Saturday, 14 March 2009

Andrew "Test" Martin Dies

Andrew Martin, better known to wrestling fans as "Test" during his time in WWE has been found dead at the age of 33.

After a chance meeting with Bret Hart at a restaurant in the late 90s, Martin began his in-ring training.

He made his WWE debut in late 1998 after a brief period on the Canadian indy circuit. Introduced initially as the badass bodyguard of Earth's gayest rock band, Mötley Crüe, Test soon aligned himself with Mr. McMahon's evil Corporation.

Having been kicked out of the Corporation for being too cool (he did after all know Mötley Crüe), he played his part in one or two storylines that were quite major at the time but of no real worthiness to look back on in depth right now.

The next peak for the lover of leather pants was when he was repackaged with a new tag team partner - the wrestler formerly known as Prince Albert. They were managed by the incomparable Trish Stratus. Someone who, despite her relative inexperience in the wrestling business compared to them, was easily better than her two wrestlemonkeys.

Test was eventually released by WWE in 2004 after he was injured and allegedly undergoing spinal fusion surgery.

What actually happened on that operating table remains a mystery (In fact, I'm sure we might not ever find out the truth). But when Test made his return to TV on WWE in 2006, it only seemed to confirm the rumours that he had been transformed on the operating table into a Centaur...

Unfortunately for Martin, part of the rehabilitation process for becoming a mythical Greek beast, alongside eating ketamine like it was chocolate frosting to help him sleep, was to take massive amounts of human testosterone. This was to stop him from tipping over the edge (many before him had forgotten to take their supplements and ended up eating straw in fields, alienated from human society). His employers didn't take kindly to this and suspended him for violating their Wellness Policy. He was released from his WWE contract several days later.

As a recently released WWE wrestler, he inevitably ended up on TNA. Despite knowing that he was taking steroids, TNA still employed him. Job security seemed to be on the cards for Martin. That was until the day he was found with a feedbag strapped to his face, stood next to an empty table where Jeff Jarrett's rider once stood. So long Centaur.

In December 2007, after floundering on the independent circuit for a while, Martin announced that he would retire from wrestling after an upcoming tour of Ireland.

I'm happy to reveal the following news. This is a Chewin' The Mat exclusive. On his final tour as a wrestler in Ireland, Andrew "Test" Martin met champion jockey Ruby Walsh. This chance meeting led to Martin training to become a racehorse. In fact, he was due to be the first Centaur to race at the Cheltenham festival in 2009. This caused much controversy, with the Racing Post famously declaring it "a fucking disgrace". Martin argued that his previous attachment to sports with pre-arranged results was enough to get by in British horse racing.

Only Martin's controversial appearance wasn't to be. He withdrew from the event with only days to spare, citing "personal reasons". During this time, his Wikipedia article was altered saying that he'd killed his girlfriend, Kelly Kelly, after going into a rage on a sugarlump-induced high. This later turned out to be false, though Martin was found dead two days later in his Tampa apartment by a local Vet.

A postmortem is due to be carried out.

Andrew "Test" Martin 1975 - 2009

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Thursday, 16 October 2008

Lance Cade released - Jim Ross fuels speculation

This week, WWE released Lance Cade. The release came somewhat without warning and sparked hot speculation and rumor from wrestling news sites.

WWE released a statement regarding Lance Cade's release on Tuesday. The first step of the IWC was to blame an apparent poor showing on TV against DX a few weeks back.

However WWE's Jim Ross posted a blog the following day addressing, amongst other things, Cade's abrupt release from WWE. Ross wrote:

Lance Cade was dismissed from the WWE because, like many humans, he made a major league mistake while utilizing bad judgment that cost him his job. This included Lance having a seizure on an airplane and having to have emergency medial care. Luckily, Lilian Garcia was on the same flight and was instrumental in helping Lance get taken to a hospital where a battery of tests were run that luckily determined that there was nothing seriously wrong with the young man such as a brain tumor, etc.

