Thursday, July 2, 2015

Wrestling MarketWatch: The Great American Bash

Hot dogs, apple pie, and The Great American Bash. It was wrestling's answer to that old time summer baseball game, complete with fireworks display. Instead of wooden bats hitting baseballs, the cracking came from bones and skulls being bashed. In place of the colorful and vibrant pyro, the "oohs" and "aahhs" emanated from fans in awe of Ric Flair, The Rock N' Roll Express, and Magnum T.A. And batting cages? Steel cages or maybe even War Games were far more impressive. The brainchild of the late, great, Dusty Rhodes, The Great American Bash went from tour, to pay-per-view, and was even the one NWA/WCW event that was revived by WWE.

With so many great memories comes some great memorabilia. As is always the case in Wrestling MarketWatch, we'll take a look at several of those items and their recent selling prices on the secondary market. Prices listed are for unsigned examples.

*Where better to start than the creator of the Bash, "The American Dream" Dusty Rhodes. There were several NWA-licensed collector cup sets over the years, but one from a chain called Fast Fare were actually branded with The Great American Bash logo. Listed on the cups are tour stops in Atlanta, Washington  D.C., Charlotte, Philadelphia, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Jacksonville, Greensboro, Chicago, and Dallas. The Dusty cup features artists renderings of two familiar pictures of "The Dream" as well as a facsimile signature. This cup recently sold at auction for $15.

*The final Bash under the WCW banner took place in 2000. Although the event took place in Baltimore, Maryland and included past Bash names such as Ric Flair, Sting, and The Steiner Brothers, it otherwise did not resemble the Bashes of old. The show is available on WWE Network, but that has not hurt the high price of this rarer WCW VHS release. The cover features Sting and Vampiro (who battled in a "Human Torch Match") set to a mix of horrific and patriotic colors. An example of the tape recently sold for $75.

*Also in the realm of VHS collecting is the tape of what many consider to be the worst wrestling pay-per-view event of all-time. 1991 was a transitional period for WCW, especially with the then-recent loss of "Nature Boy" Ric Flair to the World Wrestling Federation. The 1991 Great American Bash greatly suffered from this down period. As any wrestling collector will tell, quality never equals demand. This tape, featuring Lex Luger and Barry Windham on the cover in a great shot, is another that has always been highly desired and remains so despite other ways to view the show these days and it ultimately being a poor event. Recently the VHS sold for $77.

*Many of the early Great American Bash events had some great programs. The gritty wrestling product of Jim Crockett Promotions perfectly transitioned to the printed page. The programs were chock full of action shots, many featuring bloody battles between the stars of the NWA. The 1987 and 1988 Bash programs featured a flag motif on the cover. I prefer the former, as it also features the stars of War Games, but both are equally collectible. The 1988 version recently sold for $25.

*Thanks to the WWF producing their own magazine, Pro Wrestling Illustrated and its sister publications often gave more press to Jim Crockett Promotions in the 1980's. Most issues from the decade can be had for around $10 each, but the December 1985 issue of PWI has always been a bit more in-demand and thus often sells for a higher price. The cover story is a great montage of the action of the 1985 Great American Bash tour. Many fans seem to favorably remember this particular issue from their childhood, and looking at it leaves no question as to why. A copy of this issue also recently sold for $25.

WWE eventually quit using the Bash as an annual pay-per-view event but the name has resurfaced as a special episode of Smackdown in the last few years. With WWE looking to have more Network exclusive events, it wouldn't be the worst idea to revive the Bash yet again, especially in remembrance of "The American Dream." If just one classic, hard fought match is held on the show, you can bet that there will be yet another "Million Dollar Smile" in Heaven.

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Mattel & Target Make Another (Banzai) Splash

The amount of new WWE product from Mattel has been staggering as of late. Basics, Elites, and Battle Packs of WWE Superstars, Divas, Legends, and even the stars of NXT have been popping up in great numbers with no end in sight. In addition, Target has continued their popular exclusive WWE Hall of Fame series. This time around Eddie Guerrero, Yokozuna, Tito Santana, and "The Immortal" Hulk Hogan join the blue-boxed line. It's the latter three that we'll be looking at today.

Like most fans, I miss Eddie Guerrero, I just didn't feel the need for another figure of the late star. So far, he seems to be selling the least well of the new foursome. This is Tito Santana's first figure released by Mattel and Yokozuna's second. All four figures are again boxed in attractive blue packaging with the WWE Hall of Fame "screen" in the background. All have accessories and none suffer from the "floating" issue where some Mattel figures appear overwhelmed by the packaging.

