The Journey Continues (cancer still at the same stage, but slightly shrinkin’ or shrunk)
By Ol’ Dr Mike Lano

 

Think I mentioned that I’ve probably got so much irradiated chemicals and materials in me to help shrink the tumors (largest is 6 cm in diameter) that I’d set off an airport screening device.  Told the purpose is to continue to hopefully reduce their size because if they were to go in and operate (lay a flap, open me up) to remove them to date, “even the most skilled surgeon might inadvertently nick the nerves supplying your voice box.”  I’m sure most who know the mouth here might see my not being able to talk as a blessed benefit.  Like the great, missed Roger Ebert;  I’d still be able to tap away or write my thoughts.

 

 

Like chemo, etc;  the materials make one sick.  And really itchy. Itchy squared. Have had repeat bouts that seemed symptom-wise to be like Shingles, just itchy all over with angry red blotches every time I get the injections.  And often without anesthesia other than surface topical Lidocaine, so getting a large diameter needle going thru the neck and major SternocleidoMastoid muscle is pain one cannot describe. I know as guys however, we’re babies compared to the braver, female sex on every pain issue.  Every time.

 

Helping get through long hours of sitting in various hospital waiting rooms for more scans, more tests, more excisional biopsies, injections, etc. are the great newsletters and Sirius/XM satellite radio.  I must be a print media purist, but how many remember when there were just a ton of newsletters, real news publications in the late 80′s and 90′s?  From the grandaddy in Dave’s Wrestling Observer Newsletter to Wade Keller’s Torch. Alex Marvez (gosh, forgot the title of his great publication but think it was 3-Count… for many years, he’s been a top Miami Herald and more newspaper sportswriter for the NFL, etc).  John Clark’s Flyer (he’s now a top on-air tv sports broadcast dude).  Steve “Mr TV Expert” Beverly with MatWatch.  Of course Georgie Makropoulos’ Chatterbox which I think started as a classic fanzine in 1980.

 

In decades prior, most wrestler fan clubs had monthly, etc. bulletins.  I had a lot of fun doing the bulletins for fan clubs I ran from the 60′s on for The Sheik (fireball throwin’ Ed Farhut of course), the Tolos Brothers and later inheriting Jeff Walton’s Fred Blassie Fan Club along with John Arezzi.  But Georgie was our newsletter queen and we all totally miss her.  Bob Mulrenin is carrying online with great reporting, what Georgie started. Scott Hudson and companies’ Shininomake Post and fellow humor pub, Pro W Sushi by Jeff Mullins. Top nostalgia publications like Evan Ginzberg’s Wrestling Then and Now and of course Scott “Crowbar Press” Teal’s Whatever Happened To?  Of course Bryan Alvarez’ Figure Four Weekly which after 3 decades, still beautifully blends serious, original major news reporting with humor at times. Chairshots various incarnations I think originally birthed from Arena that begat Chairshots became Dave Scherer’s own super unique publication/newsmagazine that really made people take notice of all the work he and fellow journalist Mike Johnson.  I know I’m leaving out some very fine people and even finer bulletins, new sheets, whatever terminology we’re using now.

 

But right now, all that remain are Wrestling Observer Newsletter (Dave Meltzer) of course, Figure Four Weekly (Bryan for years has been Dave’s partner in a joint venture between WON and FFW) and Wade Keller’s Pro Wrestling Torch.  All are still weekly after many decades which is incredibly hard work.  All three are great and make the time go by as does Satellite Radio the endless hours where nothing happens in waiting rooms all over the Golden State here.  Howard Stern’s show (as well as Opie and Jim Norton, formerly the Opie and Anthony show) are still great on Sirius/XM as are the multitude of channels, genres of music and talk and news and so much more.  It doesn’t get any better(nor does any other “platform” take away or make one forget about pain) than great sports newsletters while listening to Sirius/XM.  Not shilling.  Just speaking truth to power or whatever.

 

Also want to shout out a cool, relatively new nostalgia tv channel on many cable and satellite tv systems in “GET-TV.”   Most of the week they play 70′s and 80′s classic films but on Monday evenings, they air classic 60′s variety shows like Merv Griffin, special variety pieces from the great Lucille Ball, Andy Williams show that was on NBC Saturday nights, Garland’s CBS variety show that really had a wealth of talent like Tony Bennett and more on each of the few shows she did.  Just wish someone would air NBC’s classic Saturday night “Bill Dana Show” where he basically played his “Jose Jimenz” famed character getting in adventures.  And the real “Maltese Falcon” that no one appears to have, not even CBS in their vaults;  are the classic MIAMI Jackie Gleason 60′s shows from Saturday nights.  Believe that very last incarnation of his variety show ran from like 1962? thru the early 70′s.  The Joe the Bartender with Crazy (Frank Fontaign) Guggenhiem characters.  Just classic stuff that began with Jackie, nattily 3-pieced and opening by talking to Sammy Spear and his orchestra.. the June Taylor dancers who were a 60′s take on great Busby Berkeley long-shot, synchronized dancer sketch pieces.  Jackie often would do a somersault next, even at his then heavy weight before he got skinny (later copped by the equally great genius John Belushi as a Blues Bro) and went to commercial after the magic words “And awayyyyyyyyyyyy we go!”  The orchestra would hit heavy on the trumpets and the show’s further magic would unwind.

