Category: Pro Wrestling

Heroes Con 2010, Part 5

I can’t think of a better way to jump start Part 5 of my 2010 Heroes Con report than with a photo of Dave Wachter holding a commission of Sly from The Expendables that he did for me at the show.  I first met Dave at Heroes Con 2009 and got a head sketch from him.  Since then I’ve been back for several other sketches.  As you can imagine, I hope that the one pictured won’t be my last.  You can bet I’ll post a scan of it soon so you can see it in all it’s glory.

Mick Foley was a guest at Heroes Con this year.  I took along my copy Have a Good Day so that I could get Mick to autograph it.  Mick was only going to be at the show on Saturday.  Since he’d never been at any convention I’d ever attended, I wasn’t sure what kind of crowd he’d draw.

Saturday rolled around and still no buzz about Mick being at the show.  Perhaps getting his autograph would be a piece of cake.  I went by the booth where Mick was going to sign and asked when he could be expected.  They said he had just arrived in town, was getting lunch and should be at the booth around 1:30.  They said if I showed up then, I’d be right on time.  I checked my watch and saw that I had time to run across the street, grab a bite and still be back before 1:30.

So that’s what I did.  In fact I got back about 1:25.  I headed over to get in line and was surprised to find Mick already signing.  I started back tracking the line which wrapped around a corner and then down a long aisle and then out of sight.  Before I had taken 3 steps I was stopped by a young lady working at the show.  She said, “If you’re wanting to get in line for Mick Foley, you’re too late.  The line has been capped.”

I was stunned.  She repeated herself.  I explained that I had checked at the booth and was told if I returned by 1:30 I would be okay.  She said the demand for Mick was more than anyone anticipated and the line was capped.  I thought about arguing my case, but realized it would do no good and it wasn’t her fault.  The line was huge, by far the biggest I’d seen at any show for any guest.

I hought, “Good for Mick Foley.”  I was happy that so many people wanted to meet him and get a photo or autograph.  Perhaps I’d meet him at another show.  How could I complain?  The day before I had gotten the most amazing sketch from Brian Stelfreeze for my Stallone art collection.  I’d also received a call from my boss saying that I was getting a promotion!  Heck, maybe I really would get a chance for Mick Foley’s autograph at another show… little did I know that my good luck wasn’t over (and I’ll tell you about that in another post soon)!

I wish I knew more about this piece.  It was donated to the HEROES CON art auction.  I don’t know the artist or who won the art, but I did think it was a pretty cool piece.  Hope you like it as well.

What’s More Suprising?

Today’s post is about a few things; one of which you may find surprising.  But first, some introductions, the handsome fellow on the left is professional wrestler [and best selling author] Mick Foley aka Mankind, Cactus Jack, etc.  The lady on the left is Linda McMahon, wife of billionaire and WWE owner, Vince McMahon.  There will be another post, later this week, about Mick Foley.  Today’s post concerns Linda McMahon.

Last year Linda McMahon stepped down as CEO of the WWE.  It wasn’t part of a storyline or a gimmick to do with the professional wrestling company. Ms. McMahon decided to run for the US Senate.  Really.  Here’s her website.  I kid you not.  Kinda surprising, right.

Today TVGuide.com posted a piece on Ms. McMahon’s campaign ad that calls professional wrestling,,,

“a soap opera that entertains millions each week”.

TVGuide says that in the ad Linda McMahon

…lets it slip that the wrestling “isn’t real.”

The article goes on to say…

That sound you hear is grown men all over the country weeping.

Will someone please send Gina DiNunno, the author of the article, word that pro wrestling fans have known for years that professional wrestling is scripted.  Make that decades.  If this was the 1950’s, 60’s or even the 70’s, perhaps some fans would think that pro rasslin’ was real, but c’mon, let’s get, uh, real.  Professional wrestling is scripted.  Anyone who doesn’t know that probably doesn’t have the intelligence to read the TVGuide article.

So what’s more surprising:

  1. Linda McMahon is running for the US Sentate
  2. Linda McMahon called professional wrestling a “scripted soap opera”
  3. TVGuide and Gina DiNunno think that Linda McMahon’s statement is a “Shocker”

My vote is for #3.

