Friday, October 17, 2014

Dear NFL...

Dear NFL,


              My name is Jack C. Catalano. I'm 32 years old and have been a huge NFL fan ever since I could remember. When I was a kid, I would wear the Starter Jackets, buy the football magazines and when Sunday came, watch the games. Let me just say, I am glued every Thursday, Sunday and Monday to the NFL. I watch as much as I can. I try not to make any plans on those days so I could watch the games. There is one thing that I miss that isnt on every Sunday during the season. Its not on  during the week or on any of the pregame shows. That one thing is the Classics. You must be saying to yourself "Whats the classics?" Well, for me, the classics is the history of the NFL.  Where is it? I mean I hear previews of the week's games ad nauseum, which is fine, but I would like to have a balance. So my question is where are the classics?


I mentioned above that I'm 32 years old so my football history is limited but I'd like to know what happened to the NFL, pre 2000? Does that even exist anymore? Did it ever? I mean what I want and I think what a lot of fans want is maybe a channel(?) devoted to the classics of the NFL. Old NFL games in its entirety, old NFL Films shows, Old NFL Pregame shows, heck even the old NFL PrimeTime shows.  Make the old stuff accessible on youtube, hulu and other forms of media. Now, I know you will argue and say "well we have old stuff. A Football Life, America's Game, etc. Its not enough. Honestly, and this is just my take, but I think a lot of the NFL fans would rather watch classic games and films and whatnot, instead of hearing hours upon hours of hype for a game. I mean how much can you hype a game, week in and week out? I mean every game played isnt the Super Bowl.  I would just like to see, maybe, the playing field being leveled a little more. Devote time to the games each Sunday like you do now and the offseason with the Draft and the NFL Combine which is fine. I have no problem with that. I just wish you would throw some of the old school fans a bone.


I'd like to learn more about the game by looking at its past. I mean I know very little of the 86 Giants. Why? Because when they won Super Bowl 21, I was 4 years old.  How could I follow my team and not know really anything about them? Thats what I would like. Educate the fans to see that there were and was football in the past. If it wasnt for the past, we wouldnt be in the present.


So, NFL, is it too much too ask to give the fans what they want? I mean we are your fanbase. We are who you cater to. Hopefully, you do agree with me but even if you dont I'll be there this Sunday watching the NFL like I always do.




                                                                                                                Thank You,
                                                                                                                Jack C. Catalano

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Bound for Glory did happen, right? and other wrestling thoughts

I wanted to start off by saying that I didnt order Bound for Glory. I will say I thought from reading the spoilers and live coverage and the build-up to the show in general, it was one of the weirder shows of all time. This is TNA's signature event and they had very little hype to it. In fact, they hyped the tag team series, which were excellent, by the way, more than there premiere event of the year. I mean where was the Bound for Glory Series this year? Where was the hype and importance that TNA usually places on this event? I mean the tag team champions were not even on the show. I understand that The Wolves couldnt appear because Davey Richards broke his leg. I mean the thing is I dont think they were ever even going to be booked at the event. It just seemed odd that the tag champions wouldnt be there. What might be even odder is not having the world champion, Lashley be there. Again, why wasnt he booked? He should've been  in the main event. It almost seemed like the show was an afterthought. Plus, guys like MVP and EC3 wrestling guys you never heard of before. It just doesnt make any sense. The whole show really didnt make any sense and I wonder why TNA did this. I mean there biggest show of the year and it was hardly mentioned on tv. Very strange.


I watched Raw this past week. I thought it was way better than the past few weeks. I thought the triple threat tag match was good and it gave John Cena and Dean Amborse other opponents besides The Authority. I still think that the WWE has to shake up the top of the card a bit. How many more times are we going to see Cena and/or Ambrose against the Authority? Now, this Monday is a handicapped street fight. Hopefully, after Hell in a Cell,  Cena and Ambrose and The Authority move on to other programs.

