Apr 29, 2007

Grandpa Grabs A Heinie

Cherry Blossom Festival
Kirby Park - Wilkes-Barre, PA
Angie and I went shopping at Sam's Club and out to the Old Country Buffet for lunch with Grandma and Grandpa.  Afterwards, we stopped at Kirby Park where the Cherry Blossom Festival was being held.  While looking through a t-shirt rack at one of the vendors, Grandpa discovered this Heineken T-Shirt which features a bikini clad woman straddling a beer bottle with the caption "grab a heinie".  Grandpa decided to not add this classy garment to his wardrobe.

Apr 27, 2007

No... It's Bouquet

Keeping Up Appearances
BBC One (1990 - 1995)
My grandmother was recently given a set of four VHS tapes of this BBC classic comedy.  I've watched it before this week, but I don't think I full appreciated it until now.  It's very funny!

Apr 26, 2007

Apr 25, 2007

Picture In Picture

Grandpa is looking at prints of photos from Easter that I recently got back from Snapfish.  He's looking at this picture of my dad and stepmom:

Apr 24, 2007

Spring Is In The Air

Little Sammy loves to lay down in the grass.  I think he's happy that it's finally starting to get warmer.

Apr 22, 2007

Rey de Voladores

Chikara: Rey de Voladores
New Alhambra Arena - Philadelphia, PA
There's nothing like a Sunday afternoon show at ECW arena.  You get to spend a few hours munching on soft pretzels and watching awesome pro wrestling, and then head down the road to Tony Luke's for cheesesteaks and bacon cheese fries.

This show has been called Rey de Voladores, which translates to King of Flyers.  It's a tournament of sorts which began with two four-way elimination matches, with the winner of each match facing off in a singles match to determine the winner.

Here are the results of the show:
  • Rey de Voladores Semi-Final Four Way Elimination Match
    Chuck Taylor defeated Ricochet, Pac and Retail Dragon
    Ricochet eliminated Retail Dragon, Pac eliminated Ricochet, Chuck Taylor defeated Pac
  • Rey de Voladores Semi-Final Four Way Elimination Match
    Lince Dorado defeated Equinox, Jigsaw and Ruckus
    Lince Dorado eliminated Equinox, Jigsaw eliminated Ruckus, Lince Dorado eliminated Jigsaw

Claudio Castagnoli holds Chris Hero down while referee Mike Quackenbush looks on.
Chris Hero and Claudio Castagnoli prepare to lock up.
Chris Hero attempts to make peace with Mike Quackenbush after his victory over Claudio Castagnoli.
Icarus stands victorious over Cloudy after the tag team championship main event as Gran Akuma looks at the crowd.

Apr 15, 2007

One Last Great Memory With Colt Cabana

ROH: April 14, 2007
Inman Sports Club - Edison, NJ
Less than two months ago, I was at a show in Philadelphia which was the second in a series of six shows that were collectively known as The Fifth Year Festival.  These shows began in New York City and ended with two shows in Liverpool, England.

The main event of the Philadelphia show had an unexpected ending of Takeshi Morishima  defeating Homicide for the ROH World Championship.  It's not that Morishima is an undercard or untalented wrestler.  He's a big dude who is surprisingly agile in the ring for his size, and he works a hard hitting match that could easily main event anywhere in the world.  It was shocking because, to the best of my knowledge, Morishima is not a contracted ROH talent.  He works for Pro Wrestling Noah and, as far as any of the fans were told, was temporarily touring the United States.  Then I remembered that the Fifth Year Festival ended in England, and ROH has a big British dude on their roster named Nigel McGuinness who they've been building up for years, and it all made sense.  

I thought for sure that they were booking Morishima to be a transitional champion to get the belt onto Nigel in his home country.  Then, Morishima would go back to Japan and Nigel would come back to the states and spend the spring and summer feuding with Homicide.

Well, that didn't happen.  In fact, Takeshi Morishima didn't wrestle on the Liverpool shows at all, and he's still in the United States to main event in tonight's show.  I did get one thing right - he was scheduled to defend the title against Nigel McGuinness, and I thought for sure that we were going to see another title change.  However, that wasn't the case.  After an intense match with a few near falls for McGuinness, Morishima won via pinfall after hitting three Backdrop Drivers.

As awesome as the main event was, my favorite part of the show was the fifth match of the night.  Colt Cabana has been a part of Ring Of Honor since its first year in operation back in 2002, and he was one of the highlights of every show that he wrestled on.  I met him a few times, and he was one of the kindest people I have ever spoken to, inside or outside of professional wrestling.

Colt signed with the WWE earlier this month, so he'll be joining his old buddy CM Punk on television.  He's finishing out his ROH shows that he's already been booked to appear in, so this was his farewell match to Ring Of Honor fans on the East Coast.  After his match against Doug Williams, he gave a nice speech to the fans where he said that he wasn't moving up, he was just moving on.  It's not going to be the same around here without Colt Cabana, but I'm extremely happy for him for the opportunity he's been given  It truly could not have happened to a nicer dude.

