Wednesday, January 2, 2019

RIP Mean Gene

WWE Photo 
 After rough 2018 in wrestling world it starts off on a bad note. One of guys I grew up watching on WWF Superstars, PPVs, Coliseum Videos shows then on to WCW, Mean Gene Okerlund, passed away at 76. He interviewed wrestlers in professional manner, gave out updates in the control center, and involved himself in silly skits. He gave me many highlights out of it such getting his tie cut off with Berserker's sword, getting cursed by Papa Shango and got black goo oozing out from the head, had Hacksaw Jim Duggan's 2X4 dropped on his foot so Duggan can get the card of him after he refused to trade it, ate sushi with Yokozuna, and had fans chant "Leave Her Alone!" at him when he tried to interview Madusa after she lost title vs career match against Akira Hokuto. He went to WWE Hall of Fame and most recently a host to WWE Storytime on WWE Network. Mean Gene was one of a kind and I will miss him. RIP Mean Gene. The interview approach gotten more professional in wrestling heaven.

Tuesday, December 25, 2018

Cup-ful of Present

I got my present earlier on Friday night at Odessa Jackalopes game. This made an appearance on its tour.
Look at this beauty! The most historic trophy in sports the NHL Stanley Cup
 I can't keep my hands off it. It's so lovely and amazing. I also met and chatted with this guy.
The man known as The Keeper of the Cup, Philip Pritchard.

Odessa Jackalopes clicked that night winning 4-1 over Shreveport Mudbugs with goals from Everett Wardle, Jared Christy, and Zach Heintz. Valeri and Candice (DJ Tanner from Full House) Bure kid Lev debut on the team.
I enjoyed my present with a good game and viewing of Stanley Cup. Ya'll have a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.

Sunday, November 25, 2018

It's Goofy and Ugly

Few days ago Baseball Every Night having its inagural "Ugly Sweater" Ugly Baseball Card contest. How hard can it be? You can pick something from Fleer for its fuzzy off-centered photos (1982), the infamous yellow border (1991) or psychedelic induced vomit mess (1995). How about Donruss red borders (1990)? Or players on the wrong card and never got corrected? Or players photos of striking out on a swing? James Tomlin admit he doesn't like his 2004 Topps Traded card because of it when I had him sign it.

There was this one card I have in mind when I first saw it. I thought it was hilariously bad. Then I ended up getting it in a repack. Which card was it?
This 1993 Topp Stadium Club Oscar Azocar card. Everything screams over the top ridiculous in ugly fashion. Obviously it was a photo shoot and what were they thinking of this posed shot? Pretending to sleep holding a baseball bat? Oh yeah that somewhat goofy yet creepy smile. Does he gets turned to a monster when he gets awoken? I get they are trying capture he's dreaming about baseball aspect, but is he more like having a nightmare? By the time this card was released he was no longer MLB player as 1992 his last season. He spent remaining of career in the Mexican League til 2001.

While this set have decent posed shots but this was goofy ugly.

Friday, November 23, 2018

Topps Updated Box Break

I spent last night opening hobby box of Topps Update. I manage get 99% of the set completed missing only one card. Only one SP print came out of it and its Shohei Ohtani variation in a warmup jacket.
To go along are three gold parallels (Jose Berrios, Sean Doolittle, Jamie Barria), three foils (Craig Kimbrel, Tyler O'Neill, Jose Abreu), and a black parallel (Brad Boxberger)
These are following inserts I pulled as well:

International Affair:
IA-5 Jose Quintana; IA-12 Ozzie Albies; IA-19 Rafael Devers; IA-23 Shohei Ohtani; IA-37 Gift Ngoepe

Don't Blink:
DB-3 Billy Hamilton; DB-8 Dee Gordon; DB-10 Jose Altuve; DB-15 Andrew McCutchen

Storybook Endings:
SE-2 David Ortiz; SE-4 Ted Williams; SE-5 Jackie Robinson; SE-7 Cal Ripken, Jr. SE-9 Will Clark

Topps Salute:
SE-8 Cal Ripken, Jr.; SE-15 Joe Morgan; SE-23 Scott Kingery; SE-29 Juan Soto; SE-36 Freddy Peralta; SE-41 Didi Gregorius; SE-45 Wilson Contreras; SE-47 Francisco Lindor; SE-48 Edwin Encarnacion

83 Topps:
83-2 Shohei Ohtani; 83-6 Trevor Hoffman; 83-16 Gleyber Torres; 83-18 Mitch Haniger (blue border); 83-19 Ian Kinsler; 83-25 Lorenzo Cain; 83-28 Giancarlo Stanton; 83-31 Gerrit Cole; 83-38 Jose Bautista; 83-41 Hyun-Jin Ryu

As for the autograph:
And another pull
Nice! 1/1 of Rougned Odor Own the Name card.

