Saturday, December 24, 2011

Merry Christmas

This is not a column, just a post I felt like making.

This is not my scheduled time to post, but I really wanted to use this forum to wish everyone a happy holiday.

I am currently listening to the Christmas Craptacular from last night, and am reflecting on how much fun I had participating in it. To JJ and Trey, Merry Christmas and Happy New Year. This is normally a hard time of year for me. I lost 3 people I loved very much in 3 years literally days before Christmas, so I have been lacking in the Christmas spirit as of late.

But, my affiliation with the SNS radio network in the last year has been wonderful, and my column on this site, http://www.headlocks2headlines.com, has been awesome!

So, I just wanted to take a moment to thank JJ, Trey, Sean, Crelly, Ty, Huhn Jo, Trent, Rod, Ashley, Andy Knowles and all the rest, for a fun year.

The friendships I have made are unbelievable.

To Andy Knowles, you are an inspiration. Overcoming obstacles and being strong are characteristics I appreciate.

To JJ, you are a fine example of what it means to work hard and fight for what you believe in. Thank you for your countless hours of dedication and tireless work. You're the kind of guy people look up to. No matter what obstacles are in your way, you plow over them and persevere.

To Trey, one of the things that hooked me on Wrestling News Live was the way you view the world. It sounds funny, but your opinions often echo my own. We're hardcore, and don't really give a damn, except when it matters. You're an Italian at heart!

Harmony, you're the toughest woman I know. My Mom still asks about you after the Facebook conversation we all had. Hard work and courage go a long way. And, you'll go far, because you are brave and tough as nails. I respect you greatly.

Crelly. Hmmm.... What to say about my boss? Not much really. I can't honestly think of anything to say about Chris. Other than the fact that he constantly maintains this website. Or, that he has been a massive success in booking interviews for the SNS Radio Network. I suppose I could mention how he stays up late to participate in shows, juggles college and work, and still manages to co-host. Maybe some of the lazy young spoiled brats I see on a daily basis could benefit from seeing what it means to be a hard working young man, even if he gets drunk once in awhile. :)

The Sensational Sequel. The guy who lives a military life like my Grandfather used to. Sean has been a great friend and one of the funniest guys I know. His ribs are the best on the network.

Midnightman. I spoke to this man for over an hour today, and it was my pleasure. If you ever need courage, look Mario up and you'll find it. This man made my Christmas, and talking to him was like talking to a brother. Midnightman is proof that God gives light to the brave.

Huhn Jo. Writer extraordinaire. My friend. My competitor! The guy whose column I read and think "Damn! How am I going to top that?" Much respect to you brother.

Trent. Keep it real youngster! You have your priorities in order, and you've been a great friend to me. Be smart, be strong.

To everyone on the SNS Radio Network, let Don_Bronx wish you a very merry Christmas and a happy New Year. All of you are special to me, and I just wanted to tell you all how I feel. God bless, and I will catch you in 2012.

Oh! And to JSK, you're not here now, but the laughter you have brought me through the archives is second to none. So, I raise my glass and say, "Peace, 420, kiss my ass, goodnight white people. I'm out." Happy Holidays!

Don_Bronx

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Tuesday, December 20, 2011

What Makes Sense, What Doesn't

So, another year is fading. Old man 2011 is on life support, and little baby 2012 is about to be born. Let me just say, good riddance! 2011 for yours truly has sucked, and I'm glad it's over.

Now, what was I supposed to write about? (10 minute pause) Oh! Pro Wrestling! As the title implies, wrestling has done many things this year that haven't made sense. However, towards the end, they've done quite a few things that make sense. Take my hand. (washes hand) Okay. Take it now. Sorry. And, let's review a few story lines of 2011 and see what we get.

As far as not making sense, we've got a lot of ground to cover, but I don't intend on writing "War and Peace." I'm going to break down a few examples. First off, let's start with TNA. A lot of its booking doesn't make sense. Heels that should be faces, and faces that should be heels. Allowing over-the-hill talent and the talentless to be in charge. Too many chiefs, and not enough Indians.

