A Different Wrestling Bunny

Over the last year, a number of wrestlers have put on a bunny suit for the WWE. Justin Gabriel is one. Sammy Zayn is another. Even CZW owner DJ Hyde played the bunny. Twice.

Ian Rotten has never worn a bunny suit to the ring, but he played bunny in real life this Easter. The baskets you see in the photo were put together by the King of Hardcore and a few of his wrestling family for some kids at a Louisville homeless shelter.

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Whatever you’ve heard about Ian Rotten, give credit where it’s due. The man has a big heart beneath all the scars.

Due to some unfortunate circumstances, Ian’s IWA Mid-South promotion is once again on hiatus, but there’s little to no chance Ian’s booked his last show. He’ll be back, and his crew and his fans will be there when it happens.

Memphis legends return to Evansville

If you’re a fan of Memphis wrestling, you need to get to Evansville this weekend. Memphis is returning in a big way.

Evansville Pop!Con, a two day comic, movie, and pop culture event, has put together a stellar Memphis reunion. Featured guests this weekend include Jerry “The King” Lawler, “Handsome” Jimmy Valiant, “Superstar” Bill Dundee, “Dangerous” Doug Gilbert, and the legendary voice of Memphis wrestling, Lance Russell.

This is a rare chance to see some of the greatest names in wrestling history together. Go to Evansville Pop!Con’s website to order tickets and photo packages now!

 

Thank you Mickie!

Of all the people I interviewed for Eat Sleep Wrestle, few were as candid and as funny as Mickie Knuckles. She was never destined for the WWE. She was a hardcore wrestler who wasn’t afraid to step in the ring with any man – not even Ian Rotten.

Mickie announced her retirement from the ring this week. Wishing her all the best as she begins the next phase of her life and looks forward to welcoming another child.

Here’s a little something for those who were never lucky enough to see her live. It’s a No Rope Barbed Wire match with Lufisto, so please, don’t say I didn’t warn you. Enjoy.

Get to know Tim Donst

UnsungPhilly.com posted this video with indy wrestler Tim Donst today. Donst was recently diagnosed with cancer. It’s put at least a temporary halt to his wrestling dreams, but Donst (real name Mike Hopes) is doing a lot to use his situation to encourage others fighting cancer, especially kids. Watch the video, then go to donst.com to learn more about him.

The Champ

Never ceases to amaze me how Cena rolls with the hate.

I was one of those singing “John Cena sucks” at Mania a few years ago, before it truly took off with the crowds. And yeah, I was a mocker of the “five moves of death” and a bit sick of the Super Cena persona.

But let’s be honest. No one works harder to entertain the fans than John Cena. He works every TV and every house show, and he gives his best at both.

And no one sells tickets like Cena. Whether you’re buying a ticket to cheer him or boo him, you’re buying a ticket because of him.

Very few men can match Cena in the strength department. Cena’s a monster in the gym, and people tend to over look just how powerful he is. Look closely the next time he’s in the ring with another big man. Cena’s a very, very strong guy.

And if we’re really being honest, Cena is more than five moves. Go look on YouTube at some of his matches from OVW. Cena can do a lot more that he does in a typical Cena match. Cena’s a student of OVW’s Rip Rogers, and Rip has always taught his students that less is more. Why go off the top rope if you don’t have to? Why go off the top of the cage if it’s not going to sell a few more tickets? Why do a Shooting Star Press every night when doing it once will make you immortal?

(Okay, yeah, didn’t work out for Brock, but see Snuka and the leap off the cage for an instance where one big bump DID work.)

Do your job, take care of your body, don’t do more than you need to in order to get over and sell tickets. That’s what Cena was taught. That’s why Cena’s endured physically.

Could he use a character change? Sure, everyone needs to evolve. Should he do a heel turn? Maybe, maybe not. It would not be a hard thing for him to pull off. Again, go to YouTube and look at his OVW work. He was the most hated man in Louisville when he was the Prototype. I’d love to see that side of Cena one more time before he retires.

Cena’s one of the very best, not just of his generation but all time. I believe that time will be kind to him and so will the fans.

That said, I don’t know that “Cena sucks” will ever go away. I don’t think it has to go away, and I don’t know if Cena wants it to go away. The more people chant, the more he perseveres. The more he perseveres, the more “Cena sucks” becomes a term of endearment.

 

See Them Before They Go

cropped-esw-cover.jpgTwo very talented, very dynamic indy wrestlers may be nearing the end of their careers soon. If you get a chance, you need to see them. Hy Zaya (second from the left on the book cover) has two matches this week. Thursday night he competes for IWA Mid-South in New Albany, Indiana, and Saturday he’s in a title vs. career match in Evansville for CCW. I haven’t talked to Hy Zaya in a while, and I don’t know how much of this is story vs. reality. Even if I did, where would the fun be if I spoiled it, right?

Hy Zaya is a charismatic and dynamic performer who has held his own against indy greats like Shane Mercer and legends like Sabu. If you’re in either area, don’t miss your chance to see him. It might be your last.

I also read that Jake Crist of OI4K (that’s Ohio Is for Killers) may be close to hanging it up. In Jake’s case it’s injuries that seem to be the threat rather than match stipulations. Jake has several dates on his schedule, including some for his hometown promotion Rockstar Pro in Dayton. Whether he’s flying solo or tagging with his brother Dave, his matches are show stealers, and if it’s really the end for Jake, it’s a sad day for indy wrestling.

Click the links above to check out Jake and Hy Zaya’s upcoming events.

And if you’re curious to know more about Rockstar Pro, click this link to read a nice little article about the Dayton promotion.

Suplex City

If you missed it last night, Brock Lesnar coined the next “Austin 3:16” level catchphrase.

I know someone who has been to Suplex City. We’ve been friends over twenty years, and about fifteen years ago he was wrestling as Chris Alexander at OVW. He wrestled many of the guys on last night’s show including John Cena, Damien Sandow, Randy Orton, and Brock Lesnar.

About six suplexes into the main event, he made the comment that Brock doesn’t do suplexes. He pretty much just throws you.

“Did you ever take one from Brock?” I asked.

He nodded.

“What’s it like?”

He shook his head. “Doesn’t feel good.”

As much as no one wanted to see that main event, it delivered. Brock decimated Roman Reigns to the delight of the crowd and proved that he is worth that contract he just signed. Then out of no where, Seth Rollins ascended to the top in a dramatic Wrestlemania moment. Great finish to a surprisingly good show.