My Night With Guns N’ Roses

April 2, 2016 5 comments

True story.

I got Appetite for Destruction on cassette in 1988 after hearing “Paradise City” on the radio. I was nine years old and I remember the clerk asking my mom if it was cool for me to buy because of the parental advisory label. Thanks Tipper Gore. But my mom was cool with it. And thus started a love affair with Guns N’ Roses.

FACT: When I was in high school, I was driving around with some friends and we were listening to Appetite when my tape snapped. I proceeded to drive directly to a music store and promptly replaced the cassette.

Now I must tell you that I’ve never attended a GnR concert. I never had the opportunity before Slash split in 1996 and, no offense to them, but I was never interested in seeing Buckethead or Bumblefoot play “Mr. Browstone.” I instead collected bootlegs and allowed my mind to experience that band that was likely never to be heard together again.

I’ve lived in L.A. for about six months and it’s been awesome, but I couldn’t have imagined what happened this week. Thursday night around 10:30, I got a text from a reliable source saying the show was likely to happen Friday night at the Troubadour. So I packed a bag and headed down to see what was going on, but it was a ghost town after the place closed up.

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I hit social media to find any chatter of what might be happening and saw that something was going down at the old Tower Records on Sunset Blvd. I drove over and saw people in line and knew that was were I was going to be spending my night/morning.

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So I hopped in line with a couple dozen other people who weren’t really sure what was happening, but there was construction going on inside and vehicles in and out of the parking lot. This had to be something right? Why else would crews be working inside a store that’s been closed for years?

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I was like 30th in line, but for exactly what I wasn’t sure. We all figured that something GnR related was going to be taking place here, but was it a ticket giveaway? Was it going to be a press conference? Were people also now waiting outside the Troubadour? There was all kinds of speculation. I’ll tell you that people around me knew nothing about what was happening when we were in line at 11:30, but by 2:30 had somehow become experts with solid theories. GnR had throw this image up on their homepage around midnight and I was sure we were all being trolled.

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But we all continued to wait, hopeful that we weren’t just out there on a hunch. Everyone in line was cool for the most part. When we heard tickets were going to be cash only, people watched other people’s places so they could get money. When the street sweeper was set to come by at 4am, places were watched as people moved cars. We were all in this together.

More news came in. Tickets to the show were first-come, first-served and about 250 people would be let in. More people started to show up as the news seemed to be getting more solid. The crew came outside at one point in the morning and let people know a few spots down from me that they were going to have to move for a few minutes as they needed to put up a poster.

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Holy shit. THIS.IS.HAPPENING.

Everyone was out of their minds by the morning rush. It was confirmed that we were in the right place, that we were likely to get tickets to see Axl and Slash on stage together for the first time in more than 20 years. I was, and continue to be, in complete shock. I knew that if I hadn’t sat out in line Friday morning that I would have been kicking myself for years about having missed this once-in-a-lifetime (or Not in this Lifetime) performance.

By morning the cops had moved us around the corner, the line was building quickly as people hoped they weren’t too late. And then barricades went up and merch started appearing. We learned there was going to be a pop up event happening with a mini museum inside.

Around 10 they moved us into a serpentine line in front of the store and we got our first wristbands which we were told gave us the ability to get into the museum and purchase tickets for the Troubadour show. I was No. 74 and my wife was No. 75 when we got inside around noon to purchase the tickets among a flurry of activity. There were food trucks (complimentary fare to those of us lucky to be there), there were shirts and placards being sold, a DJ played generic rock music (“You Give Love a Bad Name” and “Walk This Way” come to mind) as people in line sang away. By this point it was the last thing I wanted to hear as I was going on 28 hours without sleep, but the payoff was worth it.

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As we came out of the museum around 12:30 Friday afternoon, people were everywhere. The event had taken over the Strip with news vans and onlookers trying to get the scoop on what the lucky few had experienced. A reporter with KTLA asked to speak to my wife and she quickly pulled me over.

