Saturday, March 10, 2012

STRANGLEFISH....weren't they a christian band or something?


I started getting into music around 20ish years ago when I joined a 'band' called BLIND UNTIL NIGHT. While by most standards people wouldn't really consider what we did as being music but then again I have never done things based on the standards or beliefs of others. We recorded 2 tapes "Pseudovegetarianismrehabilitation' and 'Steele your thunder' in a living room at a house on Holcomb Acres Road back in 1991. For me, being a part of this band was the most exciting thing in the world to me as it allowed me to express the creative side of myself with other like minded individuals. The point was not so much about whether we were making hits or getting popular in town, it was just a way to have fun and kill time on the weekends. The idea of doing shows never really occurred to us since A. no one really cared about us and B. people were just going to hate it anyways so what was the point. By the time we 'broke up' we had started work on a third tape [1], recorded a live cassette [2], and tried getting signed to Alternative Tentacles Records [3], and had only sold one tape [remember no one gave a fuck]. When I think back to these times I remember only the fun, the pure innocent enjoyment of life, and just trying to 'do something'. Myself and Chris Peyton went on to actually try to start a band and went through many permutations and alterations before things started clicking. Short lived bands such as CHALK DICK and SINESTRO'S BIG HEAD were mainly just ways for us to continue playing and attempting to get better. Video footage and memories from the time period suggest that we should have been practicing more but I swear we practiced every fucking day. For us, jamming with different guitarists and singers was nothing new to us and it was always a good time. Despite the sheer fun of just playing and hanging out, we really did want to find a good combination of people. Then…….two dudes entered the equation and it was in that moment that we were sure our ship to fame and fortune had finally come in. The two dudes in question were DEAN and DALE GROFF. 
It seemed like our search for a guitarist was over since now we had two and both of them were killer players. The search for a singer was far more problematic because it was decided that we needed to have a girl fronting our hot new band. While I had no opinions on the matter whatsoever I always just felt like it was a way for Chris to get some pussy and had little to do with finding someone with actual talent. Now my memory may be skewed about this but, I swear at every audition I was subjected to having to play 'White Rabbit' over and over again. While there is nothing wrong with this song in and of itself, Spencer Dryden is not doing anything all that exciting in it drum wise which drove me crazy since I was a drumming machine [joke]. Anyhow to keep the story show, we eventually arrived at a singer and I promptly bailed out during a practice. Something pissed me off so I said 'fuck this I'm outta here.' I didn't talk to Chris again for awhile[4]. 
I spent the next several months playing with various people in different configurations, the object was simple: have fun. Now without further ado:

KENTUCKY FRIED CHILDREN [me: drums / rich meyers: bass / joel stehman: guitar / jesse clark: vocals]
DREADFUL LOAF [me: drums / gary stephenson: bass / erik gidney: guitar / rich meyers: guitar]
SIX INCHES OR BETTER [me: drums / gary stephenson: bass / rich meyers: guitar / tony jones: vocals]
BILLY WAS BORN DRUNK [me: drums / gary stephenson: bass / rich meyers: guitar / jesse clark: vocals]
CUNTRY [me: drums / rich meyers: guitar / guy gallear: guitar / joel stehman: guitar / jim mclinton: bass / jesse clark: vocals]
BLIND HALF HUNDRED [me: drums / gary stephenson: bass / dean groff: guitar / chris peyton: vocals]

While I was off doing all these fun and wonderful projects, my old pals Chris and Dale [Dean had left or was fired but I wasn't there for that so I can't say what actually happened] were still plugging away. My departure was not seen my them as a setback but as an opportunity to put a real drummer in my place. Matt Jones is a drummer who has always had a way with making the art of playing drums look easy. The dude has always had the talent and the chops to jump into any situation and make shit happen. My feelings were somewhat hurt but then again I was the one that left so what where they going to do beg me to come back. Fuck no, when you get Matt Jones in your band you don't look back. However, it wasn't all smooth sailing for the boys as they went through lineup and name changes. So, with that said, here you go:

