Leturgey Musings and Goings On

These are some of my writings...from events going on in the Keystone State Wrestling Alliance and elsewhere, to observations from the rest of my decidely unformulaic life.

Saturday, March 31, 2007

One Last Wrestlemania Thought: A Hall of Fame Let-Down

One Last Wrestlemania Thought: A Hall of Fame Let-Down

by Tom Leturgey

We’re finally here, Wrestlemania weekend: the Super Bowl of the sports entertainment industry. I’m glad that Wrestlemania has become a tent-pole for the wrestling industry. This year we’ve returned a little of the glamour, the gusto if you will, to the stage. The faux Donald-slaps-Vince video has been circulating just in time for the Battle of the Billionaires and I love it.
Vince McMahon has actually done a good job volunteering to get pushed and slapped by The Donald. Trump has only looked desperately out of his element, not disastrously away from the golden tower of fleeting respectability.
The card itself is pedestrian. Shawn Michaels, the self-appointed Show-Stopper, finally super-kicked John Cena. Undertaker and Batista have briefly turned heel on each other, and Umaga assured McMahon’s Sunday night loss by destroying Bobby Lashley last Monday. And did I mention that Sandman is on a Wrestlemania card?
Critics are blasting the Kane v. Great Khali feud, but super heavyweights have become a staple of Wrestlemania.
I eagerly await the Hall-of-Fame inductions every year. That event has become a must-see for me, especially around the time of its apex two years ago when the guy I mention in practically every column was inducted.
This year I was more than happy to see my other 1980’s idol, The American Dream Dusty Rhodes was being inducted. The Curt Henning follow up was another no-brainer. The “That’s Perfect” vignette of Henning heaving a football 60 yards into his own waiting arms was enough to cement his enshrinement. Bockwinkle, Lawler and the Wild Samoans were all equally deserving. Mr. Fuji was a little bit of a surprise, but once his biography was unveiled, you realized he was more than just a run-of-the-mill stereotypical cartoon.
It was leaked weeks ago that the Original Sheik was going in as well. I have no recollection of him whatsoever, but have read that he was influential and the event is being held in his hometown, so nothing there was surprising.
The induction Jim Ross was also fitting as if Lawler was going in, why we would wait any longer for his Monday evening partner? As a broadcaster myself, I could feel for the teary J.R. who rose to accept a well-deserved, glorious ovation from the crowd.
There was an omission; however, as there weren’t any women included in this year’s class.
Last year Sensational Sherri Martel was inducted. With her enshrinement I figured that WWE was going to do the right thing and include an occasional woman. Perhaps I’m the only one who’s pushing this envelope, but where’s Wendi Richter?
The only thing I can guess is that the McMahon machine will push Wendi’s induction for two years, the 25th anniversary of the original Wrestlemania. Do we know yet if it will be at Madison Square Garden again, the ONLY venue it should be held?
There are reasons why Wendi wasn’t in this year’s class. I had forgotten about the story of the late Curt Henning asking Wendi out, and her turning him down flat. Legend tells the tale that Henning then told everyone that Wendi more enjoyed the company of other ladies. Who knows and who cares? That might be enough why she won’t be at the podium this year.
Then there’s the original WWE Screw Job. Wrestling historians who consider 1994 ancient grappling olden times will immediately think of the Michaels/Bret Hart/Vinnie Mac Montreal finish in which a quick-count ended Hart’s last WWF run. In fact, Vinnie allegedly orchestrated a similar conclusion to a match in 1985 when the Fabulous Moolah, as a masked Spider Lady, rolled Richter up for a lighting quick pin and a return to the WWF Ladies Championship.
Perhaps that bridge has not yet been mended.
Fact of the matter is, most of the current-day WWE Divas owe their spot to the likes of Wendi Richter, who at the time was a beautiful fitness model-type who was more than a valet, or grizzled Moolah-type veteran. She was given the ball around at the same time as Hulk Hogan, and along with her temporary manager Cyndi Lauper, was at least acknowledged in the mainstream.
Will WWE induct Miss Elizabeth into the Hall of Fame? She too redefined the role of a female manager/valet. Her untimely death, like Henning’s also in 2003, was clouded in a drug-riddled mystery. So Elizabeth Hulette’s induction can’t be off-limits because of narcotics. It would be rude and tacky to include her at the same time as her ex-husband Macho Man Randy Savage when McMahon finally decides to finalize that deal. The couple had what appeared to be a stable union, but in that last WCW run, it was clear that there was plenty of pain and agony between them.
The Hall of Fame crowd two years from now should be interesting. Remembering that first card should be that class’s key, but most of those big names, with the exception of Mr. T, are already in the Hall (and if Pete Rose is in, it would be an insult to not include Clubber Lang). It would be a shame if Richter wasn’t announced for that class.
Consider the campaign for Richter to be in the 2007 Class to be “ON.”