It was official! In just hours we were going to be at the Troubadour to see Guns N’ Roses. First things first though, it was time for a nap if I could even get myself to sleep of course.

The show itself was surreal. The band didn’t come on until around midnight, 24 hours after this odyssey began, but before they did celebrities including Andrew Dice Clay, Jim Carrey and Bradley Cooper arrived. Lenny Kravitz walked right behind us as he came in through a side entrance. We saw the people that we had waited in line with that morning and then Guns N’ Roses took the stage, tearing into “It’s So Easy” as if it was 1988 all over again. By now you’ve likely read the stories, seen the footage and pics that got leaked. It’s worth noting that there were three stationary cameras filming the entire show and multiple people running around with handhelds as well. Parts of, if not the entire show, will likely be released down the road. I can’t wait to experience it all again!

So there I was, 28 years after first hearing them on the radio, GnR wrapped up this amazing event with “Paradise City,” the song that piqued my interest as an impressionable kid living outside Philadelphia. I’ll never hear it the same again.

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Replay-Per-View: NWA Battle of the Belts II

Battle of the Belts

Wrestlemania 32 was a long one, wasn’t it? Almost seven hours from the Pre-Game Kickoff Starter Edition Extravaganza to the end where Roman Reigns was booed out of the building. Remember the days when if a PPV went three hours you were getting super extra coverage? This blog gives you a heads up on events from the past and an idea of whether you should bother spending time watching them. The best part is I get to watch events that I may be new to me like the one I’m reviewing this week. I mean I haven’t been able to see every wrestling event ever just yet.

Growing up outside Philadelphia in the mid 80s, I didn’t see much wrestling outside of the WWF and NWA (which was my preference of the two). When I was in high school, ECW was just getting off the ground and I loved having an alternative to the big two. I imagine that’s how it was during the territory days of the 70s and early 80s when there were a number of promotions, each with their own hardcore following and if you were lucky enough, you got to see footage from them all. Imagine if you tried to describe having to trade tapes with a millennial. They’d think you were nuts.

Championship Wrestling From Florida is one of those promotions that I always hear about. On Valentine’s Day 1986, CWF hosted the second NWA Battle of the Belts featuring five title matches including Ric Flair defending the World Heavyweight Championship against a future member of the Four Horsemen, Barry Windham.

What better Valentine’s Day gift for your girlfriend or wife?! That is if they like to go hunting, chew Redman and can drink you under the table.

But enough of my rambling, onto the show! Gordon Solie and Mike Graham are the announce team for the night and we’re joining them at ringside.

Up first, it’s a match for the NWA Bahamas title as champion Tyree Pride defends against Ron Slinker. Solie and Graham keep talking about Slinker’s martial arts skills, but I don’t see much outside of a few chops and they aren’t even that good. If this guy does martial arts, Ric Flair’s chops make him Bruce Lee. Pride looked to be the clear babyface in this match which lasted all of three minutes.
Match Grade: C- (The crowd was mildly into it, but not much of a match especially when you consider the short amount of time they had to work)

Up next, it’s a match for the NWA Florida Heavyweight Championship with Kendall Windham defending against Prince Iaukea. Seriously, how is Windham a heavyweight? He’s like 137 lbs soaking wet here, maybe (Solie mentions Kendall is only 19), but he’s the champ so respect he shall get.

Iaukea takes it to Windham from the start of this match, but Kendall fights his way back. Some good back-and-forth action in this match with Iaukea doing some cheating and Windham doing some selling to get heat from the crowd. Windham is the guy every 12-year-old girl in the audience wants to marry. Or they at least want his haircut.
Match Grade: C+ (The action isn’t bad here and the crowd loves what they’re seeing. Windham and the Prince play their roles well)

Title match number three sees the White Ninja challenging Denny Brown for the NWA World Jr. Heavyweight Championship.

