Monday, November 17, 2014

Interesting tidbits from Survivor Series

Survivor Series coming and always been a favorite event of mines. It's known Undertaker made his WWE/F debut in event. Also came out of the event is the awful Gobbedly Gooker, start of Bret and Owen Hart feud, Montreal screwjob, bait-and-switch which Big Show won WWE/F World Heavyweight title, and showering of "CM Punk" chants from Philadelphia crowd. There's some tidbits few or no one knew happened at the event. Here's a few:

Brutus Beefcake and Honky Tonk Man faced each in the opener for three straight years - in first three years of event Beefcake and HTM tangled in opening match with their respective teams. Beefcake come out on top being one of surviving wrestlers in 1989. HTM went 0-3 in surviving.

Last Hurrah for he Magnificent and the Wonderful - main event has Hulk Hogan team against Andre the Giant team. Two members of Hogan's team were Don Muraco and Paul Orndorff in the only PPV main event appearance. It's also their only Survivor Series appearance.

Hart Foundation does Demolition Decapitation and gets a two count while Demolition STILL in the match - this happened during tag team elimination match of Survivor Series 89. Jim Neidhart held a Conquistador in backbreaker position and Bret Hart came off the turnbuckle hitting him with elbow drop only garnering a two count. This was Demolition finisher and they were STILL in the match.

1988 Survivor Series only time they did co-captains

Hercules main evented Survivor Series twice - the late mighty Hercules was mid-card wrestler entire WWF tenure, but he made it to final match of Survivor Series not once, but twice. In 1988 where he was part of Hogan/Savage team and 1990 when he was part of Rick Martel team that won and got themselves in the final match.

Angelo Poffo ICW collides - for total of 23 seconds two old rivals from Poffo ICW collided as in Randy Savage and Ronnie Garvin. It was lopsided as Savage beat Garvin down entire time when they were in the ring together.

NWA sign - at Survivor Series 89, a fan few rows from the front held "NWA is Where It's At" sign during Hulk Hogan's team entrance.

Zeus is afraid of snakes - for Zeus nothing can harm him feeling no pain from punches, kicks, and bodyslams. When Jake Roberts threw the snake in the ring every member from Ted DiBiase team bailed including "Human Wrecking Machine" himself revealing his first (and only his only) weakness.

Powers of Pain gets eliminated for ignoring the 5 count - Powers of Pain hit spike piledriver on Hulk Hogan, but the referee counted to five and disqualified the team for not getting out of the ring within 5 count rule. It's possibly only tag team to get eliminated for ignoring that rule on a PPV.

While 1990 is the only time Survivor Series introduced Grand Finale these wrestlers can claim they main evented WWE/F PPV once: Tito Santana, Rick Martel, Paul Roma, and Warlord.

Speaking of Tito Santana he got revenge on Warlord eliminating him seconds into the match. Warlord beat Santana at Summerslam that year.

Anyone got more to add?

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Why ECW matterd to a fan

Been watching ECW stuff on WWE Network this week. The matches may have aged badly, but excitement of it still there. It was 20 years ago I was introduced Extreme Championship Wrestling through magazines of Bill Apter on the newstands. Being at supermarket and browsing through the magazine I came across article of Texas Deathmatch between Cactus Jack and Sandman on super exaggerated account of being in hospital after the match. While so used to watch WWF and WCW while growing up this fed stuck to me due to article written about the match. I didn't have internet at the time or heard anything about dirt sheets til 1997. These Apter magazines were gateway to indies and ECW stuck out. I followed ECW through these issues mentioning about Public Enemy breaking tables to Mikey Whipwreck a champion and pictures Axl and Ian Rotten bloody feud and Tommy Dreamer about to piledrive Beulah McGillicutty. The pictures of bloodied ECW wrestlers and mayhem told the story. It was when RAW episode ECW invaded and it was my first chance seeing them. In their three matches I came away hooked. At time it was fresh and out of ordinary. It was different. The first ECW PPV I saw was Living Dangerously 98 and loved the show from RVD and Scorpio match to three-way tag team brawl which New Jack and Spike Dudley dove off the balcony onto Bubba Ray and D-Von Dudley. How can I forget Taz and Bam Bam Bigelow match which Bigelow put Taz through the ring. Then next PPV Heatwave 98 as they put on building burning show with Masato Tanaka and Mike Awesome crisscrossing their feud from FMW to ECW along with RVD/Sabu battling Hayabusa/Jinsei Shinzaki. Main event of Tommy Dreamer/Sandman/Spike Dudley plundering the Dudley Boyz with appearance of New Jack after the match. Something that clicked while watching ECW. Whether its wild frenzy brawls or the fans or the matches it stood out and it during time WWE/F Attitude went full speed. Soon I got tapes of ECW shows and was amazed of the action. I stuck with ECW even when they were going down the drain til it died.