Why Doesn’t Jerry Reed Get More Love?

While driving home today I was sick of hearing a repeat of Jimmy Norton’s constant homoeroticism from the Opie and Anthony show that was live earlier in the day, so I switched around the ole’ XM dial.
There are 170 channels on XM and similar to its television counterpart, there’s never anything on. My home computer eight pre-sets are difficult to fill, largely because as I described in a previous blog, I am a music snob.
Somewhere in between 70’s on 7 and an adult contemporary channel that plays listenable tunes in between Whitney Houston rabble, I saw “Jerry Reed, East Bound and Down,” so I punched it in.
Now I’m not a Jerry Reed aficionado, I only know the hits and I usually punch him in when I see his name on the XM Roadie or the unit I have in the house. I am never disappointed. I can’t imagine anyone having more fun in the studio with their rockabilly ways than Jerry Reed Hubbard, who just a few weeks ago celebrated his 70th birthday.
Fans and critics alike hark nostalgic for guys like Johnny Cash and Willie Nelson, but no one, from Big and Rich to Cowboy Troy make mention of “Snowman” from the Smokey and the Bandit franchise. I like Johnny Cash more and more, and Willie Nelson has even grown on me, despite his ultra-liberal leanings. Only Sheryl Crow has dropped a few rungs on my personal “Q” chart because of her coddled/entitlement mentality.
Perhaps “When You’re Hot, You’re Hot,” is too gimmicky, as it was circa the Ray Stevens “dark period” of American music. There’s no doubt that at one time Jerry Reed could party the Three 6 Mafia trio under the table. Jerry Reed is a Man’s Man.
My friend and Ying to my Popular Culture Yang, Drew, one of the nation’s top Country music personalities this side of Lorianne Crook, calls Jerry one of the world’s best Country guitarists. I don’t know that much about Jerry’s assorted talents, but I certainly like the music around him.
A quick resume search shows that Jerry continues to put out new music, including “Let’s Get It On” from 2006. According to another website, Jerry started plucking a guitar professionally in 1955, but has disregarded much of his early work, probably because according to the promotional pictures of that time, he was always in a button-up suit.
Maybe Jerry got mixed up with other similar talent. He was a regular on the Glen Campbell Show in 1969. Campbell is another guy who rarely gets a shout-out at any Country Music Award show, not even ones that Kanye West invades for not giving him a medallion.
There’s also a chance that some people confuse Reed with cousin-marrying Jerry Lee Lewis, who knows? I know I used to get Reed mixed up with actor and Juliette’s fathers, Geoffrey Lewis. Why? It's due to the fact that both men played second-fiddle buddy roles in every other movie during the 1970’s.
Reed’s discology of hits doesn’t resonate with today’s youth, or many radio station music directors for that matter. Amos Moses and other selected biggies from his catalog can be heard on XM, and I’m afraid, few other places. Although, hoodlums everywhere enjoy Amos as part of the Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas soundtrack.
Uncle Kracker rolled out Dobie Gray to help with his cover of “Drift Away.” I want to see Kid Rock do the right thing and shadow Jerry Reed on Lord, Mr. Ford, or better yet, “She Got the Gold Mine, I Got The Shaft.” [Editor’s note: We realize that the last joke would be better served if Kid Rock’s ex-wife Pamela Anderson had performed that last song with her other ex-husband Tommy Shaw, but then again she has.]
Jerry Reed has chased fishing show hosts who returned his trophy catch back to the waters, and tried to cripple Adam Sandler’s character in the biopic “The Waterboy.” He’s one of the most entertaining guys of the past 50 years.
Love Jerry Reed you idiots, I think that’s Jimmy Norton hiding in the bushes.


