john cena while you lay there hopefully as uncomfortable as you possibly can be, i want you to listen to me. i want you to digest this because before i leave in three weeks with your wwe championship, i have a lot of things i want to get off my chest.
i don’t hate you, john. i don’t even dislike you. i like you. i like a hell of a lot more than i like most people in the back. i hate this idea that you’re the best. because you’re not. i’m the best. i’m the best in the world. there’s one thing you’re better at than i am. and that’s kissing vince mcmahon’s ass. you’re as good as kissing vince’s ass as hulk hogan was. i don’t know if you’re as good as duane though. he’s a pretty good ass kisser. always was and still is.
oops, i’m breaking the fourth wall. i am the best wrestler in the world. i’ve been the best ever since day one when i walked into this company and i’ve been vilified and hated since that day because paul heyman saw something in me that no one wanted toed a my. that’s right i’m a paul heyman guy. who know who else was a paul heyman guy? brock lesnar. he slip. and i’m splitting. but the difference is i’m going to leave with the wwe championship.
i’ve grabbed so much of vincent k. mcmahon’s imaginary brass rings that it just dawned on me that they’re just that, they’re completely imaginary. the only thing that’s real is me. and the fact for almost day in and day out i’ve proved to everybody in the world that i’m this best on this microphone in that ring even at commentary, nobody can touch me. and yet, nobody how many times i prove it, i’m not on your lovely little collector cups. i’m not on the cover on the program. i’m barely promoted. i don’t get to be in movies. i’m certainly not on any crappy show on the u.s.a. network. i’m not on the poster of wrestlemania. i’m not on the signature that’s produced at the start of the show. i’m not on conan o’brien or jimmy fallon but i should be.
this isn’t sour grapes but the fact that duane is at wrestlemania and i’m not makes me sick! oh, hey, let me get something straight. those who are cheering me right now, you are just the biggest part of me leaving as anything else because you’re the ones that buy those collector cups, you’re the ones that buy those programs and then at 5:00 in the morning, you try to shove it in my face so you can get an autograph and sell it on ebay because you’re too lazy to go get a real job.
i’m leaving with the wwe championship on july 17th and, who knows? maybe i’ll go defend it in new japan pro wrestling. maybe i’ll go back to ring of honor. hey, cole cabana, how are you doing? that’s the reason i’m leaving because after i leave you’re going to keep coming. i’m just a spoke on the wheel. i understand that.
vince mcmahon is going to make money despite himself. he’s a millionaire who should be a billionaire. you know why he’s a billionaire because he surrounds himself with nonsense yes men like john laronistis. i would like to think that this company would be better after vince mcmahon’s dead. but the fact is it’s going to be taken over by his idiotic daughter and his dufus son. let me tell you something about vince mcmahon. can we do this whole bully
– No Audio! —
—Imagine a world in which professional wrestling dynasties carry the same weight as royal families. Such is the standard operating procedure of Metalocalypse co-creator Tommy Blacha’s new Adult Swim cartoon Mongo Wrestling Alliance.
Mongo follows Rusty Kleberkuh, an all-American wrestler on the manic quest to become the world’s finest grappler. But Rusty has his work cut out for him — luchadores, secret CIA projects, and lawsuits from evil wrestling attorneys threaten to waylay Rusty from his mission.
Blacha’s best known for his work on Metalocalypse (he voices Dethklok members Murderface and Toki Wartooth), but he cut his teeth writing for the WWF. According to his Wikipedia page, he “participated in what was voted Monday Night Raw’s worst moment, which was the delivery of Mae Young’s hand baby.” Blacha spoke with io9 about writing a cartoon in which theatricality is tantamount to being.
Both Metalocalypse and Mongo Wrestling Alliance feature groups of large, not entirely intelligent men bumbling through fascinating situations. Why is that?
Maybe I find myself a large, not too intelligent guy who’s always finding myself in those situations — that’s what I aspire to. Part of it is that I find an appeal in metal and wrestling. It’s that grandiose, self-indulgent, larger-than-life, almost-bordering-on-corny-at-times entertainment that I like, that entertainment that’s looked down up. There’s something in my personality that gravitates towards things people are poo-pooing.
What I like about both shows is that they give their respective arts a form of grand dignity. In Metalocalypse, heavy metal is the biggest cultural force on the planet. In Mongo, insane wrestling dynasties are a casually accepted facet of the world.
I worked for wrestling, and then I came to Los Angeles and worked on a sitcom. I’d be in constant battles over people being like, “Oh, you worked in wrestling.” And I’d be like, “Oh yeah, you work on this third-rate sitcom! That’s fucking light years above it.” I wear it as a badge of honor.
What I also like about these characters is that they’re stupid like a fox, if that makes any sense. There are cats I’ve known from wrestling and metal who are really like — God, how do I put this, I don’t want to say something stupid — like humble, fucking bring-your-lunch-pail kind of guys, and at the end of the day, they’ll see the entire world on their own terms. They’re these larger-than-life characters who have made no concessions and through sheer force of will have — in my mind — made themselves heroic. These guys have seen the world like only world leaders have [...] When I worked at WWF, our shows were syndicated in 120 countries. That’s fucking ridiculous! Anyway, it’s really natural for me to gravitate towards this.
Did you put any of your experiences working for WWF in Mongo?
Oh yeah. In Mongo, sometimes we’ll talk about the depravity of the pro wrestler — they’re not exactly regular human beings. There was an episode where Rusty tries to quit wrestling and realizes this. You’re wired up differently. Rusty — a decent all-American guy — is on a quest to be the greatest wrestler in the world. He’s trying to get to the top in such a vicious business.
When you get to know some of these legendary wrestlers behind-the-scenes, you’d be surprised to find that it can be even crazier. Think of all the decadent, self-indulgent stories you hear about rock-and-roll stars, and then apply that to wrestling. It’s the same, but with 70 pounds of muscle added on. Which it makes it even more insane.
Do you remember the show Hulk Hogan’s Rock ‘n’ Wrestling?
I certainly do!
I loved that show due to the conceit that WWF wrestlers spend every waking hour together like some deranged superhero team. Mongo‘s the same way. Is pro wrestling really like this? Would you say wrestlers eventually just become their ring personas?
It’s a case-by-case basis. Some guys are no different, some guys become the guy. Some guys maintain a huge difference to stay sane. But then again, Ric Flair is Ric Flair. When you create a wrestling persona, one of the things they say is it should be you at ten volumes.
Would you consider yourself a wrestling historian?
I aspire to be. I love the inception of wrestling, how it has over a hundred-year history, it’s very specifically American. It deserves a bigger place in history. There’s a book out recently about Gorgeous George, and it makes the claim that he invented pop culture. It’s a pretty good argument — when you think about television in this country, wrestling was one of the first things to capture a TV audience. It was easily televised, cheap to air, and the characters were huge. Gorgeous George was one of the biggest stars in the world — he was a huge TV star with this sense of ironic humor. I don’t know if he’s gotten his iconic due.
And how’s work on Metalocalypse going?
We’re halfway through Season 4. There’s no airdate yet. Who knows, the world just might end. Death and brutality!