ANAKRUSYS [chris peyton: bass / dale groff: guitar / matt jones: drums / bryan edmison: vocals][5]
THE ADICKT [chris peyton: bass / dale groff: guitar / matt jones: drums / dan hepner: vocals] [6]
SID KHATRYD [chris peyton: bass / dale groff: guitar / matt jones: drums / joey labard: vocals]

One afternoon I was hanging out with the old crew as they practiced. By this time they were doing the SID KHATRYD thing and were starting to play out a little bit. I had become a big fan of theirs as well because I really enjoyed the direction their music was going in. Their one weak link was Joey, whom although better than his predecessors still didn't have the pipes that their music warranted. In retrospect though, what Joey did have was charisma, good looks, and was a genuinely nice guy. Those qualities make it easy to overlook the sour notes. This practice was different though because Joey just seemed a little bit 'off', not in a bad mood, but not in a good mood either. After awhile he simply handed his microphone to me and that was that. I don't remember if he just stood there and watched or if he left but it was definitely clear that Joey was not going to last. We spent the rest of the time just goofing around while I sang jokey stupid shit. At the conclusion of the practice, Dale and Chris asked me to come back next week and 'audition.' Well goddamnit that's what I did. I was tasked with rewriting lyrics to one of their songs and learning 'Rock-n-Roll' by Led Zeppelin. While there is no existence on video or otherwise of my audition I don't know how it could have been very good but apparently it was good enough for them because I was in [7]. This alliance was then dubbed STRANGLEFISH and we immediately got to work on rebuilding the set list and making new songs. 
Our first appearance as a band was a halloween show where we played so many goddamned songs it was insane, but the crowd ate it up and everyone had a fantastic time. I look back at this show as the very essence of what so called punk rockers refer to as D.I.Y. The halloween show was a D.I.Y. affair as we built our own stage, lights, sound booth, printed / sold our own tickets, and spread the word [pre-internet where you actually had to tell people in person about stuff]. We bought a bunch of pizza and soda and proceeded to rock the fucking house. We ended up making money and it was one of the few times where a profit was turned in any band I have ever been in. For the next 15 months STRANGLEFISH played shows, wrote songs, had fun, and made friends everywhere we went. Then……it ended……..I joined the military and ended up moving away. This was an incredibly heartbreaking thing for me but it was something that needed to be done and proved to be a fun experience in its own right. However, it could never replace the fun I was having with my friends doing what we loved to do. From March of 1994 to spring of 1996 we would get together when I was in town and the magic would immediately return each time. During this period we played 2 shows, one at the shed in June of 1994 and sometime in 1996 at Nic Rheaume's garage. Then……once again… was over because life has a funny way of calling at the most inopportune times. Sometimes growing up means growing apart.
After returning from my sojourn in the Air Force, there was no band to come back to, in some ways there was very little to come home to. Most of my old friends were either gone, or doing drugs, or just didn't have time to hang out anymore. Shit had definitely changed and I was not a fan of those changes. Eventually I ended up playing in some cool bands with some good friends over the next 15 years……but I always felt like STRANGLEFISH was the foundation for everything I ever did. 

