" point are those very scenes. Vince Vaughn, on the other hand, is hilarious with his deadpan delivery captaining this team of goofs to the Dodgeball tournament. The Dodgeball training sequence is just GOLD and Jason Bateman doing the play-by-play for ESPN 8 "The Ocho" is tremendous. Stiller's funniest part is actually during the closing credits where he does a send up of the somewhat infamous online "Milkshake" video that if you've ever seen, you'd never forget it (no matter how much you want to). Lots of priceless cameos along the way as well. A serious ****1/4 that would be higher if we could kill out about 15 minutes of Stiller in the first 45 minutes.

It doesn't hurt that fact that before my football-obsessed days, the game I excelled in the most during gym class was Dodgeball. It was perfect for my bendable 13-year old torso which was otherwise athletically incompetent. And props to the movie for playing Dodgeball the way it was MEANT to be played, which is NOT from 50 feet away as you try to avoid this pussy 1/2 pound Nerf ball. Dodgeball was meant to be played by in close proximity, with a ball that you avoided not as much for elimination purposes, as you do for your own health cause if it were to come in contact with your face going 20 MPH, it has the potential to remove either skin or teeth.

Boy, get me riled up on the art of Dodgeball and it makes we want to segue into my previously requested Bumper Car rant...maybe soon, Munkey, maybe soon...

Thursday, December 09, 2004

Broken Knees, Realized Dreams, can this year end soon enough?

Whew, what a whirlwind week it has been since the last entry here with all kinds of stuff to touch on. Going back to what seems like an eternity now was CWF Mid-Atlantic's 'Road to Battlecade' last Saturday at the CSA. Of course this show is known better now as the 'Curse of Battlecade' as for four consecutive years, the show PRIOR to the anniversary show has had some SERIOUS problems. And without any further ado, off we go...

1. Kid Justice pinned Rising Generation League champion Krazy K in 11:29 of a "Rising Generation League" semifinal tournament match. As a result, Krazy K lost the RGL title, with the belt going to the eventual tournament winner - Fun, fun stuff but in all honesty, this show needed this match further down in the lineup (final match before intermission) because there was just no way to follow it. Unfortunately, the crowd was completely apathetic despite giving one heck of a response just two weeks ago which I praised them for. Kid Justice got busted open hardway from the nose, which is one of those little things that only adds to my level of enjoyable realism. You always know what you're getting with Krazy K, and his stiffness and crispness makes up for the occasional lack of selling. Seriously solid stuff though with an outcome that hopefully we can make mean something more than what the crowd gave us to work with that night. ***1/2

2. Joey Silvia pinned Matt Houston in 6:49 - This (or #3) would have probably worked better as the actual opener in hindsight. Pretty much paint by numbers but they didn't drag it out. I know Joey is all about me giving him some *** star praise here, but whether it be the matchup or the lack of motivation due to booking issues, he rarely pushes the workrate up to what he's truly capable of (where the sky really is the limit). *3/4

3. Jesse Ortega pinned Ryin Andrews in 7:06 of a "Rising Generation League" tournament semifinal match - The second baby-baby RGL match of the night doesn't exactly click like the first one to say the least. Crowd finally comes alive for Andrews' "christo" but immediately dies again for the finish. 3/4*

4. "Wild" Shane West pinned Jay Sinn in 0:05 of the first stage of a Gauntlet match
5. "Wild" Shane West pinned "Big" Donnie Dollars in 6:33 of the second stage of a Gauntlet match, thereby winning a future singles match against Alex Adonis (Total time: 6:38) - Fine, entertaining little angle that went the appropriate length and even gave us the shortest match in CWF history (and for those that care, it broke the old record of 43 seconds between UNOD and Kid Justice/Justin Flash from 7/19/03). Crowd breaks out a "Shrek and Donkey" chant for Sinn and Dollars which is just GOLD and hopefully will stick. On a side note, I really think Dollars should IRS it up and wear the full blown suit and tie gimmick to work in. Aside from being a big man in general, he doesn't have THAT defining of a look and would probably serve him better to maintain the whole gimmick throughout (of course it's not me, and I'm not the one that would have to sweat my ass off through a match in that gear). **

6. Brad Attitude pinned Otto Schwanz in 16:42 - The match time is very misleading here as if it was 16:42 of actual WORK between these two, you're probably talking near **** range. However, Otto does what only HE can get away with in CWF and screws around for pretty much the first ten minutes and the match proceeds to just drag on and on and on. I'm all for comedy matches but 1-they need to go under 5 minutes and 2-they sure shouldn't be a pivotal match in one of the major angles in the company (Dynasty). The last 5 minutes or so were as solid as you would expect but it's not enough to counteract the first half. *

Hotseat: Brad Stutts/Xsiris - Normally I don't list promos in the writeups, but this one was pretty notable for a number of reasons. First off, Stutts interviewing a picture of Xsiris and his ponytail is pretty damn funny. Secondly, Xsiris makes his babyface debut to a very mixed reaction from the crowd (as if they didn't know he turned baby). Thirdly, it sets up for the 4-way TV title bout at Battlecade (and whew boy, could an essay be written on the formation/history/booking possibilities for that sucker). Finally, even though there really wasn't any "wasted" time in the whole thing, it still went on for a good 12 minutes or so which following the previous match sure didn't help the already comatose crowd.

7. "Mighty" Orlo Helmer and CWF Mid-Atlantic Heavyweight champion "Dangerous E" Corey Edsel defeated the Dynasty ("Slick" Ric Converse and "Tremendous" Trent Wylde) in 11:17 when Orlo pinned Wylde - With all the inner turmoil problems of Dynasty, even this one drug on way too long at this stage of the show and while nothing was technically wrong with 3/4 of it, it still needed some serious trimming. *

8. The United Nations of Devastation (Drake Tungsten and Hugh B. Johnson) defeated CWF Mid-Atlantic tag team champions Brass Munkey and American Steel Ninja in 12:49 of a non-title match when Tungsten pinned Ninja - It really sucks that this match occurred at the end of the otherwise dreadful second half as it was actually awesome. And not awesome in that whole "Wow, nice 450 off the top", but in the "You sunofabitch, I'll never forget, and I will kill you NOW" kinda way. Tons of history here and as solid as the Twisted Aggression matches have been, NOBODY brings out the intensity in Munkey and Ninja like UNOD do. 2003 Feud of the Year and this one would have fit right in there with them, one year later. ***1/2

Overall thoughts: Whew, not a fun one. Great finish, great ending but not much meat in-between the buns there. This show could have been TONS better in both the workrate and fan perspective with exactly 20 minutes shaved off: 10 from Atty-Otto, 5 from the Stutts/X promo, and 5 from Corey/Orlo-Ric/Trent. Although I will say that if we DID pump in crowd noise on TV, this show would come off AWESOME in edited form with voiceover.

The inbetween show events had several notable moments as well. For the first time in forever, we went out to the club with the boys after the Sat show which was fine and all but someone that likes to be in constant movement, sitting and watching for an extended amount of time wears thin. At least if I'm at home watchin football, I can still jump on the coffee table and yell at the TV, but I'm thinking that would be frowned upon somewhat at the club. If I want to partake in a similar setting, I just need a party at someone's house where travel is not an issue so if I want to get wasted I can and with the request that there be more females there than males. Speaking of which, after the club, Gee and I actually spent some time in GBoro with Erica which always gives me warm fuzzies anytime two of my "top five" girls get to spend some quality time together without me nagging them to do so.