I passed up on the original Mattel Yokozuna because it did not seem to offer much different from previous figures of the former champion. This version is clad in black and white and includes the classic WWF Tag Team Championship belts. These belts were only previously included with the single WWE Legends releases of Arn Anderson and Tully Blanchard. It's good to see these belts re-released since the Blanchard and Anderson figures have been driven up in price. Yokozuna has excellent articulation to demonstrate what an agile "big man" wrestler he was. With the beard and hair braid, this figure clearly represents 1995-1996 Yoko.

Hulk Hogan looks to be based on his 1993 return. The removable bandana is a welcome addition, considering several of his Mattel releases have not featured this. This is an all new headsculpt for Hulk, and it is fairly faithful to the legend. My gripe with the figure is that it feels just a bit too skinny. Hogan had lost a lot of weight for the return on which this figure is based, but no Hogan figure should ever share a torso with Tito Santana. This one does.

Speaking of Tito, I think that this figure is my favorite of the set. This is the very first figure of, in my mind, the quintessential Tito Santana image: the longish hair, white trunks, white boots. LJN re-released their Tito in white trunks after it had originally been in purple, but it had short hair. Considering that the Hasbro card picture featured this Tito, I will always be convinced that a figure of this appearance was in the works, but it was "El Matador" at release. Jakks released two Santana figures in this image, but one had a molded shirt and the other a molded jacket. After all of these years, we finally have a perfect Tito in the familiar 1987-1991 image. The classic red Tito Santana shirt is included as a soft goods accessory.

I was pleased and surprised with this second series. I never would have thought that Santana would be produced by Mattel. His inclusion leaves the door open for more "mid-card" Hall of Famers to be produced. If any of these four appeal to you, grabbing them at first sight would be your best bet. I cannot picture the "main event"-minded Mattel producing another Santana. Yokozuna is probably done after two figures as well. Hogan and Eddie will likely see more releases down the line.

I hope that this Hall of Fame line continues. I've said it before, but Lita would be a great choice here. An NWA style Dusty Rhodes would be another perfect fit, especially since Mattel already has the tooling from their earlier figure of "The American Dream." I have a feeling that Bret Hart and Shawn Michaels will both find their way in, although they would both be personal passes. I want variation, I want old school...

Bring in 'da Race, bring in 'da Funk?

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Life Without The Dream. That's Hard Times.

The American Dream brought out a lot of emotion (or emoooshuuuun) in all of us. He fired us up, made us happy, and even a little bit a monkey. But I cannot ever remember "The Dream" bringing the sadness. Sure, we all felt a bit bad for him when Baby Doll, Sweet Sapphire, or a tag team partner would turn their back on him, but we were never truly sad. We were too busy protecting Big Dust from the storm after he'd been scorned. For the first passing in a very long time, I did shed some tears, but no more. The 265 pounds of blue eyed soul wouldn't want that.

I will always remember where I was when the news broke. I was not at home, and my destination that night was one of complete coincidence, considering that "The Dream" is my all-time favorite professional wrestler. I was, in fact, headed to see Dusty's "kids" perform. No, it wasn't Dustin, Cody, or Dusty's girls, but it was his NXT "kids," in what turned out to be the first public memorial for "The American Dream." For those who are unaware, Dusty was the promo teacher at the WWE Performance Center. We have already seen any number of tributes from the stars of NXT who, like most anyone who encountered Dusty, have great memories of their legendary teacher. William Regal began NXT's first foray into Pittsburgh with a ten-bell salute, followed by Dusty tributes in virtually each match keeping the spirit of "The Dream" flowing throughout the entire night.

The initial shock of Dusty's passing reminded us of something that we put out of our every day consciousness in order to survive: we're all mere mortals. As larger than life as some individuals become, the last moment can arrive at any time. It's what we accomplish and how we handle ourselves that then takes over. When the legacy of "The American Dream" took over for the life of Dusty Rhodes on June 11, the transition was as perfect as can be. Somewhere, I read the press coverage for Dusty's passing likened to that given for a president. It was covered by news outlets the world over. Tributes poured in the likes of which had not been seen for a wrestler since the death of Randy "Macho Man" Savage. Could even Dusty, who knew his own greatness, have predicted that? I know that even if he wouldn't have fathomed it, he sure is smiling down on all of it now.