Sunday, March 25, 2007

Surprises Stun Megastars At KSWA “Anarchy”

by Trapper Tom, Ring Announcer

KSWA’s annual “Anarchy: A Night of Deception” lived up to its name with dramatic turns of events with Commissioner Biker Al, “The Future” Shane Starr and Zero, among others.
The event started with KSWA Owner Bobby O and Ring Announcer Trapper Tom in the ring. Bobby thanked the kids who filled the KSWA Arena last month and the duo talked about the ruckus that ensued during the Trapper’s Den interview segment. That brought out Biker Al, who blasted both men for the disturbance. Al said that he now has a new bodyguard: the Blood Beast. The former Camp Blood Counselor was once under the tutelage of Bobby O, but now was squiring Biker Al.
With Trapper cautiously backing off, Biker Al and the Blood Beast got into Bobby’s face. Blood Beast then grabbed Bobby by the neck and choke slammed him into the mat. Biker Al and Blood Beast then signed a contract which officially adds Beast to the roster.
Latin Assassin hit the ring to make sure no more damage was done to Bobby O. Biker Al then verbally ran the former Commissioner down, and challenged him to a Handicapped Match. Latin agreed.
Trapper and referees Jimmy James and Diamond Dave Diamond then helped Bobby to the back.

Biker Al and Blood Beast v. Latin Assassin in a Handicapped Match

Anarchy officially got underway with Biker Al and Blood Beast returning to the ring to take on Latin Assassin. All three men were introduced, then Zero’s music hit. Everyone seemed confused until Zero grabbed the microphone and declared that he wanted to “earn” Latin Assassin’s respect and he could do that by being his tag team partner. Latin Assassin asked the crowd for their input and the Krazies agreed to accept the offer, which he did.
All four combatants hammered one another. Biker Al and Zero fell to the outside. Blood Beast went on the offense against Latin Assassin.
The two exchanged offensive moves and near pin falls. Biker Al poked Latin in the eye and choked him in the ropes. All four men had periods in which they rallied some significant offense.
Somewhere along the line, Latin Assassin went to tag his partner, and Zero promptly jumped off the apron. He wandered at ringside while Biker Al and Blood Beast double teamed Latin and landed not one, but two choke slams. They got the win.
Post Match: Zero took the microphone and said he basically saved Latin from more punishment. Zero suggested that Latin should never have come back from his spinal injury and that he should quickly hang up the wrestling boots to avoid a wheelchair-bound future.
Dr. Devastation Lou Martin made a run-in to make sure that no further damage was done to Latin by Biker and Beast.

The King Del Douglas v. La Lucha

“The King” Del Douglas came to the ring and once again demanded that the Krazies not refer to him as “Burger King,” “Dairy Queen” or shout “Have It Your Way” in his direction. They didn’t listen.
La Lucha hit the ring to the usual Krazy pandemonium. The match started with La Lucha quickly slapping Douglas in the caboose, which delighted the packed house. Del, embarrassed by La Lucha’s superior quickness and ability to “get under his skin,” took a powder to the outside of the ring.
When he returned, Douglas hit La Lucha with a cheap shot. Del took over with offense, highlighted by chops and punches to the Mayor of Mexico City. After a drop kick and elbow drop, Douglas nearly got a pinfall. Douglas was dominant until La Lucha was able to regroup. The former KSWA World Heavyweight Champion rallied for three near pinfalls on Douglas.
The Krazies went berserk for La Lucha’s successful offense. La Lucha was dominant until Douglas landed a low blow. The second cheap shot lead to a belly to belly suplex for the win.
Post Match: Del put a couple of boots into La Lucha before antagonizing the crowd. La Lucha recovered and showed his appreciation for the fans before retuning to the locker room.

