Tuesday, September 8, 2015

SquaredCircleSyndicate: Episode 13 Show Notes

- This was without question the most wild podcast that Mike & I have ever recorded. A great friend of the show, Mr. John Lane, sent us the suggestion to do a list of the top finishing moves in Pro Wrestling. The topic itself was fun to explore, but the roller coaster ride our conversation took, especially during Part Two, was just plain hysterical.

- The kaleidoscope of material covered(in addition to the Top 20)includes: Magnum PI, fanny Packs, go-go boots, Soul Train, Jeri Curls, and so much more!

- With the switch from recording days to late nights, the shows are a lot more loose and freestyle in execution. To mirror that change, I've pulled back a bit on my own perfectionism while editing, preferring to keep the shows sounding more real, raw & authentic.

- Mike & I have discussed attempting to do a video version of the podcast. I'm a big fan of the podcast "London Real", and would love to eventually have a video version of our show look as crisp as theirs. Also going forward, we are looking to add guests into the mix. I fully trust Mike's knowledge of the wrestling business, and his ability to spice up any interview we may do in the future.

- Narrowing this Top 20 down was a bit challenging. Mike & I both tried to factor in classic moves alongside more modern moves that look amazing. As we got down to the Top 5, we looked at how versatile these moves really were. Our main criteria leading to Number One was just how easy were they to apply on a variety of opponents, regardless of body type.

- Once again we ended this episode with another original track. Big thanks to artist JayLi for the use of his original song "Beast from the East". This was a great fit for the show, and a nice way to end this particular podcast.

- The extreme variety of pop culture influences Mike & I absorbed while growing up is shining through on these newer episodes. Mike's quick wit has really helped us take the show to a new level of entertainment.

*The SquaredCircleSyndicate podcast - Pro Wrestling Talk for the REAL Enthusiast! Available to Listen, Share & Download on iTunes & Podomatic!

Direct link to Episode 13: Top 20 Finishing Moves in Pro Wrestling

Saturday, September 5, 2015

SquaredCircleSyndicate: Episode 12 Show Notes

- This was personally one of my favorite episodes to record. As sad as the topic of Roddy Piper's passing is, Mike & I made this one of the most entertaining shows we've done, period. The stream-of-consciousness approach to this episode provided great back story & variety to the program, including talk of "Rocky 3", "Hell Comes to Frogtown" & "Requiem for a Dream".

- Having an opportunity to share my personal experiences meeting Roddy & enjoying his ring work live was awesome. For better or worse, Roddy Piper was one of the most genuine human beings to ever be involved with the wrestling industry. 

- Mike & I opted not to stray away from the topic of Piper using racial slurs in past years to evoke a heel response against stars like Chavo Guerrero Sr., Jimmy Snuka and Mr.T. We of course talked about the bizarre execution of Roddy showing he was an "every man", by painting half his body black for his match with Bad News Brown at WrestleMania 6. 

- We also take a moment to praise MMA star Rhonda Rousey for showing a great deal of respect to Roddy during her post-fight promo at UFC 190. In addition, we also talk about how on the same night, UFC head honcho Dana White showed ultimate disrespect by calling pro wrestling "fake" on Twitter. We discuss how Dana has repeatedly used aspects of pro wrestling to enhance the fan base of the UFC, including lighting, pyro, ring music, and the use of personalities & "characters" to sell pay-per-view events. 

- From a production stand point, this was an easy episode to edit. The show sounded so smooth & natural, the bulk of the audio was left as-is. 

- After several weeks of promoting our original music showcase, this was the first episode to feature original content from an artist outside of the "Syndicate". Big thank you to Kottyn for the use of his original track "Famous". For more info and to download the entire album "M.G.S.D" visit: http://www.audiomack.com/album/heart-of-stone-records/mgsd 

*The SquaredCircleSyndicate podcast - Pro Wrestling Talk for the REAL Enthusiast! Available to Listen, Share & Download on iTunes & Podomatic!

Direct Link to Episode 12 "Rowdy" Roddy Piper:

SquaredCircleSyndicate: Episode 11 Show Notes

- Mike & I had a great conversation prior to recording involving Hulk's reaction to his daughter Brooke being romantically involved with an African American male. With Mike being in an inter-racial marriage himself, his view point was invaluable. We discussed the negative reactions he has garnered by otherwise mild mannered family & friends due to the deep seeded effects of racism, shining a unique light on the hateful comments made by Hulk. 

- This was a more serious topic for us to cover, and we just naturally tried to still have fun & make the show as entertaining as possible. Over the course of recording the previous 10 episodes, Mike & I have gotten to the elusive "Sweet Spot", being much more relaxed and organic while recording. 

- Also during our pre-recording rap session, we discussed the idea & notion that the "Hulk Hogan" character is so impeccable, that the actual man Terry Bollea has grown resentful of the very character that has made him famous. Bollea's sporadic behavior over the past several years shows that in many ways he may be "rebelling" against his own alter-ego.  

- This was the 2nd of our late night recording sessions. We began recording closer to 1am, which created a unique broadcasting environment. Being tired actually helped me to loosen up even further, making the show sound much more reminiscent of the real life conversations Mike & I have off-air.

- In retrospect, the parallels of the Hulk Hogan scandal and Bill Cosby's situation are staggering. Two iconic, beloved public figures that grew to prominence in the 1980's. Both falling from grace, all-bet for two completely different reasons. As a long-time pro wrestling fan, one can only hope that Hulk can overcome this negative stigma of bigotry & hatred. Only time will tell.   