Everyone makes mistakes, Lord knows I have made plenty in my career, but in this day and time some mistakes just simply can't be condoned. To some fans, Lance Cade will likely still be perceived as the victim in this matter and his punishment too harsh.

Under the circumstances of the situation, I don't know what other decision the WWE could have made. I'm just relieved that it wasn't me in my former role that would have had to address this matter. I really like this kid and hope that he continues to follow his dreams. Second chances are not foreign in the wrestling business so perhaps that could be in Lance's future but that's just a personal observation.

Thanks to JR, this story is now far more interesting for internet speculators and gossips such as myself. Before his blog, it was a case of "Meh, he's obviously been fired because he sucks". Now it looks as if WWE dropped him quicker than they would a plague-infected hot potato. What the hell happened on that flight with Lilian Garcia?! What did Cade do that induced a seizure? Any ideas? Really? None at all?

There is absolutely no chance at all in my mind that this isn't drug-related.

Vince was reportedly high on Cade a few months ago. Cade was trained by Shawn Michaels and as such was pretty much in a job at WWE for life. He must have done something remarkably bad to warrant a release from his contract so suddenly.

This is one of those things that we'll most likely never learn the full story to. Which sucks because something huge has gone down and WWE are pulling a Roswell on Joe Public.

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Saturday, 4 October 2008

They Live

Having bought the DVD months ago, I finally got round to watching John Carpenter's 'They Live' starring Rowdy Roddy Piper.

It's been a while since I posted. If you care that I've left you for so long, I apologize. This post will have a passing reference to why I've not posted in a while, so pay attention yo!

I'm a huge Roddy Piper mark, and I'm ashamed that it's taken me about 3 months from getting my hands on the DVD to actually watching it.

My review is as follows... YAY!

Watch it - I enjoyed it. And for someone who hates most movies he sees, that really is saying something.

Piper plays a construction worker in the movie, and so quite naturally, wears a checked lumberjack-style shirt. Upon noticing that, I thought to myself "Ahhh, I put on a lumberjack-style shirt today didn't I?". I looked down at myself to confirm the fact and was surprised to see that my own wardrobe department had provided me with a real life hidden Easter egg.

I've never felt like such a sad bastard in all my life. I used to boast: "I may be a huge wrestling fan, but I have a wife! A real life woman!". Now that I can't say that without relying on a legal technicality, me wearing a Hotrod t-shirt and eating my dinner on my own in a dimly-lit living room with no furniture in it whilst watching a movie with Rowdy Roddy Piper in it seems somewhat sad.

One of the movie's highlights of course is one of the best fight scenes in cinema...

The greatest thing about that video is the awesome shot with the money straight into the box at the beginning.

Trivia fans most likely know that the now infamous Cripple Fight scene in South Park is almost a shot for shot plagiarism, sorry, 'homage' to this fight.

For the greatest bit of Piper swearing (pre "Hogan's Heroes") click here and fast forward to 6 minutes.

That's it for now. Wrestling's been boring lately, hence a post about a movie as old as I am.

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Tuesday, 9 September 2008

Flair and his daughter get extreme with cops

Check out that picture! It's Ric Flair having been battered by his daughter's boyfriend!

Although that's merely speculation. Ric Flair has that black eye, his daughter Ashley is arrested after being subdued with a taser, and her boyfriend says that it's a family incident that's now been resolved.

Because of the lack of details here, I can only go wild with speculation. In fact, I owe it to you all for not posting in so long (A whole week I think?!).

My theory is that Flair and his daughter's boyfriend were having their own shoot wrestling match in a Chapel Hill, NC parking lot to decide if the boyfriend was man enough to be the man of Ashley's dreams. Judging by that picture, it looks as though the un-named Flair-boner can be the man - he has undoubtedly beaten the man this week! Ashley was involved as she fought the cops and held them back to see which man would come out on top.

