R.I.W Wrestling Legend: George “The Animal” Steele

The doors are open at the Rotten Ink Arena, and the fans are pouring in as this “R.I.W Wrestling Legend” update is one that will please the young and old. Our main event is the missing link wild man known as George “The Animal” Steele who in the 80’s was a major star for the WWF, and as you can see at the merchandise table, his shirts and Mine Dolls are selling like crazy. And it looks like in George Steele’s honor they are serving green drinks and food at the snack bar, so let’s grab some green hotdogs and a Mountain Dew and find our seats as this update event is going to be a crazy one. The lights are dimming and the matches are about to start, so let’s get ready to cheer on the one and only George “The Animal” Steele. Oh and we should keep an eye out as who knows if we will see Mine or even if George himself will go wild and run crazy in the crowd!

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George “The Animal” Steele started his pro wrestling career in 1960 and was trained by Bert Rubi and started working the indies around Detroit, Michigan under the name The Student that was a masked wrestler as he wanted to hide who he really was as he was also a high school teacher at the time. During his run as The Student, he would be managed by Gary Hart who also acted as his mouthpiece and would hype of his brute strength. Around 1967 The Student would be no more and he would be called up to wrestle for the WWWF (that later would be WWF/WWE) and would also work a few other NWA territories and would be called George Steele and would be booked as a solid heel who would even challenge Bruno Sammartino for the WWWF World Heavyweight title. He would feud with Bruno and many other of the federations’ top baby faces and would headline matches in Madison Squared Garden and would have a small run against Chief Jay Strongbow before taking a small time away to work more on his crazy wild man persona. And once back George “The Animal” Steele was fully wild and would rip up and eat the turnbuckles, had a green tongue and would have a strange wrestling style that had his arms wiggling around, which confused and worried his opponents. And his heel persona continued and allowed him to feud with the likes of Hulk Hogan, Bob Backlund, Ivan Putski and Jimmy Snuka to name a few. And while he would never win a title, he did get many chances at them as a heel. During this time his interviews would be him loudly speaking a string of words, or yelling much like a young child would who is learning to speak. And I should also note during this time as a heel, he would also capture a few title from smaller NWA companies before he went to the WWF.

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On May 11, 1985 on NBC was the first every Saturday Night’s Main Event, and in the opening match George Steele teamed with Iron Sheik and Nikolai Volkoff in a losing effort against The U.S. Express and Ricky Steamboat. But after the match, George is blamed for the loss and is attacked and this makes baby face manager Lou Albano save him and in this moment Steele went from heel to face. And very quickly George became one of the company’s top faces as fans loved this wild man who would put on silly cartoonish matches. In 1986 George Steele would start to get a crush on Miss Elizabeth, the manager of “Macho Man” Randy Savage, and the two would have a feud and this would last well into 1987 with Steele even managing Ricky Steamboat as he went for Savage’s intercontinental title at WrestleMania III, but in the end Steele would be on the losing end of the feud and would never get the affection of Elizabeth. And keep in mind, Elizabeth was so nice to George and it was Savage, who was one of the company’s top heels, who hated the attention George was trying to get. During this time as well Steele would be getting big wins against such names as Hercules Hernandez, Iron Mike Sharpe, Iron Sheik and Bob Orton Jr. to name a few. In 1988 George Steele would introduce the fans to his stuff doll friend named Mine and he would bring him to the ring to watch his matches as well as would have the doll in his promos. He would be involved at WrestleMania IV and would be in the Battle Royal, but due to a real life knee injury he would just stay outside the ring and annoy the heels in the match. It was also starting to be clear that George was falling down the card and also his health was starting to be an issue and by late 1988 he would retire from the ring for the first time and would become a road agent for the WWF working backstage. He would be let go in 1990 and a short time later hired back, and he would hold that job until around 1997 when he left the company.

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After leaving WWF in the late 90’s as a road agent George Steele would start working the indies taking bookings and appearances. He even returned to WWF for an episode of Monday Night Raw in order to team with Taka Michinoku against Jerry Lawler and Brian Christopher. And again in 1998 he would work for WWF as apart of The Oddities and would leave again in 1999. He would make a big mistake and be a part of the disaster wrestling PPV called “Heroes Of Wrestling” and was managed by Sensational Sherri and would face Greg “The Hammer” Valentine and this was in late 1999. At the start of 2000, he would have a match against Jeff Jarrett on an episode of WCW Monday Night Nitro. His last match took place in late 2000 at an ACW event against Sgt. Medallion. And even late in his career, he was very loved by fans and he helped many indies draw when his name was on the card. But while George Steele’s in ring work came to an end in 2000, he still made appearances for federations in including Impact in 2008 and WWF in 2010. And even all through his time working the indies, he was also working wrestling themed conventions. Sadly George “The Animal” Steele would pass away from kidney failure on February 16, 2017 at the age of 74. As some of you might know, George battled Crohn’s Disease starting around the late 80’s and battled it for much of the rest of his life. He also was an actor in such films as Ruthless People (1986), Ed Wood (1994) and Small Town Conspiracy (2003) to name a few. And he also was inducted into the WWF Hall Of Fame in 1995 and has appeared in a small amount of wrestling video games.

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Growing up through the 80’s and 90’s was a great time to be a wrestling fan as Hulk Hogan was the biggest star in the sport and business was great and so many icons stepped foot into the ring as we also still had stars from the 60’s and 70’s competing. And one older star that I was a fan of was George “The Animal” Steele, the crazy man who would yell, chase around his opponent and would eat the turnbuckles all the while showing his green tongue. And yeah I know what you are thinking and you would be right, George Steele might not have been the world’s greatest wrestler and by all accounts he was just a gimmick wrestler who put on comedy matches, but man when I was a kid it worked. I had the George Steele LJN figure as well as his Bendy toy, and I always wanted a Mine doll and still do want one to this day. The best part of George Steele is that he was a heel that people believed could rip a person apart with his brute strength, and when he turned baby face, he was loved as people thought he was simple and misunderstood and fun loving. And let’s be honest, everyone in the stands and watching at home would mark out when George would eat and rip apart the turnbuckle having the stuffing go all over the ring. Also his cartoonish nature when wrestling, as a face would cause fans to laugh at his odd style of waving his hands around and silly faces that he would make at his opponents. When booked as a heel I have to say that George Steele really did come off as a threat as he would be totally wild and his hairy missing link look seemed to scare the fans as well as would through his baby face opponent off their game as he would wiggle his arms around and come off as a total crazy man. George “Steele” is also a wrestler I would pop for even way after he was winding down his in ring career but when he would show up on WWF or WCW I would cheer as seeing him in the ring brought back memories of my youth. Plus on a side note, Tim Burton and his team did a fantastic job of hiring George Steele to play Tor Johnson in the 1994 cult classic film Ed Wood based on the filmmaker’s life. Also the first ever WWF Ice Cream bar I ever got had George Steele on it and inside had a trading card of George as well! With that said George might not have been the most skilled in ring worker but he sure as hell was a very entertaining one.

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We are now at the point of this review where we will be taking a look at the DVD set and review some of the matches on the discs like always between 4 to 8. I want to thank Coliseum Of Wrestling & Boxing for having this set in stock and also want to thank George Steele for his hard work in the world of wrestling. I also want to remind you that I will only be breaking down randomly selected matches from this set and will be breaking down the match and will be rating the matches on a 5 Star rating system. I also only choose from single matches, as I want to break down the matches that showcase his style. Here is what the stars mean ½ Means a really terrible match, * Means a bad match, ** Means a below average match, **1/2 Means a good average entertaining match, *** Means a good match, **** Means a great match, ***** Means an epic match. So if you are ready, let’s step into the ring with George Steele.

RIW Legend George Steele DVD

Best Of George Steele

Match 1: George Steele vs. Hulk Hogan

As the match starts, George starts by wiggling your hands around and Hogan stops his antics by flexing and stopping George in his tracks and as George gets out of the ring Hogan goes out after him and beats him up as the fans go crazy. Once back in the ring Hogan and George size each other up and neither wants to make a mistake and its George who makes the first move and with a wrack to Hogan’s eyes he takes the lead of the match by working over his eyes and even biting him. George takes the padding off of a turnbuckle and tries to ram Hogan’s head into it before he reverses it and rams Georges into it and then Hogan takes the match momentum and even bites the head of George! The two exchange hits and punches and with the help of brass knuckles George hurts Hogan and keeps using it to keep the Hulkster down. But after a while Hogan has had enough and after Hulking Up and some punches and a big boot to the face of George and when going for the legdrop, Mr. Fuji cheats and trips Hogan and as George distracts the referee he throws powder into the eyes of Hogan blinding him and causing him to fall out of the ring and is counted out and the fans are very mad by this. This is a match that on paper should not work well as both Hogan and Steele are wrestlers who work their own styles with Steele’s really being more of a gimmick and yet the two made it work as they blended both together and really got the crowd into it. No big moves are thrown and nothing really fancy is delivered, but the way Steele cheats and gets the heat from the crowd and the way the fans pop for Hogan at every move really does make the match feel big. I was also really surprised when Steele is the one who gets the win via pinfall. Over all a good match that had a big fight feel and showed that George Steele could have been a big heel even in the 80’s if booked right.

Rating: ***

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Match 2: George Steele vs. Pete Mitchell

George Steele is managed by Freddie Blassie in this match and as soon as the bell rings, the weird movements of George throws of Pete and George moves in and attacks the face and head of Pete even biting him. George then destroys the turnbuckle and keeps his attack on Pete going who is helpless at this point and is just being destroyed. George even tosses Pete out of the ring and Blassie even delivers a kick to him, and George will not let him back in the ring. Once back in the ring George starts working on both arms of Pete stomping on them, and at this point Pete has not even landed one punch or move in the match. George continues beating up and tossing Pete around and in the end with a lifting hammerlock George gets the win when Pete is forced to give up. And after the bell George still beats up on Pete and Blassie loves it. This match is a total squash match and has George Steele destroying Pete Mitchell by just biting, knocking him out of the ring and stomping on him. George looks great as a heel in this match as he is vicious and does not allow his opponent to even fight back and his lifting hammerlock is fantastic looking. Poor Pete Mitchell looks like a total jobber and does nothing in the match besides sell like crazy for Steele. Not much more to say besides this is a very one sided match that while entertaining of seeing George be mean heel, is not much of a match.