I could smell it a mile away but I see a heel turn coming for Mark Henry. Just the whole "I'm dejected,  I'm upset, I'm angry" usually leads to a heel turn. In fact, it cant come any sooner. Let Henry go back to destroying people like he was doing before. I'd love to see maybe, a Henry vs. Ambrose match soon. I could see Big Show on his way to beating Rusev until Henry comes in and turns on Big Show and giving Rusev another win. Maybe Rusev finally loses to Kurt Angle if Kurt comes back to WWE? It would make sense because Angle is a former Olympian for the US and Rusev is billed from Russia.


For a while now, I have actually wished that the WWE would bring back Sunday Night Heat. Now, your saying the WWE market is over saturated as it is but hear me out. I really wish they would go back to what they did when they started Main Event. Everybody raved about it. They did pre match video packages and interviews before the top match and had and interview with the winner later in the show. That would be gold for a show like Sunday Night Heat or Main Event. For ex. imagine, Dolph Ziggler vs. Randy Orton with proper build? How about Bo Dallas vs. Jack Swagger with proper build? What I'm trying to say is that they dont have to be PPV quality type main events but a little buildup could go a long way. I think it would get the viewer invested in the product and the wrestlers because there not just throwing matches out there. Also,  a show like Heat would be a nice preview to Raw. Now the show would get pounded now because of the NFL, but a nice little vechile to promote Raw would help. Hell, if the WWE ever got serious about crusierweights and the divas, a cruiserweight match, Tyson Kidd vs. Kofi Kingston, maybe, and a divas match AJ Lee vs. Alicia Fox plus maybe a Swagger/Dallas match and its not a bad show. If the talent was given enough time, it would hardly be a missable show.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Will my life ever break for me??




This is a question I ask constantly. I'm in a terrible rut and have been for seemingly ages. I mean I just cant find a way to be happy or feel good about myself. I mean its been a tough life, a tough go of it for years now. As you may or may not know, my grandparents started to take ill in the year 2000. My grandmother, who was 80 at the time had stomach cancer surgery. I think the surgery was only to be for a couple of hours but literally took all day. In 2001, in fact it was the first week college football was being played after 9/11, my grandfather collasped at the Yale/Cornell game. So, in essence,  my plate was full helping taking care of them. Taking care of my grandmother who made out of surgery and my grandfather who had quadrouple bypass surgery is a lot to take but I kept going.

In 2003, my grandmother had a case of Yellow Jaudice. In fact she was rushed to the hospital the day we toppled Saddam's statue in Iraq.  My grandfather died in 2006 and my grandmother died in 2010. Throughout those 10 years,  my life wasnt my own. You know I tried to do everything for them. I got there mail, there medication, helped them when they had doctor's appointments, threw there garbage out, went grocery shopping with them and lots more. I did what I had to do.

Now we fast forward to my grandmother's funeral in 2010, where I see my father. Up until that day, I hadnt seen my father in over 10 years. I dont know what happened but it was like he vanished off the face of the earth. There are reasons how it started but I wont get into that right now. Well, anyway, he shows up. Here I'm thinking that I'm going to have some sort of relationship with the guy and after about a year(?) of having communication with my mother and myself, he just disowns me again. I mean, in some circles, I guess you would call him a "deadbeat dad."  I dont know what I did to deserve being treated like that but it is what it is. I've phoned many times but get no response. Sent cards and whatnot but still nothing. Its like he wants nothing to do with me and frankly from a financial standpoint, I need his help, so right now, pardon my french, but it really sucks.  So basically, its really my mother and me.


Now for some of you who know, my mother has to have hip surgery. She had to postpone it because she had to go back to work and doesnt get paid for sick time. Right now, like I mentioned, I have no job or money. I'm just very disgusted with the way my life turned out.  I didnt think it would be this bad. I'd like to know if there will ever be an end in sight? I mean its just one thing after another. You know the old saying "when it rains, it pours," yeah, by this time, I'm pretty much drowning. I dont have a social life, per say, as I understand people have lives and responsiblites of there own. Believe me, I understand that. You have no idea how much I understand that.   There are days where its harder than others. I mean all you do is work to pay bills. Thats not a life, thats existing.  I just hope my life gets better sooner than later.

