Posted on 2010.10.04 at 13:34
September 25, 2010
There is something about the air in Europe that makes me miss Finland so much. Maybe it smells cleaner or maybe it's just the memories. But the air is different here then in the States.
It's a crisp, Saturday morning here in Marburg. A gorgeous, small city that looks like it hasn't had a new building built in 50 or so years. All of the homes look cozy, the hotels feel like bed and breakfasts, and no one speaks English. Sure it is tough to communicate but its authentic. Real Europe. Inspiring in fact. How so? Well I am writing aren't I?
Things were very different when I was here this time last year. I was still getting my life and self-confidence back together after Puerto Rico plus it was a last ditch effort to save my marriage. My then-wife and I had a wonderful weekend in this city. In all of the years we had been together, we barely took any pictures together. Our weekend in Marburg was different. Maybe we just knew that was it. Although painful to deal with, the memories are something I would never trade in and forget. I may be American/Canadian, but I will always have a Suomi heart.
Sleeping in is a concept that is foreign to me anymore. Almost everyday I am up and out around four or five in the morning preparing for life after pro-wrestling.
I am very fortunate that I still make a decent living through this great sport of ours. Especially without ever being a WWE guy. But I can't wrestle forever. I'll try but it's impossible. At 37 years old and wrestling for over 16 ½ years, I know that I can still go hard, but it won't last forever. This year in ROH has really been a re-birth for me. I never wanted to be that guy that hangs on too long. Don't over read into this as I am retiring (Hell, I tried that in '01 and '08 and couldn't stay away) because I am having more fun now then I ever had. Sure I hurt more with every match but this past year has been the greatest year of my career professionally.
Being involved in what I consider the Feud Of The Year between Kevin Steen and El Generico is like taking a step back in time when feuds in pro-wrestling lasted nine to twelve months.
Older fans and I can complain about today's feuds that last two hours or till the next pay—per-view, but it is just the evolution of the industry. The fact that the fans have not only stayed glued to this feud is amazing to me, but uplifting to know that all four of us are being appreciated for the pain and emotion we have put into this program.
Before I get off the subject though, I need and want to publicly thank Adam Pearce for his hard work that he has/had done in all of this. Adam is one of the good guys in this sport. He walks that fine line between the office and the boys. He fought and defended Kevin and I more times then I can count. Even when we were wrong. And we have been wrong a lot. He is a guy that can yell, scream, and argue with, but then give you a hug five minutes later. He would tell me the hard truth, even when I didn't want to hear it. But he had faith in me to return to ROH, when I didn't think I could contribute. He is a leader and a man I would go to war for.
Once again don't try to read into this and think that I have no confidence in either Hunter Johnston or Jim Cornette. Being the booker for ROH is the hardest job but both Gabe and Adam set the bar high. Hunter is very creative and will do a great job.
I do think that Adam Pearce would be the perfect producer for TNA wrestling. He knows how to talk to executives but also knows how to say no. That is one of the most important aspects that fans don't get to see. As a booker, you want to make everyone happy but it is impossible. Adam is always upfront and honest. I hope one day I get to work either with him or for him again. Thank you Adam.
As I mentioned earlier, time restraints and responsibilities have kept me from writing as much as I would like to. It sucks because, even though I am not a good writer, it is a passion for me. Even a therapy of sorts for me.
I have been working on an autobiography for the last five or so years featuring all the fun stories of my life and career. Will it ever be done? One day. I sound like Brian from Family Guy regarding his novel huh? I will most likely self-publish the book so that it sounds like how I talk. Grammatical errors, run-on sentences, and babbling. Exactly like how I talk and write. It's not perfect, but it's me.
I know a lot of people who didn't enjoy Dusty Rhodes' book because it didn't sound like him talking. It is a darn shame because all of Dusty's stories are not only amazing, but amazing in how he tells them. When he was running Turnbuckle Championship Wrestling, we would drive together and he would tell me about the old Florida promotion or how he came up with ideas. I wish the book would have had those stories. I want my book to be a book that if you close your eyes, you could picture me telling this story.
One of my other favorite things to do on the road is read. Yep, I am a HUGE nerd. I brought three books on this tour of Germany and as I write this I am already through one and a half with two days to go. I knew I should have brought that other book!