A new episode of Mongo Wrestling Alliance airs tonight at 12:15 AM on Adult Swim. Image credits: Adult Swim.
The Undertaker, the seven-time World Champion and the WWE’s Last Outlaw, has become one of the most beloved WWE Superstars in history.
I know what you’re thinking. You’re probably asking yourself, “Rize is an Undertaker fan?” “Isn’t this the same guy that worships the likes of John Morrison and the high flying genre?” “How could he possibly be a fan of the Last Outlaw?”
Excuse my nostalgia as I would like to take you back to a special moment for yours truly. It’s 1996, like any normal kid at the time, I found myself glued to my TV screen, as I pale guy with a zombie like demeanor made his way towards a wrestling ring.
There isn’t a grave to keep this fan away. (personal)
As I observed, my older sibling rebelled in the guy’s appearance (mark out), I was instantly amazed by this Superstar, but it would soon be overcome with another emotion.
FEAR (the one emotion synonymous with the enigma known as Undertaker)
The theme that echoed the sound of a bell signifying a departure of this life didn’t help my state of mind. Who (or whatever) this man was, he exposed my fear like no movie featuring Jason Voorhees or Michael Myers ever could.
This was the first time I’d ever witnessed Undertaker (and pro wrestling for that matter).
The Undertaker’s profound effect on me lead to me avoiding WWF programming and finding WCW as a worthy alternative. Picking up Sting, DDP, and Booker-T as favorites along the way, I chimed in on WWF RAW at least three times.
Funny thing is, each time, I’d find myself staring at my TV screen, enamored by the one and only, Undertaker.
Some occurrences would be the infamous crucifying of Stone Cold Steve Austin to the kidnapping of Stephanie McMahon. When World Championship Wrestling folded in 2001, I viewed my first WWF pay-per-view in WrestleMania 17.
To my surprise, the satanic, sinister, undead being known as Undertaker had undergone a character change.
In a highly contested match with Triple H, I observed the new Undertaker. He seemed taller, his skin was normal and his attire seemed as if he’d been apart of a biker gang.
In the months that succeeded WrestleMania 17, I’d become accustom to Undertaker and his superiority over most of the WWF Superstars.
This type of Superstar only comes once in a lifetime.
Undertaker is the first form of professional wrestling to ever cycle my train of thought. Despite my obsession with others, Undertaker will always be a favorite amongst yours truly.
Undertaker is an all-around great superstar/human being.
Unlike his colleagues from the 90s, Undertaker has stood the true test of time. The Deadman has remained in the WWE (WWF) since his debut in 1990. Over 20 years of the strenuous life of WWE Superstar hasn’t pushed Undertaker to the edge of retirement just yet.
In the process, maintaining his reputation as a loyal WWE Superstar. Numerous Superstars have come and gone since 1990(Kurt Angle, Jeff Hardy, Chris Jericho, The Rock, Austin) while Undertaker has never left the WWE since his run began.
I think Triple H said it best. “16 years ago, I walked into that locker room for the first time. It was filled with Legends and future icons of this business. I saw one guy that stood head and shoulders above everybody else. One guy that I could clearly see was the glue that held this all together. I watched that guy do things that no human being should be able to do. I watched him duck tape a flack jacket to himself because he broken every rib and still was going to the ring that night. I watched him wrestle with broken bones, torn ligaments, and I watched him crush one entire side of his face and wrestle the next night.”
“He did it not because he was told to or because he had to because that’s who he was. I learned that if I should pattern myself after anybody in this business, it should be that guy. He represented everything that the WWE was and should be.”
Can YOU adapt?
Despite having a number of attributes, Undertaker is famous for his ability to adapt. The Last Outlaw debuted as a power house that was glorified for his speed and renowned striking ability. At his size, it’s not walk in the park to obtain as a great in ring technician.
But the sight of a 300-pound man diving over the top ropes onto Batista can change the thinking of any fan.
Besides this, Undertaker has added elements of MMA and submission wrestling to his arsenal. With the inclusion of the Hell’s Gate, Undertaker has seemingly cheated age by discontinuing the use of the choke slam and Last Ride.
Simply put, Undertaker can tell a story in the ring like no one (besides HBK) can.
The ultimate sign of respect, dedicated to the world of pro wrestling.
The one and only!
If not anything featured in this article, every pro wrestling fan must respect Undertaker for kayfabe. In case you missed my point, Undertaker possesses the greatest gimmick in the history of professional wrestling.
Undertaker has never broken kayfabe. Despite the potential to make millions of dollars through promotional or other potential business deals. Instead, Undertaker decided to retain his character and refrain from opportunities of financial gain.
For this, Undertaker will always have my utmost respect.
Eulogy: A fan’s final goodbye
I apologize if you were expecting more, but this is a one of a kind tribute to Undertaker. Now that his time in the squared circle is coming to an end, I found it appropriate to commemorate the career of the Deadman with this article.
Looking ahead to the future, I realize that Undertaker has one more match left in him. WrestleMania 28 will truly be epic. The night the Deadman cemented his status as arguably the greatest wrestler of all time.
In closing, I must its going to be extremely difficult to watch the WWE knowing you’ll never witness Undertaker destroy another opponent.
So it shall end, as it began.
With the irreplaceable ringing of the bell tolling the end of a life (career), but ain’t no grave can hold his body down.
The front man for the eighties’ Minneapolis-based hardcore band Hüsker Dü, Bob Mould made meaningful, noisy music out of a very punk spirit of “despair meets resignation.” The band ended in 1987, and Mould went on to have more success with Sugar in the early nineties, and remains on the festival circuit today. More recently he’s also become a D.J. who throws an itinerant party called Blowoff that appeals to unabashedly manly gay men — bears. He’s just released a memoir, called See a Little Light, which he wrote with journalist Michael Azerrad (Little, Brown Co., $24.99). In addition to being a detailed document of punk going mainstream, the book is an unsparing self-examination. Carl Swanson spoke with Mould for a New York Magazine feature, but here is the largely unedited transcript of their wide-ranging conversation.
You’ve always been so protective of your privacy. And yet you’re here writing about your ex-boyfriends, drug use, being molested, your parents — everything.
It’s a liberating feeling.
I think so, yeah.
You even go back and explain how you think what happened to you in life was reflected in your music. A lot of musicians won’t do that.
Yeah. Songs are sort of ethereal. You can sit down and try to write a song, and sometimes it’s good and sometimes it’s not, and a lot of times the inspiration hits you when you least expect it, and you’re not really sure, in the moment, what provokes it. It’s sort of a strange concept. But going back, you can sort of see what the meanings were, what the situations were. A lot of them are composites; it’s not always, “this is what happened from when I woke up at breakfast to when I left the house in a huff.” It’s not that simple. Copper Blue is a very optimistic record. You know, things were good in my personal life; professionally, I had sort of taken the reins back from a confusing situation with Virgin and outside management. So that was sort of empowering, which I guess is happy.
You also have this sort of diary, a journal of where you are artistically and what you were feeling at that time. Was that helpful in writing the book? Did you go back and listen to the whole catalogue?
No, I know the songs pretty well [laughs]. I was loath to get into specific meanings of songs. They pressed really hard for me to do that.
