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Thread: The ABCs of Wrestling 2017 (A-G)

  1. #1
    Word Enthusiast Steve's Avatar
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    The ABCs of Wrestling 2017 (A-G)

    26 letters...

    26 columns...

    26 days...




    Welcome, everyone, to the ABCs of Wrestling. If you've been following along in the Calling All Columnists thread that preceded this, you'll know that I wanted to do this to show some love to our old pal, zzzorf, who created the concept and has run it for the last few years. zzzorf did a lot of great stuff around here and was a true credit and valued asset to the community, so since real life has dealt him a bit of a blow and left him without internet access for the last while, I figured it'd be a great idea for us all to come together and show some love to let him know how much we appreciate him whenever he makes his way back here.

    If you're unfamiliar with this concept, it's largely based upon an anthology horror movie called The ABCs of Death, in which 26 different directors came together to direct 26 short films, each dealing with a different method of death that begins with a letter of the alphabet. It's a really cool flick, so cool that they made a sequel due to the success of the original independently produced film. More than that, though, it's a really cool concept.

    zzzorf saw this and decided it'd translate well to LOP, specifically seeking out to gather 26 different columnists to write 26 distinct, incredibly creative columns that each deal with a different topic, each beginning with a different letter of the alphabet. Some of the best columns of the last half decade have emerged from The ABCs of Wrestling, as well as some of the most inventive and creative in the history of this website.

    Can we match the awesomeness of years gone by this year? If the lineup of talent we've got on deck is any indication, I do believe we've got a damn good shot.

    So yeah, enough chit chat. You guys get the drift by now, right?

    Let's kick this thing off.

  2. #2
    Word Enthusiast Steve's Avatar
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    “So you’re not going over tonight”

    It hits like a hard chairshot.

    “What the fuck?” the words escape my mouth before I have a chance to catch them. I stare back at the guy in front of me, balding hair pulled back in a ponytail, cheap polyester shirt, his belt and pants barely holding back a gut that has been slowly expanding since he left the ring two years ago. Ray Walters, king of his little dominion.

    “Look, there is no bigger fan of you than I am, I love what you’ve done for me mate but Krackers is an Aussie legend, he’s come up here from Melboure and…..”

    I’ve stopped listening, I can see Ray’s lips moving but I’m no longer paying attention to what is coming out. Frankly I could probably give him this speech back to him word for word by now. Tonight wasn’t meant to be like this, it was meant to be my night. All those months of ‘leaving it out in the ring’ and ‘doing the right thing for business’ were meant to pay off with the win over the vet that would launch me, a win that would mean someone outside of this pissy little promotion might be interested in who I am.

    “Sam?”

    I look up, he’s stopped talking.

    “Sorry what?”

    “I said I'll owe you one. You'll get this back.”

    “Yep rightio.” I say, not letting him miss the downward inflection in my voice. His eyes catch mine and I can see his mind churning for a way to salvage this conversation. If nothing else Ray always works the angles.

    “You'll see mate, the crowd out there love you even if you lose. This bastard from Melbourne’s got me by the balls, he said he’d do the job but now he is here he won’t go out if he doesn’t win and I know you are the best of the boys to give him a great match.”

    The earnestness in his voice is palpable and I can see small beads of sweat forming on his forehead.

    “You can’t just keep doing this to me,” I say, “I’ve been busting my arse out there for you.”

    Ray looks downwards and tries with all his might to seem contrite but mostly just screws his face up. “I know and I am honestly sorry mate. You know I don’t want to do this. You'll see though, starting next month we’ll fire you up a bit and next thing you know you’ll be in for that title shot.”

    Inwardly I resign myself to the fact these promises, as with so many promises before, will never come true but I look him in the eye and force a smile. I mean what else can I do? Ray Walters runs the only shows anywhere close to where I live. If I ever want go anywhere else I have to play ball.

    “Yeah, I've got this. Twenty minutes?”

    I see the relief come over his face, “yep, twenty”.

    I start to turn but he grabs my shoulder. “Sam, you're saving me here kid, I owe you one.”

    I don’t bother to answer, I shrug his hand off my shoulder and walk away.

    When you are paying people fifty bucks, fuel and a beer, you have be able to sell them something to keep them coming along but the hope Ray Walters peddles is starting to lose it’s luster.


    ...


    I walk back to my bag and gear. There isn’t much in terms of privacy backstage at this Services Club, more a small corridor and outdoor area we loosely describe as our dressing room but I still manage to find a corner to get changed in and do some warm ups. As I stretch myself out my mind drifts and I think of the first time I strapped on these pads three years ago. Back then Ray was a legend in his final year, triumphantly retiring while launching Newcastle City Wrestling. I was as green as they come and Ray took me in and showed me the ropes.

    I’ve been happy with my work so far but I know there are bigger stages out there if I can just catch the eye of one of the southern promoters. The crowd here have slowly got behind me as they’ve seen me go from fresh rookie, to trusty hand, through to someone who should be competing for the title but I want more than even the NCW Championship. Thinking about the guys I have seen graduate from here leaves a bitter taste in my mouth.

    I need to get noticed.

    I need someone to put me over instead of being the stepping stone for everyone else.


    ...


    As I finish getting ready I see my opponent walk into the backstage area, Krackers, the Aussie Wrestling Legend in all his glory: nearly 2 meters tall, long brown hair, broad shoulders and a muscular physique. The big fish in the small Aussie wrestling pond. The prick that wants to bolster his name off mine tonight.

    It is up to me, the ‘rookie’, to do the honours though and I stride over to him. “Hi, Krackers, it’s Sam, we’re locking up tonight.”

    I extend my hand to him and he squeezes it. Up close he isn’t quite as impressive as he is a little bit further off, his fake tan is streaked and I can see grey hairs around his temples. As he breathes it becomes pretty clear he is holding his stomach fairly tightly, sucking in his early forties paunche. I also see in his other hand is a half empty bottle of VB. Already on the beers. Great.

    “Good to meet you brother” he booms, “I’ve gotta say I’ve heard some big things about you from Ray. Old Krackers doesn’t just lock up with anyone and we’re gona tear down the house tonight.” I nod but I’m not sure he actually notices. “Now I know I’ve had to flip the switch on you a bit with the ending but I’ll give you plenty of time to get your moves in, I’ll make sure you look fantastic.” He takes a swig from his beer and smiles a little too broadly.