But that's boring, if I've been given license to speculate, then I'm going to guess that Flair was caught breaking into his daughter's underwear drawer mid-sniff by her boyfriend. A fight ensued between the two guys while Ashley, who is an emotional female, happened to be menstruating at the time. She just went mental at the flashing lights and bright noises of the cop cars (she was tired and wanted to sleep) and a red mist descended as she flipped out on the cops. In fact, her arrest had nothing to do with the panty-sniffing.

If Flair was a conker (judging from his tan, there's little doubt), then his prospective son-in-law just became a 17-time world champ.

For a less surreal look at this, check out Tell them I sent you!

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Saturday, 30 August 2008

The Best of CM Punk

Having spotted this DVD on sale for a mere £4 a while back, I thought I'd be an idiot not to buy "The Best of CM Punk in Full Impact Pro".

If you'd paid £4 for a wrestling DVD and complained then you'd be an idiot.

It's taken from a time when CM Punk was one of the best heels on the indy circuit. Any kids who badger their mums into buying this for them will be in for a surprise as their hero tells them to bite it.

The first load of matches show CM Punk's progression through a two night tournament to crown the first FIP Champion. Some of the hosses that Punk is up against are unbelievably bad. Two stick out in my mind - Vordell Walker and Rainman.

Those two suck so hard, it's testament to Punk's abilities that the matches actually hold together well. So many offers from Punk get denied. For instance in one match, Punk makes the ref look the other way and pokes Rainman in the eye to get the upper hand - only Rainman fights back, a few moves later and Punk has to start his beatdown by getting the upper hand through legitimate means - way to go Rainman.

£4 of your hard-earned money is nothing for this amount of wrestling. Punk going at it with Homicide is always a welcome sight. In the match to find the first FIP champ, the two go at it like mad and battle all through the arena, inside and out in a pretty good showing with some memorable hardcore spots including a swirly.

The matches are as follows...

  • CM Punk vs. Vordell Walker
    1st Round FIP Hwt. Title Touny - Emergence Night 1 - Tampa, FL - 09.24.04

  • Highlights - AJ Styles vs. Homicide
    1st Round FIP Hwt. Title Touny - Emergence Night 1 - Tampa, FL - 09.24.04

  • Homicide vs. Joshua Masters w/CM Punk
    2nd Round FIP Hwt. Title Touny - Emergence Night 2 - Tampa, FL - 09.25.04

  • CM Punk vs. Justin Credible
    2nd Round FIP Hwt. Title Touny - Emergence Night 2 - Tampa, FL - 09.25.04

  • CM Punk vs. Rainman
    Semi-Finals FIP Hwt. Title Touny - Emergence Night 2 - Tampa, FL - 09.25.04

  • CM Punk vs. Homicide
    Finals FIP Hwt. Title Touny - Emergence Night 2 - Tampa, FL - 09.25.04

  • Highlights - Azrieal w/CM Punk vs. Rainman
    Fallout Night 1 - Tampa, FL - 11.12.04

  • CM Punk vs. Dan Maff
    Fallout Night 1 - Tampa, FL - 11.12.04

  • CM Punk vs. Homicide (FIP Hwt. Title - No DQs - Falls Count Anywhere)
    Fallout Night 2 - Tampa, FL - 11.13.04

  • Highlights - The Florida Rumble
    The Florida Rumble - Lakeland, FL - 12.17.04

  • CM Punk vs. James Gibson
    The Florida Rumble - Lakeland, FL - 12.17.04

All in all a pretty good DVD to pick up if you happen to see it for sale somewhere - be warned, the suspension built by waiting for delivery from mail order might leave you feeling let down.

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Thursday, 28 August 2008

Twenty years

I turn twenty tomorrow. It happens to be the 20th anniversary of the first ever Summerslam too. Here's my look back on my 20 years in and out of pro wrestling.

I loved wrestling from a very early age. I had all of the action figures - Hulk Hogan, Roddy Piper, Jake the Snake, The Undertaker, The Ultimate Warrior - the list goes on.