With Sunday brings football and my weekly call to Flagler who informs me that the decision to move to Tampa is all but done. I'm happy as hell for him, hope it works out, and will probably be making more than one trip to Tampa in 2005 but at the same time, I can just feel within me that this whole process is gonna be FAR more emotional than I want it to be.

In other news, the Bengals are still alive! Why? Cause I BELIEVE IN THE BUNGULS! Peyton Manning is just incredible but I hate to see Marino's record fall. If I'm a Seahawks or Chiefs fan, I just wanna shot myself cause the talent there is too insanely good to miss the playoffs. The Panthers are still alive and this Sunday's game against St. Louis is freakin' HUGE. My SuperBowl is the same today as it was before the season started: Indy over Phily. If I'm an AFC team that goes 10-6 and stays at home for the playoffs watching an 8-8 NFC team HOST a first round game, I just wanna cry.

The weekend closes out with RCW and the appropriately titled 'Christmas Cluster' on Sunday at Riders in GBoro and marked the first RCW show ever without Rob McBirde (due to illness), which is probably akin to me missing a CWF show.

1. Gregory Vercetti defeated "Classic" Chris Collins by submission in 8:11 - Perfectly acceptable stuff as Collins needs to just keep bringing the babyface energy. Vercetti (along with Stutts) is just hilarious to me and plays the gimmick to a tee. **1/4

2. "Micro Bull" Dalton Alexander McBride pinned Brad Stutts - Just a quick angle for Stutts to job to a 9-month old that may have gotten one of the biggest pops of the weekend. Youngest child to get a pinfall since that kid that fell down the well in the '80s pinned Kevin Von Erich? Does anyone remember that?

3. Ryin Andrews, Justin Feeche, and Terry Dallas defeated Jay Sinn, Mini Bull, and RCW Intercontinental champion Tank Lawson in 13:59 when Feeche pinned Lawson. Hank the Riders Enforcer was the special guest referee - A complete train wreck from start to finish. If a human being was every going to spontaneously combust out of frustration, it would have been Justin Feeche right here. Went insanely too long starting with an 8-minute heat sequence on Andrews. Not going to point fingers here at all, but Feeche & Dallas had zero control over the situation since they were on the outside looking in and Andrews & Sinn were making their debuts here and obviously behaving as a result. But nope, I'm not pointing fingers. Not me. No way. DUD. And not in the funny Tank/Smooth-Orlo/Justice DUD kinda way either.

4. Garry "Madd Trucker" Stevens pinned GeeStar in 2:33 - Gee blows out her knee a minute into this one and is pretty much immobile, allowing Garry to pin her. Horrible stuff that I hate to see happen to anyone with a clue that's in the ring. I'm sure we can turn it into some hot stuff a few months down the road, but for now, let the healing begin.

5. American Steel Ninja and 1/2 of the RCW tag team champions J-Money defeated The Unholy Empire (Kurt Solo and Matt Houston) in 15:31 when Money pinned Solo - I actually missed this live as I was in the back with Gee so Troxler took over my camera duties and I must say, did a rather impressive job all things considered (especially for the first time out). If I have to bail again now, at least I know I have competent backup. As for the match, you could argue that it went a touch too long, but it was a short show anyone and it wasn't hurting anything (like it would have had it been on the show the night before). Solid stuff all the way around, finishing with the split of the Unholy Empire after a very solid two year run in this territory as one of the top teams. **1/4

6. RCW Heavyweight champion "Slick" Ric Converse pinned Kamikaze Kid in 9:37 - Spent some time talking with Kazi before the show about a variety of topics, including this match as it was against Ric that Kazi actually made his debut over two years ago in CWF. Phenomenal 5-minute "squash" debut back then that put him on the map, and man, how times have changed and how this kid has grown up since then. I do love me some Kazi and Ric ain't no slouch either. Solid stuff (duh) and with more of a build behind it and fewer restraints (low ceiling at Riders), I have no doubt this could be one hell of a match two years after the first. Not that this was anything to sneeze about at all. **3/4, which may sound a bit low but to me, this was just the tip of the iceberg of what these two could pull off.

Overall thoughts: Perfectly fine show that I'd probably put up one notch from the CWF show on Sat if for no other reason, the control of time. Certainly not as memorable as some past Rider's show, but enjoyable stuff for the most part.

I've typed long enough for now, have a ton of other projects to work on so I'll try to hit this thing up again sometime this weekend. For now, love to all and major congrats to the deserving CWF regulars that got a spot on the Smackdown taping this week. See ya!

Wednesday, December 01, 2004

Turkey week recap

Been meaning to BLOG for several days now but have been way to wired and antsy to sit down and attempt it. Today I'm exhausted and sitting in a chair writing to those that have never met me before and don't understand half of what is said here is about my pace right now.

For the record, I generally REALLY dislike the holidays. Now don't get me wrong, I have plenty of Christmas spirit. In fact, when you're driving along and you get a wiff of something that smells like a busted sewer line, rather than question your signifigant other as the cause of the aroma; this month you can just kick back, breath it in, and go "ahhhh...that good old Christmas spirit is in the air."

I don't mind seeing the various families at all on the holidays. The problem is that for so many people, there is just SO much damn pressure for the holidays. Whether it be "oh my god, I have to go to 27 houses and eat 17 different meals in the next 5 hours" or "well damn, Grandma is gonna buy me some piece of crap on a pole for Xmas so I better break the bank and get her a picture frame." It's just insane. Now, if I have the moolah, I do love buying those I care about some cool-ass presents. Of course this hasn't really been an issue since '96 since that was the last year I actualy had money. If I ever do make over $25K a year, I am seriously gonna go balls out one day for all my buds. But damn, NO ONE (me, you, Grandma, Dad, or that 3rd cousin you ONLY see on 12/25) should have to feel OBLIGATED to buy a damn present when you know that whatever you get them is gonna end up in a dark closet on 12/26.

For the record, these radio stations start playing Xmas music WAY too damn early. Two weeks before Thanksgiving, I'm looking for clearance Halloween merchandise and I don't wanna be groovin' to Bing Crosby when I do it. And no, they don't pre-empt 796.1 "The Bad Ass Mo Fo Jam Bitchin" radio station. They pre-empt a radio station that plays Elvis or George Thorogood. And I could handle this whole scenerio ALOT better if they played some actual kick-ass Xmas music like ANYTHING from the "Punk Rock Xmas" CD. I need some PUNK in my holiday jingle by God.

Al holiday bitchin aside, my Thanksgiving weekend was actually one of the best ones in years and probably one of my top three relaxed weekends of the year. Pretty much spent the whole thing in Burlington just chilling with Mom, who is seriously dating for the first time since her divorce a few years back. Decent enough guy although he defenitely doesn't quite understand this strange spazzy kid yet. Turkey morning was over at the wonderful Starnes household although they didn't grow up with the whole football/Thanksgiving connection which still boggles my mind. My top Turkey Day memory sure as hell didn't revolve around the turkey. It was always football. I can't remember many of the older games growing up, but there was one that specifically I'll never forget. Surprisingly, it didn't even revolve around my football hero Barry Sanders, but rather than unforgettable day in 1993 when Leon Lett became a household name for all the wrong reasons and kicked his own team (the damn Cowboys) in the nads, handing the Dolphins the win on a silver platter. If it was wrestling, that would have actually been one of the greatest turns of all time (be in heel or baby, depending on which side of the fence you're on). Watching that with my Grandpa Holt and the two of us just tickled to death at the outcome is, to me, what that holiday is all about.