In 2005 I was approached by former STRANGLEFISH guitarist Lee Bennett about the possibility of getting the band back together to play a show. I said yes immediately because it just seemed like such a fantastic idea. I mean seriously, who wouldn't want to get back together with some old friends and do the thing you so enjoyed doing? To be able to go back and recapture a feeling or a moment is a rare thing to be able to do. Certainly one can look at pictures and watch videos but to actually live it and breathe a moment in the past is something too irresistible to pass up. By all accounts everyone was on board and we were ready to go but…..something happened or didn't happen. Whatever the case may be we never did manage to put this thing back together. I don't recall ever feeling sad that it didn't happen as my adult life is a fairly busy one and I was already doing music related projects at the time so I doubt I took it as a major loss. Some things are just not always meant to be, and that is something that most adults learn to accept. We can't expect things to come back after we've let them go. There is no such thing as a time machine………..or is there?
As of last month…..I can honestly say….YES MOTHERFUCKERS THERE IS SUCH THING AS A TIME MACHINE. I am proud to say that STRANGLEFISH is alive and well and currently practicing all the old favorites. We have practiced a few times so far and it has been an absolute thrill playing with these dudes again. Yeah there's a lot of rust there but the magic is definitely there. I totally feel the old energy swirling around the room. Thus far I can say that it has been a fantastic time re-connecting with these very dear friends of mine. To me that is the most important part of it, even more so than the music, the opportunity to hang out with my friends and catch up on all the things that have taken place in our lives. Along with that, there is the reminiscing that we have done, which has helped refresh our memories about a ton of stuff from the days of way back. Then of course there's the music which is coming together quite nicely. We have a pretty large list of songs to choose from and we really want to play them all. Thus far we're coming along quite nicely and it's really sounding good and in some instances it's even better than it was. The first practice was funny because we just looked at each other and said 'well here we are'. 
We have discussed a great deal of things over the coming months and yes there is definitely a show in the works at some point in the spring or summer. There has also been talk about recording which would be exciting but ultimately unnecessary for the richness of the experience. I for one would like to try and write a few songs just to see what we can come up with. I really believe that we could capture that old school feeling and make songs that fit right in there with all the old ones. Again, there is a great deal of stuff we want to do and we are going to do our best to get to doing all of it. One important thing I would like to do while we're active is dispel the old myth that this band was a joke. While talking about the old days, we started getting into some of that shit, how people didn't believe we were any good, or that we weren't punk enough. Yes it's true we weren't punk so whether we were 'punk enough' was never really a concern of ours. What we were was a band of explorers, taking our influences and throwing them together to make something else, something that made us feel cool, something that made our friends feel good. It was never about trends, never about being the flavor of the month, it was about friends doing something creative. While playing these songs again, one thing is definitely clear to me and that is none of the songs sound dated. It all sounds fresh to me and in some instances it sounds timely. So with all of that said what I want to do is go on a stage with these dudes and give a killer show that you will not forget. I want each person who shows up to say 'fuck yes.' To all our old friends from way back we wanna take you on a trip because this is just as much for them as it is for us. We intend to rock you all the way from start to finish. 

For me this experience is something that makes me feel like I've come full circle. Each time I go to practice with these dudes I feel like I'm going home. I know for some that sounds kinda silly coming from me because I'm usually such a cranky person but it's true. In the future I'll be doing a lot less and focusing more on family life as well as my education. While going out and playing music is something that's important to me it is not the be all end all of my existence like it once was. I remember getting so fired up on the days that a show was happening. That is something that is harder to come by these days. Part of it is just plain old youthful enthusiasm. The other part of it is simply due to me finding magic in making music privately and for my own self. To me, the creation and building of a song is far more exciting than that presentation. This is by no means me saying that I'm going away, it's just me saying that I have a full life with varied interests and I would like to take part in all of them. You will be seeing me for a good while still and I will continue to make music even past the point where I no longer go out and perform it. For me, reforming STRANGLEFISH has taught me about the important stuff in life: friends, family, and music. I am living the old days right now and for me that is enough. I'd like to thank DALE GROFF / LEE BENNETT / ROBERT MOORE / and MATT JONES  for bringing the good times back. 

