Thursday, August 31, 2023

Bray Wyatt

"He got the whole world in his hands. He got the whole wide world in his hands. He got whole world in his hands. He got the whole world in his hands."

It's been a long week for wrestling fans especially me. I still cannot believe Windham Rotunda, known as his wrestling in-ring Bray Wyatt, passed away at young age of 36. To be honest, I couldn't think of the words to say. I remember the moment he popped up on TV along side with Erick Rowan and Luke Harper (the late Brody Lee) he immediately became one of my favorite. It was his characters, the entrances, and the way he spoke drew me in. Just like his saying, "Let me in!" I accepted him in my wrestling fandom. Throughout the years I seen his character reinvented when he started out as a cult leader to a friendly host that end up evolving into a dark form known as The Fiend. I was sadden he was released for the first time then super glad he was re-hired and brought back. I still remember his return at Extreme Rules last year. Just like his one of his sayings, "Let me in!" I welcomed him back in open arms with a huge smile on my face. I couldn't wait to see what's next in store for him. Sadly it was cut short. Not even a year after his return Bray Wyatt is no longer on this earth.

I have so many memories of Bray Wyatt from his matches to his promos. My biggest one when I met him 7 years ago during Wrestlemania 32 weekend. He had a meet and greet at FYE in Irving Mall. I got in line early dressed up like him. When it came my turn he loved that I dressed up as him and signed everything I got in hands which is a card and a shirt along 8X10 he gave out. Bray Wyatt loved the fans. I got a great memory of a wonderful person at the end. It's the way he wanted it. Made sure the fans are happy and enjoy themselves.

Thank you and rest in peace Bray Wyatt/Windham Rotunda for those amazing memories. Wherever you are in afterlife you're in good company with Brody Lee up there meeting you with open arms and being surrounded with fireflies. Huge condolences to his wife and kids along friends like Erick Rowan.

Bray Wyatt moments:

Sunday, July 2, 2023

Ay Chihuahua

Last weekend, needing to get away I decide make a trek down to El Paso for first time ever in my life despite being 4 1/2 to 5 hour drive from here. On the way I end up knocking a ballpark off my list. I went to El Paso Chihuahuas game that Friday of the weekend as they took on Tacoma Rainiers. It's Friar Friday as Chihuhuas wore Padres color jerseys. I found out few days before the trip Aaron Sanchez from Master Chef appearing at the game for a meet and greet. I got a picture with him during the game.
I enjoy the stadium as it faces the downtown El Paso skyline. Home bullpen is by 3rd base side while visiting bullpen is by Dog House building and locked up like they are in jail. I enjoy the crowd atmosphere unlike the boring crowd of Dell Diamond in Round Rock.

Chihuahuas lead 5-1 til Rainiers roared back with 6 runs in the top of the 7th. They tacked on 3 more runs on top of 9th including a mammoth out of the park shot from Taylor Trammel which I'm sure it landed outside the museum across the street from the stadium. Rainiers takes it 10-5. I got my picture taken with former Midland Rockhounds player Jarred Koenig who played for the team in 2021. It's great to see him.

Before I left the stadium I noticed a few fans standing outside Durango St entrance. They told me that where most of the players from both teams leave the stadium after the game. I tried my luck and got few a players and coaches like Matthew Batten, Jantzen Witte, Pedro Avila (who started the game), Alfonso Rivas, Pedro Severino, and John Russell. As for Rivas autograph I say it goes on my autograph Hall of Shame collection.

I had a good trip. Enjoy the mountains from El Paso area.

Saturday, May 27, 2023

2023 Bowman Box Break

I picked up two blaster boxes of Bowman baseball few weeks ago. Luckily Target had them before it got sold out. Walmart charging $5 more than Target. I finally got the time to post my pulls from those two boxes. Here are the cards I pulled. 

