It wasn’t supposed to end the way it did. It seemed like an institution, but in the grand scheme of the wrestling industry, it was more of a comet that shone brightly through the night sky of the industry, and flamed out just as spectacularly, imploding into itself like a neutron star. They filled some of the biggest venues in the country. Every week, millions of wrestling obsessed fans watched them. They even wrestled in North Korea.
And then it all ended, at spring break in front of drunken revelors in Daytona Beach of all places.
Continue reading “The Death of WCW Turns 20”
Wrestling has always been built on stereotypes. Anyone that looks vaguely eastern European could be booked as a menacing Russian. Asian wrestlers were often booked as karate stars or dressed like ninjas. Black wrestlers would run the gambit of stereotypes over the years, whether it be Bobo Brazil and Junkyard Dogs would play benign good guys, who had to play up their friendliness to get largely white crowds to let their guard down. Koko B Ware wore loud, colorful clothing to represent what Vince McMahon believed to be black MTV culture. On the other side of this was James Harris, who would fleeting and middling success following the good guy route, but would reach national fame playing an African savage to oppose some of the biggest stars of WWF’s golden era.
Continue reading “Kamala The Ugandan Giant (James Harris) 1950-2020”
Say what you will about WWE, but whether it’s in the ring or in real life, they know how to keep people on the edge of their seats and wanting more. Since Thursday, the company has lost over a billion dollars, were again heavily criticized for being a gleaming travelogue for an authoritarian regime, had most of their staff held essentially hostage, and put on one of their best shows in years. Wrestling fans always love the blurring of lines between kayfabe (wrestling speak for the characters and storylines that they operate under) and real life, but none were as starkly dramatic as the events of late last week.
Continue reading “WWE And the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Week”
It’s astounding how few things I cared about when I was 15. I didn’t care about my grades, I didn’t care about Pop Culture or current music. I certainly didn’t care how I dressed (a trend that continues to this day), but if you asked me in October of 2004, just a few weeks after my 15th birthday, what I did care about, I would have said “Joe vs. Punk II.”
Continue reading “Joe vs. Punk II: A Love Letter”