WWE Network -Why its great and maybe a way to expand the network & it will still cost you $9.99!!



I'll admit, I dont have the WWE Network. Finanically I cant afford it right now and thats a different story. I think the WWE Network is the be all, end all for pro wrestling, er, sports entertainment fans. I mean the WWE has bent over backwards for you to purchase the network for 6 months for only $9.99. I'll admit that 9.99 song gets in your head. I think they've pushed the network than some of the roster in the last 6 months. Here in lies the problem. The WWE is bending over backwards for the fans to purchase the network. Well I got one thing to say about that, screw the fans!!!


Here's why I say that. I mean I know times are tough out there but if your a true, die hard wrestling fan and you could afford it, there's NO WAY you cant pony up 10 bucks to see all the classic PPVs as well as Battleground, Hell in a Cell, Royal Rumble etc.???  I mean its a wrestling fan's dream. You get to see ALL the old PPV's and Monday Nitro's etc.  for 10 bucks. I think some of the fans dont appreciate a great outlet like the WWE Network.  Do you know how many years wrestling fans like myself have waited for something like this? Now, to be fair, you might ask "well, what was WWE Classics on Demand?" Thats a fair point. I had Classics on Demand and enjoyed the hell out of it. But   even w/o classics on Demand, you still get live shows like Main Event and the PPVs plus all the great DVD/documentaries that WWE excels in. Not to mention NXT which people have raved about.


Now, I've also heard that the distrubution isnt where it should be. I'm not a big tv guy but I still say that maybe WWE Network should try to be like an HBO or Showtime instead of Netflix. I say that because people still have cable and or satelitte tv and having an entire network on your laptop as well as other devices may work out well for you but let's face it people still have HDTV's and cable boxes and whatnot.  If all channels, like FX, ESPN, MTV etc. were exclusively on there computers, than there would be no argument. I say to compete with the big boys, try to get on an actual channel. Show that you can compete. "Well, there isnt a marketplace for wrestling." Thats bull. You know how many lousy channels and networks there are out there? Wrestling cant fit? I dont buy it.


If the WWE ever wanted to tap into other forms of entertainment I would do this and it might be crazy enough to work. How about a channel off of the network(like ESPN2 or even ESPNEWS is to ESPN) that carries game shows, past and present? What about a channel that carries current and old soap operas? WWE says that there female audience is 40%(?) female, why not cater to them? So many soap opera fans were up in arms because the Daytime Emmy Awards didnt even air on a broadcast or cable channel. I think if you aired those awards not only would you get a broader audience but the WWE would excel because they've been doing PPV's and specials and whatnot since I could walk.

What about the WWE producing a classic tv channel? Do you know how many fans are mad at the way classic television shows are being presented? They edit scenes, cut out scenes, edit out theme songs, music, way to many commericals etc. How about WWE tapping into that audience?


Also, maybe the WWE can produce a Fantasy Football show? Or how about there own version of NFL Countdown or SportsCenter where the anchors talk about the NFL, MLB, NBA and NHL? They talk sports but its produced by WWE? The WWE has a huge fanbase, male and female, that love sports so why not expand into that area? What about them previewing the MLB Postseason?


I know these are crazy ideas but tapping into different markets will give WWE goodwill and maybe get some fans to subscribe to the network. And remember you can get the network for only $9.99!!!