Watching through episodes of ECW Hardcore TV I understood its importance. At the time they were cutting edge and breaking down the barriers with their feuds, storylines and in-ring action. The fans were very rabid becoming very loyal to ECW. What also stuck out more was "us vs them" mentality whether its WCW, WWE/F, censors, and various third parties. They were not going be this puppet to anyone unlike current landscape of wrestling. They will step on toes and be progressive in wrestling with their product. ECW is so influential as their roster gets raided and storylines get lifted into mainstream. Many indy feds have tried copy ECW success to no avail. Some indy feds have been influenced by ECW.

How many closed down feds will have "reunion" show years later and fans still be rabid about it? Just one and its ECW. Whatever Kool-Aid the genius mind of Paul Heyman offered it must be good as he and the wrestlers took us one hell of a ride. E-C-DUB! E-C-DUB!

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Why 2002 Anaheim Angels Run to World Series is Memorable

World Series starts tonight and throughout the years there were so many memorable teams that won it. One of my all-time favorites will always be 2002 Anaheim Angels team. At the time the team payroll was in the middle of the league. The team consist players they built through minor league system such as Tim Salmon, Garrett Anderson, Troy Glaus, Darin Erstad, Benji Molina, Jarrod Washburn, Troy Percival, and Scott Shoeneweis to name a few. Along the way they picked up Martin Donnelly who was cast away bouncing around minors. When teams expanded the roster in September they called up two players who turned out to be key for the team: John Lackey and Francisco Rodriguez. With Mike Scioscia managing they employed back-to-basics offense with timed hitting spraying the ball through gaps of the field and hard-nose running on the bases. They got their chemistry working in the season and made their run to the playoffs with a hot September.

In the divisional series they took on dangerous high-priced New York Yankees team. When they lost game one you thought Yankees easily moving on. Wrong. The next three games Angels obliterated Yankees with offensive show as they took three straight to eliminate them in shocking fashion. They took on Twins which they lost game one then proceed win next four putting them in World Series. In the World Series they are pitted against Giants with a feared batter in name of Barry Bonds. Both teams battle back and fourth in barrage of offensive firepower. Down in the series 3-2 Angels was in must win situation. Things were not looking up being down 5-0 on bottom of the 7th and their season possibly ended the bats came alive for the Angels. Glaus and Brad Fullmer hit back-to-back singles only for Scott Spiezio hit 3-run homerun making it 5-3. On bottom of the 8th Darin Erstad open up with a homerun. Later in the inning Glaus double drove in Garrett Anderson and Chone Figgins coming back from 0-5 to lead 6-5 as they hang on to win. Now on season ending game 7 Angels handed the ball to then-rookie John Lackey. Giants struck first with a run in the 2nd. Angels bounce back tying it up in bottom of the 2nd. In bottom of the 3rd with bases loaded Anderson cleared it with a double sending David Eckstein, Erstad, and Tim Salmon home making it 4-1. It was enough runs for the Angels. Lackey would hold on the lead giving way to Martin Donnelly then Francisco Rodriguez then to Troy Percival saving the game. Final score: 4-1 and Anaheim Angels are 2002 World Series champs. What the team did on the field with offense and pitching strategy was art. It was old school and going clutch when needed.