Starting in 1987, wrestling became a big part of Thanksgiving too with the Survivor Series, which just MADE the holiday for me back in '88 (the second PPV I was ever able to watych live). There I was in glamourous Macon, Missouri nagging my Mom and Stepdad to "Hurry up and eat the damn dressing, we got to get to Grandma's and watch the Survivor Series!!". Well, I wasn't that vocal at 13 years old, but you get the point. Of course the Series would eventually be moved off from the actual holiday and last year's NEW show was the first wrestling show I had been able to partake in on Thanksgiving since they moved the PPV. This year, the big show would be on Saturday in my self-proclaimed "home to bad wrestling", Mt. Airy, NC although the town itself should probably win "Comeback of the Year" just for Garry Stevens reviving it with some watchable shows in 2004. The show itself (inside one very cold building at the Veterans Memorial Park) would be pretty historical all things considered, as SWA would merge into CWF Mid-Atlantic and for all rights and purposes, be the final SWA show ever. And off we go...

1. The Shadow pinned Crybaby Chris in 7:08 First off, let me echo Rudd's sentiments of "if he can still do that at his age, just let him work!". With his true, cause god knows Shadow can still bump his ass off. Mind you, that alone won't produce a great match, but at least he's not dying in there. Crybaby Chris, on the other hand, is a nice enough guy and all and I wish him the best (see, I have holiday spirit) but he seriously needs some training, starting with bumping lessons from Shadow. Match itself was pretty much everything I expected going in. DUD.

2. Ravage Lee pinned "Classic" Chris Collins in 10:52 - Very interesting macth as it's one of the few times that I've seen where Collins is called upon to be the veteran and be the leader of a match. Match was very much all over the place and I really am not sure who to attribue that too. Still, I love me some "3C" dammit. 1/4*

3. Xsiris pinned Kamikazi Kid in 10:08 - With the opening bell, the subheader of this match immediatelly dawned on me - "X vs. Kazi: The Last Hurrah". With X now being a babyface in CWF (and therefore being a baby in pretty much every place in NC where he would face Kazi), this will probably be one of the last major singles matches between these two in quite some time (who have pretty much definied the early stages of one another's careers since 2002). Match was spot-fest city, but all very crisp with dead on accuracy (which isn't always the case in their bouts). A fitting end (or intermission as the case may be) to the show-stopping single matchup of the past two years. ***1/2

4. Jesse Ortega defeated Dr. Lucha Jr. by submission in 8:20- I don't thinking I'm breaking much kayfabe here by saying the rold of Lucha Jr. was played by Kid Justice who just OWNED the gimmick and I was stunned at his ability to pull it off so well. Unfortuanetly, it was pretty downhill after that. First off, the card structure had pretty much doomed this match from the start as it is simply insane to hold a "lucha style" match AFTER a Kazi-X spectacle. There's just NO way you can top that and even though their style is not direct lucha by any means, the bar is already set WAY too hight in that genre. 1/2*

5. Krissy Vaine pinned Venus in 7:16 - The girls did it up in school girl wear and, as cute as it looks, I simply can't mix my sex with wrestling and I'm always gonna frown upon the gimmick, no matter how well it's pulled off. They had some bright spots in the early going before falling into the akward match structure which seemed to be the theme of the night. *

6. The New $outh$ide Playas (J-Money and Will B. Smooth) defeated the Dynasty ("Slick" Ric Converse and "Tremendous" Trent Wylde) in 9:31 to win the vacant SWA tag team titles when Money pinned Wylde - A fine semi-main if that had been where it went on the card. This was the somewhat historical debut of the new Playas which, quite honestly, have as much potential as the original Playas. Smooth and L.A. Cash come off pretty even, with Cash having the slight edge on charisma while Smooth may very well have a slight edge in workrate on him. Think about that for a few. Trent actually looked ease? this match than he has in some of the more recent CWF ones. Fine stuff from all four guys although the general booking of vacating the titles cause the champs aren't there, then putting them on the Playas, only to have the titles become extinct an hour later with the abolishment of the promotion is kinda screwy. **1/4

7. "Spotlight" Scottie Gash pinned Scar Stevens (with Destiny in their corner) in 12:05 - Oh man, this SO should not have been here. Being sandwiched between a pretty hot tag title match and THE match is just death to start with. If this is a PPV, this sucker got trimmed to 2 minutes. Here it doesn't and within the first 30 seconds of the match they brawl on the floor, including the use of a trash can, just before the Texas Death main event; thereby totally killing that gimmick. The psycology of the match was acceptable in the sense that it built off of their previous match with the gimmick interference but that in itself is pushing it as a reason to have this where it was. 1/2*

8. CWF Mid-Atlantic Heavyweight champion "Dangerous E" Corey Edsel defeated Garry "Madd Trucker" Stevens in 24:03 of a Texas Death, title vs. title, promotion vs. promotion match to win the SWA Heavyweight title and to give complete control of SWA to CWF Mid-Atlantic:

A simply fantastic balls out bloodbath that certainly met all expectations. If I had to knock it at all, it would be that the brawl into the crowd sequence seemed a little too "hardcore match generic-ish" but in the context of things, it was fine. Lots of beautiful little things about the match and a year from now, we'll probably look back at it as the match that made Corey a killer again. Garry is the freakin' man for dying for the art too. ****1/4

Have one serious topic to touch upon that's been going on in my own head and need to get it out just to get it out of my system. Issues with friendships and the heartaches that revolve around them ranging from neglet to abuse to relocation. The move is actually the simplest as it is cut-and-dried, and is not filled with that always unfortuante drama headache. Flagler's move to FL seems to be lying just around the corner for job reasons and as much as it will absolutely suck to see my best friend of the last 14+ years take off, I can deal with it as he NEEDS this. It's certainly for a better cause than when I took off to Wisconsin in '96 and in doing so, forsake all friends, family, and responsiblities for blind love. I became very withdrawn from many of the people I had always cared so much for becasue of the hidden shame I felt inside for what I had done. That was one thing I didn't quiet get at the time cause in MY mind, I hadn't abandoned anyone; there were still at the same place in my heart they always had been. But I was wrong - my actions had shown otherwise. As those three years passed by, I talked less and less with those same people. The deeper I was sucked into a elationship that I had no control of outside of convincing myself that everything was ok, the further I removed myself from the rest of my previous world. To me it was always an issue of "everything's fine, they'll be there when I need them, I'll be there when they need me." But I wasn't there. My mom was going through a divorce and her father had just passed. Where was I? Up my fiancee's ass, making sure she was ok and taken care of while my Mom was reaching out in an empty household waiting on her son to show to no avail.

