(NO) FEAR AND LOATHING IN KNOX-VEGAS!

As I write this I am in the process of moving back to Knoxville, TN.  Hurricane Sandy is moving up the coast and while the east side of Florida is supposed to get the majority of the rain, Tampa has gotten a lot of wind that last couple days.  My wife’s name is Sandi (with an i) but she’s been catching grief from people who like to make analogies. I’m breaking this blog up into different  days and will probably publish it Monday. I am actually leaving Tuesday, Oct. 30 and will have limited web access.

 Sandy is wreaking havoc on the east coast as I type this final entry while in Tampa, FL. The weather reports I’m getting now out of Knoxville is it will be cold, windy and pretty miserable by the time we arrive.  Can’t wait!

There is no fear or loathing going on concerning my move back to Knoxville. 

I thought Hunter S. Thompson was a great writer and genius.  Well, I don’t know about the genius part, but he did write some good stuff (if you’re into that).  The term “Gonzo journalism”  is attributed to Mr. Thompson’s style.  While “Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas” was a great book, I really enjoyed the movie with Johnny Depp.

The visuals and dialog was as realistic for me knowing what that experience is like.  The first scenes in Jacob’s Ladder told me this was an “acid trip” and the two people I was with were lost.  They had a hard time following the movie and plot until the end showed and explained everything.  But Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas makes no bones about the fact it’s full of drugs and craziness.  Which I certainly could appreciate and relate to at one time. (Those days are long gone, by the way…)

Change is the only constant in life.  I should be used to it by now.  And I am to an  extent.  The world is changing as I write this.  We have a Presidential election coming up, chaos in almost every corner of the world and the wrestling/sports entertainment business is going through transitions.  Introducing new talent, getting them over and getting business back on track.  Three hours of RAW, Two hours of Smack Down, One hour on Wednesday nights and an hour on Saturday, plus a monthly PPV equals a LOT of  programming not to mention the Tweets, Touts and Facebook that almost every Superstar in WWE has to participate in for visibility!

I fought doing Twitter and FB for the longest time.  Now I remember why.  The twitter stuff can be informational and useful and that’s why I started it to begin with.  But the other side is the ridiculous, stupid crap I see on a daily basis that I’ve got caught up in by sending a smart ass remark back to someone who just doesn’t get it or ever will.  Same with Facebook.  But I can see the “necessary evil” with social media these days.  It’s everywhere and we aren’t going to escape it any time soon.

I sometimes ask rhetorical questions just to get a reaction and then realize I would have been better to just leave it alone.  I know wrestling isn’t going back to the way it used to be.  The Internet won’t allow that. I don’t know that fans will allow it either! Everyone talks about going back to the old days but truth be told, wrestling has evolved and continues to evolve to keep up with the times.  It ain’t yesterday no more (I swear I’m going to write a song with that title!)

  But I still think there’s room for good wrestling out there.  Telling stories and getting the audience emotionally involved can still happen if performers understand how to make that magic happen.  It doesn’t happen overnight but I think there are still some veterans out there that can help teach timing and make perspective talent understand they are selling emotion more than anything else.  Only time will tell.

Some of the stars are getting older and beat up.  This is the time for new talent to step up and prove it’s their time to shine in the spotlight.  I hope the wealth of talent in developmental get their opportunity sooner rather than later.  It’s hard to give up your spot and let some “young punk” come in and take over.  But change is inevitable.  We all get older and can’t move like we used to.  Some can retire and walk away.  Others don’t know how or when to walk away from the ring.  It can be a hard decision when this is all you’ve done your adult life. 

I’m rolling the dice returning to Knoxville. What I saw years ago on the independent scene made me vow to never go back to them again.  I’ve made it clear how I feel about the “play rasslers” who go out a do their thing in front of 20-30 family members like it’s their weekly softball game. I have some projects I’m looking into and am anxious to see how they play out.  Either way, it’s all good.

Tampa was great.  I loved it.  Still do.  But I like Knoxville too.  I’m going to miss some people in Florida but I get to reunite with some old friends in Tennessee. I have some great prospects and opportunities but I’m not counting any chickens yet! I know college game days find the city of Knoxville enamored with the color orange and you can’t go anywhere without seeing an orange Tee shirt or loyal Vol fan.   Change can be good.  It will definitely be different!

