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02 April 2008 @ 04:16 pm
Sorry I didn't do this sooner, but it's been both a physically and emotionally exhausting weekend. The highs were very, very high; and the lows were as low as you could get. As Bryan Alvarez said...FUCK ORLANDO~! I haven't been there since I was eleven, and now, I may not be back until I have kids of my own. Anyway...

At around noon on Friday, Mark and I departed for Orlando from my condo in Tequesta. I gave him driving duties, since he is more experienced than I with long distances. Almost immediately, accident #1 happened when we weren't paying attention, and cracked off the drivers side mirror. If it had just been me, the trip would've been off. But thanks to Mark's cracker-jack skills, we reached the Turnpike pretty easily. After a little while, a tread blew off one of my tires, just north of Mile Marker 189. We weren't in a good postition to put the spare on ourselves, so we were stuck waiting for the State Farm Road Rangers for almost two hours. Despite the wait, it was free, and the guy was friendly and nice. So we stop at the next service station, where I spend about $99 for a new tire. We're back on the Pike for a bit, when we have yet another blowout! After a three hour wait this time, we decide to get to the hotel and replace the tire in the morning. Our GPS led us directly to the Citrus Bowl, so we had a hell of a time driving through the worst looking neighborhoods, and having to backtrack along the highway, to finally reach our hotel at around 10:30 pm.

Saturday was Hall of Fame day. We decide to head to the Florida Mall to drop the car off at the Sears Auto place. I never want to see the Florida Mall in Orlando ever again. About three hours and $700 later (tires and axel replacement, and alignment), I get a call from our third guy, Jason, who tells me his flight was delayed, and he'll probably be late for the HOF. He tells us to leave his ticket with the front hotel desk, and he'll meet us there as soon as possible. So, we arrive at the Amway Arena around 5:30 pm or so, all decked out in our good clothes. We're let in around 6:00 pm, and as soon as I walk in the door, I see a mob of people swarming a familiar red hat. It's WWE Sign Guy Rick Auchberger. He's super nice and friendly, even after I lamely say "Good job on Deal or no Deal!" As Mark grabs our food, a fellow fan and I trade cameras, and each get a picture with the guy.

As for the ceremony itself, the only parts to write home about were The Rock's appearance and of course, Flair. There were some microphone problems to start, so people in our section kept chanting "We can't hear you" as Rocky tried beating on the mic. Finally, after the volume was restored, Mark, being the wiseass that he is, shouted at the top of his lungs "Now repeat everything you just said!" He then manages to start a chant of "Start All Over!" It'd be funny if that makes it to the DVD version. Jason arrives just before the Flair induction. I stood in the aisle just soaking up everything Flair was saying. I understand that the near-two hours he talked for was reduced to ten minutes for the USA broadcast (or so my mom told me). It was a surreal experience, to say the least, but I wouldn't have traded it for anything.

We hit an all night McDonalds after the show, and meet two similarly dressed gentlemen. We were all at the same place and ended up talking wrestling. They came from San Fran, and Darryl, a tall, black gentleman, tells us he used to wrestle for APW. I tell him a buddy of mine did color in the early 2000s for some of the home video releases. He tells me the broadcast position is the same and Roland's still an A-hole. I ask him if he remembers a magazine called "World of Wrestling" He says "Yeah, I wonder what happened to that?" I tell him I was the A.C.E., and his eyes get wide. He grabs my hand and enthusiastically shakes it, as if I discovered the cure for the common cold. "Thank you...that was a great magazine!" he says. :)

Wrestlemania Sunday. This time there's three of us, and the car, although ugly, is drivable. We decide to drive back to Amway Arena, and hop the WM shuttle to the Citrus Bowl around 2 pm. The Fan Axxess stuff is set up across the street. Throughout the day, I'm complimented by various people on my cool-looking WM 11 LT t-shirt. Mark does his own thing while Jay and I stick around the main booth. It was hotter than hell, and we were trying to find things worth doing, when suddenly Jimmy Hart comes out of nowhere, and we end up following him to the main booth. We planted ourselves behind the stage area, and everytime Hart came around, everyone would wave certain crap in the air, in hopes he would sign it. I just wanted him to notice the fact that I had a copy of the original WWF wrestling album. As he made his way around, he saw it, and said: "Oh my...Is that? Oh wow..." He jumps off the platform, grabs it from me, runs back onstage and tells everyone "Hey...this is the original Wrestling Album!" A round of "Country Boy" breaks out. After, Hart comes back, and signs my CD for me. Later on, I would get pictures with Hart, Candice Michelle, and Hillbilly Jim. Jay and I waited till the very end so I could get Hillbilly to sign my CD as well. Yeah...I'm a mark :)