Base: Byron Buxton, Matt Olson, Xander Bogaerts, Matt Wallner (X2), Javier Baez (X2), Mookie Betts (X2), Jazz Chisholm (X2), Corey Seager, Lenyn Sosa, Yordan Alvarez (X2), Ivan Herrera, Oswaldo Cabrera, JJ Bedlay (X2), Christopher Morel (X2), Vinne Pasquantino (X2), Joey Votto (X2), Adley Rutschman (X2), Maikel Garcia (X2), Manny Machado (X2), Livan Soto, Francisco Alvarez, Juan Sato (X2), Kyle Stowers (X2), Masataka Yoshida (X2), Aaron Judge (X2), Jordan Diaz (X2), Eguy Rosario (X2), Jordan Groshans (X2), Gabriel Moreno (X2), Paul Goldschmidt (X2), Corbin Carroll (X2), Jeremy Pena, Brett Baty, Freddie Freeman (X2), Gerrit Cole (X2), Nolan Arenado (X2), Liover Peguero, Miguel Vargas, Riley Greene (X2), Giancarlo Stanton, Ronald Acuna Jr (X2), Seiya Suzuki (X2), Simeon Woods Richardson (X2), Wander Franco, Jose Ramirez

Bowman Prospects: Justin Crawford, Javier Osorio, Daniel Susac, Wilber Sanchez, Moises Ballesteros, Henry Davis, Elijah Green, Yanquiel Fernandez, Brooks Lee, Kumar Rocker, Andres Mesa, Gleider Figuereo, Aeverson Arteaga, Junior Caminero, Michael Arroyo, Elly de la Cruz, Mikey Romero, Matt Mervis, Nerwilian Cedeno, Eduoard Julien, Braylon Bishop, Jordan Lawler, Hector Rodriguez, Yasser Mercedes, Luisangel Acuna, Juan Chacon, Gavin Cross, Josue de Paula, Blake Loubier, Jorge Ruiz, Tony Blanco Jr, Dylan O'Ray

Bowman Prospects Chrome: Ryan Clifford, Henry Davis, Randy de Jesus, Ambioris Tavarez, Bryan Acuna, Ruben Santana, Peyton Graham, Juan Brito, Arial Almonte, Leandro Arias, Max Muncy, Luis Garcia, Henry Ramos, Fraymi de Leon, Chase DeLauter, Ronny Simon, Daniel Montesino, Juan Olmos, Dylan O'Ray, Jase Bowen, Kenedy Corona, Jose Peroza

Chrome Refactor: Ryan Clifford, Jase Bowen

Prospects Purple Border: Justin Crawford

Prospects Autograph Blue Border: Dustin Saenz

Spotlights: Adley Rutschman (amazing freakin' inserts)

Top Prospects: Grayson Rodriguez, Noelvi Marte, Masyn Winn, Dylan Lesko

Modern Prospects: Ceddanne Rafaela, Simon Juan

Rookie of the Year Favorites: Nolan Gorman, Josh Jung

Sights of September: Matt McLain, Jordan Walker

I feel its an excellent haul from the two blaster boxes. The base set is 45% complete as well getting an autograph card. I enjoy Spotlights insert set as it looks amazing. As for prospects see if I can able get a few sign this year like Brooks Lee then wait who shows up around here next few seasons.

Friday, April 14, 2023

Opening Day in Midland

On Tuesday it was opening day here for Midland Rockhound, The 2023 roster have a mix of players from the previous years such as Logan Davidson, Max Schuemann, Michael Guldberg, J.J. Schwarz, Ryan Cusick, and J.T. Ginn to newer ones making a jump such as Lawrence Butler, Darel Hernaiz, Shane McGuire, Shohei Tomioka, and Royber Salinas. Also on the team is pitcher Brian Howard, who been in Las Vegas for previous two seasons return here in a relief pitching role, and Greg Deichmann, who played 14 games for the Cubs in 2021. Both players were on 2019 Midland Rockhounds team.

The team got a third mascot name Chip to go along with institute of Juice the Moose (from Midland Angels era) and Rocky. What is Chip? A hammer.

The festivities including unveiling of a large US flag and a plane flying over the stadium. The fans helped the singer to the words of the National Anthem when the mic kept cutting out.

