Friday, October 31, 2008

Moondogs

You know, at some point, there was an evolutionary change in the world.

Neanderthal man ( not to be confused with Dewey Robertson.. he wasn't a neanderthal, he was the Missing Link ) started walking upright, and became homo sapiens, became the human race as we now know it.Contrary to popular belief, not all of them did though, and no I'm not talking about the theory that modern man then ate his predecessor. Some of them evolved into an offshoot race of their own, seldom seen, but easy to spot... they became the Moondog race. This race went relatively unseen until the early seventies, when the great explorer, adventurer and philanthropist, Vincent McMahon Sr, unveiled them to the general public... not by putting them in a sideshow somewhere, but by booking them in matches for his WWWF.Since then, there have been few sightings of new Moondogs... but occasionally they do bubble to the surface of society. Strangely, this race of hairy miscreants are usually only spotted in or around wrestling rings, and mostly in areas of the American South.
Well, this is certainly what I was led to believe by professional wrestling, and hey, it seemed pretty believable to me ( bear in mind I did also believe that Lazor Tron was in fact from outer space ). Unfortunately, this theory also led me to receiving an "F", and cost me a college recommendation, when I mistakenly discussed it in an assignment for my high school science teacher. Once again wrestling had led me astray... It's strange how these things work out.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Monday, October 27, 2008

The Liquidator

The Liquidator is another wrestler from the "On The Mat" circuit of the early 80's. Who it was under the ill-fitting hood, I'm not sure. But after going out and wrestling with what looks to be an over-sized sock ( possibly knitted by his mom ) on his head, I'm not surprised he vanished into obscurity.

And the name... the Liquidator?? What, was he out there hoping to put South Pacific Championship Wrestling into receivership, so he could oversee the liquidation of their assets (because from what I remember of his ability, he certainly did his part in that regard) , or was he merely sensing the future, and thus decided to name himself (in advance) after a villain from the Darkwing Duck television show?? Stranger things have happened I guess.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Man Mountain Link


This was actually the first "On The Mat" I drew, taking the name of the strip from New Zealand's National Wrestling television program, which promoted from the mid 70's, through to the mid 80's. For its time, it was a very good show, offering good local action blended with some of the best matches from the USA. And what a wealth of talent... Andre the Giant, Magnificent Muraco, Abdullah the butcher, Ox Baker, Mark Lewin, Rick Martel, Steve Rickard, Harley Race, Ric Flair, Peter Maivia, The Mongols, Siva Afi, the Avenger, Killer Karl Krupp, Lu Leota, King Curtis, Tor Kamata, my favourite from the time Samoan joe ( who I just saw wrestling matches in the AWA in 1988... I wonder what became of him? ), and so many more.

But todays featured player in the cartoon, is Man Mountain Link, who aside from being a Southern Heavyweight champion in the early 80's, I know very little about. He toured NZ in 1983, offering the princely sum of $1000 to anyone who could slam him and feuding mainly with Zar and Gor, the Mongols.

Check him out in action from that period - here.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Friday, October 24, 2008

Thursday, October 23, 2008

The Avenger

Roberto Soto ( seen here with Mark Lewin ), known by his ring name Invader II, was a Puerto Rican professional wrestler best known as one half of The Invaders with Jose Gonzalez. Although competing primarily in the Puerto Rican-based World Wrestling Council with Gonzalez, Soto would also wrestle in International World Class Championship Wrestling and the National Wrestling Alliance during the 1980s.

He also, for a time, toured New Zealand. Again under a hood, but this time as the Avenger. Whilst there, many questions were asked of the identity of this masked man, and it was rumoured that he may have even been Rick Martel ( who had left a year or two before for greener pastures ) under the mask. Feuding with the masked Assassin ( or at least a version therein ), it all came to a head with a mask vs mask match. The match was built up on tv for weeks, but ended with no clear winner, and under rather controversial circumstances, when the referee also got involved. There was no return match, as Soto returned to Puerto Rico soon after.

In 1988, he was among those present when wrestler Buiser Brody was stabbed to death by Soto's tag team partner Jose Gonzalez while at a WWC event in San Juan, Puerto Rico and is said to have interpreted for the American wrestlers after police officers arrived on the scene.