Shortly after, we find our seats, and meet up with Mark. The atmosphere of the Citrus Bowl was freaking awesome. We were facing the cameras, but we were on the top row, which meant directly above us was all the pyro. Not good, especially when windy and drizzling. The reports of some of the pyro coming loose and burning fans, it happened in the same row, but on the opposite end of the arena. Two minor pyro mishaps happened when a remnant fell into Mark's iced tea, and I was singed pretty good by Floyd Mayweather's entrance.
Other than that, the show was awesome. We took restroom/food breaks during Batista-Umaga and the Bunnymania deal. Floyd-Show was actually pretty entertaining for what it was. Mark almost creamed himself when CM Punk won MITB. Flair versus HBK was perfect, and may even replace Benoit-Angle from Rumble 2003 as my favorite live match. Everyone was shocked when Orton retained the title, and Edge-Taker had me hooked in with every move. One of my favorite parts of the night, actually, may have been the Santino/Festus/Snoop Dogg/Foley segment. I actually LOLed at that, and I don't often do that nowadays for wrestling stuff.

We made it back home the next day, and I can't wait for the DVD release. After witnessing all the Flair stuff first hand, I can die a happy wrestling fan.
Current Mood: exhaustedexhausted
11 March 2008 @ 02:00 pm
Well, I went to the dentist today for a cleaning. Everything's copacetic for the next four months. Physical therapy is going well, also. I'm slowly building the strengh up in my back.

Today though, I wanted to talk about something I'd heard about, but only recently discovered for myself. That being the short-lived NBC revival of Sanford, starring Redd Foxx and Dennis Burkley. NBC wanted to continue the success they'd had with Sanford & Son, so they had Foxx bring back the Fred Sanford character. Demond Wilson, who played Lamont Sanford, chose not to return. So to explain the absence, Lamont had moved to Alaska to work on the pipeline. Rather than have Fred manage the junkyard on his own, Lamont sent a fellow crew member (Cal Pettie, played by Dennis Berkley) to L.A. to continue the partnership. The series focuses on how Cal and Fred get along, while familiar characters from the original series (Rollo, Daniel, Aunt Esther, Grady, et, al...) pop in and out.

This past Saturday in a Daylight Savings Time stunt, the BET network aired all twenty-six episodes back-to-back. I tuned in due to curiousity, but was easily hooked. As I watched, it seemed Foxx and Berkley had some special chemistry together. A big reason Redd Foxx is one of my favorite comedians of all time, is due to his comedic timing. Sure, his stand-up act was infamously blue, but the way he delivered his jokes on TV, he always managed to make me laugh out loud. It didn't matter how many fat jokes Fred made to Cal, he always made them funny. And of course, you still had the old standard of insulting the ugly sister-in-law, as only Fred Sanford could do. It was a shame there were only two seasons before it got the axe. You got the vibe, as with Lamont, that as much as Fred and Cal bickered, they did care for each other.

Now, I'm trying to figure out when BET airs this regularly, because there were a few episodes I missed. If anyone knows, give me a shout. And if you stumble upon this while channel surfing, check it out, and let me know what you think :)

More later!
Current Mood: crankycranky
06 March 2008 @ 09:08 pm
A truly historic moment in wrestling. When Eastern Championship Wrestling became Extreme...

Well, I'm Orlando-bound at the end of the month. Not only WrestleMania, but the WWE Hall of Fame ceremony as well. More on that in the days to come. Stay tuned.
Current Mood: lethargiclethargic
26 February 2008 @ 12:39 am
Holy Mackrel! I have SunSports...and I'll finally get to see locally televised Florida wrestling for the first time since 2004...not to mention my favorite WWE Diva in action :)

Anyway, I already have a tape all set for the VCR, once I know the first air-date. Apparently, the first TV taping is this Thursday night. I'm psyched!
Current Mood: excitedexcited
Current Music: Becker on WGN
17 February 2008 @ 01:39 am
Thanks to Youtube, last night I stumbled upon, and re-watched, the first episode of ECW TV I ever saw. ECW Hardcore TV, air date: 5/7/96. This was my big intro to the original ECW. When a friend told me there was a promotion out there with the former Johnny Polo as its champion, I thought he was just messing with me. That Friday night at 2 am, I tuned into the MSG Network, and was blown away. Life as a wrestling fan would change forever. Not only would there be many a late Friday (or Saturday) night sneaking down to watch, but I would attend two house shows, one TV taping and a PPV in Danbury, CT.

When the first thing you see are three tye-dye wearing big guys with nerd glasses, and they're brawling in the crowd, with the fans chanting the promotion's initials...you may wonder what passes for late night programming. But the more I sat and watched, the more I fell in love with the WWF/E alternative. Later, when the companies began working together, it was a great time to be a fan.

This episode was also my very first look at one Rob Van Dam. A fine wrestler and cool guy, whom I would get to know later on thru a meet and greet. On that night, however, he was a fresh face. His opponent, Sabu, I ironically recognized from his short stint as a WCW employee on the Monday Nitro program. But now, thanks to embedding, I want to share the very episode that turned me on to the cool rebellious side of wrestling, something to enjoy while the bigger guys were one-upping each other on Monday evenings. This is the ECW I prefer to remember. The segments go in order from top to bottom. Enjoy!