As a fan, I do not feel cheated. We have almost fifty years of memories to fall back on. Each one of my times getting to either meet "The Dream" or watch him in action left me awestruck. The wrestlers who were able to sit under Dusty's "learning tree" should not feel cheated either, as they are able to carry his genius with them for the many more years that they have in the business, and then pass the knowledge on. Instead, we should focus on Dusty's family. Sixty-nine years of age is not young in pro wrestling, but it is in the real world. "The Dream" should have gone well into his eighth or ninth decade being a family patriarch as only he could. As all of us have felt so close to Dusty, it's his family and friends that need the prayers and energy now.

The fact that we do feel like we were right there on the end of the lightning bolt with Dusty echos what I've read in so many places this week. This wrestling death has hit the community like no other. Not just because we could all identify with being the working man that Dusty was, but because we became a part of him. When your hand reached out and touched his hand, whether it be through the television or at an event, you became part of  "The American Dream." Name me one other personality in any genre who had that power. Dusty was honest. Dusty was real. Dusty was the greatest.

I did not want to load this up with photos, as there is plenty of time for that in the future. Instead, I leave you with my favorite photo that I've ever taken with a wrestler, the time that I asked Dusty if we could recreate his famous "million dollar smile."

Rest easy, Dream. You may have wined and dined with kings and queens, but it was you who entertained us royally. The American Dream lives on, far into the stratosphere that you already had reserved.

"The American Dream" Dusty Rhodes 
Virgil Riley Runnels Jr.


"Get A Dream, Hold Onto It, And Shoot For The Sky..."


Thursday, June 11, 2015

The Remco AWA Ref Squad

I've always appreciated it when toy makers go that extra mile with their wrestling figure lines. Wrestlers and wrestling rings are great, but it takes more for a kid to put on a whole event. Managers, announcers, and of course, referees. The two big wrestling figure lines of the 1980's each had the latter represented. The WWF Wrestling Superstars line from LJN had a referee figure that was released in both white and blue shirts. The Remco AWA line had a whopping three different referees, including one man who really donned the striped shirt in the ring.

Some kids probably wouldn't care if a referee figure existed or not, but children who truly wanted to immerse themselves in the world of pro wrestling absolutely needed one. Remco came to the rescue by including a referee figure in their All-Star Wrestling Battle Royal playset. The sets included six wrestler figures, a referee, and a ring. There were several variants between the wrestlers included and package art, but today we're focusing on the referee figure.

In the early releases of the set, included were either a referee with a sort of smug expression and brown curly hair or a rather ferocious ref with bushy hair and eyebrows. Somewhere in the past ten to fifteen years, collector-dubbed names of "Curly Brown" and "Nasty Ned" were bestowed upon these figures. These are not Remco-given names, but have certainly caught on over the years. The heads of both figures were actually reused from another Remco action figure line, DC Comics The Lost World of The Warlord. The curly haired ref was from a figure named Machiste while the bushy haired ref was named Mikola (who, in the original figure, reminds me a lot of Memphis wrestling legend Sputnik Monroe).

Later on, the Battle Royal playset was re-released, this time with a figure of real-life referee Dick Woehrle. The facial likeness of Woehrle is incredible and very much brings to life the referee who is probably best remembered for his work in the WWWF.

There are two misconceptions about the Woehrle figure. It is consistently written that the figure itself is very rare. In actuality, the two earlier referee figures are much more difficult to find. This misinformation likely began when an article about Woehrle's career reported that the figure had sold for several hundred dollars. That figure was the later carded release in the final Remco AWA series called "Mat Mania" and was still on the card. That, coupled with loose examples of the figure flying up on auction sites with exorbitant asking prices (which were not received), caused the fables to continue flowing.

The second falsehood regarding the figure is that the Woehrle from the playset is the same as the carded figure. The latter has "All Star Wrestling" molded into the back of his belt, as most of the Mat Mania figures have molded into the back of their tights. There's no doubt in my mind that some of the original figures without that imprint made it onto cards, but a loose example that has the imprint can assuredly be traced back to the carded version.

The Remco AWA line is just simply fun. When getting feedback for the blog, it's one of the topics that most people bring up. The popularity of the figures has never waned and likely never will. With as fragile as some of the figures and accessories have become as time goes on, there will forever be a market of collectors looking to "upgrade." Just don't forget the referee crew nor the fantastic stories behind each one of those men in stripes.