Angels World Series victory changed the way how teams build a team into a contender. It wasn't through big money free agency. It was through old school homegrown style of scouting for "hidden" talents and going through minor league system. They made teams realize if they build a team into a World Series winner they can do it. It showed with Florida Marlins winning it the following year. St. Louis Cardinals have always been constant winner with trips to playoffs and World Series. There's Tampa Bay Rays who made few runs to the playoff including World Series appearance. That method still going on today with two teams in the World Series: Royals and Giants. If they can build it they can win.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Random Autograph Card: MIke Moustakas

Royals going to World Series and one of key players is this guy with his hitting and catching. I got this signed when he was with Royals Double-A club Northwest Arkansas in 2010.  Every year I kept wondering when will Royals get it together for playoff run. They won almost everything in the minors with these same group of players. Now they got it together this season and surge themselves to World Series.

Saturday, September 13, 2014

PSA on Cardboard Form

Nothing screams early 90s sport cards than PSA. It's not graded PSA cards I'm talking about. I'm talking about public service announcements. Few companies tackled it like Hoops did with 90-91 set with four cards featured on it.

We have Johnny Newman and Dell Curry of Charlotte Hornets making rounds of NBA Stay in School program.

Notice they mention about getting college education AND a degree. When mid-90s hit that part was abandoned when mass exodus of underclassmen college AND high school players were jumping in the draft hoping get chosen in the first round and get that big money. It got so bad NBA introduce "One and Done" rule which turn into bigger joke. Dell Curry son, Stephan, would leave after three years for the draft with promise of getting a degree.

Then there was Say No to Drugs PSA cards featuring Patrick Ewing and Isiah Thomas.

It's every PSA ad formula featuring sports athlete. Put all-star player and have them give a reason why say no to drugs. Hoops put two star players to do get the message. Other than Thomas accidental overdose on sleeping pills, both continue remain clean. Funny how it feature one of most popular and one of most hated figures in New York.
Nice to look back on use of PSA on cards. Not sure if it can be done today as any player featured on PSA will be heavily scrutinized through internet and social media.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Trip to City Wide Garage Sale

Had a free Saturday and there was city-wide garage sale that happens on first weekend of the month at Palmer Event Center. Never been so I made a trip down there. Paid $6 to get in as vendors selling loads of stuff such as old toys, VHS and DVDs, guitars, vinyl records, clothing, and lawn/yard items. Browsed around going through vendor table after another.

Few interesting items like this abstract paining of naked woman.
Then there was this that wouldn't pass on the modern day.
There was this toy vendor with tub full of wrestling figures
Then there was another vendor I felt at home
Loads of unopen boxes, packs, and memorabilia. I went through this seller's table and picked up two boxes and dozen of packs for $17.

I also came home with these:
Never had Warrior and Batista figure so I picked them out of the tub. I got them for $5 altogether.

Had good time there. Hopefully I can get back there in few months.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Sellout Sam

Three-time Indycar champion Sam Hornish returning back to series this time behind the booth. Truth, I could careless if he returned back to driving Indycar. I can't help how much he's a sellout to NASCAR. If he returned back 3-5 years ago I would have welcome back in open arms. I used to be Sam Hornish fan. His drives reminded me one of my favorites Rick Mears. Methodically race the track and strike when it matters. He 2000 version of the ovalmeister. He was amazing on the ovals. He gave remaining Indycar fans hope during that time. Then he went NASCAR in 2007 and stayed there til since. There were times Indycar fans wanted him return especially when he didn't have a ride due to sponsorship woes. What did he do? Spend times in the sidelines and NASCAR garages hoping for another break. What hurt Indycar fans he said he rather be tester in NASCAR than having a ride in Indycar. It was enough to be label a sellout to Indycar fans as I wash my hands clean from this guy. Enjoy the booth, but don't expect me, this fan, to welcome Sam Hornish back to Indycar.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Sammy Basura

