Flea Market Fiasco!

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Recently I mentioned to Dinosaur Dracula that I had never been to the Englishtown Flea Market. For some reason, I’ve been to every other damn flea market in existence, but not Englishtown. Lived in Jersey my entire life, never been. To others from around here, that’s not an outrage or an insult or anything, but it’s more like “you’ve breathed in air before, right?” I felt that 2014 was the time to finally make this trip happen.

The flea market is not far away and I always heard friends mention that they tend to find cool stuff there, so I really had no justification for never going there. Who better to join me on my first visit to this place than Dino Drac? Partners in crime is really an appropriate moniker for all the calamity and misadventures we’ve inadvertently entangled ourselves in. Matt’s been there several times and he kept mentioning a pretty awesome vintage toy shop that he found in one of the buildings. That was literally all I needed to hear to get me to want to go.

Also encouraging me was the forecast, Saturday was going to be partly sunny and reach the low 50s. Since most of us in the Tri-State area have been cooped up at home for the last month or so battling all these ridiculous snow storms, it was about time that we had a nice sunny day that we could go outside and enjoy rather than breaking our backs shoveling snow and freezing our asses off. Parts of this flea market are indoors while many of the vendors are outdoors, so either way it was a win.

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Loose TMNT figures on a peg board at the Flea Market

Matt, Ms.X, and myself took a laid back drive down Route 9 as I sipped a Monster and we bullshitted. None of us knew what we could encounter on this day. The possibilities were endless. How many useless things would I come home with? I was feeling really confident that going to Englishtown was the right decision. It was the perfect thing to do on the first sunny and mild Saturday we had in forever. Spending it with good friends and having a few laughs was the right move. It’s almost like therapy after the mind numbing grind of a long work week. It all made sense…for a little while.

Finding parking is one aspect of my life that I don’t like to spend too much time on. I’m not sure it’s an actual pet peeve, but for instance, I have absolutely no time in my life to waste on searching for the perfect parking spot at a mall during the holidays. I’d just as soon park 2 miles away and walk. I was pleased to find that the parking scene at the Englishtown Flea Market wasn’t even bad at all. Considering there were two huge lots to park in, I didn’t have to stress about it.

The first lot was literally made of mud. The entire ground was all mud. I started into some My Cousin Vinny lines while we all made the conscious decision NOT to park in the lot that was all mud because my car might sink into the mud and we’d be stranded there. I pulled right out of there and drove into the adjacent lot which, oddly enough, only had about 7 cars in it. Fortunately, this lot wasn’t all mud, it was ALL ice and slush. Much of the ice and snow started melting in the past few days but we figured it would be wiser to park on ice and melted snow than…mud. I walked away with the positivity that we made a very clear headed decision that would benefit us in the long run.

Hopping over puddles and snow, into the flea market we went. At first, it reminded me of any other outdoor flea market. Lots of vendors, lots of similar crap. Discounted drinks in bulk. Women’s bags. Cheap fragrances. Insanely huge Rey Mysterio blankets. You know, all that kind of stuff. Flea Market stuff.

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Airbrushed Terminator T-Shirt and my personal fav: DOUG.
What’s a New Jersey Flea Market without an airbrush shop?

I knew not to really expect much from a flea market because they’re usually inundated with aisle after aisle of the same crap. As you walk through the rows of vendors you’ll notice every 3 of them offer bootleg action figures. You know them – the multi-pack where Batman looks like he’s a repainted Frankenstein and Superman has blue hair and a very scared look on his face. Then always right beside those are bootleg Marvel and Power Rangers figures.

Down each aisle we ventured to see the real garage sale type fare. These people offered the kind of items you might see at a local yard sale or out on the curb in your neighborhood. Piles of used clothes, old cassette tapes, old stereo equipment, random packs of gum, and that was all the high end shit. Down one of these aisles of doom is where I made my first of two purchases of the day.

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If you’ve had no luck trying to track down a high quality King Tut sweatshirt, 
Englishtown Auction is YOUR one stop shop! *Thank you to Sam for correcting me in the comments- I mistakenly referred to this as the Sphinx.

A couple of sellers had random piles of old records. If you know me, I need more records like I need a hole in my head, but for those who aren’t aware, I don’t need more music options at home. I’m inundated as it is. But to me, when it comes to vinyl, I completely grasp the sound differences, but it’s more about discovering a record I would enjoy in a big pile of them and then appreciating the front and back cover art, that’s what really grabs me. Out of piles from two different sellers, I found Blondie’s Parallel Lines and the Flashdance Soundtrack. Although I’ve never even seen Flashdance, it’s got a pretty legendary soundtrack and a great cover, so I went with it. A buck each!

The sun was beaming down and we were enjoying the day as we continued scanning each table. “Let’s check in one of these buildings to see if we can find that toy shop,” Matt said in a very Jay is probably going to write about this so I will make this sentence sound very generic sort of way. The interior definitely reminded me of the types of flea markets that I’ve been to in the past, so I was in familiar territory now. The giant drums of pickles, airbrushed t-shirts, the faint scent of leather, it was all present.

We couldn’t find the toy shop in the first building we went into, but the day was young. Matt and Mrs.X bought some fresh spicy nuts imported from TOMS RIVER, NJ, which I guess is the spicy nut capital of New Jersey. You’d think I would’ve known this tidbit, but I had no clue!

We stopped into a few decent shops, but couldn’t find the one Matt was describing to me.

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There was an action figure shop that had tons of wrestling figures, G.I Joe’s, and TMNT figures, so we were guided by the scent of old plastic and dust. This is where my second purchase comes in. Total impulse buy. At one time I owned every WWF Hasbro figure ever and eventually I sold them on eBay like a chump for no good reason. For a while now I had the original Macho Man Randy Savage back on my radar. This was not the Macho King or the later Macho Man release with the white jacket and hat – this was the original with the star trunks. $10. So worth it, wouldn’t you agree?