Thursday, June 4, 2015

Wrestling Hits Home Video...Videodisc Style!

There are a few online forums that I check into on a regular basis. It's rare to find civil, intelligent, and friendly conversation on the Internet, but one place that holds those values is the forum on the Mego Museum site. Mego was a company that produced action figures and toys from a variety of genres, mainly in the 1970's. The Mego Museum forum is a great place to discuss those very collectible items, as well as most anything pop culture related. Recently, a discussion began regarding the failed "Videodisc" home video format from RCA. That topic reminded me of a seldom-seen wrestling item with an attached personal story of my own. Thanks to that inspiration, this is the story...

It was the Summer of 2011. The first and only NWA Fanfest to be held in Atlanta was fast approaching. Though it was further than even the already-long haul to Charlotte (the regular home of Fanfest), my friend Brian and I were making the trek. One of the star attractions that year was Rowdy Roddy Piper. It was also announced that Piper and Greg "The Hammer" Valentine would be available for a photo op with the original collars from their infamously brutal "dog collar" match at Starrcade 1983. What wrestling fan could pass that up?

One week before Fanfest, the wrestling Gods (not named Layfield) decided to shine a light in my direction. At a local collectible show I stumbled upon a pile of what I initially thought were oddly packaged LaserDiscs. Although we were a BETA/VHS family in the 1980's, I was still familiar with LaserDiscs thanks to my aunt who had adopted the format. Still, these looked a bit different. The cases were heavy and plastic as opposed to just a disc in a sleeve. As I browsed through the titles, one hit me like a ton of bricks: Pro Wrestling Illustrated's Lords of the Ring.

Most fans my age or older were familiar with the title as being one of the first wrestling titles to hit home video. Hosted by PWI's Bill Apter, the video featured some of the biggest non-WWF moments of the decade up to that point. For $5, the huge "cartridge" was mine. Unlike the VHS box art, this Videodisc featured a great action shot of the Piper-Valentine dog collar match as well as Ric Flair vs Kerry Von Erich and the Road Warriors. Was there any question? This thing was going to Atlanta.

So, WAS this thing a LaserDisc or not? In a word, no. This was software for an RCA Videodisc player, otherwise known as a CED (Capacitance Electronic Disc). There are discs inside of the cartridge case, but they're not intended for removal. Instead, the entire thing was inserted into the player. The discs inside are more along the lines of vinyl records with grooves that enable the program to play. According to a little research, the similarities didn't end there. Just as with a record, skipping and other similar problems pop up occasionally. No matter here, as this particular unit was about to become a very cool, and somewhat unique, autographed item.

Although I did have Piper and Valentine sign it, I think that the most fun was having it signed by Bill Apter. The former PWI editor is a staple at many wrestling conventions, and every collection should have at least one vintage issue of Pro Wrestling Illustrated signed by him. Bill completely flipped, having not seen the Videodisc version in many years. After graciously signing it, he caught the attention of the surrounding photographers so that they could snap some shots of us holding the antiquated-yet-treasured piece. Briefly, I knew what it must feel like to be on a red carpet--blinding!

Wrestling did make it onto the LaserDisc format as well, with some Coliseum Video WWF releases. Those are just as fun to collect, but the Lords of the Ring Videodisc remains my personal favorite. It has the great autographs and my memories attached, but it's also one of those great "unknown" items that I so often talk about. Just when you think you've seen everything that exists in the realm of wrestling memorabilia, a gem like this comes about and leaves you wondering...just what else is out there?

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Figureless Legends Get One More Shot At Immortality

Just when you thought that Mattel and WWE would be the sole wrestling figure source for the foreseeable future, a new "renaissance" of sorts hits the hobby. It's been no secret that Figures Toy Company has been busy creating the debut figure line for Ring of Honor for quite some time. Just this past week, the first four figure heads were unveiled, including Kevin Steen, much to the surprise of many. Steen, now known as Kevin Owens in NXT, is the first "Throwback" figure for the line, and it will be interesting to see if we also get a Mattel figure of the man in the same calendar year.

Figures Toy Company has also announced that they will be producing two addition lines: one of current, non-contracted, indy wrestling talent, as well as a new Legends of Wrestling line. It was not that long ago that I featured the original Figures Toy Company Legends of Wrestling figure line here on the blog. That line still contains a few stars of yesteryear who otherwise would not have an action figure.