    “One thing though, my knee isn’t great right now so we might have to work around that a little. I’ve still got you though.”

    We start to work on the match but it becomes clear that Krackers is more interested in telling me stories of the guys he wrestled before they got famous or just after they bowed out of the limelight than working out how we will get the crowd into our match tonight. Before we’ve really got anything set down the night’s show has kicked off and it is time to complete our pre-match prep. We end with him promising me that the crowd I have worked so hard to get on my side will love us no matter what once we are out there.

    “If anything happens out there we’ll just call it on the fly right, I’ve got you. You remind me of a young Generico, I wrestled him down at MCW before he went over to the WWE. Great bloke, we fuckin’ killed it.”

    He slaps me on the back as I go to do a few more push ups and squats. Krackers cracks another beer and before I know it our music has hit and I am in the ring ready to lock up with a cripple who is at least two beers in.


    ...


    On the initial collar and arm lock up I can tell he isn’t all there, he is sloppy as he pushes me into the corner and chops my chest with a huge crack, leaving a bright red mark. I try to fight back as we planned but suddenly he is manhandling me into another corner

    “They’re loving this, let me take it for a little” he whispers in my ear. He is a bit bigger than me so I don't have much choice. He hits me even harder again. CRACK! WOOOOOOO!

    As things go on he slowly starts to erode the match we, or at least I, had planned out the back. He is limping, gassed and is filling it with his spots, his moves, his moments to bask in the sun.

    When we are both down I crawl up to him. “Mate, are you doing?”

    He wheezes at me, “They are fuckin’ loving me, what are you talkin’ about?”

    “What about my bits?.”

    He ignores me, rises up and yells “Let’s take this home baby”.

    I have to hand it to him, he does have the crowd on his side, the rusted on local fans love that a ‘big star’ has come up to this little RSL club and the kids in the crowd are loving his larger than life theatrics. But no one is paying attention to me, no one cares that I’m making all this happen, I’ve paid my dues and I’m the only one making this match look any good.

    He pulls me up for a big german suplex but I flip out and instead land on my feet. Straight away I pull back and kick the ever living shit out of his busted knee. I see his legs buckle and he wobbles on his feet as he charges at me. I dodge under as he grabs at thin air and kick his leg hard again. This time as he takes a step his legs fall out from under him and he collapses on the ground.

    I run up to the top rope, the crowd has suddenly switched and are cheering my comeback. I point to the sky and launch myself off the top rope landing a picture perfect elbow drop on him. I kip up and go to the corner readying for my finish. I start to clap above my head and the crowd joins me as I prepare for my superkick finish.

    Normally I will kick lightly, trying to land my foot on the neck as softly as possible but this time I don't pull up. As he struggles to his feet I crack Krackers hard in the face. He is a big guy but he is two beers down and I put all my weight behind it. His eyes glaze up as his legs go limp again and he falls back down to the canvas.

    The crowd is now on their feet, I haven't got much in but now the local underdog they love has a chance to get up over the big city boy. They want this pin to last. I grab Krackers’ leg and bridge hard putting all my weight onto his shoulders and driving his own weight down into the mat.

    ONE

    The ref slaps the canvas hard. The crowd is on their feet. This could be mine, I could hold on and it would make the night for the fans at this little venue and I would have a win over an aussie legend.

    I push down on him harder, pinning his shoulders against the canvas.

    TWO

    A win now would be taking what I should always have had. It is what I was promised. I push him down harder. As I feel him start to struggle against me I grind my elbow into his face with my spare hand.

    I need this, he doesn't.

    The ref raises his hand ready for the third count, I can’t see Kracker’s face but I can feel his body tensing up, he may have guessed what is happening.

    I could say we changed it on the fly, after that kick Krackers won't remember much of what happened. Sometimes these things happen in a match I say to myself. This could make me here in Australia, finally I’ll be done with Ray, done with NCW, done with all these broken promises.

    The ref’s hand falls towards the canvas.

    I close my eyes, ready to let it happen and am hit hard in the back of the head at the last moment as Krackers kicks out.

    We struggle to our feet, Krackers looks at me, almost amused but there is obvious fire in his eyes. He sucks in a deep breath as he signals to the crowd for his finisher. I try to throw a punch but he catches me, grabs my wrist and pulls me into a hard Larrikin Larriat. I fold my body up on the canvas as he hits me and taste blood in my mouth where he connected.

    I’ll look up at the lights above me as he falls on top and covers me with all his weight.

    ONE

    I’ll play along for another night.

    TWO

    I’ll be back from this, just wait.

    THREE

    Aussie wrestling is a small world but I have big plans.



    A is for Ambition
    Written by SirSam


  3. #3
    I am SOOOOOOO happy this is back. Big props to Steve for continuing Zzzorf's fine work with this. I'm sure he'd be thrilled with the homage.

    Anyway, let's get to it and how this got going. Sam absolutely killed it with the first entry in the series. I don't know if this is based on true events or what, as I have little to no knowledge of Aussie wrestling, but damn if this didn't have me invested from the jump. Great story of a guy just looking to catch a break that he probably rightfully deserves against a vet who should have just stepped aside. You could translate that into any modern day scenario (mostly around Wrestlemania time) and see that some guys just don't know when to stop.

    I loved the last bit with the multiple 3-counts. That was a great use of the visual that just had me in the moment. Sam, you're killing it lately. Great job!

  4. #4
    Senior Member JacobWrestledGod's Avatar
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    God damn this is good. Took a while to get started but the match itself is amazing. For a short story it made me cared for the main character enough to moan a little when the big guy kicked out. Great job Sam. Kicking off the series with an absolute bang.
    And Jacob wrestled with God.






  5. #5
    The Brain
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    First off, totally agree with Rob. Steve, you're a hero for bringing this back.

    I really do miss having Wayne around here. Hope this draws him back.

    Ok, to the column! Sam, this was phenomenal, an absolutely fantastic way to kick things off in the series. I was completely drawn in from the jump. I couldn't tell if this was a true story or not, it felt authentic even if some of the details were obviously dramatized. I did a little research, is "Krackers" KrackerJak? I think the pieces fit, I see he works MCW and he did wrestle Generico once, but I can't figure out which match this referring to... unless Sam is actually YOU, either in proxy or maybe you even have a history as a wrestler that I don't know about! I feel like you would have mentioned that latter option earlier if it was true, but this was real enough that I could almost believe it.