We did manage to find one shop that housed everything for your army/navy surplus needs all the way to a Ben Cooper style Jake Lloyd costume from Phantom Menace. There’s four dealers in the world who specialize in young Anakin collectibles and this guy must be one of them. This store looked like someone’s basement. 50 years worth of dusty junk packed into this tiny little store. Hanging from the ceiling and stuffed into shelves were a couple of TV trays that caught my eye. One was Batman Returns and the other was E.T. I can’t remember the exact price the guy quoted me for the used Batman Returns tray, but I believe he said he couldn’t accept less than $20 – $30 dollars because “these TV trays are really hot right now.”

At this point, I was almost happy that we didn’t find the toy shop yet because knowing me I would’ve found something that I desperately wanted for some exorbitant amount of money. The same moment that thought crossed my mind is the exact same moment Matt found the toy shop. He wasn’t joking, this place is the crown jewel of the Englishtown Auction. Matt and Ms.X had me close my eyes as I walked in. Opened them up and was immediately in awe.

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I spy a Jack Napier WANTED Poster hanging on the wall!

From a vintage Strawberry Shortcake bake shop to about 200 original Kenner Star Wars figures in varying degrees of condition, this place was definitely worth the trip. You’re not going to get yard sale prices here though, prices here basically mirror what’s on eBay. Nothing stood out for me specifically, but I think this is where Matt came into contact with his latest toy “adoptions” as it were. More on that in a bit.

Next, I needed to find a bathroom to pee out all the energy drink from earlier. We found one and I cautiously entered. I saw a bathroom greeter, the type of greeter you might see at a swank restaurant. Sometimes they hold the towel for you as you wash your hands. Well, this guy was the absolute greatest men’s room greeter OF ALL TIME. This was his schpeel word for word or as accurate as I can remember it: “WELCOME TO THE BATHROOM MY GOOD MAN, I HOPE YOU ENJOY YOUR STAY, THIS BATHROOM IS VERY CLEAN AND SMELLS OF FINE, FRESH CITRUS FRUITS, IF YOU SO CHOOSE PLEASE LEAVE A SMALL TOKEN OF YOUR APPRECIATION AND YOU WILL BE GRANTED ONE WISH – THE CHOICE OF ANY CANDY OUT OF THE 8 RANDOM PIECES ON THIS MAGICAL PLATE THAT I FOUND OUTSIDE. PLEASE COME BACK AGAIN VERY SOON.”

On that note, we ended our stay at the Englishtown Flea Market. 
We headed back to the car. Happy with all our purchases we hopped in and I started up the car and the music. Only problem was, the wheels were spinning, but we weren’t moving. We were kicking up lots of mud and eventually it sunk into our heads that WE were also sunk…IN THE MUD. Underneath all the snow and slush was mud, just like that other lot. Who knew that we probably would’ve been better off parking in that other lot after all? 
Matt suggested that we use our records to wedge under the wheels to give the car some traction. It was a valiant effort. Him and I then used our incredible super powers to try to push the car out, but that didn’t work either. Ms.X wasn’t afraid to get down and dirty and she hacked away at large pieces of ice near the wheels. Luckily I had a shovel in the back of my car and I was trying to shovel us out, to no avail. There was no winning this battle. The wheels were sunken into the mud about halfway! Making matters worse, the front bumper of the car was hanging over one of those concrete stoppers that kept you from driving out onto the road. This cause the front of the car to basically snap off.
My only defense was calling road service. As I did that, a nice guy with a giant 4-wheel drive ORV with bullet holes the size of matzoh balls who looked like Lebron James offered to tie a rope to the back of my car and attempt to pull me out. This guy also helped several other cars that got stuck in the mud and slush as well. Thank you to that guy. I would say “if he’s reading this,” but there’s less than zero chance that he read The Sexy Armpit. This guy saved us from sacrificing those records!

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We needed to get on the road so this day didn’t start to deteriorate even more rapidly. With some parts of the undercarriage dangling onto the road we hightailed it out of there. After a few miles, Ms.X and I saw a Mexican place on route 9 that reminded us of Jose Tejas. Formerly Damon’s Grill, this place took on a Mexican gimmick back in October. I’d been interested in going there, but haven’t had the chance. As we came upon it, I abruptly made an executive decision and turned into the parking lot. We needed some Mexican beer, Patron, Mexican food, and of course, guacamole power – in that order. It saved the day…for a little while. Name of the place is Rosalita’s Roadside Cantina in Manalapan, NJ if you’re ever in the area or want to replicate this debacle of a trip.

Thanks to Matt and Ms.X for all their help and their patience. We were all soaked and full of mud, but they persevered! Once we got home, I brought down the mood once again by losing an eBay auction on an item that I wanted more than you can imagine for the better part of my life. What a day! Thank God Miss Sexy Armpit brought snacks.

*I urge you to read about Matt’s finds from this experience. Being the benevolent guy he is, he found “5 Misfit Toys” that needed a home, and he paid the adoption fees and signed all the paper work so he could give them a good home. READ ALL ABOUT IT AT THIS LINK OVER AT DINOSAUR DRACULA!!