Michael Azerrad or the publisher, Little, Brown?
Both Brown and Azerrad. He was just like, “You can’t write a book and not deconstruct some of the songs.” But I was loath to do it because why should my literal meaning of a song — why describe it to people? It takes away. When people hear songs, it’s a visceral moment. When you hear things like that, they resonate, and get into your molecular structure, and become part of who you are, and make you think different ways. For me to go back, several years later, and tell somebody, “This song was about firing my whole team because we lost a kickball” — you know? To them, that’s their wedding song, and it’s like, all of sudden I think the greater picture is showing people what my life was like at the time, because that’s more the overall feeling of who I am and what I do and whether those things intersect. I mean, I’m pretty self aware. There are spots in the book that speak to one of my idiosyncrasies: worrying myself to death with what people must think.
It’s like you feel a certain sense of responsibility to the fans.
Well I’m a huge fan of music, and I know what it means to people, and I know what it means to me, and I project what music means to me onto others, through my own work, and I come up with these scenarios, like when Hüsker Dü went from SST to Warner Bros., and I was so worried about what people would think about it. I write this incredibly abrasive song that has to be the opening, so people don’t get the wrong idea that we lead with a pop song. Writing a whole apology letter to rock and roll, that speaks so clearly to my
Yeah. It’s a terrible idiosyncrasy, hard to get rid of. And you know that comes from — well, it’s all set up in the book. I’m not sure where everyone gets their hyper-vigilance. To me it’s very clear.
You mean with your family being so abusive?
That just seemed like the norm. And I knew nothing different. I saw it in other families around me, and that just what it was: Men drink and have frustrations and take it out on their spouses and that’s just how the world works. And you learn that, and when I got to 25, I got to cut off. It’s a battle. That’s what life is about. It’s a battle to try to get to the next place, and leave behind the parts that don’t work.
There’s a great sense of that self-knowledge in the book. You don’t have that mooning over your past career. You could be that person. It’s good that you’re not.
I’m very quick to toot my own horn; I’m also equally as quick to recognize unrealized projects, or things that didn’t go as well as I thought they would. If you don’t get wrapped up in your own bullshit, you can see where you sort of slipped, and why you slipped.
It’s a very pragmatic perspective. What did you listen to growing up?
I had such a rich knowledge of music, and it was those jukebox singles — I still have half of them. When in doubt, I could just put something on and it’ll put me back on track. If you can get all the jukebox singles from the sixties and have them as your foundation for music, it’s pretty damn strong. The melodies and range, and harmonies — the idea of singing along with records and being able to harmonize. I’ve taken that over the course of my career of being able to harmonize really well with people on the spot, just improvising. Melody’s important. It’s good to have a song that people whistle as they walk down the street. It resonates.
The Hüsker Dü song “Everything Falls Apart” always pops into my head.
It was really one of the early songs of that sort of despair-meets-resignation, with a really catchy melody.
And the voice down low in the mix.
It makes the music seem louder!
Have you stopped burying the words?
It depends on the song. Now that I’m older, the music isn’t quite as frenetic as it used to be, and I want the stories to be more out front. Also, as I’ve gotten more comfortable with my voice. You know, I never really liked my voice, so it’s nice to bury it a little as well. But now that I have a little more control over the words and I’m more comfortable with my actual voice, I push it up a little more. It depends on the actual song. If I want the message to be clear, then the vocals will go pretty far up. If it’s punk rock, then the vocals will go back. That’s the aesthetic.
How did you and Azerrad work on this book together?
We’d Skype. We had the voice on, no video, and the chat window open. We’d just copy parts back and forth. I’d have a manuscript, a couple of other windows open. I’d have, like, four windows open, and I’d just copy and paste. I’d be able to have mine, then put his revisions, and then revise. He was telling me, when he’s worked on books before and he’s the editor, a lot of times, people will write side-by-side towards the end, in the editing process.
What else did he push you on?
The personal stuff. Sometimes I would mention a story and he would connect the dots, and just suggest that I take a harder look about what I just said, and suggest I spend some time with it.
It’s a very literal, as-it-happened type of feeling.
I’m trying to tell the story in the moment. I think it’s the story at the end of the Hüsker run when I was in England, and [former Hüsker bassist] Greg Norton shows up with this contract, and he was probably very benign and just showed up, but I was so out of my mind, so the perception was that he was this crazy person who had worked with this lawyer to extract a bunch of money from me. To me, it was like this AHH. I’m just trying to show people how out of my head I was. It’s not flattering to me. [Laughs]
It’s not. It’s very self-critical. You don’t always tell people how you’re feeling.
To me, sort of how it worked with Hüsker Dü, it was such a natural fit, for the most part, ‘til the end. There was nothing that needed to be said; we just went about our business, and I thought, “So that’s how we do with musicians.” With sugar, I got very specific about how I wanted things to do, and it was successful. I got beat up a little being for being a control freak.
You stopped drinking at 25, you write to avoid becoming your abusive alcoholic father. Was it also your being a control freak?
In a business that encouraged bad behavior— and it worked to the benefit of the record companies to keep the artists in that state of mind; they don’t want anybody stopping and thinking about things — it’s like suspended adolescence that goes on indefinitely, until all of a sudden you don’t have a career and you’re thrust into the adult world with no skill set. It’s frightening, and a lot of people get depressed and kill themselves. Did you see The Wrestler? A great movie that tied it all together. It resonated with me on a lot of different levels. The main character was sort of over-the-hill and lost his way and didn’t have anything else he could do. And there’s one part in the movie where’s working at the deli counter in a Safeway and he got so frustrated and people would come up and say, “Weren’t you that guy?” And he wanted attention just like the wrestlers do, he just stuck his hand in the meat grinder and started bleeding. He cannot even cope with the fact that he is not a celebrity anymore, but in a moment of panic or doubt he reverts back to mutilating himself, because that’s what he did his whole life.
Speaking of which, I loved the part where you go to work for WCW professional wrestling.
I tried to write a book inside a book. When you get all the way to it, it’s just one or two little mentions, and then you hit that part and it’s like “rockstar gay and all” and then just boom, I reset and start talking about when I was a kid again and this other life that was really important to me and nobody really asked me about before.
When you think about it, pro-wrestling is pretty gay, isn’t it?
It’s homoerotic. And I think they know it, and they don’t want to acknowledge it too much.
They’re tapping into something that is an outlet for a lot of men. Which isn’t to say all men are gay.
Up until about five years ago, they catered to all sectors. They tried to get teenage kids, because they’re looking for superheroes, really impressionable, looking for good versus evil. But now, in the last five years, pro-wrestling exposed that it was choreographed, just a show. So now you’ve got Ultimate Fighting Champion, where the old wrestling fans from 18 to 55 went to that, because it’s the same thing, but it’s real.
That’s homoerotic. It’s just not as silly. It’s upsetting, but it’s more real.
Guys just push themselves to the limits every day of their lives. It’s a crazy world. I couldn’t believe I got the call to come in and help.
Were you coming to relate to the crowd? Were you coming it to that perspective?