    This set the bar CRAZY high, it'll be tough to top! Awesome stuff Sam!

  6. #6
    Senior Member kingzak13's Avatar
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    This is a perfect way to start of the series, Aussie wrestling. I am sure zzzorf would love this.

    I really like the story, no idea if it was real or not but I enjoyed it.


    Because where else would put up with me and my mediocre writing.

  7. #7

    Sam

    Just wow. I don't even know what to say. You obviously deserve a better response, but I'm speechless. This is a column of the year candidate. Awesome job and extremely tough act to follow.

  8. #8
    Senior Member SirSam's Avatar
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    Wow thanks for the kind words fellas. I was certainly a bit intimidated when Steve gave me A to kick things off but I'm really glad you all enjoyed it.

    Mad props to Steve for bringing this back, I had an absolute blast writing this and can't wait to see what everyone else comes up with.

    I think I should probably put out there that I did take some liberties when writing this. It isn't about me, I've never wrestled, I just used my name as a place holder. There are some other kernels of truth in it though, Mizfan may have stumbled over a pretty big one and I you may remember from another column I wrote that I do have some friends in wrestling circles.

    I'll leave it at that as far as pulling the curtain back and I guess it's up to you to to imagine how much of the rest of it is true and how much I made up.
    Last edited by SirSam; 12-07-2017 at 04:16 PM.

  9. #9
    Word Enthusiast Steve's Avatar
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    Spoiler Alert: B is for Bar



    And no I'm not referring to the tag team. Long before Sheamus left his cozy landlocked country and Cesaro set sail from the shores of Switzerland, I was just a wee lad failing World Geography. My mind might've been elsewhere but hey I had no plans of ever visiting those places. The scope of my subdivision alone seemed boundless and offered all the adventure an 11-year old could handle. Barring injury, I'd whip around the trailer park on my trusty bike; ignoring the fact that it had turned heel and pedaled me into danger on countless occasions. The sense of escapism that came with racing around each street corner however made it totally worth the risk.



    As my core temperature heated up and the North Carolina humidity hit my face like one of Grandpa Jerry's foul farts, I'd pit stop somewhere to cool off and catch my breath. This usually led to me swinging by the house and ransacking Mom's Pepsi stash which probably wouldn't have been so noticeable had I not also grabbed a bottle for each of my buddies (damn mooches). And if motivated enough, I'd stealthily rummage through her bedroom for spare singles whenever an all-too familiar tune tickled my eardrums. There was no mistaking this particular noise which would always prompt me and my fiend street posse to track it down on our 10-speeds. One of us would direct traffic until reaching our destination and screeching to a collective halt; enjoying the jingle while we waited in eager anticipation. A song and sight so glorious, it put Bobby Roode's entrance to shame.








    As this ice cream cart on wheels rolled up curbside, we'd swarm the side window like desperate prostitutes in search of a sugar daddy. The driver would then dress down the group of us with an almost violating gaze; each kid more pink and sunburnt than the next. Perhaps it was just a pigment of my imagination but my Mother had made it her life's mission to inform me of every registered sex offender in the neighborhood and this sketchy bastard sure as shit fit the profile. Regardless, she needn't worry too much about me falling victim to this sicko's sweet tooth since he usually kept it clean on our block. The visual of my mom's cop car in the driveway saw to that. Plus I'd played enough Twisted Metal to know you should keep a safe distance from the ice cream truck at all costs.



    I needed that Choco Taco though and would hesitantly stretch out my arm with a dollar and change in hand as if Pennywise was preparing to rip it off. Selecting the right ice cream seemed like such a stressful decision at the time. There were so many choices that I'd often go with the same option simply due to indecisiveness. And each ensuing ice cream encounter proved as difficult to stomach as whatever my best friend's mom made for dinner. I was a frequent guest at Justin's homestead and we were dining on brussel sprouts and french fries one evening when the topic of dessert took over the table. After briefing my comrade about the box of ice cream sandwiches sitting in my freezer, we were hatching a sleepover plan that revolved around WCW/nWo Revenge and raiding the refrigerator when his father Floyd interjected with a mouthwatering tidbit:




    "Ya know there used to be these ice cream bars with wrestlers on them.
    I dunno if they still make them but yeah, you could get one with
    Hulk Hogan or Honky Tonk Man or whoever on the front of it."




    Once he planted that seed in my mind, it grew and grew until finally blossoming into a fullblown obsession. I couldn't believe some company had partnered up with WWF and merged my two biggest passions. It was pure prepubescent bliss. I'd have creamsicled myself if physically capable but instead just continued hyping it up in my head. Surely they still produced these ice cream bars somewhere? I scanned high and low on every shelf in the frozen foods section but after repeating the process at a few surrounding stores, it soon became as apparent as my mother's waning patience that these ice cream bars were no longer in stock. Admitting defeat was tough to swallow and especially so when I went looking for lackluster alternatives like WWF's first energy drink (which did little to boost my spirits). Fitting too that X-Pac was plastered on all the promotional material since well, it sucked. And that's putting it as mildly as calling his filmed foreplay with Chyna a chick flick.








    Eventually I moved on from that state of mind and North Carolina in general. I wasn't going to let a little hiccup deter me from digging in and devouring those savory scoops of deliciousness. So for the next few years, I'd cram chocolate ice cream into a bowl, stir it vigorously until reaching smoothie status and then mix in some graham crackers and Hershey's syrup. Despite my crazy concoctions though, the sad soupy mess served as a constant reminder of those ellusive ice cream bars and how the mere thought of them melted my heart into pudding. Perhaps it wouldn't have tugged at my taste buds as bad had WWE whet my appetite via other means but Vince never fully capitalized on the T&A he was flaunting on television. For instance, zit riddled me would've had a blast tonguing down a Trish Stratus inspired popsicle but you couldn't get so much as a Molly Holly lollipop back then. Eventually I lost the hankering altogether and began to isolate myself from ice cream. Slurping down fudgsicles - which were once a guilty pleasure of mine - now just felt wrong on so many levels. Sherbert disgusted me. Hot fudge sundaes gave me the squirts. Suffice to say, the act of eating it became a serious struggle.