Speaking of nice dudes, I bumped into Tank Toland before the show.  Look at the size of this dude's arm!  His bicep is the size of my freaking head!  Tank joined the ROH roster late last year after wrestling as James Dick (one half of the tag team, The Dicks) in WWE.  He's part of Larry Sweeney's Sweet & Sour Incorporated faction as Chris Hero's personal trainer.  He's got the size and the look, and he's great in the ring, so this can definitely work really well if the company gets behind it.  I can absolutely picture he and Hero having a lot of success in ROH as a Hart Foundation style tag team, with Hero as the Bret Hart technician, and Toland as the Jim Neidhart muscle.


I was hoping to see Colt Cabana after the show, just to shake the man's hand and thank him for being a big part of what makes coming to these shows so much fun.  I didn't see him, but I did have the opportunity to meet some of the other wrestlers from tonight's show.

Although I didn't bump into Colt, I did get to meet his opponent from tonight, Doug WilliamsWilliams is a British wrestler who was a regular in ROH show early on, and he was the second ROH Pure Champion in company history.

This is Shingo Takagi, who came to Ring Of Honor last year from the Dragons Gate promotion in Japan.  He held the ROH Tag Team Championship last month with fellow Blood Generation  member Naruki Doi.

Rocky Romero is one of the most accomplished wrestlers in the world today.  He was trained by Antonio Inoki and wrestled for New Japan as Black Tiger IV where he had a four month reign as the IWGP Junior Heavyweight Champion.  He also became a big Lucha Libre star in Mexico where he was a three time World Lightweight Champion in CMLL.  In Ring Of Honor, he's a former Tag Team Champion as one half of the Havana Pitbulls, and a member of The Rottweilers faction with Homicide, Low Ki, and his Pitbulls teammate Ricky Reyes.

In the last ROH show in Edison, Romero walked out on Ricky Reyes in a match against The Briscoe Brothers, officially breaking up the tag team.  He is the newest member of a group that also includes Roderick Strong and Davey Richards called the No Remorse Corps.  Not gonna lie, it's not the greatest name I've ever heard for a wrestling faction, but its made up of three of the most talented performers in ROH, so they've got a hell of a lot of great matches in their future.  I look forward to seeing where it goes from here.

Last, but certainly not least, I met the ROH World Champion himself, Takeshi Morishima completely by accident.  I was headed out to my car to go home, and I guess he must not be parked too far from where I was, because I literally almost bumped into the man.  He was a very cool guy and was happy to take a picture with me.  A smaller man who was with him seemed a bit less happy.  I don't speak Japanese, but I'm guessing that he said something along the lines of "stop taking pictures with this dork and let's get the hell out of here".  Sorry dude.

Yup... I'll be there!

UPDATE: This show was released on DVD under the name "Fighting Spirit".  It is available on ROHWrestling.com.

Apr 13, 2007

A Night At The Grindhouse

Grindhouse: Planet Terror / Death Proof
RC Theaters Movies 14 - Wilkes Barre, PA
Directors Robert Rodriguez and Quentin Tarantino have partnered up to create a double feature of films that pay tribute to the grindhouse theaters that they grew up with.  Both movies are deliberately scuffed up and made to look like old prints that have been heavily used, including skips in the story where a "missing reel" card is shown.

In addition to the two feature length films, they invited guest directors to create their own ads and trailers for grindhouse-inspired movies.  These included Machete, Werewolf Women Of The SS, Thanksgiving, and my personal favorite, a movie that's simply called "Don't", which is a play off of all of the slasher flicks of the 70's and 80's with titles that begin with that word, such as Don't Answer The Phone, Don't Go In The House, Don't Look In The Attic, Don't Look In The Basement, etc.

The first film of the double feature was directed by Robert Rodriguez.  It's an absolutely batshit crazy action/sci-fi/horror flick called Planet Terror.  It stars Rose McGowan, who you can see on the poster as having an assault rifle for a leg.  She doesn't start out the film that way, but the story that gets you there is pure insanity, and I loved every minute of it!

The second half of Grindhouse was Quentin Tarantino's Death Proof, and for as much as I loved Planet Terror, I enjoyed Death Proof even more.  It stars Kurt Russell as a homicidal maniac stuntman who hunts and kills women using his tricked out muscle car, of which the drivers seat has been made to be "death proof".  Whereas Planet Terror is a tribute to zombie horror, Death Proof is a tribute to car chase thrillers, and it is done to perfection!

UPDATE (October 2022): We went to see a double feature at the Mahoning Drive-In Theater that included Death Proof.  I wanted to see if I could find the exact date that I originally saw it in theaters during its initial theatrical run, which is how I stumbled across my ticket stub.  It was in a scrapbook that I was putting together at the time, so it's covered in scotch tape and it has faded pretty badly over the years, but I figured I'd add it in here to this page of what has become my digital scrapbook.

Apr 8, 2007

Easter Sunday

Little Sammy with his new Easter Bunny toy.
Sammy laying in one of his favorite spots.
Sammy still laying in the kitchen near the back door.
Trish, Dad and Angie in the living room.  Sammy is on Dad's lap.
Sammy loves Dad.
Angie and Grandpa in the living room with Little Sammy.
Grandpa laughing at the dinner table.
Grandpa and Trish at the table in the kitchen.
Dad and Trish in the kitchen.