Tampa Comic & Toy Convention

This Saturday, I’ll be joining my buddy, John Beatty at Tim Gordon’s Tampa Comic Book and Toy Convention.  If you’re a regular ZONE reader, then you’ve probably read about Tim’s shows  many times.  We try to attend as many as possible because they’re always a blast.

This one should be no exception.  In addition to Big Beatty, you can also meet Todd Nauck, Billy Tucci, Tommy Castillo, Dick Giordano, Alex Saviuk, Gene Gonzalez, “Leaping” Lanny “The Genius” Poffo, Santa Claus, and a whole bunch of other talented folks.  There will be a film room, give-a-ways, artists sketching and more.

“The Wrestler” Wrestles

Last night Mickey Rourke was ringside for Wrestlemania 25.  As you can imagine, Rourke got some ring time and even laid the smackdown on Chris Jericho.  Sounds like fun.

Of course some folks will probably bash or at least question Rourke’s participation in “rasslin’.”  Not me though.  I say if Mickey Rourke wants to get in the ring and have some fun, more power to him.  The only thing that would have made it better is if he’d have won the Oscar!

WWE Hall of Fame

Although I loved professional wrestling when I was a kid back in the 60’s and early 70’s, I haven’t regularly watched it since my sons lost interest more than a few years ago.  Still, I enjoy seeing clips of old matches/interviews and reading biographies of professional wrestlers.  You wouldn’t believe some of the stories — and that’s just the ones that they’ll share!

Last night the WWE Hall of Fame Inductions included “Stone Cold” Steve Austin, Ricky “”The Dragon” Steamboat, “Cowboy” Bill Watts, Dory and Terry Funk, announcer Howard Finkle and the Von Erich family.

Here’s a bit of trivia:  Did you know that “Stone Cold” Steve Austin is set to co-star with Sly in The Expendables and Terry Funk had featured roles in Sly’s Paradise Alley and Over the Top?

Z-View: “The Wrestler” is a Winner

The Pitch: “Rocky” meets Professional Wrestling.

The Overview: Randy “The Ram” Robinson is a washed up professional wrestler hoping for one last shot at the big time, a romance with an aging stripper and a reconciliation with his college-age daughter.

The Good: Mickey Rourke.  Maresia Tomei. Both received well-deserved Oscar nominations.  And let’s not forget writer Robert Siegel and director Darren Aronofsky.  The behind-the-scenes before and after the matches stuff.  The movie feels real.  There is no sugar-coating motivations or easily resolved situations.  Did I mention how good Rourke and Tomei are?

The Bad: The “hardcore” match.  Robinson’s relationship with his daughter.  Getting old.

The Ugly: Did I mention the “hardcore” match?

The Summary: I went in to see “The Wrestler” expecting a lot.  I wasn’t disappointed.  It deserves all the honors it is getting thanks to the efforts of Rourke, Tomei, Siegel and Aronofsky.  I look forward to watching this again when it’s in my collection.

Kevin Nash Makes An Appearance

I work as an Assistant Principal at a local high school.  A while back I posted about talking to former World  Lightheavy Weight Champ, Antonio Tarver at one of our basketball games.  Tonight I was working the game as our girls basketball team played for the district titleKevin Nash [movie actor and professional wrestler] came to watch.  Nash is friends of the family of one of the players.

What was cool was that many people recognized him, but no one went over for autographs or to talk to him.  Kevin Nash wasn’t there for that and people seemed to realize it.  A group of students did walk by to get a closer look, but even they didn’t bug him.  Too bad that most celebrities aren’t given the same respect when they are trying to enjoy some time away from the limelight.

Unfortunately our girls lost.  The good news is that coming in 2nd place in the district moves us into the regional tournament with a chance to still go to state.  If we make it, maybe Kevin Nash will make a return visit.

You Just Might Get It!

Today we have a short clip that you have to see to believe. It’s from an old wrestling match that paired Terry Funk with Cactus Jack aka Mick Foley against some mugs that they’d beaten. Funk and Jack decide that their opponents need a little more hurt and so they ask for some chairs from the crowd. Big Mistake!

You can see that Funk and Foley, er, Cactus Jack are shocked at the number of chairs being hurtled into the ring. They move to opposite corners and begin to yell/signal for fans to stop. At just before the 1:30 mark a chair grazes Funk and he stays in character. Too funny!