[1] The third BLIND UNTIL NIGHT tape had no working title and was only partially completed when I stupidly erased it because I needed to make a mix tape for a party. What a dumb fuck. 
[2] The live BLIND UNTIL NIGHT tape was called 'Live and Live Again'. It featured several feeble attempts to recreate songs off our first tape along with a bunch of made up stuff. Also a notable event due to the fact that we had a 3 man horn section, who also were our audience. The tape has long since lost but I remember listening to it way back when and recalling how you could totally hear a band completely losing interest until all you can hear is the television which happened to be playing 'The Song Remains the Same'. Surreal and depressing at the same time. 
[3]We of BLIND UNTIL NIGHT really felt we had made some real progress on our 'Steele Your Thunder' tape. So much so that we decided we should send a copy of it to Alternative Tentacles Records, because we were sure we would get signed. We sent a tape off along with some promo pics [polaroids of us sitting on a roof with flower pots on our heads and other stupid shit] and eagerly awaited a response, which unsurprisingly never came. We then realized to our horror that we had sent the ONLY FUCKING COPY of 'Steele Your Thunder' so now none of us have it. Several years later I wrote to Alternative Tentacles and inquired as to whether they might still have our tape. I was happy to receive a letter from Jello Biafra and he stated that he looked for it but couldn't find it. This could quite possibly be the stupidest move in all of music. IDIOTS.
[4] Me and Chris started being friends again when we did a version of 'Night of the Living Rednecks' for drama class. Reed Barker was Jello Biafra and Chris and I were Klaus Flouride and whoever the drummer was in the DKs at the time that song was made. Teenagers are such pussies I swear.
[5] I gleefully informed them that there was a band on Metal Blade Records called Anacrusis. Bryan got kicked out because he couldn't memorize lyrics. Boner face.
[6] Dan was kicked out after fans say stuff like 'You guys are really good but your singer sucks.' Most of the time fans don't know what they are talking about, but in this case I think they nailed it right on the head.
[7] Dale recently relayed the story about how they were auditioning singers at the time. He said they had really been scraping the bottom of the barrel with a cavalcade of shitty singers. It was decided that they should go with me because they knew me and I couldn't possibly be any worse than the dudes they were auditioning.

Friday, March 2, 2012


It has been awhile since I last ranted about anything. The last several blogs from me have been on the serious tip so I figure it's time to lighten things up and get back to basics, and since Wrestlemania is right around the corner….well…yeah. I figure you could use a little expert advice and analysis. As I have no doubt stated in previous blogs, especially those regarding the subject of pro wrestling, I have been a long time fan. Clear back to the mid 70s when I was drawn to wrestling magazines, to the early 80s when I would watch Portland Wrestling every saturday night, my foundation was well set by the time my family got cable T.V. I'm sure many of us from the same generation all have great moments of television glory when the cable got hooked up at your houses. For me, cable was the gateway into a full on lifelong addiction. Not only was I able to watch Portland Wrestling still, but now I had access to WWF / AWA / NWA / WCCW, the magazines of my early years were now coming to life. I could not only see Ric Flair but I could hear him talk, watch him wrestle, watch him do all the things that have made him the greatest of all time. Along with Naitch, there were a whole host of other killer characters to get stoked about [1]

FUN LIST #1: MY WEEKLY WRESTLING SCHEDULE [Cable television made me an even bigger fan of wrestling and with a schedule like this it was hard to not be a total fan geek. I have provided approximate times since it has been about 20+ years since there was a schedule like this on television.]

Monday: Prime Time Wrestling [8pm / USA Network]: Hosted by Gorilla Monsoon and Bobby 'The Brain' Heenan [quite possibly the greatest broadcasting duo in wrestling history[2]]. This show featured 2 hours worth of matches from videotaped WWF shows all over the country. These days, house shows are rarely videotaped much less broadcast, so here was an excellent example of a weekly compilation show featuring the latest action. Not only did the show feature top talent of the day, but they always concluded the show with a 'classic' match from the past. [3]
Tuesday: Tuesday Night Titans [8pm / USA Network]: If there was one show that I rarely watched it was this corny 'Tonight Show' rip off featuring interviews and goofy skits with wrestlers. This was my take it or leave it show.
Saturday: WWF Superstars [10am / KPTV channel 12]: Squash matches and shit, saw a lot of debuts on this show for certain, which was its primary purpose in my estimation. / NWA Saturday Night [3:05pm / The Superstation WTBS channel 17]: Tons of interviews and matches with both stars and jobbers of the NWA. If you needed a weekly Ric Flair or 4 Horsemen fix this was where you got it. I used do my paper route early so I could stop off at Dale's Meat Market and buy some pizza pockets so I could get back in time to watch this show. It should be noted that while I totally enjoyed WWF, I always felt that the NWA had the superior product that was less cartoony and more on the serious tip./ Portland Wrestling [11pm / KPTV channel 12]: My weekly stop for all the action going down in my neck of the woods. Us northwest wrestlings fans all have a favorite moment that comes directly from this show [4]. / NWA World Wide Wrestling [1am on some fucking channel I can't remember]: Since this show was a late night deal, this was where you got your blood violence. More killer NWA action with the volume turned up. / GLOW [2am on the same channel]: Yeah the wrestling sucked by when you're a teenager and you need a little boner fuel this was a good show to have on. I enjoyed all sorts of wrestling and wasn't as picky and discriminating as I am today. Hot chicks in lingerie and other dainty outfits pretending they knew how to wrestle, whatever.
Sunday: All American Wrestling [12pm / USA Network]: Hosted by Mean Gene Okerlund and sometimes Lord Alfred Hayes, another killer compilation show featuring news and scoops along with the requisite WWF styled squash matches. A killer lead up to Kung Fu Theater which came on at 1.
Scattered throughout the week, mostly on ESPN one could catch AWA or WCCW matches too. I wasn't as diligent about those shows but when I happened to flip past them I would always stop and get sucked in.

