Puppet Loves Raw!

13051508_493845727473198_1038889222692637872_nIf you’re an embittered old school wrestling fan still longing for the good old days of the Attitude Era, or Memphis, or the pre-WWF takeover, you’ll find plenty of blogs and podcasts to back your feelings on Tuesday. The Internet Wrestling Community is rife with folks who can’t wait for Monday Night Raw – just so they can trash it and tell you how bad it is.

Puppet is not another Raw hater. Puppet is a puppet who simply loves wrestling. Every week, he posts a new video to Youtube, offering his thoughts on the latest edition of the WWE’s flagship show. He also does special episodes to highlight the pay-per-views.

Unlike most of his IWC colleagues, Puppet focuses on the positive. There’s plenty of good out there in wrestling, even in the now Sandow-less WWE, and Puppet isn’t afraid to share how he feels.

I contacted Puppet last week through his Facebook page, and he graciously granted me an interview. Here, in his own words, is Puppet.

How long have you been a wrestling fan? 

I have been a wrestling fan for as long as I’ve been conscious. My dad was fan because his grandmother was a fan. It is sort of a family tradition. Anyway, I started watching very young and I never stopped. Some of my best memories are of watching WWE with my dad, my brother, and my mom. Wrestling is very special to me in that way.

Who are some of your favorite wrestlers?

That’s a really hard question actually. I have a handful and I’m sure I’ll leave someone out that I really like. I really think the WWE roster right now has the best talent, top to bottom, that they’ve ever had. My number 1 guy right now is of course Cesaro. Just a guy that can have a great match with anyone he’s in the ring with. Other than that… again I am leaving people out… I love Kevin Owens, Sami, AJ, Ziggler, Dean, Seth, New Day, Enzo and Cass, Neville, Stardust, Shinsuke, Nattie, Sasha, Charlotte, and the like. I like the wrestlers that ALWAYS look crisp in the ring. Sorry! I always have trouble just picking a few favorites.

What do you think is the match of the year (so far) in 2016? 

Match of the year so far in 2016 is Shinsuke/Sami from Takeover Dallas. I know this is a pretty “safe” choice… but that match is just awesome. Set aside the fact that the action in the ring was relentless, purposeful, and told a great story… Hearing Shinsuke’s music for the first time, his perfectly produced entrance, the circumstances of it likely being Sami’s NXT farewell… it was all just amazing. I was watching with a group of friends and we were all just mesmerized by the spectacle of that match. Spectacle + technically sound wrestling? Doesn’t get any better than that.

Do you see the WWE headed in the right direction? 

Yes. I do think WWE is headed in a great direction. Again, I think top of the card to the bottom of the card they are more stacked with great wrestlers than they’ve ever been. I think more recently they have started to take advantage of that fact. Story is important… story is very, very important… but great wrestler + great wrestler = great TV. Sometimes you can push story aside for matches like that to round out your show. I think we’ve seen that happening recently. Who cares if they are both good fan favorites?! Let the great wrestlers do what they do! Have great matches with each other. The IC title scene right now is a great example of just letting great wrestlers do great work. Anyway, they’ve got great talent right now, I think they are learning this lesson of talent vs. talent trumps forced face vs. heel story any day of the week (probably in large part thanks to how successful this has been for NXT) and I really think the sky is the limit for WWE right now and in the future. I’ve never booked a wrestling show in my life, so i really have no idea what I’m talking about… But as a longtime fan, I’m excited every week for WWE.

Be sure to join the #PuppetClub on Facebook to hear his thoughts on every WWE Raw and Pay-Per-View.

Real Men Wear Pink

13006650_807557169378860_2128214235681966400_nMark Vital isn’t the first man to wear hot pink to the ring, but he wears it exceptionally well. The East Coast wrestling star with feather boas and flamboyant style is already a decorated champion and he’s just getting started.

Like most wrestlers, Vital grew up a fan. He played with the WWF Wrestling Buddies (including Hulk Hogan), and he was drawn to the more colorful superstars of the era including Shawn Michaels, Ravishing Rick Rude, Macho Man Randy Savage, The Rock, Stone Cold Steve Austin, and Dusty Rhodes.

Vital trained with “Showtime” Shane Black, who was in turn trained by the Wild Samoans. He’s already had one of his dream matches, having faced one of his current heroes AJ Styles, but he has his sights set on the son of one of his all time favorites. “My current dream match, would have to be against Stardust, I think honestly with our two gimmicks would put on a great show!”

Vital has amassed a number of titles including the GSW Adrenaline Championship (3 times), the PCWA Tag Titles, the GSW Tag Titles, the PPW Television Championship, the NEWF Young Guns Championship, the PPW Tag Championship, and The ICWF Northeast Championship. He travels any place he can get booked but has a regular circuit throughout New York and Pennsylvania including Pennsylvania Premier Wrestling (Hazleton, PA), True Wrestling (Berwick), Phoenix Pro Wrestling (Altoona), WXWC4 (Allentown) Grand slam Wrestling (Moosic), Dynasty Pro Wrestling (Albany, New York), Fundraiser Pro Wrestling (Lodi, NJ), and PCWA (Shamokin, PA).

Vital would love to get a shot at NXT and the WWE, but he’s hardly a WWE or bust guy. If Impact, Lucha Underground, Ring of Honor, or Global Force came calling, Vital would be there, feather boas and pink tights in hand.

To follow or book Mark Vital, follow him on Facebook.