It's Still Real to Me, Dammit!


WWE Top to Bottom: Ballad of The Midcarders

I’m watching SmackDown when I learn The Miz lost to Sheamus on Main Event after I started feeling good about his winning on Monday. This that ole bullshit. Also on Monday, Paul Heyman is apparently no longer going to be working with Cesaro. You can TOTALLY see how much they want him to matter, after he’s lost twice in a row to Kofi Kingston… and he didn’t really go anywhere or do anything in a VERY short run as a ‘Heyman Guy’. I just read on WrassleZone that Alicia Fox’s new gimmick that got people talking about her… dropped. WHY DOES WWE JUST KEEP INEXPLICABLY DROPPING THINGS!?!

I’ve been arguing with my LEWD brethren, unsuccessfully I might add… that Cesaro is being Dolph Ziggler’d. Then, while saying Cesaro is the future, they’re saying Dolph Ziggler has done nothing to deserve a top spot except wrestle really well. Um… you niggas know that describes Cesaro, right? In WWE Cesaro has not had ONE defining gimmick or cut a memorable promo. All he has done is wrestle well. And every few months or so, they take whatever he WAS doing, from him.

* Debuts as a pimp playa woman slayer who took Teddy Long’s girl. Wins US title. Drops both. Becomes a yodeling jabroni.

* Joins The Real Americans. Inexplicably the WWE Universe starts chanting ‘We The People’ and popping for Cesaro and his swing. Mostly does jobs, though.

* Wins The Andre The Giant Memorial Battle Royal. Sides with Paul Heyman, who mostly talks about Brock Lesnar, leaves because Lesnar is coming back to win the title. Loses twice in a row to Kofi Kingston.

Because I’m petty… let’s review Dolph Ziggler’s career as Dolph Ziggler.

* Debuts as a douche who constantly introduced himself to people. That was the most memorable thing about him.

* Starts being managed by Vickie Guerrero. Wins the WHC for 11 minutes before losing it back to Edge. Begins a long stretch of being a jabroni.

* Feuds with Jack Swagger over being a client of Vickie Guerrero, which is resolved by them forming a jobber tag team. SEE A PARALLEL HERE!?!

* Stops being managed by Vickie. Does nothing interesting until he feuded with John Cena over AJ and the MITB. Leaves with both.

* Cashes in MITB then they take AJ from him. Jack Swagger concusses him then he loses the WHC and hasn’t been anything to write home about SINCE.

Yeah. WWE really takes care of its midcard/upper midcard.

I’m watching Chris Jericho versus Luke Harper, which reminds me Y2J came back and did a finisher on The Miz and walked right into a high level midcard feud with Bray Wyatt. Are we gonna call Miz’s interactions with Sheamus a high level midcard feud? You could… Sheamus is US champion. Former WWE champ and WHC. If I had the book… I would have Miz beat Sheamus in the IC title battle royal then unite the titles at SummerSlam. This seems like something they might do. Irony of ironies… the way Miz has always been booked reminds me of Jericho back when he unified the WWE title and WHC.

Jericho was an annoying heel who no one expected to beat The Rock and Stone Cold Steve Austin in one night. In a parallel, no one expected Miz to beat Cena in a Mania main event, but he did because of The Rock. Listen. I get that heels cheat to win and take advantage of circumstances to get the upper hand. However… there is a difference between booking a heel as a dirty cheater and booking them as a pussy who only wins because he had help. Look at Randy Orton’s last title reign. The heat would have been on him if he low blows Bryan, pokes him in the eye, clocks him with the belt, etc. But all the heat was on The Authority, and Orton was nothing more than a puppet. Jericho only won the undisputed title because Booker T had issues with The Rock and Vince hated Stone Cold. Then Miz only beat Cena because The Rock had beef with him.

I would never ever ever under any circumstances say Y2J or Miz should ever be booked like a top superstar. Like a Cena or Hogan etc. What I am saying, is with certain guys you have little reason to believe in them as champion, and then they win the damn belt and never really look like a champion. Kind of like Daniel Bryan’s WHC reign. He spent that entire reign running from Big Show and Mark Henry. I don’t really know how he got over. He was jobbing like a motherfucker before he cashed in the MITB, then he never beat those grown men clean. Then he had to survive Santino in the Elimination Chamber. Then he dropped the title in 18 seconds. Fast forward to last year and he beat Cena the fuck up and pinned him clean. Stop right there and it’s night and day! He beat Orton… they booked him like Orton could do nothing about him. He beat HHH and Kane. Daniel Bryan is not 5’10 230, fam. He is booked like he is legit. And people still complained he was being buried when Orton was gifted the title all them times. LOL.