Grade: **

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Match 3: George Steele vs. Adrian Adonis

George starts the match by chasing Adonis around the ring and causes him to escape by getting out of the ring. Once back in the ring George charges at Adonis who is able to land a punch first and even chokes him with his scarf, and even uses the ropes to try and take the breath away from George. But with a quick punch to the face George makes his comeback that allows him to unleash a series of stomps and punches. George even slams Adonis on the entry ramp as the fans cheer with joy. But while hurt Adonis is able to land a few punches to the gut of George and then gives a few stomps, but George as well brawls his way back to being the one on top of the match momentum for a moment until Adonis takes back over for a brief moment with some punches. Adonis climbs the top rope and George crotches him and Adonis then elbows the referee knocking him out for a moment, George gets Adonis into the hammerlock and causes him to tap out but there is no referee to see it. George goes to check on the referee and when doing so Adonis rolls him up and gets the pin and the win. This is a brawling match that is kind of bland as Adrian Adonis is very lazy in the match and spends most of its short time resting on the mat or ramp and throwing very sloppy moves. This clearly was during a time when Adonis just stopped caring about the quality of his matches and he and George’s style just did not mix well at all. I do feel that he did sell really well for George throughout the match. George as well does his basic punches and stomps with his lifting hammerlock to Adonis being the most impressive move in the whole match. Over all it’s a very sloppy match that George Steele did his best to try and make it look good and entertaining and while he tried it just was not a good match.

Grade: *1/2

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Match 4: George Steele vs. Greg Valentine

As the match starts, Greg tries to attack George from behind and it backfires, as George is able to see the attack coming and lands a punch to his gut and then starts beating up Greg more and more even ramming his head into the turnbuckle. But Greg makes a comeback after George botches an attempt at a bulldog headlock and Greg drops chops and elbows onto the down Animal and then unloads many elbows onto him as George tries to get up. After trying to land a top rope axe handle that misses Greg finds himself getting beat up by George who is now worked up with some anger and the fans are clearly behind him. And George then goes after Jimmy Hart the manger of Greg Valentine and starts to chase him to the back as Greg ends up going out after George to try and save his manager. And with that George Steele is counted out by chasing Hart around the ring and Greg wins the match via count out. This is another sloppy brawl that showcases two powerhouse wrestlers from the WWF from the 80’s slugging it out and showing once more that when pitted against the right opponent Georges limited move set can work and Greg was a good opponent for him to be working. Greg also does a great job of selling for George and does a good face flop when hitting the turnbuckles. George pretty much does his normal stomping, punching and acting weird while limited the fans love every second of him in the ring. The end being a count out was a little of a letdown but it did at least make both wrestlers look strong with Greg Valentine getting the win and George Steele still looking like a top baby face in his loss as he was not pinned and even was able to scare Jimmy Hart who was a hated heel manager. Over all super sloppy but entertaining for such a quick throwaway match that was clearly just a way to give Greg a win.

Grade: **1/2

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Match 5: George Steele vs. Gorilla Monsoon

We start the match already in progress and Gorilla is down on the mat and is injured as George starts to work over his arm by stomping on it and keeps the pressure on Gorilla and even almost gets a three count on him. George starts working on the shoulders of Gorilla, who then ends up getting out of George’s hold and locks in a big bear hug as the crowd starts cheering for Gorillas comeback, George lands a big punch to his forehead and both men crash to the mat. Once back up George starts using an object to punch Gorilla who is very injured and weak by now, and George almost tosses Gorilla over the top rope and once Gorilla gets back in the beating continues as George uses an object to punch him in the head over and over. And after a sloppy comeback Gorilla locks on a bear hug again and like before George uses an object and the hold is broke and the pair fall to the mat. In the end Gorilla gets ahold of the object and George leaves the ring and gets himself counted out and Gorilla wins the match via count out. This is a very slow paced match and Gorilla Monsoon spends most of the match on the mat sweating like crazy and kind of so-so selling for George who is doing all the work and trying to make this match at least somewhat good. The match has the most basic moves thrown with most of them coming from George who is doing his normal brawling style that is mostly throwing punches. This match is really bad and many spots in the match happen several times making them very uninteresting. Not much more to say then George Steele looks good in the match and does his best to work with a clearly out of shape Gorilla Monsoon and while George has a limited style it was clear Gorilla was even more limited at this time. And really silly that they gave the count out win to Gorilla when they should have given George the win as he was becoming a great heel.

Grade: *

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Match 6: George Steele vs. Mike Powers

As the bell rings, George Steele rushes Mike Powers and lands some clubbing blows and tosses him over the rope and goes after him and rams his head into the rails, and George will not even let Mike back into the ring. Once back in the ring Mike is placed in an arm bar and his arm is even bitten by George. And then George gets Mike into his lifting hammerlock and Mike quits and this give George the very quick win. Wow, this was 100% a squash match as George Steele busts out his brawling moves and his finishing move the hammerlock to make Mike Powers look like a jobber as he is unable to even land one move. The only move that stands out in the whole match is once more George Steele’s lifting hammerlock. And I have to say Mike Powers does a good job of selling for Steele throughout this quick match. Nothing special here but did its job of building George Steele.

Grade: **

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So as you can see while George “The Animal” Steele was a wrestler who had a brawling gimmick style that could get fans to cheer when a face and boo him like crazy when heel and while not a technical wrestler he was one hell of an entertaining one that was one of my favorites growing up cause he made Pro Wrestling fun. And that brings me to this, in 2023 I feel like doing something very fun and will be a major treat for fans of wrestling like myself as I think every month this year I will have a “R.I.W Wrestling Legends” update! Remember back in 2021 we did this same thing for “Horror Host Icons”, but in April, what our household calls WWE WrestleMania Month, I will deliver two updates showcasing wrestlers! Again I know you fans of the squared circle are looking forward to seeing who we cover, now with that said our next update will take us out of the Rotten Ink Arena and back to the world of Star Comics as we go on adventures with Royal Roy one of the companies most popular original characters. So until next time, read a comic or three, watch a wrestling match or two and as always support your local wrestlers. And yes the land that Royal Roy rules over is called Cashelot…just think about that.

Royal Roy Star Comics Preview Logo

R.I.W Wrestling Legend: Papa Shango

The Rotten Ink Arena doors are open and as you can see, it’s really spooky in here as fog is all over and Halloween decorations are hanging all around as this “R.I.W Wrestling Legend” update is about a wrestler who had the power of voodoo on his side and who could put curses on his opponents and make fans look on in fear! And I am of course talking about Papa Shango who terrorized the WWF as well as a few indies in the early 90’s and who is going to be coming down this aisle with his smoking skull and will shock, scare and entertaining this packed house. And while he grab some candy corn and spooky punch from the snack bar and find our seats I am also here to say that from time to time in the month of October we will have some “R.I.W Wrestling Legend” updates about these spooky themed wrestlers. But as you can see, the house lights are going down and the smoke is pouring in so that mush mean Papa Shango is on his way to the ring and our update is about to start.

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Charles Wright started his pro wrestling career in 1989 and was trained by Larry Sharpe and came from background of working for bars and would first start working for Jerry Lawler in the USWA and go under the name The Soultaker and would even capture the USWA Unified World Heavyweight Championship title his rookie year and held it for two weeks. While working for USWA he would also get chances to work a few matches in New Japan Pro Wrestling and this helped him learn more moves and skill sets. The Soultaker would also start working other smaller indie feds during this time and by 1991 he would get the call to come work for the WWF. And when first working for the WWF in Dark Matches and House Shows as Sir Charles and was not a character with a future. But in 1992 Sir Charles would become Papa Shango a voodoo master who would chant curses, wear face paint to make him look like a skull, would carry a skull that would smoke and he even could control the arena lights. Kids in the crowd was scared of this creepy guy as he would be pushed fast from the start and would get wins over name mid-carders and would also be pushed in big stories as he would feud with Ultimate Warrior that had him curse the Warrior and cause him to bleed and vomit black goo. He would also get a WWF World Heavyweight Title shot against Bret Hart at Saturday Night’s Main Event XXXI and even entered the 1993 Royal Rumble. But while he started out being a big heel for the company he quickly found himself falling down the card and loosing matches against names like Tito Santana and Hacksaw Jim Duggan. And by mid 1993 Papa Shango would be faded away from TV and the WWF. But he would be sent back to USWA by WWF as the two companies worked together and Papa Shango would win the USWA Unified World Heavyweight Championship title for a second time. And would even in 1994 wrestle for the German company Catch Wrestling Association as Papa Shongo would go for the company’s world title but would loose. Papa Shango would fade away due to Pat Patterson not being a fan of the spooky character. But during his short run he would have some big matches against some big names like The Undertaker, The Road Warriors, Bret Hart, Ultimate Warrior, Randy Savage, Big Boss Man, British Bulldog, Kamala and Bob Backlund to name a few. Papa Shango really did scare the kids in the crowd and even some adults was spooked by his voodoo ways but his time to scare was short.

