Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Journal of Tickled Fancies for the Fifteenth Day of September Year of Someone’s Lord Two Thousand and Two

I am at work by the time I usually get up for the next week and a half, I am dieting and have felt at times out of sorts this week. I went for a walk tonight and it seemed like every 100 feet there was someone who was shady in their own way. So with my face flush and fighting the grump I figured it is a good time for a Tickled Fancies entry, you have to have that PMA (positive mental attitude) that the Bad Brains always sang about. And hey I am worried that someday I will fully lose my lid and only write about obscure mid card matches or grown men with painted faces or both so let’s light this candle.

Tuesday Nights TV is the Tits: For a short spell (see blog posting from a few years ago) Tuesday was ECW night and they had a nice short run of some good shows or at shows with at least one good match. I followed a little of the NXT and was not too blown away, especially after they killed the best heat in years on a Tuesday with the follow up. So Tuesday was often a night where I would catch up on some comics or tinker with this here writing. Well Tuesday has become the night to look forward to due to 2 shows, Louie and Scrappers. The only problem is they come on fairly late so I am often in fear I will doze at commercial break (I have and thank god for On Demand).

For a long time I have been a fan of Louis CK. His HBO show was hilarious and insightful all at the same time. It was one of the more relatable comedies I have seen. Yeah there was a time when Roseanne was somewhat on the level but then they did all that horseshit with new babies and winning the fucking lottery and by then it had lost all charm. I was thrilled when I knew Louis was going to have a new show and was sort of bummed it was on FX but then I was reminded that FX pushes the limits quiet a bit. I am sure if I gave a damp shit I would have read what the critics are saying and I am sure the Curb Your Enthusiasm are aplenty. Curb is ok but I find myself only being able to watch maybe 2 episodes in a row. It makes me uncomfortable and I find myself cringing a lot and it gets a little overdone for my taste.
Do you cringe watching Louie? Oh yeah but it is not every other scene and where I find Larry David somewhat mean spirited I find Louie in a sense a hopeful man who knows that life can really suck and take it out of you. The show really captures a lot of those odd happenings in life that haunt us forever. I liked how some shows would be heavier on the comedy and then the next episode (the Religion one) would not make you laugh at all but show you a accurate portrait of a kid and what religion can do to him. The season is over and you kind of got the feeling that was the end of this show as well. The ending was beautiful in a real life realization way.

Batting lead on Tuesdays is Scrappers and it runs on Spike. I am not sure how I came across this show, it was probably a show they ran after TNA one night. And I have to say Spike has a few entertaining shows. Not that 1000 to Die one that show is repugnant and fucked up. I think the creator, writer director has some weird fetish of watching near naked women being killed.

So this show follows 3 crews in New York as they hustle trying to makes some cash on metal and recycling. I have watched every episode and just love it and the odd thing is I can’t put my finger on it. Maybe it is romanticizing about the days when I got to do similar work, you know tearing shit up and loading dumpsters. You kind of hate it at the time but trust me when you live in an area with no space and you sit at a desk for the most part, throwing giant metal shelves in a dumpster at the library sounds pretty sweet. The characters have that stereotypical tough guy attitude but you really get the feeling they all like each other. They truly capture some of the silly and bizarre conversations you have with co workers as you are riding around in a shit box.
This season is almost done and I am not sure if there will be another one. After watching the show I often have a smile on my face. Sure a good bit of this show is a work but who cares? I have to wonder if this show would ever blow up would Sal the Barber actually get to fight in the UFC? Some nice cross promotion there I tell ya’.

Soundtrack thus far for the week:
The Jesus Lizard “Destroy Before Reading"
Pedro the Lion “Indian Summer”
Hot Snakes “Unlisted”
Scratch Acid “Cannibal”
Shellac “The Dog and Pony Show”

Monday, September 6, 2010

Mid Card Mania Pt. 1

I am not sure why I am writing so many words on a match that happened nine years ago and really was not that great. I have been wanting to do a section called Held Up where I re watch matches etc. of the past. Not just the wrestling mind you but other films as well. My problem is I have so many ideas for projects but also other responsibilities and excuses that keep me from doing it. Case in point last night I planned on doing a second watching of this match with a notebook at hand and fell asleep watching Platoon on Spike (why I still watch movies that I own on edited TV I have no idea).