Honestly, I’ve never heard of Brown, but you may know the White Ninja as he was later known as the Great Muta. Also, Brown looks to be 30 lbs heavier than Kendall Windham, but for some reason Brown’s the Jr Heavyweight Champ and Windham is the Florida Heavyweight champ. Go figure.

FUN FACT: The referee of multiple matches on the card, including this one, is Bill Alfonso who went on to manage Sabu and Rob Van Dam in ECW.

The White Ninja is taller, stronger and making Brown look like a million bucks. It’s cool to see a young Muta here and some of the skills that would make him one of the greats down the road. Brown, on the other hand, isn’t showing much in the ring, but he does some good brawling to keep the action going. Not sure if the end was planned or botched, but either way, it wasn’t pretty.
Match Grade: B- (This was a slow match when Brown was in control., but the White Ninja showed some great offense, including what would become two of Muta’s signature maneuvers)

Our next contest is scheduled for one fall with a hone-hour time limit and is for the NWA Southern Heavyweight title. It’s the challenger Lex Luger squaring off with the champion Jesse Barr.

Luger is sporting the fiercest of mullets in this match and looks like he sprinkles ‘roids on his corn flakes. He’s seriously yolked here, maybe more so than when he was with Mid-Atlantic, but doesn’t do much in the ring. It doesn’t matter though as the audience is fully behind the Lex Express. He seriously looks to be super green but also super over. Jesse Barr puts up a good fight and finally gets the crowd behind him as the match goes on.
Match Grade: C (Barr actually proves something after being overpowered by Luger for most of the match. Lex’s moveset leaves much to be desired)

Bruiser Brody takes on Wahoo McDaniel in the next match which is a complete slugfest. Brodie is an animal in the ring and just seems to work so stiff. Wahoo is no slouch either, and while he’s a veteran at this point, he holds his own against the madman. When the pair takes the action outside the ring, the crowd can’t get enough. Both men are busted open and the crowd is going bananas. The bout lasts all of five minutes, but has easily been the hottest match of the night so far.
Match Grade: B+ (Brody and McDaniel give the crowd exactly what they want in this one. Fun match even with the short time they’re given)

Interviewer Buddy Colt speaks to the Road Warriors and Blackjack Mulligan before their match against Kevin Sullivan, Bob Roop and Purple Haze. Hawk & Animal seem completely insane during this interview. Mulligan barely has a chance to get a word in edgewise as the Warriors are screaming at the camera about god-knows-what. As you can imagine, that’s exactly how things go in the rings as well. This free-for-all starts on the outside and the ref has a tough time getting control. Blackjack and Sullivan are bleeding on the outside within 30 seconds of this melee getting underway. The crowd can’t stop screaming. Once the action makes its way back to the ring, the referee still has a hard time even keeping order and the crowd seems to like it that way.
Match Grade: B- (Not a great finish and the match was very similar to the previous bout featuring Body and McDaniel, but the crowd reaction says these guys were doing something right)

Now it’s time for your main event of the evening. It’s a battle for the NWA World Heavyweight title, held by the legendary Ric Flair. In the other corner, the challenger, from Sweetwater, TX, Barry Windham.

As if I didn’t already think that the Nature Boy was one of the best wrestlers of all-time, dude comes out to the ring with “Easy Lover” by Phil Collins and Philip Bailey blasting behind him. WOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!

This event saw the debut of what’s been dubbed, the Big Gold Belt, which was the NWA and later WCW World Heavyweight title. It also had a run in the WWE as the World Heavyweight Championship. It might be one of my favorite looking titles, although this one is pretty rad as well.

This crowd is crazy for Windham, who takes the early upper hand on the champ. The pair works so smoothly in the ring together, the twists and turns inteh storytelling is phenomenal. Flair has long spoken about his respect for Barry, and you can see why. The two of them have the crowd wrapped around their finger for 40 minutes!