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In 1994 Papa Shango would be no more and in 1995 Kama “The Supreme Fighting Machine “ would appear and be a shoot fighter who loved to fight and would feud with The Undertaker and even steal the Dead Mans urn and turns it into a gold necklace and would join the Million Dollar Corporation a stable of heels lead by Ted DiBiase. And Kama was a short-lived character that would be gone by 1996 after entering that years Royal Rumble. Kama Mustafa would return to WWF in 1997 and would no longer have the nickname The Supreme Fighting Machine and would be apart of the Nation Of Domination stable that was lead by Ron Simmons and would have fellow members over the years like The Rock, Mark Henry, D’Lo Brown, Owen Hart and PG-13. And after a good run with the stable he in 1998 would become The Godfather a pimp who would have hos come to the ring with him and the fans would love him and his larger then life persona. The Godfather would be a very popular mid-carder who would be in the WWF Intercontinental title picture from all the way up to 2000 and would even capture the title once. In mid 2000 The Godfather would become The Goodfather and would stop his sleazy ways and join the stable known as Right To Censor and would capture WWE Tag Team Gold along with partner Bull Buchanan. In 2002 he would return to The Godfather character with his ladies and all. But by the end of 2002 he would be let go from the company. From 2005 on The Godfather would make special appearance off and on for the WWF via Royal Rumble matches and even backstage segments. And even in 2007 Charles Wright would start working the Indies as well as doing conventions and at many would be both Papa Shango and The Godfather. In 2016 The Godfather was inducted into the WWE Hall Of Fame and still remains a beloved semi retired wrestler.

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Papa Shango almost made two big returns to the WWF over the years but the plans just never seemed to work out. Like in 1994 a plan was in place that would have Papa Shango be the one who put a voodoo spell on Bob Backlund to explain his crazed heel turn, but they decided to bring Charles back as Kama The Supreme Fighting Machine. And in 1997 they had plans to bring back Papa Shango and even update his look and character and once more he was instead Kama on his return. I am not going to lie as I would have loved to have seen either of these returns happen as I feel that the WWF did not fully do Papa Shango justice as the character was really cool and was a favorite of mine in the early 90’s and his feud with The Ultimate Warrior was one I enjoyed. And on a side note I still think WWF could bring back Papa Shango even now and have him involved in a story with The Fiend, and he could even have a none wrestling role and it still would work. But check out the first two pictures below to see what Papa Shango would have looked like in 1997 if he had returned.

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Growing up a wrestling fan I have always liked the creepy and horror themed wrestlers and Papa Shango was one of my favorites as how can you go wrong with a wrestler who looked creepy and would put voodoo curses on his opponents and scare the hell out of the kids in the crowd. I mean he would make black goo pour from peoples heads, make them get sick and puke up that same black goo, he would mess with the arena lights and even set peoples feet on fire! He even once put the black goo curse on Mean Gene Okerlund and caused his arm to have pain and drop the microphone as the goo ran down his arm. And I always marked out for his matches against the likes of The Undertaker, Ultimate Warrior and Kamala. And I even had his Hasbro figure and would play him in the video games on the Sega Genesis. And in these modern times it seems that Papa Shango is finally getting some respect and love as the character was loved by many and hated by many when he first appeared, and now it seems like more people have discovered just how awesome the character was and how much potential he had as they really could have used him as a monster heel and could have had him in the World Title picture. If you can see Charles Wright at a convention at times you can get photo ops and he will dress as Papa Shango complete with smoking skill prop! I should also note that when Papa Shango disappeared off WWF TV I was pretty bummed and when he showed back up as Kama I was disappointed as while I like Kama and The Godfather the best gimmick in my eyes for Charles hands down was Shango. While he is none active for the most part from in ring action I for one hope that he does return at some point to the WWF as I think they could do some cool stuff with him in the over all story arch of The Fiend.

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We are now at the point of this review were we will be taking a look at the DVD set and review some of the matches on the discs like always between 4 to 8. I want to thank Coliseum Of Wrestling & Boxing for having this set in stock and also want to thank Papa Shango for his hard work in the world of wrestling. I also want to remind you that I will only be breaking down randomly select matches from this set and will be breaking down the match and will be rating the matches on a 5 Star rating system. I also only choose from Single matches, as I want to break down his matches that showcase his style. Here is what the stars mean ½ Means a really terrible match, * Means a bad match,** Means a below average match, **1/2 Means a good average entertaining match, *** Means a good match, **** Means a great match, ***** Means an epic match. So if you are ready, let’s step into the ring with Papa Shango.

RIW Papa Shango DVD

Best Of Papa Shango

Match 1: Papa Shango vs. Tatanka

Shango jumps Tatanka from behind just as the bell rings and unloads some punches and throws Tatanka into the ropes but misses a dropkick, given Tatanka a chance to fight back with some massive chops. Papa Shango takes the chops for a short time but once more takes control of the match and even delivers a big jumping head butt that knocks Tatanka down, and allows Shango to keep up his assault and even choke the Native American superstar on the ropes. Shango then gets Tatanka in a nerve hold trying to make him submit and he really digs it in with all his size and power, but as the fans start cheering Tatanka starts to war dance and use his elbows to Shango’s gut in order to break the hold and take the momentum of the match. Tatanka climbs to the top rope and drops a chop to the head of Shango, and is able to get a two count. Shango goes outside the ring and grabs his voodoo stick and tries to hit Tatanka with it as sparks shoot out of the top of it and the referee has seen enough and disqualifies Papa Shango and gives the match to Tatanka. This was a good solid match that was sadly a very lame ending as both guys were being pushed at the time so they just did a DQ ending so neither had to take a pin. The match for the most part is all brawling styles mixed with some moves and a dash of rest holds. While the styles of Tatanka and Papa Shango did not blend all that well they both did a great job to make the best of the match that the fans at the arena seemed to enjoy as they popped for Tatanka throughout. It was also nice to see Papa Shango try and pull off a dropkick and Tatanka’s top rope head chop looked good. And also the commentators did a good job of putting both men over in skill as well as Shango’s gimmick. Over all a good upper mid-card match that had Shango trying to use his voodoo to win and it backfiring and causing him to loose by DQ.

Grade: **1/2

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Match 2: Papa Shango vs. Kamala

Before the bell rings Papa Shango shows Kamala the smoking skull, and as Kamala stares at it and the bell rings Shango makes the skull shoot fire from the top and this scares Kamala who tries to leave the ring and is only being stopped by his manager Slick. Shango then attacks Kamala from behind and even starts biting him, and splashes him into the corner. When Shango whips Kamala into another corner and tries for a splash again Kamala is able to move and makes a comeback complete with a chop to the top of Shango’s head. Kamala misses a big splash and Shango is able to once more take control of the match and attacks the eyes of Kamala and then starts choking him on the ropes. Shango keeps up the attack on Kamala and tosses him out of the ring, and then starts to attack his manager Slick. Kamala sees the attack on his manager and gets back into the ring and is able to save him and then the two go outside the ring and get counted out. First thing I have to say is that Kamala’s selling of looking at and being freaked out by the smoking skull is fantastic! Kamala is such an under rated wrestler and his comedy aspects are great when he wants to be funny. This match is pretty much a brawl as Shango and Kamala throw punches and hit basic movies like body slams and yet for some reason it really works as both guys have gimmicks that mesh well and they play off each other so well. In fact when selecting the matches for this update, this was the one I was most looking forward to. Neither men throw out any moves that standout or are that impressive, but the comedy between the two is what makes this match work so well. I was a little disappointed in the count out ending though. To sum it up, I would have liked for this match to go a little longer and would have had one of them winning the match. And Shango is the prefect heel in the match as he uses dirty moves and trues his best to scare his opponent silly.

Grade: **1/2

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Match 3: Papa Shango vs. Mr. Perfect Curt Henning

Papa Shango jumps Curt Henning as the bell rings and lays in some big punches, and then tosses Henning out of the ring. Shango even rolls out of the ring and attacks Henning before he can even get back into the ring and even once he is able to get back into the ring. Henning makes a comeback and dropkicks Shango out of the ring and then goes out after him even ramming him into the post. Once back in the ring Henning and Shango exchange hits and moves each trying to cut the other off from getting to much momentum. Shango ends up getting Henning in a headlock and cheats to get leverage by putting his feet on the ropes and almost puts Henning asleep with the hold. But Henning is able to get out of the hold and land some big clotheslines, and after a missed move Shango is put into the Perfect Plex and Henning gets the win. This is a good match as Curt Henning was one of the all time best and he was able to work well with the style of Papa Shango who throughout the match looked like a major threat. Henning also really sells for Shango well and makes him look like the monster heel they were building him up to be. The ending was great and having Henning quickly hit the Perfect Plex was a great way to give Henning the win and also not damage Shango in the process. Over all this was a really good match and again have to stress just how good Henning was at this time in making everyone in the ring with him look like a true superstar.

Grade: ***

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Match 4: Papa Shango vs. Repo Man

Before the match its clear that Repo Man is a little scared of Papa Shango as is many of the young kids in the crowd. As soon as the bell rings Papa Shango is all over Repo Man and throws and batters him around the ring before getting an arm bar and working over the wrist joint of his opponent. But Repo Man is able to make a comeback and after a few bit punches he uses a clothesline to take Shango off his feet. Repo Man then gets an arm bar of his own and starts working over the arm of Shango who gets out of the hold by picking him up and body slamming him hard to the mat, and locks in a chin lock on Repo Man who is clearly in lots of pain. Shango breaks the hold and pushes Repo Man into the corner and starts biting him as the referee yells at him. Repo Man tries to make a small comeback but is cut off and after a double clothesline Shango gets mad and grabs his voodoo stick and shoots sparks into the face of Repo Man who in turn grabs his rope and hook and the referee disqualifies both me and neither get the victory. What a strange match for the WWF to have as both men are heels and the fans have no idea who they should cheer as they both work a brawling style with each throwing big punches and hitting your most basic wrestling moves. And because they wrestle a semi same style the action in the ring was solid and it was clear that Shango is who was being pushed and he is in control for most of the match. And Repo Man does a great job of selling as well as acting scared of Shango, and on the other side Shango does a good job of selling for Repo man when he makes his comebacks. But like before the finish is a little of a letdown as once more is a DQ as both men grab weapons and the referee has seen enough and throws it out, it should have had a clear winner of the match. This is a weird booked match but at least a very entertaining one.

