Archive for the ‘Analyst Columns’ Category

The Phantom of the Ring

Lights, Camera, ‘Rassling
Registered Nurse (WB, 1934) – Director: Robert Florey. Writers: Lillie Hayward & Peter Milne (s/p). Based on Night Duty, a play by Florence Johns & Wilson Lackeye, Jr. Cast: Bebe Daniels, Lyle Talbot, John Halliday, Irene Franklin, Sidney Toler, Gordon Westcott, Minna Gombell, Beulah Bondi, Vince Barnett, Phillip Reed, Mayo Methot, Renee Whitney, Virginia Sale, Ronnie Cosby, Edward Gargan, Louise Beavers, Harry Ekezian & Tor Johnson. Black and White, 63 minutes.
— Edited by J Michael Kenyon.

 

Registered Nurse is an entertaining programmer from Warner Bros. and director Robert Florey. Florey crams a lot of plot into only 63 minutes while making us feel the film is longer. It boasts solid performances from its stars, and despite some rather poorly written plot contrivances, manages to entertain and see us through until the end.

 

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Organization puts headlock on hunger


– Mike Mooneyham

“When you’re hungry, nothing else matters.” — William Murdock

As executive director of the Asheville-based Eblen Charities, Bill Murdock knows all too well about hunger and the devastating effects it can have on children.

 

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Missing Our Friends


– Dr. Mike Lano

Losing some giants in our industry recently like Lord Roger Littlebrook and Mr. Fuji weighed heavily on my mind.  I’d interviewed Roger about 5 years back; aided by his two sons he trained and booked around the country for years.  Roger had suffered a stroke or several prior to this, and had difficulty speaking.  But I could easily tell he still had his “200% passion and love for the biz,” as he used to put it to me.  I believe he was still based out of the KC area and had trained quite a few other “little people” stars as well as helped book them en-mass but in an honest, caring way.  That’s a real rarity in wrestling.   I was blessed to have photographed him as well as Harry/Mr. Fuji in their primes, many times.  Littlebrook was absolutely one of the greatest midget (I still hate using that word but most still refer to themselves by it) world champs in the Little Beaver and Sky Low Low era, but well past Fuzzy Cupid and some of the great 40′s-60′s stars that Beaver and Low were a part of via the prior Montreal booking office with some aid from classic wrestling photographer, the great Tony Lanza who graciously mentored me a few times when I went up there for some of the awesome Grand Prix and Rougeau magic.

 

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Cesaro on the way out in WWE?


- Mike Mooneyham

 

John Cena once made the bold statement that Antonio Cesaro had the makings of a champion. From all accounts, the 15-time world titleholder was sincere with the lofty praise, not uttering those words as part of a storyline or merely advancing a program between the two.

Three years later and with Cesaro nearing the end of his current WWE contract, there are unsubstantiated reports that the “Swiss Superman” could be on the way out. If so, it would be a significant blow to the WWE talent roster and to a legion of fans who have gotten behind a performer many believe should have held WWE’s biggest prize by now.

 

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A Poem For Lanny Poffo


- Jay Bildstein

In a recent interview with CYInterview.com with Chris Yandek and Jay Bildstein, the media outlet shared a poem for wrestling legend Lanny Poffo during the segment. You can read the poem below for the Poet Laureate of the Professional Wrestling:

 

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TNA = “Marilyn Manson wrestling,” Hardz or Billy C out of control w/ the moronic stuff-is the caretaker guy dead? R Jeff & the Drone dying or dead?…


– Dr. Mike Lano

Noche pasado (last night) I couldn’t stop watching TNA (maybe if Billy the Corgan buys the thing we can call it that instead of “Impact”) but for “all the wrong reasons” yet again last night.  Just my opinion, but parts or all of the Hardy vignettes were out of control ridiculousness (the build up through forgettable matches to the final filmed/video Halloween meets Game of Thrones meets Sparticus plus some “not with my kid you bitch” at-length vignette).  It was wilder than the Matt vs Jeff filmed thing which I believe was the most recent of these pre-taped pieces.  The Damaged Matt Prince-like logo bursting into flames and surrounding the two male Decay members was Close Encounters cool/silly.

 

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Presidents share long history with wrestling


- Mike Mooneyham

If Donald Trump wins the general election in November, he will become the first WWE Hall of Famer to hold the position as President of the United States.

But he certainly won’t be the first person in that role with ties to the sport of wrestling.

 

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Injury just one more obstacle for WWE sensation Finn Balor to overcome


– Mike Mooneyham

Earlier this year I asked Finn Balor about his future prospects in WWE. A 16-year veteran of the mat wars, and still at that time waiting for his call up to the main roster, he answered without a hint of hesitation.

“I will be headlining Wrestlemania,” the native Irishman boldly proclaimed. “Absolutely, one hundred percent, yes.”

While that statement may have sounded like a lofty prediction for a worker who had never tasted WWE success, those who had seen him perform at a high level throughout the world knew better. So it didn’t come as a big surprise when, just months later, Balor was the fifth overall pick in the 2016 WWE draft.

 

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The Phantom of the Ring returns with a series of reviews of wrestling movies over the years.

 

The Sport Parade (RKO, 1932) – Director: Dudley Murphy. Writers: Corey Ford, Francis M. Cockrell (s/p); Jerry Horwin (story); Robert Benchley, T.H. Wenning (additional dialogue, uncredited). Cast: Joel McCrea, Marian Marsh, William Gargan, Robert Benchley, Walter Catlett, Richard “Skeets” Gallagher, Clarence Wilson, & Ivan Linow. Black and White, 64 minutes.

 

The Sport Parade is a child of its times. Although it may seem especially odd to us today to see pro football treated with the same disdain as professional wrestling, we should keep in mind that, with the exception of baseball, pro sports were seen as disreputable as compared to the “pure” sport that was found in amateur competition. Of course, in reality amateur football was just as crooked, if not more so, than what was claimed for the pro side. Back in those days, the NFL was no more than a blip on the sports map, still struggling for existence. Although it got a boost when the great Red Grange signed on in 1925, not many other college greats followed suit; the prevailing ethos at the time being that taking pay for one’s play was sign of questionable character.

 

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Dr Mike’s Not Necessarily The News:  ”AGEEEN, you obsolete mule


By Take a Guess

 

RAW is Gorilla Harambe/TMZ claims Conor/Nate “best UFC ft ever”/Lashley copied territory, Jeff Hardy entrance music sounds like 50′s Yakity Yak (time to sue)

 

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