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UFC/MMA

Pro Wrestling

By | Blog, Games, Images, UFC/MMA | No Comments

I recently started reminiscing back on catching glimpses of The Ultimate Warrior and the British Bulldog as a youth and how excited it made me at the time. Living in England I missed a great deal of the ‘pro’ wrestling action because of unfriendly time-zones but my dad tried to keep me updated as much as he could with news and highlights. He bought us the WWF Wrestlemania game for the Atari ST which I have only very recently sold on and I have great memories of playing that game back in the day. As I grew up and moved on to the Playstation I continued to love wrestling games. I had WWF Attitude and Smackdown on the Playstation 1 and I continued to occasionally catch highlights of the current pro wrestling story-lines as a guilty pleasure. I really do think the themes, gimmicks, the music and branding of pro wrestling all combine so well and translate to make hugely entertaining video games.

'WWF Attitude' Screenshot

WWF Attitude

WWF Smackdown 2

WWF Smackdown 2

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Because I missed a great deal of the story-lines as a child I’m in the process of binge watching this retro bygone age of classic wrestling in my free time, ie The Hogan era. I’m looking back on some of the awesome entrances and gimmicks which were most often far better than the actual wrestling itself, such as The Legion of Doom’s theme song which was so simple yet so powerful and would blow the roofs off stadiums. Stuff like that shows the true power of punk when combined with the personalities and appearance of Hawk and Animal. A good example of this is the Legion of Doom’s 1992 Summerslam entrance which can be easily found here on YouTube. Music and pro wrestling just go together so well..even Ozzy Osbourne recognized this and made guest appearances in the WWE a couple of times. Ronda Rousey with her love of ‘rowdy’ name provider Rody Piper has also been known to show up in the WWE.

Ozzy and The Bulldogs

Ozzy and The Bulldogs

Ronda Rousey appears at Wrestlemania

Rousey appears at Wrestlemania

 

 

 

 

 

Pro Wrestling of this classic time period is still very much watchable as an adult simply for the pure comedy value and it surely inspires and entertains young kids who are still willing to suspend their disbelief. These factors mean pro wrestling should be commended for what it is, and that is simply unadulterated entertainment in it’s purest and simplest form. The dark side to pro wrestling back then however was the alarming abuse of steroids that took place. The Ultimate Warrior and The British Bulldog, aka Davey Boy Smith where both famously ousted from the WWF due to steroid issues before later returning..drug addictions took the lives of many famous wrestlers within this time period.

The British Bulldog aka Davey Boy Smith

Speaking of Davey Boy Smith I recently signed a petition to get him in to the WWE Hall of Fame which pushed the tally to over 10,000 votes. The information and link to the petition can be found at www.daveyboysmith.com  so be sure to get on it!

The WWF became the WWE and things are well and truly PG and Politically Correct now (don’t dare call one of the female wrestlers a diva!) and in my mind can’t compare to the classic shows of yesteryear. It’s also the case now that there is simply too much of it. It maybe worth a watch for a laugh now and again but for me nothing can quite compare to watching the LOD riding out to the ring with the music blaring and the sun setting over a packed Wembley stadium.

SummerSlam 1992 - Wembley Stadium

SummerSlam 1992 at Wembley Stadium also hosted the famous Intercontinental Championship match between Brett Hart and The British Bulldog

Ready to Grow Young Again

By | Blog, UFC/MMA, Well-being | No Comments

When I was younger I remember writing in my ongoing journal – of sorts – that I would always be alright in life as long as I kept fitness, music and comedy within my life, and I still stand by that statement to this very day. This is the reason why I think it is important to keep a place in your life for the things you loved growing up.

Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 1Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 2

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tony Hawks Pro Skater 1 and 2 were released in 1999 and 2000 respectively. These were exciting and inspiring times for me and many others in the same age range. I was playing at a time when I was coming to the end of my time in secondary school and I had the whole world ahead of me. We had new exciting new sports. games and technology and we were moving on to times of discovery and growth. I loved the combination of punk and rock with skating and I spent hour after hour on those two games which also helped me find the music that would go on to dominate my tastes in the years to come. The incorporation of the real life pros in the games was a big deal, I’d love spending time collecting all the tapes and completing all challenges to unlock each characters very own ‘movie’ segment – and this was in the days before YouTube too. The ‘movies’ were real life highlights from each characters’ careers and seeing these inspired me and some school friends to pick up a board and give it a go ourselves. This lead to some of the most satisfying experiences in my life trying out tricks on a friend’s estate whilst drinking and blasting out tunes from the garage.

Being English and looking back on skateboarding now I find myself inspired by Geoff Rowley. The guy found his passion and honed it on the mean streets of Liverpool before moving further a field to London, before then taking the huge leap to Southern California and total upheaval from such a raw early age, a real risk but also a real adventure. I’m not sure that I would have the balls or the conviction at such an early age but he took the plunge and made the move. He became a pro skater in the big ol USA and the legendary skateboarding parts ‘Sorry’,’Really Sorry’ and then ‘Extremely Sorry’ would follow along with his appearances in The Tony Hawks pro skater games. He took the risk, took full advantage and made it work. He also happened to be friends with the late, great Lemmy Kilmister from Motorhead, as can be heard on Geoff’s ‘Extremely Sorry’.

A Rowley wall-rideA young Geoff Rowley

I think I’d struggle with skateboarding now because of the knocks I would take, being around a stocky 13 stone I’m not sure that my build would allow it anymore, but I’m going to try the next best thing, surfing. I see this replacing cycling and mountain biking in my life in my quest for the healthiest possible mental and physical well-being. I can’t think of a better thing for mindfulness than surfing. Both skateboarding and surfing, having their similarities, and are great for both distraction from the continual thoughts of the mind and keeping you in the present moment. Visualization is another positive factor that can be utilized whilst away from the board. What can be better than removing the nagging, niggling useless anxious thoughts from the mind by replacing them with visualizing landing the perfect trick in your favourite spot? In much the same way I still  have my interests from the past in combat sports and I can keep this alive with my Brazilian Jiu-jitsu training and competition. I have my first BJJ competition lined up for the 26th of March this year and I’ll use this as an incentive to get in great physical shape. I hope to employ the same mindfulness techniques in the sport as I would with surfing although being in the moment in BJJ competition can be somewhat more intense. Visualizing whilst away from the mats is again a must, with BJJ being a mental chess game as well as a physical battle. The more technique run through the mind and the more outcomes visualized the better. The power of the mind should never be overlooked. BJJ also has crossover benefits with certain yoga styles such as yin yoga. I find the two fairly interchangeable and you’ll find that doing one will help out with the other.

Surfing at sunset