Michael Cavacini

An award-winning arts and culture blog.

Archive for the month “February, 2021”

Book Update: 100 Interviews In 100 Days

For my books about the history of TNA/IMPACT Wrestling, I have interviewed 100 people in the first 100 days of this project! This is an incredible milestone, and, as you can see below, the people I’ve spoken with so far are incredible: everyone from the most popular wrestler in the history of the company, Jeff Hardy, to broadcast and merchandising legend Don West. When it comes to people behind the scenes, I’ve spoken with a ton of individuals who worked for TNA/IMPACT Wrestling over the years in a wide range of capacities. There are many more interviews to come, including ones with people who have never done an interview before — ever! Who am I referencing? You’ll have to stay tuned to find out. This is the first major milestone of many to come. If the books are anything like the journey, then you’re in for two great reads.

  • 40+ wrestlers, including Jeff Hardy, Gail Kim, Ken Shamrock, Chelsea Green, Rob Van Dam, Maria Kanellis, Diamond Dallas Page, Taryn Terrell, Raven, Nick Aldis, Petey Williams, Shane Douglas, Shark Boy, Al Snow, and Konnan
  • 40+ current and former employees, including those in creative, marketing, audio, music, production, licensing, affiliate relations, live events, merchandising, and more
  • 7 executives from Spike TV and Fox Sports Net
  • 7 industry influencers, including wrestling promoters, writers, and the Editor-in-Chief of Pro Wrestling Illustrated
  • Referees, including TNA Hall of Fame inductee Earl Hebner
  • Members of the broadcast team, including Don West
  • Managers, including Father James Mitchell
  • Management from Universal Studios Orlando, home of the original TNA iMPACT Zone
  • Midway executives who created the TNA iMPACT! video game
  • Head Music Composer and Director of Audio Production Dale Oliver

The Wrestler: A Q.T. Marshall Story

Originally released in 2017, The Wrestler: A Q.T. Marshall Story is an award-winning documentary about an independent wrestler trying to make it to WWE. It’s an underdog story about a regular guy from New Jersey trying to make it to the big-time. While I didn’t know anything about Q.T. Marshall prior to watching this documentary, his name was vaguely familiar. In a world filled with wrestling documentaries, including 350 Days, Nail In The Coffin, You Cannot Kill David Arquette, and The Resurrection of Jake the Snake, is this one worth watching? Read on for my thoughts.

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Shudder: March 2021 U.S. Highlights

In March, Shudder members can look forward to new movie premieres every week, including season two of the hit series A Discovery of Witches, Shudder original films Lucky, Stay Out of the Attic, Slaxx and Violation, the Shudder exclusive Koko-Di Koko-Da, and an impressive lineup of recent and classic horror favorites including Ken Russell’s The Devils. I had the pleasure of watching Lucky last year, and it was phenomenal. It premieres on March 4, so make sure you it’s at the top of your list! Below is a rundown of everything you can expect to see on Shudder in March.

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IMPACT Wrestling Report: BTI, No Surrender, New Japan Pro-Wrestling

It’s been a while since my last IMPACT Wrestling Report, but that’s because I’ve been very busy doing interviews for my books about the history of TNA/IMPACT Wrestling. Some of the people I’ve interviewed in recent weeks include Gail Kim, Ken Shamrock, Earl Hebner, and Jeff Hardy, who is the most popular wrestler in IMPACT Wrestling history and, currently, one of the top guys in WWE. Make sure to sign up for email alerts on my site so you don’t miss out on any future book updates because there are many more to come.

This past week was a big one in IMPACT Wrestling. The company announced a new TV show, which premieres tomorrow night, No Surrender aired on Saturday, and a partnership was revealed with New Japan Pro-Wrestling (NJPW). Let’s dive in!

