Bodyguard For Hire…? Will Wrestle For Food…?

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I get asked a lot of the same questions from wrestling fans. Some of the most popular are: What is this wrestler like?; What ever happened to this wrestler?; How much do these guys really make?; Did you have sex with Tammy Sytch? … Well, let’s just stick to the where are they nows and how much do they make.

About a year ago, I wrote a short post entitled Mike “Virgil” Jones – The $3,500 Slave which talked about my run-in with former WWE star best known as the lackey bodyguard of the Million Dollar Man Ted DiBiase in the 80′s. I was absolutely amazed at what a douchebag to everyone and the exuberant amount of money he was trying to hustle from promoters for an appearance fee.

The other day, a fan sends me an email with a photo attachment. The fan had read my post and was following up on one of the most expensive non-drawing jabrones in the business. Apparently, I was wrong. And now there is picture proof!

I didn’t know that self proclaimed $3,500 valued talent was taking gigs signing autographs in parking lot flea markets. This is obviously a pit stop before the Hall of Fame. Look at the turn out in this place. Fans are trampling each other just to get close to him. The money is literally jumping out of their pockets and into his hands. The line was so long, fans had to be turned away. The world heard the sound of thousands of children crying because they couldn’t get their life’s fulfillment of being next to the what some may consider the second coming of Christ.

I understand that some fans flew half way across the world from Japan, Australia, Iceland, and Newark, NJ. The Pope doesn’t even get turn outs like this. This is that moment fans have always dreamed of and will tell this tale to their grandchildren where it will become legend. I’ll my grand children he was a legend…a legendary failure!

I’ve seen some pretty desperate things in this business and this is definitely in the top five. Do you think the promoter of the flea market had to pay $3,500 for his top draw? because if you were to ask me, I think Virgil actually paid the promoter $35 for the table. I’m not here to take a big wet shit all over Virgil…ok, yes I am – because he’s a total douche -, but how sad is it that this guy is sitting in a parking lot telling people he sold out Madison Square Garden. Then again, there may be some truth to it. Maybe he didn’t sell out every seat in the arena at The Garden – but there is a good chance he sold out of his promo pictures in the MSG parking lot!

On a serious note, it’s sad to see the grim reality of what life after wrestling can be like. So for any aspiring wrestler out there, I won’t be the one to tell you that your dreams will never come true. But I will tell you there is a chance you can become the next Virgil. Hopefully this scares the shit out of you enough to have a good back up plan. And to Mike Jones… HA HA HAHAHAHAHA HA HA HA HA!!!

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The Rock Looks Like He’s Been Eating Rocks

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Has anyone seen Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson lately? Not since the night after Wrestlemania when he announced that he would be “back” and that his little epiphany told him that his next goal was to regain the WWE title. Yeah, that’s about the last time I saw him too.

I wasn’t sure if he had been taken off TV because Brock Lesnar had returned and they weren’t sure exactly how creative would get The Rock into the title picture (although it’s been said that he’ll wrestle Lesnar in the main event of Mania 29 for the WWE title). But Rocky has been gone and somewhat forgotten. Yes, I remember that he has an amazing Hollywood career to return to and I knew that he wasn’t going to be sticking around much longer after Wrestlemania. With the highly anticipated sequel to G.I. Joe coming out this summer and the sixth installment to the Fast and Furious franchise, how can he have time to dress up as a wrestler and roll around in the ring?

The Joe flick has wrapped and will start its promotional tour and junkettes. Filming for the Fast series hasn’t begun yet as Vin Diesel is wrapping yet another sequel to his sci-fi action hero Riddick. So why does out boy dio, he signs on to star in a dark bodybuilding comedy alongside Mark Whalberg and directed by Michael Bay. Yep! THAT Michael Bay. Mr. Transformers-I-Like-To-Blow-Shit-Up-With-Hot-Ass-Victoria-Secrets-Models.

The name of the movie is Pain and Gain, set for release in 2013. And in this set pic, it proves that you are what you eat, as The Rock looks like he’s been chowing down on boulders.

Rocky wasn’t even this big at Wrestlemania! He was trim, lean and agile. here. He looks like a genetic freak (no offense to Scott Stiener). I know the movie has some dealings with anabolic steroids, but it makes me wonder if Rocky got on the juice to enhance his role in the movie? Time will tell when a trailer hits at the end of the year…but in the meantime, He is an absolute BEAST!