 

Certainly print newsletters have for the most part gone online and the above three plus Dave Scherer and Mike Johnson all have great online news sites where they break stories regularly.  This site, Pro Wrestling Digest; Slam and more over many years have been amongst the very finest elites well before I ever contributed to them.  I also want to put over two of the top West Coast “indie” promotions (most of us hate the word “indie” because it just doesn’t apply any more.  Pro Wrestling Guerrilla (ProWrestlingGuerrilla.com) and All Pro Wrestling (Allprowrestling.com) aka APW just are putting out state of the art content.  Matches, promos, genius booking, superb talent.  PWG uses the absolute cream of the crop and the shows sell out online in mere seconds.

 

APW last Friday night near Roy Shire’s old stomping grounds (1961-1982) in the Cow Palace, had a phenom card booked by current owner Markus Mac.  Brian Cage was out of this world as were female athletes Nicole Savoy and Thunder Rosa.  Rosa had a great line when area star (she began as a bump taking valet in the old Fog City Wrestling out of San Francisco some 11 yrs ago) Savoy said “I’m the champ” in “B—-, I’m on tv (Lucha Underground).”   The delivery from both was perfect. Both gave a clinic in pro wrestling for any male or female worker.  Both mixed in some cool MMA into their already existing major skillsets.  XPak (old friend Sean Waltman who’s gone from Lighting Kid when Keller was first raving about his matches in MN against Jerry Lynn in what, 1990 or ’89?!) gutted through horrific shoulder injury pain and  stomach pain for a super, entertaining tag with Joey Ryan.  And yup, after many tries, Joey got his “Japanese er ugh move” on Waltman after many attempts with Waltman blowing him off with the “suck it chant and gesture.”  MVP was awesome as he always is in the main event teaming with APW’s top world champ in Jody Warpig Kristofferson (yup-son of THAT legend… Kris) and JR Kratos against the Classic Connection and former champ Dylan Drake.  The card and booking were stacked and another classic APW tag title defense by Reno Scum defeating Brian Cage teamed with Chris Masters (who replaced Sami Callihan at the last minute zooming up from L.A.)  An impromptu match then occurred with Cage pinning Scum lead member Adam Thornestowe, who I believe is still also Jeff Jarrett’s Global Force champ.  This set up Scum against Cage and the partner he wanted in Sami next show with Sabu and many others on a stellar lineup.  Before I forget, Jarrett’s women’s champ was also there in Kristie Von Erie seconding the Scum and getting tossed around by “Strongman” Cage.  Cage has to be one of the top international guys right now along with the great Jeff Cobb. Unbelievably talented on all fronts.  And Joey Ryan remains the top guy in the world at talking to the crowds right during his matches since we lost Kevin Steen to The Whiff (now as Kevin Owens wherever that new last name came from).  Steen was a master at it, but Joey appears to be every bit as good. And entertaining. And he was a founder along with Super Dragon and I believe Disco Machine of the awesome PWG promotion mentioned herein.

 

Yup.  Watching any of the above masks any perceived cancer treatment pain. Or pain in general. That’s after one has had his or her fill of newsletters and Satellite radio of course.  Boring you’s guys?  Doing ok?  Let me know at wrealano@aol.com.

 

*Also and I should’ve opened with this, rather than blathering about me,  read our Phantom’s magnificent wrestlers and movie ongoing new column entitled “Lights, Camera, ‘RASSLIN!”   http://www.prowrestlingdigest.com/2016/08/20/the-phantom-of-the-ring-presents-lights-camera-rassling/      No one knows film from its beginnings to current than The Phantom Of The Ring.  I think our Phantom could’ve done a better job in the actual filmed version of the Broadway sensational Phantom of the Opera play with Michael Crawford. Well, the acting part, because Crawford is one of the best ever at singing on stage. This could easily be a treatise of required reading for any film student.  In fact, I think I’m going to start taking my iPad to appointments just to read Phantom’s regular columns on this topic!  It really does start with wrestler’s earliest forays into film, when the medium was basically beginning.  Wrestling is far older than Thomas Edison’s cinema anyway, having begun as early as the 1830′s!

 

By Ol’ Dr Mike Lano

wrealano@aol.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

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