Grade: **1/2

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Match 5: Papa Shango vs. Marty Jannetty

From the start of the match Papa Shango out powers Marty and gets him into the corner and starts throwing punches and even works over Marty’s eyes. Shango makes a mistake and tries to axe handle hit Marty who is able to jump kick Shango in the face. Shango then challenges Marty to a test of strength, but Marty is to smart for him and just as they are about to lock up he gets Shango in an arm bar, Shango gets out of the hold and they pull off a chain of moves against each other and Marty ends up back to having the arm bar locked in on Shango. Marty ends up knocking Shango out of the ring and goes out after him, but Marty misses a move and hits the guard railing and this gives Shango the chance to stomp on Marty outside the ring, and then tosses him back into the ring and drops an elbow and stomps on his face and then tosses Marty back out of the ring. Marty gets back in and rolls up Shango for a pin, Shango kicks out and hits Marty with a massive clothesline and is only able to get a two count on the Rocker. Shango starts arguing with the referee and Marty roles him up for a one count. Shango then starts punching Marty who bounces off the ropes and rolls up Shango again and this time gets the three count. What a good match that had to solid mid-card draws entertaining the fans as Marty of course worked a fast pace as Shango brought the brawling style. The two really worked well together and the quick surprise pin was a great finish for the match as if gave Marty a win and also didn’t make Shango look weak in defeat. The crowd was behind Marty and he does a great job of playing the crowd and getting them involved in the match. And the fans do not like Shango as they boo for his moves. Over all really a good quick match and both guys look great and both guys work well together and made for an entertaining match.

Grade: ***

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Match 6: Papa Shango vs. The Undertaker

The bell rings and The Undertaker and Papa Shango stand in the middle of the ring face to face and stare each other down and the electricity is filling the arena and Shango makes the first move and grabs Taker by the throat and backs him into the corner. But Taker then grabs Shango by the throat and backs him into the corner. Once the choke is broke Taker starts landing good hits on Shango and even walks the top rope and clubs the arm of Shango who tries to make a comeback but is body slammed for his attempt, but taker misses a dropping elbow and Shango is able to knock Taker out of the ring who lands on his own feet, but Shango will not let him into the ring. Once Taker gets back in the ring and behind the referee’s back Shango uses his voodoo stick to shoot sparks into the eyes of Taker who falls out of the ring blinded and Shango goes out after him and starts pounding on him and hits him with a chair and even throws him into the steel steps. And once back in the ring Shango continues to beat up on Taker who keeps sitting up and after a serious if big elbow drops Shango waits to see if he rises, and as the manager of The Undertaker Paul Bearer lifts the urn he carries into the air The Undertaker sits back up and hits Shango with a leaping clothesline and then choke slams him and gets the three count and the win. This is a match that features two of the best wrestling gimmicks that were in the WWF at the time as both had horror themes and these two should have had a much bigger feud than they did. I mean imagine a story that had Papa Shango using voodoo to control The Undertaker and turning him into a heel, and Paul Bearer having to figure out a way to get Taker back, but that for another topic. The match is slow passed as both work a brawling style but their styles cause very similar mix very well and The Undertaker does a great job of selling for Shango even when sitting up like Michael Myers from the Halloween movie series. While Shango does great selling and watching The Undertaker as you could tell he wanted to bring him down. The Undertaker walking the top rope in a movie that is now called Old School is great and got a pop from the crowd. In fact the crowd was really into this match and it was clear they wanted The Undertaker to win. The stare down between the two at the start of the match was great and really set the mood for the match and when Shango landed all those elbows and watched to see if Undertaker would sit back up was great creepy heel stuff. A great entertaining match as I enjoyed the story telling in the ring as well as the slow moving brawling action, really do wish these two got a longer and more flushed out feud.

Grade: ***

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Match 7: Papa Shango vs. Bret Hart

This is match is for the WWF World Heavyweight Title. As the bell rings Papa Shango starts landing clubbing blows to the back of Bret and takes control for a moment, but then Bret is able to pull off a monkey flip and hits some big punches and goes for the pin after a flying body press, but only gets a one count and with the kickout Bret is thrown to the outside, Bret slides back in and hits Shango with an atomic drop and then clotheslines Shango over the top rope as the fans go crazy, as Bret dives out and lands a big punch to the downed Shango. Once back in the ring Shango is able to take control of the match when he whips Bret chest first into the turnbuckle, and then start beating up Bret with punches and moves and even gets Bret into a massive bear hug, Bret escapes the move by biting Shango on top of his head, but Shango keeps the momentum in his favor and shows just how powerful he is, and then goes for a never hold on Bret. And anytime Bret tries to make a comeback Shango uses his power to cut it off and stop it. Shango misses a top rope elbow drop and Bret takes over the momentum of the match and keeps hitting Shango with moves and going for the pin only for the Voodoo Man to kick out. But Bret is able to get Shango in the Sharpshooter and Shango gives up and this gives Bret the win. This was a great WWF title match and like always Bret Hart gets a great match out of his opponent with this one being Papa Shango. Bret does a great job of not only flawlessly pulling off his moves, but also makes Shango look like a top heel contender for his title and like the true superstar he is gets the fans really into the match. Shango as well does a great job of hitting massive moves and stays on Bret making it look like the title is in jeopardy of switching hands. And even in loosing Shango still looked strong throughout the match. A really good match and shows that Papa Shango could work with every style of wrestler on the WWF roster at the time as he could work jobbers as well as top of the federation like Hart and have good matches with them all.

Grade: ***1/2

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Match 8: Papa Shango vs. Bob Backlund

From the start of the bell Backlund is able to use his speed and technical style to trip up, out maneuver and take down the much bigger Papa Shango who ends up talking the momentum when he beats Backlund in a test of strength. Bob is able to gain control again and this time shows Shango that he as well has power. But Shango is able to land a massive backbreaker and take Backlund down, and then the two battle outside the ring with Shango being the one in control and rams Backlund’s back into the apron, and even back in the ring Shango keeps up the attack keeping Backlund down with a headlock. Even when Backlund is able to use an arm drag to get out of the headlock Shango keeps up his attack not giving him a moment to catch his breath, and after pounding on him locks in another headlock and cheats to get leverage by putting his feet on the ropes. Shango lets go of the hold and starts to torture Backlund a little more, but the veteran out smarts Shango and is able to roll him up with a small package and get the win via pinfall. This was a good match that was for the most part very one sided as Papa Shango was in control for most of the match and just beat the heck out of Bob Backlund and event used submission moves to try and wear the old veteran down, and Shango looked like a beast doing so and really got the fans worked up as they were on the side of Backlund. And speaking of Backlund he does a good job of selling for Shango, getting the crowd to cheer and his for his age at the time showed that he had speed. Bob Backlund was super skilled in the match and while he and Shango have very different in ring style the match comes off very good and both come out looking like the superstars they are. Also should note this was a match of the past meeting the then generation of WWF wrestling.

Grade: **1/2

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Papa Shango was one of my favorite heels in the WWF in the early 90’s and is truly one that I wished would have stuck around as he could have had good matches and feuds with many of the wrestlers at the time and the years after he was gone. I mean I would have loved a full feud with The Undertaker, Ultimate Warrior, Jake “The Snake” Roberts and later Mankind and Vader. While Papa Shango might not be the most skilled wrestler of all time his gimmick, look and skills made him a stand out for me and he was one of the best horror themed wrestlers at the time only behind the likes of The Undertaker. But as you can see the ghosts, goblins and vampires have started to fill the Rotten Ink Arena for the after midnight monster bash so I think that’s our cue to leave, but before we do I would like to tell you that our next update will have us hanging out with Horror Host Icon Sammy Terry as we celebrate Halloween! So until next time read a comic or three, watch a wrestling match or two and as always support your local indie wrestlers. I wonder if the Great Pumpkin will show up for the next update?

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Kevin Nash The Master Of The Jackknife Powerbomb

Here on Rotten Ink we have covered some big men of the squared circle of Pro Wrestling like Andre The Giant and King Kong Bundy, and now I think it’s time we take a look at another as we step into the ring with Kevin Nash who hands down was one of the most popular wrestlers of the late 1990’s and through out the 2000’s in both WWF and WCW and even made his mark in TNA as being a main-eventer and a wrestler who put asses in the seats. Nash has been a very topical wrestler as some fans, critics and fellow wrestlers don’t like him and claim that when he was WWE World Heavyweight Champion, he was not a draw and that he was lazy and only knew a limited move set.  Others put him at the top of their favorite wrestlers and find his matches entertaining. Here on this update I will try and cover it all from his biggest match as Wrestlemania XI, to the Finger Poke Of Doom and even ending Goldbreg’s winning streak, it will all be covered! So once more lace up your boots and step over the top rope as we take a look at another big man of Pro Wrestling and the Image Comic based on him.

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Kevin Scott Nash was born on July 9th, 1959 in Detroit Michigan and had a pretty normal life besides sadly losing his father in 1968 from a heart attacks.  Kevin was only 8 years old. Nash was a great student and went to the University Of Tennessee where played center for the basketball team from 1977-1980 even making it to the NCAA Sweet 16, but his prankster attitude and clashes with authority took him out from playing for a fourth year. After moving to Europe and playing pro basketball for many years, he tore his anterior ligament, and this caused him to have to retire.  He took many other odd jobs overseas like 202nd Military Police Company where he guarded a NATO facility, and back in the US he managed a strip club and worked for a Ford factory. Nash eventually decided to try and become a Pro Wrestler and was trained by Jody Hamilton aka Assassin # 2, and in 1990 Nash was able to get a job with WCW.

With grease paint on his face and an orange Mohawk, he became Steel and teamed with his partner Iron to become The Master Blasters that would spend a few months feuding with Mike Rotundo and Tim Horner. But Iron was not working out and was replaced by Blade, and the team was undefeated for a time making them a tag team to watch as they had the power and look.  Their first loss came by the hands of Tom Zenk and Brian Pillman. Even after the loss, they ended up getting a tag team title shot against The Steiner Brothers and would not be able to take the straps from the champs. By 1991, their push as a tag team came to a end and so did the tag team as Steel would now just be called Master Blaster and would have single matches against the likes of Brian Pillman and Junkyard Dog only to lose.

