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wrestling / Columns

Shining a Spotlight 10.25.07: Stampede and the Harts

October 25, 2007 | Posted by Michael Weyer

You’re going to be seeing a lot about the Harts in the next few weeks as the 10th anniversary of the 1997 Survivor Series and the Screwjob is coming and a lot of our writers will probably want to reflect on it. My own column will be a bit different but I plan on talking about it too. Of course, the Harts are also big due to Teddy Hart being dumped by WWE, ending the attempted reboot of the Hart Foundation. It’s rather ironic then that this week saw me going to the bookstore and finding a volume I wasn’t expecting out, one that plays into this news just perfectly.

Pain and Passion: The History of Stampede Wrestling (ECW Press, $19.95) was originally published in Canada two years ago and pretty much only available there. However, it has now hit the States in a brand new revised and expanded edition by author Heath McCoy. A reporter for the Calgary Herald, McCoy has long written for wrestling and won some awards for a history of Stampede that became the basis for the book. It makes sense to expand it as Stampede’s story is one that was just begging to be told.

I wrote a column on Canada and their passion for wrestling last year. The business is just so hot up there and Stampede was the home for Canadian stars for over fifty years. McCoy’s book is not just the story of the promotion but also the story of the Harts as the two were perfectly entwined and the passion for the business shaped the lives of the Harts forever, whether they wanted it or not. But just as the industry changed and Stampede began to lose power, the family also started to splinter. As McCoy illustrates, the problems of the Hart clan began long, long before Owen’s death and played a major part in the death of the Stampede promotion. The book does champion how amazing Stampede was but doesn’t shy away from the ugly truth behind its players, even those considered heroes to Canada, making it far more balanced than your standard wrestling books. McCoy conducted numerous interviews with the Harts and others instead of relying on second-hand accounts which makes it even better.

It starts off with an introduction by McCoy on how much he loved Stampede and prefers it to the flash of the WWE today. McCoy mentions something that is more of an effect on Canadian fans which is that the Prairies needed something so big while the major centers of Montreal and Toronto dominated and his realization that the promotion was as much a story of a family as of wrestling. The first chapter relates how Bruce Hart, Stu’s son who took over as main booker/star of Stampede, found himself facing an outright mutiny of angry wrestlers in 1989. McCoy describes how bad road trips were for wrestlers in those cold, lonely Canadian nights and tempers would flare. Adding how rough business was getting and several workers, including the Dynamite Kid, wanted Bruce’s hide. It all sets up how Stampede was about to fall.

McCoy thus flashes back to show how it all began with an in-depth bio of Stu Hart. Born in the cold Prairies in 1915, Stu’s grandfather died in a blizzard and his father had difficulties keeping the land for the family farm going. Despite massive hardships of bitter winters and even being arrested for failure to pay on the land and their home being burned by Mounties, the family stuck together and persevered. However, Stu’s father, Edward was a bit of a tyrant to the family and Stu found athletics as a way to break away. An intriguing item is that Stu made ends meet by distributing a newspaper written by the Canadian Klu Klux Klan that basically blamed Canada’s financial woes on the French and Catholics. Stu kept going at it, soon building himself in his body which was a good thing as in 1942, he was struck by a fire truck while biking and nearly killed. As it was, he spent several months in a hospital recovering before enlisting in the army, used to entertain troops with wrestling exhibitions where he met the legendary Toots Mondt who saw the potential in Stu. After being discharged, Stu got his real wrestling start and soon was over with his tough style mixed with technical skills and a never say die attitude against the older and stronger pros.

In 1946, Stu met Helen Smith and the two soon fell in love and were married, much to the regret of Helen’s society mother. Helen proved a great match for Stu as when in 1949, they were sideswiped by another car, Helen shattering nearly every bone in her face but still calmly writing out the details of the accident while waiting for the police to arrive. At this point, Stu had gotten into promoting Klondike Wrestling out of Alberta and survived a fight with former partners turned rivals Larry Tillman and Jerry Meeker. Stu decided to move its operations to Calgary which, thanks to the discovery of oil, was blossoming to a major city. Stu was in the right place at the right time as Calgary really had no nightlife to speak of and thus the newly named Big Time Wrestling was just the thing to pull people in. At the same time, family issues were rising that would play out big in the future. Smith, the oldest, was one when the accident occurred and seemed jarred by it more than Helen, becoming a bit of an irresponsible scrapper. Bruce, however, who was born shortly after the accident, was soon filled with the desire to take over the family business with ideas a bit wilder than Stu was ready for. The chapter explores the rest of the brood in depth, even mentioning troubled son Dean who wasn’t involved in wrestling but his own criminal enterprises that may have contributed to his death.