Allowing Kurt Angle to beat Robert Roode at a PPV, and having James Storm beat Angle for the title on the next Impact made no sense. Then, putting that title on Roode a few weeks later made no sense. Roode should have just beat Kurt and it would have made sense.

Putting ratings second to PPV buy rates makes no sense. It's not like advertisers are coming out of the wood works to support a show with an average 1.1-1.3 rating. I'm not a big fan of ratings, but advertisers are. So, again, not too smart. And, not policing the Internet like the WWE and allowing 10,000 streams to broadcast during any given TNA PPV makes no sense.

Now, switching gears. This is not an anti-TNA column. Let the Don lift his gavel and pass judgement on the WWE for a few moments.

Announcing a Wrestlemania match one year before it's going to happen doesn't make sense. All this has done is minimize anything else John Cena could be doing, um, like maybe putting people over? I'm actually looking forward to this match, but announcing it only 5 or 6 months in advance would have been sufficient.

Michael Cole's continued announcer role makes no sense. His constant self-promotion and worked personal opinions are ruining MY ENJOYMENT OF MATCHES! Thank dear God for Sunday Night Showdown, so I can mute that troll and actually enjoy a show.

The Triple H storyline made no sense. Trips becomes COO, and a few months later is kicked out by a vote of "no confidence." "Dangerous work environment?" Really? REALLY? Yeah, and when Vince was ordering the families of every face kidnapped in the Attitude Era, that wasn't an "unsafe working environment." But, wait! There's more! Triple H is still COO, yet a temporary GM can overrule him! Brilliant! That storyline self-destructed.

And, speaking of the Raw GM, never revealing the identity of the anonymous GM made no sense. Months of storyline ruined. With that said, John Laryngitis being on TV makes no sense! Um, who is this guy? What has he done to deserve being on TV? His voice sounds like two crows attempting to have sex in a mattress filled with razor blades!

Oh, it keeps going! Kane coming back with a "full head of hair" makes no sense. Nor does wearing burn makeup under his mask make sense. Oh! We're supposed to forget about the last 4 or 5 years right? That Kane never existed!

Okay. (takes deep breath) Let's flip the script a little bit. TNA always has several storylines going on at once. If you don't like one, I bet one of the other four will get your attention. THAT makes sense. The WWE seems to just focus on one or two story lines, and the rest is filler. The Treydawg of Wrestling News Live made me think of this, so the credit goes to him. He's right. (he's also pretty good at recommending a good brand of beer)

Eventually putting the belt on Robert Roode was a good move. Roode is a TNA man all the way, and I think the company showing faith in him makes sense.

TNA has a lot of problems, but they're still in business. They don't give up, and I respect that. Try in 2012 guys. Try to find SOMETHING about TNA you like. I find it hard to believe that there is NOTHING worth watching in TNA. It's keeping wrestlers employed, and at least giving us a second option. People will say TNA isn't a second option. Other than Ring Of Honor, name me one.

On the WWE front, this sudden push of young talent is awesome! 2011 will be known as the youth moment of WWE. Look at our champions! CM Punk as WWE champ, Daniel Bryan as World champ, Ryder as US champ, Cody Rhodes as IC champ, and Air Boom as tag champs. A further note on Rhodes. The other night when he won, he kissed the IC title. YOU GO BOY! Make that title mean something! Cody has grown on me so much, and I'm proud of the kid. I hope his dad is, too. "OH MY GOODNESS!"

This is what the WWE should have done a lot sooner. They seem to be moving away from Cena, and that makes sense. It's time for him to start putting people over.

The WWE seems to be embracing the IWC a bit more. Good. Recognize our power. I know the Twitter stuff is a little annoying, but hey! For years they denied the IWC's existance. Well, we ain't going nowhere.

Letting guys hold titles for longer than a breath mint makes sense. Henry had a pretty good title run. Rhodes is having a good run. And, Ziggler did an awesome job as US champ. I see big things for him.

Well, the wrestling part is done. I have some things planned next week, so I might take the week off from this column. I suspect after 1/2/2012, I'll have a LOT to write about.

I'd like to take a moment to thank some people. When Ty contacted me about writing a column for this site, I was flattered. As a man who loves to write, the opportunity was amazing to me. And, so far, this column has been well received.