Competing in Japan during the 1990s, he would later return to the WWC teaming with Invader III in a feud against Gonzalez. However, their alliance was short lived, and in his last big storyline with the company Soto eventually defeated Invader III in a mask vs. mask match at WWC Anniversary on August 1, 1998.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

The Only Honest Sport

A few months back, Dann Lennard asked me, and a bunch of other Wrestling-type people the same 4 questions about their involvement in the sport. Originally planned as a feature for his zine BP Jr, it easily outgrew that, and in fact became a zine on its own.
"The Only Honest Sport" arrived in my p.o box the other day and I was overwhelmed by the talent questioned in its pages. the line-up is like a who's who of Australian and world wrestling, including Necro Butcher, Shelly Martinez, Mason Childs, Aurora, Ed Lock, the fabulous sebastian, Stacey Cornette, Jason "Hellraiser" Helton, Graham "Fozzy" Young, Krackerjack, Vixsin, Sexxxy Eddie, TNT, Kyle Semenoff, Sara Jay, Rohan Herbstreit, and many others.
I'm not actually sure where the zine is available from, but you could do a lot worse than tracking yourself down a copy ( try dropping Dann an email at danhelen@idx.com.au for further information ). It certainly comes with my highest recommendation.
For those of you who cannot find one, I will reprint my answers here for you, my internet chums...

1. Why are you involved in wrestling? What motivates you to do what you do?


When I was younger, I seriously thought for a time about joining the circus. The thing that finally convinced me that it was a stupid idea, was when a friend said to me " J, even carny folk don't really WANT to be carny folk."
Someone once told me, that if you actually WANT to be involved in wrestling, you probably have mental health issues.
To quote Bobby the Brain Heenan -" its a business you can't explain to anyone. They have to be in it. If you try to tell someone what the business is like, they'll never understand. Just think if I said to you that you were going to be a wrestler:
"well, what will I have to do?"
"You'll have to go where I send you."
"Will I have any days off?"
" No,no."
"Will I make a lot of money?"
"Probably not... And we'll want you to take these sharp pieces of razor and stick it in your face whenever we tell you to. And you're going to have to go out to the people and incite riots."
"Will I get any hospitalisation?"
"None at all, none at all."
"Will I get a car to drive?"
"No you'll have to drive your own car, pay your own gas."
"What about hotel rooms?"
"No. Stick nine of you in a room, I don't care."
"GET ME THE JOB. I WANT TO DO THIS!!"

Why would ANYONE do that?? Why do I do that?? I'm still sticking with the mental health issues.


2. On a personal level, what's the best thing about the wrestling business? What's the worst thing?

There is a certain level of camaraderie at the shows. A camaraderie beyond what you'd expect from a bunch of people who, in many cases, have little in common. It's like you're a freemason or something, part of some worldwide secret fraternity.
And somehow, you have not only ended up knowing the secret handshake, in doing so, you have elevated yourself above normal work-a-day joes out walking the streets.
Of course this theory of high-falooting secret societies ( akin to the Skull and Bones, or the Illuminati ) falls apart slightly when any killjoy accurately points out that all this familiarity and common ground, far from beginning with academia or priviliged upbringings, really stems from our joint carny backgrounds... sigh.
The best thing, is the money... unfortunately, that is also probably the worst thing.


3. Who in wrestling inspires you (a fellow worker, promoter, trainer, commentator, etc) and why?

Thomas Edison once said that " Genius is one percent inspiration and ninety-nine percent perspiration ".
Thomas obviously never stepped foot in a wrestling locker room, because of the many I have been in, I would never call that smell anything at all genius-like or inspirational.

I'm always inspired by those guys that go that extra distance in ring. That always give 110% no matter what the crowd is like, no matter what the venue is like, no matter what their day has been like, and no matter what the pay-off is like.
I may be a snob, but I find that in life, the workers I am closest too, that I can really call a friend, tend to be these same guys.
But every worker that goes out there and performs, puts his or her body on the line nite after nite... no matter who they are, that always inspires me. Well, everyone except Great Khali... he's shit.
4. Give me a moment when you thought to yourself, "I am so glad I got involved with this sport."

I'll give you two. A personal and a professional.