“There’s a fine line between pride and ego and sometimes over the years, the Harts crossed that line.” That statement is highlighted with a look at Hart House, which gets a great history, highlighting all the decoration and the way the kids lived in it. It also seems to show how, at a young age, the Harts got a sense of privilege that really does play into their history big time. Of course, the most famous part of the House was the Dungeon, described in all its brutal glory with Stu stretching out one hapless victim after another. While some criticized him as a bully (Lou Thesz among them), the Harts felt Stu was just teaching how brutal the business could be and the results of great workers do speak for his methods.

As the book begins to truly examine the start of Big Time Wrestling, McCoy argues that the men there were laying the seeds that would be used decades later by Vince in the “rock n wrestling connection.” The book discusses the wild nature of the early wrestling business where men would actually wrestle bears and legitimately challenge onlookers to fight against them. Bud and Ray Osborne were the first to bring some seriously bloody action to the territory with Bud losing 20% of the vision in one eye after a brawl. Dave Ruhl worked a pig-farmer gimmick so tied in with Stampede that he had to work under a mask in other territories. His bigger role was behind the scenes as a key booker with Stu and Helen realizing they couldn’t run everything themselves. Ruhl and Stu got along well although Ruhl had a wild side and in many ways set the bar for the infamously brutal pranks and ribs Stampede workers would play.

McCoy has obvious fun talking of the wild antics of the Stampede workers who he compares to stuff from the tales of Hunter S. Thompson. There’s the Vachons, seven foot tall Sky Hi Lee, Gorilla Monsoon, the future Fritz Von Erich, Johnny Valentine, Al Mills (described as one of the most brutal shooters in the business) and so many more. He also describes the infamous “Mabel” rib that has to be read to be believed. “There were the pirates of the Prairies and this was their life.”

A fascinating segue talks about how it took Canada a lot longer to get television going than in the States due to the vast distance between signal towers. Stu could see TV was the future for the industry and, aided by the promotion’s joining the NWA in 1951. A major asset was Sam Menacker, who helped break the mold for what a wrestling announcer could be and helped booking some great angles. New stars arrived like Gene Kiniski and it’s interesting to read the differing accounts of Stu saying her was pushing Kiniski but others saying Stu never cared for him. With all that, the promotion was soon taking off but in1958, the fortunes changed. Feeling dissatisfied over his piece of the pie, Menacker left abruptly. Then the Calgary Boxing and Wrestling Commission (which would become a frequent adversary of Stu over the years) started to level fines at the violence. Another bad move came when Iron Mike DiBiase (Ted’s father) remarked on air “If brains were dynamite, the people of Calgary couldn’t blow their nose!” As laughable as it may sound, that comment elicited a huge negative response and the show was pulled from the air.

Stu managed to get another station and continued onward. Menacker returned and boosted the show to a major hit. However, his exit would be hard even by wrestling standards as he was punched on the air by Mike Sharpe and not only quit the company but took the company plane which was in his name. His replacement was Ernie Roth, better known as the legendary manager the Grand Wizard. He did his best but his tenure was cut short when it got out that he was homosexual, which was an even bigger no-no back then than it is now. It’s hinted it was Menacker who outed Roth to get back at Stu and business suffered. Stu tried to rebound by hooking up with All Star Wrestling out of Vancouver (Which, being bigger than Calgary, had more access to stars) but the other promotion lacked the good booking and announcing and business became worse and worse. The family suffered, going from rich to wearing hand-me-downs and goodwill outfits.

This paves the way for McCoy to look at a man whose name is instantly familiar to any Stampede fan: Ed Whalen. A likeable, down to earth guy not really cut out for the wrestling business, Whalen was the voice and key to the show with his homespun delivery and how easily he could sell all the action. He made viewers welcome to each broadcast and gave the matches more authenticity. He wasn’t a fan of the bloodshed and almost quit a few times but his respect of Stu brought him back. He could also add some nice tongue in cheek humor whenever a fight would break out during an interview and also was key in creating the broadcast programs. With his help, Stu renamed the territory Wildcat Wrestling which, as McCoy puts it, was perfect considering the hellions he was bringing in.