I'd like to thank first, the Treydawg and JJ Sexay. If it weren't for Wrestling News Live and the SNS Radio Network, this could not have happened. You two have inspired me more in the last year more than I can say. Your friendship and support has meant a lot to me. You guys are the greatest.

I'd like to thank the Power Andy Knowles, a man I couldn't have more respect for. Andy and I share certain problems in this world, and all I will say is I look up to him as an inspiration and proof that one man can do anything.

The Sensation Sequel Sean has proven to be a trusted friend and a hell of a guy. One of the best ribbers on the network.

Crelly, who ultimately has allowed me onto his site and has trusted me, is a young man with determination and talent. Any awards for interviews this network gets will be largly in part to Crelly. He juggles school, work, this site and helping the network. Maybe some of these lazy young punks I see should take notice.

I'd like to thank Ty for originally contacting me about writing a column. Ty's faith and trust in me has been awesome.

And, lastly, to the family, Acer, Trent, Ashley, ZMG, Midnightman, Rodriguez, Maize, Koncept, Big Mike, AnthonyFarley and all the rest, there are too many of you to list, thanks for putting up with my stupidity in chat. Hey, it's my gimmick. Also, a huge thanks to the king of archive listeners, Huhn Jo, for keeping me on my toes. You're a HELL of a writer, and it's a pleasure to be featured on the same site as you.

Merry Christmas, Happy New Year, whatever you celebrate, have a good one. If I cannot put out a column next week, thanks again everyone, and I'll catch you in 2012.

(kisses own ring and raises it in salute)

Don_Bronx


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Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Drop That Attitude Mister

So, finally my cable company has fixed the Internet. Wonder if I'll get a refund. (laughs hysterically for 10 minutes)

Heels and babyfaces. The true wrestling fan knows the difference, but the lines are becoming blurred. In fact, the lines started becoming blurred when the fans decided to turn Stone Cold Steve Austin and the Rock face.

Yes, the fans turned them. It wasn't a creative decision. It was simply fan reaction. If you're a wrestling company, you cannot ignore the reactions of the fans. Oh, wrestling companies will tell you otherwise, but that's BS. If a guy is over, he's over, and there's no denying it. I was privileged to be at Madison Square Garden when Triple H returned after he injured his quad the first time. This was a guy who left as a vicious heel, yet the Garden exploded with cheers when he walked down the ramp. My ears still ring from that day. It makes you wonder what the real ratio is when it comes to "smarts" versus "marks". Even though Trips was a heel when he left, the cheers proved that the fans could look past that, and appreciated his work ethic and in-ring talent.

Triple H didn't change his persona that much either. Same sledge hammer, same badass Clique member. But, absence makes the heart grow fonder, and even though he was a villian, those fans at the Garden knew how good he was, and were glad to see him come back.

So, what differentiates a heel from a face? A heel cheats, lies, jumps guys in the parking lot and cuts promos designed to anger the fans. Simple. Babyfaces? Not so simple. What defines a babyface has changed drastically over the years. Compare the Hulk Hogan of the 80s to Steve Austin. Faces need to change with the times. In the 80s, guys like the Rock and Austin would have been heels. No one wanted to cheer for a beer drinking, foul mouthed redneck, or a wise cracking, rude, condescending ass like the Rock.

Enter the 90s. The world changed. People were pissed off about their jobs, politics, you name it. Everyone wanted to punch their boss in the face. When Stone Cold actually did it, the fans loved him. He was blue collar and bad ass. He did what we all would have liked to do.

The Rock wasn't loved because he was the all American prayers and vitamins guy. He was loved because he was cool. As a teenager, I thought this bad ass, wisecracking brother was awesome! Now, I have a sense that the times are-a-changin' again.

Look at the reaction Cena has been getting. The goody-two-shoes gimmick is wearing thin. His fans are growing up, and are getting tired of the smarmy babyface. In my opinion, Cena will have to change his character at some point. I'm not saying he has to turn heel, but the fans are proving that what he's doing isn't working anymore. On the flip side, I think eventually a guy like the Miz will go over huge as a babyface. Why? Because he's bad ass. The 5 year old Cena fans are turning into teenagers. Rebellious. Angry. For them, the goody goody Superman gimmick is getting old. It's the same reason guys like Sheamus are getting over big time. Sheamus goes to the ring and kicks your ass and leaves. He doesn't care about sportsmanship or shaking hands after the match. Arrive. Kick ass. Leave. Proven formula.