Current Mood: nostalgicnostalgic
Current Music: Theme to ECW Hardcore TV
14 February 2008 @ 12:04 am
If you do, I thank you. Yeah, it seems like it's been a while. I've been dealing with some back problems as of late. Getting them hopefully worked out through physical therapy. Wish me luck.

One of these days I really want to get my life started. By that I mean, I'm 28, and I don't want to live the rest of my life single. I'm taking steps to fix that, on top of my everyday job. Yeah...I've been busy.

My friend Thad appears on this Friday's episode of the Merv Griffin's Crosswords game show. Check your local listings. I do know that it comes on 1pm on Fox 29 in West Palm, and 4pm on NBC 4 in NYC. I've got a tape in the VCR set to record as we speak.

Finally, I just want to wish all my friends - male, female, single and taken - a very happy Valentines Day. Wherever you are, whatever you do, enjoy yourselves. Catch me on MySpace or Facebook if any of you want to give me a shout. Thanks.
Current Mood: tiredtired
01 February 2008 @ 01:12 pm
Talk show host Montel Williams appears on FOX News, expected to speak on the passing of Heath Ledger, but insists on swerving the conversation to the death of fallen troops. Apparently, he was fired by CBS for this, but he does make an excellent point. Watch this YouTube clip to see for yourself...

Current Mood: thoughtfulthoughtful
31 January 2008 @ 02:12 pm
I can't wait...

Current Mood: calmcalm
28 January 2008 @ 04:51 pm
On the first day, God created the dog and said:

'Sit all day by the door of your house and bark at anyone who comes in or walks past. For this, I will give you a life span of twenty years.'
The dog said: 'That's a long time to be barking. How about only ten years and I'll give you back the other ten?'
So God agreed.

On the second day, God created the monkey and said: 'Entertain people, do tricks, and make them laugh. For this, I'll give you a twenty-year life span.'
The monkey said: 'Monkey tricks for twenty years? That's a pretty long time to perform. How about I give you back ten like the Dog did?'
And God agreed.

On the third day, God created the cow and said: 'You must go into the field with the farmer all day long and suffer under the sun, have calves and give milk to support the farmer's family. For this, I will give you a life span of sixty years.'
The cow said: 'That's kind of a tough life you want me to live for sixty years. How about twenty and I'll give back the other forty?'
And God agreed again.

On the fourth day, God created man and said: 'Eat, sleep, play, marry and enjoy your life. For this, I'll give you twenty years.'
But man said: 'Only twenty years? Could you possibly give me my twenty, the forty the cow gave back, the ten the monkey gave back , and the ten the dog gave back; that makes eighty, okay?'
'Okay,' said God, 'You asked for it.'

So that is why for our first twenty years we eat, sleep, play and enjoy ourselves. For the next forty years we slave in the sun to support our family. For the next ten years we do monkey tricks to entertain the grandchildren. And for the last ten years we sit on the front porch and bark at everyone.

Life has now been explained to you. There is no need to thank me for this valuable information as I'm doing it as a public service.
Current Mood: goodgood
Current Music: "Brain Problem Situation" - TMBG
23 January 2008 @ 10:45 pm
What's new with me? Well, I've been reuniting with old school friends, thanks to the social networking platforms of MySpace and Facebook. That's what's really taken my time away from writing. Well, that and work.

Before I go any further, I just wanted to say something about the death of Heath Ledger. I'm not sure I really saw anything of his, aside from 10 Things I Hate About You. Nevertheless, I thought he had a real screen presence and a bright film future. I was really looking forward to The Dark Knight and watching his portrayal of The Joker. Now, my curiousity is piqued even more so. But, the circumstances regarding how the body was discovered is puzzling. By all accounts, he seemed to have his head on straight. It's just eerie to think that he was only twenty-eight. That's my age. Scary. After all the pre-mature pro wrestler deaths I've had to hear about, well over the past decade, a similar case happens outside the bubble. My thoughts and prayers go out to Ledger's family.

In WWE news, Bobby Lashley has requested his release from the company. He wouldn't elaborate on the exact reason, but apparently, he wants to move on. Best of luck with whatever he does, but I won't miss him in WWE. He was pushed too hard too fast, and the fans weren't buying it.

Also, last night's ECW on Sci-Fi show marked the TV debut of WWE's first Jamaican star, Kofi Kingston. He was #4 on Yahoo! Search while his vignettes were running, and made an impressive showing in his first match. I had the priviledge of watching some of his matches on Deep South Wrestling TV, and that's where he became a favorite. His repitoire was just how I remembered, down to the "Bo! Bo! Bo!" chants. Watch out for Kofi, he's gonna go places.

Looking forward to starting Tim Dorsey's next book Atomic Lobster, once it arrives. Should be a great read, as usual. More later.
Current Mood: awakeawake
Current Music: UFC Fight Night on Spike