Stunt Granny Audio: @frankturner Concert Review – Des Moines, Iowa

Dan Kuester hosts Eric Nelson as two music aficionados discuss the recent Frank Turner & the Sleeping Souls concert, held at Wooly’s in Des Moines, Iowa. Dan, the original Frank Turner fan, asks Eric, to whom he introduced Frank’s music three years ago, about the show, curious about the quality of performance, the set list, and the interest of the untested Frank crowd. Eric shares his thoughts on all of this, plus opening acts Koo Koo Kangaroo and the Smith Street Band. Listen as these enthusiasts plead their cases for why you should give this band at least three minutes of your time. Don’t be an idiot.

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Stunt Granny Audio: @wrestlingmuseum George Tragos/Lou Thesz Hall of Fame Special

(L to R) Cool dudes.

(L to R) Cool dudes.

Eric and Dan tag-team this special edition of Stunt Granny audio, discussing the events of this year’s George Tragos/Lou Thesz Professional Wrestling Hall of Fame inductions at the National Wrestling Hall of Fame Dan Gable Museum in Waterloo, Iowa. (Whew!) The guys discuss their growing gang of traveling wrestling fans who descend on Waterloo each year, and all of the cool stuff they saw and people they met. From the training session to the closing speeches by Edge and Charlie Thesz, and all of the Jim Brunzell stories, beers and Doughy Joey’s pizza in between, it was a fantastic weekend that, as Jim Ross and Gerald Brisco believe, you need to attend in order to appreciate. Check it out!

Stunt Granny Audio Show: Stunt Granny Audio:George Tragos/Lou Thesz Hall of Fame Special

Thoughts from 2013 George Tragos/Lou Thesz Professional Wrestling Hall of Fame inductions

Edge_Crew

Edge and the crew. Men, whether from a warehouse or not.

We’ll have an accompanying podcast with Eric and Dan, as soon as we figure out the Bossjock app. Great app, great sound, bad user. In the meantime, here are some quick thoughts on the weekend in Waterloo, Iowa, attending the George Tragos/Lou Thesz Professional Wrestling Hall of Fame inductions.

DoughyJoeys

Arrival: I lived and worked in Waterloo, Iowa, for three years, so I’m familiar with the town, and I’m glad the events take place within walking distance of the Doughy Joey’s pizza restaurant when I’m feeling fat, and a Subway when I feel like Doughy Joey’s made me too fat. The Quality Inn across the street from the convention center is sleepable, and usually bookable when the neighboring Ramada is at full capacity with wrestlers and legends.

TrainingSession

Training session: Three years ago, the public was able to attend not just the abbreviated wrestling matches among the tryout squad but also Mick Foley and Terry Funk offering their critique. We haven’t been as lucky in years past with Jim Ross and Gerald Brisco at the helm – which stinks because who better to offer advice – but my two new thoughts are, one, maybe it’s none of my business how well “Mean” Mike took an armdrag, and two, I have all weekend to talk to J.R. and Gerry direct.

MattyStar_JakeMilliman

Impact Pro Wrestling: Promoter Troy Peterson and trainer Travis Shillington run a top-shelf independent promotion. From starting the show right on time, to striking a good balance between local and known wrestlers, to booking the right number and types of matches, to drawing lines between heat-seeking heels and sympathetic babyfaces, IPW is a gimme on a weekend full of various pro wrestling activities. http://www.impactprowrestling.com (P.S. The card featured local indy Matty Star vs. local former AWA enhancement talent Jake “The Milkman” Milliman. All the more reason for Wade Keller to start driving down here in July.)

HotelBar

The hotel bar: If you’re going to the pro wrestling hall of fame, you ought to go where the pro wrestlers and hall of famers hang out after the show. The Red River Inn has your basic beer selection but some really good food – get a couple orders of the Italian nachos to last you and your table for a while – and a jukebox that’s quiet enough to still hear Baron Von Raschke tell stories. It’s also a great chance to BS with the guys from Impact Pro Wrestling – they’re all cool, even Tony Sly.