Shawn Blanchard Interview

“The Enforcer” Shawn Blanchard, along with his advisor Frank Durso, were welcomed to the ring. Blanchard brought out “The Future” Shane Starr who is no longer a Lost Boy, but a resident of Newark, New Jersey. Starr said he wasn’t interested in the overwhelming success of his former tag team partner, Kris Kash, but instead he wanted to know where his applause was from the fans.
Starr announced that he couldn’t wait until the main event, when he could beat on Kash.

Mr. 8x10 Michael Cruz v. “Snake Man” Deven Michaels

After both men were introduced, Mr. 8x10 Michael Cruz stalled for several minutes on the outside of the ring. Once inside the two locked into a collar and elbow tie up. The two longtime ring stalwarts exchanged technical moves until Mr. 8x10 once again bailed to the outside.
Cruz tried to slow the match down considerably until Snake Man scooped him up for a bodyslam. Michaels followed that up with a hip toss and arm drag. Snake Man definitely had the momentum until Cruz hit him with a jawbreaker.
Cruz then went on the offensive with a leg drop and bulldog. Cruz applied his patented face-first bulldog, but Michaels slowed the move down by grabbing a ring rope. He was able to kick up at two.
The opponents soon found themselves outside the ring. After a few short moments, they were back inside, with Cruz raking the eyes and fighting off a bulldog. Cruz continued with some questionable tactics and the two fell outside the ring. Snake Man beat the 10-count by one second before rolling back out. Cruz hit him with a DDT on the outside but was not able to beat the 10-count back in. Referee Jimmy James declared the match a Double Count Out.
Post Match: Cruz argued with James, thinking he beat the 10-count. Michaels scared Cruz off by tossing his snake Delilah into the ring.

Trapper’s Den with Biker Al

After a brief Intermission, it was time for Trapper’s Den. Commissioner Biker Al asked for the time and came out to address some things. After some small talk, which included the previous night’s Johnstown, PA “Thunder in the Valley” beauty contest in which Biker Al was a special guest judge, the Commissioner reiterated that he wasn’t happy about the goings on at last month’s event. So he has a solution.
Biker Al called out Frank Durso, Joe Perri and Bobby O to the ring to join him and Trapper Tom. Al said he was creating a Captain’s Tournament that consisted of four three-man teams. Al teamed Durso with KSWA Heavyweight Champion Shawn Blanchard, Perri with Big Mike Malachi, Bobby with Double-A Anthony Alexander, and Trapper with the Golden Triangle Champion Justin Sane. However, he then threw a curve ball by insisting that Trapper’s third team member be the King Del Douglas, Bobby’s stable mate to be the former Drunken Luchadore Joey Quervo, and Durso’s third member be Dr. Devastation Lou Martin. Only Perri was saved an internal conflict as his last member was Ali Kaida.
Biker Al said the Tournament would be on March 5 at “Mayhem at the Moose.”
All four men were left in the ring, only Perri completely happy with his teammates.

Dr. Devastation Lou Martin v. Big Mike Malachi

Martin and Malachi tested the waters with one another at the outset of the match. They went for a collar-and-elbow tie-up then Malachi challenged Martin to a test of strength. The Belfast, Ireland resident tricked the North Side resident with devious tactics and then took advantage of the fallen KSWA Megastar.
Malachi laid in some heavy power moves and crippling pressure moves in the early going. A woozy Martin was then subjected to an impressive and powerful drop kick by the near-300 Malachi. The drop kick sent Martin flying across the ring.
Perri choked the fallen Martin as the referee was distracted by Malachi.
A belly-to-belly suplex led to a near pinfall. Martin was able to regroup and land some offense of his own.
Martin hit boots to the forehead and a knee in the corner before landing a cheap shot of his own. Martin leveled an interfering Perri, and then landed a top-rope bulldog onto Malachi. Malachi, one of the KSWA’s most decorated Megastars, was able to kick up at two. Perri interfered, Malachi suplexed Lou. A big boot knocked Martin to the mat. More offense was traded when Perri decided to get involved again.
Perri held Martin in the ring ropes and Malachi went for a clothesline. Martin got out of the way and Perri was hit with the maneuver. Malachi turned into a boot in the stomach and the Death Certificate.
Martin gets the one, two and three for the victory.
Post Match: Malachi throws water on Martin as he angrily returns to the locker room.