Thursday, May 15, 2014

The Government and the State of Connecticut

Now, if you've read my blogs in the past, you know I never really talk politics. Thats really not my thing but two things have gotten my goat recently. First of all there was this:


http://www.nbcconnecticut.com/news/local/Lawmakers-Vote-to-Ban-Chocolate-Milk-in-Schools-259427741.html

http://www.wfsb.com/story/25525302/chocolate-milk-ban-close-to-coming-to-connecticut-schools


If you have not clicked on the links, it is the absurd notion to ban chocolate milk. Whats next? I'm glad the politicans in CT. know whats really needed to be acted on. If you look at this link it will tell you where we stand on unemployment here in CT.

http://www.bls.gov/web/laus/laumstrk.htm

Now, I'm not a math whiz by any means but when your tied for 39th in the nation as far as unemployment, something is wrong there. How can something like chocolate milk be banned and yet nothing is done about unemployment? The way we are going we wont be even able to afford chocolate milk. Instead of worrying about if a kid has a french fry or a can of soda, why dont, you know, we worry about the unemployment rate??!! I mean if a child is going through a messy family situation, drugs, alcohol, divorce or whatnot, do you really think he or she has to be hassaled about what she eats or drinks? Dont you think that the child has enough on there plate without worrying about what he or she eats or drinks? I mean if your going through the pains of hell at home, you should be at least rewarded whether that be a Big Mac, A Whopper, a can of soda or even chocolate milk.


I have to ask about this. Again, stop policing the internet. Instead the FCC should be having stricter rules on about what you can and cant see on the internet. What about all those disgusting sites that should be banned that I really dont want to mention on here? What about stricter rules for all the "trolls" or cyber bullies that bully poor kids on the internet? :http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2014/05/15/gop-lawmakers-tell-fcc-to-back-off-net-neutrality-rules/

I mean the internet is a nice place for information, whether it be news, television  or in my case, sports. You could meet your future husband or wife via the internet, listen to some classic music, watch some classic tv shows. You could reconnect with someone via Facebook that you lost touch with.

I just think that what the FCC is trying to do now could be only the beginning. What if it gets worse? What if they start imposing more rules about the internet? What happens then?

To me, I dont mind browsing the internet as there is so much positive things you could do on there. And you could eat while you browse. Whether it be a Big Mac or a Whopper and you could wash it down with a can of soda or even some chocolate milk.

Thursday, May 1, 2014

The NWA VS. WWE Part 2

We have covered part 1 here:

 http://www.superbowlgreatness.blogspot.com/2014/04/nwa-vs-wwe-head-to-head-part-1.html


Now we continue with part 2.

A Couple of months later in January 1988, the NWA and WWE would once again go head to head on the same day. Jan. 24 to be exact. The NWA, off of Starrcade 87, would hold there "Bunkhouse Stampede" PPV at the Nassau Coliseum in Uniondale, Long Island New York, right in the heart of WWE country. Now here's a snippet of what has happened to the NWA since Starrcade 87. The UWF is pretty much done as it has merged with the NWA. Nikita Koloff unified the NWA and UWF TV Titles at Starrcade by beating Terry Taylor. Despite winning at Starrcade over Barry Windham, the UWF champion "Dr. Death" Steve Williams disappeared. He along with Taylor, Eddie Gilbert and Chris Adams, who was briefly in the NWA, vanished. Windham would hold one of the most famous titles that really nobody ever heard of, The Western States Heritage Title. He would challenge Larry Zbyszko at the Bunkhouse Stampede. Meanwhile, the 4 Horsemen broke up soon after Starrcade when Lex Luger lost the US Title to Dusty Rhodes. The Horsemen, Ric Flair, Arn Anderson and Tully Blanchard attacked Luger in Miami after a Bunkhouse Stampede match when Luger refused to go over the top rope and make JJ Dillon the winner. Also, Ric Flair regained the World Championship at Starrcade over Ron Garvin. Now Flair would face Road Warrior Hawk as Road Warrior Animal was in the Bunkhouse Stampede cage match.