Best ever shithead in indy wrestling.
"You're trash!"  That's one of chants I hear from a fan who attends ACW and IPW shows. A chant reserved for dastardly heel wrestlers. That chant is reserve for wrestler who did something beyond stupidity outside the ring. His name Sammy Guevara or Sammy Basura (that's trash in spanish) I shall call him. Claiming to be "best ever" the guy has talent even you take away his backyard flips. But he also has attitude of cocky, self-absorbed idiot. The guy lived the gimmick because that is really him in real life. Everywhere he went he burned bridge after bridge with that attitude. The guy is Texas version of Teddy Hart.

One of his biggest burning moments happened months ago. Wrestling for San Antonio's based River City Wrestling he was given a platform to perform with a rocket pack strapped his back making of name of himself. How did he thank them? He shoot on them at IPW Clash at the Bash in middle of the ring catching RCW by surprise. Not only he burned that bridge on a fed that made him, but made IPW look bush league as RCW cut ties with them. At last IPW show Justin Bissonette gave him Flair/Carlito shoot talk in middle of the ring hoping it gets in his head. Apparently it never did.

Last week San Antonio's Aqua Man died. Around San Antonio he's well-loved for his charity contributions and being a strong fighter. Even my buddy from there Ed (not a wrestling fan) told me what he done down there and how he touched everyone's heart. Aqua Man was family to everyone in San Antonio including River City Wrestling. As friends and family offer condolences and memories of him Sammy Basura decide stir up drama with his post on Facebook.

Wrestling career suicide in 1..2..3..

This low blow post caused hurt to family, friends, and colleagues. It didn't take long for feds from entire state of Texas blackball him including feds from outside the state lines.

Sammy Guevara is truly basura. I don't care if he's playing character there's this line you don't cross and he crossed it in one biggest beyond idiot things to say. Like Teddy Hart the guy have talent in the ring, but found idiot ways to ruin his wrestling career.

Sammy Guevara wrestling career
I feel bad for IPW. Due to Sammy Basura actions they have broken relationship with RCW and forced to vacate J-crown title.

If there's a book on how and not conduct yourself in wrestling while starting out there's two names: Barrett Brown and Sammy Guevara. On how conduct yourself is Barrett Brown who taken his lumps, learned, be well-grounded, and respectful. On how not to conduct yourself is Sammy Guevara, a loudmouth punk burying and stabbing those in the back that helped him out.

Friday, August 1, 2014

My Name is Vexx, V-to-the E-Double X

Shawn Vexx calling it a career
"Allow me to re-introduce myself my name is Vexx, V-to-the E-Double X. I enter the ring to the max. I throw down slams so I can be champ of A-C-W, Vexx." - lyrics changed from Jay-Z - My Name is Hov

After his match against Masada at ACW From Innocence to Insanity Shawn Vexx got on microphone calling it a career ending long journey of Infamous one in the rings of Anarchy.

Mainstay of ACW, Shawn Vexx is one of hardest working wrestlers giving it his all throwing down slams feuding and having wars with Darin Childs, A.C.H., Davey Vega, and Evan Gelistico. His entrance one of the best getting fans pumped up before his match. Throughout the way he battle through adversary in and out of the ring yet he popped back up ready to battle in the ring. Throughout it all he became a champion becoming two-time ACW heavyweight champion, a TV champion, and U-30 Young Guns champion.

Being a wrestling fan is a strange thing. Wrestlers do something horrible getting you invested to boo at them. Later they do something good getting you invested to cheer at them. Shawn Vexx manage get me to do that. I went from a guy that  had "Vexx Must Die" sign during his feud with Davey Vega to "Vexx Lives" sign at 2013 Lone Star Classic battling his way in the tournament. All of this in span of 10 months in between.