Sweet Daddy Siki, “the Black Gorgeous George”, would have wild feuds with Ruhl and getting into an infamous incident where he literally picked up midget wrestler Sky Low Low and swung him around a bar, which sort of illustrates the hard life of midget wrestlers McCoy mentions. Don Leo Jonathan had some big feuds but was also influential in giving an ass-kicking that proved to be a life lesson for the future Stan Stasiak. With all the success, in 1969, Stu renamed the promotion again, this time to Stampede to tie in to the famous Calgary Stampede and got the company fame by having workers participate in Calgary parades with celebrities like the buxom Babette Bardot. The wrestling would have stars like Andre the Giant and even bigger Archie “The Stomper” Gouldie, who became a mega monster heel who brutalized opponents, leaving them stretchered out of the arenas. The first time Bret realized the truth about the business was when the Stomper came to the house after a TV promo threatening Helen and he saw the two sharing a friendly hug.

Gouldie’s arrival boosted Stampede back to prominence, allowing them to create the North American championship and attracted a slew of great talent from all over Canada and the States as well. Angelo Mosca, a former football player, actually compares the harts to Ozzy Osbourne’s clan and they also had guys like Wayne Coleman, better known today as Superstar Billy Graham and Larry Shreeve who would become Abdullah the Butcher. There’s wild stuff on how Stu kept his own kids in the dark thus confusing them when guys like Abdullah would drop by for dinner and even Whalen got into a fight on air with Abdullah where he cut the Butcher with his microphone. Another top name was Dan Kroffat who was not only a great babyface but a terrific ideas man. It was Kroffat who came up with the ladder match and some inspired angles like when he was attacked by the Stomper, brutalized and Whalen solemnly said his career was over. A few months later, the masked Destroyer came to the territory and attacked Gouldie, beating him down before unmasking to show himself as Kroffat, which made the crowd go wild. Kroffat would battle the Stomper and feud with Japanese strongman Tor Katana who had a great catchphrase of “They have nooooooooo chance!”

There would be changes as Dave Ruhl’s career was ended in a fight with Carlos Colon during a car ride that, depending on who you ask, was either due to Colon’s refusal to roll up a window or both men competing for a woman. This allowed the Hart boys to start to get into things with Bruce and Keith leading the way, Bruce as a babyface who did have a violent streak that rubbed Whalen the wrong way. Bruce and Keith also began booking and would lean on their mother to sway Stu into accepting some of the angles they came up with. With the likes of Gouldie and Katana leaving, they tried to fill in the blanks with Curtis Iaukea and the Funk brothers but they didn’t work out as Kroffat points out that it’s storytelling, not sheer violence, that brings people in. Bruce still pushed things such as an angle with Stu being handcuffed in the ring and beaten down by Big Bad John’s army of jackboot wearing thugs, an angle so wild that Calgary’s mayor, Ed Sykes, actually spoke out against the promotion. Whalen was also worried how his working with Stampede might hurt his job with a local TV network and the fans also started to turn against the violence with gate numbers dropping. Stu tried to rebound with the likes of Rip Collins but Collins’ open homosexuality got him in trouble when a hitchhiker accused him of trying to sexually assault him and he was forced to go. With business dropping and the rival Osborne promoters threatening to buy Stu out things were getting bad for the company.

And then Bruce made a fateful trip to England and met the man who would turn them right around. A young man from a bleak coal-mining family, standing five-foot eight, 155 pound, a bit conceited with a mean streak a mile long. In the ring, he was a whirlwind, capable of taking down men twice his size with powerful blows, flying off the ropes and one of the stiffest shooters alive, all pushed by a need to be great. Bruce talked him into coming to Canada where Stu at first thought he was too small to work but the youth turned into a natural in the Dungeon. And so Tommy Billington became the Dynamite Kid and proceeded to set Stampede afire. Dynamite soon became a good friend to the Harts although they were put off a bit by his attitude and while on his DVD, Bret talks about how great it was to work with the Kid, McCoy’s book asserts he had problems, going so far as to compare Dynamite to the infamously bigoted hard-ass Ty Cobb.