As I type this, the full card has yet to be determined but the bigger matches have been set. As with most Wrestlemania events, there is a mix of both killer and not so killer. With the current product being more family friendly, the potential for killer matches being allowed to play out has been largely hampered. At this point, my biggest gripe with the current WWE product is not the lack of violence and blood, it's the boxing in of characters. The current roster is chock full of wrestlers who are being constricted by script writers. Character development is crucial to the essence of what makes people enjoy wrestling, and many wrestlers are so one dimensional that it fails to engage the audience. While certainly there are some wrestlers who lack the charisma and ability to get their characters over, there is a certain element of blandness in the writing that simply cannot be overlooked. I feel that the lack of chair shots and blood has been incredibly helpful in the grand scheme of things. My initial view was that it was a further clamping down on the natural flow of the product. I have since changed my opinion and feel that now when there is a chair shot or some blood it means a little more to the audience. Anyhow…..all gripes aside, let me run down the card and give you my predictions and opinions. Before I do, let me say that I feel that this year's 'mania has a great deal going for it, but they need to flesh out the card a bit more. Without further ado……here we go:

The Rock Vs. John Cena: This match has been in the works since last year and by many standards could and should be considered a dream match. I would personally like to see The Rock go over but I don't believe that to be the case in this match up. Ultimately, a win for The Rock doesn't do much for his career since he's already been at the pinnacle of the sport with his multiple title wins and classic rivalries, he is already considered to be one of the greatest of all time. Cena, on the other hand could totally benefit from a win here. While I am far from a John Cena fan [5], he could use this particular feather in his cap. For many fans over the age of 6 or 7, there is not a lot of buying into the Cena character as a whole. The goody goody Hogan-esque comebacks, failure to sell for his opponents, lack of a varied move set, and rare losses are all major turn offs to the more scrutinizing wrestling fans. By and large, I think the era of a totally 'good guy' wrestler are over. For this match, Cena needs to be the Doctor of Thug-a-nomics and not Dudley Do-Right. I'm hoping he pulls out some heel tactics in order to obtain the win because he really needs some additional facets to his overall character because when one says the word 'stale' he's what comes to mind immediately.

Chris Jericho Vs. CM Punk: While the Rock / Cena match is what the WWE is using to sell 'mania with, this is going to be the match which people will remember the most. Here are two guys who have tons of ability, charisma, and are excellent on the stick, going at it because A. There's a title at stake and B. Because they both want to prove to each other who truly is the best in the world. This one is a hard one to call for me because Chris Jericho has already had a long and storied career full of incredible highlights and title wins. Jericho, like the Rock, must be considered one of the best of all time. Jericho truly has done it all in wrestling, from Japan to Mexico, to the WCW, to the WWE, from cruiserweight titles to World champion, he has proven that he has the skill and the personality to be taken seriously as a top player. While Jericho, doesn't necessarily need the win to cement his already sterling reputation, a Jericho win could prove interesting down the road. However, lets not discount CM Punk, who has also been plying his trade for years on the indie circuit to Ring of Honor, he has steadily built a reputation in the WWE as a guy who can be relied upon to hold the top spot and continue to deliver killer matches and promos. Right now, Punk is the man, and he will easily remain in the top tier for the next 4 or 5 years. Punk needs this win to prove he can hang with a great competitor like Jericho. This will be a potential match of the year without a doubt as both guys have the skills to put on a match for the ages. I call Punk for the hard fought win, which will lead to a spring and summer rivalry for the two. This rivalry is just getting started and will definitely have additional rematches with each one topping the last. This is old school wrestling at its best [6].