BrianShields

“History of WWE” presentation by Brian Shields: We weren’t sure what place a presentation on a highly political, often controversial entertainment company had at a museum dedicated to the century-long connection between the respected journeymen who made the transition from amateur to pro wrestling. What we saw was a polished presentation about a company we grew up on, with content that tied back to the weekend’s honorees, delivered by a great public speaker who is clearly a fan and a professional. The Q&A that followed gave good insight into the thought processes of a global company that has many audiences and stakeholders to answer to.

Brisco_JR

VIP Q&A: At the Impact Pro Wrestling Show, those of us who bought the ringside package received passes to a private Q&A at 12:30 p.m. the next day. Knowing the weekend included a 1 p.m. AWA legends roundtable, we didn’t know what the VIP Q&A would entail. It began with Jim Brunzell giving highly entertaining answers to our round of questions, followed by Jim Ross and Gerald Brisco answering 90 minutes worth of our questions. Never would I think I nor our group of friends would have a private audience with my favorite announcer of all time and one of his best friends and such an influential person in pro wrestling. These two are so passionate about wrestling and the museum, and it shows in all of their answers.

GeorgeNapolitano

Induction reception: When I was married, we booked the same venue for the ceremony and the reception, and we booked the place for an extra hour we called “cocktail hour,” meant for our guests to drink and mingle in a separate room while we signed our license and took a deep breath. What did our guests do? They went straight to the reception area and sat their asses down at a table so they could claim their spots for the night. Same thing happened here, eliminating what used to be the fun mingling aspect of the hour. No fault of anyone but the guests.

GeraldBrisco_Crew

Banquet: Great food, great service, mostly fully stocked bar. I thought Dan was going to throw a fit when he had to mix his Crown Royal with Pepsi instead of Coke. Rather than show anger over missing out on his favorite mix, Jim Ross instead ordered a cranberry vodka. Good call, as usual from J.R.

CharlieThesz

Induction ceremony: Two hours of classy speeches from grateful people who have excelled in their chosen professions, or the people who knew them best. Jim Brunzell’s thank-you to his wife was an emotional start to the evening; Chris Taylor’s widow Lynn was well-spoken and full of stories; Jim Ross and Gerald Brisco spoke highly of Bill Watts and Ric Flair, respectively; George Napolitano was engaging and played off our terrific emcee, Arda Ocal; Matt Hughes’ speech was short but nice; and Edge added a few laughs and a heartfelt note about Curt Hennig, whose parents were in attendance. Wonderful event, and the legends stayed after the event to snap pictures and chat with fans when they weren’t at all obligated to.

The hotel bar: It took me 15 minutes to bring your beer back, Dan, because I was chatting with Jim Brunzell’s wife, Mary. It was worth the wait. Dan and Troy Peterson, IPW promoter, exchanged information. I managed to snap one more picture with Edge, who was so accommodating all weekend. Chatted with Brian Shields at length, despite him needing rest for his 6:45 a.m. flight. Baron Von Raschke, aka Brad Pitt, thanked us for coming to town for the weekend. And we drank a lot of beer.

Overall: Having never been to the wrestling hall of fame in New York, nor the Cauliflower Alley Club in Las Vegas, I don’t know how accurate the following statement is, but I’ll still make it: You’ll never get an opportunity like this, to mix with the heroes of your childhood and, in some cases, adulthood, unless you plan to make the trip to Waterloo, Iowa. It’s worth the investment, if not only to see it for yourself, but also to support the history of professional wrestling, backed by the men who lived for it.

Amy Weber Nude, Iowa vs Michigan, Knee Injury & Hurricane Sandy Aftermath

I couldn’t find the real deal so I borrowed from TMZ permanently.

