Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Monday, June 29, 2009

Sunday, June 28, 2009

A shill of sorts

It's been said that with the advent of cable tv, and the internet, that the wrestling mags dont hold the same place as they once did... and yeah, it's probably completely correct. But just because the place they now hold is a different one, doesn't mean it's any less important, or worth any less of your time and money.
Pro Wrestling Illustrated, 30 years on, remains a good read month in and month out. The columnists, writers, photographers ( and occassionally even that cartoon guy ) they have on tap are still the best in the business. Brandi Mankiewicz's "Off The Top Rope" is as snarky and spot on as it ever was, Dan Murphy continues to shoot straight, Dave Lenker's focus is still 20/20, and Lee South's photos still beautiful ( tho his subjects in many cases still help that result, is it possible to take a BAD shot of SoCal Val? ). Recent interviews ( here and in their sister mags Wrestler/Inside Wrestling ) with Stan Hansen, Nick Bockwinkel, Jimmy Valiant, Ronnie Garvin and others have given these legends up to 20 pages to tell the tale of their career in words and pictures.
Yeah, wrestling mags don't have the power, or the strength they once had. But they still have the heart, and they still have many things you will not see anywhere else ( and no I'm not just talking about the cartoons I do for them that can not be seen anywhere else ). Next time you're at the newstand, especially if you haven't picked a mag up in a while, do yourself a favour and forget the global economic crisis... pick one up... I don't think you'll be disappointed.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Friday, June 26, 2009

Raven

In talking to a friend the other day it was remarked that Raven looks like somebodies Grandpa these days. "Yeah" I said, "Jimmy Valiant's". Here he is, in his "better" days.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Larry Zbyszko

Larry Whistler trained under Bruno Sammartino and debuted in 1973 as the babyface "Larry Zbyszko", with his name a tribute to 1920s Polish American wrestler Stanislaus Zbyszko. He initially wrestled in the Pittsburgh area, appearing on the local wrestling program Studio Wrestling, before receiving bookings in Vancouver. He spent three years in the World Wide Wrestling Federation before travelling to California in 1975.

Zbyszko was one of the attractions in the 1976 Latin America Wrestling Alliance World Heavyweight championship, held in Guatemala City, under Jose Azzari promotions. Three days after the end of the tournament (Mil Máscaras won the title, defeating Jose Azzari in the final), an earthquake destroyed much of that Central American nation. Zbyszko returned to the WWWF in 1976 and formed a tag team with Tony Garea, with whom he won the WWWF World Tag Team Championships on November 21, 1978 in Allentown, Pennsylvania. Their reign lasted until March 6, 1979, when they were defeated by the Valiant brothers in Allentown.

Zbyszko feuded with Bugsy McGraw, Abdullah the Butcher and "Superstar" Billy Graham in addition to wrestling Killer Kowalski and Baron Mikel Scicluna. In 1978 he summarized his mat-based ringwork with the statement, "I just believe in science over brawn". At the end of the decade, Zbyszko became frustrated with his inability to shed his label as Bruno Sammartino's protégé. He challenged Sammartino to an exhibition match, claiming this was the only way he could step out of Sammartino's shadow. Sammartino eventually agreed to the match after Zbyszko threatened to retire if he was not granted the match. The trainer and pupil faced one another in Allentown on January 22, 1980, with Sammartino dominating the early stages of the match. After Sammartino threw him out of the ring, an irate Zbyszko seized a wooden chair and struck Sammartino, leaving him in a pool of blood in the middle of the ring and instantly turning Zbyszko into a reviled heel. So despised was Zbyszko by partisan Sammartino fans in the northeast that his car was repeatedly damaged and taxis in which he was travelling were overturned by fans. Zbyszko was struck with an iron pole following a match with Ivan Putski,and was stabbed in the buttock following a match with Pedro Morales in the Washington Avenue Armory in Albany, New York.

After turning against Sammartino, Zbyszko was approached by the WWWF's "Unholy Trio" of managers (Fred Blassie, The Grand Wizard, and "Captain" Lou Albano), but he decided to continue wrestling without a manager. Sammartino and Zbyszko fought one another repeatedly in a lengthy feud that stretched throughout 1980. In the course of the feud, Zbyszko began referring to himself as "The New Living Legend" (a reference to Sammartino, who was often addressed as "The Living Legend"). The feud culminated in a steel cage match at Showdown at Shea at Shea Stadium in Flushing, New York on August 9, 1980 that saw Sammartino defeat Zbyszko in front of an audience of 36,295.

I watched this match a couple of nites ago, and let me say it holds up well. The tension is great, and it tells a good story. After the match Zbyszko even raises Sammartino's hand, something I'd never seen reported in any articles I'd seen.
It is interesting to note, that after losing to Sammatino, Zbyskzo still spent the next 30 years referring to himself as the man who retired Bruno ( even tho he was still wrestling at least 5 years later ), and a "Living Legend". Still, I may be in the minority, but I always liked the "cruncher".

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Dont leave


... and come on... it kind of did...

