Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Fuergo-Chapter 2

Fuergo-Chapter 1

Whatever happened to the squash match?

On Saturday mornings I use to watch the superstars of the day take on random "job guys". The moment you saw someone like Yokozuna take on Random Wrestler of the Week, you knew who was gonna win the match. There is nothing wrong with being a jobber. The matches are short and the work is plentiful. Even the fan favorites made quick work of these journeymen. The squash match is a lost art, and it does the following.

1. Build up steam for the face and the heel, who will eventually meet up at house shows, or PPV's
2. Establishes each of the guys' finishing moves

Thanks for reading.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Al Snow's Dirty Ass Promo

No one ever said that working in the pro wrestling business was easy. Regardless of what your role is in the business, you have to deal with a lot of shit. You get it from the wrestlers, the promoters, the agents, and most of all - the fans. No one is ever satisfied with your work or efforts, and at the end of the day your 'thank you' comes in the form of a big steamy turd. Just when you think you have the right formula to entertain the masses, someone is always there ready to drop a deuce all over it.

On the flip side of the coin, I shouldn't be pointing stinky fingers because I have also been critical of the current product. Then again, I'm not the one with a multi-million dollar empire and staff full of veterans who should know better and be capable of wiping their own ass. Week after week, wrestling programming leaves a foul stench and mental skid-marks in what use to be man's favorite soap opera and pseudo sport. Now I just wait for the punchlines and fantasize that I'll see a cameo from Triumph The Insult Comic Dog who will look into the camera and say, "This is a GREAT wrestling product...for me to poop on!"

I'm sure you're wondering what's with the verbal diarrhea of the mouth? Why take a dump on an industry that you've been involved with since 1992? Why am I ready to flush the pro wrestling business like the drizzling shits? The answer is simple... It is what it is. But in this instance, it's just one of those moments where the figurative sense turns into the literal sense. Allow me to set the stage for you.

I'm working a mega-convention in New York being run by a rookie money mark promoter. The event itself is an unorganized disaster and one that will go down in the books as an epic failure. I'm interviewing most of the talent for a yet-to-be-released DVD. Next up on the slate is former WWE superstar, Al Snow.

The place is packed and the only spot quiet enough to shoot the video interview is in a small office the size of a jail cell. Four grown adults cramped into this little room with no air conditioning in the middle of summer. Not the ideal set up, but when you're on a run and gun mission, you'll take what you can get. Fortunately, the interview came off without a hitch. Al shot with us for over 20 minutes and gave some real insight into the psychology of the business and the flaws that are deteriorating it. There was even a brief cameo by Shelly Martinez and Mick Foley.

For the purpose of my in-house branding, I always get the talent to do a quick promo bumper for me. A bumper is basically a short piece infront of or right after the content where the talent looks into the camera and says, "Hi, I'm BLAH BLAH BLAH, and you're watching DieHard Wrestling!". Those bumpers are nice little branding interstitial that helps build credibility for your product. Now before I go any further, let me first warn you that we had lunch with Al Snow a couple of hours prior to the interview. Nothing fancy. Think of it as a cheap ghetto date as we shared a bucket of Kentucky Fried Chicken.

When the interview was over, we were quickly prepping to shoot the bumpers when one of the guys on my crew (Toddy D) had to take a personal phone call. He left the small office space for a little privacy, but when he came back....let's just say he was welcomed with a little gift courtesy of Mr. Snow.

Without going into anymore detail, I'll let you experience it for yourself. Fortunately, you won't be able to get the full "scratch and sniff" effect - but I'm sure you have plenty of personal experiences in your own memory bank that you can use to understand our dilemma.

Check out this never before seen exclusive blooper outtake!!!

This video is sponsored by Nassau County Apartments & Great Neck Apartments

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

The Pipe Bomb Went Off Again...

Before I begin I want to send a "shout out" to Die Hard Pro Wrestling.
Thanks for the nice piece, I can only strive to get better after reading
your post.

Here we go.

Last night CM Punk proved once again that he is the voice of the voiceless.
John Cena proved that he is the perfect foil for CM Punk. For the first
time in a long time a "contract signing" felt real. CM Punk was like a semi
automatic last night. The verbal bullets were being fired so fast, by the time
we (fans) knew what was being said, we were hit with brutal honesty.

The fact that he brought up the firings of Harry Smith, Vladamir Kozloff,
and Chris Masters was another "shoot" comment that came out of left field,
but that was NOT the focus of the segment. Punk reeled us in and got
us to think about the match coming up.

What worries me, and the 10% of the die hard's that don't matter in the eyes
of the WWE, is HHH as special guest ref. Who is HHH going to be impartial to?
The fans? I really hope that HHH calls it right down the middle, I hope he doesn't
grab a chair from John Cena and crack CM Punk on the noggin by 'accident'. Just like
Shawn Micheal's did to Bret Hart.