I remember the first time watching him for first time. It was 2011 Delusions of Our Childish Days (my first ACW show) and he turned heel at previous show after months of foreshadow. He took on Gregory James in the first match of the show and had decent bout. Later in the show he popped out destroying referee Donny Davis with a chair within few feet in front of me. I was hooked.

I spent 2012 booing him and getting invested in his feud with Davey Vega trying steal Athena from him. During this time he got best out of super fan name Tommy in very fun moment.

In 2013 cheering him on in a battle against Evan Gelistico culminating to first ever steel cage match in ACW history which he took ACW Heavyweight title away from him.

At the end Shawn Vexx enter the ring as a fighter and at the end left as survivor and a winner in front of the crowd. Thank you Shawn Vexx for giving the fans all you got in the ring. In honor of Vexx a familiar Jay-Z classic.

A champ in front of fan's eyes

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

EXCUSE ME! - Ode to Vickie Guerrero

After shimmering her way out to the back its possibly last time fans saw Vickie Guerrero on WWE TV. Vickie Guerrero is one of my favorite characters and personality come out of wrestling. She played her roles well when given a platform overpowering bitch while running Smackdown or Raw to her screaming and screeching voice when she's mighty pissed to being love interest of Edge, Big Show, Eric Escobar, or Dolph Ziggler. Her catchphrase "EXCUSE ME!" drew insane amount of heat quickly outclassing every diva that was on the roster at the time and tried to find on a game show-like format. Took her shares of bumps in the ring along Wrestlemania match which she ended up pinning her opponent after splash from top rope. In truth in all she was that damn entertaining and made the best of it. She's a Guerrero by marriage and like them its natural of them to entertain the crowd. I will miss Vickie Guerrero and her "EXCUSE ME!" on TV. Thank you Vickie Guerrero for the moments, times, and memories! Viva la raza!

Friday, June 20, 2014

Parade of NBA Champions

On Wednesday I was down on the Riverwalk watching 2014 NBA Champions San Antonio Spurs parading around the river in barges celebrating their championships. Photos of heavily attended event

This fan showed what's up and how much a crying baby LeBron is

 Cinnabon got in the act

Matt Bonner waving to the crowd

Marco Belinelli capturing it all

 Holding that trophy

 Raising that trophy high and above

 Spurs coyote mascot out with one of the titles

Legendary group of Spurs fans Baseline Bums. Their stories are legendary.

Five-time, five-time, five-time, five-time, five-time NBA champions with Kawhi Leonard

Parade not complete without the cheerleaders

Boris Diaw gives a big thumbs up to the crowd of hundreds thousands

Pops always being non-emotional

Tony Parker and Tim Duncan
This fan's truck decked out in full Spurs support

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

RIP Tony Gwynn - My Memories of Him

It was day of sadness yesterday for baseball fans. One of greatest hitters to play Mr. Padre Tony Gwynn died. He spent his entire career with San Diego Padres with long list of credentials of multi-time All-Star, gold glove winner, leading the league in hits and batting average, and a Hall of Fame selection. Never got a chance to watch him play live, but I got a chance to watch get honored.

The date was August 31, 2002. MLB and players were on verge of striking til they able struck a deal at last minute to avert the strike. I was in San Diego for a wedding. Relief they didn't strike I decide catch a game when they playing at Qualcomm Stadium. It was free hat night and starting pitchers was Clay Condrey, making his first career ML start, and Aaron Cook. Little did I know before the game the team honored Tony Gwynn into team Hall of Fame. It was great night to watch him get honored by the team.

Took few photos of it with early Sony Cybershot digital camera in digital zoom form. This was way before I knew difference between optical and digital zoom.

 RIP Tony Gwynn. You will be missed.

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

This is Frowned Upon in Wrestling Drama - what gives?

A Facebook page tearing down indy wrestlers from wardrobe to conditioning to moments in the ring made a mention of this photo. What follow a long list of laughable comments calling it disgusting and how it should not be in the allowed the ring calling for this wrestler to be blackballed. I will get back on this later on.