Sheamus Vs. Daniel Bryan: For anyone thinking that the former American Dragon Bryan Danielson isn't easily one of the top 5 wrestlers in the world right now should leave the hall immediately. His career has seen nothing but classic execution and style, recalling some of the greats of old. Since his entrance into WWE he has really fought to gain credibility and respect. His hard work and dedication has allowed him to attain the top prize in all of wrestling. In my opinion, the WWE is doing something right for a change by allowing him a chance to run with the strap. His current character development harkens back to his days in Ring of Honor as he is now being allowed the opportunity to show some personality. Yes, he's the chicken shit heel who uses his wits to gain wins by the skin of his teeth. Do not think that this man can't wrestle because he is right up there with some of the best grapplers of all time. He is a total throwback to the glory days of the Funk Brothers and Ric Flair, true tough guys who used cunning along with ability to cement their reputations. Sheamus, the Irish warrior or whatever the fuck they're calling him, has been at the top and always seems to be hanging out at the periphery of greatness. I honestly believe that he has all the necessary tools to be considered a top guy in the business. His only detriment is his ability to talk on the mic, but he makes up for that with sheer physical dominance. One important factor is that he doesn't seem to be resting on his laurels, but rather appears determined to improve both his in ring ability and his character. Putting him in a world title match with a man of Bryan's caliber is going to help him accomplish just that. Just as Ric Flair used his considerable talents to help his opponents improve and look good, Bryan will do the same here. If Sheamus doesn't pick up the win here, he will still look dominant, and will have learned a thing or two about where he's at in terms of his ability. Guys like Bryan, have so much skill that they really can be considered a measuring stick that opponents can use to gauge their own skills. My pick for this match is going to be Daniel Bryan, but it's going to be a rough night for him. Unlike the Miz who totally squandered his top of the card status last year, Sheamus is going to prove to the suits and ties at WWE that he's the real deal. He is going to take this opportunity to show the world that he has what it takes to be at the top of the bill. I'm calling it right now…..this match is going to rule.

Undertaker Vs. Triple H: This will be the 3rd 'mania match between these two and it is a continuation from last year's match up. I'm sort of on the fence with The Undertaker these days. His win streak is now a major component to modern wrestling lore, and is an additional selling point for 'mania. However, he is getting up there in years and has really put his body through some shit. Each year people wonder if this is going to be the last year they see the dead man. I think if he's going to limit his schedule to Wrestlemania, he has a few more years to go [7]. But, there are two questions that I have: Will the streak ever be broken? and….. Who will be the one to do it? Personally if it is to ever he broken, it needs to be done by one of the younger stars who can use the win as some serious bragging rights. So based on that alone, I see Taker going over here since Triple H doesn't need the win. However, there are two additional factors to consider which may tip the scales the other way. First off, this match is going to be a Hell in the Cell cage match. These two are considered to be the masters of this particular match which has seen continuous instances of total violence and some big time injuries. By my estimation this is going to be the first time these two have met in this type of match. So now not only is Taker's win streak on the line, but both men's Hell in the Cell reputations as well. Now, the second factor to consider is the as yet unannounced special guest referee being Shawn Michaels. Again, this isn't official as of yet but the rumors are going around pretty heavy right now. If this pans out, here is an additional dimension to this match. If Michaels is the referee will he be impartial and call it right down the middle or will he show some form of bias? In the end Taker will get the win but this one is going to be their most violent chapter yet.

Big Show Vs. Shaquille O'Neal: This match hasn't been officially announced and I don't really care. This is Show's annual 'lose to a mainstream sports guy' match. If it happens, O'Neal will pull out the win. Personally I hope it doesn't happen and they go with Cody Rhodes Vs. Big show since that match has a higher probability to attain a level of quality that the other match simply will not be able to live up to.