But Kid was a great thing for business with feuds with Bret, Bruce and Keith as he went heel and joined with wild manager JR Foley to run roughshod over the territory. His great ring work brought in an influx of young workers and Stampede added the World Mid-Heavyweight Title and the Commonwealth title to give the cruiserweights a chance to shine. And none shone brighter than Dynamite, who set a standard for ring work that would influence the likes of Chris Benoit, Brian Pillman, Shawn Michaels and more. However, he would be known for his hair-trigger temper which was not at all helped as he began to take steroids to bulk himself up and speed to handle the pain of injuries. But he was money in the bank and they could forgive all that.

While Foley would rant about the “Hart Mafia” keeping his men down, McCoy points out how it truly was hard to get by without the Hart’s influence. A chapter explores the dynamics of the relationships with Jim Neidhart and Davey Boy Smith marrying into the family (it’s actually stated that Diana Hart had a thing for Dynamite but shifted her feelings to Smith). It’s dark fun to read how Davey Boy first took a shot of steroids as a rib by Dynamite that ended up starting a brawl that nearly got them arrested at a bar. Davey Boy and Diana’s wedding was a fairytale for the newspapers but of course would sour over the years.

Businesswise, things were going great with Foley introducing his “army” which included Bobby Bass, a brutal heel; Exotic Adrian Street, whose use of makeup, furs and homosexual overtones were more shocking then than when Goldust did it a decade later; Judas Rosenbloom, a Jewish black man dressed like a pimp; the 685-pound Loch Ness; Duke Myers and Kerry Brown who, as the Masters of Disaster, dominated the tag scene; The Honky Tonk Man; and Dr D, David Schults who got over great with his power style but his problems with Stu led him to leave the company. Bruce also added things like using music to herald ring entrances and the idea of a “penalty card” system to try and keep rulebreaking down. One idea way before its time was crooked ref Sandy Scott, which Stu and Whalen hated for taking away heat from other heels. McCoy devotes an entire chapter to detail how huge Stampede was becoming internationally with followings in Puerto Rico, the Caribbean, the Middle East and more as wrestlers from all over started to converge there. It was a full-fledged cultural institution in Canada, people rattling off the catchphrases of Whalen and heels and McCoy goes so far to say it was the promotion that really put Calgary on the map in its own nation.

Bruce continued to push things as the 1980’s went on with more high risk action and violence which Stu and Whalen seemed more and more uncomfortable with. Bruce was helped by the addition of what would become one of Stampede’s greatest icons: Bad News Allen. With his bald head, goatee and nasty street attitude, Allen was over like a million bucks as a heel, so hated that he turned the Dynamite Kid face for an encounter. Behind the scenes, Allen still had a rough attitude, considering Bret a prima Donna and didn’t like to work with him. He and Kid did get along well as both could just let loose but his real venom was saved for Bruce, who he thought was getting too high and mighty pushing himself in the company (a common sentiment). Indeed, Stu would step in to basically tell Bruce he could have no control over Allen, Kid or Bret’s control. Even Keith talks about hating his brother’s politics and control. Stu and Bruce did agree as to how much they disliked how the Boxing and Wrestling Commission seemed to take Stampede to task all the time.

But on December 2nd, 1983, Bruce went a bit too far. He came up with what he thought would be a great program. He had Gouldie, still a big star, introduce a young rookie named Tommy Dalton as the Stomper’s nonexistent son Jeff, who wanted to follow in his father’s footsteps. During a match, Allen brutally attacked both men with his assistant, the wild Japanese fighter K.Y. Wakamatsu, armed with his kendo stick. They smashed “Jeff” down with a brutal assault that left him a total bloody mess with the Stomper unable to assist his “son” and the crowd reacting with such venom it turned into a mini-riot. It got so bad that the TV cameras cut away from it all. When they returned, the Stomper was in the ring, more subdued than fans had ever seen, stating he was putting off a planned retirement to take on Allen and get payback. To Bruce, this was perfect, the monster heel of the 1970’s against the one of the 1980’s a dream battle that would roll in the cash.

Unfortunately, Bruce made it all look too good. The Commission threw a fit and leveled massive fines and a suspension on Allen wrestling in Calgary. Crowds reacted violently against Allen in Vancouver, causing him to lash out and get another suspension. Even worse, however, was that Whalen told fans on the air he was disgusted by all this and quit. It wasn’t a work as Bruce hadn’t let Whalen in on his plans and he was truly appalled at the bloodshed and walked out on the company. His leaving was a massive blow as he was a key reason for the show’s success with his trusted and homespun dialogue and his loss led to a drop in ratings. Stu was outraged at all this but Bruce was determined to not only keep the organization going but take it to a new plateau. He got an alliance with Bruce Allen, a music producer who helped run Vancouver’s All Star Wrestling. It gave the promotion a big shot in the arm with bigger production values, a rock and roll feel before Vince got to it and more attendance. With all this on his plate, Bruce felt for sure he was on the cusp of greatness.