I can’t even really do this match justice by trying to break it down. 40 minutes of back & forth, between two legendary competitors in their primes, for the biggest prize of them all at the time. It doesn’t get much better.
Match Grade: A (After some pretty good matches on the second half of this card, Windham and Flair sent the fans home with an epic match, deemed the 1986 match of the year by the Wrestling Observer Newsletter)

If you haven’t seen Battle of the Belts II, I recommend chcking it out, even if you want to just check out the second half. Hell, the match between Windham and Flair was worth the price of admission.

This is what a PPV/Supershow should be about. Send the fans home pining for more after a couple of hours, not a 7-hour spectacle that sends the fans home exhausted and unsure of what they just saw.

Until next time!

Check back Thursday’s for another Replay-Per-View! Got a suggestion? Send me a tweet @WillAlthoff!

3-Count: April 5th-The Bermuda Triangle of Wrestling

april 5

I was doing some research this week to try and find a discussion point for this 3-Count. That basically consists of me perusing YouTube and Daily Motion and watching all kinds of wrestling videos, which I know sounds like a rough gig,  but it can be. Seriously, have you seen Halloween Havoc 90?!

So April 5th is a weird day in wrestling history. On this day in 1945, Sika Anoa’i was born in American Samoa. Sika was one half of WWE Hall of Famers the Wild Samoans with his brother Afa, and he’s also the father of Roman Reigns, the current WWE World Heavyweight Champion. If you’re a nerd like me, you’re probably getting tired of how WWE is booking Reigns and not listening to the fans boo the crap out of him every time he’s on camera.

You know what else is weird? On April 5th, 1992 from the Hoosier Dome, the WWF brought us Wrestlemania VIII. The main event was not Ric Flair vs. Hulk Hogan, which it could have been but why would the WWF listen to its fans and give them the ultimate wrestling grudge match at the time? A mere 24 years later and here we are, in the same predicament and Flair is STILL AROUND!

Instead, we got the Hulkster vs. Sid Justice. Flair ended up losing the WWF World Heavyweight Championsip that night to the Macho Man, which was the sixth match of 10 on the card. How is a match for the title buried in the middle of the show? Oh right … Hogan.

 

It was on this day in 1987 that Brian Pillman won his first title, half of the Stampede International Tag Team Title, alongside Bruce Hart. 15 years later to the day, on April 5th, 2002, Bruce won the very same title, but this time pairing with his nephew Teddy Hart.

April 5th … the Bermuda Triangle of Wrestling. I don’t even think that makes sense but you get it.

On this day in 1982, a legendary moment in pro wrestling happened as actor Andy Kaufman finally stepped into the ring to square off with Jerry Lawler. Kaufman suffered two piledrivers at the hands of the King, but won the match after Lawler was disqualified as use of the piledriver was banned at the time. Here’s a peak at Lawler issuing a challenge to Kaufman which set up that memorable encounter.

April 5th, 2009: Shawn Michaels and the Undertaker meet for the first of two consecutive matches at Wrestlemania where the Heartbreak Kid attempts to end The Streak. He fails both times and is forced to retire, but the bouts are highly acclaimed and deemed Match of the Year by PWI and the Wrestling Observer Newsletter.

Finally, on April 6th 1997, Diamond Dallas Page defeated the Macho Man at WCW Spring Stampede after DDP spent months running from Savage and the nWo. It was Page’s first time main-eventing a PPV and he was 41 years old. Ok, so the date doesn’t exactly jive with the rest of this blog, but oddly enough, Page’s birthday is April 5th, 1956.

The Bermuda Triangle of Wrestling!

 

Check back Tuesday’s for another 3-Count! Got a suggestion? Send me a tweet @WillAlthoff!

Replay-Per-View: Halloween Havoc 1990

March 31, 2016 1 comment

Halloween-Havoc-1990

Ok, so we’re just a few days from Wrestlemania 32 and the build has been less than stellar to say the least. Seriously, I don’t know who I’m supposed to be cheering for in the biggest matches. What ever happened to babyfaces and heels? It’s the essence of wrestling. Arrrrgh!