As trivial as it may seem to some, I've heard some celebrities claim that they really didn't realize that they had "made it" in their profession before they saw their own action figure. No matter why it was produced, it's an honor. In a way, it's the modern day form of receiving a statue. Having your likeness immortalized in a form that will stand the test of time would be humbling to most. While so many wrestling greats have had this honor bestowed upon them, many still have not. Others deserve that chance again. Mattel has once again stepped it up as far as producing stars of the past in their WWE line, but it just hasn't been enough. Though the company has gone a bit deeper in character choices, they're still playing it safe and attempting to produce stars that kids just might know, ignoring the wants of the more mature collector.

Through various forms of social media including Twitter, Facebook, and Reddit, Figures Toy Company has slowly released information regarding these new figure lines. For starters, all of the lines will feature the Jakks "Ruthless Aggression" styled bodies. This is not a huge surprise considering that the company has used the body style for other figures. This is particularly notable for the Legends line as, in a way, this will be the second revival of Jakks legendary Classic Superstars line. The original line went into character depth that had never before been explored as far as wrestling action figures. When Jakks and TNA joined forces, the style was briefly revived with the "Legends of the Ring" line that produced, among others, Sting and Jeff Jarrett. Should all go according to plan, we will see yet more legends joining the compatible style.

Until more signings and announcements are made, we can all speculate just who will see inclusion in the line. As both FTC and logic will tell us, the wrestlers cannot be ones under current deals with WWE or other companies. Those deals generally end without much of a fanfare, leaving fans to figure out just who will and won't have a shot. I've previously taken a look at stars who've never had an action figure, but now that there is a new hope for these figureless folk, it's time to see who has a realistic shot.

Many times over the years I have publicly lamented the lack of a Magnum T.A. figure. The man was destined for the top of the business when his career was tragically cut short. Mattel had positioned Magnum for a WWE Legends figure, but callously went back on their plans. I spoke to Magnum about the figure last year at the Mid-Atlantic Wrestling Fanfest. He had indeed been contracted and paid for the figure, but didn't have much hope that his young sons would ever get to play with it. If I had to choose one figure for the line, it would obviously be the man known as Terry Allen.

It's amazing to me that men who played such an important part in the early "television era" of wrestling such as "Nature Boy" Buddy Rogers and Verne Gagne have never been immortalized in plastic. It could be argued that they wouldn't appeal to children, but Figures Toy Company has proven with other lines that they're quite aware of the adult collectors. These lines will likely be tailored to them, leaving hope for these NWA and AWA pioneers.

Gagne really should have received a figure in his own AWA line produced by Remco. It's actually quite surprising that he didn't. Had the line gone on a year or so longer, perhaps a Verne complete with He-Man-esque physique (as the Remco line is so infamous for) would have made it to store shelves. A few who did make it to the AWA line such as Larry Zbyszko, Nick Bockwinkel, and Stan Hansen could all use some modern-day representations.

Speaking of modern-day, how about a man who still competes on the independent wrestling circuit today? Not only is he an ECW original and a WWE alumni, but I have always felt that he was the one wrestler who was absolutely made to be an action figure. I can only be talking about The Blue Meanie. Perhaps the most fan-friendly wrestler around, Meanie continues to entertain those fans on shows around the country. What puts Meanie even more into the "has to be made" column is the fact that he could fit into two of the upcoming FTC lines, either Legends or the independent stars.

If you've followed me at all over the years, you know that I have a soft spot for the female legends of the ring. While I realize that some just would not be marketable in the figure world, there are quite a few that would be coveted as figures by fans. Missy Hyatt and Leilani Kai have both stated that action figures are just about the only things missing from their long careers. Other great candidates would be Baby Doll and Wendi Richter. The various Halls of Fame for the pro wrestling world are filled with female stars who never got their due. Maybe this time around we can see female figures of more than just the usual suspects.

Last but not least, I would love to see figures of the territorial stars. They may have had a cup of coffee or two in the big time, but these guys were the true warriors of the road while going up and down the highways and bi-ways of the '70s , '80s, and '90s. These are men like Dick Murdoch, Exotic Adrian Street, Ronnie Garvin, and Tracy Smothers. Tag teams like The Andersons, The Blackjacks, and The Heavenly Bodies. The boys (or their families) deserve that one last payday, and we fans deserve remembrances like these to honor their work. I'd bet that Blackjack Mulligan prototype is still hanging around somewhere...

