The Last Mark Standing Truly Stands Out

Trina never set out to be a podcaster. Or a ring announcer. Or any of the other things she’s become in the last year. She was a childhood fan who simply never outgrew her love for the insanity that is professional wrestling. One night, just for kicks, she began live Tweeting during Raw. Soon she had a following, and before long, she ran into Damian.

Damian is a licensed counselor, an expert on human behavior. He also had aspirations of becoming a broadcaster and had dabbled in podcasting. Like Trina, Damian has a deep love for the sport of pro wrestling, and when the two met online, something clicked.

Trina lives in the Midwest; Damian lives on the East Coast. Modern technology and social media brought them together, and a unique partnership was forged. Now the two are co-hosts for one of the best commentaries on both the WWE and independent wrestling, The Last Mark Standing Podcast.

“The Marky Smark” Trina and Damian “Sawlty G” are more than just commentators. They are self-described promoters of professional wrestling who want to reignite the flame in lapsed fans and encourage casual fans to dig deeper. They don’t just watch the Network and the weekly WWE offerings; they are in the high school gyms and warehouses and roller rinks where independent wrestling happens.

Trina and Damian have a passion for pro wrestling that is infectious. They also bring a unique perspective to the sport, commenting on everything from ring politics to sexism in and out of the ring to proper fan etiquette. They are devoted fans who owe a lot to pro wrestling, and they have dedicated themselves to giving back to the sport that means so much to them.

The best things in professional wrestling often happen organically. The rise of Stone Cold Steve Austin and the birth of Austin 3:16; the “Yes” chants that led to the rise of Daniel Bryan; and the recent emergence of James Ellsworth. The Last Mark Podcast was not in the plans of either Trina or Damian. It evolved organically, beginning with Trina’s live Tweeting, and it continues to rise today.

Visit the Last Mark Standing website to find out how you can subscribe and follow the Last Mark Standing Podcast. This one’s on my weekly must-hear list, along with Kick Out at Two and Gilbert Gottfried. It’s a great listen if you love the sport of pro wrestling.

You can also follow Trina, Damian, and the podcast on Twitter.

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.

New Hope for Louisville Gardens?

1101130843There’s a lot of buzz about the Louisville Gardens and a “hidden treasure” I discovered when working on Bluegrass Brawlers.

The treasure is a Kilgen pipe organ installed just above the stage area inside the Gardens. The pipe organ is also a one man band, with percussion and brass instruments incorporated into its workings. It’s a priceless treasure that, until recently, was in danger of being lost forever due to neglect of the building.

This week, both the Courier-Journal and WFPL radio ran stories about the building, the organ, and an effort to save them both. Click on the hyperlinks to read what they had to say.

Originally built as the Jefferson County Armory, the Louisville Gardens began hosting pro wrestling in 1913. Ed “Strangler” Lewis was one of the very first to main event inside the building. He was followed by a host of world champions and trail blazers including Charlie Cutler, Americus, Stanislaus Zbyszko, Wladek Zbyszko, Joe Stecher, Orville Brown, Bill Longson, Lou Thesz, Mildred Burke, Buddy Rogers, The Sheik, Fritz Von Erich, and Bobo Brazil.

During the Memphis years it was home to Jerry Lawler, Bill Dundee, Dutch Mantell, Handsome Jimmy Valiant, Jimmy Hart, Jim Cornette, and the Fabulous Ones. Louisville Gardens also hosted many of the WWE’s biggest legends before they were stars, some with Memphis and others with OVW. Hulk Hogan, Randy Savage, The Undertaker, Kane, Stone Cold Steve Austin, the Rock, John Cena, Batista, Brock Lesnar, and Randy Orton all worked the Gardens on their way to the top.

Andre the Giant wrestled there. Bobby “The Brain” Heenan had his in-ring debut in the building. Bret Hart had his last successful WWF title defense before the Montreal Screwjob in the building. That same show was also Brian Pillman’s final PPV appearance before he passed away.

And yes, believe it or not, Andy Kaufman stepped into the Memphis ring inside Louisville Gardens.

Louisville Gardens is a beautiful building with an incredible history. The building and the organ are treasures that deserve to be preserved and enjoyed for years to come. Here’s hoping the Gardens has not seen the last wrestling match inside those hallowed halls.

Click here to view some photos of the organ on the Bluegrass Brawlers Facebook page. And please give the page a like while you are there!