Nikita Koloff opened the show by wrestling Bobby Eaton of The Midnight Express to a 20 minute draw so Koloff retained the NWA Television Title. Larry Zbyszko won the Western States Title from Barry Windham. Ric Flair retained the World Heavyweight Championship over Hawk by disqualification. The main event consisted of a Bunkhouse Stampede Steel Cage Match. Dusty Rhodes, Road Warrior Animal, The Warlord, Lex Luger, Tully Blanchard, The Barbarian, Ivan Koloff and Arn Anderson would meet to see who would win a prize full of money and the bunkhouse boot and become "Bull of the Woods." This was a bloody match and the wrestlers came in there bunkhouse gear-blue jeans, sneakers, t-shirts, no tights or robes this night. You could eliminate your opponent over the cage or through the cage door. A memorable highlight was when Luger, Blanchard and Anderson all got eliminated by going through the cage door at the sametime. The match came down to The Warlord and Dusty Rhodes with Rhodes winning by elbowing The Warlord off the cage to win the match and become as he would famously say "MMMOOOOOO, The Bull of the Woods." Watching this show was kind of what the NWA was famous for. It wasnt really fancy as far as glitz and glamour but the NWA was what a lot people thought was an alternative to WWE and its cartoon aspect. The NWA was more blood and guts and a little more risqué, not with sex but with violence.

Which leads us to the first ever Royal Rumble. A brainchild from the mind of Pat Patterson, the Royal Rumble was a first in wrestling. It would be a new twist on a battle royal, whereas a battle royal all the superstars were in at one time, the Royal Rumble would actually start with 2 guys in the ring and then every 2 mins. have another guy enter. Whats interesting about this is that is the only Rumble to have 20 superstars. All the other Rumbles have had 30 except, 2011 where there were 40 superstars won by Alberto Del Rio. The Royal Rumble would take place at the Copps Coliseum in Hamilton Ontario, Canada and drew a huge rating(8.2) for the USA Network which held the event. It was also have the contract signing for the rematch from WrestleMania 3 as Hulk Hogan would face Andre the Giant on an NBC special called "The Main Event", Feb. 5.

We start off with a hall of famer and hopefully a soon to be hall of famer as Ricky Steamboat beating "Ravishing" Rick Rude by Disqualification. Steamboat would soon leave the WWE after WrestleMania 4 but watch this match because I dont think Rude and Steamboat a whole lot in WWE. They have a great rivalry 4 years later over the US Title in WCW.  There was infamous segment where Dino Bravo set the World Benchpress record of 715 lbs. I say this is infamous because its noted that Jesse Ventura helped him as Ventura was the spotter for Bravo.
The second match consisted of the Jumping Bomb Angels defeating Jimmy Hart's Glamour Girls of Judy Martin and Lelani Kai.Nothing much here as the Womens Tag Team Championship would soon vanish although this is a 2 out of 3 falls match with the Angels winning in the 3rd fall.
Next,  was the contract signing of the Hulk Hogan/Andre the Giant match on Feb. 5. Ted Dibiase and his bodyguard Virgil, were there with Andre to sign the contract. Hogan signed it and then I could still hear Dibiase saying "Andre, put your stamp of approval on it." He did and rammed Hogan's head on the table and then dumped the table over on him.

Next, was the Royal Rumble match. The first 2 superstars in the Rumble match itself was Bret Hart and Tito Santana. Two great hall of famers and a little backstory on these 2 guys. Bret Hart of the Hart Foundation tag team lost the tag team championships to Tito Santana and Rick Martel, Strike Force in November of 1987. The superstars kept coming in. Guys like "Hacksaw" Jim Duggan, One Man Gang, Butch Reed, Hercules, Jake Roberts and the late, great Ultimate Warrior.  The final four would be Don Muraco, One Man Gang, Dino Bravo and Duggan. In the end, Duggan would eliminate the One Man Gang to win the first ever Royal Rumble.

In another 2 out of 3 falls match, The Islanders defeated The Young Stallions (Jim Powers and Paul Roma). Roma injured his knee and his team was beaten 2 straight falls to lose the match. It was just a regular tag match. I dont remember any feuding between these two before or after the match. That concluded the show.

