Sunday, September 25, 2016

Mav goes Spartan: week 1


Howdy,
Time for my week one check in. So far things are moving forward... Slowly.  I have had a few ups, and a few downs, but that's life.

First, Thank you to everyone who has been supporting me so far on this seemingly crazy endeavor, I've gotten some great positive comments and encouragement and it really means the world to me. It was fun to learn that a few of you are considering making a go of this Spartan thing as well.  

This past weekend I had a chance to win free admittance to a Spartan Race in a raffle at the beef and beer for my daughters competition dance team,  but typical to form I didn't win. Not a big deal, but a free entry would've been nice.  I do have to say I may be the only person ever to go to a beef and beer and have neither beef nor beer. I did fill up on salad, green beans, potatoes and some pasta.  

The diet changes are progressing nicely, I've found some really delicious, cheap and easy food recipes, and when I've had to I was able to make smarter choices for quick on the run meals.  Thank you Wawa for adding vegetarian tomato bisque, rice and roasted veggies to the menu.

On the fitness side of things, I tweaked me knee a little the day before I decided to go Spartan, so it's been a little slow but I did get my morning exercises and a run in this week.  I'm starting with the burpees today since the pain is all but gone.  Another thing I didn't take in to consideration is that I'm now teaching two hours of superhero class on Friday nights now and that alone is a big workout.

Also, I'm gonna be signing up for my first real yoga class soon!  



Thursday, September 22, 2016

Throwback Wrestling Thursday: The Fall at the Brawl

It's officially the first day of Autumn, so I thought it would be fun to look back at the annual WCW event "Fall Brawl!"  And it's most infamous moment ever.

Fall Brawl was anchored almost every year with one of my favorite matches, The War Games! I have to be honest though, it's one of my favorite matches mostly because of the original versions of the event. Once they moved the match to Fall Brawl many of the War Games matches were... Uninspiring.

Of course we can't talk Fall Brawl, or the War Games without its most infamous moment and auspicious debut. The arrival of The Shockmaster! 

(Photo credit: WWE whether they like it or not)

Twenty Three years later and I still can't stop laughing at that video.

To this day I still don't know what they were thinking with the Shockmaster's debut, and as strange as it sounds, that fall may have been the best thing that happened to that angle... Seriously. 
  
Without the epic fall, an enormous man with a sparkly Stormtrooper helmet and giant fur vest would've crashed through the set and threatened Sid and Vader using Christian Bale's Batman voice.  Think about it, that part of the situation was their actual plan!!! 

I have to hope that WCW creative were stuck with a last minute wardrobe issue.  I believe that the plan for Shockmaster was for him to wear the "Super Shockmaster" outfit that they tried to introduce later on from the start, and that for whatever reason the costume and mask wasn't ready for his debut.

(Photo credit: Still WWE, Don't let them deny it)

So with no costume they did the best they could on short notice... And it was pretty awful.  The original promo (sans fall) more than likely would've been panned and been chalked up to another bad WCW decision when they were in an era where they made a lot of bad decisions, And only occasionally if at all referenced.  The War Games match would've pretty much been the same without the slapstick and forgotten.  Surely I wouldn't be discussing him today.

Now however, thanks to WWE Network, YouTube and other social media, The Shockmaster is legendary.  He's even had a resurgence lately appearing on recent WWE Programming, and has had had actions figures and other products made.  Shocked most definitely made the best of an embarrassing moment and is now part of one of the most legendary wrestling moments ever. That's not the over the top statement you think it is when you first read that sentence.


Monday, September 19, 2016

Mav goes Spartan: Prologue


Welcome to my new weekly blog post as I start on the road to a new challenge and a big adventure.  But first. Some exposition...

Several years ago I decided I needed a fun challenge and registered for my first half marathon, The Dosney Food and Wine half marathon, which I completed a year earlier than my target goal.  And while it wasn't exactly as I expected nor was it the finish I'd hoped for... I did it. I've also run several 10 milers, 5ks and the occasional fun run.  Recently however I've felt the need to do something else, tackle a new big,challenge.  I considered another half marathon but due to several issues, I've decided for something all new. 

Over the summer I very much enjoyed watching the team Spartan challenge, and American ninja warrior and started to think that jumping over fire, ducking u dear barb wire and trudging through mud would be fun. Clearly there is something wrong with me.

After several weeks of debate, discussion and research I decided to jump in head first and go for it.  And to prove I wasn't just being crazy I created a plan, there are several things to do  I'd need in order to accomplish this unusual goal:

The burpee: The burpee is a constant in the world of Spartan and a beast to overcome all itself.  Every time you fail (or skip) an obstacle you have to do a set of burpees.  For this reason I will be doing dedicated sets of burpees daily. Starting with 10 a day and adding to them weekly.  To emulate potential race conditions I'll be doing the burpees immediately after a regular workout.