    Therefore I concentrated on other delicacies for damn near a decade until CM Punk mentioned said ice cream bars during his contract negotiations with Vince in 2011. What better way to ring in the Summer of Punk than by re-distributing a dormant dessert that an entire generation of wrestling fans missed out on? I was salivating George Steele style just thinking about it. Of course as did most of Punk's demands, the ice cream bar debate fell on deaf ears. I honestly believe Mr. McMahon has lost his hearing (hence why he ignores everyone else's creative input and can't sense a crowd shift). The official poster for TLC that December would be the closest Punk's ice cream bars ever came to rising from their frozen gravesite. As a result, we were just kinda left out in the cold waiting which may not have bugged fairweather fans that much but it certainly ticked me off. I vowed to never fall prey to one of the company's consumer campaigns ever again... Then found myself watching old footage on the WWE Network of random audience members inhaling ice cream bars. The nerve of these people!



    Life goes on but the sugar freak in me refuses to give it a rest. And I don't care if Booty O's taste like Lucky Charms; breakfast cereal is still a crappy consolation. My residual bitterness ranges from petty to unbearable depending on how starved for sugar I am after every meal. And to this day, I'll find myself in sickening situations that could easily be remedied by a WWE-branded ice cream bar. For example, I was recently talking to someone on Tinder named Chris(tine hopefully) when she sprung a question on me that concluded our conversation rather quickly.






    The following morning...





    (sigh) If only the girl knew what a world-renowned writer she was rejecting. Nah but in all honesty, being discarded by a babe because of my wrestling nerdness has a tendency to leave a mark. It would've sucked alot less however if I had a date with diabetes awaiting me back at my aparment. A wrestler-centric snack to soothe my aching ego. It hurts my insides knowing there isn't a snowball's chance in hell of the WWE ice cream bars making a comeback but I don't sweat it anymore. I ain't the first guy to get Luger'd into the ol' bait-and-switch. If anything, Vinnie Mac's the fool for passing on a potential profits that really would've made this PG era worth the investment. I mean let me get this straight... CM Punk plugs ice cream bars in front of a worldwide audience, every RAW arena is overcrowded with kids and you still aren't sold on the idea? So much for doing what's best for business, boss man.



    Don't give me any of that "ice cream promotes child obesity" bullshit either. Slap a [gluten free] label on it, find a mascot who can work the nosebleed seats during shows and you're good to go. Come to think of it, sprinkling Cesaro's Very Mysterious Ice Cream character from CHIKARA into the storylines could be just the missing ingredient you pointed out on Austin's podcast a couple years ago! Unfortunately, it isn't like you to act upon my impulses. Your money hungry ass couldn't even nail down a sponsorship deal with Cold Stone Creamery while Stone Cold was red hot so I'm not expecting any flavor favors now. Thus you'll forever owe me one, McMahon. Because of a stubborn billionaire, my boyhood cream never came true.






    B is for Bar
    Written by SkitZ


  10. #10
    Lamb of LOP anonymous's Avatar
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    Better than most of your main page shit.

  11. #11
    Holy shit the first two articles were incredible. Almost kind of happy I didn't do this cause I don't think I could've written anything better. That was so vintage Skitz bringing up a relationship! Nobody ties in their personal life to wrestling quite like you. I have tried to copycat your writing a bit in bringing in pop culture, sports or personal experience to tie a story together. Don't worry, Skitz.. we will always swipe right when it comes to your columns.

  12. #12
    Senior Member SirSam's Avatar
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    Damn Skitz that was hilarious, I can get obsessing with that kind of thing too when you get stuck by something like that when you're younger it just seems to stick. I feel the same about tazos which were little collectible coins you got in chip packets when I was younger.

    How did you feel when New Day started talking about New Day Pops? Gotta say that The Revival debuting and kicking that thing over was a post Mania highlight for me.
    Last edited by SirSam; 12-08-2017 at 04:12 AM.

  13. #13
    WWE could do sooo much with the different companies they partner with as sponsors. It always amazes me that nobody ever did a Cena-signature trainer when he was at his peak.

    Nice work from both of you so far, hopefully the standard drops a bit before my entry!

  14. #14
    Wet Dream Machine SkitZ's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SirSam View Post
    How did you feel when New Day started talking about New Day Pops? Gotta say that The Revival debuting and kicking that thing over was a post Mania highlight for me.

    I certainly didn't pop for it but wasn't surprised either given what a merch machine they've become. Revival knocking over the ice cream cart was the kind of thing that makes it so hard to hate heels nowadays. But enough about that. Fucking bravo, Sam. Your entry had me erect (and worried simultaneously that I'd played it too safe creatively). Not even sure what inspired the ice cream column but I enjoy writing about my childhood and the feedback's just been icing on the cake. Props to Sir Samuel for kicking this thing off right. Can't wait to see what else comes down the pipe.

  15. #15
    Senior Member JacobWrestledGod's Avatar
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    Half way through I knew it has to be you. The texts were brutal, seems like wrestling is still a big no no for many ladies. Love the story, has me smile at some parts with your trademark humour. Is the ice cream bar from www really that legendary? Why don’t they do it now?

    as always, the series is running along at an amazing pace.

    Who’s next?
    And Jacob wrestled with God.






  16. #16
    Really enjoyable Skitz, loved the topic. Let me also say that I personally had several WWE Ice Cream Bars back in the day. If I remember correctly you could also buy them in a box of like 6. It was quite the treat opening one up and finding out if you were eating the Ultimate Warrior or King Kong Bundy. Man, that sounded weird. Seriously though, I'll never understand why they didn't come back during the Summer of Punk. It was there for the taking.

    Great stuff so far. This is by far one of my favorite things each year, as the Creative stuff is my greatest joy.

  17. #17
    LOP's NXT Guy JCool's Avatar
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    Sir Sam and SkitZ, great start to the ABC's!

  18. #18
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    These first two entries were awesome! Sam, stellar job of making the main character someone worth emotionally investing in even in a short that short. Would've loved to read about the scene backstage after that match. Skitz, really enjoyed the personal touch you brought here. What part of NC did you grow up in?

  19. #19
    Wet Dream Machine SkitZ's Avatar
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    I lived in Fayetteville for about 3 years and then spent another 3 years in a smaller town nearby named Parkton. All during the 90s.

    Are you from those parts? Or have family down there?