HHH, prove me wrong.
Let these two fight,
Let one man win.

Johnny "Funkhauser" Ace, if you even think about pulling a surfboard out of thin air to
use against Punk or Cena, I hope you miss and it bounces off the ropes and hits you in the face.

"Luck is for losers, and I would rather be a one hit wonder than a phony."
I don't want Punk to be a one hit wonder.
That's the mark in me talking. Not the 10%  IWC wanna be blogger, but the wrestling fan.

Thanks for reading.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Bret “Hitman” Hart – The 1998 Tribute Videos and Pre-Screwjob Story

Did I ever tell you the story about my involvement in the infamous Montreal Screwjob? Ok, before you get your panties in a bunch, let me first clarify that I wasn't directly involved in the screwjob. I wasn't even associated with it. Truth be told, I just happened to be "around" it. Not as a "worker" or decision maker, but as a broadcast journalist.

See, for those who don't know - this is where I get put myself over for a minute - I had the FIRST EVER pro wrestling radio talk show (later turned TV show) on the internet. At the time, there weren't too many people who understood the concept of what the internet was, and even fewer owned computers in their own home. In 1997, I signed on with the first ever streaming broadcast company in New York and brought my creations to the air for a global audience. The name of the show was, "...And Justice For Brawl", and because of my ties in the wrestling business, the show shot off like a stud in the last minute of a porno - but without the sticky mess, of course.

Because the show was still in its infancy and I was still working on strategic marketing and building a fan base, I didn't want to start booking big names just yet and blow my load too early - there we go again with the adult references. You may be too young to remember, but internet porn was TERRIBLE back in the 90s. It was basically websites for photographers that took 3-hours to download one picture with a dial-up modem. Oh, how we've come so far since those days.... I mean in terms of progress. Not in the trajectory or distance you can...nevermind. Back to the screwjob....Here we go again! Get your minds back to pro wrestling!

Long story short, I decided to give Bret Hart a call at the end of October to see if he'd be interested in doing a rare interview. As the true professional he is, was and always will be - Bret obliged. The "Hitman" was one of my all-time favorites and getting the rare opportunity to interview him gave me the jitters. I wanted to do some prep work and ask questions that he had never been asked. What also made the opportunity so rare was that Bret was the reigning WWE champion at the time and during an era where the title was much more valued than it is today. Scoring an interview with the WWE's title holder was unheard of at the time. So Bret and I agreed to wait a few weeks to do the live interview. It would give me enough time to promote the appearance, and I could tie it into a Survivor Series promotion if the WWE office gave any resistance in having their heavyweight champion doing an interview leading into one of the most anticipated events in history.

The Monday Night Wars were in the heat of battle. The WWE's attitude era had just started picking up some steam with the formation of Degeneration-X, led by Shawn Michaels. The white hot heated history between Bret and Shawn had already been exposed to the public and was being used in the storylines. Bret blasted Shawn for what his character had become and what it was doing to the industry. The "Hitman" questioned The Heartbreak Kid's lifestyle and choice of attire. He ridiculed Shawn's ring outfits, perhaps because they weren't designed by a Bryant Park fixture like Hank Shalom of Soho Fashion.

My heart raced like fat man running to an alton brown ribs all-you-can-eat buffet! I knew that with the interview scheduled, it was my responsibility to address the rumors. My fear was that Bret might have been gag-ordered to keep quiet until after the pay per view. Perhaps by discussing his decision live on the air, fans would lose interest in the event if they could figure out the result based on Bret's decision to stay with the company or not.

So I called Bret, and explained to him my concerns about doing the interview and how he'd like to approach it. I even offered to postpone the interview until everything was finalized and he could openly speak about the rumors and his decision. Bret calmly said, "I don't have anything to hide. You can ask me anything you want and I will tell you as much as I can. Don't hold anything back."

Not only was I relived after hearing Bret giving me the green light, but I also realized the pressure I was under. I was the ONLY journalist on the planet who could publicly discuss the rumor of Bret Hart leaving the WWE with the man himself. The show was booked for Tuesday, November 4th. The Survivor Series was set for Sunday, November 9th. Bret hadn't addressed any of the rumors and decided to wait to make his first statement on my show. Not only were the wrestling fans eager to hear the broadcast, but I'm sure the WWE offices were listening too.

On that Tuesday, Bret made his scheduled appearance on my show. The draw and out-pour of the fans crashed our broadcast servers several times. And when the time came for me to ask, "...Bret, are you going to WCW?...", I literally felt the world stop moving for a moment. Bret gave his explanation and discussed his feelings, and without giving a final or definitive answer, he concluded in saying that at that very moment, his decision was "strongly leaning towards going to WCW".