According to TMZ, Amy Weber has released nude photos because her lap top was stolen. They were from a Playboy shoot that never made it into the sticky pages under my mattress. You might remember her from her role in JBL’s Cabinet. I had to look it up on Wikipedia to make sure one of my Sippy Time Beers hadn’t dislodged a memory of an average WWE Diva.

According to Derrick Bateman’s Twitter (by way of Prowrestling.net) he is out for an undisclosed amount of time because of another knee surgery. I bring him up because he was signed away from then Pro Wrestling Ohio about five years ago. I haven’t seen him much so I won’t critique his work but isn’t five years enough to know if a guy will cut it or not in the WWE? I know it takes a while to learn the ropes but the time frame seems like plenty. If only the WWE had enough TV time to find a spot for him when he got healthy.

Master thief Joel Luke pleaded guilty to fifth degree theft for swiping the TNA Title and thus bringing great shame to the state of Iowa. He will get two years of probation. If only he could have waited for TNA’s next trip through the state for such an opportunity. He could have stolen the new Jeff Hardy Belt and done all wrestling fans around the country a favor. Yes, even those fans that clearly spend money only on Munchos and Cheez Whiz with backpacks full of Faygo but still have enough government assistance left over to drive to Orlando from Michigan just to see that garbage company.

For those of you concerned about your Friday viewing habits because of NBC’s coverage of a Superstorm Sandy benefit concert, don’t worry, be happy. As of now, you can watch replays of one third of Raw and an hour of Smackdown starting at it’s regularly scheduled 8 PM time slot. -Kevin

Ric Flair to be inducted into WaterWHOOOOO! (Waterloo) Hall of Fame

 

“Ass, gas or grass, sweetheart, nobody rides for free! WHOOOO!”

YES! I knew it! I knew he was going to be inducted! </heenan> According to a press release, Ric Flair is one of the 2013 class of inductees into the George Tragos/Lou Thesz Professional Wrestling Hall of Fame at the National Wrestling Hall of Fame Dan Gable Museum in Waterloo, Iowa. (Before I post the press release, let me just say that I recommended “Cowboy” Bill Watts for nomination last year. Totally not taking credit for anything, of course.) Here are more details.

WATERLOO, Iowa—The National Wrestling Hall of Fame Dan Gable Museum selected the Class of 2013 for the George Tragos/Lou Thesz Professional Wrestling Hall of Fame. Ric Flair, “Cowboy” Bill Watts, and Chris Taylor have been chosen by the selection committee.

The George Tragos/Lou Thesz Professional Wrestling Hall of Fame weekend will take place July 12-13 in Waterloo, Iowa.

Criteria for induction into the George Tragos/Lou Thesz Professional Wrestling Hall of Fame include substantial impact on professional wrestling, general respect within the profession, and a strong amateur wrestling background.  The selection committee includes all living hall of fame members as well as a select group of wrestling historians.

Flair has one of the longest and most distinguished careers in professional wrestling. He was a 16-time world champion with titles in the NWA, WCW, and WWE. Watts was a successful wrestler and promoter. He was ranked in the top ten worldwide for over 25 years.

Taylor was an NCAA champion for Iowa State in 1972 and 1973, and a bronze medalist at the 1972 Olympics. He had a three-year career with the AWA beginning in 1974. Taylor died at the age of 29 in 1979.

Winners of the Frank Gotch Award, Lou Thesz Award, George Tragos Award, and Jim Melby Award will be released on November 12. A full schedule of events will be released at a later date.