They took on Tulsa Drillers who have this year's Dodgers no. 1 prospect Diego Cartaya. Royber Salinas and Emmet Sheehan started the game. Drillers got on board first with 3 runs in the 1st including Brandon Lewis two-run homerun shot. Salinas lasted 2 1/3 innings with 6 strikeout with Tomioka relieving him for 1 2/3 innings of no run work. In the 3rd inning I witness an out from batter box violation for the first time when Drillers player Jorbit Vivas hit a foul ball and took a very slow walk back to the batter  box. The ump called automatic strike on him once he got back. Since he was down 2 strikes the batter box violation makes it strike 3 for him. He was not too happy about it.

Rockhounds got on board in the 3rd with Schuemann solo shot and Bret Harris driving Butler in. Trayson Kubo went on the mound and end up giving up two runs when Andy Pages drove in Josh Stowers and Johnny LeDuca making it 5-2. He would be replaced by Charles Hall who lasted an inning. Deichmann got them back in the game with 2-run homerun shot in the 6th making it 5-4. Drillers get a run in the 7th, but the Rockhounds erupted with a 6 run inning with Deichmann coming up big to give them the lead. It was enough to chase Leal Lockhart off the mound. Jordan Leasure comes in and ends up issuing a balk sending Davidson home. Entering the top of 9th 10-6 leads things go a little weird. Yusniel Diaz would come in pinch running for Cartaya. He stole second, but turned his ankle while doing so. He exit the game with injury and ends up getting a rare "In pinch runner for a pinch runner" call as Imanol Vargas taking over. A throwing error from Hernaiz allowed Vargas to come home. Austin Briggs gave a hit then threw a wild pitch sending Jose Ramos (from Panama WBC team) home. After issuing two walk leaving the bases loaded Briggs gets pulled for Calvin Coker who closed it out in a nailbiting 10-8 win. Will be at the ballpark on Friday night. It's going be another fun season at the minor league park.

Friday, February 24, 2023

Immortalized: A Somber Here Today, Gone Tomorrow

This is not the news anyone wants to hear at all. Last night I was checking my social media feed around 7 PM. I noticed things blew up out of DFW indy wrestling scene with posts from the workers and the fans posting hearts while keeping it hush hush. I sensed a bad feeling out of it. I messaged a person from there asking what's going on. That person gave me the news as well not say anything til its out publicly: DFW indy wrestler Jason Silver died. Wait a minute. Jason Silver died? The Immortal who wrestled few days ago over the weekend for Metroplex Wrestling (MPX) on Saturday and Heart of Texas (HOT) on Sunday? The death defying aerial high flyer wrestler who took some of the nastiest bumps I seen live in person and getting up like nothing for almost 12 years throughout various feds is gone? I message another person who is the biggest fan and supporter of DFW indy scene only to confirm the news is true. A huge shock shot over me leaving me an emotional wreck for the rest of the night. Everyone who heard and received the news had the same feeling of disbelief and shock. His death publicly announced around 8:30 leaving ginormous wave of grief and sorrow from wrestlers and fans. It was sudden and unexpected. You never know a person will be here today and gone tomorrow. Life is brutally unfair. Memories and photographs of him poured on social media. It's hard reading a post from Sky de LaCrimosa. They been together as tag team partners under the name The Lost Boys and as well feuding rivals in the ring along being traveling friends throughout the Texas indy wrestling scene for close to 15 years.

Jason Silver is a talented high flyer with no fear. There are so many times he would do insane spots and took hard landings absorbing amounts of pain. Despite taking it he would still get up and walked like he's bulletproof. There's a clip I saw from MPX show where he went for asai moonsault on the outside, but his knees hit part of the tiles from the side ceiling and immediately dropped down head first. It's a miracle he wasn't hurt very badly out of it. Around the workers he would give out advice helping them to improve. Outside the ring, Jason Silver is superb human being taking time with fans after the show to giving out advice of wisdom on his social media page. He was truly one of a kind.

