Wrestlemania Week Begins!

 photo wm29promo07NJsm_zps307861d0.jpg
I came up with the ad for how a New Jersey Wrestlemania should look!
We’ve been waiting a whole year since the announcement that Wrestlemania 29 would emanate from Metlife Stadium in East Rutherford, NJ. Finally, the time is upon us! LIVE from the home of the Giants and the Jets, Wrestlemania 29 all goes down on Sunday April 7th, 2013 live on Pay-Per-View.

It’s been a long standing battle as to why the Giants and the Jets are referred to as New York teams when they actually play in New Jersey. The same thing is happening with Wrestlemania 29. All of the official logos and advertisements feature a NY/NJ combo rather than just NJ where the venue clearly is. I can understand the fact that the venue and the teams that play in it are shared by NY and NJ, but in wrestling terms there should be no debate.
I took it upon myself to bury this nonsense by fixing the official Wrestlemania ad. Rather than show The Rock, Brock Lesnar, and John Cena, like the original, I replaced them all with wrestlers from New Jersey. Featured in The Sexy Armpit version of the Wrestlemania ad is the late Bam Bam Bigelow, the walking condominium King Kong Bundy, Diamond Dallas Page, one of my favorite indie wrestlers Jay Lethal, and present WWE Superstar A.J Lee. Notice A.J is proudly wearing her Sexy Armpit C.M Punk style t-shirt.
It doesn’t stop there for the Jersey-fied ad. Not only is the Jersey City skyline pictured in the distance, but there’s also a special attraction match!
This grudge match will settle the score for who is more Jersey. Jersey Shore inspired wrestler Robbie E. of TNA Wrestling facing off against Randy “The Ram” Robinson who lives in New Jersey in one of my favorite films, The Wrestler. Considering Robbie E. was mentioned in the movie, this would be a cool match to see. Randy “The Ram” feels that Robbie E. is making a mockery of his home state and Robbie E. feels that The Ram is all washed up. *We’ve confirmed that Randy survived his last match against the Ayatollah and he has clearance from his doctor to wrestle.


by Ro-Beast Rollie via this link at Beauty and the Robeast
While perusing my friend Ro-Beast Rollie’a blog Beauty and the Robeast, I came across something I just had to share with you. As a huge fan of 2008’s The Wrestler, I couldn’t believe my eyes when I saw Rollie’s MS Paint work which transformed The Wrestler into The Thumbwrestler. This is the type of genius stuff that makes my day. If only I could get my hands on a custom WWF LJN style thumb wrestler Mint In Box of Randy “The Ram” Robinson! The Ro-Beast can certainly work some MS Paint magic, but I doubt he can make that one happen! Excellent work Rollie – fresh as monkey’s breath brutha! 

NJ T-Shirt Tuesday 92: Randy “The Ram” Robinson


It’s been a little over 3 years since it’s release and I am still as crazy about The Wrestler as I was the first time I saw it. It’s the combination of Mickey Rourke’s heart wrenching performance, the reminiscing about the glory days of professional wrestling, and its New Jersey setting that makes it hit so close to home for me. Darren Aronofsky’s masterpiece remains legendary, especially to fans of the pro-wrestling business, but we the fans need to keep it alive! One way to do that is through wearing The Ram’s t-shirt!

Even though there was a glimpse of a Randy “The Ram” Robinson action figure in the movie, it was merely a custom job. You may be able to find a few custom Ram figures in the outer reaches of the Internet, but that’s about it. Since The Wrestler wasn’t watered down by a marketing onslaught, fans took it upon themselves to create t-shirts for their broken down Jersey hero. I wore mine this past weekend, and I’ve also noticed WWE’s Curt Hawkins (Zack Ryder’s former tag partner) proudly wearing a black Randy “The Ram” T-shirt as well. You can purchase one via Zazzle at this link.

Johnny Walker Is My Homeboy! Randy “The Ram” Is The Man!

Homeboy vs. The Wrestler 1

If you thought The Wrestler was simply the wrestling version of Rocky, after reading this post you’ll think differently. The immense amount of similarities between 1988’s Homeboy and 2008’s The Wrestler make them more suitable companion films. The Wrestler, came 20 years after Homeboy, but both star Mickey Rourke and are filmed in New Jersey. Now join me at ringside as we pit boxer Johnny Walker vs. former wrestling superstar Randy “The Ram” Robinson…

Both The Wrestler and Homeboy’s New Jersey setting and stirring cinematography transported me directly into their respective main character’s agonizing world. While The Ram was your typical beefed up bleach blonde babyface who has seen better days, Homeboy’s Johnny Walker had shorter hair, and a western flair, but they were both equally beaten down, fading athletes.