Watch it here and remember, be careful what you ask for…

Comic Artists and Professional Wrestlers

Next Sunday, December 9th, my buddy John Beatty will be one of the guests at the Epic Comic Con in Orlando, Florida. He’ll be there along with a bunch of comic book artists, professional wrestlers as well as a couple of actors and authors. Talk about an interesting mix!

John will be sketching and signing autographs. I’ll be there hanging out as well. If you’re in the area, plan to drop on by!

RIP: The Fabulous Moolah

I was never much of a fan of women’s wrestling. Even when I was a kid and lived and breathed pro wrestling, I didn’t care about the women mixing it up in the ring. Of course back then we didn’t have the divas or the bathing suit matches, etc. Still, the one woman wrestler that I did know was the Fabulous Moolah. It amazed me that despite the country being broken up into territories, with each having their own champion, Moolah was recognized as the Women’s Champion everywhere.

Mary Lillian Ellison aka The Fabulous Moolah was born in 1923 — the youngest and only girl of 13 children. Her mother died of cancer when she was just 8. Mary attended weekly pro wrestling cards with her dad and perhaps that’s where he love of the sport began.

Moolah was the Women’s World Champion from from 1956 to 1984. Then from 1985 – 1987. In 1999, at age 76, she won the title for a final time.

To be honest, I really didn’t like most of the angles that the WWE used with Moolah when she came back in the late 90’s. Still I admired the fact that at her age she was still able to get out there and take bumps and that her name still got a rise from the fans.

So despite the fact that I wasn’t a fan of women wrestlers, I felt it right to pay my respects to a performer held in such high regard in the “sport” that I loved as a kid. Rest in peace, Moolah. My thoughts and prayers go out to her family, friends and fans.

We Want to Pump You Up!

According to a Sports Illustrated report, Evander Hollyfield is just one of many professional athletes linked to a nationwide steroids investigation. Several professional wrestlers including Randy Orton, Adam Copeland, a.k.a. “Edge,” and Shane Helms, a.k.a. “The Hurricane,” Kurt Angle, Oscar Gutierrez aka Rey Mysterio join other pro athletes such as Jose Canseco, John Rocker, Jerry Hairston Jr., David Bell, and bodybuilder Victor Martinez on the list. You can read the full story HERE.

Honestly, the only name on the list which really surprises me is Hollyfield’s.

Another Youtube Gem

 


I’m amazed at what can be found on Youtube.
 
I’ve discovered everything from clips of old Sammy Terry shows to a news report of a fire that took out much of the downtown in my home town of Terre Haute back in the early 60’s.
 
I’ve found intros to tv shows that I haven’t seen in 40 years and fan made trailers as good as what you’d see in theaters.
 
Today I found video of a wrestling match that took place in the early 70’s pitting The Blackjacks [Mulligan and Lanza] and their manager “Pretty Boy” Bobby Heenan against Dick the Bruiser, his cousin The Crusher and midget wrestler “Little Bruiser.” What makes this match so appealing to me is that in addition to it being over 30 years old, and featuring my favorite wrestlers of the time, I actually saw this match live!
 
I’ll continue searching out Youtube for cool videos. I’d love to find intros to “T.H.E. Cat” [I can’t imagine that it was good as I remember it being] and “Garrison’s Guerillas.”  Hey, and if you find any cool videos, post the links here. I’d love to see what gems you’ve come across.
 

Sammy Terry Anyone?


One of the things that I love about YouTube.com is that you can find video of almost anything. I was surprised when I found a classic pro wrestling match between “Pretty Boy” Bobby Heenan [accompanied to the ring by Blackjacks Mulligan and Lanza] and “Cowboy” Bob Ellis.

I was even more surprised when I discovered video of Sammy Terry! I first told you about Sammy way back here. As host of “Nightmare Theater,” Sammy was on the air from the early 60’s through the 80’s. Although this clip is from 1987 [near the end of Sammy’s run] it will give you a taste of why I loved staying up until 11:30 on the weekend to catch Sammy hosting a horror movie double feature.

I’m really surprised that some network doesn’t have a weekend horror movie double feature hosted by someone like Sammy. My guess is that if kids didn’t tune in, there’d still be a good-size audience of folks like me!