Master Blaster was gone by February 1991, and Nash would get the second gimmick of his career as he became Oz! As Oz he had a weird old man Halloween mask, silver hair, dressed in green, was managed for a short time by The Great Wizard and was based on the book/movie The Wizard Of Oz.  He was a powerhouse of power and made his debut at the 1991 Clash Of The Champions where he started his short undefeated streak…that was until The Great American Bash 1991 when he faced Ron Simmons, and after this loss he became a jobber for the wrestling stars like Dustin Rhodes, Rick Steiner, Bobby Eaton and Bill Kazmaier. And 1991 went that way for Oz, as what was supposed to be a big grand gimmick turned into a cheesy one that was used as enhancement talent. Rumor has it that Oz’s push came to an end over money, and it was also said that the whole gimmick was a rib (prank) on Nash to try to get him to quite WCW. I can remember watching that Clash Of The Champions when Oz premiered and thinking just how amazing his entrance theme was…while the gimmick was lame, it still is one I remember.

At the start of 1992, after Oz was sent packing back to the Emerald City, Nash got yet another change this time becoming a wise ass gambling mobster type named Vinnie Vegas who was quickly placed in the A Half-Ton Of Holy Hell stable along side Vader and Mr. Hughes and was managed by Harley Race. But as fast as this stable was created it was also disbanded a month later.  Vegas ended up going to the stable The Diamond Mine along with The Diamond Studd (Scott Hall) and Scotty Flamingo (Raven), and their leader was Diamond Dallas Page! This stable lasted for a short while, and after they broke up, DDP and Vegas formed a tag team named The Vegas Connection.  This lasted until Page was fired. Vinnie Vegas floated around for a while longer losing matches and being forced into teams with such wrestlers as Big Sky. But his luck was about to change as he had some powerful friends in the WWF, namely Jim Ross and Shawn “HBK” Michaels, and they pulled some strings so Nash was able to get out of his contract and his wrestling career was about to blow up! Kevin Nash’s first run for WCW saw him as an orange Mohawked goon named Steel, then the silver haired Oz and ended it being a parody of a mobster named Vinnie Vegas…say what you will about his first run characters, but they are what makes wrestling fun with their cheesy outlandish appearances. Check out below for pictures to see the evolution of Kevin Nash in WCW wave one.

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Kevin Nash entered the WWF in 1993.  He grew out his hair and dawned black leather and became “Big Daddy Cool” Diesel, the bodyguard for Shawn Michaels.  The pair became Two Dudes With Attitudes, and he helped Michaels deal with good guy wrestlers who were looking to beat up on the Heart Break Kid. In the 1994 Royal Rumble, Diesel entered the Rumble at # 7 and lasted for 18 minutes and tossed out seven men that included Owen Hart, Rick Steiner, Bob Backlund and Billy Gunn. Over the months Diesel would win the Intercontinental Championship from Razor Ramon and with Shawn Michaels captured the Tag Team Titles from The Headshrinkers, making Diesel a double champion!! This was a short feat as he would lose the IC belt back to Razor, and after a tag match his partner, HBK landed a super kick to his chin, breaking them up.  They forfeited the belts and Disel was no longer his bodyguard.  This marked his turn from heel to face as the crowd began cheering Big Daddy Cool. Things were going great for Diesel as he would go on to win the WWF World Heavyweight Champion from Bob Backlund in 8 seconds at Madison Square Garden only three days after breaking away from Shawn Michaels. He would defend his belt and retain it via a draw against Bret “Hitman” Hart at the 1995 Royal Rumble that would see Shawn Michaels winning the Rumble and getting a title match at Wrestlemania XI that we will go more in detail about a little later in this update. Diesel would hold the belt for a little while and would defend it against the likes of Sycho Sid and Mabel.  He would also reform his friendship with Shawn Michaels, and they would go on to capture the tag team titles again and with HBK also being the intercontinental champ, the pair held all of the major titles! But this time at the top was coming to an end as he and HBK lost the tag titles to Owen Hart and Yokozuna on a technicality and Diesel would lose the WWF World Heavyweight Champion on November 19 1995 to Bret “The Hitman” Hart as Survivor Series.  With this loss, Diesel turned heel again and had matches against the likes of The Undertaker and Bret Hart and would leave the WWF after WrestleMania XII losing to The Undertaker and jobbing at house shows before his contract expired. Kevin Nash’s first WWF run lasts from 1993-1996, and while many would say he was a low drawing champion, he certainly made his mark in the promotion’s history with multiple title wins and some classic matches as both a face and a heel.

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With WWF owning the rights to the in ring name Diesel and not wanting to return as Vinnie Vegas or Oz, Nash made his return to WCW on the June 10, 1996 episode of WCW Monday Night Nitro when he joined his pal Scott Hall (formally Razor Ramon) to form the invading tag team known as The Outsiders and simply went by his real name Kevin Nash! You see WCW was now going head to head with WWF on Monday Nights, and the storyline at first acted as if WWF had sent the pair over to cause chaos and to bully their talent. But after the WWF threatened to sue them, the storyline changed that they were just there to take over WCW and they had a mystery partner waiting to come out and help with the takeover. At the PPV Bash At The Beach, Kevin Nash along with Scott Hall teamed with a mystery partner to take on Sting, Macho Man Randy Savage and Lex Luger, and it was soon revealed that Hulk Hogan was the mystery partner.  The world of pro wrestling’s biggest face turned heel, and so began The New World Order (n.W.o).  Kevin Nash would become one of the biggest draws for the company winning the Tag Team Title as well as the World Heavy Weight Title and would have feuds with the likes of The Giant, Lex Luger, Rey Mysterio Jr., Goldberg.  Nash became one of the company’s biggest draws and flipped many times from being heel to face and back again. Not only was he a part of The Outsiders and n.W.o but also was the leader of the n.W.o Wolfpac, which had such members as Sting, Lex Luger, Macho Man Randy Savage and Konnan. Nash was a staple of WCW Nitro and Pay Per Views and was always a main event attraction. And unlike his first run with the company, he held the cards and was able to control the creative control of his character and was making the most money of his whole pro wrestling career. But also during this time WCW was beating WWE in the ratings and almost put them out of business.  Kevin Nash was one of the pro wrestlers leading the charge of bringing in the ratings, but when the tide turned and the end started to come crashing down on WCW, they ended up the ones being closed and bought out by their rivals, and Nash sat out his contract instead of jumping onboard and joining the WWE for the Invasion storyline. Kevin Nash’s second run for WCW was a major success and lasted from 1996-2001. And while this tiny history lesson on his second run for World Championship Wrestling might not be 100% in detail, I suggest you do yourself a favor and get the WWE Network and watch old WCW events and live or in most cases relive the history of his run.

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After WCW closed in 2001 and was bought out by WWE, many wrestlers who had long-term contracts with Time Warner had decided to stay home and not sign new contracts to wrestle for WWE during the WCW Invasion angle. Nash decided to stay home and collect his guaranteed money for the remainder of his contract and made his return to WWE in 2002 as part of the n.W.o alongside Hulk Hogan and Scott Hall who were also making their return to the company as part of Vince McMahon’s plan to poison his own company because he had to share the power of running it with Ric Flair…or so the storyline went. The n.W.o stayed around for a short time feuding with the likes of The Rock and Stone Cold Steve Austin and even Hulk Hogan as Nash and Hall turned on him after he lost his match at Wrestlemania X8 to The Rock. But a string of injuries left Nash out of action, and by this time Hall was let go from WWE.  The n.W.o was no more when he returned, and instead he was put into an angle that had two of his best friends Triple H and Shawn Michaels at odds with each other.  This lead to a feud with Triple H that gave him title shots that he was unsuccessful at capturing. His next major feud was with Chris Jericho, and his final match was in an Elimination Chamber match for the World Heavyweight Championship against Goldberg, Triple H, Shawn Michaels, Randy Orton and Chris Jericho. Nash was the first to be eliminated, and after neck surgery, the WWE did not renew is contract making his second run with the company lasting from 2002- 2004.

After being let go and healing from his surgery, he went to Total Nonstop Action Wrestling (TNA) and made his debut along side Scott Hall to help Champion Jeff Jarrett retain his title at the 2004 PPV called Victory Road. Nash, Hall and Jarrett called themselves “Kings Of Wrestling” which lasted a short time until Hall left in 2005, and Nash wanted his shot at the title and turned on Jarrett to feud for the title. And just like before, Kevin Nash became a major draw for TNA and had matches against some of the company’s top talents like AJ Styles, Jeff Hardy, Monty Brown and Randy Savage. Nash also not only wrestled for them but also acted as an on-air character delivering comedy bits and showing his joker side. Nash had some solid matches, and his fans stood beside him during his time with the company that seen him as a member of such groups as The Band and Main Event Mafia and would have him in the spotlight in main events as well as helping push younger talent. Kevin Nash’s run for TNA was not as iconic as his time with WWE or WCW but it was entertaining and him being with them helped make them seem like a major player in the world of Pro Wrestling. Nash worked for TNA from 2004-2011 and from what Nash has said in interviews, his time there was just not a highlight of his career.

Kevin Nash as Diesel made his return to WWE on January 30, 2011 at the Royal Rumble as a surprise entrant and did not win. Nash was given a WWE Legends Contract and made appearances for the company off and on and had a few matches during his return most notably against Triple H who was feuding with CM Punk at the time.  Nash interfered in a match causing Triple H to turn on his friend who was trying to help him win. He would induct Shawn Michaels into the WWE Hall Of Fame in 2011, helped in NXT as a guest match commissioner from late 2012 to early 2013, entered the 2014 Royal Rumble and lost again as well as inducted his long time friend Scott Hall as Razor Ramon into the Hall Of Fame and made many more appearances on Monday Night Raw as well as WrestleMania. Kevin Nash himself was inducted into the WWE Hall Of Fame in 2015, and he still is under a Legends deal with the company as of this update. While his return to WWE might not have had him as a main eventer and had him in very little matches, it is nice that he is home in WWE, a company they he belongs in and who helped make him a household name.