Was it my fiancee's fault? Not completely. I did alot of it to myself from day one allowing myself to be put into that situation. It wasn't until that whole relationship ended that my eyes opened up and realized what I had done to those that I once cared so much for. I can probably count the number of visits I made to Flagler's house on one hand in those three years. Even if he moves to FL, I will probably top that total despite living some 600 miles away. If there's one thing that will agonize me until I am almost physical sick, it's the thought that I have a friend in this world, someone I care about, feel that I have slighted them. That I have abandoned a friendship for one reason or another, but especially because of my relationship with someone else. Truth be told, there ARE some friends that can be TOO needy. Friends that no matter how much you do for them or how much you talk to them are never satisifed because they need YOU as you are their crutch more than you are a friend. This partical discussion does not relate to them and unfortuanetly, right now, I have someone in my life that does feel slighted by my friendship towards them, or lack thereof. Someone that doesn't ask for much other than a phone call once a month or so but due to an uncomfortability in the situation, I find it very difficult to mentally put things to the side and call them. I hate myself for it and it's something I am very desperate to rectify. I'm not sure what the next step there shall be but I'm afraid in order to do what's right in my head I may end up hurting someone else by doing so. It is the defenition of a no-win situation in my life that in many ways; I, once again, have put myself in.

The one aspect of friendship that I have not touched upon that I originally mentioned is the abuse. To me, friendship abuse comes when a friend takes complete advantage of the bond the two of you share. I have been at that point preciously little in my life, thankfully. But if there is one thing that I simply can not stand for is friendship demands. I will do everything in my power to do whatever I can for a friend, but don't ever use our friendship as an excuse to be able to TELL me what to do. I can not dislike a person or screw them over simply because you do not like them. Despite being told repeatedly that "You have to be an asshole to make it in this business", I simply stand my ground on the "What goes around comes around" phrase. If you think you have to be an asshole to make it in this biz, then that's because you feel you weren't able to accomplish anything being nice; whether that's the truth or not. By being an asshole in this biz, you will make far more enemies than friends and considering "you meet the same people on the way up as you do on the way back down", I'm not sure being an asshole is the best route to take to future success.

Finally, let me close it out with a couple of movie reviews. First off, the Spider-Man 2 DVD is great. I still stand with my original ****1/2 rating after seeing it in the theatre. There's a bonus 2-hour movie documentary on there too that's worth it just for the dramatic opening :60 seconds with my boy, Sam Raimi. On a side note: Shaun of the Dead, coming to DVD on 12/21 baby!!

Garfield: Pretty forgettable for the most part as it's already fading from memory quickly although it is pretty faithful to the comic strip and the Garfield chracter is certainly entertaining at times. A fine time waster but that's about it. **1/4

Elf: Oh man, this was one of the best comedic hours of cinema you're going to get. Probably being that the movie runs 90 minutes, not an hour. The last half hour completely falls apart into generic Xmas Hollywood crap. First hour though kicks ass. I'll average it out to ***, but I just can't go any higher as much as I'd like to.

Whew, that enough bloggin' for ya? Love to all and to all, a good...night...Yak!

I was born 8/25/75; although I did attend an Elvis Presley Concert in Greenboro, NC 35 days BEFORE I was born (7/21/75). I Have lived in NC, MO, CA, GA, and WI. I went to high school at Northgate High School in Walnut Creek, CA (89-90) and Chapel Hill High School in Chapel Hill, NC (90-93). Attended one year at the Savannah College of Art and Design as a Video major (93-94). Worked at WAAP TV 16 in NC from 94-96; WLUK FOX 11 in Green Bay, WI from 96-97; and WGHP FOX 8 in High Point, NC from 97-99; doing various duties including Master Control, Directing, Technical Directing, Editing, Camera, and Audio opeartion. Started an on again/off again with Independent wrestling in 1997, holding video production for local shows (which was the early basis of Statmark Video itself). Then, in December 2000, Statmark Video went fulltime, handling video production for various Independent promotions around the state of NC including CWF Mid-Atlantic, the stand-out promotion in the Carolinas that embodies the heritage of the old MA territory. I handle videography, assistant producer, and color commentary chores for them. The broadcast can be seen throughout the Carolinas as well as parts of VA, GA, and NY on various cable outlets.
View my complete profile

July 2002 / Oct 2002 / Nov 2002 / Dec 2002 / Jan 2003 / Feb 2003 / Apr 2003 / May 2003 / Aug 2003 / Oct 2003 / Nov 2003 / Jan 2004 / Feb 2004 / Mar 2004 / Apr 2004 / July 2004 / Aug 2004 / Sep 2004 / Oct 2004 / Nov 2004 / Dec 2004 / Jan 2005 / Feb 2005 / Mar 2005 / Apr 2005 / May 2005 / June 2005 / July 2005 / Aug 2005 / Sept 2005 /

Brad Stutts
Randy Hedrick
Mikael Yamaha
"Slick" Ric Converse
Justin Feeche
Kamakazi Kid
Brass Munkey
"Dangerous E" Corey Edsel
"Rock N' Roll" Matty Dee
Jesse Ortega
Jeremy Ryan
Michael McAllister
Jesse McAllister
Katie Kincaid
KC McKnight
Trent Wylde
Tre G
Kurt Solo
Damage Inc
Moses Manson
Zane Dawson
Brad Rainz
Scott Keith
Raven Mack
Incredible Hulk
The Blue haired goddess, Zoe!

Brad Stutts
CWF Mid-Atlantic
Indy Insiders
"Dangerous E" Corey Edsel
Brass Munkey
"Boogie Woogie Man" Rob McBride
"Slick Diddy" Ric Converse
"Madd Trucker" Garry Stevens
Kamakazi Kid
American Steel Ninja
Amber O'Neal
Krissy Vaine
Katie Kincaid
Ultra Dragon
Justin Feeche
Tank Lawson
Kid Justice
SouthSide Playas
Gregory Vercetti
Randy Hedrick
Gemini Kid
Drake Tungsten
Trent Wylde
Joey Silvia

Mikael Yamaha & Sexton Tyler vs. Joey Silvia & Brad Rainz (11/8/03):
"That seriously is the worst match I've ever been at ringside for and I managed Mark Michaels." - Brad Stutts

"I thought that match was fucking great." - Mikael Yamaha

"A mother fucking Butterfinger beats the shit of a G-D Clark Bar" - Flagler

(well, 6 if you count God...)
My stepmom, Peggy
Sam Raimi
Jeff Rudd

August 25, 1975 (I was born, so yeah, it's up there)
July 21, 1987 (become officially hooked on wrestling)
October 17, 1989 (The California Earthquake)
June 10, 1994 (got first job in television)
April 26, 1996 (moved to Wisconsin)
March 28, 1999 (met Gee)
December 30, 2000 (the first CWF show)

1. Inner Happiness
2. Friends
3. Family
4. Affection
5. Health
6. Respect
7. Money
8. Food
9. Sunshine
10. Boobs

1. Shawn Michaels
2. Ricky Stamboat
3. Bret Hart
4. Chris Benoit
5. Kurt Angle

1. Barry Sanders
2. Steve Young
3. Randall Cunningham
4. Brett Favre
5. Don Beebe

1. Troy Aikman
2. John Elway
3. Randy Moss
4. Rob Johnson
5t. Kerry Collins
5t. Michael Irvin

(somewhat interchangeable depending on circumstances)
1. Carolina Panthers
2. Green Bay Packers
3. Cincinnati Bengals
4. Miami Dolphins
5t. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
5t. San Francisco 49ers

(somewhat interchangeable depending on who's being a bigger pain in the ass this week)
1. Dallas Cowboys
2. NY Jets
3. NY Giants
4. Baltimore Ravens
5. Washington Redskins