Classic WWF/WWE Event Cards From New Jersey #8

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Damn, the WWE just doesn’t put on shows like they used to. Take note that Summerslam 1989 featured NINE matches on the card which included basically all their big stars. Of course, this wasn’t as much of a spectacle as Wrestlemania was back then, but still a lot of bang for your buck. Tomorrow, Summerlam 2011 will feature a mere 5 matches. And I don’t want to hear about how much better the wrestling quality is now, because at the end of the show, all that matters is how much was I entertained. I could care less if Daniel Bryan pulled off a near perfect surfboard maneuver. Hell yeah I want to see action, but moreover, I want to see controversy. I want Summerslam 2011 to be so damn good that it will make me want to call up my friends and actually converse with them over the phone – something I try my damnedest never to do. I’m hoping CM Punk pushes the boundaries even further this time.

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As a kid I remember being so surprised that Wrestlemania 4 was going to be live from Atlantic City New Jersey. The following year, Wrestlemania returned to A.C! You could imagine how much more shocked and pumped up I was to hear the announcement that Summerslam ’89 would be emanating live from The Meadowlands Arena in East Rutherford, NJ. That was back in the days when it was actually called The Meadowlands. Selling the name of an arena to make millions of extra dollars in revenue is obviously a smart way to monetize an establishment but The Meadowlands Arena is what it still is to many of us in Jersey, not Izod Center. Shit, I’d prefer Brendan Byrne Arena, after all, that’s the guy who had his name plastered on the arena for the majority of my childhood.

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I worshipped Coliseum Video as a kid. 
Their P.O Box was in Fairfield NJ!

Regardless of what the former home of the New Jersey Devils is now called, back then, having Summerslam take place live merely 20 miles away from me was a real kick. Seeing Hogan and Beefcake tag up was awesome, but actually, Summerslam 89 was just OK. Even back then when I was a kid who loved every bit of it, I didn’t think 89’s Summerslam surpassed the original previous year’s edition fittingly held at MSG. Although, lots of these young punk “smarks” as they are referred to, think Summerslam ’88 sucked. Well, this old school wrestling fan says they don’t know shit. And yes, I’m drawing the heat. See you at Summerslam?

Mourning The Macho Man Randy Savage: My Macho Memories

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Sexy Armpit & Miss Sexy Armpit (top) Macho Man (bottom)

I’M IN MACHO MISERY RIGHT NOW. The news of the passing of Macho Man Randy Savage has wrestling fans and the entire world buzzing right now. Savage was not only an icon of sports entertainment but a fixture in popular culture for many years. Describing Savage as a hero of mine is an understatement. I’m sure there will be an outpouring of tweets, blog posts, and YouTube tributes, and rightfully so, but this post will serve as a collection of my own Macho Memories.

Many of my Macho Man memories involve Miss Elizabeth. She was such a huge part of his mystique after he hired her as his manager. It was a controversial move to hire a sexy female valet who many thought had no mastery of the wrestling business. As we all know, they were a match made in heaven and hopefully they’ve met up so Savage could hoist her up on his shoulders once again for old time sake.

I had been into wrestling for about 2 years at that point. During that period in the WWF I remember everyone buzzing about Macho Man and Elizabeth. They were a hot topic and the couple grabbed the attention of everyone, not only wrestling fans. When the Miss Elizabeth LJN action figure first came out I remember wanting it so bad. I waited and waited and finally I got a special opportunity from my parents on Christmas Eve that year. They let my sister and I open each others gifts. After ripping open the paper I was so excited to see that my sister got me the Miss Elizabeth figure! Now Macho Man would walk the aisle with some arm candy.

Some people look back fondly on the greatest moments of their life. Some cite winning a high school football championship, getting married, or winning a huge sum in the lottery as random memorable life moments. Believe it or not, some of the greatest moments of my life involve WWF and Macho Man Randy Savage. His heel win to become I-C Champ, Savages feud with George the Animal Steele who was in love with Elizabeth, Savage vs. Steamboat at Wrestlemania 3, all the events that lead to the formation of The Mega Powers, The Wrestlemania 4 tournament which concluded with Savage winning his first WWF World Championship and sharing the greatest moment of all time in the WWF with Miss Elizabeth and The Hulkster in Atlantic City NJ. Then the Mega Powers exploded in the same venue at the next Wrestlemania. Years later he was in memorable feuds with Jake The Snake and Undertaker, Flair, and Ultimate Warrior.

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Life was so simple back then. Who cares if I sound old! On sunny and hot summer days I would walk down the local Rite Aid or ask my Dad to bring me to Quick Check and scan the magazine racks for the official WWF Magazine. A couple in particular made me literally explode with excitement. My sister dropped by while I was at a neighbors house to bring me the July 1988 issue with Savage on the cover. I nearly went into convulsions. I don’t think kids get this excited anymore over a magazine, but it made my month back then. I’d worship the pages and read the same articles over and over. It sounds incredible, but I can remember the exact moment I got most of them. I still have those magazines too.

Growing up, my best friend Frank and I were immensely influenced by Macho Man. It was easy for two best friends to call themselves The Mega Powers, but it was another to start filming themselves wrestle at a time when taping yourself wrestling wasn’t en vogue at all. At least in my neck of New Jersey, taping backyard wrestling matches wasn’t something that people we knew ever did. Leave it to us to spend our Friday and Saturday nights recording promos and matches while our friends went and “socialized” with each other. In our first match ever, we chose to explode the Mega Powers yet again just for the hell of it.

I know a lot of people claim that their parents are the greatest, but My Dad is seriously in the Dad Hall of Fame. He’s always been a fan of WWF right along with me. The fact that he interacted in my little obsession with me meant more than anyone could ever imagine. Through the big wrestling boom in the ’80s and then through the times when WWF fans got made fun of for still liking it well after it’s popularity surge was over – it was so cool to be able to share those moments with him. Of course he used to watch Saturday Night’s Main Event with me and bring me upstairs after I fell asleep on the couch, but there was one time in particular years later that will always stick out in my mind.