Personal-
I was out with a girl, who had for some reason still alien to me now, had agreed to go out with me. She was not so much in a different league to me, as playing a different sport entirely. As such, there was some level of anticipation and dread as we walked towards the moderately priced restaurant we had chosen for dinner. Would it all go pear shaped, at what point would I spill my drink into my lap, and just how will the evening thru some strange twist of fate unknown to me yet ,become more akin to a Benny Hill sketch than a nite out with a gorgeous blonde personal trainer?
As we got nearer to the place, we both noticed that part of the street had been cordoned off, right before out destination. And true to fates strange sense of humour, a security guard came up and said " sorry, you can't go this way buddy." It dawned quickly on us both, that this meant we'd have to walk at least half a block in the other direction, to get maybe 3 doors from where we now stood, and this news was not sitting well with my erstwhile dinner companion.
At this point, the security guard piped up and said " Hey, you're that guy from the wrestling aren't you?", and i said " yeah i am".
"Look" he said, "come thru this way, just dont tell anyone okay?"
We walked thru and I felt slightly more important and contented with my place in the world... with this goddess who had somehow deemed me worthy of her attention for the evening. She looked at me, smiled sweetly and said " I'll bet you think you're well fucking famous now don't you?"... "yes i do" I said " yes i do."
Professional-
We were doing an opener for a show with MIW. "Mad Man" Manson was in town doing the show, and for the opening we thought it would be good if my broadcast partner, the fabulous sebastian and I came out posed, and unbeknownst to us, Manson would come behind us ( wrapped in his straight jacket and towering over the both of us ). As we hoped, the crowd reacted strongly... we preened, thinking the adulation was for us, only to then cower and scream like frightened girls as Manson screamed blood curdling screeches from right behind us. We ran in different directions around the ring to flee him, eventually running into each other keystone cop style as Manson rampaged thru the crowd and out the front door of the arena. It was a fairly entertaining opening for what I remember as a fairly flat show.
What I later heard tho, made this evening even more memorable.
In the hall next door to where we held the wrestling, they held AA meetings. So as these poor people, these poor alcoholics who struggled with DTs, with alcohol and narcotic abuse, with hallucinations and melancholia, with withdrawal symptoms and the general depression such things bring, and still valiantly try to put their lives back together... as they sat nearby, talking, coming to terms with their problems, suddenly they were greeted with a 6 foot 6 blonde, bearded Irishman in a straight jacket and tights, running past them screaming at the top of his lungs. Enough to drive anyone to drink.It made me proud to be a part of this great sport... and I still am.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Gratuitous Nudity

Big Daddy V...
The guy is so fat his cereal bowl comes with a lifeguard. He's so fat that he took a bump the other day, and rocked himself to sleep trying to get up. He's so fat when he went away on school field trips, the school had to raise funds just to feed him. What I'm saying, is that he's fat.

But you know what, that's great.
Wrestling used to be filled with monstrously fat guys, and I for one miss them.

Big Daddy V... this one's for you... ...and you dont have to thank me for not making fun of your genitalia.

much love,
mister J.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Edge

Today we are talking about Edge...
the self-proclaimed "Rated R" Superstar.
To try and understand the wrestler better I've been checking the dictionary for the true meaning of 'edge'. Strangely, it hasn't helped.

He doesn't seem to be a border where two surfaces meet, or the brink of a surface.
Perhaps he is moving sideways through the crowd, which is better than backwards I suppose. Maybe he is sharpening someone's blade ( actually that just sounds a bit rude ). I know he does put some people's teeth on edge, but that doesn't seem to help either. If he was called Edgy, I might think he was daring, provocative, or trend-setting, but he's not really... No matter how hard he tries ( and he does try ). And no, he doesn't play a "dynamic" lead guitar in U2 either.

Can anyone out there help?? Is it maybe an acronym for something?

J.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Sting?

I have been writing this column for over a year, and drawing the cartoon for more than two, and I have just realised that although I have drawn some wrestlers more than once, Sting is the only wrestler to appear four times. I'm sure he sees that as his greatest achievement... And well, if he doesn't... at least I do.

I do wonder though, if Sting the wrestler is annoyed that there is a "musician" running around, saving forests, using his name. A real life doppelganger is not something that happens often to wrestlers. Although there is fat guy who works at my local Pastamania and calls himself Hulk Hogan.

I also wonder at times, what would happen if the Stings' luggage was mixed up. If Mrs Sting the "musician" unpacked the TNA heavyweight Championship, would she make her husband wear it and role play at night, rather than indulging in yet another bout of detached tantric sex? And what if Sting the wrestler ended up with a bass guitar in his luggage? Would he bust it over Jeff Jarrett's head? Because I'd like to see that ( as might Kurt Angle after the back and forth comments those two have made, in response to his interview a few weeks ago in the Sun ).

much love,
J.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Friday, October 17, 2008

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Val Venis

Val Venis moved effortlessly from the adult film industry to professional wrestling. It is said that it was his first move as a professional that didn't involve a tube of lubricant and a fluffer.
The industries are very similar I guess, which is probably how he managed a such a successful transition.After all...

A lot of action takes place it the ring, although some takes place out of it.
If you are a big star, you might need to last 30 minutes or more, but smaller stars can get away with 10 minutes of solid action. If you are making a name for yourself, you will need to let the bigger names have their way with you. Big sweaty men will undoubtedly end up on top of you at some point. You will end up with a bad taste in your mouth. There will always be a businessman behind the scenes trying to shaft you.
And of course, no matter what you do, your audience will always demand you give more.

With his background known, the brains at the WWE worked out an hilarious name for him that rhymes with a particular part of the male anatomy ( hint, its not Val rhyming with bowel ). They had a good chuckle about that, but it still wasn't far enough, so for the coup de grace, his "happy ending" if you will, they named his finish move the 'money shot'.