I have so many wonderful memories of Jason Silver in the ring for over a decade from matches to crazy spots and landings as well chatting with him after the show. I still remember the show stealing match in ACW against a returning "Unholy" Gregory James (now known as "The Guttersnake" Izzy James). Every time when he does Spanish Fly move I always called it Complexity because it sounded way much better. The few times I been to MPX show he would be surprise to see me in the crowd. I attended MPX show on day before 2021 WWE Money in the Bank and walked up to him after the show catching him by surprised. I seen him wrestle in singles, tag team, multi-team matches at various feds around the state such as ACW, MPX, Inspire AD, and BOW-ATX/PWX. I seen him evolve from one of the Lost Boys with Sky de LaCrimosa with them feuding with each other as he went on a single run being a Complex Killer. He formed  an unholy union with Gregory James as Unholy Complex winning ACW tag team titles before splitting and feuding with each other. He went on to win multiple championships in feds such as ACW and MPX. I was there when he won Lone Star Classic 2017 tournament and few months later won ACW Heavyweight title. At MPX he reunite with Sky de LaCrimosa reforming The Lost Boys and causing chaos with manager Isaac Maser giving out instructions of in-ring destruction as well becoming The Immortal. The last time I saw him in person was in late August of last year. It was first show of ACW re-boot. I drove up to Austin for the show and happy to see me along rest of the talent who recognize me from years of shows I attended previously. Just like that it came full circle. The first time I saw him in person was at ACW in 2011. Last time I saw him it was ACW in 2022.

Jason Silver you will be forever missed by the workers and the fans around Texas independent wrestling scene. Thank you for providing in-ring and outside the ring memories! You are immortalized and your memory lives on. Remember Lost Boys don't cry. RIP.

Have some matches and highlights of the late Jason Silver

MPX - Jason Silver vs Mike Foxx (casket match)

ACW - Jason Silver vs Jay Serious vs Exodus Prime vs Gabe Wilder

MPX - Jason Silver vs Sku de LaCrimosa

Various Jason Silver vs Barrett Brown matches from various feds. Call it his best in-ring rival

MPX - Jason Silver vs Brent McKenzie
MPX entrance theme

Friday, January 20, 2023

The Night ATX Wrestling Scene Changed

Jerry Lynn, Rachel Summerlyn, and Scot Summers together for one final time
The Austin independent wrestling scene still vibing with soon to be four feds running along the wrestling school in the area. It remains one of hot beds in indy wrestling scene as talent from in and outside the state coming in to work one of the shows. How did they get there? Let's go back to 10 years ago on January 20, 2013 when the scene took its major shift.

Anarchy Championship Wrestling held their flagship ship Guilty by Association 7. A sold out crowd crammed The Mohawk to watch one of final matches of retiring Jerry Lynn who is in his final leg of his retirement tour. He took on "Showtime" Scot Summers in a rematch from Guilty by Association 2 as well previous shows before GBA2. The show highlighted with, in my opinion, the greatest ACW match in history between ACW hardcore champion Matthew Palmer and ACH which I've dubbed the hardcore mat classic. J.T. LaMotta announced after his match against Jason Silver this will be his final year wrestling full time and set his sights against Jimmy Jacobs as his final opponent (note: it didn't end well). ACW TV title match between the late Shawn Vexx and Davey Vega fighting for current ROH women champion Athena affection only for Athena to cash in her no.1 contenders title shot and beat both of them at same to show both of them she's not property and is her own person while becoming TV champion. The schedule match between ACW heavyweight champion Rachel Summerlyn and Darin Childs never happened as former champion Jaykus Plisken jumped Childs before the match and insert himself in the match. Summerlyn would dispatch Plisken. Then the main event between Lynn and Summers as they gave the crowd a finale with Lynn winning. Just when fans think they're getting a happy ending, Evan Gelistico and Gary Jay of Submission Squad ambushed Lynn and Summers with Lynn getting handcuffed to the rope leaving the crowd shocked. Gelistico called out Rachel Summerlyn to put the ACW heavyweight title up immediately or he will kill Lynn. Summerlyn did and within minutes Gelistico pinned Summerlyn to become ACW heavyweight champion in front of a shocked and angry crowd. Gelistco and Jay had fight their way through the crowd on the way to back as fans would sneak in punches to their body. When all is cleared this shot I took turned out be iconic. It's the final time The Godfathers and Godmother of Anarchy appeared together in the ring as they gave their speeches.

