Remembering New Jack, Dies at 58

I vividly remember an altercation during an ECW house show at Wonderland Greyhound Park in Revere, MA. It was intermission, and there was a metal guardrail in the crowded foyer separating the wrestlers from fans buying merchandise. 

“I don’t want to see that s***,” New Jack shouted to a fan who, without warning, handed him a VHS tape of his backyard wrestling exploits. New Jack quickly said he was only kidding, took the tape, removed the slipcover, and smashed it over the guardrail. 

Continue reading “Remembering New Jack, Dies at 58”

Thoughts on the Passing of Japanese Wrestling Legend Hayabusa

Last week, the wrestling world was saddened by the passing of Eiji Ezaki, better known to fans around the world as Hayabusa.

The words grace and innovation encapsulate the legend of this masked highflyer who astonished fans all across the orient as the star of the FMW promotion in the mid to late 90’s. Hayabusa made his sole U.S. wrestling appearance at ECW Heatwave 1998.  

Ezaki’s daring array of moves like his patented Phoenix Splash influenced a generation of wrestlers. I’ve come across many wrestlers on the independent scene who tailored their gear and in-ring presentation after Hayabusa  

I recently recorded an audio blog discussing my introduction to Hayabusa, his cult like status among die-hard wrestling fans and the mark he left in the industry.

My condolences go out to the family and friends of Eiji Ezaki.

The Absence of Snow as ECW Champion

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There have been a lot of wrestling matches over the years where promoters booked the wrong person to win. While booking for financial gain isn’t an exact science, mistakes are made for a variety of reasons.

Sometimes a promoter wants to prolong the story in hopes of a larger return at the box office. Other times, these decisions are made simply to shock the audience with a curveball thrown out of nowhere.

There is one match in particular that took place in ECW where fans vehemently detested the end result, and I was one of those fans. After some information came to light, it turned out to be the right call even though it’s still a little disappointing that such a popular concept never reached its apex.  Continue reading “The Absence of Snow as ECW Champion”

Tag Team Wrestling in ECW

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The design of Tag Team wrestling is to increase the amount of action and drama in a particular match. Four wrestlers can pull off certain moves and tell certain stories that two wrestlers alone could never do, such as blind tags and double team maneuvers.

ECW revolutionized the wrestling business in the 90’s with hardcore action, mature storylines, and highly technical and competitive matches showcasing different styles. Their tag team division was not only a pivotal part of the show, but they exuded the essence of the art by increasing the excitement in a promotion that was already extreme.

My latest column at What Culture.com reviews the best tag teams that ever graced the land of extreme. What qualifies someone as being the best? Championships do. Click here to check out 10 Best ECW Tag Team Champions Ever

Do You Remember The Original ECW Invasion?

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As a teenager in the growing up in the 1990’s, professional wrestling was my singular passion. While WWF/E was often front and center for me, Extreme Championship Wrestling, spent a few years as my favorite wrestling company. What drew me into ECW was the realistic storylines and hardcore atmosphere, complimented by blood, guts, tables, chairs and barbed wire brutality.

Naturally, I was thrilled when WWF and ECW worked together for a time in 1997. Taz, Tommy Dreamer, Sandman, Paul Heyman, and others appeared on Raw and in return, Jerry Lawler, with the help of Sabu and Rob Van Dam would infiltrate the ECW Arena. This was great stuff that really showed how to do a proper promotion vs. promotion angle.

Most wrestling fans only remember the poorly executed 2001 invasion angle involving ECW and WCW instead of its predecessor. I recently wrote an article for WhatCulture.com examining all the juicy details about this fresh concept during the heated stages of the Monday Night War. Click the link to check out 10 Things You Need To Know About The Original ECW Invasion.

WWE Network Recommendations

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I crawled into bed late last night to watch TV. Channel after channel, nothing tickled my fancy until I said “Hey, you have the WWE Network.” I logged onto my iPhone and fell asleep watching WrestleMania Rewind chronicling the iconic confrontation between Hulk Hogan and Andre the Giant. When I woke up, I realized I’d just experienced something that my ten year old self could only dream of. Continue reading “WWE Network Recommendations”

The Body Slam Podcast Ep 15: Wrestling Video Games, ECW in 2014 & Fantasy Tournament

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Once again, The Body Slam Podcast takes a break from the biggest news items and discuss wrestling video games and how the business would look if the original ECW was around today. Plus, Todd Graham moderates a fantasy King of the Ring tournament where Shane Daly keeps it real while Atlee Greene…..not so much at all.

If you want to ask a question to be read on the air or you just want to tell us how awesome we are, hit us up at bodyslampodcast@gmail.com

Click here to listen to the podcast at Gerweck.net: Pro Wrestling Since 1997

Heyman Hustle Shines on Pay-Per-View

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Money in the Bank was an excellent event that pulled out all the stops and produced a great moment when Paul Heyman blindsided CM Punk with a ladder and cost him the MITB briefcase. These moments are normally reserved for Monday Night Raw. It’s not hard to understand why, considering that more people will always watch free Raw than a pay-per-view. Still, I would have bet any amount of money that the turn would have happened on Raw and build to a Brock Lesnar vs. CM Punk match at Summer Slam.

Continue reading “Heyman Hustle Shines on Pay-Per-View”

How Did You Become A Wrestling Fan?

(Column written for gerweck.net)

Thanksgiving is right around the corner and while we all have things in our life to be thankful for, I think wrestling can appear on that list in some way, shape, or form. Wrestling fans come from all walks of life and all of us having our own likes and dislikes about the business. Some are casual WWE fans while others are hardcore fans who simply can’t get enough of their favorite pastime.

  Continue reading “How Did You Become A Wrestling Fan?”