This turns out be a good box.

Saturday, November 10, 2018

Venture to Wrestlecrap Worthy Moments on WWE Network: AWA Team Challenge Series

When I heard AWA Team Challenge series going be on WWE Network it got me interested. The first time I heard of AWA Team Challenge series was induction on Wrestlecrap way back in 2000. I never seen much of AWA even though reruns were shown on ESPN Classic. Was it so bad in their final years?

According to WWE Network this was unaired pilot. I got introduce to cheesy intro video then to late Verne Gagne outside his lakeside residence introducing team challenge. Cut to the studio with Ralph Strangus (?) and Verne's son Greg sending us to a squash match. Already things were in dire straits for AWA as Tommy Jammer comes out to a green screen with audience on both sides. Look at the screenshoot.
He enters the ring with heavily dark background. My only guess it was hosted inside a studio/warehouse with no one except the wrestlers, referees, and the cameramen. The wrestlers wrestle in front of no one at the taping. They added crowd noise and they stuck clips of fans to say fans are attendance. They introduced suuuuppppperrrrr slooooooooow mooooottttiiiioooon replay. Jammer wins with a splash, but not without showing him executing it on overhead camera. This is already comical.
Why is so dark in the back?
Isn't that Geraldo Rivera on the left?
They cut to two of three team captains, Baron Von Raschke and Sgt. Slaughter cutting a promo on TCS. For over the top rope elimination gimmick match BVR picks Paul Diamond for his team while Slaughter picks Colonel DeBeers who is a heel. Wait aren't both bad guys during that time? Heel/face dynamic already dead.

We got Mike Enos and Wayne Bloom, Destruction Crew, as they come out to sledgehammers with former WWF manager Johnny Valiant taking the future "Whole F'N Show" Jerrry Lynn and Ricky Rice.
Before they became Beverly Brothers
Johnny V is last hold out of disco craze
A 50/50 match between both teams. Jerry Lynn really starting out as "Whole F'N Show" when he turned Mike Enos bodyslam into armbar. Destruction Crews takes victory after finishing Lynn off with a Doomsday Device. In another comedy of errors Johnny Valiant and DC cuts post match promo while Ralph and Greg continue to talk for 20 seconds. Hey looks it a young Eric Bischoff and he got a mullet.
Step one of becoming Whole F'N Show
Bischoff before he became VP of WCW within few years
Cuts Sgt. Slaughter promo why he picked Col. DeBeers follow with DeBeers promo about over the top rope elimination match. Back to studio where we get TCS is so random even enemies are on same team. I think I get it. Off to Beverly Hills Knockout match featuring two women, Slaughterhouse Shaun and Blonde Bomber, three-round boxing match at a "bar in Beverly Hills" with women in the background wearing bra and panties cheering it on. This is horribly with bad choreographed boxing then mix with interference,kicking and wrestling makes me wonder did they started the idea of infamous Brawl For All in WWF. Slaughterhouse Shaun wins despite both KO'ing each other before the bell.
horny fans
punching at the camera
Back to the studio about Team Challenge Series along with the standings. Wait a minute this already started? Isn't this new? Larry Zbyszko team already ahead.
Next is the "main event" Paul Diamond (BVR team) takes on Col. DeBeers (Slaughter's team) in over top rope elimination match. Lot of "crowd" shots with Diamond teasing elimination at times.  There was Botchamania moment where DeBeers sold a dropkick early as Ralph and Greg covered it up. Diamond wins after eliminating DeBeers with 6 minutes on errant piledriver try.
Drops him out and into the moon
Final match of the episode is Sgt. Slaughter, saluting to the green screen crowd, taking on Terminator
Salute to my fellow green screen Americans
They really mic'd up this ring hearing both men trash talk, flesh smacking, and sounds of slams in the ring. It's a hoss battle and its decent. There's a spot of Terminator whipping Slaughter in the corner that the spotlights around show a blue wall in the background pretty much giving away what I knew early on: the show was taped inside empty studio/warehouse.
Where was the "crowd" they were showing?
After a flying clothesline and cobra clutch Sgt. Slaughter takes victory, but not without showing slow motion replay of him hitting flying clothesline that the ref said "Ring the bell!"