Working With WWE Star R-Truth

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You meet some pretty interesting people in the pro wrestling business. You realize that outside of the characters they portray on television, they actually are human beings. Like you and I, they are people with hopes, dreams, problems, stress, and doubt. The know that at any given moment, they may no longer be the flavor of the month or that their spot on the roster might be compromised when a new star is on the rise. When people ask me what it’s like to work with wrestlers, I simply tell them that sometimes it’s the equivalent of babysitting an adult.

You may have followed some of my previous posts where I’ve discussed some backstage stories that I encountered during my time in the business. Some stories are better than others, and some offer more gossip to a rumor you may have heard. But one thing is for sure… it’s not often where you can talk about who a person really is. Sometime you can just get a picture in your head of what that person may be like to deal with based off a story. But who knows, maybe it was just a bad day for them and you can’t judge their character based off of once incident. I’ve told stories about CM Punk, April Hunter, Jeff Jarrett and many others. Most recently I shared my experience in working with WWE superstar R-Truth.

In the post, you’ll read about a man who was unsure of his career in pro wrestling. You sense his insecurities and the obstacles he overcame to get where he is today. You may see him on WWE TV as a co-holder of the tag team titles, or as the wildly popular comic relief with his invisible sidekick, Little Jimmy. But there was a time when R-Truth didn’t know how much longer he was going to be a pro wrestler. There was a time where his heart and passion were somewhere else. And there was a time where an unknown booker for a small northeast indy organization got to know a man who had all the talent but didn’t think anybody was interested in it anymore.

Click R-Truth’s name in the above paragraph to read the story. I’d like to hear your comments and feedback. Share with me YOUR stories of wrestlers you’ve encountered at a low point, or some who you have met that didn’t live up to your expectations. This is just another one of my stories…and there are plenty more to come.

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ECW Died on Monday Night RAW

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Extreme Championship Wrestling wasn’t a wrestling organization. It was a cult. I say that in the most sincerest form. I lived through it. I wasn’t a cult follower, but I was around it. I saw it born. I saw it grow. And on Monday night, I saw it die.

Ever since the original organization fathered by Paul Heyman officially folded in 2001, there have been numerous attempts to resurrect it. But instead of finding Dr. Frankenstien himself to work his magic, the only thing that the ill-fated reincarnations did was dig the grave deeper.

The closest thing to closure was the WWE’s One Night Stand PPV. It was gently placed in Paul Heyman’s hands with the blessing and financing of Vince McMahon. But greed got the best of Vince, and just as he has monopolized the wrestling business and forced monthly pay per views upon us – he thought he too could reboot the organization in his own vision. A vision that was worse than the XFL. Not even Vince’s money could bring ECW back to life.

TNA tried doing something similar with Hardcore Justice last year with an event that was seen by less people than a backyard wrestling show featuring disabled midgets. Then again, I might have actually paid to see that backyard show…Back to the point, not even the ghost of ECW showed up.

A few weeks ago, ECW original Shane Douglas made a last attempt by running a reunion show in Philadelphia – the home of ECW. Although it drew 2000 fans, it ended with 2000 angry fans who raised hell about a show plagued with drugged up wrestlers, incoherent booking, false advertising and dirty laundry list of bad business decisions that burned the ECW faithful and loyalists for the last time.

With the return of Brock Lesnar, there was some speculation that Paul Heyman might make a return to the wrestling world to lend his genius creative mind. But through social networks, he denied the rumors. Perhaps it was to cover up his cameo appearance on Monday Night RAW as the official spokesman for Brock Lesnar. When the time came for Paul Heyman to walk through the curtain and surprise the world…well, there was no surprise. Not because the information had leaked, but because no one knew who he was. Paul Heyman made a grand entrance to no “pop” at all.

The landscape of the business has changed, and since Vince McMahon remodeled the business to a PG-13 tone that caters to a younger demographic, the days of pro wrestling violence are now stories of legend. Kids aren’t use to the blood and hardcore anything goes matches. And to be quite honest, they don’t need it. Kids don’t need to risk their lives and safety while emulating their heroes. But ECW fans have always held on to their hope. Hope that one day Paul Heyman would walk on water as the second coming of hardcore Christ. And when the moment happened on RAW, it proved that ECW is truly dead for good.