Running: since I'm targeting a sprint I'll need to be able to run 3-5 miles, that's already in my wheelhouse, so I'll continue to target 2-30 minute runs a week. With the fall craziness I'm gonna return to running in the evening since day runs have been increasingly difficult to fit in.  Looking at Tues-Thurs-Sat for those.

Yoga:  this one is the biggie for me.  Flexibility is SO very important in general and I've noticed that it is an issue as I get older.  The little I've experimented with Yoga has convinced me of how important it is.  I'm planning to get much more serious with Yoga and making it a pillar of my workout plan.  

Functional bodyweight exercises:   The strength needed for many Spartan obstacles is different than many other physical endeavors.  Climbing, lifting pulling and pushing require functional exercises that work many different body parts and things like grip strength and muscle endurance play a big role.  That's why I'll be doing very little weight training, and focusing on functional bodyweight exercises.

Nutrition: Probably my biggest issue. And I'll be tacking it in a differ way.  I've decided to go with a plant based whole foods lifestyle that encourages lots of fruits, vegetables, beans and grains. This isn't just for the training, I'm noticing more food intolerances and stomach issues and the Fr changes I've started have already shown huge improvements in that department.  I'm also going to look into a few other real food program and ideas. 

So that's my big blueprint. I've already started, and I'll be checking in every Monday with updates, tips, inspiration and probably a lot of ups and downs.   My hope is that someone will read this and decide to chase their own crazy dream of health and fitness. After all, of a 43 year old beat up old wrestler can turn himself into a Spartan, anything is possible.


Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Throwback Wrestling Thursday: we know you like to watch!


I was having trouble this week thinking of what I wanted to write about, none of my ideas were fleshing out into full fledged columns.  

Then, as I was channel surfing last night one of my all-time favorite movies Caddyshack came on and I immediately thought of one of the crazy stunts TV Generation never got to. The Golf Cart entrance.

TV Gen (as the cool kids called it) was a sometimes tag team/ sometimes faction that started in the late 90's when frankly, everyone was on a faction (thanks nWo). The basic idea band the group was that we believed we were stars in our very own TV show.  The cast included myself and Norm The Barfly as well as at various times Frank Cody, Bodacious Brad, Primetime Petra and of course our manager Spallding! 

There was a large amount of spoofing of popular television shows and movies of course, right off the bat our first appearance had us dress and wrestle as the kids from South Park.  And yes, we killed Kenny. 

Subsequent adventures saw us start a riot in New Jersey (they legit had to lock us in a classroom until the angry group left). We also almost got beat up by about 70 angry Mummers when we had our own version of the annual New Years Parade. We stole the Soul City Wrestling championship and preceded to defend it for three months until the rightful champion returned to retrieve it.  There are so many more stories, but I think I'll save them for future installments.

With the exception of the Slamtastic run, which not surprisingly included most of the same people, TV Gen was my favorite run in the business.  There's just something special about traveling with your best friends and being able to just go out and have fun and that's what made TV Gen work. We loved doing it.  Eventually though many  promoters needed classic baby faces more than another faction so I took off the black and yellow and put my white hat back on, but I always looked for a way to bring TV Gen back in some form.  Later Super Cody were able to put together a "comic book" version of TV Gen but that too was sadly short lived.

Recently in LAW and Delco Pro TV Gen has had a mini reunion as Norm and I have been teaming up again, but the odds of a full fledged reunion in the ring seems unlikely, however as I type this I have to think the idea of a TV Gen podcast could be something incredible fun to do.  Oh, and the golf cart thing, I think I'll save that... Just in case.

Next week: I miss gimmick pay per views! 




Thursday, September 8, 2016

Throwback wrestling Thursday: Cuckoo for Cocoa Puffs.


One of the things I'm proudest of over the years were the Pro Wrestling benefit shows I organized for The Cerebral Palsy Association of Delaware County (now CADES).  Over the years we had a lot of fun events that raised good money and was a fun night out for families. 

Because of my relationship with the organization I was often in high profile matches at the events, and on one particular night during a Liberty All-Star Wrestling event I found myself in a match were I may have bitten off more than I could chew... A match with one of the legendary Dudley family members, Chubby Dudley.

If you're not into the wrestling game or only familiar with the current WWE, you may not know the Bubba and Devon are only two brothers from the larger Dudley family, and at one point Dances with, Little Snot, Sign Guy and even Dudley Dudley caused chaos in ECW.  

On this particular evening Chubby came to the ring (as he often did) with a snack.  An entire box of Cocoa Puffs.  I'm sure he was planning on a victory feast, however the munchy, crunchy, chocolatety treat would be his Achilles heel, so to speak.  