I’ve gone through the gamut of emotions the last year.  My brother had a heart attack, had a major change take place in my life, got offers from incredible people and places, lost a couple good friends and Mike Graham recently passed away. 

While I wasn’t big buddies with Mike, his passing hit me hard.  I worked with Mike in the early 1980’s in Amarillo and one other town I can’t remember the name of.  We crossed paths through the years, but I got to know him better during my time in Tampa.  Mike could be opinionated at times and I always got along with him.  While I was shocked, I wasn’t surprised to hear how he died.  No one can judge a person’s actions or state of mind unless they’ve been where they’ve been. It’s not easy to say goodbye.  Mike will be missed by his many friends and fans who knew him during his wrestling days.  He was always upbeat, funny and offered advice to anyone who asked when he came by FCW.  R.I.P. Mike.

I plan on spending a couple days in the mountains with no Internet access.  I might find someplace with limited access  but it might do everybody some good that I’m  not connected for a  little while.  I’ve always enjoyed the  Smoky Mountains and cabins away from everything.  It’s good to clear your mind and get away from the hustle and bustle of a city atmosphere and chill in a cabin in the mountains.  If you ever get the chance, try it.  You might like it.  Or not…

Like I said at the top of this blog, we are expecting some brutal weather but I’ve survived more than one storm in my life and I’ll survive this one too.

I had a great time at Global Championship Wrestling in Pell City, AL. Oct. 27.  I teamed with Micah Taylor against Brad Armstrong and Mad Dog Dan Sawyer.  Tim Horner was supposed to re-unite with Brad as The Lightening Express.  Unfortunately, Tim’s father passed away earlier in the week and due to an illness on top of that, Tim was unable to attend.  Regaurdless how I might feel about Tim Horner professionally, he was close to his dad and while I might have questioned his guts and integrity on Saturday night, I know Tim would have loved nothing more than to be in Pell City knocking my head off with his dreaded right hand KO punch!  I’ll put Horner’s punching ability up against Big Show’s anytime!

I will say Mad Dog proved to be a good partner for Brad but it would have done him better to “shut up” and listen instead of trying to go into business for himself.  Just my opinion.  I don’t mind doing business but sometimes it’s better to listen instead of trying to impress somebody who’s seen and wrestled some of the greatest if not THE greatest wrestlers in the world (and trained a few) before you ‘go into business for yourself.’  I appreciate the professionalism showed by all but it seems the more things change the more they stay the same!  Don’t know if I’ll be invited back to GCW but Mad Dog knows where I stand and that’s all I’ll say about that.   Micah Taylor is a man who never got a true opportunity when he was in WWE developmental years ago, but he is just as talented as ever and it was a pleasure working with him and manager JJ “Boom Boom” Tanner in our corner.

I received a horror novel in PDF form written by an acquaintance that has me intrigued.  But I’ve also been re-reading “Wrestlers are like Seagulls” by James J. Dillon.  It’s funny how the more things
change, the more they stay the same.   I highly recommend JJ’s book. It gives you an insight from someone who was on the inside and up close and personal for some very intense moments in WWE. I was never in JJ’s pay grade, nor did I have his responsibilities but I did see and hear enough that it was like deja vu…

 The horror book hasn’t been published yet and I’m only on page 62, but it has all the ingredients you need for a horror story. I am finding myself in-between reading, writing and trying to pack.

What lies ahead, who knows.  That’s the great part about life.  You can make anything you want happen if you work hard enough. Next Level Wrestling is one of many projects and ideas that are on the table.  It’s an exciting time for professional wrestling/sports entertainment.  I’m interested in watching Ryback dominate WWE in the near future.  I hope he gets the ball and scores beyond expectations.  I had the opportunity to watch this man grow from a developmental talent, hit some highs and run into some huge lows.  I admire his work ethic and ability to recover, never take no for an answer and become such a center piece figured in for the WWE title picture.  But it still lies on his shoulders to make it happen.  I for one hope Ryback gets the ball and scores the winning combination of being the man in WWE!  We’ll see. 

I know we have a cabin in the Smokies somewhere.  Limited to no Internet at best from what I understand.  So if you order anything, send an email and I don’t get right back to you, please give me a break.  I will make ever effort to respond ASAP.  Moving sucks!  But I love an adventure…

Next time you hear from me will be from Knox-Vegas!

Thanks for reading.

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