Randy the Ram was grappling with his own demons and masking his pain with drugs, but Johnny Walker put himself in danger when he merely stepped into the ring. Walker also continued to align himself with an underhanded promoter prick only out for the purse, Christopher Walken’s Wesley Pendergass. It was easy to feel bad for a weathered, wandering cowboy who was being manipulated by a sleazy low level crook. As Pendergass, Walken is so Walkeny that you’d think he’s doing an impression of himself. This is classic Walken.

During the making of the two films, Rourke had more difficulty adjusting to training to become a wrestler since he had previously been a boxer for several years before pursuing acting. His bio on Wikipedia reveals that he suffered at least two concussions during his early boxing matches. His ring experience in real life clearly lent authenticity to both roles. Rourke even used Guns n Roses “Sweet Child o’ Mine” as his entrance music in his boxing bouts, while Randy “The Ram” Robinson chose to use the same song in the last match against The Ayatollah in The Wrestler.

Homeboy vs. The Wrestler 2

In 1997 singer Paula Cole begged to know “Where Have All The Cowboys Gone?” Homeboy might not answer that question precisely, but after watching the film it’s obvious that all the cowboys slash boxers have gone to Asbury Park. Considering that Rourke wrote the screenplay for Homeboy (under his nom de plum “Sir Eddie Cook) and that he went back to boxing after his declining movie career, Homeboy becomes even more poignant. Although there’s many differences between boxing and professional wrestling, there’s almost no separation between Rourke, Johnny Walker, and Randy “The Ram” Robinson. Throughout his own boxing career, in addition to concussions, Rourke suffered a number of injuries such as broken bones, a compressed cheekbone, and short term memory loss. All that plus accusations that he was washed up as an actor fueled his performances in these films.

What isn’t fair to Rourke as an actor and a writer is that his performance as Johnny Walker in Homeboy is no less striking than his acclaimed role as Randy “The Ram” Robinson in The Wrestler, but Homeboy quietly resides simply as another minor notch on his filmography. Even without a fraction of the dialogue that Randy the Ram was supplied with, I still rooted for the enigmatic Johnny Walker. Through Rourke’s mannerisms and expressions he portrayed a boxer who was frequently mentally absent, but kept moving in life as well as in the ring. He was quiet and dumb, yet he yearned for the simple embrace of a woman named Ruby, played by actress Debra Feuer, Rourke’s wife at the time. 
Mickey Rourke’s personal life and career bled into both Homeboy and The Wrestler. Both films are emotional and heartbreaking and leave you stunned as if you were hit with a knockout blow. I urge you to watch Homeboy to see what could be considered the precursor to The Wrestler. I wonder if Darren Aronofsky has seen it?

*Currently Homeboy is streaming on Netflix

TNA Wrestling Comes Back to Rahway NJ!

TNA Rahway NJ

Whether you are a hardcore McMahon disciple or you’re strictly into ROH and other indy organizations, the fact is that TNA Wrestling puts one hell of an awesome house show. Presently, the Nashville TN based wrestling organization has their show on the road and will be hauling it up to The Rahway Recreational Center in New Jersey on March 12th. The last time TNA came to The Rahway Rec Center in September, the air conditioning wasn’t working and the place was like a sauna. Words can’t describe to you the melange of smells wafting around that gym. I temporarily changed my name to The Sweaty Armpit that night.

Luckily they weren’t lying and the show they put on actually was full of non-stop action. If TNA could only capture that excitement and put it on TV, they would probably see a ratings boost. It reminded me of the old days of ECW, it was simple, no ridiculous pyro or lasers, just wrestling! Perhaps the reason why the Rahway TNA shows are successful has something to do with their association with the local Jersey All Pro Wrestling organization.