The wrestler in picture is Texas-own J.C. Bravo. He teams up with fellow wrestler Stan "the Sinner" Summer calling themselves Lil' Crazy. Their gimmick consist of drinking, partying, and having a good time in craziest ways as possible. At last Anarchy Championship Wresting show (I was there) he got crazy during a match using a toy syringe to "shoot" himself up only to "pass out" and get pinned. Remember that.

Back to laughable comments they were outraged this was part of entertainment in the squared circle. Since they made this into big drama let me explain few things.

1) I mention when he shoot up and pass out he got pinned. There's a story behind this. Use drugs you lose. It tell fans "Say No to Drugs. Drugs are for losers." even in a very dark way.

2) family show schamily show. I been indy shows where its "family friendly" only have wrestlers and fans cuss and yell. The words "Fuck," "Shit," "You fucked up!," and "Holy shit!" chants still echo through these "family" wrestling shows.

3) this is entertainment. Fans enjoy not just in-ring actions but the comedy and storyline out of it. Sure its dark portrayal, but wrestling fans have seen much worse than this. Remember Fritz Von Erich and Ric Flair heart attack angle? How about Katie Vick where Triple H had sex with a dead body? I still remember clips of J.R. Benson ESW from 90s and aspects of XPW where they pushed the envelope. I could go on and on about this but you know what? Fans get a kick out of it and will still be there at next show yelling the wrestler "Don't Do It!" with a few signs mentioning drug rehab. Fans know its a show to entertain.

Final thing as this caused a big stink I can say controversy creates cash. Thanks to this Facebook page you gave J.C. Bravo his fame. Now promoters are knocking on his door.

J.C Bravo busted his ass hard around Texas indies especially around Austin (Anarchy Championship Wrestling and Inspire Pro Wrestling) working hurt everywhere he go. Despite the usual bumps and injuries he can still go. To all future promoters say hello J.C. Bravo and he will put on a show for you whether as a junkie or follower of the unholy. Also if you listen to any of these negative yahoos on not booking him you miss out big time.

Friday, May 2, 2014

Blast From the Past Made Me Pick This Up

I was down at Dollar Tree picking up few items. I checked the sport cards selection on what they offer. After looking through 5 card packs of baseball, football, basketball, a pack of 20 random cards caught my eye. Going through through the packs this card caught my eye:

Who and why? Justin Lehr is a player I watched in person in the minors playing for Oakland A's AA-affiliate Midland Rockhounds back in 2002. Great see these players work their way up to the majors and get official MLB card. Once I saw that card I knew I have purchase the pack. Lehr spent time up and down from AAA-club to the majors with his last appearance in 2009 with Cincinnati Reds. Last recorded stats was in 2012 playing in the Mexican Leagues.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Ultimate Warrior ruled

After almost two decades of animosity Ultimate Warrior and WWE are back together with him going to WWE Hall of Fame. About time they put it to rest. Truth I liked Ultimate Warrior. He was one of guys along with Hulk Hogan, Undertaker, Jake Roberts, and Earthquake I grew up watching. He stood out for energetic vibe he brought when he came in the ring and the crazy promos. With Hogan you have say your prayers and eat your vitamins shtick clamoring his Hulkamanics running wild. For Ultimate Warrior he was truly running wild going to the ring at full speed, shaking the ropes, and soaking in the energetic vibe from the fans. As a fan you could feel the energy flowing from the second his theme music played through the start and end of his match. At schools I went when I was a kid the ones that was watching wrestling liked Warrior more than Hogan. Who can anyone forget his promos? Today you might think its silly hear him rambling. But as a kid I enjoyed it. He brought intensity in his promos saying some wild out of the world things makes you think he might be smartest man alive. Chris Jericho said it best when it comes his promos. "I don't know what he said, but it sounded cool so yay!"   Looking back at his promos I can't help, but drawn in to it. So what his matches isn't up to par? Whenever Warrior is around expect energetic flow all over the place all the way from parts unknown. Ultimate Warrior ruled.