I was just so overwhelmed of sitting in the War Room, with these guys I grew up watching on TV, and shaping this product that five million people watch every week. I came in with the utmost respect for the business, a knowledge of the business — as a fan, I understood the mechanics of it. With 20 years of travel, I was able to keep up with the pace. A lot of people can’t. They saw that right away, and they were, “You can run with us, you can run fast, let’s go!” I also brought good grammar, good punctuation, good handwriting.
In terms of the story stuff you brought —
A lot of it was trying to keep continuity. They brought in a couple writers from New York who were ADD, who were so scattered that they couldn’t remember what they’d done from week to week. We’d write the stories on Wednesday and Thursday at the meetings, and I would say, “We did this two weeks ago.” Or there would be things that were sort of homophobic or racist, and I would say, “Do you really want to have the Mexican guy hit the Japanese guy over the head with a tequila bottle?” And somebody would be like, “Are you calling me a racist?” And I’d say, “No, but the idea is a little funny.” I became the naysayer with a certain group, and with another group, they were counting on me to be the naysayer. It was a little crazy.
When I went to see professional wrestling once at Madison Square Garden, all the stories and characters and back stories — it seemed like a form of soap opera for men.
It’s like Shakespeare, the 16 stories. You stole my wife, you stole my belt, you ruined my car, you ruined my life. You have to position people in a certain way and if you’re gonna tell the story over a long course of time, you have to somehow screw this guy until the very end, when good finally triumphs. You have to drag people through that story, and pace it. And that is becoming a lost art form. It’s become now these guys who do a 14-minute soliloquy to set up all these stories, and they think they’re Hollywood guys. It’s not like some of the eccentric characters who go out there and improvise off of three bullet points, which is what it should be. There should never be someone writing lines for guys to go out and say. That’s not the essence of it. It was a crazy time. I was fortunate to have my time there and see how it worked and make some big decision and got caught up in a lot of politics and walked away.
Did your steroids use end when you left?
I was still doing stuff — some OTC stuff, to keep you strong and big. Not like Annadrol, that’s sort of a hardcore steroid. I wasn’t using a lot. I can’t do them any more. My testosterone levels are too high naturally. Last time I asked a doctor about the possibility, and he said there’s absolutely no way. There’s breast cancer in your family history, your testosterone levels are already too high. You cannot do them. I was like, “Ok.”
You seem like a solidly built guy.
The last five pounds would be nice to lose, but I can’t shake it.
But you seem like to actually eat.
Food is important. I eat six times a day. I eat all day. I work out every day. I don’t do cardio or any of that, I just go and lift. The steroids are a big part of the gay culture, that’s for sure. A lot of the drugs I put into my system eventually put into my system became part of the gay culture; like speed became this Big Gay Drug. It sort of came out of the SoCal gym culture, and then became part of the gay, body-specific ideal.
You seem almost invisible to gay culture.
The beauty of invisibility is that you gain a much wider palette for observation. If nobody’s looking at you, you can look at everything. Then there are times where you’re the focal point, so there are all these different perspectives that I sort of walked through. With sexuality and identification — in the book I explain my ignorance of gay culture. I’m an uncomfortable spokesperson because I blurt, and I’m not always politically correct. And the gay community, more so than other communities, are very quick to reparse your thoughts, and if a couple words come out askew, they will tear you apart, so I don’t step up much. Also, I didn’t embrace the more flamboyant side of gay culture — the effeminate, the drag, the transgender — since I didn’t identify or understand it, when I would see the conservative media in the 80s covering ACT UP, who were doing all the heavy lifting. I just didn’t appreciate it at the time. They weren’t lifting for me, they were lifting for people with AIDS, and I just didn’t get it. That is one of my two enormous laments about my sexuality. The other is, if I’d be out in ‘86, what things would be like.
And yet, in 1994, you came out in Spin, but that didn’t go well. You seem to have regretted it.
I didn’t feel like it was contextualized. I was like, “For hanging out all that time, you took that one and ran with it.” Now I laugh about it. I mean, it was good for business, it made for a memorable moment.
Are you worried about how your estranged Hüsker Dü bandmates will feel about the book? You’re not always easy on Grant Hart, the drummer.
No. Nothing I can do about that. I think I was pretty fair.
Even the people you don’t like, you say, “This is what’s good about this person.” There’s nothing particularly score settling.
I worked out a lot of the anger before the copy edit. When I got to the bottom of it, I think I’m at a pretty even spot with it. Grant’s story was “I quit the band, Bob’s a tyrant, fuck this whole thing, I was held back.” And I was reading that and I was thinking, “That’s not my story.” But I will wait, and I will focus on my music, and I will let this go. But it continued, and it continued, and it continued. And I was just surprised: Why am I all of a sudden a dartboard? I never publicly made my thoughts known about how the band wrapped up. It’s not my story to tell, so it was sort of frustrating that people would always come to me with pieces of information, ways to bury Grant. It should be so clear in the book what the deal is. For eight years of my life, that was my life. That’s all I cared about. I had a partner, and that was important too, but it always took the backseat to the band, and I was trying everything I could to make that work for everybody. If somebody’s going to call me a prick, it will be a self-fulfilling prophecy. If that’s the person you want, that’s the person you’ll get. You may be one of the only three people that feels that way about me, but if that’s the person you want, I will be that way for you. But Hüsker Dü was third on the list of things to worry about. The two things that weighed most heavily were my family and my long relationship with Kevin. I lost months of sleep over those two. With Kevin, it was very clear. I was very insecure in the relationship, there were things missing in the relationship that he needed.
Well, you did have several fairly long relationships.
My first relationship with Mike Covington was giddy. We were both in our twenties and it just blew up, and that was fine. With Kevin there was an incredible investment, on all sides. When it started to weave together professionally, then we became embedded in it. We were joined at the hip.
He probably thought he had to do that to be a part of your life
He was able, as well. It wasn’t like he was a traditional partner in the wings questioning the manager. He was right in their taking my thoughts and setting them properly. Walking away from Kevin, the reason why it was civil, is because I clearly still have a lot of feelings for him. The temptation to try to barter and hold on longer — I couldn’t even look back. [Laughs] The temptations always there to try to fix it again.
You seem to have a pretty good circle of friends today.
Yeah, we just hang out, we’re just regular guys, and we all just love music and good food. That’s what ties us together. It’s pretty amazing.
What about your family? Are your parents still alive?
Yeah. They live in central Florida. I got them settled in down there. They’ve been there for 15 years. They’re getting up there in age. Still alive, still together. That’s their life. That’s their dynamic, not mine. They’ve always been incredibly supportive, incredibly proud of my work. My mom is one of my biggest fans, and I think my dad is, too. Not only did he give me all that turmoil, but he gave me music. And now I see those fit together.
Do you think you are like him?
Yeah. We’re all like our parents in some way. A combination of both parents, sometimes more than the other. I’ve spoke to my dad about his father, and he told me things that happened in his life with his parents; different things that hit him, that spun around and they’re the same when they hit me. And you can’t put blame, and say, “I hate my parents for what they did.” No, they’re your parents. You love your parents and you take what you get, and you learn from them and you learn to let go of the parts that aren’t valid for you.