For more information contact the National Wrestling Hall of Fame Dan Gable Museum at (319) 233-0745 or dgmstaff@nwhof.org

Also, make sure you bring lots and lots and lots of money for autographs, 8x10s and pictures with a replica title belt, because Ric Flair needs and loves money. He may even sell you his HOF plaque. Dead serious, though: I’m excited for hall of fame weekend every year, but this one might just complete my life. No offense to Carly or our new puppy. WHOOOOO! -Eric

Kevin’s Blog: Almost Live, Definitely Half Assed Review of @WWE #Raw

We had a great time in Des Moines Iowa this past weekend. If you didn’t pay attention to @difrango11 (or my Instagram), @GrannyMaes (or his Instagram) or @Stuntgranny, you missed out on the proceedings. There are too many to mention but one place certainly deserves it, Fong’s Pizza. The four out of staters at the wedding decided to start drinking at 2:00 PM on Friday. After two great pizzas (I suggest the Thai Chicken) and four drinks each, we walked to Pappajohn Sculpture Park. This is our homage to Eric’s proposal spot to Carly. Congrats to the newlyweds who are chilling in Jamaica and not watching Raw. That’s what I get to do now. Whooppee. Let’s roll.

Jim Ross is in Oklahoma City. I can’t wait for Vince McMahon to “embarrass” him segment. They can drag it out even longer than normal now that they have three hours of programming. I typed that even before Mitchell Cool mentioned that it was JR Appreciation Night. CM Punk gets to overuse disrespect. The fans actually are booing. The turn might be working. Paul Heyman unintentionally gets interrupted by AJ Lee‘s music. Again, the board would have to be as dumb as a box of rocks to appoint Heyman as GM. Vickie Guerrero (& Dolph Ziggler) get to make her case for GM. Ziggles gets to grab the mic and suggests Heyman & Vickie as co-GMs. AJ finally gets to come out. Why do Dolph & AJ have the same shoes? Oh, this is going to be so funny that Daniel Bryan is her executive coach. (Please know that dose of sarcasm is as large as Eric’s mistake.)  Kane gets to make this a real three ring circus. We’ve got our tag team “main event” at one of the hour breaks. I expected the therapist to be named as her counselor.

Sin Cara & Rey Mysterio are taking on Primo & Epico with the fine Rosa Mendes. There is not a chance in hell I’m going to watch Ion TV to watch Main Event. This three hour slab is more than enough. The Prime Time Players come out to signal the commercial break. Jim Ross defending Michael Cole on his blog is pure JR at this point. He tries to stay balanced but you’d love to know his real opinion. I’m glad Cole is organized and I understand he may have more plugs to get out but he’s still terrible at the rest of the job. Rey gets the pin with the dropping of the dime.

Antonio Cesaro is not getting over with speaking five languages. He’s taking on the quickly fading Brodus Clay, who is also stuck in a dated gimmick. I may have loved it at first but he needed to advance. Holy cow. Neutralizer by Cesaro for a very quick win. He looked better than barely beating Santino on Smackdown. AJ‘s life coach is different than Kane & Bryan’s. They have more people on the roster who they’re not putting on TV. Jumpin’ Jimminy. AJ asks Kaitlyn’s boobs for forgiveness then laughs at her and takes it back. Um, OK. Another great use of time. Ha, Sheamus vs CM Punk is supposed to hook me for Ion. Go fuck yourselves.

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TNA Belts Get Jacked In Iowa

Pictured above: a gentleman who paid way more than $400 for his belt.

From Jason Powell, by way of KCCI.com:

TNA has arrested two Iowa men and charged them with stealing the TNA Title belt and a replica version of the strap. Joel Luke, 33, was charged with second-degree theft. Forrest Jamison, 39, was charged as an accessory.

This was really supposed to be Eric’s story, but he’s neck deep in dirty dirty whores, so here I go reporting on the continuing saga of white trash methheads vs. civilized society. According to Powell, the TNA Title championship belt was valued at $6,000 and the replica version at $400. Mama mia, that’s a lot of dangerous illegal drugs! And they would have gotten away with it, too, if it wasn’t for you meddling kids! And that dog!

Also of note here is that this somehow makes TNA seem even more low rent than they already do. You just get the feeling this kind of thing would *never* happen to WWE, no matter how erratic Vince McMahon is behind the scenes. We here at Stunt Granny will follow this beat for you, the loyal reader, no matter what twists and turns this sordid tale takes. That’s carny for “We will forget this story tomorrow.” – Dusty

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