Just seeing the reaction that the Rock still gets VS Cena shows you, without a doubt, that the fans are becoming attitude era again. A smiling Daniel Bryan or Cena or Evan Bourne doesn't cut it. The gangsta era may be coming back. Babyfaces will have to be more edgy and, well, heelish to get over. That's a formula Cena can't pick up on. If I walk up to you on the street and spit in your face, your reaction is to beat my ass. Cena's reaction is to ask, "Why did you do that? Huh? That wasn't very nice." YAWN. IT'S NOT HOW A REAL PERSON ACTS!

Look at the nWo. It started off as the most hated group in wrestling, but, a year later, all you saw were nWo shirts in the audience! Hall, Nash, and Hogan got over. Yes, they were heels. But, cheering a cool heel and booing a Barney-like babyface CAN be the norm. Depending on the times.

And times, they are a-changing. People are broke. The economy is bad. We have to worry about terrorism and crime. We don't want to cheer guys like Cena. And, the kids that still cheer him are getting less and less. Why? Because they're growing up.

The Attitude Era came because the fans demanded it. The WWE couldn't ignore how much the nWo was getting over. If Vince hadn't flipped the script, the WWE might not be here now. I sense that time is coming again. But, when you tweak a guy's character, let the fan reaction be your guide. One of TNA's many problems is that THEY want to TELL you who to cheer and boo for. We've got God booked for this month? Well, let's turn him heel! What? Everyone on the planet loves God? IT DOESN'T MATTER! TURN HIM HEEL! Satan signed a deal too? TURN HIM FACE! LET'S SWERVE THE FANS!

Um, no. Let the fans' reaction swerve the COMPANY. Put a guy out there, give him the mic, and see what kind of reaction he gets! Then, give the fans what they want. Now, I'm not just blaming TNA here. WWE is doing EXACTLY the same thing with John Cena. They're ignoring the fact that a smug, snot nosed egomaniac like Punk is getting cheered a thousand times more than Cena. Punk is being pushed because the fans are pushing him. At least the WWE is doing the right thing and putting him over.

In the end, I think the line between heels and faces needs to be blurred. And, the line dividing the two, as always, needs to be set by the fans. As a kid, I always cheered for the heels. Then again, I was a very disturbed child. Could you guess?

So, cheer for who you want to cheer and boo who you want to boo, by God. Don't let the companies sway your decision. Don't be a puppet. If you like Mark Henry, cheer him. If you hate Orton, boo him. You're spending the money, and have a right to like who you like and hate who you hate.

Well, that's it for this week. Thank goodness my Internet has stayed on for as long as it...(CONNECTION TIMED OUT)

Don_Bronx

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Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Over Staying Your Welcome

This one might catch heat, but have I ever cared? I need to get this off my chest.

(starts playing Real American) The other day, Hulk Hogan, in his infinite wisdom, Tweeted the following:

“Taping again in Orlando,Garrett seems to have found the magic,I only hope it rubs off on some of the other numb skulls. HH”

Really Hulk? Really? This kid whose been around for the length of a 20 cent cup of coffee, storyline-wise, has found his magic? Um, what about AJ Styles, Samoa Joe, Kaz and the rest of TNA? To make a comment like that is ridiculous. First off, why make it? What's the purpose? Perhaps it was a work. Hogan's rant about Robert Roode not being ready? Maybe that was a work too.

What does it matter? Why does ANYTHING Hogan says matter? His time is over. Been over for years. If it is a storyline, why bother? No one CARES what Hogan has to say. Everything he says does nothing but hurt TNA and its wrestlers. Hogan was brought to TNA to get the company over. The problem is, Hogan only cares about getting himself over. Oh, and of course Bischoff. Bosom buddies, life long pals!