1. Frankfurt Galaxy (1996 NFLE home version)
2. Orlando Thunder (91-92 WLAF home version)
3. San Diego Chargers (powder blue throwback home version)
4. Cincinnati Bengals (basic '90s home version)
5. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (1976-1995 home version)

1. 1994 NFC Championship (1/15/95): Dallas Cowboys (28) at San Francisco 49ers (38)
Notes: After two consecutive heart-breaking losses in the NFC title game to the Cowboys and the constant shadow of Joe Montana hanging over his head, Steve Young FINALLY gets over the hump in the most gratifying payoff to what seemed to be a never-ending chase that I've ever seen. I was literally jumping up and down on the control room table while at work at WAAP and still get chills to this day when watching hilights from the game. It was magic and I'll never forget it.
2. 1996 NFC Championship (1/12/97): Carolina Panthers (13) at Green Bay Packers (30)
Notes: While not a great game by any means, I lived in Green Bay during this one, having moved away from NC the year before and everything surrounding the game just has SO much meaning to me. The expansion Panthers go to where no one ever expected them to be while the Packers try and go to the SuperBowl after having not been there in 30 freakin' years. I do my best to try and cheer for the Panthers knowing that if they win, the suicide rate in Green Bay is going to skyrocket. You had to be in GB then to really understand what this game meant to those people and to their lives and they got their payoff. God bless them.
3. 2003 NFC Divisional Playoff (1/10/04): Carolina Panthers (29) at St. Louis Rams (23) (OT)
Notes: The emotionally draining double OT classic that by the end if it, I could barely cheer as I was about to pass out from exhaustion. Even now I can barely write anything about the game because it was THAT draining.
4. 1992 AFC Wild Card Playoff (1/3/93): Houston Oilers (38) at Buffalo Bills (41) (OT)
Notes: Even if you didn't give a crap about either team, if you watched football in the early 90s, you KNOW this game. I was on the way back from Florida, listening to some of the game in the car on the radio. Houston's up 35-3 in the 3rd quarter so I allow Dad to change the station. We check back awhile later at which point it sounded like OJ was reporting about the Bills victory...but that couldn't be right...could it?? Was the radio signal fuzzy...or was that the crowd? What the hell was going on in Buffalo? Was their a riot after the Bills lost? oh couldn't have.....OH MY GOD!!!
5. Monday Night Football (12/22/03): Green Bay Packers (41) at Oakland Raiders (7)
Notes: In one of the most incredible individual performances you could ever see, Brett Favre decides to not end his consecutive game streak and plays just one day after his father passed away from a heart attack. Incredibly, Favre throws for 399 yards and 4 TDs in a win that would become very vital in sending the Packers to the playoffs just one week later.
Honorable Mention:
SuperBowl XXIII (1/22/89): San Francisco 49ers (20) vs. Cincinnati Bengals (16) - the game that made me a fan for life.
SuperBowl XXV (1/27/91): NY Giants (20) vs. Buffalo Bills (19) - unbiasedly speaking, the best game I've ever seen.
1996 NFC Divisional Playoff (1/5/97): Dallas Cowboys (17) at Carolina Panthers (26) - the official arrival of the Panthers, and could there have been a better team to smack around?
Monday Night Football (12/18/00): St. Louis Rams (35) at Tampa Bay Buccaneers (38) - the Bucs' revenge game after getting screwed in the '99 NFC title game.
2002 NFC Championship (1/19/03): Tampa Bay Buccanners (27) at Philadelphia Eagles (10) - The Bucs' finally get over the hump after being ousted by the Eagles in the playoffs two straight years and win the game no one thought they could win. I'll never forget the radio call as Rhonde Barber seals the deal with a 92 yard INT return as dreams had become reality and the freakin' BUCS were going to play in a SuperBowl.
Week 17 (12/27/03): Minnesota Vikings (17) at Arizona Cardinals (18) - All the Vikings have to do is hang onto an 11-point lead over the lowly 3-12 Cardinals with just 2 minutes to go in order to go to the playoffs and win the division. They then procede to pull off the biggest choke job ever, completely blowing it, missing the playoffs, sending a crowd at Lambeau Field 1,000+ miles away into a complete frenzy, with my favorite radio call ever as Arizona's Nate Poole catches the winning TD as time expires with the Vikings announcer screaming "Noooooooooooooo!" Noooooooooo!".

This is a list of MY favorite matches of all-time (well, at least for this week anyways)...yes, there ARE better matches workrate wise in some cases, but these are my personal favs, so quit arguin'.
1. Randy Savage vs. Ricky Steamboat (WrestleMania III, 3/29/87)
2. Bret Hart vs. Curt Hennig (SummerSlam, 8/26/91)
3. Ric Flair vs. Ricky Steamboat (Chi-Town Rumble, 2/20/89)
4. Ric Flair vs. Ricky Steamboat (WrestleWar, 5/7/89)
5. Rick Rude vs. Ricky Steamboat in a 30:00 Ironman match (Beach Blast, 6/20/92)
6. Ric Flair vs. Barry Windham (Crockett Cup, 4/11/87)
7. Chris Benoit vs. Kurt Angle (Royal Rumble, 1/19/03)
8. 1992 Royal Rumble (1/19/92)
9. Bret Hart vs. Davey Boy Smith (SummerSlam, 8/29/92)
10. Owen Hart vs. 1-2-3 Kid (King of the Ring, 6/16/94)
11. Shawn Michaels vs. Razor Ramon in a Ladder match (SummerSlam, 8/27/95)
12. Shawn Michaels vs. Owen Hart (In Your House, 2/18/96)
13. Brian Pillman vs. Jushin Liger (SuperBrawl II, 2/29/92)
14. Brian Pillman & Steve Austin vs. Ricky Steamboat & Shane Douglas (3/2/93)
15. Curt Hennig vs. Tito Sanata (Saturday Night's Main Event, 7/16/90)
16. Shawn Michaels vs. Mankind (In Your House: Mind Games, 9/22/96)

1. Great American Bash '89
2. SummerSlam '91
3. WrestleMania III
4. WrestleMania XIX
5. WrestleMania XX
6. 1987 Survivor Series
7. Beach Blast '92
8. Canadian Stampede
9. SuperBrawl II
10. WrestleMania VIII

1. CWF Mid-Atlantic; April 17, 2004; Burlington, NC
2. CWF/AWA Mid-Atlantic "New Year's Knockout"; January 8, 2005; Burlington, NC
3. CWF/FWA-Carolinas "Triumph"; September 28, 2002; Graham, NC
4. CWF/FWA-Carolinas "Ultimatium"; January 26, 2002; Burlington, NC
5. CWF/AWA Mid-Atlantic "Night of the Mid-Atlantic Legends"; February 5, 2005; Seagrove, NC

1. VCW; March 16, 2001; Mt. Airy, NC
2. Wahoo McDaniel Memorial Show; July 13, 2002; Charlotte, NC
3. NMCW; February 16, 2002; Albemarle, NC
4. SWA 1st Anniversary Show; August 2, 2002; Huntsville, TN
5. Warriors of Wrestling; March 13, 2004; Southern Pines, NC

1. 1. San Francisco, CA
2. Orlando, FL
3. Green Bay, WI
4. Savannah, GA
5. Los Angeles, CA