Yeah, some of you may be saying - "Big fucking deal!". Well, at the time it was. It was a big deal for Bret Hart, for the WWE, for WCW and for the industry as a whole. It was a move many thought was even bigger than when Hulk Hogan signed with WCW. Afterall, here is your current heavyweight champion publicly stating that he is going to work for the competition. But for me, it was the real launch of my career. I may not have been the guy who broke the story, but I was the guy who got the answer to confirm the rumor. What made it more magical is that it wasn't a "hear-say" story. I had the power to put the champion under the interrogation light to ask the question and get the answer that the world wanted to hear. It was my Edward R. Murrow moment.

So I guess Vince McMahon and the WWE locker room was listening too. Between my show on Tuesday and Sunday's PPV event, Bret got screwed out of the title on live television, punched Vince in the eye and hastily departed the WWE to join its arch enemy.

Almost two months later, it was finally announced on WCW television that Bret Hart would be joining the company leading into their Starcade event. Ironically enough, the WCW office was listening to my show as well and I surprisingly got a call where I was offered a contract to work for WCW as a broadcaster on their soon-to-launch internet programming and as the Tuesday voice on the n.W.o. hotline. I was flown down to Washington D.C. to sign my contract at the Starcade PPV, the same night Bret debuted for the company. Not only did I start with Bret on the same day, but we were stranded together at the airport during a nasty blizzard that had our flights delayed for hours. When we talked about the irony of the interview and how it ended up with us both working for WCW, Bret said, "Things have a really weird way of working out and it's only proof that your destiny is already chosen".

I never thought I'd have the chance to be on an open forum with one of my childhood heroes. I never thought I'd be in the center of the news with the exclusive scoop on a breaking story. And I never thought that based on those events, I'd be working with Bret Hart in WCW. And that was just the beginning.

A year later, Bret's fascinating documentary "Wrestling with Shadows" was set to debut. A few months before the public got to see it, Bret contacted me to do a follow up interview and promotion. Although our interview wasn't featured in the documentary, I felt it had its own place in part of that history. Bret felt the same way and it was one of the reasons he sought me out. Unfortunately, Bret's run in WCW had been botched, and by the time the movie was ready to debut - he had already regretted making the decision. It was at that point that I reiterated his own words, "Things have a really weird way of working out and it's only proof that your destiny is already chosen".

Hearing the sentiment in Bret's voice, I wanted to do something on the show that expressed the appreciation that the fans wanted to share with him. I took it to task and edited my first ever videos. Don't be too harsh on me, this was before Final Cut Pro!

The videos are two tributes to a legend, Bret Hart. And some of the footage used was from the screener copy that Bret had sent me himself. So if you're a fan of the "Hitman", I not only ask you to enjoy the video, but to share it so that fans will remember and honor the legacy of the best there is, the best there was and the best there ever will be.

Bret Hart Tribute Video 1 - Song: Measure of a Man - Performed by Elton John

Bret Hart Tribute Video 2 - Song: Untouchable Themes - Performed by Ennio Morricone

Friday, August 5, 2011

Interview with Female MMA Fighter, Kim Couture

It's not everyday that you get to hang out with a smokin' hot fitness model who can probably kick your ass. In this case, she could tie me up and beat the ever lovin' shit out of me just so I can say Kim Couture was all over me like white on rice.

Anyway - enough of my barbaric fantasies and let's get back into the wrestling news. I had the chance to interview Kimmie before her October 2010 fight with Munah Holland - a fight that Kim unfortunately lost. But rather than attack her with question after question about her workout and fight regimens - we decided to take a more laid back approach and discuss some of the things that are going on in her life and career.

This post is sponsored in part by Garden City New York Real Estate & Forest Hills Apartments

Interview with Former American Gladiator - Beth "Venom" Horn

Not only did I get a chance to hang with the ripped and ravenous Fury - but I also got to chill out with the tall, lean and sensual Beth "Venom" Horn. When you look at the show and peep out her promo pics, she looks like the type of chick that will lay you out with dropkick to the jugular and then put you to sleep with an illegal LAPD choke hold. But when you actually get the chance to sit down and talk with this bodacious blonde bombshell, you realize that she's just the type of girl who wants to cuddle up with you and make it a Blockbuster night. He electric smile is so deceiving that I never once thought that she'd have the ability to twist my head off my neck like a bottle cap. Either way - enjoy this video as we get to know Venom a little better.

This post is sponsored in part by Garden City NY Real Estate & Forest Hills Real Estate

Interview with Former American Gladiator - Jamie "Fury" Kovac

Had a chance to meet and hang out with former American Gladiator, Jamie "Fury" Kovac. This chick is ripped and a natural born ass-kicker! Guess that's why she had to marry a pro hockey player - to either keep her in line or atleast give her some kind of challenge. Jamie is a local New Jersey girl, and we've been talking about shooting some more videos in the near future. Videos will probably be of her working out and showing of her freakish strength and athletic ability. For now, check out this video and get to know her a little better!

This post is sponsored in part by Hewlett Homes For Sale & Rockville Centre Rentals