  20. #20
    Word Enthusiast Steve's Avatar
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    [Scene opens on the top floor of Titan Towers. It is late April 2019. WWE Chairman, Vince McMahon sits in a creative team meeting with Hunter Hearst Helmsley (Executive Vice President of Talent, Live Events, and Creative), Stephanie McMahon-Helmsley (Chief Brand Officer), and other members of the creative team.]

    Mr. McMahon: Alright everyone, now that this year’s WrestleMania is officially in the books, it’s time to start planning for next year’s showcase!

    Creative 1: Great idea sir! It’s always best to plan ahead.

    HHH: What do you have in mind for next year?

    Creative 2: With all due respect Vince, are you sure it’s a good idea to keep planning the main events a full year in advance? What happens if someone gets injured, or leaves the company, or if a different superstar has momentum heading into Mania season?

    Mr. McMahon: First of all, that MR. MCMAHON to you. And second, who in the hell are you to question my genius? YOU’RE FIIIIRRRRRREEED!!!

    (Creative 2 quickly gets up and exits the room. There is a long pause before Vince continues.)

    Mr. McMahon: Now, as I was saying, it’s time for us to plan for WrestleMania 36. I’ve got a great idea for the main event: we’ll reintroduce Bray Wyatt’s alter-ego Sister Abigail and move into the women’s division. She’ll take the title off of Nia Jax at SummerSlam and rule over the division until the Royal Rumble, where we’ll build towards a match between Sister Abigail and Roman Reigns’ cousin “Ramona Reigns” for the Raw Women’s Title.

    Stephanie: The first women’s main event in WrestleMania history? I LOVE IT!

    Creative 1: You’re a visionary Mr. McMahon.

    Creative 3: Wait a minute; we’re putting Roman Reigns in the main event again? For the 5th year in a row? And we’re going to have him beat Bray Wyatt for the Women’s Championship?!?

    Mr. McMahon: Not Roman Reigns, “Ramona” Reigns. And he’s going to be facing “Sister Abigail” not Bray Wyatt.

    Creative 4: But sir, are we really sure we want to have the first women’s main event in WrestleMania history be a match-up between two men, one of whom is Roman Reigns? How many years in a row can we really put Roman in the main event?

    Mr. McMahon: For as many years as we keep setting revenue records! He is the new face of the company, and him main eventing is what’s best for business. Now get the hell out of my building! YOU’RE FIIIIRRRRRREEED!!!

    (Creative 3 & Creative 4 quickly get up and exit the room. Another long pause, before HHH speaks.)

    HHH: Alright Vince, what else did you have in mind for next year?

    Mr. McMahon: Let’s talk about the two world titles: first, I want Randy Orton to face Finn Balor for the WWE Title.

    Creative 1: Amazing idea sir, the fans will definitely be excited for that match.

    HHH: That’s a dream match, I love it! What’s the finish?

    Mr. McMahon: Orton. I want him to win with an RKO in less than 10 seconds.

    Stephanie: The fans will never see that coming, (Impersonating Tom Phillips) “an RKO outta nowhere!”

    Creative 5: Do we really want to sacrifice Balor for the sake of Randy Orton at this stage in Orton’s career?

    Mr. McMahon: Who cares about Balor? He’s never going to be anything more than a transitional champion. Champions are supposed to be giants, not cruserweights. He’s a B player, and this match will show that to the crowd.

    Creative 6: But sir, remember when we tried this with Sheamus & Daniel Bryan at WrestleMania XXVIII? The fans hated that, and they’ll hate this even more; we’d be sacrificing a new star for another Orton title run. He’s a 13 time world champion, and Finn is still fresh.

    Mr. McMahon: History only matters when we say it matters. The fans won’t even remember the Bryan match, and this is the right move to make.

    Creative 5: Mr. McMahon, that was only 7 years ago, I think we need to give the fans more credit than that.

    Creative 6: Orton vs. Balor for the WWE Title is a great WrestleMania match sir, but a 10 second Orton squash would be a big mistake.

    Mr. McMahon: Goddamnit, I built this company from the ground up! I won the Monday Night Wars! I am the greatest mind this business has ever seen, and I won’t be questioned by a couple of nobodies like you. YOU’RE FIIIIRRRRRREEED!!!

    (Creative 5 & Creative 6 exit the room. There is no long pause)

    Stephanie: Okay dad, what about the Universal Championship? What’s your plan for that?

    Mr. McMahon: I’m glad you asked. It’s going to be Royal Rumble winner Jason Jordan vs. Jinder Mahal!

    Stephanie: You really are a genius dad. Next year’s Mania will be amazing!

    Creative 1: (Aghast) Jason Jordan vs. Jinder Mahal? But what about Rollins, Ambrose, Strowman, Styles, Joe, etc? What are we going to do with those guys if none of them are going to be in either title picture?

    Mr. McMahon: Throw them all in the Andre the Giant Battle Royal for all I care. This is a main event that the 1.3 billion fans in India can really get behind!

    Creative 1: But sir, our ratings in India have declined steadily since we’ve been pushing Jinder.

    Mr. McMahon: And what better way to win those fans over than by putting the Modern Day Maharaja in the main event?

    Creative 1: Okay, but if we’re going to have Jinder in the main event, do we really want his opponent to be Jason Jordan? Wouldn’t one of our established main eventers be a better choice?

    Mr. McMahon: Son-of-a-bitch, what part of I want Jason Jordan vs. Jinder Mahal for the Universal Title don’t you understand? I created WrestleMania! I’ve booked its main events for 35 fucking years! This is the match I want, and this is the match I’m going to have, now get the hell out of my office! YOU’RE FIIIIRRRRRREEED!!!

    (Creative 1 exits the room.)

    Mr. McMahon: Now that we know the plan for next year’s showcase, does anybody have any ideas for Raw on Monday?

    (The room is quiet. Vince, Stephanie, and HHH look around to realize that they are now alone.)

    Stephanie: Well, I think Hunter and I should start the show with a 20 minute promo…

    (End Scene)



    C is for Creative
    Written by S'moores


    26 letters... 26 columns... 26 days...

  21. #21
    Senior Member JacobWrestledGod's Avatar
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    Hahah the ending is the kicker. The other parts are really exaggerated rantings of Vince’s thought process. I must admit though I never ever understand planning mania so far ahead of time and also if you can plan Mania so far ahead of time why not have the best of the best combination such as what No Mercy gave us (the most no brainer card) that will keep us happy?