If somehow you lack reading comprehension skills, indubitably you aren’t reading this. If you is… then my point can be summed up with: I want to see guys get storylines and characters that make sense consistently. And when guys show potential to be upper midcard to main event, they should not lose to Kofi Kingston, trade wins all the time or only win by screwy finish.

Artist Profile: Mike Tenay

Not technically wrestling related, but Mike Tenay’s music career intrigues me, so I post this here too. 

Good Lord, this feels like the Twilight Zone.

If the name Mike Tenay doesn’t resonate with you, don’t fret.  He may not be the biggest name in music.  Moreover, he’s rather well-known in a completely unrelated industry: professional wrestling.  Many knew him as a color commentator for the ill-fated World Championship Wrestling, from 1994 to 2001.  Now he resumes that role in a company, I admit, I have less than flattering things to speak of: Total Nonstop Action Wrestling.  For those of you that don’t know what that is, it’s where Sting was for the past few years, and where Kurt Angle still is.  No, neither of them have retired. 

Michael William “Mike” Tenay is also known as “The Professor” due to his extensive knowledge of professional wrestling.  In a particularly comical note, he was also in the pro wrestling movie Ready to Rumble, alongside plenty of WCW talents, the Nitro Girls and an unaccredited John Cena.  So you may be asking yourself what any of this has to do with music.  Well thanks to a particularly NSFW event that caused TNA’s attempt at fan interaction to feature more porn, smut and general unpleasant things on their sub-site than whatever pornographic website you frequent, through the dozens upon dozens of questionable posts, there was featured a very unnerving picture of Mike Tenay, smiling, and along with that was a song called “Jacuzzi”.

Before this day, few people (myself included) even considered that there was someone in TNA with this kind of talent.  Finding my way to Bandcamp, I discovered his album and the unnerving cover art of him smiling, and I was instantly thrown back to the 80s.  I love the 80s.  I’ve never personally BEEN in the 70s, seeing as I wasn’t even conceived until the late 80s, but history, word of mouth and a few infamous video games featuring a surplus of drugs and violence made it very clear what the music was all about at the time.  There were traces of Kurtis Blow and Michael Jackson, Oliver Cheatham and Megadeth, Judas Priest and Blondie, Rick James and REO Speedwagon, so on and so forth.  It was a time where pop music and the subcultures of that era’s pop music were in bloom.  Perhaps the best way to describe it and Mike Tenay’s music is the Miami Beach sound.

When it comes to Tenay, I find myself most drawn to tracks like “Jacuzzi Love” and “Slow and Easy”, and perhaps the description offered under the track listing is more in-depth than I want to admit:

speeding along the coastline in your red ferrari with the roof down, the blast of night air refreshes you after a long day in the sun with your top squeeze

This album, and I hope there are more to come, takes me back to when I spent hours upon hours commuting throughout the swimmer’s deathtrap of Vice City, pretending that I cared about the story when I was just happy to run around and drive fast cars through a tropical paradise.  “Jacuzzi Love” especially cares the feel of a track like the Pointer Sisters’ “Automatic”, an upbeat track that invokes the synthpop feel of carefree days and the disco (or post-disco (music has so many sub-genres)) attitude of the time.  Contrast that with “Soft and Easy”, which could easily have featured an overeager Michael McDonald crooning over it, saying nothing but the title of the song in various inflections. 

Tenay’s music is listed under plenty of labels, but perhaps the most interesting of these is “vaporwave”.  Relatively new as a genre, it combines elements of chillwave, smooth jazz and R&B, as well as other brands of pop, and mashes them together in a highly danceable, and very sensual style.  As of writing this I’m no expert on the genre, but if this is any indication of the brand as a whole, then Mike Tenay might legitimately be the most talented man in professional wrestling. 

With all that being said, Mike Tenay did not release a perfect album.  Some elements to the music, or at least his music, seem out of place and even a bit disjointed.  “Bubble Butt”, while fun to listen to and a certified “booty shaker of song” as a friend of mine pointed out, features so many elements that it’s easy to confuse some of the background noises to your favorite effects from Streets of Rage.  Meanwhile, some songs like “Swimming with Dolphins” are so dreamy (neutral term) that they make you question exactly what it was that Tenay was smoking at the time of creation.  Granted, he does like in Vegas.