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Over his long career as a top draw in the world of Pro Wrestling, Nash has had his share of drama and moments that live on that anger some and entertains others. The first being that he was a member of a backstage group called The Kliq in WWF alongside Shawn Michaels, Razor Ramon, Triple H and 1.2.3 Kid who are said to have bullied talent and manipulated Vince McMahon into big contracts, screwing over other wrestlers like Vader, The Patriot and Shane Douglas, to name a few, from getting their proper pushes. When he left WWF on May 19 1996 at Madison Square Garden, Nash as Diesel on his last match in a steel cage against Shawn Michaels broke character at the end of the match when Diesel and Triple H who were “heels” hugged Shawn Michaels and Razor Ramon who were “faces,” and this allowed people to see that Pro Wrestling was….you know the F word….I don’t want to say it as I have respect for what all wresters do to entertain and much like Horror Hosts I like to have the veil over my eyes. Lots of wrestlers would go on record and claim that he held them back from getting bigger pushes as he was worried about his spot at the top. He is said to have smacked Rowdy Roddy Piper in the face backstage in WCW in front of management and talent causing the legend to back down, breaking his tough guy image…or so Nash says. He is the man who many claim pulled strings to be the first to beat Goldberg in WCW, who was on the worlds longest winning streak in pro wrestling. Nash is the man who in WCW de-masked the luchador legend Rey Mysterio Jr.! Nash was considered to be very lazy by many dirt sheet writers who claimed Nash would put no effort in his matches in WCW and was handed titles due to his high-end contract. Many wrestlers and managers behind the scenes have had very harsh words about Nash and his attitude and ability like Jim Cornette, Matt Bourne, Ricky Morton, Ultimate Warrior and Bob Holly to name a few. But one thing he did in his career has been said to have been the final nail in WCW is the “Finger Poke of Doom” where Kevin Nash oversold a finger poke to the chest by Hulk Hogan to put the belt back on the Hulkster and start up their n.W.o friendship once again.  People saw this as once more being a lazy move and storytelling by Nash and the bookers. But say what you want about Nash and his mixed bag of popularity with fellow workers and critics, but this Pro Wrestling fan was always entertained by his matches and gimmicks, below is a gif of the infamous Finger Poke of Doom.

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The build up to Kevin Nash’s biggest WrestleMania match was played out for almost a year before it happened.  It was between him and HBK, and their on and off again friendship had to come to a massive end and this match was to be it. Kevin Nash, as Diesel, had Pamela Anderson in his corner taking on Shawn “HBK” Michaels with Jenny McCarthy and Psycho Sid in his for the WWF World Heavyweight Champion at WrestleMania XI that took place on April 2, 1995 at the Hartford Civic Center in Connecticut. The match’s set up was Diesel was the champion, and he had to defend against his one time best friend Shawn for the final match of the feud as HBK had become jealous of the way the crowd was more behind Diesel.  He felt that it took the spotlight off him during their friendship. The match was the second main event of the PPV and was a back and fourth match that showcased Diesel as a powerhouse as well as made it clear that Michaels could hang with the bigger wrestlers in top main event matches. The matched ended with Diesel using his finisher the Jackknife power after about a 20 minute match that in the end had Diesel leaving with both Pamela Anderson and Jenny McCarthy and locked in as a true world champion. While this match would never be on anyone’s top 5 list of best WrestleMania matches, it still was a good solid match and was Kevin Nash’s best at the worlds biggest pro wrestling event.

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Besides Pro Wrestling Kevin Nash has also found his calling in acting and has been in a number of TV shows as well as movies. His first movie role came in 1991 when he played Super Shredder in “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II: The Secret Of The Ooze”, with the next playing Quixo in the 1992 episode This Old House Of Mayan for USA Network show “Swamp Thing”! 1992 also saw him act in the TV show “Super Force” playing the characters Lau and Iau in two episodes. And 1995 saw him play a Male Phone Caller in the made for TV Film “The Weinerville Chanukah Special”.  In 1997, he had a cameo in a TV Show playing The Giant in the episode The Crucible on “Sabrina, The Teenage Witch” and later that year would play Jackhammer Guy in the film “Family Plan” and be an unaccredited character in the Indian film “Aar Ya Paar”. Nash played a character named Rocky Williams on a 1998 episode of “Love Boat: The Next Wave” and would follow that up with starring as The Big Easy in two episodes of the show “Nikki” from 2000-2001. One of his biggest roles in a film came in 2004 as The Russian in the comic book flick “The Punisher,” and this helped mark him as a true actor as he was praised by fans and critics for this role. This lead to roles in films like “The Longest Yard” 2005 remake, “Grandma’s Boy” the 2006 comedy, “DOA: Dead Or Alive” as Bass Armstrong that was as well released in 2006, 2011’s “Monster Brawl” and “Rock Of Ages” in 2012 to name a few. His next big role was as well in 2012 as he played the male stripper character Tarzan in the film “Magic Mike” and would reprise the role for its 2015 sequel. And these titles are just a drop in the hat as he has been in many other films as cameos and through out this year of 2017 is also on tap to act in all types of flicks. So not only did Nash conquer the squared circle he also made his mark in acting.

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Kevin Nash as well as his ring name Diesel has had much merchandise made in his image and had made it into his fans and collectors hands. He has graced the covers of many magazines from WWF Magazine all the way to Pro Wrestling Illustrated. He has had VHS and DVD’s made about him, showcasing his “best” matches. He has had action figures made in his image by such companies as Toy Biz, Mattel and Jakks Pacific as well as has been on Pogs and Slammers, posters, t-shirts, video games and so much more! Growing up, my favorite Nash merchandise I owned was a long sleeve n.W.o Wolfpac shirt that I wore for years until bleach and age caught up to it. So of you’re a fan of Nash’s lots of great stuff is out in the world to add to your collection.

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For as long as I have owned a video game system, some of the must-buy releases for me are wrestling games, and Kevin Nash has made many appearances in them with many companies from WWE all the way to TNA. The first game I can remember him in was “WWF Raw” that came out for Super Nintendo, Sega Genesis and a number of handheld systems, all made by Acclaim. I can remember him in two WCW games for the N64 “WCW vs. n.W.o: World Tour” that was released in 1997 and “WCW/n.W.o Revenge” that was released in 1998 and both released by THQ. For the Sony Playstation, I remember him in the 1998 game “WCW Nitro” as well as “WCW Thunder” that was released in 1998 as well, both made by THQ. Later on for Playstation and N64 I remember him in the EA games “WCW Mayhem” from 1999 and “WCW: Backstage Assault” released in 2000. From here Nash would show up in WWE games on the PS2 for the Smackdown series and has made many appearances in the WWE games made by THQ and 2K and has been on systems like Game Cube, WII, PS3, PS4, Xbox 360 and Xbox One. And he’s even in the most modern game WWE 2K17! Nash also was a part of the “TNA Impact!” game made by Midway and released on PS2, PS3, WII and Xbox 360. So as you can see, if you’re a gamer and a Nash fan, you can have him in your modern storylines in WWE 2K’s Universe Mode and maybe just maybe make him take a fall by the finger poke of doom!

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As you can see, Kevin Nash has made his impact in Pro Wrestling, acting, video games and merchandise and even made his leap to comic books, thanks to Image Comics! Back in the late 90’s and early 2000’s, the wrestling boom caught the eyes of comic companies big and small, and many titles were made based on wrestlers like The Rock, The Road Warriors, King Kong Bundy, The Undertaker and more so why not give Kevin Nash his own comic series that had him act as a vigilante. I want to thank Dark Star and Lobe Star Comics for having these issues in stock, and the referee is wanting me to remind you all that I grade these on a star scale of 1 to 4 and am looking for how well the comic stays to the source material, its entertainment value and its art and story. So let’s climb into the ring with the man who named himself Big Sexy and see if he can jackknife powerbomb himself into having a solid comic series. I want to also note that Image Comics released a preview issue for Nash that was nothing more than a write up and unfinished pages from issue # 1 so I decided to skip it for this review.

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Nash # 1  **1/2
Released in 1999     Cover Price $2.95     Image Comics     #1 of 2

The world is coming to an end all thanks for a secret Cabal called The Citadel run by the evil Cyrus Storm who has made the worlds food supply run short and he and his goons are keeping the poor down and wanting them to die off! Citadel driver Seventeen is on a run when he finds some poor starving people and kills off the old woman and is about to kill her grandchild when Nash comes to the youngsters aid and makes a bloody mess of the driver. But even for the rich things are not all that well as Storm is in a power struggle with Minister Parch who’s food truck has gone missing! Storms daughter Tara takes the message that Parch and his men are going after the truck and are going to kill Nash who is out in the wasteland with the poor starving people. The Minister sends his right hand man Trax and a fleet of airships and soldiers to kill Nash and this legend of the wasteland fights them all off and just when he thinks he has won the fight someone shoots him several times in the back, ending out first issue on a cliffhanger as the shooter is in the shadows and Nash has been wounded bad.

The first issue of Nash will take you by surprise as not once is it said that he was once a Pro Wrestler and in the comic he is more like Mad Max as he wanders the wasteland and wants to help the weak and poor while sticking it to The Citadel. The underline plot of the comic is a statues war as the rich who are all members of a church have all the water and food while the normal low income people are forced to live in the wasteland a place were no food will grow and water is contaminated. The only hope for the poor is Nash a man whom the powerful fear and the weak idolize. Nash in the comic is a man who is trying to do the right thing but his macho ego still makes it hard for him to connect to those he is helping, he also loves the ladies and seems to 100% knows how to defend himself and will get as brutal as he needs to be. The Citadel clearly are people who crave the power over others and use their God as a way to justify their terrible deeds of killing and looking at the poor not as humans but as bugs that need to be exterminated. I kind of like the fact that they have not touched on the fact Nash is Kevin Nash from WCW and superstar of Pro Wrestling as this makes Nash’s violent acts more believable as well as fitting in the world the story has created. Another thing I like about this issue is that it has some bloody moments from an old woman taking a shotgun blast to her guts all the way to Nash blowing up the head of one of his enemies and each kill shows blood and slight gore! The things that don’t work for me as a reader is the fact the story seems very cookie cutter and seems like writers Kevin Nash himself and Marat Mychaels rented a bunch of Post Apocalyptic movies from Blockbuster Video and took elements they liked and mashed them together like potatoes on Thanksgiving. The art done by Marat Mychaels is ok but has that 90’s dated look and is in the style of early Image Comics. Over all this issue was a fun way to kick off the series and makes me wonder how they are going to wrap it up in one more issue? So with that lets see what they have in store for us in issue # 2 and who the man is that shot Nash in the back.