The new audience didn’t live it. There is nothing to help them remember it. It was never a Vince thing to begin with. So when Paul Heyman walked the aisle on Monday night, there was nothing but silence…A moment of silence to mourn the official death of ECW.

If Paul Heyman’s appearance didn’t get a reaction from the live audience, then nothing can bring ECW back to life. The young fans looked at each other as if saying, “Who is this guy?… He’s great on the mic, but who is he?” There is an article on WWE.com RIGHT NOW, reminding people who he is with e title “Who is Paul Heyman?”

If Paul E. couldn’t get a response, then his brainchild has no chance of ever making a comeback. ECW is officially dead…forever.

Lord Tensai is NOT Working

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I hate to be the one to break the bad news, but this little Lord Tensai experiment is dead on arrival.

I’m not here to poke holes in everything that WWE creative puts out there. I know how difficult it is to make an engaging product that connects with the fans, and something that is marketable and profitable. And had it not been for the return of the beast Brock Lesnar, this may in fact have worked.

The vignettes were effective. They were simple, but effective. They provided that mystique that a younger generation – who doesn’t remember that mediocre run of A-Train and Prince Albert – needed to believe in order to fear what could have been a dominating force to the babyface roster and the title scene. I guess if I were the WWE, I would have dropped everything too the minute Brock signed on the dotted line. But in doing so, it killed Lord Tensai before he even started to sizzle.

I credit WWE for doing everything in their power to desperately save him before he completely flat-lines. But the damage is too critical. A win over Cena and another over Punk still aren’t enough to get him over. The fans look as his size and at his ability to destruct anything in his path – and the only thing they say now is, “Brock is bigger… Brock is stronger… Brock is better…”

What now of Lord Tensai? The mercenary of John Laurinaitis isn’t a bad role – but now Tensai is the understudy as Brock has snagged that storyline as well. What will it take to get this gimmick from completely flopping? A match with Brock himself? That won’t happen. And if it does, guess who will go over. Not Tensai. How about turning him babyface? but then what’s the point of bringing him in as the much needed monster heel (especially now that Brodus Clay’s career has been ruined)?

It’s a damn shame. Tensai is man past his prime given a rare opportunity to get another strong run – even stronger than his first run over a decade ago. but what becomes of him now? Now that his thunder has been stolen and the carpet pulled from under his feet. Where does he land on the roster? How do you write for him? And is it only a matter of time until the REAL heel in the company, Mr. Laurinaitis himself, wishes him well on his future endeavors?

Is Anyone Really Buying The Next WWE PPV To Watch Cena vs. Laurinaitis?

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Call me crazy, but after coming off of Wrestlemania 29 which headlined with John Cena vs. The Rock, and then rushing into Extreme Rules to get the John Cena vs. Brock Lesnar nut off prematurely, who in their right mind would pay to see Super Dave take on the face of the organization?

I’m still trying to figure out exactly what creative is doing with Cena. I understand the concept of letting him work “featured” matches and letting other young stars rise to the top of the title scene. But creative is literally riding their golden horse into the ground and devaluing his impact on the business.

What is the point of making John Laurinaitis your top heel in the entire company? Other than portraying a character that hides behind his abuse of power, how does this one man become the main antagonist of a weekly story? In the beginning, it made sense that there would be heel heat against the VP of Talent Relations and the play on the phrase “…wish you the best in your future endeavors”, but enough is enough. He is not a wrestler…at least not anymore. I still question whether he was a real wrestler when he was romping around looking like a 40 year old surfer and Point Break reject. He’s not a contender and he’s not worthy of main eventing a pay per view. Plan and simple, anyone who orders this PPV will be subjected to numerous run-ins and false finishes. it’s the equivalent of Vince McMahon being Stone Cold Steve Austin’s arch nemesis. Yeah, it worked for a moment, but how long can you really ride it out before it gets stale? At what point do we cut the cord from the soap opera and get back to wrestling?

As if it weren’t bad enough that there are monthly PPV events throughout the entire year, now you have non-wrestlers filling in the gaps for your main events. I urge wrestling fans to save their money from this debacle. What do you REALLY think you are going to get for your money? Do you think you are going to witness history? Do you think you’re watching something so memorable that it will be replayed and highlighted for years to come? This will be forgotten faster than Braden Walker’s career.

WWE creative, if you want our money – then we demand something worth our money.