You said you were going to start going to the Catholic Church in D.C.
Yeah, I went back to church.
I couldn’t tell that much about your actual religious upbringing from the book, other thing whether or not you should go to parochial school.
I went on Wednesdays. It was an exchange program with the public school.
My religious background was semi-fundamentalist / protestant. Jesus was not on the cross. There was no blood.
There’s a lot of blood in the Catholic Church. It’s the principal. There’s community and giving and caring and the structure of these rules and guidelines, but the image is someone who suffered greatly. And when you get that as a child, that’s part of what you know and what you learn and you study it. You go to CCD and you get this fourth name and all these things—they give you the name and hit you on the head and you’re gone, and then you’re on your own with it, left with all that stuff you learn. And the abusive privilege that the Catholic Church is famous for, that violation of trust — that’s a complicated reveal. With religion, I get all that stuff in me, and in a moment of uncertainty, I go back and reexamine it and spend a number of years in the church trying to find a place to connect. I love it, it’s like the set list — it doesn’t change. You go in, they give you this, they give you that, they get to the sermon. It’s this ritual you learn, and it’s natural, and it’s comfortable. And again, those three levels of the church, and why I’ve stepped back from it again, is because the top level is so nonsensical and nonhuman right now. They haven’t accepted the fact that they’ve lost control of imagery. For centuries, they were the curators of art and culture and progress. They controlled that you had to go to them to see those images and hear those stories, and they then lost control of that over the last 100 years to Hollywood and now the Internet. They haven’t adapted with modern times. The previous pope, yes, because he was so of the people, but the new one is so [smacks his hands] he’s just trying to protect these archaic ideas and protect what’s left of the riches.
And the way they handled the abuse — and you have your own story
I brought that in at the moment of discovery, as opposed to the beginning which would have made me a victim for the whole book. The thing of the church is that, on the top, you have the people who are trying to protect the real estate, and in the middle you have the people who actually have to maintain it on a day-to-day basis, and built a constituency to support it, and then underneath, you have the believers, who go there because they care and they’re wonderful people. And the fact that society now beats up people on the bottom because of the abuse at the top — it’s frustrating to me, as a cafeteria catholic.
You had the description early on about forcing people to understand something
your attitude to being onstage has changed.
We were provocative. It wasn’t scorched earth as much as really trying to stay away from the more dogmatic parts of our movement, trying to stay away from the blind politics and moving more towards the personal. So many people jumped in on that “fuck the government, fuck Reagan” — and rightfully so — but as we moved beyond that rudimentary anarchistic idea, the bigger story becomes what do you do in your community, what do you do in your relationships, what do you do in your life?
Article source: http://nymag.com/daily/entertainment/2011/06/bob_mould.html
Former Borehamwood school student wins pro-wrestling title and sets sights on WWE
11:43am Thursday 23rd June 2011
A FORMER Hertswood School student has been recognised as one of Britian’s rising talents in the theatrical world of professional wrestling.
Chris Gladden, 24, of Stretton Way, was crowned the Academy Champion of one of the country’s top promotions, LDN Wrestling, at an event in Chingford on Sunday.
The high flying performer, who goes by the stage name Chris St Clair, said it was an emotional moment.
Chris, who works as a television editing assistant, said: “I picked up a really bad injury when I was 17, which tore the ligaments in my knee, and was told by the doctors to never wrestle again.”
However, the 24-year-old was determined to compete in the “sports entertainment” industry and after a six-year hiatus started to retrain.
He added: “It was quite over-whelming, after having such a long time out, to finally get that recognition from the promotion and other wrestlers – it was quite emotional.”
Performing in front of more than 100 people, Chris was supported by friends and family on the day.
Asked what his peers think of his interest, he said: “They’ve all been very supportive. Even the people who don’t like wrestling have come to watch the shows and been impressed by the physical
Chris, who performs as a good guy, known in the business as a “face”, has also learned to love the theatrical side of the entertainment.
The Borehamwood resident, who trains in the gym five times a week, said: “When I first started it was all about the physical side, but when you get out there and you get the crowd going it is
“Some wrestlers can get the audience eating out of the palm of their hands and spend more time performing than they do wrestling.”
Explaining his attraction to pro-wrestling, the 5ft 7in tall wrestler said: “The buzz of being in the ring, especially when the whole crowd is cheering or when you hit a big move and they go wild,
you can’t beat it.”
Having won the championship on Sunday, Chris is now setting his sights high on climbing the ranks of the wrestling scene.
He said his dream would be to perform in the United States, with a company such as World Wrestling Entertainment, but first he wants to build a reputation for himself in Britain.
Chris, whose favourite performer is legendary American wrestler Ric Flair, has been training at LDN Wrestling’s academy in Totteridge for the past year-and-a-half. He is due to sign a contract with
the company to become a regular performer.
For more information on Chris’ upcoming shows, visit www.ldnwrestling.com.
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This week, Pro Wrestling Illustrated contributing writer Brady Hicks, plus DJ and Anthony Sarlo, are joined IN THE ROOM by a very special guest: former WWE and ECW star AL SNOW! Take it all in as the former WWE star (and current TNA agent) plugs his upcoming Mondo Wrestling A Go Go show at the Danny Davis Arena in Louisville, Kentucky, 6/24 and 6/25. Plus, check out Al’s thoughts on WWE and TNA renaming their product, what wrestling needs to be big once again, and how the developmental system could be and should be fixed. A must listen for fans of any wrestling promotion! Check it out at thebradyhicks.com.
For a direct link to the show click here.
How TNA is Positioned For the Future:
I can tell you this … I have been impressed with just how hard everybody seems to work there. It’s just impressive. From the talent down, everybody really busts their hump and really puts in the time and the effort and the passion when it comes to those TV shows and pay-per-views … Sitting in those meetings, nobody ever says “Let’s just do this.” Everything is agonized over. Every single person works really hard, I couldn’t single one out.
On WWE and Impact Wrestling’s Recent Name Changes:
WWE taking it out? I don’t care. They can call it whatever they want. They can call it farming. At the end of the day, it’s professional wrestling. That’s what they’re selling. Tell me one completely brand new thing that is now fake that is different or unique from TNA, from Mexico, from All Japan Pro Wrestling, from New Japan Pro Wrestling, wherever.
The Difference Between Setting Up Independent Shows and Doing Similar Work for TNA:
How is [anything] different than TNA? Not really. Different perspectives or ideas, different talent, and that’s a BIG thing … Wrestling as a whole is and should always be entertainment. The reclassification that it’s no longer wrestling and that it’s entertainment is really just an attempt to say they reinvented the wheel and made something different. But I was there for 13, 14 years … and when the pyro stops, the music ended, and the bell rings, I’m really curious about what is done different in the one place than in the other.
Why Wrestling Has Become Less Popular:
Everybody has played other sports growing up. You connect to it. That’s why hockey has got a bigger following in Canada, more people have played it. That’s why soccer is more popular in the rest of the world, everybody has played it. That’s why it’s going to continue to grow in the US, more kids play it. That’s why more men like sports than women. What happens with wrestling is that people are attracted to the characters and to the personalities. The only thing that has changed between 1911 and 2011 is that the crowd has gotten more sophisticated.