    I wonder if S’mooths written before around these parts. You should write more, that’s a lot of good stuff in this story that tells me you make a decent columnist.
    And Jacob wrestled with God.






  22. #22
    LOL, really dug this S'moores. I agree that you should keep up this writing thing. Seems like you have a knack for it. I can honestly see Vince making some of these stupid decisions. This is honestly the guy that doesn't think Finn Balor is over. I mean I'm not a huge fan, but he's certainly over. I don't think you can argue that. Good stuff. Really enjoying the series so far, and it's only in its infancy. Keep it rolling.

  23. #23
    Bahahahaha! Excellent job S'Moores (and the others as well). I don't know what's worse: the fact that meetings might actually take place in a similar manner, or we could very well still be seeing Raws open up in 2019 with HHH & Steph. Both are scary thoughts, really.

  24. #24
    Word Enthusiast Steve's Avatar
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    A late-night phone call.
    A startling text message.
    A days-later notice by email.
    A message board surprise.
    A few words shared over lunch at our favourite restaurant.

    These are all places where I’ve learned tragic news.

    Popular opinion would be that the best way to receive bad news is in person. When doctors have bad news to share, they won’t do it over the phone. They want you to come in so they can tell you face to face. When romantic partners break off a relationship, doing so in person is the courageous thing to do and, many would agree, the right thing to do.

    In late May of ’99, one of my best friends called Sunday evening to tell me Owen Hart had died. This was a new experience for me. I was stunned. The next day, at school, I drew up and coloured a “RIP Owen” card and a bunch of my classmates signed it. The idea was to mail this to Owen’s family, or to WWE, but it never happened. We didn’t know how to make that happen. The expression of feelings and the desire to do something to note the occasion was so genuine. I can remember one of the quotes from the guys…

    “Even though you were a nugget, you didn’t deserve to die.”

    Reflecting on those junior high days, it seems like such an insincere, immature comment, and, yet, I can tell you it was anything but that. Pro wrestling may have been fake in some regards, but what we felt while we watched was very real.


    In later years, as I would visit a handful of bookmarked wrestling news sites regularly, it wasn’t uncommon to read news of the sudden passing of a wrestling legend. Overdoses, heart attacks and, unfortunately, suicides would be the cause for many of these notable deaths- the worst of which was endured by the Benoit family ten years ago. That news really messed me up that week. It was a true low point in my life, which correlated with a number of personal issues, including the recent notice that my mom would be selling our family home and I would have to find somewhere else to live. I wasn’t ready for that. I had just finished university and had no idea what I was going to do next. I couldn’t fathom how a man could do that to his family and it physically sickened me. I can remember drunkingly crying out, sitting in the back seat of my girlfriend’s car amongst buddies, about how unfair it was and how terrible it was. It was about Benoit and yet it was about so much more- struggles with my parents’ divorce years earlier, not knowing what I was doing in my life, frustrated with how poorly men, especially fathers, were represented in the media, in movies, in TV, and how none of this would help the stereotype break down. To quote George Harrison’s Beatles song from 1968, “it [was] all too much for me to take”.

    Last Friday afternoon, what I expected to be a phone call in the coming week landed in my life as a text message from my Dad:

    Papa with angels.

    He had been declining for the past few months, realistically years, but the extent of it hadn’t been known until the last week or so. He was very private about his health and reserved about many things unless specifically asked. Yet my childhood is filled with so many wonderful memories shared with him, playing, laughing, listening to stories, learning how to ski, to paddle a canoe, to fish. In later years, conversations in person and on the phone became cherished moments where I could be proud to share the good things I was achieving, happy to get him laughing about something I was thinking about politics or growing older or even becoming a parent.

    We all get to a point where we experience the death of a loved one. I’ve been so blessed to have had as much time as I did with my Papa. How many grandchildren can say they got 30 years to know their Papa? That’s a life victory and I will always cherish that. The tears that I’ve shed are sorrowful, yes, but they are joyful, too. He died surrounded by family. There’s no better way to go than to be surrounded with Love.


    My Papa’s death marks a milestone in my life because his is the one that has mattered the most to me. Other relatives and friends have passed away, and I will continue to remember them and pray for their souls, but this one’s the first for which I’ve shed tears. Maybe I would have shed tears for Owen too if he had died now. Knowing that he was a good father and husband to his family, I might have bawled thinking how awful that would have been because I’m trying to be a good father and husband to my family too.

    Whatever way we react or express our feelings, death provides us with an opportunity to be humble and to appreciate life as it is. What’s important is that we do something to mark the moment, to honour our loved one, and to acknowledge that this life we live is fragile, special and unique. And that’s what I hope this column has accomplished today.

    RIP Owen
    RIP Benoit Family
    RIP Warrior

    RIP Papa (1924-2017)




    D is for Death
    Written by JCool


  25. #25
    Senior Member SirSam's Avatar
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    Wow, two very different pieces, very different tones.

    First of all S'Mores, great piece, had me smirking, giggling and despairing throughout. Exactly what black comedy should do. The characters were believable, the dialogue was funny and the last line was great too. One day it will be Hunter and Steph's kids in that ring but it will probably still be a 20min promo to open Raw.

    J-Cool. A very moving piece, I'm sorry you lost your Papa but I'm glad you got to know him. My last day with my Grandpa was watching cricket on my 13th birthday and I will always cherish that. He introduced me to the game and I think I'll always love it because of him. Great piece and I don't think I have anything else I could respectfully add but thanks for sharing.

  26. #26
    Senior Member JacobWrestledGod's Avatar
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    JCool, I never quite knew my dad. He had cancer (that was in the 90s when cancer was still a death sentence) and my memories of him were of a skeletal man yelling every night at the pain he was enduring. Very much a struggle for my mum, who in the end took the mantle of the family. I was only 7 when he passed, so I don’t remember him. I wished I have known him better though, I heard a lot of wonderful stories about him.

    I pray that peace upon your family, thank you for bearing your soul out in such a moving piece of art. It touched me, that’s for sure.
    And Jacob wrestled with God.