1. Tokyo
2. NFL Hall of Fame - Canton, OH
3. Cedar Point - Sandusky, OH
4. Honolulu
5. Pontiac Silverdome

1. Busch Gardens (Williamsburg, VA)
2. Islands of Adventure (Orlando, FL)
3. Universal Studios (Los Angeles, CA)
4. Walt Disney World (Orlando, FL)
5. Universal Studios (Orlando, FL)

1. Elvis
2. Me First & the Gimme Gimmes
3. "Weird Al" Yankovic
4. Creedence Clearwater Revival
5. Bloodhound Gang

1. TGIFriday's
2. Applebee's 1. Tecmo Bowl
3. Madden 2003
4. Pro Wrestling
5. WrestleMania 2000

1. NFL Network
3. FOX
4. Boomerang
5. ESPN Classic

1. Dukes of Hazzard
2. Family Guy
3. King of the Hill
4. Incredible Hulk
5. Greatest American Hero

1. Evil Dead 2
2. Dead Alive
3. Army of Darkness
4. Rocky Horror Pitcure Show
5. Night of the Day of the Dawn of the Son of the Bride of the Return of the Revenge of the Terror of the Attack of the Evil Subhumanoid Flesh Eating Living Dead Part 2

1. The Crow
2. Puppet Master
3. Twice Dead
4. The Frighteners
5. Dawn of the Dead (2004)

1. Ferris Bueller's Day Off
2. Undercover Brother
3. Naked Gun
4. Christmas Vacation
5. Tommy Boy

1. Kill Bill Vol. 1
2. Con Air
3. Terminator 2
4. Back to the Future
5. Back to the Future 2

1. South Park: Bigger, Longer, and Uncut
2. Space Jam
3. Who Framed Roger Rabbit
4. Lilo & Stich
5. Transformers: The Movie

1. Ace Ventura: Pet Detective
2. BASEketball
3. Dodgeball
4. The Replacements
5. Major League

1. The Crow
2. Spider-Man
3. Batman
4. Spider-Man 2
5. Howard The Duck

(or whatever they're called if there's more than three of them)
1. Evil Dead 1/Evil Dead 2/Army of Darkness
2. Clerks/Mallrats/Chasing Amy/Dogma/Jay & Silent Bob Strike Back
3. National Lampoon's Vacation series
4. Back to the Future
5. Nightmare on Elm Street

1. Tetsuo the Iron Man
2. Nekromantic
3. Nekromantic 2
4. Society
5. Motorama

1t. Darkman
1t. Psycho
3. Scooby Doo
4. There's Something About Mary
5. Man on the Moon

1. Rocky Horror Pitcure Show
2. Summer School
3. Cocktail
4. The Replacements
5. Dude, Where's My Car?

1. Bruce Campbell
2. No One Else Matters

1. Sam Raimi
2. Kevin Smith
3. Quentin Tarantino
4. Peter Jackson
5. John Woo

(excluding people I actually know for both their own sake and mine)
1. Noki-A (with the mask only!)
2. Trish Stratus
3. Pamela Anderson
4. Jillian Barberie
5. Lindsay Lohan (2003-2004 only!)

Brett Favre, Reggie White, Desmond Howard, The Rock, Steve Austin, Shawn Michaels, Vince McMahon, Mick Foley, Owen Hart

1. March (ACC tourny/March Madness/WrestleMania/Many noteable memories in relationship land from March/Start of Spring)
2. September (NFL Kickoff/Indy Rumble)
3. January (NFL Playoffs/Royal Rumble)

1. December (Start of Winter/The Headache that is the Holidays/The College Football Playoffs...oh, wait...what's that? They don't have any?? Freakin' morons.)

Barry Sanders
Walter Payton
Emmitt Smith
Earl Campbell
Jim Brown
Roger Craig
Gale Sayers
Billy Sims
OJ Simpson
Marshall Faulk
Thurman Thomas
John Riggins
Eric Dickerson
Larry Csonka
Franco Harris
Ottis Anderson
Marcus Allen
Edgerrin James
Steve Van Buren
Tony Dorsett
Jerome Bettis
Ricky Watters
LaDainlian Tomlinson
Priest Holmes
Eddie George

Bret Hart vs. Curt Hennig (8/26/91)
Bret Hart vs. Owen Hart (3/20/94)
Bret Hart vs. Steve Austin (3/23/97)
Bret Hart vs. Roddy Piper (4/5/92)
Bret Hart vs. Davey Boy Smith (8/29/92)
Bret Hart vs. Shawn Michaels (11/25/92)
Bret Hart vs. Curt Hennig (6/19/93)
Bret Hart vs. Ric Flair (10/12/92)
Bret Hart vs. 1-2-3 Kid (7/4/94)
Bret Hart vs. Davey Boy Smith (12/17/95)

Sometime around WrestleMania XIV I believe, PWI put out this major WMania magazine and listed every single freakin' Mania match in order from best to worst (all 100+ of those suckers). So, on a much smaller scale, I present my pointless tribute to that, the CWF Mid-Atlantic Battlecade list of matches, from best to worst (5 Battlecades have been held for those oblivious to what the heck I'm yammering about).
1. "Slick" Ric Converse vs. CWF Mid-Atlantic Heavyweight champion "Dangerous E" Corey Edsel with Brad Attitude as the special guest referee (V)
2. CWF/FWA-Carolinas Heavyweight champion "Dangerous E" Corey Edsel vs. "Nite Stic" Eddie Brown (III)
3. Krazy K vs. Kamikazi Kid in the "Rising Generation League" tournament finals (IV)
4. CWF/FWA-Carolinas Cruiserweight champion Mikael Yamaha, Sexton Tyler, and Amber Holly vs. Caprice "Ice" Coleman and Main Attraction (II)
5. CWF Mid-Atlantic TV champion Mikael Yamaha vs. Xsiris vs. Kamikazi Kid vs. Number Man in a "Fatal 4 Way" match (V)
6. Gemini Kid and Mikael Yamaha vs. the United Nations of Devestation (Drake Tungsten & Hugh B. Johnson) for the vacant CWF/FWA-Carolinas tag team titles (III)
7. John Brooks and David Cole vs. Krazy K and Dexter Poindexter (V)
8. CWF/FWA-Carolinas Heavyweight champion Madd Maxx vs. "Nite Stic" Eddie Brown (II)
9. Kid Justice vs. Jesse Ortega in the "Rising Generation League" tournament finals for the vacant RGL title (V)
10. CWF Mid-Atlantic tag team champions Brass Munkey and American Steel Ninja vs. Drake Tungsten and Matt Houston in a non-title match (V)
11. CWF Cruiserweight champiobn Gemini Kid vs. Hot Property vs. Mikael Yamaha in a triangle match (I)
12. Maxx Madd vs. Ethan Cage in a Hardcore match (I)
13. Brass Munkey and American Steel Ninja vs. "Tremendous" Trent Wylde and CWF Mid-Atlantic Cruiserweight champion Xsiris (IV)
14. The $outh$ide Playas (J-Money and L.A. Cash) vs. Kenny James and Xsiris (III)
15. The Hirydaz (Mikael Yamaha and Gemini Kid) vs. CWF Mid-Atlantic tag team champions Brad Attitude and Brad Rainz in a hair vs. titles match (IV)
16. "Slick" Ric Converse vs. CWF Mid-Atlantic Heavyweight champion "Dangerous E" Corey Edsel (IV)
17. CWF/FWA-Carolinas Cruiserweight champion "Slick" Ric Converse vs. Joey "Spank" Silvia (III)
18. Rising Generation League champion Kamakazi Kid vs. Brad Attitude (III)
19. Garry "Madd Trucker" Stevens vs. Ryin Andrews (V)
20. Joey Silvia vs. Alex Stone (IV)
21. Sexton Tyler vs. Stephen O' Hara (III)
22. The $outh$ide Playas (J-Money and L.A. Cash) vs. Sean Powers and Mitch Norris (IV)
23. Rob "the Bull" McBride vs. "Tremendous" Trent Wylde (V)
24. Tony Platinum vs. J.T. Sparxx (II)
25. Don Kernodle vs. Black Hart (I)
26. The Wild Eyed Southern Boys ("Wild" Shane West & Gary "Madd Trucker" Stevens) vs. Dexter Poindexter and Rob "the Bull" McBride (IV)
27. Lexie Fyfe vs. Amber Holly (I)
28. Carolina Stud vs. Kid Courageous (I)
29. The Spoiler vs. "Classic" Chris Collins (V)
30. Bounty Hunter vs. Malaki (III)
31. The New $outh$ide Playas (J-Money and Will B. Smooth) vs. Alex Adonis and Jay Sinn (V)
32. "Mighty" Orlo Helmer vs. "Red Hot" Tim Blaze (V)
33. Ethan Cage, Kenny James, and L.A. Stevens vs. Granite, Johnny Blaze, and "Playboy" Bert Tripp (II)
34/35. Otto Schwanz vs. Dewey Cheatum and Pat Cusick in a guantlet match (III)
36. Rob McBride vs. Larry Isley (II)
37. CWF/FWA-Carolina tag team champions the Southside Playas (J-Money and L.A. Cash) vs. Otto Schwanz and Jeff Justice (II)
38. Fun Lovin' Criminal and Kozmo vs. Patrick O' Hara and J.P. Fairchild (I)
39. The Russians vs. Chris Collins and Deacon (III)

