Michael Cavacini

An award-winning arts and culture blog.

Archive for the tag “WWF”

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.

Book Update: Gail Kim, Shane Douglas, & Taryn Terrell

Today was quite a day for interviews for my books about the history of TNA/IMPACT Wrestling. I interviewed the greatest and most influential female wrestler of all time, Gail Kim, as well as hardcore wrestling icon Shane Douglas, and former TNA Knockouts Champion Taryn Terrell!

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71-Year-Old Wrestler “Action” Mike Jackson Tells All

“Action” Mike Jackson is one of the best wrestlers in the world, yet he’s 71-years-old. I first saw him perform live at Tommy Dreamer’s House of Hardcore show in November 2019, and he blew me away. He was the highlight of the entire show, and I told him so afterward. The entire crowd was captivated by his speed and ability. In April 2020 he debuted on IMPACT Wrestling in a match against Johnny Swinger, again, blowing away wrestling fans, but this time it was on a worldwide stage. Around this time COVID took over the world, so that run came to a halt. However, as you’ll see in my interview with this championship wrestler who has grappled with countless legends, the best is yet to come. I look forward to the day when “Action” Mike Jackson returns to the ring in IMPACT Wrestling, and I hope I’m there to see it live. If you’re looking to enjoy some of his prowess while at home, give him a call at 205-936-9050 to buy a variety of DVDs, t-shirts, and more from the living legend himself!

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Audible Review: The King of New Orleans

The Junkyard Dog (JYD) is one of those wrestlers from the 1980s who I’m familiar with because he was part of the Rock ‘N’ Wrestling era, but not to a great degree. I was excited to check out The King of New Orleans, an Audible Original, for a couple reasons. First, I attended WrestleMania XXX in New Orleans — my first and only WrestleMania, so far — and it was a blast. And, second, because, in these racially charged times, now seemed like the perfect opportunity to learn about one of the most successful modern-day black wrestlers.

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Pro Wrestling Demystified: Suspension of Disbelief

I had a great view of the action from my seat at WrestleMania XXX.

My first “Pro Wrestling Demystified” article focused on wrestling being “fake.” If you haven’t read it, do so. I’m proud to bring you the next entry in this series. Today, we’re going to take a look at suspension of disbelief — a commonly used term in professional wrestling parlance when describing the total immersion of oneself in the storyline and/or match that’s taking place.

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The Squared Circle by David Shoemaker

The Squared Circle by David Shoemaker was released in 2013, and it examines the careers of deceased professional wrestlers. Not exactly the most uplifting premise, yet the author tackles different eras, promotions, and grapplers with aplomb. Almost all of the big-name wrestlers who are no longer with us are featured in this book, including Chris Benoit, Owen Hart, Brian Pillman, and more.

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Remembering Road Warrior Animal

On September 23 I woke up and read a tweet from Hulk Hogan saying that Animal, one half of The Road Warriors, the most successful and influential tag team in wrestling history, had passed away. Considering he was only 60, I was shocked. Fans and wrestlers the world over reacted with an outpouring of respect and sadness for the loss of one of the all-time greats.

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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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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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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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