After Monday Night Raw premiered in 1993 I made it a big TV event. It was the highlight of my week. I set up my TV chair and grabbed my drink and snacks. Occasionally my Dad would watch with me, but other times if he was busy he would tell me to let him know if something good happens and he’ll come watch. That’s the kind of thing that meant a lot to me. I didn’t toss the baseball around much, I didn’t have much interest in sports or fixing cars, my world was all about WWF. He was a big fan of Macho Man and Razor Ramon at that time.

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In 1994, prior to Wrestlemania 10, Randy Savage and Crush began a feud that was pretty hardcore in WWF at that time. My father and I were shocked as we witnessed Crush turn on Savage. Crush pressed Savage up over his head and dropped him onto the steel barricade, lacerating his tongue. We were both in awe of how this played out in a very realistic way. Since that was just before the computer era really took off, there were no spoilers or dirt sheets to ruin the storylines, so it was a vivid and surprising night on Raw. The feud culminated at Wrestlemania 10 in a falls count anywhere match, just over the river at Madison Square Garden in NYC. It was Savage’s last appearance at a Wrestlemania.

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In recent times, Savage has kept a low profile but I’ve kept his spirit alive as much as I could. I’ve dressed up as Macho Man twice in the last couple of years. The first time was for a Halloween Costume Party at Asbury Lanes and my girlfriend dressed up as Miss Elizabeth. You can read more about that in this post. The next time I went with the classic lavender Macho Man T-Shirt and matching bandanna for my friend Jane’s surprise ’80s style birthday party. Each time it was a big hit and everyone was complimenting me on how good I pulled off the look. I even won runner up in the costume contest at Asbury Lanes.

I will miss you so much Macho Man, you were larger than life to me and no one will ever come close to having your unique blend of electric charisma and ring skills of a king. I hope the Fink announced you into heaven with Pomp and Circumstance echoing throughout the universe. “We’re gonna climb that mountain together and we are together forever Oooooh Yeah!” Elizabeth…DOWN THAT AISLE!

NJ T-Shirt Tuesday 35: “Black Machismo” Jay Lethal

Black Machismo Jay Lethal
Black Machismo Foil T-Shirt available at shopTNA.com

Since there’s virtually no chance of seeing The Macho Man Randy Savage return to the ring, “Black Machismo” Jay Lethal is even better than the next best thing. Hailing from Elizabeth, New Jersey, Jamar Shipman began wrestling as Jay Lethal in Jersey All Pro Wrestling. Lethal won the JAPW Heavyweight title twice and has also been JAPW Light Heavyweight, Tag Team, and Television champion. Among other companies, Lethal has also appeared in Ring of Honor, and AWA.

Lethal has been doing his Savage shtick for several years now and it’s so faithful that it’s almost eerie at times. Obviously, many people, especially wrestling fans, can imitate the Macho Man, but Lethal literally becomes Savage! If you were there to experience the original wave of Macho Madness back in the day, then you’ll easily get sucked into the latest craze of Black Machismo Madness!
While Jay Lethal’s Macho Man impression might bring him attention, he also thrills inside the ring as well. You can check out Black Machismo on TNA Wrestling which airs on Spike TV on Thursday nights, but perhaps not for very long. Thanks in part to the addition of Hulk Hogan, TNA has positioned itself as a competitor against WWE so you may very well see Jay Lethal on Monday nights instead! Lethal also appears in a small role in 2008’s The Wrestler.

Macho Man Randy Savage & Elizabeth: Halloween ’09

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For Halloween this year, my girlfriend and I dressed up as Macho Man Randy Savage and Miss Elizabeth. We wound up winning 3rd prize in the costume contest at Paranormal Books‘ Bloodlust Ball at Asbury Lanes in Asbury Park, NJ. Photos were taken by Mike McLaughlin and the vintage WWF Superstars logo are property of WWE.
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WWE SummerSlam 1989 at The Meadowlands Arena

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It was the year Indiana Jones went on his Last Crusade, it was also the year that brought us the sequel to Ghostbusters, and the first Batman movie since 1966. In the news we saw the Exxon Valdez Oil spill, Ted Bundy was executed in an electric chair, and the WWF was brave enough to stage their first pay per view event in the swamps of East Rutherford, New Jersey.

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In my world, it wasn’t too soon after Summerslam ’89 that the ’80s wrestling blitz would begin to take a nosedive. I’ve been a loyal WWF/WWE fan since ’83, and never got caught up in the terrible mess that was WCW. Once the WWE proudly slid into 1990, it was obvious to true fans that the stories and ideas were beginning to run out of steam. Not to worry, because today we’re taking you back to ’89 when I was still a fan revelling in the drama and action created by these larger than life characters.

20 years ago, the 2nd SummerSlam marked the first time a live Pay Per View event would emanate from The Meadowlands Arena, then known as Brendan Byrne Arena. The Pay Per View intro was spectacular and made you want to jump into your TV set and inhale the exciting atmosphere. The SummerSlam music and logo graphics were the ones you got used to seeing, not some crazy trendy looking logo that bears no resemblance to the original and has no history tied to it like this years.

The Coliseum Video VHS copy of SummerSlam ’89 contains an intro that shows fans filing into the Meadowlands Arena, buying t-shirts, and a kickass little kid doing his best Ravishing Rick Rude impression. I was pissed when I bought the WWE SummerSlam Anthology DVD and this intro was completely cut out. Those minute details of the VHS release helped me remember the era. When the SummerSlam events were edited for the new Anthology, those scenes probably seemed unimportant and easily discarded. Seriously WWE, is saving 1 minute of time really that precious? The fans want the versions that they watched over and over again at home or rented from the video store, not some chopped up version. Thanks to YouTube member neilsmith207, we’re able to see the original introduction filmed in East Rutherford NJ.