On His Mondo Wrestling A Go Go Show:
It’s an adult circus, that’s the best way to describe it. It’s a combination of burlesque, aerial acts, circus acts, fire dancers … drag queens, drag KINGS – the lesbian equivalent of women that dress up as men – …, got a guy who has a fire whip … very intriguing, and then wrestling matches, the way I can best describe it is very old-ECW-like where the referees are just there to count the fall.
All that, plus Al Snow compares wrestling to the UFC, his thoughts on Tough Enough (and compared to The Ultimate Fighter), Brock Lesnar, the future of Impact Wrestling as it continues to grow, and recreating territories.
Also on the site: Brady’s thoughts on Austin Aries on Impact, and Ratboy’s undefeated prediction streak continues with WWE Capitol Punishment. Weekly Show Schedule:
Monday – Wrasslin’ Roundup with The Wrestling Press’ Matt Roberts
Tuesday – IN THE ROOM
Wednesday – Minding The Business with “Dr. Wrestling” Rich Jones
Thursday – VOC Wrestling Nation (formerly 1Wrestling Radio)
Friday – What’s Wrong With Wrestling with Harry Barnett
Saturday – Completely Damaged TV
Saturday – Saturday Night Akbaz with Mr. Akbaz
Sunday – WrestleDope Radio LIVE
Sunday – Carny Knowledge with Matt “Doink” Borne
Thanks for supporting the IN THE ROOM podcast on thebradyhicks.com. To leave a message for the show, you can e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call (206) 337-1031. And while you’re at the site, be sure to check out great interviews with AJ Styles (8/9/10), Kurt Angle (10/8/10), Sunny (3/21/11), Don West (12/13/10), Serena Deeb (11/8/10), Madison Rayne (6/8/10), and Kevin Thorn (10/25/10).
Brady Hicks has been writing about wrestling for more than 15 years, for Web sites, newspapers, and magazines. He is a contributing writer for Pro Wrestling Illustrated and is also the host of his acclaimed weekly podcast – IN THE ROOM.
Our Nobel prize-winning former vice president has a must-read 7000-word essay in Rolling Stone, “Climate of Denial: Can science and the truth withstand the merchants of poison?”
Gore discusses climate science and the link to recent record-smashing extreme weather events, of course. And he makes clear the stakes are too high to become disillusioned by our flawed political system, “What hangs in the balance is the future of civilization as we know it.”
What I will focus on here are his blistering critique of Obama, his even tougher take on the media, and the “five basic ways” individuals can make a difference. Let’s start with the president:
President Obama has thus far failed to use the bully pulpit to make the case for bold action on climate change. After successfully passing his green stimulus package, he did nothing to defend it when Congress decimated its funding. After the House passed cap and trade, he did little to make passage in the Senate a priority. Senate advocates — including one Republican — felt abandoned when the president made concessions to oil and coal companies without asking for anything in return. He has also called for a massive expansion of oil drilling in the United States….
During the final years of the Bush-Cheney administration, the rest of the world was waiting for a new president who would aggressively tackle the climate crisis — and when it became clear that there would be no real change from the Bush era, the agenda at Copenhagen changed from “How do we complete this historic breakthrough?” to “How can we paper over this embarrassing disappointment?”
… Yet without presidential leadership that focuses intensely on making the public aware of the reality we face, nothing will change. The real power of any president, as Richard Neustadt wrote, is “the power to persuade.” Yet President Obama has never presented to the American people the magnitude of the climate crisis. He has simply not made the case for action. He has not defended the science against the ongoing, withering and dishonest attacks. Nor has he provided a presidential venue for the scientific community — including our own National Academy — to bring the reality of the science before the public.
No argument here (see The failed presidency of Barack Obama, Part 2). Gore continues:
Here is the core of it: we are destroying the climate balance that is essential to the survival of our civilization. This is not a distant or abstract threat; it is happening now. The United States is the only nation that can rally a global effort to save our future. And the president is the only person who can rally the United States…
The truth is this: What we are doing is functionally insane. If we do not change this pattern, we will condemn our children and all future generations to struggle with ecological curses for several millennia to come.
Predictably, the media has jumped on Gore’s criticism of Obama.
ABC News Politics has run the AP story with its headline, “Gore Faults Obama on Global Warming.” The lede: “Former Vice President Al Gore is going where few environmentalists — and fellow Democrats — have gone before: criticizing President Barack Obama’s record on global warming.”
Memo to ABC News and the AP: Obama has been widely criticized by environmentalists.
But what is particularly absurd about this story is that it never mentions that Gore launches an even more blistering and detailed attack on the media! In fact, that’s how Gore’s essay begins — by comparing the mainstream media today to the referees of professional wrestling (!!):
The first time I remember hearing the question “is it real?” was when I went as a young boy to see a traveling show put on by “professional wrestlers” one summer evening in the gym of the Forks River Elementary School in Elmwood, Tennessee.
The evidence that it was real was palpable: “They’re really hurting each other! That’s real blood! Look a’there! They can’t fake that!” On the other hand, there was clearly a script (or in today’s language, a “narrative”), with good guys to cheer and bad guys to boo.
But the most unusual and in some ways most interesting character in these dramas was the referee: Whenever the bad guy committed a gross and obvious violation of the “rules” — such as they were — like using a metal folding chair to smack the good guy in the head, the referee always seemed to be preoccupied with one of the cornermen, or looking the other way. Yet whenever the good guy — after absorbing more abuse and unfairness than any reasonable person could tolerate — committed the slightest infraction, the referee was all over him. The answer to the question “Is it real?” seemed connected to the question of whether the referee was somehow confused about his role: Was he too an entertainer?
That is pretty much the role now being played by most of the news media in refereeing the current wrestling match over whether global warming is “real,” and whether it has any connection to the constant dumping of 90 million tons of heat-trapping emissions into the Earth’s thin shell of atmosphere every 24 hours.
Admittedly, the contest over global warming is a challenge for the referee because it’s a tag-team match, a real free-for-all. In one corner of the ring are Science and Reason. In the other corner: Poisonous Polluters and Right-wing Ideologues.
The referee — in this analogy, the news media — seems confused about whether he is in the news business or the entertainment business. Is he responsible for ensuring a fair match? Or is he part of the show, selling tickets and building the audience? The referee certainly seems distracted: by Donald Trump, Charlie Sheen, the latest reality show — the list of serial obsessions is too long to enumerate here.
Funny how the AP missed that part right up front in the piece. But that’s not even the half of it. Gore continues:
But whatever the cause, the referee appears not to notice that the Polluters and Ideologues are trampling all over the “rules” of democratic discourse. They are financing pseudoscientists whose job is to manufacture doubt about what is true and what is false; buying elected officials wholesale with bribes that the politicians themselves have made “legal” and can now be made in secret; spending hundreds of millions of dollars each year on misleading advertisements in the mass media; hiring four anti-climate lobbyists for every member of the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives. (Question: Would Michael Jordan have been a star if he was covered by four defensive players every step he took on the basketball court?)