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Monday, June 22, 2009

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Kevin Fertig

Word has it that since I drew this cartoon, Kevin ( Thorne ) Fertig has once again returned to his vampire gimmick... good for him.
... and for those of you out there assuming that I have only put this cartoon up today as an excuse to put up YET another picture of the delightful Shelly Martinez... well spotted.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Reverend D-Von

Following WrestleMania X8, in May 2002 the WWF was renamed "World Wrestling Entertainment" (WWE) and the roster was divided into two brands, Raw and SmackDown!. The Dudley Boyz were separated when D-Von was drafted to SmackDown! and Bubba Ray ended up on Raw. D-Von became a villainous reverend character alongside his protégé Deacon Batista. Though the gimmick was a launching platform for Batista's career, it didn't last long and the newly christened Reverend D-Von was eventually reunited with his "brothers" Bubba Ray and Spike.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

"Dr Death" Steve Willaims

I'm not sure if it was ever specified what Steve Williams had a doctorate in... but if I was in a waiting room, and the nurse said "Dr Death will see you now"... well, actually with the health service as it is, I probably wouldn't be all that surprised.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Monday, June 15, 2009

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Get the "F" out!

Scott Hall returned to the World Wrestling Federation and reunited with Kevin Nash and Hulk Hogan to repackage the nWo in February 2002. He started a feud with Stone Cold Steve Austin and they fought each other in a match at WrestleMania X8 which Austin won. On the March 25 edition of Raw, Hall was drafted to the Raw brand as a result of the Brand Extension, where he feuded with Bradshaw, culminating in a match at Backlash which Hall won. Hall then continued his feud with Austin before being released from his WWF contract due to personal issues stemming from a child-custody dispute with his wife and an airline altercation.
All of this occurred at the same time WWE was rebranding themselves from the former WWF... but I think you already knew that... right??

Friday, June 12, 2009

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

P.N News

Paul Neu entered World Championship Wrestling in 1991 and was given a gimmick by booker Dusty Rhodes of a jolly rapper by the name of "The Rapmaster" P.N. News. He came to the ring and rapped before his matches. Before he hit opponents with his Broken Record finisher, he would have the production crew start his music again.
His highest profile feud in WCW was with then WCW Television Champion "Stunning" Steve Austin. Austin retained his title time and again by outside interference from Lady Blossom and by the 10-minute time limit running out just as he was about to be pinned. Their feud culminated at The Great American Bash in 1991, when accompanied to the ring by Salt-n-Pepa and with Bobby Eaton as his partner, he defeated Austin and his partner Terry Taylor in a Scaffold match, that pretty much destroyed that gimmick forever. After that, perhaps unsurprisingly, Neu was pushed down the card. In a match with The Angel of Death, he hit his top rope splash and came down hard on Angel's leg and knees, breaking his leg and effectively ending the Angel's career.Neu was taken off television until his WCW contract expired following the incident.After his WCW Contract expired, Neu moved on to Extreme Championship Wrestling, retaining the P.N. News gimmick, and then became part of the stable Da Baldies. Since then he has wrestled occasionally in Europe, under the name Cannonball Grizzly.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Friday, June 5, 2009

Thursday, June 4, 2009

"High Chief" Peter Maivia

"High Chief" Peter Maivia, was born in Samoa in 1937. In the early 1960s, he moved to New Zealand to begin his in-ring career, training under South Pacific legend Steve Rickard. The High Chief quickly took to his profession, winning numerous championships in the South Pacific and Hawaii before finally coming to the United States in 1970.

The High Chief dominated the west coast scene in the 70s, winning multiple championships in both Los Angeles and San Francisco. At different times, he held versions of the NWA Tag Team Championship with such greats as Pat Patterson, former World Tag Team Champion Billy White Wolf and Ray "The Crippler" Stevens. Maivia also competed in Texas for a short spell, but rose to national prominence when he entered WWE in the late-1970s. He was very popular, and well-known partially because of the tribal tattoos that adorned his body; the ink was indicative of his status as a Samoan High Chief, a tradition that would later be carried on by his grandson, The Rock. According to Superstar Billy Graham, they were completed in just three days. Maivia's grandson Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson revealed that they were done with traditional Samoan instrumentation: a small hammer, a needle, and ink.
During the final years of his career in WWE, Maivia battled former friend Graham for the WWE Championship while also forming a successful tandem with Bob Backlund. When Backlund won the WWE Title from Graham, however, Maivia shocked our fans by turning on his friend and becoming one of the most hated men in the industry. Led by "Classy" Freddie Blassie, The High Chief challenged Backlund on numerous occasions, but never walked away with the gold. He also played a vile henchman in the 1967 James Bond film You Only Live Twice, perhaps foreshadowing a silver screen legacy that would be carried on by The Rock 35 years later.

Sadly, Maivia was diagnosed with cancer in 1981, and tragically passed away in June 1982 at the age of 45. The original ring name of his grandson, Rocky Maivia, was chosen partially in tribute to the High Chief; in 2008, The Rock paid an even greater tribute to his grandfather by inducting him into the WWE Hall of Fame.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Monday, June 1, 2009