So it was all the more shocking when, without any warning whatsoever, it was announced that Stu had sold Stampede to Vince McMahon. The TV shows, the trademarks, the offices, the promoting rights, all gone to Vince for about $1 million, to be paid in annual $100,000 installments. It was a huge move to the entire country but Stu had his reasons. His health and Helen’s were both fading a bit and he was tired of the grind of the business. More importantly, Stu was about the only promoter who realized that not only was Vince out to take over the entire wrestling landscape, he might very well pull it off. Rather than get into a fight he knew he would lose in the end, Stu decided to sell while Stampede was still hot and fetch a good price. Bruce of course was not at all happy about being kept in the dark or forced to work as an agent for WWF’s Canada shows and it caused a rift between father and son that were never fully heal.

However, Stu soon realized that life without wrestling wasn’t as relaxing as he’d hoped. For one thing, WWF’s shows failed to gain the mass success most, including Stu, had expected. Also, another group suddenly started up, calling themselves Stampede since, as amazing as it sounds, Stu had never copyrighted the name. It failed quickly, seen as a slap in the face by real Stampede fans but it got Stu thinking. McMahon was willing to sell his interest back to Stu who decided to accept and start a new Stampede with Bruce in charge. Of course, there was the problem that Bret, Neidhart, Smith and Dynamite had all gone to WWF to be stars. They did manage to talk Whalen back along with Allen but that soured when Allen and Angel Acevedo brawled in a parking lot. They did manage to get some old faces with new rising stars like Benoit and Brian Pillman who Bruce would team with as top tag team Badd Company. They would go a bit wild with Jason, who’d wrestle in a hockey mask but it still had great coverage on the Sports Network around the country to raise them up. Also helping was Owen Hart (who McCoy calls the most talented of the whole family) who became a high flying star. Some things could cross the line like the Karachi Vice, heels who would play on anti-immigration sentiments in the audience with Whalen killing some of the heat telling the crowd this wasn’t the face of Canada they should show. Mike Shaw also played on the crowds by running down Calgary every chance he got.

But behind the scenes, the heat between Stu and Bruce was getting more brutal over the untraditional methods and the ribs were getting out of control. Ben Bassarab, a rising heel, was basically blackballed when Stu found out he’d been cheating on daughter Allison and even hitting her although it does seem Stu was willing to let that slide to keep them together. The Bulldogs returned but Dynamite’s injuries required constant drug use that made him even more bitter than usual. His injuries also caused problems like falling to the mat in spasms without being hit and he began to blame Diana for trying to drive a wedge between him and Davey Boy. Their big breakup did seem to start a new program but the Kid’s injuries couldn’t keep him up. Stu did decide to have him replace Bruce as booker for the company and Dynamite brought some former WWF guys in like Don Muraco and Harley Race but they rarely stayed. Dynamite’s ego and temper got the best of him as he broke Bruce’s jaw which basically got him disinvited from Owen’s wedding and for that matter, the family itself. All this meant a downturn in business to the point where Stu decided it just wasn’t worth it anymore. When his license and insurance both came up at the end of 1989, he decided not to renew it and as of January, 1992, Stampede was dead, this time for good.

While all this had been a good history of the Stampede promotion, McCoy turns the last 90 or so pages of the book into a look at the Harts and their lives. It notes Bret’s WWF title win and his feud with Owen that made them both so huge. It then turns to the tragedies of Dynamite put in a wheelchair and the death of Pillman along with Davey Boy’s drug arrests. McCoy gives a dim view of the “Attitude” era in WWF and the Montreal screw-job with Bret then misused in WCW. Things get even nastier when Owen dies and the family basically splits up into two camps: One that accept it was a tragic accident and move on, with Stu and Helen among them and those who put the blame solely on Vince like Owen’s widow, Martha. It is interesting that both Stu and Bruce accept that it was a stung gone wrong and as former promoters even sympathize with Vince’s plight. When Stu, Helen, Bruce and Ellie (who had gone through a bitter divorce from Neidhart) all refused to sign an allocation blaming WWF, Martha was outraged, more so when Ellie faxed a copy to Vince. As with the rest of the book, McCoy is good showing both points of view: Yes, Martha was angry and acted out of what she thought was right but she didn’t have to drag the family’s name through the mud publicly for it. Things spiraled downward with Bruce’s wife leaving him for Davey Boy, making the once proud clan look like something out of Jerry Springer. And then Diana and Martha wrote competing tell-alls, Diana’s a venomous take on the family, Martha’s a bit more down to Earth but still showing a bitter side.