The first book I picked up was the Jeffrey Ross kinda-autobiography “I Only Roast The Ones I Love”. Earlier in the week I procrastinated about spending $25 on the hardcover version but when I saw it at the airport for $15 (in paperback) I knew it was a winner.
Ross is one of my favorite comics at the moment and this book made me like him even more. I have always loved comedy and after doing stand-up for the first time in March, I started to really study it. What an art form it is to make people laugh. I try to get to as many open-mic nights as I can with my busy schedule. I am no where near Cabana good, but I try. Of course you will NEVER see my list them on my schedule, Facebook, or Twitter because I am not ready. But it is a lot of fun. Like cutting a promo but not having to get beat up in the process. My comedy style is more stories then one-liners. No wrestling though.
The next book I am working on is “For Phillies Fans Only”, which is a collection of stories about my beloved team by real fans.
Much to my surprise, and it shouldn't be, on pages 26-27, is a great story from my writing mentor Rob Mattaliano. Mr. Matt, as his students called him, got me through high school as my Grammar tutor. It was through him that I discovered my love for reading and writing. To this day, every time that I buy the Philadelphia Daily News I think of him.
I imagine I will have this book done by belltime so hopefully my pal, Joe Legend, gets to the building early to entertain me!
The last book I have is by my favorite author, Richard Matheson, called “Button Button”. “Button Button” was made into a movie last year called “The Box”. I haven't seen it and won't until I read the book. This book is a collection of short stories.
I first started enjoying Matheson's work as a young kid when I saw “Somewhere In Time” with Christopher Reeve and Jane Seymour. Somewhere In Time is based off the novel “Bid Time Return” and is a book that I had searched for for almost 20 years (It is out of print) before finding a used copy on Amazon.com late last year.
In a small, nerdy fact I actually named my finisher “Eternal Dream” (Sliding Lariat) after a story in “Bid Time Return”. Out nerd me wrestling fans!
Matheson's other work ranges from “What Dreams May Come” and “I Am Legend” (which is actually the next Steve Corino t-shirt coming soon). Highly recommend his books (and my shirts!).
Although I don't speak a lick of German, I like German TV. Last night I watched the classic movie “Psycho”. The dubbing was perfect and even though I couldn't understand a word of it, I loved it. I liked it better in German then English.
Right now I am watching President Obama in a great extended interview on BBC.
I love Obama. Do I think he is doing a good job? Oh hell, does any politician do a good job? I think he is doing the best he can and I enjoy hearing him talk.
He doesn't use big words, he doesn't sugarcoat anything, and he seems to really care. All things that George Bush couldn't do. Obama could be full of shit for all I know but like a sheep, I will follow him.
The other thing I enjoy on German TV is MTV. Unlike MTV in the States, German MTV actually plays music videos. I just watched Eminem's “I Love The Way You Lie” and it is my new favorite song. It's not only good, but freaking Charlie from LOST is in the video! It is so ironic that I would see him in this video because I sat on the plane over here next to a guy that looked just like Charlie. I almost asked him to sing “You Are Everybody”. Too much? Hey, I was a big fan.
For some dumb reason I didn't bring my laptop on the road with me this weekend. I did though bring my PS2. Yeah, yeah I know “Why don't you have a PS3 yet?” One, its none of your stinking business (hehe) and the main reason is that I have about 20 games left on my MLB The Show season. But dumb me brought my Finnish adapter for electric and not my German one. Why can't we all have the same damn plug? Without the computer and PS2, I get a chance to read and write so its all good.
Oh nice! “Somewhere Over The Rainbow” by IZ was just on. One of my favorites. On my MP3 player (Shut up, I know) I never get tired of “Somewhere Over The Rainbow/What A Wonderful World”. Reminds me of great times in Hawaii.
Speaking of Hawaii, it is awesome to see that one of my mentors, Mr. Wrestling II, is on the road to recovery. I wanted to catch up with him at this years NWA Legends Fest but I wasn't invited. I hope he feels better soon. He is a kind man and a real person that you can look up to. When he offered me the Mr. Wrestling 3 mask, it came with great responsibilities. I really wish that the gimmick would have taken off because I would enjoy to do. It is not dead yet. Not by a long shot. Look for more Mr. Wrestling 3, the masked wrestler, in 2011. Get well soon Mr. Wrestling II!!!