  27. #27
    Wet Dream Machine SkitZ's Avatar
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    Powerful stuff, JCool. Losing someone that close is such a soul crushing blow and one of those shitty aspects of life that everyone has to face at some point. I lost my Grandmother at 16 and the moments we shared were great ones but it also feels like I got jipped out of a couple decades with her. The same goes for my Grandpa Jerry who passed away unexpectedly during surgery 3 years later. Sometimes life takes when you least expect it and dealing with death doesn't get any easier as one ages. It just tends to happen more often as you get older and unfortunately that's the way it works. My other Grandfather's had a number of health scares recently and we almost lost him over the summer but the battle-hardened bastard hung in there. I vowed to spend more time with him after he left the hospital but you know how that goes... Still too many weeks fly by without me visiting the old man and I hate that part of myself. I'll stop there though as I feel a column coming on haha.


    Just to quickly touch on the Benoit thing. I remember the news flooring me too and it's because you grow to know these wrestlers inside and out (seemingly at least). We all knew about Benoit's journey; Japan, ECW, WCW, overcoming certain stereotypes in WWE, winning the World Title at WMXX, etc. It was very poetic and storybook in a sense. We watched the guy wrestle on a weekly basis for years and he was the consummate professional. An intense workhorse who worked stiff but took care of those around him. His close group of friends and loving family were all well documented and the curtain had been pulled back so to speak. There wasn't really much else to solve about the guy... then he murders his wife and son and hangs himself and it's a harsh reminder that we really have no fucking idea what people are capable of beyond just their job. I struggled for awhile to fit Benoit's face to those unspeakable crimes. Imagining someone you respect and admire committing something of that nature just earthquakes the shit out of your personal perspective. This was a telling one, JCool. Thanks a ton for opening up.
    Last edited by SkitZ; 12-10-2017 at 09:51 AM.

  28. #28
    Senior Member kingzak13's Avatar
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    Two very fun and enjoyable columns from Skitz and S'moores.

    JCool ... that was a severe departure from the light hearted stuff we had thus far, but it was good. I have never really thought of the people around me dying, I'm young and I still have time left, maybe I should.
    I hope you and your family are able to recover.


    The big question now though is, does E stay sad or go back to the light hearted/fun.


    Because where else would put up with me and my mediocre writing.

  29. #29
    Word Enthusiast Steve's Avatar
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    *Early 1997*


    Ladies and gentlemen, I stand before you humbled. Yes, humbled. Not a word most of you relate to me, is it?

    I'm humbled because I have the honor and privilege to stand here before you on the precipice of the unknown. I have the honor and privilege to stand alongside you as we stare down whatever comes next. I don't know what it is. The veterans in this locker room, the ones who have seen and done everything, even they don't know what it is.

    You wanna know why that is? Because it's something that's never been done before. These are uncharted waters, my friends. This is something that nobody has ever had to balls to try and pull off. It's something they told you couldn't be done, something that was never supposed to work, something that not a single one of you ever dared to dream lest you somehow scare it away like the fragile, skittish creatures of your wildest fantasies.

    Ladies and gentlemen, I stand before you to let you know... that we did it. We actually pulled this shit off.

    We're going to be on pay per view.

    I know I've told you this before, I know we've gotten our hopes up, but this time I assure you that it's real. It's as real as real can be. This time there's no pulling the rug out from under us, no changing minds or cold feet or running scared. This time it's really happening. I fought, you fought, our fans fought, and they finally listened. They finally answered the call of everyone out there who knows, who recognizes just how goddamn incredible you are. Everyone who sees in you what the assholes in New York and the yokels in Atlanta were too blind, stupid or blind and stupid to acknowledge. They finally got the message from the fans who fly the banner of this company proudly and loudly, the fans who see you all for what you truly are.

    They look at you and they see stars. Because you are stars. Every single last one of you is a star and you're finally going to get your chance to shine your brightest, to light up the sky, to catch the attention of every single person who ever said that you couldn't do it, that we couldn't do it, just long enough to raise our middle fingers in the air and say, "Fuck you, assholes! We. Are. Stars!" Not because we give a shit what they say or what they think. We'll stand tall and flip that bird because we can. Because despite their best efforts, we're here and we're proud and we're doing it.

    They tried to stop it from happening. They did. You know that, I know that, we all know that. Wade Keller tried to take this away from you. He tried to take it away from you, from your families, from our fans and from the industry that needs a good stiff punch in the face to wake it the hell up. I'm not telling you anything you didn't already know. Wade Keller went out of his way to try and end this whole thing before it could even get started. When all the plans were in place, when everything was ready to go, when this dream first started looking like it could become a reality, there stood Wade fucking Keller to try and flush it all away. To take away the dream. And why? Because we scare the shit out of him.

    We scare the shit out of Keller, out of Meltzer, out of McMahon and Bischoff and Hogan and Flair and every other dinosaur in this business too goddamn scared to acknowledge that the mainstream has passed them by. While they've been shitting out the same old, same old year after year, holding on for dear life to the pitiful little pedestals they built for themselves decades ago, we've been here building a better mouse trap. While they've been complacent and resting in their ivory towers, we've been digging the trenches and gathering the ammunition to prepare for war. They know what we represent. We represent change. We represent the new way of doing things. We represent REVOLUTION.

    And you know what? Now we've got our opportunity to show them exactly what we represent. We've got our opportunity to stand proudly and show the world what we can do. We won't just show them, we'll shove it down their fucking throats. Never more will they be able to tell you that you're not good enough. Never more will they hold us down and use their politics to try and shut us up. Never more will they be able to dismiss us as a goddamn "Island of Misfit Toys".

    On April 13th, 1997 at Barely Legal, we show them all, every last goddamn one of them. We show them that we are stars. We show them that we are the future. We show them that we are the change they fear and the revolution they've been scared shitless of.

    And they should be, for the record. Because this revolution, my friends, will be televised.

    On April 13th, we show them exactly who and what we are!

    We!

    Are!

    EXTREME!




    E is for ECf'nW
    Written by Steve


  30. #30
    Weed General D.O.N's Avatar
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    Ambition

    Sam, the storytelling on display here was fantastic! You know, I never pegged you for a storytelling writer but boy did you encapsulate this entire story perfectly. What an awesome way to kick this shindig off. I'm not entirely sure how much you made up, but that doesn't really matter because this felt real. Great job!

    Bar

    Vintage Skitz! This was hilarious but your love for WWE ice cream bars really shone though here. I myself no nothing about those ice cream bars because I've never even seen one before. But it has to be good if you and CM Punk both love it! Loved this Skitz.