Now, based on some research that I've done and remember being banted about the NWA show only drew 6,000 while the WWE show drew 18,000. To me, the WWE was so big at the time that you can call it a win and success for the WWE but thats me. As far as glitz and glamour, WWE wins, in fact, they've always won on that account. But for in ring action, maybe give it to the NWA. If you want violence, I think the NWA show is for you. But I think the true winners were fans who were lucky enough to watch either show or maybe both at the time. Not only that but the winners are the fans of yesterday and today who can sit back and watch 2 shows that took place on the same day.

Friday, April 11, 2014

NWA vs. WWE Head to Head Part 1

Being a huge wrestling fan that I am something I always wanted to talk about is the NWA vs. WWE. Notice how I said NWA because in this blog, I want to talk about 4 specific moments during the hayday of the 1980s, which literally was NWA vs. WWE on the same day at the same time. This was way before the Monday Night War even began.



1) Thanksgiving Day 1987-At the time the NWA always promoted Starrcade on Thanksgiving Night. Starrcade was what Wrestlemania is today. Now, Wrestlemania has more padgetry and glitz and glamour than Starrcade ever did but for the NWA it was there event. Starrcade started in 1983 and featured Ric Flair defeating Harley Race in a cage match to become World Heavyweight Champion for the second time. There was a sell out in the Greensboro Coliseum and Starrcade was on its way. After, Starrcade 86 which was held in Greensboro and Atlanta, at the Omni, what would Starrcade 87 bring? Change and lots of it. First off, Jim Crockett Promotions purchased the Universal Wrestling Federation in April 1987. Crockett would use that promotion to promote the NWA. The thing is was that all those television stations plus having a studio in Dallas and Atlanta cost money. To this day people look at this as the end of the NWA for a few reasons. One, they moved the show from Greensboro/Atlanta to Chicago, alienating the loyal Greensboro/Atlanta fanbases. Second, fans wanted to see the hometown Road Warriors win the tag team titles but that didnt happen, with a finish known as the "dusty finish." http://prowrestling.wikia.com/wiki/Dusty_Finish Third, production wise it seemed like the WWE Survivor Series was a fastly polished product. Fourth, and this is an argument to this day as to why Ron Garvin was the World Heavyweight Champion. Those 4 factors really contributed as to why Starrcade got beat on that day. Not to mention that the Survivor Series and Starrcade would be on at the same time which meant cable companies had to choose which one to air. The WWE threatened to pull WrestleMania 4 from the cable companies unless they show the Survivor Series. To the cable companies, it was a no brainer as Survivor Series won out.  I will say selfishly that I'm kind of glad this happened because I have enjoyed the Survivor Series from the very first one. The Survivor Series with there elmination rules was just so fantastic to watch. Tag team elmination matches, 5 on 5 where you strive to survive, having team captains for each team. That was never done before. Fans flocked to the Survivor Series as the WWE sold out the Richfield Coliseum in Richfield Ohio. The show which had a women's survior series  match, a tag team  survivor series match plus 3, 5 on 5 matches is well received because of what it started. The Survivor Series would stay on Thanksgiving Night until 1991 where it moved to Thanksgiving Eve. That would last until 1995 where they would tradionally move to the Sunday before Thanksgiving where they have been ever since. Starrcade, on the other hand, moved away from Thanksgiving the following year to the day after Christmas. Starrcade was never on Thanksgiving again up until WWE bought out WCW/NWA in March 2001.

Its debatable as to who had the better show. Some people to this day liked Starrcade because the NWA wasn't as cartoony as the WWE was at the time.  I mean fans just were loyal to the NWA over WWE and you could tell that the NWA and WWE were two big but different companies.  As cliched as it might sound, I think the true winners were the fans. If your a hardcore wrestling fan like myself, back then and even now you could enjoy not one great PPV but two of them. I think thats a pretty good deal. Too bad, we wont have those days again anytime soon.