Ah shit, this is going to be a long chronicle! Right now I am around 2000 words and I have a ton to go. Hope you filled up your coffee!!!
I do most of my best writing on the road. As much as I enjoy being on the road, I have equally been enjoying having a lot of events close enough to drive. Most times I drive with the Kings Of Wrestling, who not only do I consider the best tag team on the PLANET right now, but awesome travel partners.
Being on the road by myself can be lonely, but also good to recharge the inner batteries. Of course this weekend is tough due to the memories of this city, but its cleansing.
Words can not describe how excited I am about my next tour in Germany because Colby will be with me. There is nothing more fun then being on the road with him.
***Note: The following I wrote at 4am on Sunday after a fun night of drinking! LOL. I laugh because I have great handwriting and if you could see how I wrote this, you would laugh! Here is why people that are drinking too much should never write! Enjoy
“I am not a good dancer. Tonight, me and a guy who I don't know. I think he helps out at GSW. He had a “Stussy” hat if that helps. We, along with the other GSW boys, found a “Flower Night In Marburg”. I guess it was a 60's night but they played 70's music more. I drank too much. Any funny stories escape me at the moment, although I met the German Gallagher. No shit. The GSW announcer took a pic of us together. He did not break any watermelons. Marburg is a great city. Gorgeous. I wish Saana was here with me to have fun. She would have enjoyed this night.”
Crazy right? I am not a good drinker!
Sunday, September 27 2:30pm
Waiting might be the worst part of my job. OK, the constant pain is worse but waiting is a close second. That is why I enjoy driving myself instead of flying. Master of my domain (king of the castle).
Checkout time was noon. I got in around 4am, up by 8am for breakfast, and while I got ready “I Love The Way You Lie” played 22 times between videos and ring tone commercials but I still like the song.
I was surprised that I didn't have a hangover, took a long shower, cried that my arm was on fire, and checked out.
Now I have been sitting here for two and a half hours waiting for someone to pick me up.
I can't complain too much because I finished my Phillies book. So good. I can't wait to listen to the Harry Kalis CD. I'm even going to send over a few Phillies stories to the author with the hope of getting it published in the second edition. Sounds like a “mark” right? Damn right it does and I am proud of it.
Well, since I have time let me go back to last night. No, not the bar scene (we already went over that).
Last night was a fun and interesting night at GSW.
GSW is taping their first set of iTV out of Marburg, which happens to be their main city. Their fans are used to a certain style of GSW wrestling and this is a bit different. Not worse by any stretch of the imagination but different. When you tape for TV, the matches have to be shorter and certain people need to be a focus instead of a certain match.
Being a veteran of screwing up ROH TV matches over the last year I gave the crew a little “This isn't what you should do. You should do it this way.” speech.
When I arrived, my partner-in-crime Joe Legend, was already there and armed with material that would keep me laughing the rest of the night.
Looking at the lineup sheet I noticed I was scheduled to face Joe in round one of the GSW title tournament (My brother-in-law, Ares, had to vacate the title).
I have wrestled Joe twice before in good matches but not for about three years. Over the years we have become closer and I thought it might be hard to wrestle someone that makes me laugh so much. I was wrong. That big lug hit me with an elbow in the first second of the match that rocked my world.
By the way Joe, F your birthday! LOLOLOL
2:45 Where the hell is someone?
The match was good and my first since getting injured at the ROH iPPV two weeks ago (More on that later). It wasn't big news, nor should it be, but I had tore my left tricep in the double chain match. I don't exactly know when it happened but the tear is small enough to work through for the time being. Main my elbow is killing me though. Instead of taking six weeks off, like the doctor prescribed, I took one. Hurray for stupidity.
And while I am talking about the ROH iPPV, not to sound like a baby but “Kill The Kid”? Really? You classy New Yorkers couldn't think of anything better? Figures.
Kevin and Colby loved it. I thought it was stupid. I never liked New York City. Never will.
There is one “fan” that I really hate. I wish ROH would stop selling tickets to a guy named Paul Whogivesashitwhathislastnameis. Known as the Green Latern Fan. Fuck this guy. Even fans chanting “Kill The Kid” is less annoying then this guys face. This guy is a piece of shit. I don't know how much he spends on tickets for him and his boyfriend/girlfriend (I couldn't tell) but I would wish he would save that money, buy a gun, and shoot himself in the face. He can time it too. While he is dying, he'll realize that no gives a shit about his timing of the matches.