I loved everything about it. But the thing was that I never actually watched it. Wrestling was only really shown on Sky, and guess what we didn't have!

Yup, wrestling was my favourite thing in the world and I'd never actually watched it.

I'd learn about it from the older kids in the street who did have Sky. They taught me everything I needed to know. I've known the Ultimate Warrior's entrance theme for what seems like eternity. I even named my bike "The Ultimate Warrior". Though if I'd have done that now, I'd obviously be sued by the man-mental himself.

Having not seen any wrestling, I had no idea that it was about good guys and bad guys. Just look at the short list of action figures up there. They were all my favourites, but how many of them have always been face? I was a four year old who, in 1992, thought heels were the best. I pre-date the IWC by pretty much an entire decade!

There was then a period where I didn't really think about wrestling. It was probably about 5 or 6 years. But then we got Sky. The engineer was just doing a demo and happened to put wrestling on.

Lo and behold, I see the very same Undertaker that I had an action figure of when I was younger. He was in an inferno match against Kane. The only difference was that Taker was more gothic. But I was captured by the magic of wrestling again. The object of the match was to set your opponent on fire! As a 9 year old, this was unbelievable. Add to that the fact that Paul Bearer came down to the ring and set a teddy bear on fire to make Vince McMahon break down in tears, and you're talking entertainment.

If l337 had been invented back then, my mind would have been thinking "WTF?!".

I was hooked into it at a great time. The Corporation and the Ministry of Darkness were going at it. Edge and Christian had recently debut'd and were ripping up the undercard, as were the Hardyz. And did I mention D-X? The Attitude era is often looked back on fondly, and it's not just because it's looked at nostalgically, it was an excellent time to be a wrestling fan. X-Pac was credible enough to be my favourite wrestler at the time! Though having said that, I do miss the fact that I can't suspend my disbelief anything like I used to be able to.

But it was all a mystery to me. I knew it was "fake". But I didn't know how fake. I thought they might know a few moves in a match and maybe the ending, but the feuds were something beyond that, they actually felt real.

I eventually lost interest again due to becoming a teenager and doing other things and being teased for liking wrestling.

This was around the time Brock Lesnar was getting pushed and wrestlers' entrance music started to suck. All the music started to suck. Compare this to what you have now. Notice the absence of women in the montage too (with the exception of Trish Stratus getting put through a table from the top rope and Chyna who doesn't even count). Wrestling had balls at that time. That music meant "YEAH! MANLY WRESTLING TIME!". The music for Raw now just means "Oh it's that stupid band whose record company got them onto Raw, must be time for wrestling". It's no wonder I drifted away from wrestling.

I got back into wrestling about 2 or 3 years ago thanks to my meeting of now good friend Chris Brooker. He is the rainman of wrestling. Ask him anything, and he will give you the answer. Forget about using Wikipedia, this is your source from now on.

I got back into it because I saw how much he loved wrestling and thought that it was something that I used to love, so why couldn't I enjoy it as much as he did now? Well, quite simply, the quality of it was a reason to not enjoy it. Some people might say that John Cena was enough reason to not watch it. But I got back into it, maybe even in spite of myself. A few months later I was off to see my first ever live wrestling event. Goldust was even on the card. It turned out that not a lot had changed!

Wrestling will always be there in my life. I was born on the same day as Summerslam, it must be something to do with fate!

Interestingly I share my birthday with Michael Jackson, Lenny Henry and GG Allin. GG Allin is particularly interesting because of the severity of his mentalness. Known for being an outrageous performer and for crapping onstage and being naked and general violence at his shows, his final gig had him throwing himself through a sheet of glass while naked before marching the crowd at the show through the streets of Manhattan to get to the after party. Having taken a bit too much heroin, GG died. Except everybody at the party thought he was just doing an Andrew WK and was partying a bit too hard. Fans posed for pictures with the "passed out" GG while he was covered in excrement and dead.