Ali Kaida challenges Justin Sane for the Golden Triangle Championship

Ali Kaida came to the ring and demanded everyone stand for the Afghanistan National Anthem. The anthem was barely audible over the chants of “USA, USA.” Towards the end of the anthem, Justin Sane’s entrance music hit and the fans went krazy.
The two slugged it out in the center of the ring. Justin took control of the early offense. After a bodysplash in the corner, Kaida kicked up at two.
Knowing he was in for a battle, the Afghani Assault Weapon landed a cheap shot on the four-time Golden Triangle Champion.
Next, Ali Kaida worked on Sane’s lower back with a back breaker, knees to the back, and a double ax handle smash.
Kaida, who has been dropping weight in recent months, still has incredible power. When he suplexed Justin, the ring moved. Kaida continued the punishment by ultimately applying his patented Camel Clutch. Justin was close enough to the ropes to get his foot up and the hold was broken.
After some more offense, Justin was able to rally for some of his own. He had Ali Kaida reeling when Justin climbed the top rope for his Electric Shock frog splash. However, Justin slipped and came crashing down in a heap. Immediately it was obvious that Justin had seriously injured his left leg. Kaida, the crafty veteran, took full advantage of the situation.
Justin fought off the attack and ultimately got some momentum of his own. He once again went for Electric Shock, this time, with one bad wheel, nearly across the entire ring. He landed the move and got the win.
Post Match: Justin hobbled back to the locker room with assistance from the referees.

The Main Event: Shawn Blanchard and Shane Starr v. Anthony Alexander and Kris Kash

Blanchard and Starr were introduced first. Starr unveiled his new wrestling attire as “The Future” of the KSWA. Kash was met with thunderous ovations, but even that was dwarfed by the welcome provided to Alexander.
After all four men where introduced, the competitors went at each other in the middle of the ring. Starr and Blanchard got the worst of the initial encounter and were thrown to the outside.
Double A gorilla-pressed Kash and tossed him onto the tag team on the outside. The krazies went wild. After a few moments of excitement, Double-A started one-on-one with Starr. Kash was quickly tagged in and he unloaded on Starr. A splash in the corner was followed by a swinging drop kick. Starr was able to regroup and collapsed his former partner with a massive clothesline.
The tag was made to Blanchard and he landed his patented spinebuster. Double-A made the save from the almost-certain three count. Blanchard and Starr double teamed Kash as Alexander was held back by the referee.
The team of Blanchard and Starr maintained control of the match for several moments. Blanchard applied the Figure Four leglock on Kash but he was somehow able to reverse the move and force a break.
Alexander and Starr were simultaneously tagged in. Alexander shrugged off Starr’s punches. Alexander levels Starr with punches of his own. After a few moments of offense, Kash was tagged in. Kash had some initial success, but Starr kicked his opponent in the knee. He applied the Starrshooter, but Kash was able to get to the ropes and force a break in the hold.
Blanchard came in and laid some offense. Kash was up at two.
Alexander was tagged in and Blanchard tried to beg off. Alexander landed some punches and a big boot. Starr broke up the pinfall. With Blanchard and Alexander fighting on the outside, Starr clotheslined Kash and rolled him up. With a firm grasp of the pants, Starr pinned Kash for the victory.
Post Match: Alexander consoled a dejected Kash as Starr and Blanchard laughed their way to the locker room.
Mayhem at the Moose is Saturday, May 5. Bell-time is 7:30 p.m.