The losses soon mounted as Helen passed on in 2001, followed soon afterward by Whalen. Davey Boy would return to WWE only to pass away in 2002. Bret would suffer a stroke and a bitter divorce and finally, Stu himself passed on in 2003, cared for by his grandchildren. A Stampede organization would be revived by Bruce shortly afterward but it barely gained a few hundred people a night, even with Bruce’s much-heralded retirement card. McCoy does talk about Bruce still holding an ego, desperate to keep to his youthful prime and making decisions that hurt his own promotion, showing that maybe Stu was right keeping him back. But it still hasn’t stopped a new generation with Teddy, Harry Smith and Nattie all getting into the business.

The book features a brand-new afterword by McCoy that covers this year. It starts with Bret watching the original “Screwed” DVD and so incensed at the burial job on it that he decided to work with Vince to create his own DVD. His reaction seems to solidify my own personal opinion that Vince deliberately made it look bad to get Bret’s pride up and ready to work with him, showing Vince truly is a genius. It talks on how things truly are rough still with the family and how Teddy, Harry and Nattie are already feeling the hard knocks of getting into the business (Nattie especially with a bad injury and her realization how women wrestlers are seen in WWE) with mentions on Teddy’s rough attitude. It details as much as it can the Benoit murder-suicide and how it showcases the bad side of the business but manages to close with Nattie’s statement: “If you love something, you have to fight for it.”

Overall, the book is an excellent read, well-researched, wonderfully written and pulls you in to the story of this family and the promotion they made famous and vice versa. It is amazing to read this today and see the Harts in a new light. True, it can seem a bit biased toward how awesome Canadian wrestling is and against Vince but not with the venom others have in the past. Rather than the ultra-perfect family so many (coughScottKeithcough) have painted, this was a family that was in trouble within long before Vince McMahon entered the scene. Bret is shown as a bit of a prima donna, really holding to the idea that dropping a wrestling title would shock the Canadian people more than any terrorist attack and that rough attitude shaking his family up. Bruce comes off far worse, convinced that he alone could carry the company to the future and not willing to listen to anyone else about his problems. Dynamite, for all his talent, is really an asshole who caused a lot of misery and the women come off even worse, especially Martha. But Stu holds it all, the tough man who loved the business, who loved what he did and put it above almost all else. It’s striking how his loss of control over Stampede mirrors the loss over his family and splintered both together.

It makes you worry a bit for this new generation of Harts. Nattie has a good head on her shoulders but the business (especially in WWE) can be a bit much to keep women hot rather than skilled. Harry has a hard road living up to his father’s name but of course, Teddy is the big problem. The man is talented but the fact is, he’s an absolute prick who thinks his name alone will always guarantee him work. Problem is, while his father and uncles were great at making it look real, Teddy has no problem with stuff like doing a massive dive and jumping right back up to do a series of backflips off a cage. I’m not surprised he’s blown it with WWE as he burned things with ROH and TNA as well. It’s a shame he couldn’t shelve the ego to get this new Hart Foundation going but maybe it’s the wake-up call he needs.

So while on the surface McCoy’s book may be the story of Stampede, it’s the story of the Harts and how such a great family could fall apart like this. It’s brutally honest, balanced and filled with real passion and is a must-read to anyone from either side of the border as a great understanding of how wrestling works…and how it doesn’t.

Also around 411mania:

Evolution Schematic continues to run down Casket matches.

Hitting Below the Beltway has an excellent article on how TNA can improve.

The Way I C It looks at moves. As in wrestling, not dancing.

The Shimmy runs down all the October PPVs.

Julian’s back with the Top 10 Randy Orton Matches.

Thoughts from the Top Rope books HBK vs Undertaker.

Can They Be Champ answers mail on Cena. Good luck.

Pro Wrestling Pundit has a beautifully written article on what it means to be a fan today.

That’s all for this week. For now, the spotlight is off.

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Michael Weyer
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