But I digress.

In this Replay-Per-View I’m taking a look back at WCW’s Halloween Havoc 1990, in which three 2016 WWE Hall of Fame inductees were participants (Stan Hansen, Sting, and the Fabulous Freebirds). But no real spoilers here. Just a quick take on each match without giving away the finishes. Why ruin it when you can check it out for yourself?

Live from Chicago, IL we get commentary from Jim Ross and Paul Heyman, dressed up as Dracula, with Tony Schiavone doing interviews dressed up as the Phantom of the Opera. Yes, it’s a Halloween themed PPV, but these guys could be characters in early 90’s WWF. Must I remind you of the Goon or Skinner? Hell this combo is basically how Vince came up with the Undertaker.

First match is Tommy “Wildfire” Rich & Ricky Morton vs. the Midnight Express accompanied by their Jim Cornette. It doesn’t get much better than this version of the Midnights (Sweet Stan Lane & Beautiful Bobby Eaton) the 1987 PWI and Wrestling Observer Newsletter Tag Team of the Year, winning the latter award again in ’88. They’re 3-time NWA US Tag Team champs and 1-time World title holders.

Of course this match isn’t the Rock ‘N’ Roll Express vs the Midnights of years past, but there’s some good action. Early in the match, Morton takes down Eaton with a Frankensteiner which is pretty cool, but Lane and Eaton just destroy Ricky for a while. At one point, Sweet Stan throws Beautiful Bobby off the top rope to a prone Morton on the entrance ramp.
Match Grade: B+ (Only because of the finish. Great action in this match to kick off the event)

We get a promo from Sting, talking to the Phantom of the Pay-Per-View when the Black Scorpion makes an appearance. Moving on ….

Second match on the card pits the Renegade Warriors (Chris & Mark Youngblood) and the Fabulous Freebirds (Michael PS Hayes & Jimmy Jam Garvin version). JR is talking some shit about the Birds taking out Robert Gibson so I think they’re supposed to be heels here? The Warriors have the upperhand early, but not many people seem to care. I’m guessing half the girls in the audience are wondering how they can get a perm as nice as Garvin’s. A slow contest that isn’t nearly as good as the opening tag match.
Match Grade: C- (After a terrible Sting/Black Scorpion promo, this match needed to do more to bring my interest back)

Another promo here. This time Schiavone is talking to three of the Four Horsemen, Ric Flair, Arn Anderson and Sid Vicious. Yes, I understand that’s only three people. What can I tell you? Where’s Paul Roma when you need him?

Next match has some belts on the line, the first championship contest of Halloween Havoc 90. The US Tag Champion Steiner Brothers are defending against the Nasty Boys. The crowd is loving this match from jump street. Scotty throws Saggs off the top rope with a belly-to-belly which gets a huge pop. Seriously, Scott Steiner was SO over as a babyface when he was tagging with Rick. As you can imagine, the Nasty Boys don’t use many holds.
Match Grade: B- (This contest started off on fire and cooled off quicker than a diaper filled with ice, but it comes back around)

An after-match promo from the man who would become Big Poppa Pump, but it isn’t nearly as good as this mess. HOLLA … IF YA HEAR ME!

Next match is for the World Tag Team belts. It’s the champions Doom (accompanied by their manager Teddy Long) being challenged by Ric Flair and Double-A.

I’m not really sure who I’m supposed to be rooting for once again. As a lifelong Flair fan, I’m backing the Horsemen, but the crowd seems to just be cheering moves, not either team. Heyman, at one point, mentions that the Nature Boy is a 6-time world title holder. In 1990. So he’s got 10 more title reigns to go and at this point he had already been in the business for 18 years with like 20 years to go. Let that sink in.