So I guess why I wanted to write about this match is I wanted to find something positive. The whole world, especially the internet fans of wrestling are so negative about pretty much everything. And they are especially hard on CZW. CZW holds a special place in my heart and I still check out some of their stuff now and then. It was around 2000 or so I guess when I started getting into the Indys and CZW and RF video are to blame and although both have huge glaring flaws I guess they hold a place in my stinky heart. So I guess I could call this the first write up of Mid Card Mania or Accentuate the Positive, probably should just call this JB has awful taste in wrestling and not in the hip contrarian way but the too dumb to even be called a mark way.
CZW A Higher Level of Pain April 13, 2002: 4 Way Match with Some Barb Wire Ladder Deal

The Cast of Characters:

The Messiah: Owww Billy. Later in his career the Messiah got gear and for some reason he lost some of his appeal to me. I liked his black pants and tee look, kind of like your friend’s older brother who was the best skateboarder in town and would stick up for you when he wasn’t hassling you. I am not sure what happened to the Messiah, I remember the story of him getting his thumb hacked off and somewhere in a box of unmarked tapes I have the America’s Most Wanted episode that has the interview and reenactment, I could go more into the thumb story and all but is Lizzy Borden a woman worth getting your thumb lopped off for? Sadly there would have a time when I would have said uhh maybe. I remember a fond time in my life living a medium sized hermit life when I would order a CZW show as soon as it was available on Smart Mark and it would show up like clockwork on Saturday and I would spend most of the day watching it and kicking back…good times. I bring this up because I recall having the death match tournament one when Mondo wrestles the Messiah who was a surprise participant and I actually was really pulling for the guy. I would be interested to see if my memory serves correct that on those super early XPW tapes that the Messiah matches were the best things on there.

Adam Flash: I always wonder if Adam Flash’s gear worked against him in the long run. I for some reason kind of dug it and I hope he scored Slipknot tickets for life. He usually had nice khaki shorts with a tucked in Slipknot shirt and odd printed boots. One time when I was visiting my parents I flipped on TNA when it was still on FSN and lo and behold there was Flash in a squash against Monty Brown and he took that pounce almost better than anyone had at that time. I am sure I have the match somewhere on one of my odd TV tapes at the time. Flash is a pretty good wrestler who has been around for a long time and never got a big break. When I was really starting to get into the East Coast Indys around 2000 I used to read Eric Gargulo’s columns and he talked about how a show about Adam Flash would have been way more interesting than MTVs Tough Enough. Or at least they should have had Al Snow’s students meet Flash to see the other side. It is funny looking back that in some regards Flash came out ahead, sure he was not on MTV but he is still working. What happened to the Tough Enough kids? Excluding Nitro and Josh the others did a few indy bookings here and there and that was it. Adam Flash >Tough Enough. I think some of the biggest leg drops in history have been done by Flash and to my knowledge he has never broken his tail bone. Long ago I must have re wound the leg drop from the ladder to the floor on Justice Pain a million times.

John Kronus: I was fairly late to the ECW party and came aboard when I finally had unlimited PPV while working for a cable company. And mind you not like the high falutin’ On Demand we have now but 2 channels that showed movies most of the time and on Sundays would show the PPVs. The Eliminators were gone and Kronus was teaming with New Jack which was an ok team. With Kronus as The Eliminators they were a fantastic team. I know a lot of folklore spins it where Heymans marketing and hype is what got them this title. But I tell you maybe it is just my messed up way of thinking but I would much rather watch an Eliminators match than a British Bull Dogs one. Now Kronus is gone and I was kind of sad when I heard about it. I heard that he was a really goofy bastard and Saturn was his handler. I just imagine how sad and puppy dog he looked when he found out that Saturn was heading to the WCW. It is interesting I think of him being gentle and Lenny from Mice and Men when he looked so crazy with nutty tattoos and all. Maybe it was the printed letter from his son in the Observer where he talked about his dad teaching him flips that makes me think of him as maybe not such a bad dude. Kronus’ weight would often fluctuate, one show I would see him and he looked jacked and then he would look super doughy. But no matter what size man was he graceful. The vampire in me always knew you could count on him for a massive blade job, although often it was not called for but I guess that is part of what made Kronus Kronus.