For the first time since Rocky III, Hogan was on the big screen in No Holds Barred, which happened to be “the greatest movie of all time” if you asked me after I saw it. I remember my Dad taking me to the theater to see it, and it was such an event. My dad was quite a trooper when I was a kid, always taking me to WWE live events, fan festivals, and even shlocky movies starring Hulk Hogan and Kurt Fuller. WWE had a perfect opportunity to capitalize on the film’s feud between Tiny Lister and Rip (Hogan). WWE passed it off that Hogan and Zeus had real conflict on the set and it fell out into the WWE ring, making a perfect main event for SummerSlam. Hogan teamed up with his best bud Brutus The Barber Beefcake, to take on the fierce combo of The Macho King and Zeus with Sensational Sherri in their corner. To vote on the petition to get No Holds Barred onto an official DVD release, check out the bottom right of this page.

Jesse the Body Ventura and Tony Schiavone handled the commentary. Schiavone’s voice had energy and enthusiasm, but I still missed Heenan’s sarcasm and one liners, and Monsoon’s familiar voice and sayings like “it is deafening in here,” and “…the anticipation, you can cut it with a knife.”

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Summerlsam 89 was a solid event that kicked off with The Hart Foundation vs. The Brain Busters, and followed up with Dusty Rhodes vs. The Honky Tonk Man. I had no interest in Dusty Rhodes when I was kid, I just didn’t get his shtick. He didn’t have that special sheen that Vince helped create in his wrestlers. Dusty was a guy from “that other company” that I only read about in the black and white pages of Pro Wrestling Illustrated. He sure got the crowd pumped up though. I just scratched my head when I saw an older, overweight bleach blonde guy wearing yellow polka dots dancing around in the ring. It didn’t make much sense to me. I think if I grew up in the ’70s I might understand his appeal. Thrown for a loop after losing the match and getting hit in the head with his own guitar, Honky Tonk cut one of his funniest promos ever, acting completely like Elvis trying to get to his concert. “Somebody help me find the stage!”

Undefeated Mr. Perfect takes on…yes…wait for it…”The Red Rooster” Terry Taylor! Remember what I was saying about the WWF’s nosedive? Even as a kid, I wasn’t thinking about math tests, or little league, I was thinking “what the cluck was wrong Vince McMahon letting this gimmick get on TV?” I knew something was amiss when I saw Terry Taylor poking his head forward and back like a rooster with his red spiked hair. What a debacle. I don’t know what was more unnerving to me even at that age, an overweight middle aged guy wearing yellow polka dots and a police hat, or the fact that they tried to put a guy over as a rooster. The late great Mr. Perfect won the match, and as Jesse the Body said, “Mr. Perfect stays Perfect.”

In six-man tag action, The Rougeau Brothers and Rick Martel with Slick and Jimmy Hart took on the action packed team of The Rockers and Tito Santana. Santana is one of the most underrated Superstars in WWE history, and now he owns a hair salon in NJ! The Rougeaus and Martel got the W.

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Ultimate Warrior was interviewed about his heated feud with Ravishing Rick Rude and he had this to say: “…Ravishing Rick Rude as i promised you will surrender to the gods above as i beat you ONE, TWO, THREEE!!!” Rude entered the ring and grabbed the mic: “What I’d like to have right now is for all you fat, out of shape, SummerSlam sweathogs to keep the noise down while I take my robe off and show the ladies what a reeeaal sexy man looks like, hit the music…” Rude’s robe dropped to reveal The Warrior’s face on his airbrushed tights. During the bout, Rowdy Roddy Piper appeared at ringside and lifted his kilt to moon Rude. Warrior took advantage of a distracted Rude and won the Intercontinental belt back only to swing it over his head like a complete maniac. Careful, those things are like $300 bro.

Duggan Demolition

Hacksaw Jim Duggan and Demolition? What a ragtag group that is. Demolition was so much more effective as heels. It doesn’t seem possible that these guys could subdue 3 behemoths such as Andre the Giant, Akeem, and Big Boss Man but they were going to try. Jesse The Body ranted about Duggan’s face paint: “how disrespectful to the flag of America to have it on that ugly face.” Duggan’s 2×4 sealed the deal and scored the win for Demolition and Hacksaw.

The match between Hercules and Greg Valentine was an excuse to beef up the heat between Ronnie Garvin (who was curiously serving as ring announcer) and Greg “The Hammer” Valentine. Unbeknownst to the ref, Valentine put his feet on the ropes to secure the pin and got the 3 count. Regardless, Garvin announced Herc as the winner. BTW- who greenlit the “Garvin Stomp?”

Here, Sherri, Savage, and Zeus cut a promo by “the cauldron of madness” that would help them destroy Hulk and Brutus:

Superfly Jimmy Snuka took on The Million Dollar Man Ted DiBiase. Snuka was counted out during a scuffle with Virgil on the outside of the ring.

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Superfly soars through the air to get retribution.

According to Hogan in an interview with Mean Gene, he was on his way to the Meadowlands on his Harley, and his 24-inch pythons parted the Hudson River on his way to get onto I-95. Hogan and Brutus discussed their secret weapon and doing some struttin’ and cuttin’.

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Miss Elizabeth was introduced to even the playing field. As soon as she entered the ring, Jesse Ventura buries Elizabeth and proves why he was the best color guy WWE ever had: “She’s a little gold digger, Randy Savage made her what she is today. She was a hashslinger down the street in Jersey.” The main event had a predictable, yet satisfyingly fun result. Hogan hit Zeus in the face with Sherri’s purse, then a body slam, and ended it with the leg drop for the win. Then Hogan hit Scary Sherri with an atomic drop, and as she stumbled, Elizabeth hit her in the face with Sherri’s own purse. Next, The Barber took his hedge clippers and snipped off the end of Sherri’s pre-cut hair extensions.