As for the match itself, there’s some playing to the crowd and cheating by the Horsemen along with some solid double-teaming while Doom display the power that made them a solid tag team for a short time in the NWA/WCW. Not a bad match.
Match Grade: C+ (Not a great finish, but these teams are taking it to each other inside and outside the ring. The crowd seemed to enjoy it)

We get a short promo from Stan Hansen before he challenges Lex Luger for the US Heavyweight title. The marks are going bananas for Luger. Luckily it takes a few minutes to get this match started because I am fixated on Lex’s mullet. That thing is CMT award worthy.

As you can imagine, Hansen works stiff as shit and Luger does his best to fight back, but this match is just a slobberknocker as JR would say. Interesting to see Stan and Lex standing side-by-side. One looks like he works out 14 hours a day, the other looks like he works on a farm and eats whatever the hell he wants. The marks are still losing their minds for Luger. He was just over without having to do much.
Match Grade: C (The match was fine, but didn’t do much to pique my interest)

Another interview by Tony Schiavone, this time with Doom’s manager Teddy Long, followed by the main event of the evening. It’s a battle for the World Heavyweight title between the champ Sting and the challenger, Sid Vicious.

I miss this version of Sting. I wish he would have come back as this guy when he made his WWE debut. Would have been such a shock as everyone assumed he’d debut with the Crow gimmick. He was a lot like Luger in 1990 that he didn’t have to do shit to be over, but he was pretty good in the ring.

Sid is a monster and looks like he could gorilla press the Natural Disasters, but his in-ring work needs some … work. How this guy was a member of the Horesemen is beyond me. He chain wrestles rest holds for Christ’s sake. Not really much of a match outside of a few spots, but …
Match Grade: D (I’m not going to blow the ending but holy shit was it bad)

Overall, this was a pretty lousy PPV. No wonder WCW was in the crapper when this event was put on. To see how this thing ended is worth your time. Outside of the tag matches involving the Midnight Express and Steiner Brothers, this was an episode of WCW Saturday Night. The whole Black Scorpion thing is as dumb as I remember it being when I was 10 years old.

I thought, maybe they’re building to their next event, Starrcade 90, and keeping some of the bigger talent off the Halloween Havoc card. I was wrong. Starrcade saw the whole Black Scorpion angle finally come to a conclusion, but much of the rest of the card is a tag-team tournament featuring some of the worst teams you may not even recognize. Rocco Rock and Matt Osborne representing South Africa? Troy Montour and Danny Johnson representing Canada?! This was WCW’s premiere event of the year and this is what we got? I’m never reviewing that PPV. NEVER!

Anyway, Halloween Havoc 90 was not good. The end.

Check back Thursday’s for another Replay-Per-View! Got a suggestion? Send me a tweet @WillAlthoff!

3-Count: WWE Hall of Fame 2017

March 29, 2016 1 comment
Hall of Fame 2017

Could Kurt Angle, the British Bulldog Dave Boy Smith and Ravishing Rick Rude be inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame in 2017? Why not?!

It’s Wrestlemania week and that means WWE will be inducting a new class into its Hall of Fame. It also means that marks like myself are complaining about who’s NOT getting in. For years there were a number of wrestlers who were left out, but that list has begun to shrink. I guess you start to run out of people when you’re inducting like seven people/groups every year.

The list of snubs started to shrink when the legendary Bruno Sammartino was finally inducted in 2013, and then it was the Ultimate Warrior in 2014 followed by Macho Man Randy Savage last year. This year something that was considered to be nearly impossible just a short time ago is happening. Sting, the face of WCW, will be inducted.

But back to my original point, there are plenty of people who have long been deserving of induction. This edition of 3-Count is dedicated to those who haven’t heard their names announced yet, but I expect to be inducted in 2017 because why the hell not? We’ll start with one of my all-time favorites.

