Archive for the ‘Television’ Category

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I’ve spent the better part of the past 5 days attempting to grasp the concept that the world has one less ass-kicker (bubble gum not included) in it. For as much as I’d think that I would sadly be used to professional wrestlers passing away these days (including the recent death of “The American Dream” Dusty Rhodes), the loss of the Hot Rod hit me hard. Really hard. Especially after coming to the realization that for as much as I love listening to him telling stories, there won’t be any more new episodes of his podcast to look forward to.

I initially started paying attention to pro wrestling at the age of 11, in that window between WrestleMania 6 and SummerSlam 1990 (back when the then-WWF only conducted four pay-per-view events per year). At that time, Piper had just come off of a match at WM against Bad News Brown, and was floating in limbo until 1991 when he played into the storyline of Virgil vs Ted DiBiase. Nonetheless, he was a polarizing character who immediately grabbed my attention. Going and renting VHS tapes from the local video library store allowed me to go watch older matches and promos of his (this was long before the interwebz, kids). I had become a fan. He also entertained me outside of the ring (and “Piper’s Pit”). Go google “Tag Team” with Roddy Piper and Jesse Ventura. It’s cheesy, yet comical.

Then, I found a way to become an even bigger fan of his. Once upon a time (1993-ish), WWF had a weekly radio show on Saturday evenings, “Radio WWF”. Hosted by Gorilla Monsoon and Jim Ross (and later, Vince McMahon), they would occasionally have guests on the show, and listeners could call in and interact with the guests. On one particular week, their guest was the one and only “Rowdy” Roddy Piper, and I got to spend a minute or two on the phone with him. Couldn’t have been a nicer guy. Thankfully, somewhere amidst my archive of old audio cassette tapes, I have (at least most of) this conversation recorded. One of these days, I’ll have to find that tape and dust it off, and convert it over to digital.

Over the years that I’ve followed pro wrestling, some of my favorite characters have been the in-your-face, solid talkers, take-no-crap attitude, kick-ass-and-take-names guys. The Road Warriors. Brian Pillman. “Stone Cold” Steve Austin. CM Punk. And currently, Dean Ambrose. Piper paved the road for all of these guys.

Piper was more than just a legend. He was an architect. And the professional wrestling business is a much more solid structure because of the work he put into building it.

Farewell, Hot Rod. Hopefully Heaven is full of bubble gum.

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Tonight, the final episode of “The Late Show with David Letterman” will air on CBS. While I’ll admit that I haven’t watched Dave much in recent years, I would be remiss if I didn’t take a moment to acknowledge his excellence over the years – nay, DECADES.

Back in my junior high and high school days, if I arrived at school the next morning looking tired, more often than not it was because I was up watching Letterman. Between his interactions with great guests (Bill Murray, Tom Hanks, Madonna, Howard Stern, Jack Hanna, etc), his regular interactions with Rupert Jee from the Hello Deli, and Stupid Human Tricks/Stupid Pet Tricks, what wasn’t to love? Guests and skits may tend to stand out, but to me, musical performances will always stick with me the most. Over the years, I’ve enjoyed countless musical guests, from a variety of genres/styles. For many of the older performances, I’d recorded them to VHS, and then additionally dubbed them over to cassette.

So here, from the Vivid Home Office (which may or may not be located in Sioux City, Iowa), is my personal Top 10 musical performances (that I have remembered) from The Late Show with David Letterman.

10) BLUES TRAVELER – “HOOK” (11/1/1994)

9) CHERRY POPPIN’ DADDIES – “ZOOT SUIT RIOT” (7/13/1998)
 

8) ENYA – “ONLY IF” (12/10/1997)
 

7) SPIN DOCTORS – “WHAT TIME IS IT?” (9/1/1993)
 

6) GIN BLOSSOMS – “FOLLOW YOU DOWN” (2/12/1996)
 

5) WHITE ZOMBIE – “MORE HUMAN THAN HUMAN” (7/14/1995)
 

4) COUNTING CROWS – “ACCIDENTALLY IN LOVE” (8/23/2004)
 

3) THE AIRBORNE TOXIC EVENT – “SOMETIME AROUND MIDNIGHT” (1/18/2009)
 

2) MEGADETH – “A TOUT LE MONDE” (2/2/1995)
 

1) GORILLAZ – FEEL GOOD INC (7/10/2010)
 

Farewell, Dave. Thanks for the memories. (more…)

Engage with me for a little story, if you will. If you know me at all, you know I’m an avid MMA fan. This blog is going to center on a fighter by the name of James Krause.