Chris Hamrick: He is sort of an internet darling, and no I am not talking about the Facebook posting but the positive posting and sections of podcast like on Segunda Caida. Hamrick is the movie you watch some late night when you can’t sleep that turns out to be great and better than the movie that you spent $20 to see a few nights ago. I used to do a lot of my tape collecting via Ebay and for some reason picked up a Best of New Jack and if I recall it was a Hamrick and Julio Dienro match that turned into a New Jack raping match. Watching it you kind of felt like you were watching a initiation for the new guys and it was rough. Hamrick wears odd gear and his face looks older than what he is. He takes some of the nuttiest bumps and has broken his tail bone and he probably did it in front of thirty fans in a tiny gym. His team with Smothers as Southern Commodity is fantastic and makes me think I need to get some of my old IWA tapes sent to me. He is one of those wrestlers that if I know he is in a match I know that it has a pretty good chance of being entertaining. Give me Hamrick over any smooth skinned flippity floppy or fake ass Dynamite Davey Richards any day.

The Match Itself: So I am not sure when I first watched this match but I finally gave it a second viewing this festive Labor Day Ultra Chill Weekend. A nice night of baseball and I broke the lose while I am there live curse of the San Jose Giants and felt good after my work out but knew I was living on borrowed time so I popped this in before I took a snooze. It starts with some profane promos and maybe I am old fashioned and I am not sure where I learned about promos (I guess from Strider who learned from Dory Funk Jr.) but I agree with the idea that when you curse in a promo it looks low class and comes off unintelligent (again yes I see the humor in using intelligence with wrestling). I do have to chuckle when Flash does the whole “Hey I will be right back let me go get my barb wire ladder.” Hamrick comes out then and gets into a debate with Messiah and says some cringe worthy stuff and at this point I just want the match to start before anyone else talks about Rob Black’s female friends.

So Hamrick and Messiah start throwing mediocre punches and Flash comes in for a double team and suddenly Kronus runs in making it maybe a tag match or a four way who knows CZW was never good about explain stipulations and rulings. This turns into what the kids call these days a Hot Mess. Garguilo’s commentary is sort of annoying but at least he didn’t go into one of his outrage rants with the cursing and I have to give him some credit as he tried to give some back story about Kristi Myst being Hamrick’s ex wife and the current beau of the Messiah (a work by the way and Hamrick and her only have matching tattoos and probably some memories of a Motel 6).

So nothing extraordinary is happening just some brawling and the crowd starts to turn on Kronus who looks really heavy and is wearing warm up pants and a t-shirt and is super slow and looks winded. Unfortunately the signature Hamrick bump I was looking forward to does not get filmed as the camera is on a ladder neck tie into the post ARGH!! So Messiah gets decent color and at some point to no one’s surprise Kronus gets color as well. Flash hits a pretty hard chair shot on Messiah to the back of his head and they go up top after Flash hit a pretty good Cactus Clothesline.
Now here is where there is a nice small detail in the match. Flash puts Messiah face down on a table and Messiah does a great job at looking dazed and around trying to figure out where Flash is and what is going on. Flash goes up to hit his leg drop and Messiah moves and I am not sure if I am impressed with the dedication to your art form to do a dangerous good shot at my tail bone being shattered leg drop from about twenty feet or wondering what the hell is he thinking. CZW isn’t going to pay your medical bills, maybe throw you a benefit but I am pretty sure they do not offer a decent health plan. After a small amount of selling they end up on even higher ground and Flash hits a great looking DDT on the wooden stage and wallops Messiah with about 7 light tubes that are bundled together. It makes a great sound but I think it was a foul tip which is fine as I am sure Messiah would not be happy to lose an ear in the mid card.