From here, I leave it to Figures Toy Company. As a fan of their "ReMego" line of figures based on the 1966 Batman television series, I can tell you that they will work hard to bring fans exactly what they want. These names are just an example of exactly what collectors are looking for. The Classic Superstars line didn't end as it should have, with many loose ends and disappointments. This is the line that can change that. I wouldn't bet against it.

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Slamboree: A Legend's Reunion

In his various creative tenures, "The American Dream" Dusty Rhodes had some great ideas. War Games, Starrcade, and BattleBowl are just a few of the famous concepts to come from the mind of the Austin, Texas-born legend. Another came in 1993, just as Dusty himself was moving into retirement from action between the ropes. The event would be a WCW card interspersed with appearances and even matches showcasing the stars of yesteryear. This event would become known as Slamboree.

Newer fans may not realize it, but for many years WCW was the only major company to recognize the history of the business. From roughly after the end of Tuesday Night Titans (where history was often discussed) until the late 1990's, the WWF went to great pains not to acknowledge anything outside of its own umbrella. When a talent left the company, they were no longer mentioned. Period. WCW was different, and this show was proof of it. The company was happy to acknowledge its roots in both Mid-Atlantic and Georgia Championship Wrestling as well as its former stars.

The event lasted from 1993 to 2000, but it was the first three years that were something special. In addition to legends appearances, the WCW Hall of Fame ceremonies hosted by Gordon Solie were held at Slamboree. Matches such as Dory Funk Jr. vs Nick Bockwinkel, Terry Funk vs Tully Blanchard, and Dick Murdoch vs Wahoo McDaniel were among the legends bouts held over those first three years of Slamboree to accompany the stellar WCW roster of the time. Be sure to check these shows out on WWE Network as opposed to the Turner Home Video releases. The latter cut many matches and fun moments, such as the "Fabulous" arrival of a certain Queen of Wrestling in 1993.

In the first year especially, WCW took an almost WWF-like approach to the event with a weekend of festivities. Unlike the WWF, who would've showcased these events on television, WCW barely made note of them aside from brief mentions on commentary. Thanks to folks like fan/collector George Mayfield, video records of these happenings do exist. In addition to meet and greets, a dinner was held at CNN Center the night before Slamboree 1993. Fans could mingle with the stars and legends as the card the next night was hyped even further. It should be noted that Sting's mystery opponent (replacing Scott Norton) was announced as Nailz during this dinner. By the time of the match, he was simply referred to as "The Prisoner" for obvious legal reasons.

Some cool merchandise came from these early years as well.  An 8x10 photo set was produced for Slamboree 1993. Nine photos featuring thirty-four legends were produced. Interestingly, not every legend featured at the event was included in the photos. On the flip side, first-person accounts indicate that not every star in the photo set was available for autographs. It's a fun set, and even after the passage of over two decades, many of the signatures are still attainable.

In 1994, WCW took a different approach that turned out just as fun. In lieu of photos, a program was produced that ultimately folded out into a large event poster advertising that years matches (including the ill-fated Big Van Vader-Rick Rude main event). The inside also featured bios on the legends, many of which were autographed at the "Slam Meet" event which was also held this year. This turned out to be the last year where a large grouping of legends appeared. By 1995, the last year of the "Legends Reunion" theme, the superstars of the past were limited to those participating in the Hall of Fame ceremony and match.

Slamboree was one of the events that I was hoping WWE would eventually adopt, along with The Great American Bash, Starrcade, and War Games. As we know, only one of those came to pass with more unlikely for the future. Still, with old concepts returning to spice up the Network, would a few WCW shows really hurt? Surely something using the Bash name could be a fun summer event. Want to really make NXT fans squeal with delight? How about the first WWE-branded War Games match using NXT stars? Even the original Slamboree concept could be revisited. NXT has been using older talent. Have some up-and-coming stars battle the "new" legends. Dusty is already a force in NXT, it's time to bring some of his past victories full (squared) circle.

I was thrilled to make an appearance on the latest edition of The Bix Show podcast which dropped yesterday. Bix and I discussed lots of wrestling memorabilia, including many items that you've seen here on the blog, so I hope that you will all check it out. You can download it directly at or you can subscribe through iTunes. I hope that you enjoy listening as much as I did participating, and I hope to return to the show in the future!