This script, of course, is not entirely new: A half-century ago, when Science and Reason established the linkage between cigarettes and lung diseases, the tobacco industry hired actors, dressed them up as doctors, and paid them to look into television cameras and tell people that the linkage revealed in the Surgeon General’s Report was not real at all. The show went on for decades, with more Americans killed each year by cigarettes than all of the U.S. soldiers killed in all of World War II.
This time, the scientific consensus is even stronger. It has been endorsed by every National Academy of science of every major country on the planet, every major professional scientific society related to the study of global warming and 98 percent of climate scientists throughout the world. In the latest and most authoritative study by 3,000 of the very best scientific experts in the world, the evidence was judged “unequivocal.”
But wait! The good guys transgressed the rules of decorum, as evidenced in their private e-mails that were stolen and put on the Internet. The referee is all over it: Penalty! Go to your corner! And in their 3,000-page report, the scientists made some mistakes! Another penalty!
And if more of the audience is left confused about whether the climate crisis is real? Well, the show must go on. After all, it’s entertainment. There are tickets to be sold, eyeballs to glue to the screen.
It will be fascinating to see if the entire media simply chooses to ignore this devastating critique and focus just on Gore’s comments on Obama, which will, ironically enough, make Gore’s point that the media is interested only in the drama, not the substance.
I would add that the media doesn’t just mis-report the climate story, it under-reports the story of the century — see Silence of the Lambs: Media herd’s coverage of climate change “fell off the map” in 2010.
And Gore continues his evisceration of the media later in the piece:
Continuing on our current course would be suicidal for global civilization. But the key question is: How do we drive home that fact in a democratic society when questions of truth have been converted into questions of power? When the distinction between what is true and what is false is being attacked relentlessly, and when the referee in the contest between truth and falsehood has become an entertainer selling tickets to a phony wrestling match?
He then has a long discussion of how the media played into Bush’s hands in the run-up to the Iraq war, and then goes back to climate:
These vulnerabilities, rooted in our human nature, are being manipulated by the tag-team of Polluters and Ideologues who are trying to deceive us. And the referee — the news media — is once again distracted. As with the invasion of Iraq, some are hyperactive cheerleaders for the deception, while others are intimidated into complicity, timidity and silence by the astonishing vitriol heaped upon those who dare to present the best evidence in a professional manner. Just as TV networks who beat the drums of war prior to the Iraq invasion were rewarded with higher ratings, networks now seem reluctant to present the truth about the link between carbon pollution and global warming out of fear that conservative viewers will change the channel — and fear that they will receive a torrent of flame e-mails from deniers.
And this entire critique of the media occurs before Gore even mentions Obama. From my perspective, as I’ve said many times, the anti-science crowd and their disinformation campaign and associated think tanks, pundits, and right-wing media deserve about 60% of the blame for our inaction. The media, perhaps 30%. The “Think Small” centrists and lukewarmers who also helped shrink the political space in the debate deserve 5%.
So ‘only’ 5% of blame goes to Obama and his team (along with Senate Democrats, scientists, environmentalists, and progressives).
But of course, from a historical perspective — and, I suspect from the perspective of most progressives — there are two huge differences between Obama versus the disinformers, media, and centrist/lukewarmers. Obama is the President of the United States, a person who can single-handedly determine the agenda and the national debate. Second, those other people don’t know any better.
So it is perfectly reasonable to focus on Obama — but the media deserves far more blame, a point Gore is clearly making by opening the piece with his critique of the media and offering a far lengthier critique of them than Obama.
Finally, as always, Gore does offer positive suggestions:
All things are not equally true. It is time to face reality. We ignored reality in the marketplace and nearly destroyed the world economic system. We are likewise ignoring reality in the environment, and the consequences could be several orders of magnitude worse. Determining what is real can be a challenge in our culture, but in order to make wise choices in the presence of such grave risks, we must use common sense and the rule of reason in coming to an agreement on what is true.
So how can we make it happen? How can we as individuals make a difference? In five basic ways:
First, become a committed advocate for solving the crisis. You can start with something simple: Speak up whenever the subject of climate arises. When a friend or acquaintance expresses doubt that the crisis is real, or that it’s some sort of hoax, don’t let the opportunity pass to put down your personal marker. The civil rights revolution may have been driven by activists who put their lives on the line, but it was partly won by average Americans who began to challenge racist comments in everyday conversations.
Second, deepen your commitment by making consumer choices that reduce energy use and reduce your impact on the environment. The demand by individuals for change in the marketplace has already led many businesses to take truly significant steps to reduce their global-warming pollution. Some of the corporate changes are more symbolic than real — “green-washing,” as it’s called — but a surprising amount of real progress is taking place. Walmart, to pick one example, is moving aggressively to cut its carbon footprint by 20 million metric tons, in part by pressuring its suppliers to cut down on wasteful packaging and use lower-carbon transportation alternatives. Reward those companies that are providing leadership.
Third, join an organization committed to action on this issue. The Alliance for Climate Protection (climateprotect.org), which I chair, has grassroots action plans for the summer and fall that spell out lots of ways to fight effectively for the policy changes we need. We can also enable you to host a slide show in your community on solutions to the climate crisis — presented by one of the 4,000 volunteers we have trained. Invite your friends and neighbors to come and then enlist them to join the cause.
Fourth, contact your local newspapers and television stations when they put out claptrap on climate — and let them know you’re fed up with their stubborn and cowardly resistance to reporting the facts of this issue. One of the main reasons they are so wimpy and irresponsible about global warming is that they’re frightened of the reaction they get from the deniers when they report the science objectively. So let them know that deniers are not the only ones in town with game. Stay on them! Don’t let up! It’s true that some media outlets are getting instructions from their owners on this issue, and that others are influenced by big advertisers, but many of them are surprisingly responsive to a genuine outpouring of opinion from their viewers and readers. It is way past time for the ref to do his job.
Finally, and above all, don’t give up on the political system. Even though it is rigged by special interests, it is not so far gone that candidates and elected officials don’t have to pay attention to persistent, engaged and committed individuals. President Franklin Roosevelt once told civil rights leaders who were pressing him for change that he agreed with them about the need for greater equality for black Americans. Then, as the story goes, he added with a wry smile, “Now go out and make me do it.”
On that final point, Gore urges the people become single-issue voters, which I could not agree more with:
To make our elected leaders take action to solve the climate crisis, we must forcefully communicate the following message: “I care a lot about global warming; I am paying very careful attention to the way you vote and what you say about it; if you are on the wrong side, I am not only going to vote against you, I will work hard to defeat you — regardless of party. If you are on the right side, I will work hard to elect you.”
Why do you think President Obama and Congress changed their game on “don’t ask, don’t tell?” It happened because enough Americans delivered exactly that tough message to candidates who wanted their votes. When enough people care passionately enough to drive that message home on the climate crisis, politicians will look at their hole cards, and enough of them will change their game to make all the difference we need.
This is not naive; trust me on this. It may take more individual voters to beat the Polluters and Ideologues now than it once did — when special-interest money was less dominant. But when enough people speak this way to candidates, and convince them that they are dead serious about it, change will happen — both in Congress and in the White House. As the great abolitionist leader Frederick Douglass once observed, “Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did, and it never will.”