Hamrick did a good job bumping around for Kronus and Kronus hit a pretty nice moonsault and his girth actually made it look even cooler. Then the blown cost you a job spot happens as Hamrick climbs up Flash’s shoulders and attempts a elevated leg drop and Kronus is way too far out but Hamrick already committed. I have to say amongst the “You fucked up” chants Hamrick does a good job selling the tail bone. Then all of a sudden inside the ring Flash drills Hardtop the ref and that is the end, so I guess barbed wire ladders and brawling with absolutely no ten or even twenty counts is fine but they draw the line at putting your hands on the ref. Flash and Hamrick high tail it out of there and Messiah gets on the stick and gets in some more profanity and they chase after the heels (I guess Hamrick and Flash are heels oh CZW you can be so confusing). The crowd seems kind of let down and confused and ready to move on to the next match. So we had some big spots, double blade jobs and no finish and not that much advancement of the angle. I would have dug a Flash and Hamrick regular team but alas it never happened.

The following is a snippet of a great interview with Chris Hamrick regarding the match:
QUESTION: You worked with The Messiah one time when you and Adam Flash wrestled he and John at CZW A Higher Level of Pain. What was your opinion on the quality of that match? Is the Internet rumor true John Zandig was angry that you botched a flying leg drop during that match and therefore he refused to invite you back to CZW?
ANSWER: I thought the match was the drizzling shits. It wasn't even a match. It was just four guys doing nothing. If it had been a regular match, it would have been better.I never even got to do anything with Messiah except for the promo. I hate to say it, but Kronus fucked everything up. I did it as a favor to John Zandig, since he couldn't get Kaos. The leg drop spot was fucked up because when I went up to get on Adam's shoulders, when I looked down, Kronus had rolled out too far for me to hit him from where I was. I had no other choice but to jump. I had never heard that rumor, but thanks for letting me in on it. All those nights I sat at home and wondered why Zandig never called me back, wouldn't take any other bookings, just hoping he would call and book me. Well - damn - that explains it. Zandig, if you are reading this, I did you the one favor and this is how you repay me. Now, you can't afford me.
In Closing: So I guess it is odd that I wrote a couple of thousand words on this match but hey gotta stay sharp I guess. As for hot messes it was somewhat enjoyable and was more about the potential than the execution. I have a few ideas on how to continue this project and have a few subject ideas that I want to go more in depth. Maybe through writing about these mid card, insignificant matches in the grand scheme of wrestling I will be able to put a finger on why these matches appeal to me. And as a wise man who was in the mid card on a show once said to me “The world can’t end every day.”

Saturday, September 4, 2010

The Ongoing List of my Favorite Painted Face Wrestlers:

The Ongoing List of my Favorite Painted Face Wrestlers:
Ax of Demolition:

Some time back I got an invite to do a list of favorite wrestlers for a project. The project ended up not happening which was good because I hemmed and hawed about my list. First of all the irony and silliness in rating wrestlers, hell even writing about wrestling in lofty Da Da stream of consciousness is not lost on me. I realize how many others my age are finishing their masters or out right now having sophisticated wine to cap off their organic dinners and I sit here debating the ranking of big sweaty cartoons come to life. So with the list project I was not sure whether to be totally honest, somewhat honest or take the smark route. I have never had main stream tastes for anything even as a kid and personally I enjoy Dennis Condrey more than Ric Flair and still to this day Justice Pain is one of my favorite guys to watch.

So I kind of met in the middle and started thinking about how much I dig a good face painted wrestler, especially face paint that stays on and does not clump. I am pretty sure this will not be a ranking system but just every once in awhile (maybe weekly) I will do a write up on a face painter. And don’t be surprised if Nate Hatred gets more love than Sting it doesn’t mean anyone is wrong or right, it just means I may be a tad touched.