Does anyone realize that the biggest time in Hogan's career was 20-3o years ago? Why does this man think that anything he says or does is relevant anymore? I'm tired of this over the hill wrestler constantly bogging down the business. I can't see two young stars wrestle in TNA, because we have to have a Hogan/Sting match. Who cares? This match was huge 20 years ago! Someone like Hogan should be doing nothing, NOTHING but putting over young talent on the mic. He should never set foot in a wrestling ring again. Wrestling fans have short memories. Hogan is going to be remembered as the old crippled guy who tried to wrestle, and the great things he did will be forgotten. Go away and shut up Hulk.

Ric Flair is, without a doubt, one of the top 5 talents in wrestling. Ever. He has had some of the best matches I have ever seen in my life. However, seeing him in the ring now is embarrasing. Flab and chest chops. Flair could be awesome, truly awesome in a managerial role. But, he should stay out of the damned ring! Ric can collect a paycheck just fine without lacing up a boot. He's not gold on the mic, he's diamond, and can get a broomstick over. That's exactly what he should be doing. I don't want to see him wrestle anymore. If I want to see Ric Flair wrestle, I'll load up my videos of Flair/Steamboat. Stick to the mic Ric.

Over the last few years, Undertaker has put on some phenomenal Wrestlemania matches. Taker is in my top ten. To get that gimmick over and keep it over for so long is amazing. 20 is a nice round number. I'd love to see Taker go 20-0 and then retire. Taker is a guy who is smart with his money, and I'm sure he's well off. He's given of himself more than anyone in the ring and the lockerroom, but it's not fair that this man not be able to walk someday. After 20, Taker should ride that Harley into the sunset.

In my opinion, Sting made a huge mistake not going to the WWE. Sting is one of the greatest. He was key to the success of WCW, and also the nWo. Sting has played the hero for so long, that he'll always be one of the beloved characters in the business.

He'll also have missed a huge opportunity. The WWE deserves Sting, and Sting deserves the WWE. Young fans who are not familiar with the Sting character would love it. And us older Sting fans will get to see some classics. Sting VS Taker. Sting VS Cena. Sting VS anyone! And, in the end when the Stinger is ready to retire, we're talking hall of fame, DVD sets, you name it! There's still time Sting! It's the right move.

Rey Mysterio is, in my opinion, the best little man in history. At 5' 6", it's laughable to think he could have ever became a wrestler. But Rey could get in there with the Hulk and cause trouble. As far back as WCW, you believed little Rey could beat anyone. You got behind the little guy who had no fear. Rey definitely belongs in the hall of fame.

But I fear for Rey. He's had so many knee surgeries that it's scary. Rey needs to retire. Not because the fans don't want to see him anymore. Not even because he can't still wrestle. But, there is no reason to cripple yourself for your fans or the business. Rey's a legend already. I want him to stay a healthy legend.

Please understand. Other than Hogan I'm not making fun of these guys in anyway. I just want to preserve their legacies. There's nothing more for them to do. The way Nash is being used is how it should be done. He's not wrestling too much, and the WWE isn't dedicating an over abundance of time to his storyline with HHH. It's limited, and older fans like myself can't wait to see the two best friends murder each other. But, HHH and Nash aren't being shoved down our throats. It's a side story, and this is what older wrestlers should be doing. Side stories and putting young talent over.

In closing, I want to completely change gears and address the people out there who crap on wrestling. The people who make fun of me for being a fan, and ask "How can you watch that ****?"

I am damn proud of Vince McMahon for one thing. Whether it's just to get the company over, or because Vince really cares, Vince honors our troops every year. I think it's the latter, and Vince is a true patriot. No one else, not the NFL, not the NBA actually flies into enemy territory every year, to either put on a show or just to mark out some young soldiers. No one dedicates a whole event just to them. That's why I'm a proud wrestling fan.

Whether you like him or not, John Cena has brought smiles to the faces of dying children, flying all over the country to visit with them, play a little Xbox, just do something to make their last days a little brighter. That's why I'm a wrestling fan.

And, when I make friends from God knows how many countries because of a few radio shows, that makes me proud to be a wrestling fan.

So, to all those who laugh at me, take a break from the ring this week and kiss my ass instead.

Don_Bronx

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