Team Laurinatis Vs. Team Long: So there's this rivalry going on between the Raw and Smackdown General Managers which apparently is manifesting itself into some sort of tag match to determine something or another. From all indications this is going to feature David Otunga and Santino Marella so right off the bat I am totally non-plussed. Don't know, don't care.

Diva's match: Beth Phoenix will most likely face someone……hopefully it's Kharma or Natalya Neidhart rather than some barbie doll. If I have to watch women wrestle I want it to be a match between two women with actual ability rather than a nice set of fake tits. I have heard that Trish Stratus has expressed interest in coming back to face Beth Phoenix so if that happens I would be all for it because it would be a rare instance where both competitors actually have the ability to carry a match.
Beyond that I don't know what else 'mania will feature. I would hope that there's a tag team title match on the card but that isn't likely to happen. The tag team division is dead as fuck, and until they get some real teams [8] and Vince realizes that there is a real need for tag matches it will most certainly remain that way.

Musical guest: Don't know. Probably someone I don't care about. At one point I heard Vince was trying to get Justin Bieber to show up. That would only be good if Terry Funk or Abdullah the Butcher came out and juiced that lil piece of shit. They just need to keep that portion of the show to a minimum i.e. no nu-metal or hip hop garbage. Honestly if I was booking the show I'd want Darkthrone but hey that's just me.

[1] Other killer wrestlers that I loved watching when it came time for some NWA action:

     Arn Anderson: A great example of a mean motherfucker who didn't need a bunch of flash to get over with the people. The Anderson clan has always been all about the business of hurting people in the ring. Classy stuff.
     Ole Anderson: The older 'brother' of Arn, and another example of toughness. Possibly the meanest Anderson of the bunch, not to discount Gene or Lars though because they were sadistic assholes too.
     Tully Blanchard: Another wrestler who didn't rely on flash yet carried himself like a champion and talked the talk right up there with Ric Flair. Tully had the ability to back up every word he said. One of those guys who never quite made it to the world title but should have.
     Barry Windham: Son of the great Blackjack Mulligan had skill, looks, and personality. Was over as hell as a fan favorite because he was a genuine Texas tough guy who showed an impressive mean streak when he joined up with the 4 Horsemen. Old school to the max.
     Dusty Rhodes: Whether you loved him or hated him you simply couldn't resist watching The American Dream talk it up or step into the ring. While I always rooted for the good guys I didn't hate Dusty like I hated Hulk Hogan. Dusty could fuckin' go despite being a fat piece of shit.
     Midnight Express: The very essence of a true heel tag team. Beautiful Bobby and Sweet Stan were two sides to the same coin and had nothing but ability all around. They could match up with any team and create magic. Plus you factor in the managerial genius of Jim Cornette and you have a true unit.
      The Rock-n-Roll Express: Being staunchly against baby faces as I was and still am, I simply cannot leave this team out of the discussion. Even though they were good guys for the large majority of their career they were true pioneers of the fine art of tag team wrestling. Fast, efficient, and always ready to fight.
     Terry Funk: Remember 1989? I know you do. The Funker returned from a long sabbatical to the top of the card when he blindsided Ric Flair. Their 'I Quit' match is the stuff of legend. Their feud set new standards in all out warfare and sadistic violence.
     The Great Muta: Whenever this Japanese stud was in the U.S. he mixed it up in the NWA. Another deadly heel that innovated every time he was in the ring. His style was so fluid and so perfect.
     Sting: His matches with Ric Flair, Rick Rude, Muta, Vader etc. took the NWA into the 90s. For some reason his good guy act didn't grate on me like that of other baby face wrestlers. His legendary status is justified.
     Magnum TA: Here again, another good guy that didn't make me want to puke. This was but one reason I preferred NWA over WWF in overall product quality. The NWA simply had wrestlers that were believable and even if they were good guys you could still like them and not feel like a cocksucker. Magnum TA would have been right up there with the best had his car accident not derailed his career.
     The Road Warriors: The kings of tag team wrestling….period. These guys came in and beat dudes up and it didn't matter what side of the fence the Legion of Doom was on. If you don't know I suggest you get to learning asshole.