Demolition Ax: I think part of my love for Bill Eadie is there is some resemblance to my Grandpa John. When I was younger I remember a rare occurrence of watching wrestling with my Dad and when Ax took his S&M mask off my Dard said “Holy Shit it is your Grandpa… Kathy come and look at this!!!” I think what helps further drive home the Grandpa vibe is the clip I watched on Youtube of their Kayfabe Commentaries video and he is wearing a nice golf shirt just like good ole’ Grandpa John.
Ax is another one of those team members where I love him and could really not care much about the other. I mean Smash and Crush were OK but I always kind of new under their paint they were younger mullet head gym rats. I have to say the matching of silver and gold with the slicked back hair is a bad ass look for him. Demolition looked a bit scarier with their pain then the Road Warriors. I think part of that was I never cared much for the Road Warriors mo hawks, you know the perfect square patched that look like porno star pubic grooming circa 1997. Eadie worked pretty snug too and a lot of his forearms to the back must have felt like a four by four on your back.

While looking up some pictures of Ax I was amazed at what a diverse and long career Bill Eadie had/has. He was a Mongol, a Masked Superstar and a uhhh S&M guy??? There was a Blog reviewing Demolition matches but I think it is shut down. However, there are some clips and discussion here:
I am planning on spending some of this Labor Day weekend watching stuff randomly and may do some research to watch some of the older WWF stuff. There is a definitive set made about Demolition that has a ton of discs but honestly I cannot see myself watching all the wrestling I have now, so I cannot see watching every disc of that set. I am hoping I can get the guy to sell me just the Japan disc as it has peaked my curiosity. There are some interesting looking matches and I would like to see more of Eadie in the Ax garb in singles competition.

I have not seen any of the recent Chikara stuff Demolition did and I have heard beyond the novelty it is not bad. I always say even at an old age if you can walk and throw a good worked punch and bleed you can have a pretty good match. I hope that Eadie is doing shows because he misses it and not because he needs money. He was a teacher at one time and his web site said he helps at risk kids. In a perfect world his help would consist of putting a bunch of bad kids who can’t be reached in a room and he comes in dressed in full leather man gear and paint and proceeds to whomp the shit out of kids.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Journal of Tickled Fancies for the Second Day of September Year of Someone’s Lord Two Thousand and Two

Journal of Tickled Fancies for the Second Day of September Year of Someone’s Lord Two Thousand and Two:

Thursdays have the potential to eat the big one or a big one. Not too bad of a day, work went at a good clip. Not too fast and hectic but busy enough where the day went quickly. I was able to listen to 2 podcasts while working done by like minded wrestling fans. The three day weekend looms and so does my ever increasing once again neurotic diet. I somehow wrapped my brain about it and I almost think you have to get a touch high and mighty and full of shit to make it work. I think the after work hour commute made me a touch grumpy but I am working out of it. I have to remind myself this is about digging things and being positive.
Grandys: Maybe it is being on a diet, maybe it is a super power akin to us husky lads but it has been years and yet when I did a Google search for Grandy’s and saw the image of the Okra and chicken fried steak I could instantly remembered what it tasted like. I don’t know what sparked this memory, maybe it appeared from the other night when I could not sleep (I often think of fond memories or locations I am fond of to relax me). From age 5 to 12ish I grew up in Wichita KS. and we hardly ever went out to dinner and when we did it was usually McDonald’s. It is funny that a kid who went from looking forward all week to a Happy Meal has now had a steak in the tallest building in San Francisco (hope I do not sound boastful I am just as shocked as anyone how this happened). Up a little higher on the chain was Grandy’s and I think I have asked my folks if there are any around. I thought maybe my recollection was incorrect at it was called Granny’s but it was Grandy’s and there are a few around. Of course they are nowhere close to where I live. Grandy’s is kind of a symbol of growing up in the 80’s in Wichita, life was a little more simple. My job was to get good grades, my love was G.I. Joe. It is funny to think my parents then were about the age I am now, and I appreciate the job they did with 2 odd kids in a unfamiliar city.
Sure I have had more home spun truck stop kind of chicken fried steak in my day but Grandy’s had something in it, maybe sugar? Crack? Was crack even around then? Wow pre crack and pre texting sounds like heaven to me. I say fuck Italy, Rome and Paris take me on a cross country drive with a buddy or two hitting up small towns and or baseball parks and let me stock up on Grandy’s.