Classic WWF/WWE Event Cards from New Jersey #4

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Sundays depress me. I know Sunday is a religious day and it’s supposedly reserved for rest and relaxation (lazy Sunday Mr. Pibb & Red Vines=crazy delicious). But, ever since I was a kid, I was never a fan of Sundays because I knew I had to go to school the next day. Even now, Sunday signals the end of an all too short weekend. Of course, I preferred going to wrestling events on a Saturday if possible, but if completely unavoidable, I was game for driving up to the Meadowlands for a WWE event. Oh, who am I kidding? I called in sick to school so I could go with my cousin and our moms to the Wrestlemania 11 press conference in New York City. Every day is a good wrestling day. Today we’ll take a look at the event card from the WWE event that took place on Sunday December 12, 1993 at the Meadowlands Arena in East Rutherford, NJ.

After his stint as “The Narcissist,” an injury forced Luger to get a metal plate implanted in his forearm. Surgery lead to Luger’s return to the ring, touting a new finisher – the running forearm smash. The WWF shaped Luger into an All-American hero, even slamming the 600 lb Yokozuna on the USS Intrepid. From then on Luger seemed to have been strictly pitted against “foreign” opponents. Much like Smackdown’s Russian monster Vladimir Koslov, Ludvig Borga was a Finnish powerhouse. What do they both have in common? They’re both boring as hell in the ring and lack versatility. Not to say that big, boring guys like them don’t serve a purpose, because they do. There’s always a need for heels, especially international ones!

The Macho Man Randy Savage vs. Crush feud was still raging since Crush’s heel turn. Savage and Crush were to mend their differences on MNR but it lead to Crush turning on Savage and then pressing him over his head and dropping the Macho Man’s face onto the steel barricade. Savage supposedly lacerated his tongue which sparked their heat up big time. Crush joined Mr. Fuji’s stable which also consisted of the late Yokozuna. Crush was also under the tutelage of Fuji during his time as the 3rd member of Demolition. Savage and the late Crush were actually good friends outside of the ring which translated into their great ring chemistry.

R.I.P Bam Bam

Believe it or not, I always liked Adam Bomb even though his “nuclear” gimmick was fairly droll. (Can you tell that I was a member of the “Bomb Squad?”) Bomb was better as a powerful heel, and when compared to guys like Borga, Adam Bomb was a ring impresario (not saying much). You’ll probably kill me for writing it, but I enjoyed NJ native Scott Levy’s work as Johnny Polo more than his persona as Raven. Presently, I yearn for the days of managers with a big personality and Polo was one that recalled the ’80s state of manager greatness. Polo was also funny on the mic when commentating matches. Nowadays, WWE lacks colorful personalities and Polo was exactly that. Ramon (Scott Hall) was unstoppable at the time. Even though he was a veteran in the business, he was basically new to the WWF except for a short run in the ’80s. After the 1-2-3 Kid beat Razor Ramon in a fluke on MNR, they teamed up a few times foreshadowing “The Clique.” It may have seemed like an odd tag team match but at the time, I remember this being really exciting match. The Kid matched up well with Polo while Razor and Bomb was even a decent matchup on it’s own.

A serviceable match, Jannetty vs. IRS held the crowd’s attention. IRS was a master at generating heat with the crowd. He grabbed the mic and started ripping into New Jersey, the swamps the Meadowlands were built on, and how we all evade our taxes. After a career in Michaels’ shadow, it was almost impossible for Jannetty to rise above his former partner. Jannetty was always an excellent performer with superior skills and awesome charisma. It’s a shame that his career didn’t take off like Michaels’ did. It’s also good to see Mike Rotunda making occasional appearances as I.R.S in the last few years since he’s working as a road agent for the WWE.

When M.O.M promos were being shown each week during WWF programming I doubt viewers had any clue they’d show up wearing glittery purple outfits. In video montages, Men on a Mission seemed liked they would have way more of an edge, sort of in the same vein as Cryme Tyme. Prior to their WWF stint they worked as heels, but M.O.M wound up debuting in the WWF as a far different team. With their rapping manager Oscar, Mable, and Mo were a consistent part of WWF TV for a few years. Mabel returned to the WWE and eventually became Viscera and subsequently, Big Daddy V before being released.

Virgil vs. Rick the Model Martel. Not much to say about this one, but I still maintain that Virgil needs to get his ass back into a WWE ring to take revenge on DiBiase by beating his son.

Overall, the WWF was far from experiencing a renaissance, but it remained entertaining. I have so many fond memories of the years prior to the “attitude” era. In the mid to late ‘90s, WWF house shows in NJ had low attendance and on this night, the Meadowlands was only a little more than half filled.

Wrestlemania 4 & 5 @ Trump Plaza in Atlantic City!

Here’s a recap of Wrestlemania’s 4 and 5 – the only Wrestlemania events to take place at the same venue back to back: Trump Plaza in Atlantic City. These events showcase 2 of my favorite wrestlers of all time, Hulk Hogan and Randy Savage. Even if you despise wrestling, give it a scan just for some Jersey nostalgia, and to check out Trump’s hairstyle that had it’s own VIP seat in the audience. With Wrestlemania 25 coming April 5th, the countdown is on!