What does this have to do with wrestling? A few years ago, VH1 made a list of the "most outrageous moments in music". The night of GG Allin's death only made number 4 on the list. Number one was a certain singer who, while past her heyday, was performing outdoors and a bird managed to hit the bullseye and crap directly into her mouth. This singer was of course everybody's favourite faux-gypsy Cyndi Lauper, an integral part of the MTV rock and wrestling connection that exposed WWF to a mainstream audience back in the day. Heck, Lou Albano is even in the video for 'Girls just wanna have fun'!

Anyway, who remembers hardcore matches?!

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Saturday, 23 August 2008

Whooo! - British wrestling gets a turn out for the books

1PW, arguably Britain's biggest (but certainly most controversial) wrestling promotion, has had a turbulent few weeks lately.

On the 2nd of August, Steven Gauntley announced that he was stepping down from being in control of the promotion. Having previously said the same in the past and then sneakily getting back into a position of authority, things were different this time because Gauntley had actually sold the company.

Three british wrestlers, Dragon Aisu, Jon Cameron and El Ligero, were the buyers. Most of the internet community thought that they were idiots for buying a company that inevitably had bad debts. Showing once again that the IWC knows better than anyone else, the buyers did what normally happens in the world of business by buying the company's assets. A company's assets include its name, trademarks and physical belongings - but not its' debts. It's quite tempting to go off on one here about how the IWC thinks they know better than everyone about everything, but I think I should save my bile for another post.

Regardless of the opinion of some sweaty, fat thirty-something-and-still-living-at-home's thoughts which were articulated through sausage fingers onto a keyboard with a worn out F5 key ("REFRESH! WHY DOESN'T SOMEONE RESPOND?! MY OPINION'S IMPORTANT!"), 1PW had new owners and hopefully a new direction.

After the 1PW resurrection of early 2007, the company started spending less money on importing stars in a an attempt to stem the flow of cash that was gushing from the company's balance sheet much like blood from Invader III's lungs (WARNING: That video's MENTAL). The fans responded well to a move that was intended to provide longevity to a fledgling company.

But it wasn't to be. Owner Steven Gauntley released a press statement declaring that he'd sold the company to the three previously mentioned wrestlers. However quite interestingly, the statement included the following:

Steven is currently unable to access the internet so please forgive the vague nature of the above, but we wanted to let the fans know what was happening as soon as possible.

What a strange thing to include in a press release. Gauntley had allegedly had his internet connection cut off for not paying the bills. There were also allegations of Gauntley dipping his hand into the bank accounts of people who'd paid for 1PW merchandise with their credit cards (I said 1PW was controversial!).

A few weeks ago, I was pondering whether or not I should go to 1PW's Third Anniversary Show at the Doncaster Dome on October 18th. Delirious was already scheduled to appear. I thought and thought about it, deciding that it was probably too far and expensive to really go just to see one guy.

However last week, 1PW made one of the biggest announcements to come from a British wrestling promotion in some time.

They'd signed Ric Flair to appear.

My wife, seeing how excited I was, got me a pair of ringside tickets. I felt like I had the right to mark out for a bit.

But as I look forward to what will no doubt be an unforgettable night of wrestling, there are questions that still need answering. Is this the same 1PW? Will this show finish BEFORE midnight (unlike many in 1PW's past)? And will it break even?

If it wasn't for 1PW's mindless army of die hard fans, it wouldn't have seen so many resurrections. But if it wasn't for 1PW's mindless army of die hard fans, Steven Gauntley wouldn't have pissed away the company's money with no form of business model in an attempt to impress them with the cards he'd put together.

I hope for the sake of 1PW, and British wrestling in general, that the Third Anniversary show is a success. They don't need to break even on the first night, they just need new fans. They say that the casual fan is where the real money is in wrestling, but in Britain, it's definitely with families. It's seen as "something for the kids" here by most people, and appealing to families is the key to success - just look at GPW in Wigan.

Anyway, if there was a point to this post, I've forgotten it. But what you should never forget is how stupid internet wrestling fans are for thinking they know everything.


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