On Sunday night, All Elite Wrestling, the upstart promotion run by Tony Khan, the son of Jacksonville Jaguars owner Shad Khan, had their biggest event of the year at Now Arena in Hoffman Estates, IL. Odds are, though, if you have heard anything about the proceedings of the evening, you aren’t aware of the wrestling so much as the post show fire bombing of the company by newly crowned champion CM Punk.
For those that know the Lockport, IL born wrestler, he is a soothsayer and a truth teller. He is a great wrestler and gatekeeper of the sport, but also acerbic and short tempered with those he feels has crossed him or wronged him in any way. He is as notable for his promos as he is for much of what he has done in the ring. On Sunday night, he decided to light an M-80 and throw it into the AEW toilet to see how hard he could blow it all up.
Continue reading “Two Ships Keep Passing in the Night, But Never in the Same Direction”
Very few people can say they were the face of a seismic shift in an industry. No matter the medium, more often than not the status quo reigns supreme. Often, when someone helps author massive change, it isn’t appreciated until after the fact. Luckily, Scott Hall’s career apexed at a point when he did bring change to the wrestling industry, it was felt in the moment. Scott Hall is one of the most important people in the history of wrestling, and has a great responsibility to what wrestling evolved into.
Hall passed away on Monday due to complications relating to hip replacement surgery. His body was eroded by three decades in the wrestling industry coupled with a hard lived life that caused many to believe he wouldn’t make it this far. Nobody gets out of wrestling in one piece when you are a part of it for as long as Hall was and the history of wrestling is littered with stories of people Hall, but very few reached such heights and helped redefine the business.
Continue reading “Scott Hall 1958-2022”
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”