The Sexy Armpit @ New York Comic Con ’09 Part 2

I only walked a few blocks from the parking garage to the Javitz Center, but I froze my baguettes off! Frozen innards and frostbitten digits were a small price to pay for the opportunity to schmooze with like minded individuals. There’s something about geek society; whether it’s talking comics, trading links to websites, or discussing the pros and cons of the new G.I Joe film, it makes you feel like you belong.
After the lingering Comic Con buzz, going back to work and hangin’ and bangin’ at the gym was a real bitch. I’ll be honest, I’m running on fumes. So far today I’ve downed an energy drink AND a medium iced coffee – black, but somehow, it’s just not enough. JUST NOW, I took the precaution of gulping down this Health energy potion that the people from Mana Potions booth gave me to test out. 

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Let’s hope I’m not up for the next 5 hours since I’ll need at least a few hours of sleep so I can be relatively coherent for work tomorrow. The cool little bottle is definitely eye catching. When I stopped by their booth, the blue and red varieties nearly glowing through the clear bottles made me feel like I was in a video game and just found a “power up” potion. (Their motto happens to be Replenish or Perish!) The scantily clad Mana girls did a decent job enticing me as well. The Health potion has tons of vitamins, folic acid, and even biotin which has numerous health benefits. Even though it tastes only a step above children’s liquid cough medicine, I was in it for the “energy” portion of the potion. The formula which includes ginseng, caffeine, taurine, amino acids, elderberry juice, and other ingredients gives the formula it’s “get up and go.” I can ignore its medicinal taste and syrupy consistency as long as it works. It’s been a few minutes and I’m not feeling tired or jittery, but pretty good. I’ll let you know if I crash by the end of the article.

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I met Christof Laputka at the Leviathan Chronicles booth. Headphones were set up in the booth to listen to installments of his science fiction audio saga. Christof’s quite the renaissance man. He’s gone from Wall Street to traveling the world, and he’s not ashamed to hide the fact that he’s a just a geek at heart. As a kid he grew up obsessing over Science-Fiction shows like Battlestar Galactica. Christoff described his aural creation to me as a throwback to old time radio shows, which thanks to my dad, I grew up listening to. I’m sure there’s a ton of people out there who have no idea what it was like to tune the old Philco radio and listen to Inner Sanctum, The Lone Ranger, The Green Hornet, etc. Through cassette tapes he ordered from a mail order old time radio catalog, my Dad introduced a young impressionable Armpit into the “theater of the mind,” and I appreciate that he did. 

 
I popped The Leviathan Chronicles CD into my car stereo on my way to work and really got into it. I commend Christof for taking the chance to release this series; what better time than now? Everyone has an iPod or an mp3 player and FREE, high quality content is hard to come by. It seems like a no brainer and I hope the Leviathan chronicles gains a large following because that would open the door for Christof to produce other audio adventures. There’s plenty of websites doing original fictional programs for download but I’m going to wager that they don’t have the production quality of the Leviathan Chronicles. A description in their press release sums up the scale of the production: “The cast includes over 40 voice actors, cutting edge sound effects, and an original musical score.” The soundtrack really does rock! Each show is free and ranges from 30-40 minutes. You can find it FREE at their website or on iTunes!
NJ at NY Comic Con!
While Making my way around Comic Con it was great to see so much New Jersey representation! Like I mentioned about others in part 1, Rob Feldman of Earworm Media (based out of Jersey!) is another guy, who turned out to be a phenomenal dude! Rob didn’t know me from a vampire hiding behind his booth, but once I discovered that we had New Jersey in common we had a few laughs and then he introduced me to his creation, Dr. Shroud

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Robert even posed for a couple of photos. Here’s a priceless moment where Rob struck what he coined “The Sexy Armpit Pose,” that goes to show you that Rob was brave, and hands down the coolest guy in the entire Javitz Center that day!

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Shame on me for not knowing about Dr.Shroud already! It’s nearly impossible to keep up on EVERYTHING! When you have entire seasons of Dallas stored in YOUR brain, miss some things your radar will! Dr. Shroud is a radtastic animated series available on the Internet and mobile phones. Shroud is a plastic surgeon with a secret past as a reformed vampire. Shroud’s daughter gets kidnapped by vampires that lurk in the city of Necropolis. Shroud embraces his former vampiric ways to defeat the city’s evil creatures in his quest to track down his daughter. The animated series features stylish animation, a creepy atmosphere, and an awesome soundtrack! Rob gave me a cool set of Dr. Shroud fangs so I can act out scenes at home. Thanks Rob! You can watch full episodes at Joost:
Skullboy threw me for a loop when I saw how creepy he looked with his Misfits style face paint. I looked down and saw the all too familiar outline of NJ all over his table! There were t-shirts, stickers, and some killer skull art. All of a sudden, Skullboy reached his hand up and gave me one of his skullboy styled New Jersey stickers! That kicked ass!

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Skullboy is truly adding to the great art culture in New Jersey and spreading the infectious Jerseyana. In fact, he’s not only a dedicated artist, but he’s also an event organizer. Skullboy has been putting on shows that mix art and rock music all over the state. Here’s some of Skullboy’s creations:

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For show info go to myspace.com/theartofskullboy

To purchase his artwork, T-shirts, or stickers go to skullboy.net
Image comics: Jersey Gods!