    Creative

    Sounds like typical Vince McMahon fare here. It was obviously exaggerated but it just highlights his thought process. What's the point of having a creative team if they are not allowed to be creative? And, of course, HHH and Steph will never go against anything that Vince says. Pathetic.

    Death

    Wow Mr. Cool, this was deep. I try not to think of death considering I have my fair share of health problems and a 27 year old should not be feeling this way. But the thing is that it can happen at anytime and there's absolutely nothing we can do about it. I'm happy that your Papa got to pass on with his family surrounding him; there is no better way to go. Thank you for sharing man.

    ECf'nW

    Whoa, the passion on display here was palpable. I can totally picture Heyman at the back pumping his guys up for their first PPV. That must have been a great moment for all of them who were looked down upon for their brand of wrestling. Great column, Steve!

  31. #31
    Word Enthusiast Steve's Avatar
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    It was basically me trying to do two things. 1) Use my ECW knowledge and passion (Heyman's proclivity towards preshow pep talks to the locker room, the drama of getting Barely Legal on PPV, the Keller stuff) and 2) trying to capture the voice and feel of Paul, in general. I used the pep talk from the night of the PPV as inspiration. If you've never seen that speech, which was captured on film in Beyond the Mat, then you should.


    26 letters... 26 columns... 26 days...

  32. #32
    Senior Member JacobWrestledGod's Avatar
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    For some strange reason I knew about 1/4 through that it has to be Heyman, with all the ladies and gentleman stuff. Unfortunately he was so good at his speech that many ECW wrestlers fought for him towards the end even without full pay. Heyman is a great promoter, bad businessman.
    And Jacob wrestled with God.






  33. #33
    Lamb of LOP anonymous's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JacobWrestledGod View Post
    For some strange reason I knew about 1/4 through that it has to be Heyman
    It’s odd. I knew about 1/4 of the way through that it had to be Steve.

    It was wonderful. As I’d expect.

  34. #34
    D was deeply personal, and I thank Mr. Cool for letting us be a part of that piece. That would be something I'd have probably written but kept to myself. The fact that it was shared means quite a bit more than perhaps even the words themselves. I knew one grandparent, but she died when I was like 16. My parents though are in the years where you start to think about what's going to happen, both in their mid 80's. I hope you can remember all the good times you had. Thank you again for sharing this.

    E was a bit of a blast from the past, and perhaps exactly how it laid itself out. ECW was a shot of tequila at a bar that only served seltzer water. It was unlike anything anyone had ever seen. It's a shame it couldn't sustain and basically ate itself. I was never a HUGE ECW guy, but damn was it entertaining when it was at its best.

    This is great stuff from all so far. One of the most unique series in the CF

  35. #35
    Just caught up on C through E...

    All good, but definitely gotta give an extra shout to JCool for that real personal piece.

  36. #36
    Senior Member SirSam's Avatar
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    Love that piece Steve. You did a really good job capturing Paul Heyman's voice. I never knew that thing about Wade Keller, so weird, I wonder what motivated him to to it. Has he ever explained himself?

    I can't say I've ever watched much ECW but I can see even through the small windows I've looked oughtn't that it was something pretty special. A real shot in the arm to wrestling at the time and I would have to agree that it's legacy and how it influenced the industry as a whole outweigh the actual size of the promotion.

    Another great column up, who's next?

  37. #37
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    Thanks for sharing that story JCool, and I'm sorry for your loss. I was raised by my grandparents for a number of reasons, and haven't had to endure that loss yet, but I know it took a lot of courage to share that with us.

    Also, thanks to everyone for the feedback. I've never written a column before, but I've thought about starting one, and this series seemed like a great way to get my feet wet.

  38. #38
    Word Enthusiast Steve's Avatar
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    I was born and raised in Belfast as the toughest little scrapper
    I filled in for a no-show at a gig ran by my dada
    See I was only yay high when I fought in Carrickfergus
    Then I brought my trade to London and I did 'em all a service

    In June of eighty two I won my first of many titles
    I went to war with Marty Jones, the ongoing recital
    The World of Sport soon knew my name, it spread right to the States
    The Brawler came a-knockin' at Ted Turner's fancy gates

    I fought many a battle with my rival Steven Regal
    I would have won t'war if not for tactics so illegal
    I cut my hair and shaved my tasche and came back a new star
    And retained my TV Title over Booker and Benoit

    Then came a day I lost my way but when I'll tell ye now
    I nearly lost a limb when fighting Knobbs down in the south
    By then my time had been and gone, it's all when they say when
    I tussled with Vampiro then was never seen again

    Or so they thought as then once more I donned my boots in hope
    I'd spent time as a trainer and I showed them girls the ropes
    For the first time in five years or so the spotlight shined on me
    The Irish eyes were smiling as they waited eagerly

    I quickly gained the ire of the fanbase everywhere
    It started when I smashed Matt Hardy's face against the stairs
    For Lashley, a shillelagh I'd soon carry day by day
    And when paired with a pirate, brought a Bastard to the stage

    My violence was my staple and I made that banner clear
    And I served as muscle for King Booker when his foes came near
    This Irishman became the champion for all of the states
    But it would be the only title that I'd claim within this place

    You people saw me differently as I embraced my lad
    And I even bested Khali with a shillelagh to the 'nads
    Yeah sure I lost to JBL but I won't shed a tear
    As to this day I bet he hears that trash can in his ears

    I floated round the roster and I joined another team
    I brought my Belfast brawlin' to the land of the extreme
    I soon stepped back behind the scenes to share my veteran light
    I say my name is Finlay and I'll make you love to fight.



    F is for Finlay
    Written by Leaf


  39. #39
    Weed General D.O.N's Avatar
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    I appreciate this tribute to Finlay as I always enjoyed his work. He wasn't the best worker but he was extremely solid. That shillelagh always came in handy the stuff with Little Bastard always gave me a chuckle. I had no idea that he started in 82 because in 05 the guy could still go. Thanks for showing Finlay some love!

  40. #40
    Senior Member JacobWrestledGod's Avatar
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    These poem type columns (oh yeah Leaf I remember you posting poems when u started in CF couple of years back) are always easy to read but damn hard to write. Triple R has also been dropping these type of verses and I always enjoyed it. As for Finlay, I am never a fan of his, having not much knowledge Nor interest in his career, but what I do know if that he is known as a legit badass much like the Vadar generation. Kudos to Leaf for pulling this off brilliantly.
    And Jacob wrestled with God.






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