When you look up the word “heel” in the dictionary, the picture next to the definition is that of Ravishing Rick Rude. Seriously, was there a bigger douchebag in the history of wrestling?! It didn’t matter what town he was in, Rude made sure to let everyone know that he was the best looking guy in the building and that those in attendance were a bunch of fat, snaggle-toothed idiots. Rude was a 1-time NWA World Tag Team and American Heavyweight champ, 1-time WCW United States Champion and held the former NWA World Heavyweight belt (at the time deemed the WCW International World Heavyweight title) three times. So why isn’t he in the Hall of Fame you ask? Probably because of that time he showed up on a live episode of Nitro (talking major shit on the WWF) while also appearing on a taped episode of Raw. Rude is the only wrestler ever to appear on Raw, Nitro and ECW TV in the same week and as a wrestling mark living in the Philadelphia area, I was lucky enough to see all three appearances. But Rude is likely most famous for his feud with Jake the Snake Roberts, which started with the promo below. Hit the play button!

This week’s poll is based on the fact that the build to Wrestlemania has been lackluster to say the leasty. Seriously, I don’t even know why I care about most of the matches on this card. I mean, I’m still watching and all, but I’m still going to complain because I’m part of the IWC and that’s what we do. I’d ask you what I should eat for Wrestlemania or what beer should be flowing at my party, but with a lackluster main event for the second year in a row, I ask you:

How in the blue hell has Davey Boy Smith not been inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame? The guy was a mainstay in the WWF/E for much of the 80’s and 90’s. In his three runs with the company, the British Bulldog was a 1-time Intercontinental Champion and a 2-time Tag Team, European & Hardcore champ. He also held numerous titles in Stampede Wrestling. Sure, he looked like someone who just came back from a Jamaican vacation with those braids, but his in-ring work cannot be overlooked. He was a powerhouse and nimble on his feet at the same time. The British Bulldogs were the 1985 Wrestling Observer Newsletter Tag Tam of the Year and in 1992, Pro Wrestling Illustrated ranked Smith’s meeting with brother-in-law Bret Hart (posted below) their Match of the Year. Here’s hoping we’re tipping back some Samuel Smith’s next year in his honor.

Let’s wrap this edition of 3-Count up with someone who isn’t really a snub and is likely to be a WWE Hall of Famer as soon as he’s “officially” retired, Kurt Angle. For the past few years I’ve hoped he would make a return to WWE , but who knows at this point. Imagine if Angle came back to start a program with Rusev. He would pop the roof off whatever venue was lucky enough to host his return. Kurt’s wrapped up his run with TNA and had a match with Rey Mysterio recently on the independent circuit, but for all intents and purposes, his career is over. He’s the only Olympic gold medalist in professional wrestling and a 2-time NCAA champion. Angle is a 4-time WWF/E champion, the 2000 King of the Ring and a 1-time WWE Tag Team, European, Hardcore & Intercontinental title holder. He held the WCW Championship and United States titles as well. Seven times he was the TNA World Heavyweight champion and twice he was the King of the Mountain. There are more accolades but seriously, THE ONLY OLYMPIC GOLD MEDALIST. What am I missing here?! His career is one of the greatest ever … the commercial below is the exact opposite.

Check back Tuesday’s for another 3-Count. Got a suggestion? Send me a tweet @WillAlthoff!

3-Count: Operation No Shame

Steve Austin said on his podcast last week with Sam Roberts that he might be in need of a producer. I subsequently emailed him my resume and a link to this award winning website. To my dismay, and perhaps his spam filter, I haven’t received a reply. Shocking that a guy who is known by millions wouldn’t reach out to some random lunatic sending him a resume. So I’m gonna do what any other schmuck looking for a job would do, brown nose! This edition of 3-Count is dedicated to Steve Austin.

Who in the blue hell is Frogman La Blanc? He’s the dude Steve’s got the task of wrestling on this night. La Blanc doesn’t get in a lick of offense, has terrible hair and tights, the gnarliest elbow pad I’ve seen this side of Dusty Rhodes and barley even gets on camera with the action happening outside the ring. Poor bastard never had a shot, but you gotta give it to a guy who takes a 5-minute squash.