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Nash # 2   **1/2
Released in 1999     Cover Price $2.95     Image Comics     #2 of 2

Nash has a few slugs in his back and it was Trax who shot him and as Nash is about to embrace death his enemy turns on his own men and kills them! Trax tells Nash that he can only die when he allows it and that he himself is trying to gain power and will take down Minister Parch when he is ready. As Trax returns back to the city Nash and the poor come together to become an army and try and fight back against The Citadel and as they are on the move Tara Storm in a warship beams Nash up and informs him that he can end all this fighting and killing if he would just forget about the poor and join them once more and be a warrior for Storm! Nash turns down her offer and once placed back down with the poor people he decides that he needs to have sex with many of the women in the group, only to wake up and find almost all of them dead besides one who is an assassin for Minister Parch and has been hired to kill him! Nash and the female killer fight back and fourth and this leads to the young boy he saved in issue one being killed and Nash in a rage kills the female killer and promises that he is going to bring Minister Parch down once and fore all.

This second issue was suppose to lead to an issue three that never came to the light and left the story of Nash vs. The Citadel unfinished and questions never answered. The story this time around has Nash learning that Trax wants to be a player in ruling this new world as well as finds out that Tara Storm loves him and wants him to rejoin The Citadel and ends the issue having to kill a female killer who has been hired to kill him off in the name of The Minister. Nash in this issue is filled with even more ego and spends more time wanting to bang women than to protect and fight alongside the poor. It’s great as Kevin Nash once more was the co-writer and he in both issues has it that he is scoring with women and even that he has made it with Tara Storm the daughter of the series main bad guy! But while this is laughable bad that he would make himself a ladies man, it also is fitting for Nash and his style of humor. The female assassin is cold blooded and not only kills a few women but also kills a young kid all the while doing these acts in a tank top and panties, silly! Trax as well is cold as ice as he guns down his own men in order to fail on his mission on purpose so that he can use Nash as a tool to upset Minister Parch who he wants to overthrow. One odd thing is that Nash is spoken about as if he is a legend and savior but in both issue people die around him and again he seems more interested in scoring than defending. The art is once more done by Marat Mychaels and looks just like last issue with that pure 90’s Image cheese look. It’s a shame that this series just ended before the full story could have been told as I wonder what Marat Mychaels and Kevin Nash had planned to bring The Citadel down….I am guessing that it just would have had Nash bedding ladies till he finally could power bomb Minister Parch through a table all the while Tara Storm and random women giggled about Nash being a legend in bed. I am sure I am not to far off on my guess, but it really would have been nice for Image and Next Entertainment to have finished the story. This issue as well has some bloody moments and to sum it all up “Mad Nash: Beyond Wasteland Food Shortage Dome” as I have dubbed it was a fun read and took a Pro Wrestler and turned him into a comic book hero. Check out the art below to see the style this comic has to offer, and I would say if you’re a fan of Nash and cheesy end of the world comics you might want to give these two issues a read.

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So while Kevin Nash might not have taken the comic shelves by storm like he did the world of Pro Wrestling, it’s still very cool that he added his touch to series based on wrestlers. But it’s time to leave the wrestling ring and step back into the world of Horror Hosts as out next update is one I am super hyped to bring to you. It will be about The Creeper, who hosted Moraine Playhouse Theater here in Dayton, Ohio via public access in the late 80’s! Until next time make sure to read a comic or three, watch a movie or two and support your local pro wrestling federation! Next update prepare to meet The Creeper as he is a true favorite Horror Host for this monster kid.

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The Baseball Hustle Of Pete Rose

Welcome back to the Rotten Ink Ballpark, a place we will be showcasing a comic book that is based on the legend of Cincinnati’s Mr. Charlie Hustle himself, Pete Rose of Reds’ fame! Baseball is considered America’s favorite past time, and while it’s still a popular sport, it has slipped quite a bit and has never bounced back after the strike that happened in 1994-1995 when players demanded higher pay and the player pay cap, making many fans upset over the greed and the lack of games because of this strike. My dad has been a baseball fan for a long time and enjoyed listening to the games on the radio, watching them on TV, playing the sport at school and with friends as well as collecting the trading cards (that his parents would later throw in the trash – including cards that became worth lots of money).  As he got older got married to my Mom and they had my brother and me, he ended up even taking us to Red games as well as minor league teams like The Columbus Clippers and watched games on TV and even collected Topps cards alongside us. But sadly while it was a fun time bonding with my Dad, I just could not get into baseball and found the game kind of boring and things like comics, horror films and video games more interesting. One thing I will say is that while my Dad is a jock, he never has judged me for not liking sports like he does and even bought me Captain America comics and VHS as well, even horror films like Hellraiser III, when I was a youth. As I’ve gotten older, my Dad and I watch MMA, boxing and NFL Super Bowl together and have a great time. But back to baseball – when I was a kid, my favorite players were Eric Davis and Barry Larkin, and I can remember trading baseball cards with my neighbor Kelly who was a very cool and sweet person, and going to Bills Baseball Den in Waynesville and Bookie Parlor in Kettering to get cards and packs. It’s odd to think that while I barely watched the game, I still spent time and effort collecting cards for sport stars that I knew very little about, but I think that was part of the MLB magic, that it was able to make a strange monster kid like myself want to buy trading cards.  Plus I think it came down to trying to fit in with friends and having a good time opening packs with my dad, mom and brother at the kitchen table. This update is for my Dad and friends like Josh Weinberg, Nick Wiget and all the others who love this classic sport and respect all that Pete Rose has done for it. This update will be about Pete Rose, baseball and my ties to this game.  So get your ball glove ready and your cap on because we are here till the bottom of the 9th and we are ready to hit a Rotten Ink home-run!

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To talk about Pete Rose we must first talk about The Cincinnati Reds, and I am going to do my best to get the facts right and give that ball team the respect it deserves in a quick yet fun manner, so here’s a crash course on the history of the Reds! In 1869 a baseball team called the Cincinnati Red Stockings was the team that would morph into the Reds and did so in 1881 and became a American Association team in 1882.  In 1890, they joined the National League and became a true pro baseball team. The team has won five World Series in the years 1919, 1940, 1975, 1976 and 1990 and have played in many home town ballparks like Crosley Field, Riverfront Stadium and Great America Ball Park they currently call home. In 1970-1976 under the manager George “Sparky” Anderson, the team went under the nickname The Big Red Machine and had lots of big name ballplayers on the team the included Pete Rose, Johnny Bench, Tony Perez, Joe Morgan, Tom Seaver and Lee May to name a few.  The team won two World Series and it became one of the biggest most popular times for the team in it’s rich history. Another big time for the Reds was in 1990 when they went wire to wire and won the World Series with players like Barry Larkin, Eric Davis, Chris Sabo, Paul O’Neill and the pitching team nicknamed “The Nasty Boys” who were Rob Dibble, Norman Charlton and Randy Myers.  This team was managed by Lou Piniella. The Reds are still going strong in 2015, and while they have made it to the play-offs many times over the past few years, they have not been able to make it to the World Series, but if you ask guys like Josh Weinberg they will tell you that this year is the year they will take it all and if not, the next year or maybe the next year…yeah, you get the point.  Fans of the Reds are very loyal and have tons of respect for their team even if they do lose. So while this team has such a rich and amazing history, this tiny write up is just some of the highlights.  If you want to learn more about The Reds, check out the team’s Wikipedia or read a book based on the ball club. I should also note that the team’s mascot is Mr. Redlegs who is a baseball headed ball player.  For most of his time on the team Mr. Redlegs rocked a mustache, but when I was younger he had none and was a pretty popular mascot at school in Waynesville. Over all while I might not be a big watcher of sports, I can still respect and cheer for our home state teams and hope that sometime very soon The Reds once more become champs!

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I am by no means an athlete.  When I was younger, I was okay at playing football and basketball, but I could have been the worst of the worst when it came to neighborhood baseball and could have had the worst batting average among my friends! One summer my dad bought us a wiffleball bat and ball.  We would play in the backyard, and it would almost always be me and my brother against our parents in a battle of home-runs hit over the roof of the house; we lost almost all the games. In the neighborhood, we would play baseball at Brad Burns’ or Mike Cessna’s house, and I can remember that being a lot of fun as all the kids from around would come and play, and even Mike’s dog Barney would join in on the fun! At my grandparents’ house I would play ball with my brother Bryan and cousins Nathan, Stephen and Tony.  While some times this was pitching, most of the time it was T-Ball. In school, we played baseball in gym, and I can remember one time we where playing outside and I so wanted to impress the girl I had a crush on my whole tenure in Waynesville and was hit in the head with softball from a pitch thrown by Ryan “The Bull” Jones.  The impact made me blackout for a second and I fell to one knee, but I was lucky and was able to shake it off! I should have probably gone to the nurse after it, and for months after I had massive headaches that would come and go, but that didn’t bother me as much as the fact I looked foolish in front of her! So as you can see my baseball “career” was very lame and filled with defeat and heartbreak!

Wiffle Bat and Ball

So at this time I think I am going to ask one of my best friends and one of the biggest Reds fans I know, Josh Weinberg, 5 questions about his love and respect for the Reds. I have known Josh for so many years now and from the first day I met him, he has always worn Cincinnati Reds and Bengals shirts, hats and jerseys as well as Ohio State gear so when writing about Pete Rose I knew I had to have my pal involved. I mean he is the guy who bought VHS tapes from a Goodwill Outlet that had the Reds winning the 1990 World Series.  So here we go, 5 Questions with Josh Weinberg!