*The SquaredCircleSyndicate podcast - Pro Wrestling Talk for the REAL Enthusiast! Available to Listen, Share & Download on iTunes & Podomatic!

Direct Link to Episode 11 Hulk Hogan Scandal:

Saturday, August 1, 2015

My "Rowdy" Friend

   My first recollection of WWE programming as a kid was watching "Piper's Pit", the revolutionary talk segment hosted by the "Hot Rod" Rowdy Roddy Piper. "Just when they think they have all the answers, I change the questions!!!" I even remember the sports reporter on our local news station using that line at the time on-air. Roddy was a one-of-a-kind, once in a lifetime performer. Without question, one of the absolute greatest villains aka "heels" in professional wrestling history. I vividly remember prior to facing Hollywood's own Mr.T in a boxing match at WrestleMania 2, Piper along with "Ace" Cowboy Bob Orton Jr., shaved a mini-wrestlers head to resemble T's trademark mohawk hairstyle. At the time I thought it was the worst thing I'd ever seen a "bad guy" wrestler do. His gift of gab made him a star performer the fans "loved to hate". And it made "Piper's Pit" one of the most popular, and copied segments on pro wrestling television. Roddy smashing the coconut over "Superfly" Jimmy Snuka's head during a "Pit" segment, is one of the most iconic images in WWE history. His feud with Hulk Hogan defined a generation, making the World Wrestling Federation and WrestleMania a mainstream, pop culture phenomenon. 
   As much as the fans had hated him for so long, it was during his feud with Mr.T that the fans started to realize how incredible a performer he truly was. They simply couldn't boo him any longer, and Roddy went on to become one of the most beloved legends to ever lace a pair of boots. At one point I lived in an apartment building where my neighbor provided bagpipe lessons(no joke). I remember after working an overnight shift I was attempting to sleep during the day, when the bagpipes began to blare! At first I was furious, but then as my ears began to recognize the melody coming from across the hall, I realized it was the theme song of the "Rowdy Scott"!! I loved Roddy so much, my anger quickly changed to absolute joy. 
   As outlandish & volatile as his persona was on camera, I would later find out first hand that Roddy was a kind, genuine soul. I had the opportunity to meet & talk with Roddy on two different occassions. He gave me words of encouragement when I was going through a difficult stretch, words that have stayed with me to this very day. In a surreal moment, we hugged as he said "I love you man". I'll never forget that moment. To meet and talk with someone I had so much respect for, who had risked everything to entertain not only myself, but millions of others, it was simply a dream come true. When I found out about Roddy's passing, I had a hard time believing it was real. He had overcome so much in his life: coming from a broken home, living on the streets as a kid, beating cancer - it just didn't make any sense. With the current Hulk Hogan scandal, Dusty Rhodes passing, and now this - it truly feels like the fond memories I had as a child of professional wrestling are disappearing before my very eyes. 
   Regardless, I am incredibly grateful for the time I had with this remarkable man. His in-ring work speaks for itself. His legacy will live on through his family, his fans, and through performers he inspired like Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson & the UFC's "Rowdy" Rhonda Rousey. I can just envision Roddy walking through the "pearly gates" right now, delivering his famous line from the John Carpenter movie "They Live", "I have come here to chew bubble gum & kick ass, and I'm all out of bubble gum!" 
   Thank you Roddy, for everything. I'm gonna start taking your advise and "make my own luck".  

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Losing Hulk Hogan

I've never been one to shy away from difficult subject matter, so I feel I need to comment on this. Anyone who knows me knows I'm not only a huge pro wrestling fan, but also a lifelong fan of Hulk Hogan. The Hulk Hogan character was for myself, and for many kids growing up in single parent households in the 80's, very much a father figure to us all. That character gave us all something to believe in, something more to aspire to. Over the years, the man behind the character, Terry Bollea, has shown that he is a flawed human being, as we all are to a degree. Steroid use, issues with his family, the inconsistencies in his recollection of past events, and probably the most embarrassing being the sex tape. The same tape that apparently includes the racial comments leaked to the press recently that has caused WWE to completely distance themselves from Hulk Hogan. This whole situation is just sad. Hulk has meant so much to me and so many others. Being a Hulkamaniac transcends race or religion. Which is exactly why the racial comments made on that tape are so incredibly disappointing. I've met Hulk on three different occasions, the last time being with my girlfriends 12 year-old son Logan. He has always been incredibly kind to me, and he went out of his way to talk with Logan on a few occasions when we met him at the Arnold Expo earlier this year. Which meant a lot to me and my family. With all that being said, I can in no way condone the comments made on that tape. I grew up in an older household where occasional racial slurs were used. But I didn't end up adopting those same beliefs and behaviors. I am a more private person, without a huge amount of friends. Two of my absolute closest friends are African American. Because I truly don't give a damn what color their skin is, I care about the genuine human beings they really are. Everyone makes mistakes, says or does things they regret in their lives, and I'm no different. I can only hope that those disgusting comments made on that tape are not an indication of who Terry Bollea truly is. I will hope that time will heal wounds, and that the wonderful memories so many of us have had of Hulk Hogan won't be forever erased, replaced with thoughts of bigotry & racial ignorance. We are all connected, regardless of race, creed , color or religion. I can only hope that love for thy fellow man & woman will prevail in the end. I will forever be a fan of pro wrestling. And I will continue to hold out hope that Terry Bollea aka Hulk Hogan will find a way to truly redeem himself. So myself and so many others can be proud, and not absolutely ashamed, to once gain call themselves a Hulkamaniac.