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Book Update: Earl Hebner

I have now interivewed four members of the TNA/IMPACT Wrestling Hall of Fame, with the newest addition being the greatest referee of all time: Earl Hebner. For more than 40 years, Earl has been the gold standard for professional wrestling referees. From officiating matches between Hulk Hogan and Andre The Giant to Bret Hart and Shawn Michaels, he’s the absolute best at what he does. Earl spent 11 years with TNA Wrestling and he told me that it was the happiest time in his career. We talked about what it was like working with Dixie Carter, taking part in entertaining storylines, including ones with the Knockouts, life on the road, working internationally, and the art of being a great referee, among other topics. It was an honor and a pleasure to speak at length with a man I admire, and I know that his commentary will make a great addition to my books about the history of TNA/IMPACT Wrestling.

Book Update: Ken Shamrock

This week, in addition to others, I’ve interviewed Gail Kim, Jeff Hardy, and, now, Ken Shamrock! The first-ever world champion in TNA/IMPACT Wrestling, and the only person to be both in both the UFC Hall of Fame and the IMPACT Wrestling Hall of Fame, Ken Shamrock is the real deal and a bonafide legend. While his moniker is “The World’s Most Dangerous Man,” he was a pleasure to speak with. Ken and I talked about what it was like to win the NWA-TNA World Heavyweight Championship at the company’s first-ever PPV, his thoughts on what makes TNA/IMPACT Wrestling special, what the locker room culture is like, the Montreal Screwjob, the best advice Bret Hart ever gave him, and a whole lot more. Want to know his thoughts on Eddie Edwards, Sami Callihan, Moose, and what it’s like wrestling in the era of COVID? I asked Ken about all of this. I also spoke with him about his time in the WWF, including his thoughts on The Rock, Mick Foley, Bret Hart, and officiating the iconic match at WrestleMania 13 where Stone Cold Steve Austin’s star shot into the stratosphere. As someone who grew up watching Ken Shamrock become a combat sports legend, it was an honor to pick his brain and gain a greater understanding of what make him special. I look forward to sharing these thoughts with all of you in my books about the history of TNA/IMPACT Wrestling.

IMPACT Wrestling Launches New Weekly TV Show: Before The IMPACT

IMPACT Wrestling recently announced a new weekly TV show on AXS TV. Below is the full press release about this exciting announcement!

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Doug Bradley’s Spinechillers Volume 11

So far, I’ve reviewed 10 volumes in the Doug Bradley’s Spinechillers series. All of them have been highly enjoyable in their own way. Today, I’m going to take a look at Doug Bradley’s Spinechillers Volume 11. Clocking in at two hours and fifty-one minutes, this is yet another short and sweet collection of classic horror literature lovingly presented in a way that is a feast for the ears.

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AEW’s Unrestricted Podcast: Matt Sydal

The latest guest on AEW’s Unrestricted podcast, Matt Sydal had some words of wisdom for Snoop Dogg before he did the “Snoop Splash” live on AEW Dynamite. Matt also had some encouraging words for himself after his not-so-perfect AEW debut at the ALL OUT Casino Battle Royale. He tells that story along with the last-minute phone call he received about the surprise booking.  He offers insight to the Third Eye gimmick, what it means to have a “Sydelic Mentality,” risk-taking in the ring, and why he is solely focused on the TNT Championship. Plus, Matt tells stories about working with Cody Rhodes, Chaos Project, learning from AEW coaches like Dean Malenko and Tully Blanchard, his love of Japanese death matches, and tagging with Ricochet at NJPW.

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Book Update: Jeff Hardy!

I’ve got my biggest book update yet: I interviewed Jeff Hardy! Yes, the most popular wrestler in the history of TNA spoke with me at length about his time in the company. We talked about his first run with the promotion, winning the TNA World Heavyweight Championship multiple times, his Victory Road 2011 match against Sting, overcoming personal demons, his feud with “Broken” Matt Hardy, Dixie Carter, Hulk Hogan, Jeff Jarrett, and so much more! It was an honor to speak with “The Charismatic Enigma” because he’s not only a professional wrestling legend but a creative genius. I look forward to including his commentary in both of my books about the history of TNA/IMPACT Wrestling!

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