The best part about a TNA house show is that they actually follow the story lines and occasionally you’ll witness a title exchange. At the last show Elizabeth NJ’s Jay Lethal won back the X-Division title from Amazing Red in front of his hometown crowd! As Gorilla Monsoon used to say, the place went bananas! Mick Foley also showed up and ignited the crowd upon dropping some trivia that Randy “The Ram” Robinson from The Wrestler was from Rahway just before he confronted the team of The Shore (Robbie E. and Cookie). Unlike at WWE shows, you’ll have plenty of opportunities to try and get autographs and maybe a picture with your favorite TNA star. And don’t be concerned about ticket prices either; starting at $23 bucks, they are very reasonable. It definitely beats listening to Michael Cole and watching The Miz.

TNA Wrestling in Rahway, NJ

TNA Wrestling put on an unforgettable show at the Rahway Recreational Center on Saturday September 25th. I missed out on the TNA live event at Asbury Park’s Convention Hall several months back, so I wanted to be sure I caught the next one that came around. 
TNA’s live events are more personal than WWE’s. TNA creates an atmosphere that is more like a wrestling convention, think of it as a Monster Mania Con, or Chiller Theater of wrestling events. From autograph signings to photo ops you have plenty of shots at meeting your favorite wrestlers and knockouts. The highest ticket price was $50 dollars which is typically a less than average seat at a WWE event, but with the most expensive ticket at TNA event you will gain entrance an hour before doors open for a meet and greet with the wrestlers. Our tickets were $35 dollars and they were worth every penny.
Heel or face, all of the TNA wrestlers were personable and ready to sign your program or take a picture with you. To me, that is what people want, they the wrestlers to be accessible. Today’s generation especially, they document, take pictures, blog, and post on Facebook their every move, so TNA is way ahead of WWE in that respect. Many of WWE’s guys walk around after a show like snobby movie stars unless they are total babyfaces or just low on the card. 
Don West was presenting the crowd with all kinds of merch specials throughout the night. They made her an offer she couldn’t refuse, so Miss Sexy Armpit was sweet and bought me the special that included a TNA shirt, and a TNA bag with 4 mystery DVD’s for $20 bucks!  The t-shirt is awesome and I was happy to get the Christian Cage DVD!
Highlights of the night included Elizabeth NJ’s own Jay Lethal recapturing the X-Division title in front of his parents and the hometown crowd. His match against Amazing Red was the best, most exciting match of the night. There were tons of counter maneuvers and near falls all executed with the finesse that only these guys have. Also, we were lucky enough to get a preview of Robbie E. and Cooki, of The Jersey Shore inspired team, The Shore who will be debuting on TNA iMPACT in the next couple of weeks.
It wasn’t all sunshine and red ring ropes though. The guy they had wheeling around a cart selling TNA programs to the folks on line outside before the show was a total dick. I asked him if I could just take a quick look through the book before I purchased it and he replied nastily, “It’s a program, it’s got pictures of all the wrestlers in it!” NO SHIT, I know what a f*cking program is you ASSHOLE! I held back because I tend to loose it on people who state the obvious. This was a $20 book, not some little magazine filled you haphazardly pick up at a grocery store check out counter. I wanted to thumb through the damn thing first. He finally let me after I gave him a classic Armpit “Are you f*cking kidding me?” look. Even Amazon lets me preview a book before I buy it!
The worst part about the night was that there was no air conditioning! The gym in the rec. center was upwards of 90 degrees and extremely unpleasant. Everyone was sweaty and gross and there were various odors wafting around. Trust me, you don’t want fumes from some dudes hot dog burp going up your nose or God forbid, in your mouth! Luckily no one was farting by us, but for some reason whenever I go to an event, whether it’s wrestling or a concert, people think they can unload at will. BTW – that’s f*cking gross and you should cut that shit out. The action in the ring and all the various offshoot signings easily took my mind off of the tiny beads of sweat dripping down the sides of my head.

Randy “The Ram” Robinson, Caricature by Kirsten Ulve

“Fresh as monkey’s breath, brother!” – Randy “The Ram” Robinson

If you have watched HBO in the past few weeks, you probably witnessed about 962 airings of The Wrestler. I’m not complaining at all since the 2008 drama is one of my favorite films ever. Not only is it a Jersey film, but it’s also one of Mickey Rourke’s grandest achievements as an actor.

Posted above is artist Kirsten Ulve’s caricature of Randy “The Ram” Robinson in his ring attire which was printed in the November 8th ’08 issue of Entertainment Weekly. If you would like to check out some awe inspiring art, make a stop at Kirsten Ulve’s website. There you’ll find galleries of her illustrations and caricatures, all of which define the term eye candy. www.kirstenulve.com