[2] Gorilla Monsoon and Bobby Heenan were a great broadcasting team for one simple reason: they were friends in real life. These guys came at the sport with both expertise and humor which only enhanced the quality of any matches they ever called. Now of course I enjoyed the work of teams like Monsoon / Ventura, Solie / Caudle, McMahon / Ventura etc., the pure fun that Gorilla and The Brain brought to the matches was simply unparalleled. Even though some of their skits and stuff veered off into silly town, you could still enjoy what they were doing because you could tell they were having a blast.

[3] The classic matches they would show were always cool but the one that sticks out in my mind was a match which featured Adrian Adonis and Randy Savage Vs. Tito Santana and Bruno Sammartino inside a steel cage. While this match had only taken place a year or two prior to its broadcast, it was a display of both sheer wrestling ability and all out violence. One of those matches that only enhanced my bloodlust.

[4] Here is my favorite moment of many that took place right here in the great northwest. One of the greatest heel turns of all time plus you get Raven on commentary. When you're done watching this piece of wrestling history keep on watching other vids from Billy Jack Haynes. The man is deranged and nothing but pure gold on the mic. Shoot interview magic deluxe.

[5] Needs a heel turn desperately. The people in charge of merchandise in WWE are scared that a full on heel turn will cause sales of John Cena merch will plummet which is why they won't pull the trigger on it. He's the type of good guy that I absolutely hate to see on my television screen.

[6] Watch anything featuring Chris Jericho and CM Punk and see exactly what I'm talking about daddy.

[7] Last year there was the possibility of a Sting Vs. Undertaker match which didn't happen because Sting chose to stay with TNA Wrestling [shit company by the way but that's another story]. I still believe there is hope that this match will happen sooner rather than later because it truly is one of the last 'old school' dream matches left. I for one would mark out like a motherfucker for that one. That aside, if Taker is to ever allow himself to lose at 'mania, he should lose to someone who can take that win and propel it into additional career longevity.  CM Punk / Daniel Bryan would be my first choices but it would most likely be given to John Cena. None of it really matters to be totally honest but I think if they are going to go with this scenario it needs to be planned carefully and under the strict supervision of The Undertaker himself. His character is such that he should be the only one allowed to plan out what his next moves are going to be. No script writer should be allowed anywhere near something as momentous as a final Undertaker match. 

[8] Tag teams that the WWE needs right now [just a few off the top of my head. There are no doubt more that I'm not thinking off but whatever]:
The Kings of Wrestling [Claudio Castignoli and Chris Hero]: Castignoli is already on deck as he is working in FCW and apparently Hero has signed on as well. These two could bring back tag team glory. In today's WWE this may be their best bet for getting the fans behind them for a long term stay. Show off the tag team skills then set them up for singles action. These are the guys who can make it happen.
The World's Greatest Tag Team [Charlie Haas and Shelton Benjamin]: Here is a veteran team who has already done their stint in WWE. While individual success eluded them during their stay, their ability in the ring is top shelf and their prowess as a team is unquestionable. Haas and Benjamin should be considered for any rebuilding of the tag team division in the WWE.
Dudley Boys: While they are currently doing solo acts in TNA it would be great if they could close their respective careers down in a revitalized WWE tag team division. One of the greatest teams of all time without a doubt. Guaranteed they got a few more killer matches left in the tank.
Beer Money [Bobby Roode and James Storm]: What initially started off as a sort of hastily thrown together team, rapidly developed into a must see TNA attraction. These guys would make a big time impact as a team and as solo acts in the WWE if handled correctly. The operating words there being 'handled' and 'correctly'.
Motor City Machine Guns [Alex Shelley and Chris Sabin]: High flyers who can get down and wrestle old school. Could be the modern equivalent of The Rockers where you got dudes that aren't all that imposing in the ring but can kick your ass if you underestimate them.
Briscoe Brothers: While their promos aren't exactly family friendly material these guys could still be a crucial unit in WWE. Their promos speak some righteous truths about the wrestling industry and about themselves as people. They bust their asses to be the best and are the sorts of guys you see at sports bars all over the country. America could totally identify with these guys plus factor in their amazing abilities in the ring and you have a formula for tag team gold.

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