2/15/88, WWF
Hearns Coliseum; Columbia, MO
Notes: B-level house show with a 14-man battle royal as the main, won by Jim Brunzell as he dumped the Bolsheviks (payback for doing the job in tag action earlier on the show). Match of the night would easily by the Jumping Bomb Angels defending the WWF Women's tag team titles against the Glamour Girls.

3/7/90, WWF
Cow Palace; San Fracisco, CA
Notes: This was a 23-match, 3-week Wrestling Challenge taping and the "Ultimate Challenge Special" that aired on the USA network leading up to WrestleMania VI. The official main event was WWF World champion Hulk Hogan & the Big Bossman defeating Mr. Perfect & the Genius. In other action, WWF IC champion the Ultimate Warrior & Jake Roberts defeated Ted DiBiase & Akeem and WWF tag champs Andre the Giant & Haku defeated the Rockers by DQ.

6/10/90, MLB:
Oakland A's 3, Kansas City Royals 2
Oakland Coliseum; Oakland, CA
Notes: Jose Canseco is on the DL as then second-banana Mark McGwire carries the load. Multi-sport star Bo Jackson strikes out each time at the plate...and breaks his bat each time as well.
The Future: Oakland would go on to win the ALCS before being swept by Cincinnati in the World Series.

3/30 & 4/1/91; NCAA Final Four:
Kansas Jayhawks 79, UNC Tarheels 73
Duke Blue Devils 79, UNLV Rebels 77
Duke Blue Devils 72, Kansas Jayhawks 62
Hoosier Dome; Indianapolis, IN
Notes: Duke pulls one of the biggest upsets in tournament history, knocking off powerhouse UNLV en-route to winning their first ever national championship.

10/30/92, NBA:
LA Lakers, Cleveland Cavaliers
Dean Dome; Chapel Hill, NC
Notes: This otherwise forgettable perseason game would actually become fairly noteable as it would turn out to be Magic Johnson's final game before retiring due to the AIDS virus (and subsequent pressure). Of course he would end up returning to the NBA after a hiatus which rendered this game a little more meaningless.

2/17/93, ACC:
UNC Tarheels, Clemson Tigers
Dean Dome; Chapel Hill, NC
Notes: Clemson's Chris Whitney goes 8-10 from the 3-point line but Clemson remains winless 4EVER at UNC.
The Future: UNC would go onto win the 1993 NCAA National championship less than two months later.

2/25/94, NBA:
Atlanta Hawks 111, Milwaukee Bucks 100
Omni; Atlanta, GA
Notes: The Bucks were horrid at the time and the only saving grace to even watch the game was to see Dominique Wilkins play. Then, the day BEFORE the game, Wilkins gets traded to the other side of the country to the LA Clippers.
The Future: The Hawks would tie a franchise record with 57 wins this year and go to the second round of the playoffs before losing to Orlando

12/17/94, NBA:
Charlotte Hornets 111, Denver Nuggets 92
Charlotte Coliseum; Charlotte, NC
The Future: Charlotte would make the playoffs but go out in the first round to the Bulls.

8/15/95, MLB:
Baltiore Orioles 8, Cleveland Indians 3
Camden Yards; Baltimore, MD
Notes: This would be Cal Ripken's 2,110th consecutive game played, 21 before he broke Lou Gehrig's all-time record.
The Future: The Indians would go all the way to Game 6 of the World Series before finally losing to Atlanta.

3/31/96, WWF WrestleMania XII
Arrowhead Pond; Anaheim, CA
Notes: Shawn Michaels realizes his "boyhood dream" by defeating Bret Hart in OT of a 60:00 Ironman match. I can be seen clearly on the "Free-For-All" countdown show holding my "Shawn Is God Here" sign. I also attended the 1996 Slammy Awards, held the day earlier.

6/23/96, WWF 1996 King of the Ring
The Mecca; Milwaukee, WI
Notes: A pivotal show that led to the "boom" as Steve Austin coins his "Austin 3:16" phrase after winning the KOTR tournament. Also, WWF World champ Shawn Michaels goes over on Davey Boy Smith in a frequently overlooked match.

6/24/96, WWF RAW IS WAR
Brown County Arena; Green Bay, WI
Notes: A three-week taping for RAW, most noteably hilighted by the Ultimate Warrior defeating Owen Hart by DQ which would turn out to be Warrior's last WWF match EVER as he bailed on the company the next week. This show was also highlighted by Brian Pillman saying "GD" on live TV and two awesome Shawn Michaels matches, as he went over Billy Gunn and former partner Marty Jannetty in a tremendous outing.

3/23/97, WWF WrestleMania 13
Rosemont Horizon; Rosemont, IL
Notes: The defining WWF match of the boom as Bret Hart and Steve Austin put on a 5-star classic. I also attended the 1997 Slammy Awards, held the day earlier.

5/5/97, WWF RAW IS WAR
Brown County Arena; Green Bay, WI
Notes: This was the episode of RAW where the Hart Foundation would search throughout the arena for Shawn Michaels the whole night. The main event had Steve Austin pinning WWF European Champion Davey Boy Smith in non-title action. In a never-aired match taped for Coliseum Video that was never released, Brian Pillman wrestled his first match in over a year as he teamed with Davey Boy and Owen Hart against Steve Austin and the Legion of Doom.