Josh Weinberg Reds Fan

Me:  Welcome back, Josh, to Rotten Ink.  You are a legend among my friends I write about here on my slice of the web.  So how long have you been a Cincinnati Reds fan?

Josh: I have been a Reds fan since 1990, the year that they swept the Oakland A’s in the World Series. Ever since then I was hooked. I remember being at my dad’s shop listening to the games.

Me: Always cool to hear how sports brought families together.  Who are your 4 top favorite players for the Reds of all time?

Josh: My top 4 Reds players of all time are simple number 1.) Barry Larkin 2.) Chris Sabo 3.) Jose Rio and (4 Sean Casey.

Me: Barry Larkin and Eric Davis would be two of my favorites too.  Did you every play baseball for school or Little League? If not, have you ever thought about it?

Josh: I played little league growing up as well as umpiring for kids’ leagues. I had to stop because I could not keep up my grades.  Such is life.

Me: Those pesky grades and school standing in your way of being a baseball legend! So how many Reds games have you been to in your lifetime thus far?

Josh: I have probably been to between 20 and 30 games in my lifetime. With many more to come.  My ultimate is going to opening day.

Me: That’s way more games then I have been to.  If I am lucky, I think I have been to 4 or 5.  Last question for you Josh, should Pete Rose be in the Baseball Hall Of Fame, and why or why not?

Josh: Pete Rose should be in the Hall of Fame for one single reason: the hall is about what you did on the field not what you did off the field. He is the hit king, Charley Hustle, and deserves to be in the hall. There are plenty of things other players have done back in the day and are in now. If he had not lied about it, he would be in.

Me: I agree Pete should be in for all he has done for the sport! Thanks Josh! Do you have any closing words for the Rotten Ink readers and fans of the Reds?

Josh: Last thing I have to say is Go Reds! One of these days they will win it all again…hopefully before I die!

While I don’t think they will do much this 2015 season, sometime soon I am sure the Reds will rise to be champs again!

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Pete Rose has also been involved in another sport, Pro Wrestling, where he had a feud with the Big Red Machine Kane that spanned a few WWE WrestleMania’s as well as earned Rose a spot in the WWE Hall of Fame! Pete Rose at WrestleMania XIV was the guest ring announcer for a match between The Undertaker and Kane and for some reason became the target of Kane who gave the ball player a tombstone pile driver before the match even started. The following year at WrestleMania XV, Pete Rose wanted revenge on Kane and dressed as the San Diego Chicken to attack the wrestler from behind.  This did not work as once more Rose was knocked out with a tombstone pile driver, and Kane went on to wrestle his match against Triple H. At WrestleMania 2000, Pete Rose once more tried to get the upper hand on Kane and after his tag match against DX, Rose tried to hit Kane with a baseball bat but was choked slammed! After this, Rose did a commercial for WWE No Mercy PPV and was inducted into the WWE Hall Of Fame by Kane in 2004. Pete Rose in 2010 was a guest host of Monday Night Raw and set a match between Kane and Shawn Michaels, after Kane lost he once more attacked the aging ball player. After this appearance, Rose has been mentioned on air as well as did an interview for WWE.COM on Kane’s attacks on him. While Pete Rose never wrestled a match for WWE, during his appearance he made some great moments in wrestling and it was nice to see a baseball player of his caliber not take himself too seriously.

WWE Kane and Pete Rose

So from the ball field to the wrestling ring, Pete Rose has proven time and time again that the man is a legend and is a very interesting person who has worked for his fame the hard way by given 110% every time. He has also proven that he is a marketing machine as his image has graced the likes of RC Cola cans, collector drinking glasses even one from Gold Star Chili, action figures from the Starting Line-Up a series made by Kenner & Hasbro, comic books, trading cards, collector coins, video game for Atari 2600/7800, TV Commercials, t-shirts among many other products and goods! The ones I remember the most are the video game for Atari 2600 that was a solid cheesy baseball game and the Starting Line Up figures that looked nothing like him and had very little articulation. But if you were a Rose fan, the world is filled with enough collector items to keep you very happy!

Pete Rose Drinking GlassPete Rose Starting LineupRC Cola Pete Rose

As I have stated before, I am a Monster Guy who loves comic books and this year (2015) I have gone through a stage where I am reading lots of 70’s, 80’s and early 90’s Spider-Man comics.  I am talking Amazing, Spectacular and Web Of and have gotten issues all over from Mavericks all the way to Lone Star Comics and many of the issues are coming bag and boarded to protect and keep the issue safe. Well one of the WORST places that bag and board their issues has to be Half Price Books as they clearly use the cheapest bags and boards and some of the worst tape in comic collecting history! When trying to open your comic the tape sticks to the plastic bag and rips holes in the bag and can even bend your comic as you try to get it open.  This has caused many annoying late night readings of Spidey and lots of curses toward these cheap bags. Also when writing this update, I was listening to Billy Idol’s 2014 release “Kings & Queens Of The Underground.”  It’s a pretty solid album.  While it’s by no means a classic, I still am glad that Billy is making music as he has been one of my favorite music artists sense I was a kid alongside Alice Cooper, Motley Cure, W.A.S.P. and Cinderella. In fact one of the best birthday presents in my adult life that I ever got was from Juliet as she got us close seats to Billy Idol at Fraze Pavilion in Kettering in 2010! The best tracks off this CD are the title track Kings & Queens Of The Underground and Eyes Wide Shut. The odd part about this disc is that almost all of the songs are ballads and not the fist pumping tracks one would expect from Billy Idol. So a special thanks goes to Marvel Comics for Spider-Man and Billy Idol for helping me while writing this update. I should also thank The Angry Video Game Nerd as I had episodes playing on the TV while I wrote and Billy Idol’s CD was done.  So I think it would be safe to say that Idol and AVGN acted as the soundtrack to this update and Spider-Man entertained my mind before I went to bed almost every night.

Billy Idol cd and Spiderman Comics

It’s Masstar Comics turn at bat, and I can’t wait to see what this bio Comic is like. I am wondering what direction they will take with his suspension from the sport and what kind of stories off the field they will share. I have never heard of Masstar Comics, and this will be my first read for one of their comics so this should be interesting. I want to thank a vendor at Peddlers’ Mall for having this comic at their booth as well as thank Jason Young for taking me there to look around. Oddly during our time at the Peddlers’ Mall, Jason and I found lots of Pete Rose merchandise and after that Mavericks even ended up putting out boxes of Rose’s ball cards, making me think that it was my calling to do this update. I should also remind you that I grade these issues on a star scale of 1 to 4 and am looking for how well the comic stays to the source material, it’s entertainment value and it’s art and story. So let’s see if Masstar can slide into homebase as they team up with Pete Rose and Rotten Ink to bring you this fun read at the ballpark, oh and um can I get some peanuts and a hotdog…and maybe one of those foam oversized hats?

Pete Rose 1

Pete Rose  # 1   **1/2
Released in 1992     Cover Price $2.50     Masstar Comic     # 1 of 1

Pete Rose or Pee Wee as his father called him was a young man who grew up in Ohio and was a fan of sports with baseball being his passion with football coming in second. His mother and father encouraged him to try harder at everything he did and thanks to his Uncle who was a baseball talent scout he was able to get a tryout for the Cincinnati Reds in 1960 by being put into the minor leagues and he once more busted his butt in order to impress the scouts and to get better at the game he loved. As he became better and better he finally catches the eye of Reds couch Freddie Hutchinson who hires him as second base man and allows him to prove that he has heart, but this upsets the older players who act as if Pete is not even alive and his only friends on the team are Frank Robinson and Vada Pinson who as well were ignored by teammates cause the color of their skin. Rose was not a super star from the start but season after season he became better and better and even turned up the intensity in the way he played and would go on to win the MVP Award for the year 1973 and in 1975 and 1976 he helped lead them to World Series wins. In 1979 Pete Rose turned down a contract from The Reds and took one from the Philadelphia Phillies and had some solid good seasons with them. Rose returned to The Reds in 1984 after a short time with the Montreal Expos and back with the Reds he broke hitting records and even became the teams Manager. While things looked great for Rose in 1989 it all came crashing down as he was accused of illegally betting on baseball games and the MLB Commissioner banished him from the game he loved.

Pete Rose is a ball player that is beloved by fans and has a mixed reaction from players and higher ups within the MLB all for his gambling issue. But this comic does a great job of making Rose a likable underdog who proved that hard work and support from your loved ones can make you a superstar of whatever your profession is. This bio comic follows Pete Rose from a youngster playing ball with his friends all the way to playing for the Reds coaching them and being banned from the game that he loves. The plus side to this comic is that the story is very fast paced and highlights all the major events in his life without dragging along, but the downside is the fact most major events are done in a couple of panels and don’t show much of his friendships nor rivalries with his fellow Reds and that’s a letdown. It was interesting to see why Rose left the Reds to play for Philadelphia and even more so how when he first joined the team all the older players didn’t like him so they ignored him and treated him like he was a ghost. The comic ends with Rose being suspended from baseball and leaves it making it look like he never bet on baseball when in fact he did and lied about it for years. The cover is pretty eye catching and shows Rose through the years as the art inside is pretty well done and makes Rose look like he should and is done by John Tartaglione who you can tell had fun drawing this comic. Over all this was a fun Unauthorized Bio comic on an iconic baseball player and was well worth the read and purchase. Check out the art below done by Tartaglione.

Pete Rose Art 1

We made it to home base and scored the winning point thanks to Pete Rose and Masstar Comics, and along the way I found a new respect for baseball and now understand the appeal it has for all its fans, as it’s a sport that is filled with a rich history and gives people pride in their favorite team and something to talk about around the water cooler at work. While I may or may not ever go see a Reds game again at the stadium I still have the good memories of going to them with my Dad, brother Bryan and my dad’s best friend John in my youth. Well our next update is going to take us out of the ball field and into the world of self-defense as I am going to take a look at an Atlas Comic based around the secret world of the martial arts called The Hands Of The Dragon! So make sure to come back for that one but until then enjoy the summer and read a comic or three.

Hands Of The Dragon Logo