That too was good, but what I really want to know, is why there has never been mention of Val's previous film endeavours. Surely " On Golden Blonde " deserves to be set next to " The Marine " on WWE's merchandise tables, and isn't " Hairy Twatter and the Philosopher's Bone " every bit the cinematic equal of " See No Evil ", and if you have any doubt whether I'd rather check out " Lawrence of A Labia " or " The Condemned "... Well, you just haven't been paying attention.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Ox Baker

A soup tasting of Ox Baker's tail?? How in anyway could that be conceived as being a GOOD thing?? And can you imagine all the hairs?? Oh... I'm feeling ill now...

Monday, October 13, 2008

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Friday, October 10, 2008

Shark Girl

Some people have accused me, of using my cartoon strips to live out my fantasies, my dreams, my earthly desires... To them I say "balderdash"!!
Now... onto todays strip's, where mister J appears in bed with the incredibly cute Shark Girl.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Awesome Kong

I’ve never been happy with the way women are portrayed in the media. Even before there was a mass market media, we were told that women belonged in the kitchen, barefoot and pregnant. Then we were told that women’s sport is secondary, and the media treats it as a novelty, much more interested in jumping on to the looks of the athletes rather than their athletic ability. I mean, how many of you out there think you could actually beat Anna Kournikova at tennis? No, not beat off to her... actually beat her at a sport. Any of you, really??

Women wrestlers started off nobly. The early athletes were very serious, very competitive, and very, VERY tough. This tradition was continued gloriously by the likes of Mae Young and the Fabulous Moolah. Modern women’s wrestling is hodgepodge of glamour and ability. I mean, when did womens wrestling become all about bleached hair and implants anyway? Perhaps it was around the same time mens wrestling did.

Forget the so-called Divas, what we are talking about are the women who could down just about any man in the world. The women who stand proudly for the SPORT of professional wrestling. Awesome Kong is one of the female wrestlers that breaks boundaries and sets high standards for wrestlers of either gender. Calling her the fairer sex is an oxymoron. I don’t think facing her in the ring is fair at all... for anyone.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Oh Henry!

Mark Henry, who I've actually just realised is in fact younger than me, was dubbed the "World's Strongest Man" after he qualified for the 1992 Barcelona Olympics weightlifting Competition, where he finished tenth in the super heavyweight class. Only in wrestling could a man who finished tenth, be billed as the best in the world.After the WWF sponsored Henry in the 1996 Olympic Games in Atlanta, he was signed to a ten-year contract, an anomaly in pro wrestling. And one that I'm sure they would later regret after he spent more time on the injured reserves than in the actual ring.
Back in those days he'd pose for those arty sportsman type photos.
That changed in the world of wrestling, where some had it that Vince was booking him in crazy storylines to convince him to quit, and get the company out of his multi-million dollar contract.
One of these was during his run as "Sexual Chocolate". A time where he mistakenly hit on a transexual, hooked up with Chyna ( of "One Nite In Chyna" fame ), admitted that his first sexual experience with was his sister, and slept with the older than Methuselah and crazy as a loon, Mae Young. This all came to an end when the supposed knocked up Mae Young was splashed by Viscera, and went into a forced labour, giving birth to a hand.
Truly a golden age of wrestling.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Friday, October 3, 2008

Noah

Ok, today I'm gonna talk on NOAH...

No not the old bearded guy from back in the bible days, the wrestling promotion NOAH. You know, based in Japan, some of the best wrestlers in the world... Yeah, that NOAH... You've all seen the story of how after the death of All Japan Wrestling's owner Giant Baba, Mitsuharu Misawa, unhappy with how he saw the company progressing in the hands of Baba's widow, walked out to start his own company, ( taking most of the All Japan's roster with him ). So complete was the walk-out, the only two native stars not to follow were Toshiaki Kawada, and perennial curtain jerker Masanobu Fuchi.
The new promotion left the gates running, and it runs still. NOAH consistently puts on the best shows in Japan, and has most of the countries top performers on their books. They have also managed to do the one thing that has had all the other promotions in Japan stumbling... create top stars. KENTA, Marufuji, Kanemura, and of course the new Global Honoured Crown Heavyweight Champion ( I'm sure it sounds better in Japanese ), ( & poster boy for the "bring back the beefy blokes with mullets in wrestling" campaign ) Takeshi Morishima to name but a few.As it happens, it is said that the promotion's name alludes to the Biblical story of Noah, the guy mentioned above - him who had the opportunity to rid the world of all those thoroughly useless animals, and botched it. But still managed to lose the unicorns and give the Irish Rovers something to sing about for 20 years.

I guess it's some sort of an allegory. In the bible, the people and animals in the ark survive the flood and make a new mark, a new beginning for themselves in a bright new world ( or am I mistaking the bible for 1950s sci-fi film "When Worlds Collide" ? hmmmm... No matter ). Misawa and crew's departure was seen as a parallel to this, and thus, the NOAH promotional symbol features both an ark and a dove holding an olive branch. No, subtlety was never big in pro wrestling.

And onto today's cartoon...