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I literally had to stand and wait for a middle aged female newspaper reporter from the Star Ledger to finish her “interview” with Glen Brunswick, writer of Jersey Gods. It was clear that she had to have been given this assignment to tackle, because either her interview skills sucked ass or she was completely unfamiliar with anything comic book related aside from reading the Jersey Gods comic. I bet the Jersey Gods and Ziggy are the only comics she ever read in her life.
I’m standing there like Biff Tannen with my arms folded all cocky thinking “Well lookie what we have here…” some self important newspaper reporter trying to horn in on Comic Con. When I saw Jersey Gods for the first time I thought to myself “a match made in heaven!” It was as good as Macho Man and Elizabeth…a comic book filled with superheroes published by Image comics and it’s based in NEW JERSEY? It seems like it was created specifically for me to write about on this site.
If I could only get a word in edgewise. Every time Glen was about to cut over to me, she kept going and going with more irrelevant questions. She’s a wonderful, insightful, writer and I enjoy her articles, but I can’t say that I use the same interview style as she does. The whole situation made me feel uncomfortable. It felt like my 7th grade math teacher was interviewing a guy who WRITES AN IMAGE COMIC BOOK! It’s not supposed to happen! My mother interviewing Nikki Sixx would easily be 10,000 times more entertaining.
I’ve been reading comic books for over 25 years now, and for some reason I just felt protective of my passion. This lady had to pause and write notes on a pad every time Glen gave her a response! C’mon lady! Step into reality, we’re approaching the year 2010! We have digital voice recorders that can detect the sound of a pin dropping at a Gwar concert. Finally she finished momentarily with Glen and he directed his attention to ME! I explained to him what I do here at the Armpit and he was very enthusiastic about it. I mentioned that I’d like to review a copy for the site, so you can expect a full review here coming soon! Saturday morning rolled around, and sure as shit, as I was walked out of the gym I looked over on the Star Ledger rack, and staring back at me was a pic of Glen Brunswick and Dan McDaid at Comic Con with Amy Nutt’s interview. It made the front page! 
Aside from the invasion of all of these “official” print/TV people, the Comic Con was just a great time. The legit press folks should stay out of comic con though. If you are a virgin do you go to watch the Rocky Horror Picture show at your local theater? I would advise not to. The majority of important news events only invite certified media and “prominent” bloggers, so why should we let them into our world? Bloggers, podcasters, vloggers, and all the other mavericky online criers are welcome at Comic Con. We gotta keep some shit to ourselves! I hate the mainstreaming of geek! 
BTW: I didn’t crash. I feel energized but not shaky. Perhaps that Health potion is the real deal?

Classic WWF/WWE Event Cards from New Jersey #3

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In past installments of Classic WWF event cards I’ve mentioned my disappointment with attending frequent wrestling shows that lacked A-list wrestlers. Today’s post features an event card that would make any wrestling fan at the time pop big time. In the early to mid ’90s, WWF provided family entertainment but never chinced on the good stuff that the true fans wanted to see.

Let’s take a look at the WWF’s event card which took place at the Meadowlands Arena on May 22nd, 1993. The second I heard that the Hulkster was going to be appearing at a house show in New Jersey, I seriously hulked up. I panicked, and even though the tickets weren’t on sale yet, I felt so nervous that I would miss out. I got great seats and I counted down the seconds until I heard “Real American” blast through the arena. Thanks to Hulk Hogan teaming up with his “bionic brother” Brutus “The Barber” Beefcake (they are good friends, not relatives) the Tag Team Championship would be on the line in the MAIN EVENT! It’s rare to see the tag titles up for grabs as the main event of the night but Hogan was the WWF Champ after beating Yokozuna at Wrestlemania 9. The Mega Maniacs would be taking on the formidable and experienced champs Money Inc, which comprised IRS (Mike Rotunda) and The Million Dollar Man Ted DiBiase. To ensure order in the match and to lessen the chances of IRS’ mysterious briefcase getting bashed into someone’s skull, Sgt. Slaughter was appointed special guest referee.

Back then, Giant Gonzalez was our massive equivalent to The Great Khali. He was a stone faced gargantuan guy who wore a furry Slim Goodbody unitard. For some strange reason, he would feud with Randy Savage at house shows all over the country.

A good friend of Randy Savage, the late Crush, had an interesting feud with Doink the Clown. You might think for a minute that Crush was in wrestling purgatory for having to participate in such a lampoon of a program against a clown, but that’s not the case. At the time, Doink the Clown wasn’t the silly, corny circus act that we know now. Doink was an evil, twisted clown and his character was actually pretty interesting. Crush was a great babyface and powerful in the ring, yet Doink’s pranks and stunts were effecting the Kona Crush. Surprisingly, this matchup kept the capacity crowd’s attention and was one of the most entertaining matchups on the card.
Click Here to read my tribute to CRUSH!

For days and weeks after the house show, the most surprising moment of the show came when Tatanka beat Razor Ramon. At the lunch table in school the next day my friends asked how the show was and all that burst out of my mouth was “TATANKA BEAT RAZOR RAMON!” Regardless of heels and faces, I had favorites on both sides of the fence. In this instance, Razor Ramon was a heel and Tatanka was a face and new to the WWF. I was fans of both of them but I didn’t think Tatanka would be able to subdue Scott Hall who was one of the best in the business at the time.

The Steiner Brothers vs. The Headshrinkers feud went on for a while and it always brought out some fantastic old school tag team wrestling. The Steiners were made up of sheer power and technical skills while The Headshinkers were uncivilized yet methodical. The Steiners went by the book while the Shrinkers were reminiscent of their Samoan wrestling relatives.

After clucking around as the Red Rooster, Terry Taylor went over to WCW and eventually made his way back to the WWF. Upon his return, he lost the silly gimmick and wrestled as himself. “Terrific” Terry Taylor faced The Rocket Owen Hart who was beginning his solo career sans Koko B. Ware his High Energy teammate.

Considering all the years of punishment and repression Virgil’s character had to go through, I’d love to see a HUGE return by Virgil to squash Randy Orton’s minion Ted DiBiase Jr.

Also, notice the ICO-PRO ad at the bottom? Perhaps Vince should bring this shit back so his wrestlers would stop getting persecuted about taking Steroids: “OUR WRESTLERS TAKE ICO-PRO…SO SHUUUUUT UUUUUPPPPP”