9/28/97, WWF
Brown County Arena; Green Bay, WI
Notes: House show card main evented by the Undertaker defeating WWF World champion Bret Hart vby DQ. The show is most noteable for the fact that it was Brian Pillman's next-to-last match ever (he was pinned by Goldust) as he would pass away seven days later. Also on the show, Mankind defeated Hunter Hearst Helmsley in a falls count anywhere match.

2/5/99, WWF
Greensboro Coliseum; Greensboro, NC
Notes: House show card hilighted by Steve Austin defeating Kane, the Rock, and World champion Mankind in a fatal four way match.

5/10/99, NBA Playoffs Round One:
Atlanta Hawks 89, Detroit Pistons 69
Georgia Dome; Atlanta, GA
Notes: Dikembe Mutombo sets a personal playoff high with 28 points as Atlanta goes up 2-0 in their series.
The Future: Atlanta would win the series 3-2 before losing to the Knicks in the Eastern Conference semifinals. However, this game would be remembered more for getting absolutely trounced in the ratings by RAW which scored an 8.1 to the game's 1.7.

5/15/99, Break The Barrier
Viking Hall (ECW Arena); Philadelphia, PA
Notes: This was the very strong but poorly recorded joint Indy show at ECW Arena, put on by Scoops' Al Isaacs. Very strong show live that was never done justice on videotape.

6/27/99, WWF 1999 King of the Ring
Greensboro Coliseum; Greensboro, NC
Notes: Billy Gunn wins the KOTR tournament. Children cry.

9/27/99, WWF RAW IS WAR
Greensboro Coliseum; Greensboro, NC
Notes: The classic RAW with the Mick Foley-Rock "This Is Your Life" segment. This would also be the final RAW written by Vince Russo as he left the company later in the week. For actual wrestling content, the The Rock battled WWF World champ Triple H to a no contest when Davey Boy Smith attacked both men.

4/23/00, WWF
Greensboro Coliseum; Greensboro, NC
Notes: House show card with WWF tag team champs Edge & Christian defeated the Hardys and the Dudley Boyz in a triangle match main event. Noteable earlier matches were WWF European Champion Eddie Guerrero pinning Kurt Angle after Chyna interfered and the Rock & Chris Jericho defeating Chris Benoit & WWF World champion Triple H when Rock pinned Benoit.

8/29/00, WWF Smackdown
Crown Coliseum; Fayetteville, NC
Notes: Pretty basic SDown taping, highlighted by Al Snow winning the European title from Perrty Saturn and a Angle-Guerrero main event as the backdrop to HHH-Stephanie's relationship woes.

1/22/01, WCW Nitro/Thunder
Lawrence Joel Veterans Memorial Coliseum; Winston-Salem, NC
Notes: Dual TV taping hilighted by the WCW tryout/debuts of Christopher Daniels and Michael Modest in which Daniels nearly breaks his neck. Then on Thunder, Rey Misterio Jr. wins an awesome "Cruiserweight Contender Countdown" match (Gauntlet Match).

7/30/02, WWF Smackdown
Charlotte Coliseum; Charlotte, NC
Notes: Chris Benoit & Eddie Guerrero surprisingly jump from RAW to Smackdown and then go onto defeat Rock and Edge in the main. In other action, Hulk Hogan defeated Kurt Angle by DQ and Rey Misterio Jr. pinned Yoshihiri Tajiri.

9/16/03, WWE Smackdown
RBC Center; Raleigh, NC
Notes: Brock Lesnar defeats Kurt Angle in a 60:00 Ironman match to win the WWE Undisputed title. In other action, Eddie & Chavo Guerrero defeated Charlie Haas & Shelton Benjamin to win the Smackdown tag team titles.

10/27/03, NFL:
Tampa Bay Buccaneers 12, Carolina Panthers 9
Ericsson Stadium; Charlotte, NC
Notes: Bucs K Martin Gramatica hit a 47 YD FG with 47 seconds left for the win. QB Randy Fansani made his first ever NFL start for Carolina, going 5 for 18 with 46 yards and 3 INTs, never to be heard from again.
The Future: Tampa Bay would go on to defeat Oakland and win SuperBowl XXXVII


Chapel Hill, NC:

Green Bay, WI:

Walnut Creek, CA:

Orlando, FL:

Savannah, GA:

This is an extensive list of the movies I have reviewed since my BLOG originally debuted and the star ratings I gave them, from best to worst
***** - The Incredibles, Pauly Shore Is Dead
****3/4 - Kill Bill Vol. 1
****1/2 - Spongebob Squarepants The Movie, Bubba Ho-Tep, Spider-Man 2
****1/4 - Longest Yard, Saw, Dodgeball, Kill Bill Vol. 2, Shrek 2
**** - Sin City, A Dirty Shame, Friday Night Lights, Harold and Kumar Go to White Castle, Mean Girls
***1/2 - Freddy vs. Jason, Bad(der) Santa, School of Rock, Club Dread, Dawn of the Dead (2004)
***1/4 - Napoleon Dynamite, Super Size Me
*** - The Grudge, Resident Evil: Apocalypse, Elf, Soul Plane, Dickie Roberts: Former Child Star, 50 First Dates, Charlie's Angels: Full Throttle, Daddy Day Care
**3/4 - Lilo & Stitch 2, Be Cool, The Girl Next Door, Rundown
**1/2 - Seed of Chucky, Fat Albert, Shark Tale, Mr. 3000, The Haunted Mansion, The Ladykillers, Dumb and Dumberer: When Harry Met Lloyd, Scooby Doo 2: Monsters Unleashed, Vampire Effect
**1/4 - Team America: World Police, Psycho (1998), Frostbite, Garfield, Lion King 1 1/2
** - Infection, Hitch, The Hulk, Without a Paddle, Eurotrip, Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil
*3/4 - Barbershop 2: Back in Business, Marci X, Gothika
*1/2 - Guess Who, Dave Chappelle - For What It's Worth, White Noise
* - Racing Stripes, Scary Movie 3
3/4* - Taxi, The Village, Along Came Polly

Starting back in 1992, my buds and I would do random Fantasy Sports Leagues and in tribute to those great moments and friends of years long since passed, here are the all-time results. Fantasy Baseball '92
Playoffs: Chris def. Dave 4 games to 0
Playoffs: Ben def. Grant 4 games to 1
World Series: Chris def. Ben 4 games to 2
Fantasy Football '92
SuperBowl: Grant def. Chris 21-19
Fantasy Basketball '92-'93
Playoffs: Chris def. Dave 2 games to 0
Playoffs: Grant def. Devon 2 games to 1
Finals: Chris def. Grant 3 games to 1
Fantasy Baseball '93
Playoffs: Devon def. Grant 4 games to 2
Playoffs: Chris def. Josh 4 games to 3
World Series: Devon def. Chris 4 games to 2
Fantasy Football '93
Playoffs: Chris def. Josh 83-62
Playoffs: Dave def. Grant 68-52
SuperBowl: Chris def. Dave 86-72
Fantasy Basketball '93-'94
Playoffs: Grant def. Jason 2 games to 0
Playoffs: Dave def. Devon 2 games to 1
Finals: Dave def. Grant 3 games to 2
Fantasy Baseball '94
Playoffs: -Strike Cancelled Season-
Fantasy Baseball '95
Playoffs: Grant def. Chris 4 games to 1
Playoffs: Josh def. Dave 4 games to 3
World Series: Grant def. Josh 4 games to 3

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