As the match progressed it became clear that the 300 plus pound monster was not gonna be defeated with my considerably non-brawn.  I hit him with everything I had physically, and I pretty much just bounced off of him. Soon I realized that I'd have to outwit my larger foe.  My opportunity came late in the match when I was knocked from the ring.  As I picked myself up I saw Sonny the Cuckoo bird staring at me.  I grabbed the box and made a beeline for the exit.  Chubby became enraged that his breakfast was hijacked and took off after me. I tossed the box outside the auditorium and as Chubby went out after I closed the double doors, essentially locking him outside.  All that was left was to make it back to the ring and a count out victory was mine, much to the delight of the crowd.

Oddly enough when they opened the doors again, Chubby was nowhere to be found.  Best I could tell, when he went cuckoo for Cocoa Puffs he flew all the way back to Dudleyville.

It was a very fun moment and for many years after, whenever. I would discuss the wrestling events at CADES inevitably someone would mention the time I beat a guy by stealing his cereal and locking him out as one of their favorite moments.  It's funny how moments like that make for the best memories.

So remember kids, it's important to eat a healthy breakfast, just not while you're in the ring.

Happy Trails, 
Mav




Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Throwback Wrestling Thursday: Remembering Mr. Fugi


My first memory of Mr. Fugi is of him trying to kill Ricky Steamboat.  

It was the beginning of a crazy feud that saw Fugi and his charge at the time Don Muraco hang "The Dragon" with the belt from Steamboats Karate Gi. It was also the beginning of my fascination with one of the most unique villains in all of wrestling.

Fugi immediately struck me as different than many of the other managers because he would often get in the ring as a partner to Muraco and actually be able to hold his own.  That of course was because for many years Fugi himself was a world class competitor and Tag Team Champion.  So Fugi was more than equipped to step into the ring against Steamboat, Santana, Snuka and even Hulk Hogan when it was required.  

Fugi and Muraco were an amazing team, who were not only devious and underhanded villains, but also one of the funniest comedy duos in all of wrestling.  Their appearances on Tuesday Night Titans (TNT) were always hilarious, and to this day I still watch their Fugi Vice, Fugi Bandito and Fugi General skits on the WWE Network regularly.

Comedy and Fugi seemingly went hand in hand as he also was involved in many crazy moments throughout his WWF career.  Winning a marathon in a tuxedo at Wrestlemania (spoiler alert, he cheated) the wacky contests that took place during Saturday Nights Main Event or his over the top appearance with Yokozuna on Conan O'Brien were just some of awesome things that come to mind when I think of The devious one.

Whether it was Tag Team Champions Demolition, Yokozuna, Muraco or any of his other rough and rowdy charges, Mr. Fugi was the perfect combination of enhancement, distraction or foil that made him one of greatest managers of all time. He is part of a wrestling tradition of great managers who made their protégées even better, and it's an aspect of the industry that is truly lacking today.

Thank you Harry "Mr. Fugi" Fugiwara for all of the wonderful memories and laughs you provided, the wrestling world and my childhood was a much better place because of your contributions.

Happy Trails,
Mav 


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Thursday, August 25, 2016

Throwback Wrestling Thursday: how the ring changes a thing.


Since I started this blog series I've been thinking a lot about what a crazy world that the pro wrestler lives in. How once you cross the line from fan to performer how you're perspective changes on a lot of things.  Here are a few examples:

You will never be able to walk into a public venue without asking the all Important question; "could we run a show here?" Seriously, Weddings, flea markets, church luncheons, even my daughters dance competitions it doesn't matter, the first thing I do when I walk into a large venue is check the ceiling and width to see if you could fit a ring and 200 chairs.  I know I'm not the only one that has this infliction since an associate once asked if the dance studio my daughters attend has enough room for a ring... It's not, I checked... A few times.   

Your vernacular is also changed drastically.  
The first thing I noticed is that that the word "gimmick" became akin the the term "smurf" and is a viable replacement for pretty much any noun, adjective or verb. Seriously, someone once asked me to hand him "the gimmick that was sitting over there on the gimmick" and I knew exactly what he was talking about without so much as a non verbal cue.  Words like stiff, brother, heat, and spot are common words whose context often have to be explained to the few people I actually talk to not involved in the wrestling business. 

How you watch wrestling will obviously change, but you'll also equate wrestling into sitcoms, movies and plays.   "I totally saw that spot coming". And  "Alan Rickman is a great heel in this." Are actual phrases I've heard used when discussing films.  Go ahead, try and watch a movie with a bunch of wrestlers, it's fun.

So that's all for this week, I have to get this gimmick posted on the gimmick and start working on my next gimmick.

Happy Trails.
Mav


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Masked cowboy wrestling hero The Maverick is the host of Maverick's Comic see heard Friday nights at 10pm on the Totally Driven Radio Network and is the host of the "Galactic Clubhouse" Family Star Wars podcast.  He also writes comic book reviews for Totally Driven.

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