Ventura featuring David Yow: The Jesus Lizard played a reunion show a year or two ago and I am glad I didn’t go. Not that they would have been awful, but I am often in my head dealing with the odd nature of how these artists of my past were so great and noble and underappreciated are getting old and in some ways hanging on. I hang on to it as well but in smaller ways such as going to Rasputin’s and buying a lot of CDs of my college and on hipster days (by the way it hurts a little that my selections are usually in the under $5 bin). I started to get on a Jesus Lizard kick again and really re sparked my interest in David Yow as a singer and writer and person.
Long ago I read an interview where David Yow said his wife (sadly I think he is divorced, I liked the idea of him having a sweet wife, well now he does have a girlfriend) would not come watch him play because he just got too drunk and out of control. And believe me I saw The Jesus Lizard and it was an intense show, I kind of hid in the back and was just in awe of how out of control Yow was. Recently it clicked and I finally figured out why I like Yow’s vocals. You know how when you like a song and you do not the lyrics and you just kind of mumble and hum? Well that is why I like his vocals they are not always words often sounds or gasps. That being said some of the Jesus Lizard lyrics are good.

So as I often do when I am on hold or pause at work a person, idea, movie etc. will pop into my head and I will have to Google it for an update. So I looked up Yow and found out he was an artist and did touch up work and graphic design. With further Youtubing I found the clips below and really like the song. Ventura is a French band that I am sure was blown away playing with one of their heroes. I have no idea if they are a decent sized band but it is odd to see the guitarist with a Sonic Youth sticker on his guitar, come on man you are not a Lookout pop band be professional. The video is good and simple and the song is not too bad. The other 2 clips are a small documentary that was filmed about Yow and his visit to play with the band. I think Yow would make a great subject for a full on documentary, and I say this because sure there is the crazy shows and violence but I think there is a lot of depth to him. The film has a touch of sadness and the last scene when he talks about aging and not liking mirrors really stuck with me. We are all getting older and some are still putting out work and I wonder why and the only thing I can come up with is because that is who you are.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Journal of Tickled Fancies for the First Day of September Year of Someone’s Lord Two Thousand and Two:

Journal of Tickled Fancies for the First Day of September Year of Someone’s Lord Two Thousand and Two:

Darren Ford: Called up to run bases for Gigantes, a need for speed on the base paths. Guillen moves in the outfield and on the base paths like he has been flying all day in cramped corners and has pins and needles deluxe. Burrell who I dig for being the king of game winning sac flys is slow as well. Imagine being called up in a pennant race not for your defense or batting but just brought in to pinch run. Hell if by some miracle the Gigantes win (yes I know good and proper it is Giants but I am paying homage to the best mascot I have seen in some time) he will get a ring as well and I am pretty sure you do not get a smaller less impressive ring if you simply ran the bases in the series. Tonight he aggressively ran the bases and scored the winning run in a tight game with the Rockies (sorry Todd Helton I still dig ya). Ford doing that is one of the those small little things that endears a player to me forever, like a good sleeper film or a band that had one good EP.
Certain weeks this day can edge out a good Saturday with sleeping in and hearty breakfasts. The WWE channel changes the programming and depending on the month etc. it can be gold. And as I am letting my geek flag fly a little more around people they know Wednesday is golden due to it being new comic day. Light week, heavy week I at times hate myself for knowing what is coming out of interest to me but forgetting when my student loan is due. No matter how shitty a day is going there is always a little something to look forward to.

So I think I will make this a shorty and just put in 2 things that I am appreciative of. It is late and i still need to hose off and read a few comics. There are many more things that i dig and am grateful for. One being having air conditioning, it is stuffy here in RWC and I took the dog on a walk thru the rougher area and there are not many ACs. It is interesting the difference between a downtown full of organic eating, Prius driving enlightened snoots and beat down bike riding, pit bull having tough looking customers is as simple as left turn or right turn at Middlefield. The goal is to be positive and appreciative and to try to write those million or so words of crap to get to the good stuff. How many blogs and shit poems until you get to the center of good writing… let’s find out.