Ohhh, back to GSW. Sorry, I got off the subject.
Joe Legend should be doing stand up. I know it is tough because he lives in Germany but he is up there with Big Sal, Chuck LeGrande, Cabana, and Kevin Nash as one of the funniest guys I have ever met. But his elbow is still stiff. Easy up Otani!
I also wrestled in the bonus match against UK's Martin Stone. As I have written before, Stone is one of my favorites in Europe. If 1PW would have continued, and I would have continued booking, Stone would have been one of my top guys.
Wrestling two matches with a torn tricep and something wrong in my elbow (I hope its just inflammed) is not easy. As I write this, the pain is pretty intense.
3pm How can they not know I am not at the building? When does the show start?
Ahhh, time for some more reading.
7:03 EST, September 27
Four hours into the flight home and I haven't slept a wink...since Saturday.
Last night I checked into a real nice Frankfurt airport hotel but couldn't get comfortable. Left elbow/tricep is a mess and my right hip feels like I am 73, not 37. What is wrong with me? I didn't realize that the more I hit my finisher, the more I come down hard on that hip. Geez, I am falling apart.
And if you were wondering, I finally got picked up at 4pm!
12:37EST, September 27
Ohhh, New Yorkers. How I hate you all.
I arrived at JFK a bit late because a woman had a heart attack on the flight. Yep, a freaking heart attack. Well, she had it while we were boarding but it still made us late getting in.
I am on a train FINALLY back to home and right before I boarded the train I grabbed a coffee from Seattle's Best Coffee (I sure hope not). I was just too lazy to walk 100 meters to the Starbucks. The woman in front of me looks at my (way cool) Phillies retro jersey and says “Shame our guys creamed your guys.” Our guys? You mean the Mets?
I don't condone violence. OK, a bit, but I knew I had to be diplomatic in this situation because all Mets fans are dumb so I said, “Easy lady. We'll see you in the playoffs. OHHHH wait, you won't make it again. Enjoy your coffee.”
Worst part is that she was HOT. Like piss in a microwave hot. But I had to defend my team. Plus how could I date a Mets fan? I wouldn't be able to live with myself!
Well, that is what I had written from Germany to now. As I write this, it is 1pm on Monday morning, October 4. I am still recovering from the ROH TV weekend. That is a lie because I drive home every night so I don't really recover.
TV was fun this weekend. I wish I would have been able to do more but I did the most I could.
As I wrote before, my elbow and tricep were in pain but I didn't know the extent until I had to go to the hospital on Thursday morning.
When I arrived home from Germany, I noticed that the tempature in my left elbow compared to my right was totally different. A big difference. I knew something was wrong but I procrastinated on getting it looked at again.
Finally on Thursday morning, one of the ladies at the gym told me that I looked pale. Add that to the night before I couldn't keep anything down and was even throwing up my morning coffee.
As I went to the hospital they immediately took three veils (Is that the right wording) of fluid from my elbow and had to hook me up to an IV with two bags of antibiotics. While I was getting a little color in my face they asked me to explain what happened in my arm. As I explained my wrestling injury, which is weird to do to a nurse and doctor, they asked if my elbow had been X-Rayed. I didn't think anything of it because only my tricep hurt after the iPPV.
Once they did the X-ray they noticed that my elbow was actually fractured too. Nice right?
So I am on antibiotics for the infection and I am trying to work the next few weeks with the tear and fracture. There is no way in hell that I am going to miss GSW on October 9 in Berlin or anything ROH related.
October 16 is the I Quit Match between Colt Cabana and myself. If you think for one minute that I am going to let this arm work against me you are wrong. The pressure on me for this match is going to drive me to do stuff that will push the limits of anything that I have ever done. The injury is only going to make me more focused on making this match the one people remember. Look at the card. Stacked. Cabana and I have the hardest job in the world that night. There are even a few people on the ROH Message Board that are “disappointed” in our last two singles matches. That is fine. That is your opinions. Go into Chicago with a clear mind though. People will remember this match. I promise.
Until next Chronicle, suck on it New York.