I wanted to find a good old commercial of Steve, but the man didn’t do shit! In his time as a wrestler, all I could find were like three commercials, two of them promoted his merchandise, one of which didn’t feature Steve at all. There was also a toy commercial, but wouldn’t you know it, he just tweeted that shit out like two days ago. I’ll look like a fool using that! What sort of research am I doing if I don’t see that?! Here’s what I was left with. I’m left unsatisfied in my search.

Steve’s from Texas. He played football and wrestled. I assume the dude eats steak. Plus, I’m really hungry. Haven’t had shit outside of yogurt, oatmeal and some hot dogs today. Reporting on the happenings around South Florida can be exhausting and I’m gonna need some fuel if I’m gonna go float in the pool. Vote in the poll!

I don’t know what to say about the following promo because I can’t take my focus off the hair, which is just god awful. Steve’s sort of bowl cut and Pillman’s permed mullet are pure 90’s gold, much like the chains the two are wearing around their necks. I can’t tell, but assume these two are also wearing Zubaz. I just realized that Pillman would likely be wearing Bengals Zubaz. I gotta get a pair of those! (#WhoDey)

Check back Tuesday’s for another 3-Count. Got a suggestion? Send me a tweet @WillAlthoff!

3-Count: Son of a Plumber

And for no particular reason, Dusty Rhodes!

Before getting into the squared circle, Dusty was a football player at West Texas State. He’s just one of a dozen guys who played there and went on to have a professional wrestling career. Many of them are legends in the business. But I digress …

There aren’t many who could make you believe what he was selling like the Rhodes. The Dweam did it all. He could handle himself and lay down a quality beat down in the ring, he sold the shit out of a broken arm thanks to the Four Horseman and he could talk circles around everyone, even if you couldn’t make sense of what he was saying. All of this made even more amazing because the man is the physique of an egg and was never what I would call “in shape.” This edition of 3-Count is dedicated to the man with the gnarliest forehead I’ve ever seen.

Below is a picture of my wife with with Duh-tay. I can admit that I’m super jealous she met him. I’ve had the opportunity to meet a few wrestlers including Mick Foley, Batista and Sgt. Slaughter (#namedropper), but have been watching Dusty in some form since Mid-Atlantic. One of the first professional wrestlers I can remember watching on TV.

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Nice promo here from Dusty, with a little Tully and Babydoll thrown in. The feud between these two was so good. Tony Schivone’s mustache was glorious in this period, but I’m also trying to figure out what Dusty’s wearing. Are those glasses from the Golden Girls collection?

Does anyone drink Mello Yello? I’ve never considered it in my life. Not once. I don’t even know what it’s supposed to taste like. Is it piss? Because it’s yellow and I assume it tastes like piss. That being said, I want these cans! I’m dying to know what absurd kind of shit they pass off as facts.

Road Warrior Animal gets his hair done at Supercuts! Lex Luger once bench pressed a leatherback turtle!

Dusty tries to sell this crap, but you can tell that can is totally empty. It looks like it should be full of potato sticks, which I believe Dusty would also try to pour into his mouth. Seriously, someone tell me what in the hell Mello Yello tastes like.

Great match from back when the WWE was called the WWWF. Superstar Billy Graham defending his title against Dusty in a Texas Death Match. Adding to the flair, Vince McMahon on commentary. Quick, which son of the owner was a better announcer: McMahon or David Crockett?

Superstar played a great chickenshit heel in this match. I think if you gave these two a couple of mics and threw them in a ring together, nobody would ever get a word in. The promo would probably last 2 hours and you would get nowhere, but by God you would be watching next week to see these two beat the shit out of each other. I love Dusty’s bleach blonde afro helmet as well.

On to the poll

Dusty made a name for himself across the globe. Three particular runs stand out to most people. Which was your favorite?

Check back Tuesday’s for another 3-Count. Got a suggestion? Send me a tweet @WillAlthoff!

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