The very first time I saw James fight was June 7th, 2009. My fiancee and I were out at Buffalo Wild Wings for dinner, and on one of the projector screens was WEC 41. We were casually paying attention, and then saw the on-screen graphic detailing him as fighting out of Lee’s Summit MO (via Grindhouse MMA). That got my attention instantly. Unfortunately, he’d lose via rear-naked choke to Donald Cerrone in what would be the first loss on his professional record (he was 10-0 before this event). After tweeting about the fight, James actually beat me to the punch (no pun intended) and followed me on Twitter before I’d had a chance to search for him and follow him. I thought that was pretty cool, and I haven’t forgotten that.

Here we are, four years later, and I’ve followed him through various promotions – WEC, Titan Fighting Championships, Bellator, and most recently, Resurrection Fighting Alliance. Last year, he was one of the 32 finalists picked to go to Las Vegas and fight to enter the house on that season of UFC’s The Ultimate Fighter. Unfortunately, he lost his fight and never made it into the house for the season. After that, he’d go on a 4-0 streak with RFA to improve his professional record to 19-4.

I’ve had the pleasure of meeting him on a few occasions, including one to purchase and pick up one of his walkout shirts for my fiancee as a Christmas present instead of doing the order-and-ship method. He couldn’t be a nicer guy, and although I’ve yet to meet her, his wife seems to be a perfect match for him in personality and character (and they’re THAT couple that look so ridiculously cute together that you’d want to hate them if you didn’t know them).

Tomorrow night, James’ career-long dream comes true, as he’ll make his UFC debut on the undercard of their UFC 161 pay-per-view event. He’ll be fighting in the Lightweight (155lb) division against UFC veteran Sam “Hands Of Stone” Stout. The fight will air live on FX as part of their undercard broadcast from 8pm-10pm EST.

I’m ready for the rest of the world to see what I’ve already known about the face of Poster Boy Clothing, James Krause: with relentless drive and motivation and a refusal to settle for less, hard work eventually pays off – both in life, and in career.

(with James Krause – while wearing his RFA1 walkout shirt – December 2010)

The hot topic over the past few days has been the concept of SPOILERS. Let’s face it, this has been a topic of debate for quite some time, but Sunday night’s episode of Game Of Thrones really took it to a whole new level. As I write this, three days later, there is STILL a buzz about the contents of GOT’s episode, and the backlash of those who had it ruined for them because of those pesky spoilers.

Here’s my take, and I believe it’s rational. If I’m not available to watch a show like GOT when it airs, and I’m not wanting to know what happens until I’m able to watch it, here’s a suggestion – STAY OFF OF SOCIAL MEDIA. Trust me, it can be done. Now if your best friend sends you a text immediately after the show ends with “OMG CAN YOU BELIEVE [spoiler content] JUST HAPPENED??!!!!111” – well, then… your friend is a dick.

We don’t have nearly the same level of heat on this issue when it comes to sports. We know that the event is set to take place at a certain time, and we’re not always able to watch it live as it happens and unfolds. For me, I don’t care. Case in point: last Saturday night’s soccer match between Sporting Kansas City and the Montreal Impact. I was out at a local professional wrestling event while the match took place, and set my DVR to record. I periodically checked in on my phone to the score as it was going on, and then went through on the DVR after the fact to skim through the match and check out the goals and other events that took place. 

My friend Rick was also DVRing the match, to watch after wrestling was done, and didn’t want to know anything about it. I respect that, and I respect that he was making a point to stay off of twitter and facebook to avoid reading results/highlights. Point being: HE GETS IT.

Movie companies require those who view advanced screenings of films to not publish anything in any format until the day off the film’s release. After that, it’s on the individual moviegoer to avoid said publishings until they’ve had a chance to see the movie.

What’s your perspective on spoilers? Especially when it comes to shows like Game Of Thrones, which any hardcore viewer of the show has likely read the books and already knows the plot?