What is now at risk in the climate debate is nothing less than our ability to communicate with one another according to a protocol that binds all participants to seek reason and evaluate facts honestly. The ability to perceive reality is a prerequisite for self-governance. Wishful thinking and denial lead to dead ends. When it works, the democratic process helps clear the way toward reality, by exposing false argumentation to the best available evidence. That is why the Constitution affords such unique protection to freedom of the press and of speech.
The climate crisis, in reality, is a struggle for the soul of America. It is about whether or not we are still capable — given the ill health of our democracy and the current dominance of wealth over reason — of perceiving important and complex realities clearly enough to promote and protect the sustainable well-being of the many. What hangs in the balance is the future of civilization as we know it.
Former WWE ECW star and current TNA Wrestling agent was recently interviewed by Brady Hick, DJ, and Anthony Sarlo of Pro Wrestling Illustrated’s In the Room. Below are a few highlights of the interview:
How TNA is Positioned For the Future: I can tell you this … I have been impressed with just how hard everybody seems to work there. It’s just impressive. From the talent down, everybody really busts their hump and really puts in the time and the effort and the passion when it comes to those TV shows and pay-per-views … Sitting in those meetings, nobody ever says “Let’s just do this.” Everything is agonized over. Every single person works really hard, I couldn’t single one out.
On WWE and Impact Wrestling’s Recent Name Changes: WWE taking it out? I don’t care. They can call it whatever they want. They can call it farming. At the end of the day, it’s professional wrestling. That’s what they’re selling. Tell me one completely brand new thing that is now fake that is different or unique from TNA, from Mexico, from All Japan Pro Wrestling, from New Japan Pro Wrestling, wherever.
The Difference Between Setting Up Independent Shows and Doing Similar Work for TNA: How is [anything] different than TNA? Not really. Different perspectives or ideas, different talent, and that’s a BIG thing … Wrestling as a whole is and should always be entertainment. The reclassification that it’s no longer wrestling and that it’s entertainment is really just an attempt to say they reinvented the wheel and made something different. But I was there for 13, 14 years … and when the pyro stops, the music ended, and the bell rings, I’m really curious about what is done different in the one place than in the other.
Why Wrestling Has Become Less Popular: Everybody has played other sports growing up. You connect to it. That’s why hockey has got a bigger following in Canada, more people have played it. That’s why soccer is more popular in the rest of the world, everybody has played it. That’s why it’s going to continue to grow in the US, more kids play it. That’s why more men like sports than women. What happens with wrestling is that people are attracted to the characters and to the personalities. The only thing that has changed between 1911 and 2011 is that the crowd has gotten more sophisticated.
On His Mondo Wrestling A Go Go Show: It’s an adult circus, that’s the best way to describe it. It’s a combination of burlesque, aerial acts, circus acts, fire dancers … drag queens, drag KINGS – the lesbian equivalent of women that dress up as men – …, got a guy who has a fire whip … very intriguing, and then wrestling matches, the way I can best describe it is very old-ECW-like where the referees are just there to count the fall.
On Monday, WWE legend Shawn Michaels publicly commented on various aspects of his esteemed wrestling career including his relationship with Vince McMahon. Michaels acknowledged that he thought about jumping ship to WCW but was talked out of it. According to ProWrestling.net, Shawn Michaels made the following comments to Busted Open Radio:
”There were times when I was going through my very tough times, just let me go, just let me go. He would say ‘No, look you would be miserable, they wouldn’t do with you what needs to be done. They wouldn’t know what to do with you, and that fact that they put that kind of time in to me.’ That was really the end of it, that’s why I always sound like a company man.”
Michaels’ best friends Kevin Nash and Scott Hall jumped from WWE in 1996 to WCW and created one of the most popular wrestling storylines of all-time The NWO. Michaels stayed behind in the WWE and became one of the main stars in the company despite the infamous Kliq moment. The WWE showed their loyalty to Shawn even though he was struggling with personal and physical issues. Michaels would further tell Busted Open Radio his feelings about Vince McMahon:
“its genuine, and I know the real guy, the real guy has cared for me a great deal, and no one is more committed to this business then he is. It was easy to stay loyal. When it comes to the rubber meeting the road, he is gonna still be in the game.”
I agree with Michaels comments on Vince’s commitment to pro-wrestling. The man has shaped the sport for years to come. He’s become a powerful force within the entire entertainment industry. His product isn’t always unanimously liked but nobody can deny his commitment and success in pro-wrestling. Perhaps I should correct myself and say Vince’s commitment to “entertainment”.
On Monday night, WWE announced that Shawn Michaels will be hosting next week’s WWE RAW from Las Vegas, Nevada. Additionaly, Michaels has a hunting show that debuts on the Outdoor channel next Tuesday.
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Last night’s RAW produced a lot of shocking moments and created a lot of buzz around the pro wrestling community. The one moment that really caught a lot of wrestling fans off guard was when CM Punk announced that he was leaving the WWE after his contract expires on July 17th. If CM Punk does decide to leave the company then he will leave a huge void in not only the WWE, but in the entire pro wrestling industry.
CM Punk has been on fire in 2011 since joining the young heel stable, “The Nexus.” Punk began the year battling John Cena, and then went into a major feud with Randy Orton that went on from WrestleMania 27 to a classic last-man-standing match at Extreme Rules. He just finished a mini-feud with longtime rival Rey Mysterio.
Punk has been a mainstay on RAW since being brought back via WWE trade last year and he has been one of the key figureheads of the show, so to lose Punk would cripple the show because Punk has been having solid matches with the main eventers that the WWE has to offer.
The WWE has already lost several big name superstars over the past year now: Shawn Michaels, Batista and Edge. If the WWE cannot re-sign Punk, then it will leave a void in the main-event scene on RAW. The void will show up very quickly and it will make RAW less desirable to watch on a weekly basis for some fans.
I believe CM Punk is one of the top five biggest stars that the WWE has to offer right now. The man has done it all since arriving in the WWE back in 2006. Three-time World Heavyweight Champion, ECW Champion, World Tag Team Champion with Kofi Kingston in 2008, IC Champion and two-time Money In The Bank winner.
The accomplishments speak for themselves but the man has been in so many classic matches with big time guys like Undertaker, Cena, Mysterio, Jericho and Orton. Without Punk on the roster, the WWE will lack another big time superstar that can work with any guy and have a solid match.
So if CM Punk leaves the company, then the WWE is in trouble because Punk can put over anyone on the roster and Punk is one guy that can really get the WWE fans going as a top heel. The WWE needs to try and re-sign Punk because he is one of the best and without him, RAW just won’t be the same.
I haven’t heard anything about Punk’s future but I have to believe that he will be retiring from pro wrestling all together, so there is a chance that Punk could eventually work for TNA. If Punk does decide to go over to TNA then look out because he will bring over more fans to the young up-start company and can really put over the talent that TNA has to offer.
Overall the future for Punk is very cloudy, but no matter what Punk does, one thing is for certain, if Punk does decide to leave pro wrestling, then it will be a huge void left in the main-event scene for professional wrestling as a whole.