Behind scenes was reportedly chaotic before and during show with so many variations tossed around. At the end Rachel Summerlyn left ACW. She would wrestle few more matches before leaving wrestling altogether. Another person to leave ACW after the show is Justin Bissonette citing burn out. I remember watching the DVD of this show after Gelistico won the belt, J.T. LaMotta doing commentary for the match mention the lines of changing landscape in wrestling. He predicted it.

What changed? ACW went another route. The all-out wild brawls still there but they had a different emphasis as certain talent got pushed up as well newer wrestlers popping up. Then came the ACH and Jeff Gant match few months later. The crowd hated it despite being a good match. Many of the local fans pointed to this match on why Inspire Pro (now renamed Inspire AD) formed involving Max Meehan and Justin Bissonette who reluctantly return to wrestling but gave it another go. Inspire ran their first show in July of that year building upon the fed using top talent around the state as well occasional fly-ins. It renew Bissonette interest in wrestling as he always have an eye on talent and been there since. In 2017 Wrestling Circus started up booking big indy wrestling names. Despite the success of their shows it was also their undoing as well having trouble finding a building to run a show. They would shut down then restart before shutting down permanently in 2019. As of this day, Inspire AD and ACW (under new management) still running having to survive the 2020 pandemic year. Also running around Austin is the upstart Infamous Wrestling (run by former ACW referee Donnie Davis) which debut last year. Soon to be starting Borracho Pro (run by a crew of five) with their debut show coming up on February 4.

Change is good and it helped out Austin indy wrestling scene in the long run. During those 10 years in between there are four wrestlers that end up making a mark in the area. Look for it next month.

Thursday, January 12, 2023

My Favorite Kevin Harvick Moment

Kevin Harvick announced he will retire after 2023 NASCAR season marking the end of his 22 year run in Cup with 60 career wins to this date and a NASCAR cup championship. Since his Cup debut in 2001 he had many memorable moments. My favorite moment of him when he won his first career NASCAR cup race.

Before the first race of 2001 season his driving schedule was driving a full season in Busch (now Xfinity) series as well 5 races in Winston Cup for Richard Childress. All that changed after the first race of the season when Dale Earnhardt tragically killed in the final lap of Daytona 500. His Cup season when from 5 races to full time as well doing double duty in the Busch series. He had a difficult task being the driver to replace the Dale Earnhardt at Richard Childress Racing. Can RCR car win a Cup race without Dale? They have won exhibition races without Dale, but no official Cup victory.

When Kevin Harvick took the track for very first time in a Cup car it was at Rockingham driving a white renumbered no. 29 GM Goodwrench sponsor car. He ran a respectable 14th place finish in his first race. The next race at Las Vegas he finished 8th after starting the race in 20th. At Atlanta, he qualified 5th and would muscle his way to the lead at lap 7 leading for 12 laps. He remained in the top 10 throughout the race while Jeff Gordon, Dave Blaney, Dale Jarrett, and Jerry Nadeau swapped leads. Then came final 22 laps as one of best battles for the lead down to the checkers. Nadeau lead the field to the green flag after 4 lap caution flag stint. Behind him is Dale Jarrett, Kevin Harvick, Dale Earnhardt Jr, and Jeff Gordon. Nadeau and Jarrett ran 1-2 while Harvick, Earnhardt Jr, and Gordon held back til 10 to go. Harvick made his charge toward Jarrett along with the two behind him. Jarrett would take the lead from Nadeau for a lap then Harvick from 3rd slipped past both Jarrett and Nadeau going three wide and getting them at the line with 5 to go. Nadeau and Jarrett tires went away as Jeff Gordon charged past them. Dale Earnhardt Jr would suffer a blown right front ending his top 5 run and into the pits to change the tire. Harvick lead for the remaining laps holding off a charging Jeff Gordon. He barely beat him to the start/finish line on the lap side-by-side to take his first career victory also the first for RCR since Dale Earnhardt died. Even when I watch the finish to this day I still lose it in happy tears. It was a sign things will be okay for RCR. Dale Earnhardt can never be replaced. There are hungry drivers that will take to the track. Even I don't watch or follow NASCAR that much I still respect Kevin Harvick through the years driving the 29 car for RCR to the 4 car at Stewart-Haas Racing. He's always in contention for a victory during the season. Thank you Kevin Harvick for those moments.