The show ends with Ralph and Greg then a video clip that have the late Ox Baker and Yokozuna.

This was so bad. The editing puts it over the top. You green screen of the audience then inserting crowd noise and clips of the crowd during the matches to say its was taped live. Beverly Hills Knockouts match was a clusterfuck confusing mess. Then showing of Team Challenge Series standings after claim it was brand new. Maybe I should seek out the match Wrestlecrap on TCS article: Col. DeBeers vs Jake Milliman in turkey on a pole match.

Monday, October 29, 2018

Return to Jack Shack

I finished moving back few weeks ago. I notice Odessa Jackalopes home opener was over the weekend. It's been seven years since I last to a game at Jack Shack. Things have changed down there. No longer defunct CHL team its now a junior level NAHL hockey team. Team still going on as this is their 22nd season. Jacks took on Shreveport Mudbugs (former CHL team) on both days. I went to their home opener on Friday night during middle of high school football season. The east end entrance pictured.
South end entrance that along with oilmen statue
Hey look they got a team bus.
Be there tonight!
This used to be team shop. Now converted to bar and grill.
Jerseys of Dan Lavergne and Donnie Margettie hangs before the grill entrance. Both did alot for youth hockey around the area. Donnie is with the team as director of youth hockey.
Formerly a concession stand its now converted to team shop.
They added two extra boxes expanding to four. Used to be seats there. The retired numbers and banners from their years. The banners made mention of their moments in WPHL and CHL years. On the other side was banners of short-lived indoor football team (Roughnecks) which won a championship along undefeated record. 
Rock Girhiny is the first number to be retired. He's now coaching for St. Catherine Falcons. I was there when John Bossio played his final game and celebrated his career afterwards.
Donnie Margettie was always a fan favorite and face of entire franchise. He was always friendly when we chatted and joked around a bit. I still remember the advice he gave me as be who you are and do what you want to do. He helped out big in community with youth hockey and in charge as team's director of youth hockey. Scott Hillman took up coaching after his career ended. His latest stop is in Norway.
Sebby, as fans call him, is one of best players in CHL history. He packed 1-2 punch with Dominic Leveille from 2005 to 2011, Jacks final year in CHL. He went on play with Missouri Mavericks to the year til 2015 as team merged into ECHL. He holds team records in almost category as in games played, goals, assists, and points. Don McKee was franchise coach leading the team to multiple playoffs including Governor's Cup (CHL best regular season record) in 2001-02. I wasn't happy when he was unceremoniously fired despite a down year.
Don Thorn was a director of Ector County Coliseum for 30 years retiring in 2014. He provided much needed help on making hockey succeed in west Texas oil city. Mike Gorman manned the net for seven seasons, the longest for any Jackalopes player.
Glad these jerseys hang in the hallway along with past posters.

The scoreboard remain the same along the videotron
That's the radio broadcast booth still at its same place
They still have this seating section right near visiting team locker room. There were times I seen visiting team players getting ejected and the fans trash talk them on the way back. Good times
Jacks would score 16 seconds into the game

A little chippy there. Ref about to take a tumble as he gets skated into.
Mudbugs tied it up 1-1. Jackalopes scored making it 2-1. Kade Phipps stopped the shots as they held on to win.
Taking three stars of the game are Josh Fricks, Carl Skarstrom (scored first goal), Zach Heintz (scored the last goal).

Despite few changes I felt I never left "home" at all. I had fun time yelling at missed calls and doing the famous Jacks fans chant of, "He shoots! He scores! Hey goalie you suck!" every time Jacks scored. Can't wait get back there for remainder of the season.