Michael Cavacini

An award-winning arts and culture blog.

Archive for the category “Pro Wrestling”

Nitro by Guy Evans

Nitro by Guy Evans is the best book ever written about Ted Turner’s World Championship Wrestling. Prior to this book’s existence, The Death of WCW held this title. Not anymore. At nearly 600 pages, Nitro features interviews with over 120 former TBS and WCW employees. The author also had access to a myriad of internal WCW documents, providing the reader with the nitty gritty details when it comes to contracts, PPV revenue, and more. For a topic that has been covered ad nauseam, Nitro is a fresh take on one of the wildest times in professional wrestling, providing the most comprehensive and satisfying account of the rise and fall of WCW.

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IMPACT Wrestling Press Pass: Eric Young & Rich Swann

I had the opportunity to take part in an IMPACT Wrestling Press Pass where I, along with other reporters, interviewed Eric Young and Rich Swann about their upcoming main event for the IMPACT Wrestling World Championship at Bound For Glory on October 24, 2020 on PPV. You can watch the full video below.

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A Conversation With Vampiro

Ian Hodgkinson — better known as Vampiro, the lucha libre legend and former star in World Championship Wrestling (WCW) — has a new documentary called Nail in the Coffin: The Fall & Rise of Vampiro. Having grown up watching Vampiro in WCW, I jumped at the chance to interview Ian to learn more about his thoughts on the documentary, his career in wrestling, and more.

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My WWE ThunderDome Experience

On the August 21 episode of SmackDown WWE launched ThunderDome, a state-of-the-art set, video boards, pyrotechnics, lasers, cutting-edge graphics and drone cameras, within Orlando’s Amway Arena. Both SummerSlam and Monday Night Raw took place in the WWE ThunderDome, and I found it to be a brilliant concept because it’s a way for fans to visually be present in the arena using technological means. It is the perfect way to engage the WWE audience on a deeper level, while also intriguing fans who may have not watched WWE for some time. Despite the hefty investment WWE had to put into this, registration is completely free. I have to applaud WWE for making this a free service, as they could have easily charged fans even a nominal amount to attend. I registered for WWE ThunderDome for the August 24 Monday Night Raw and received confirmation that I was in. However, I never got a link to join. This issue affected many other people as well. Nevertheless, I registered for the August 28 edition of SmackDown. Not only did I receive confirmation, but I got a link to join! So, what was it like in the WWE ThunderDome? Read on for my thoughts, including photos and videos from my point of view.

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Audible Review: Hardcore History

Hardcore History: The Extremely Unauthorized Story of the ECW is an excellent Audible Original. Writer Scott E. Williams has pored through records and conducted dozens of interviews with fans, company officials, business partners, and the wrestlers themselves to bring listeners the most thorough account possible of this bizarre company. As someone who has watched numerous documentaries about ECW, I learned a lot while listening to this audiobook. It provides an excellent, and sometimes detailed, overview of major events related to ECW and its various incarnations.

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Pro Wrestling Demystified: You Know It’s Fake, Right?

“You know it’s fake, right?” These are the words uttered by people who don’t understand professional wrestling. How do I respond when people ask this ill-informed question? I say, “You know Darth Vader is fake, right?” Or, “You know the characters in This Is Us aren’t real, right?” Professional wrestling might as well be Rodney Dangerfield because it doesn’t get any respect. Despite the fact that professional wrestling has been around for more than 100 years, some people feel the need to cast judgment and view it as holding no redeemable value. I’ve been a fan of professional wrestling my entire life, and I’m proud of that fact. I’ve derived a plethora of value from my fandom, established friendships because of it, and had amazing experiences along the way. Professional wrestling is just as valid a form of entertainment as anything you’ll find on film, in print, on stage, or even on a sports field. This is the first in a series of posts where I’m going to take the time to help demystify professional wrestling in an effort to help those who aren’t fans understand why millions of us are. Read more…

WWE: The Official Cookbook

In the past I’ve reviewed a couple cookbooks. The first being The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Pizza Cookbook and the second being The Elder Scrolls: The Official Cookbook. And, right now, I’m going to review WWE: The Official Cookbook! All three of these cookbooks are based on pop culture phenomenons I love. One is based in the video game space (i.e., The Elder Scrolls), another in cartoons, movies, and more (i.e., The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles), and the most current one — WWE — lives in all of those mediums and beyond. While WWE may have started out as solely a wrestling company, it has quickly transcended beyond the squared circle. WWE: The Official Cookbook takes The Rock, Stone Cold Steve Austin, and countless other legends and modern-day superstars and includes a bevy or recipes inspired by their larger-than-life personas.

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Audible Review: Dusty by Dusty Rhodes

Dusty Rhodes is one of the most influential and successful professional wrestlers of all time. He was a force to be reckoned with in the NWA, WWF, and WCW, among the other wrestling promotions he’s been affiliated with. This book, Dusty, came out in 2005. Today, 15 years later, Dusty is no longer with us. In the book he talks about how his son Cody is out in Hollywood trying to be an actor. These parts made me laugh because Cody now runs and wrestles in one of the top professional wrestling promotions in the world. Considering Dusty died just 10 years after this book came out, I’m glad he took the time to write it as it would have been a shame if he hadn’t done so.

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Ultimate Warrior: A Life Lived Forever

The Ultimate Warrior was my favorite wrestler as a child. His colorful, high-energy, over-the-top persona grabbed my attention and captivated my imagination. There were mat tacticians, high-flyers, brawlers, and then there was the Ultimate Warrior. He was an amalgamation of styles, which made him unique. He had a more impressive physique than Hulk Hogan, colorful attire that rivaled Macho Man Randy Savage’s iconic outfits, and he could fly around the ring like in a way unlike anyone his size was doing. Unfortunately, Warrior’s life was cut short at the age of 54. He died on April 8, 2014. I saw him the day before. Thankfully, there are several ways to reflect on the man and his career, including Ultimate Warrior: A Life Lived Forever, a beautiful hardback book from Insight Editions.

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Audible Review: More Than Just Hardcore by Terry Funk

Terry Funk is one of the most influential wrestlers of all time. With a career spanning decades, you’d think that his autobiography, More Than Just Hardcore, would be fascinating. While this Audible Original was an easy and entertaining listen, it didn’t blow my mind. There weren’t any shocking revelations, dirt on other wrestlers, or anything of that nature. What you get here is the story of a man who is content with the life he’s lived. To me, that makes for an inspiring audiobook replete with life lessons.

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