Mike Tenay is a talented musician, this is undeniable.  Perhaps his future after wrestling is making some club music for the Boogie Nights crowd on the Vegas strip, or even just making music for an aspiring filmmaker with an ever-eclectic palette.  Either way, if this is just Tenay’s first foray into music making, then it can only get better.  And he’s off to a good start.


Check out and purchase Mike Tenay’s “Jacuzzi” here at Bandcamp.

Greatest WWE Champion Of All Time

I bet you MONEY John Cena wishes Vince McMahon would stop forcing Michael Cole to call him the greatest WWE champion of all time. I bet you he’d tell you it is Hulk Hogan, who many of us around our age, recognize as the real, true Mr. WrestleMania. Arguments could be made for the fake Mr. WrestleMania, Shawn Michaels. The Rock. Brock Lesnar. CM Punk. Ric Flair. Near countless others. I’m about to do something heretical on these here innernets: tell you why John Cena actually ISN’T that far off from being the greatest.

As much as inflation has lessened the value of being WWE Champion, it’s astonishing to note that less than fifty men have held that title in over 50 years of its existence. In the past decade or so, attaining double digit world title reigns became like nothing, as HHH, Randy Orton, Edge, John Cena and The Rock have done so. But, then… it’s not like jabronies are doing it. Let’s be honest here: not none of us are here for the 3 to 8 year title reigns of a Hulk Hogan or Bruno Sammartino. I believe if they existed in our social media age where anyone can create a blog, or YouTube channel, or Twitter etc… we would bitch endlessly about how many people they’ve buried to prop up a man, who in our uneducated opinion, is not that good.

Lots of people are caught believing in the concept of ‘deserving’ things. As in “John Cena doesn’t deserve 15 world championships”. I personally don’t care. I’ve been on record as saying I thought Bray Wyatt could have been a good choice. So, yes I was opposed to the idea of John Cena winning, as I am also opposed to Brock Lesnar beating John Cena at SummerSlam if he’s not going to make more appearances on TV. But… on paper, this matchup and the resultant rematch make sense.

The reason many of us are not running multimillion dollar corporations, is because we do not understand box office. We think guys like Daniel Bryan and CM Punk and Shawn Michaels and Bret Hart ‘deserve’ to be the champion because they’re great wrestlers. Guys like John Cena and Hulk Hogan and The Rock and Stone Cold Steve Austin may not have been Greco-Roman mat wrestling, throwing thousands of submission holds and high spots… but they lined Vince’s pocket with GOLD. And let’s not pretend they didn’t do it with their work in the ring. At the end of the day, you can have the look, you can be a good talker, but you need to back it up in the ring. Vince doesn’t push Cena solely because he sells merch… he sells merch because he sells in the ring.

Are you tired of John Cena getting beaten up for a 15-20 minute match then pulling out his ‘Five Moves of Doom’ and winning? Were you also offended when Hulk Hogan sold then ‘hulked up’, blocked a punch, wagged a finger, threw three punches, irish whip, big boot, legdrop? Maybe you ARE that wrestling fan who hates such finishes because ‘it’s so predictable’. That wrestling fan who so conveniently forgets every wrestler EVER has MAYBE five signature moves no one else in the promotion uses, and a certain sequence they use them in so the crowd can get hot in anticipation of the finish, or a false finish. I hate you motherfuckers.

I’ve never thought John Cena can’t wrestle. I’ve read that HHH didn’t believe in Cena until he fought him at WrassleMania 22 and then he got it. Next year they were sposed to have a rematch, but he beat Shawn Michaels instead. He beat Edge and The Big Show at 25 and Batista at 26. Beat The Rock at 29. I think Cena will mostly be ceding the main event spotlight to younger stars now, or even putting them over, just like the aforementioned stars did him. This is the nature of the business. If John Cena is the ‘greatest WWE Champion in history’ according to Michael Cole, and Brock Lesnar broke The Undertaker’s streak, that’s gonna be one hell of a big match. Then, when Brock Lesnar loses to whomever, that man will be the man that beat the man who broke The Streak and beat the so called greatest champion ever.

Last night on Raw we saw Roman Reigns cut a promo saying he can beat Cena. They had words backstage, then they raised each other’s hands as Raw went off the air. If the plan for THIS year’s Mania is Reigns/Lesnar… what if they’re planting seeds for a bigger confrontation at the next year’s Mania? We could see Cena get desperate to protect his legacy and finally turn heel and win his 16th title from Reigns with help from The Authority of all people… then build to Reigns taking it back at Mania. And it would really be best for business if they found a way to do the rematch a year later. Reigns. would. be. MADE. And then, in two years, we’d see blogs and videos about how Reigns ‘deserves’ none of this.


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