Ginzburg?s Gab

Hey, ho . . . let?s go. . . .

That?s a Ramones tune by the way, not a comment on The Godfather?s curvaceous cuties. By the way, if you saw Pimps Up, Ho?s Down on HBO, you know the "Pimpin? Ain?t Easy" shtick was liberally "borrowed" from said documentary. Funny how Vince McMahon always whines about people stealing his ideas, but the WWF will practically take something word for word and infer it?s their own. Hell, WWF?s doing ECW on a larger scale, and nobody except ECW seems to notice or care.

Speaking of which, I hope everybody?s enjoying our own in-staff feud between ECW columnist Mr. Zaremba and Bill M. Walkowitz. This one could be juicy. Zaremba gets the 1999 Dedication to his Craft Award for juicing last issue. He wanted to know what it felt like before he wrote about it. Maybe we could get him to go through a burning table, also. Uh-oh, better not give him any ideas. I happen to be enjoying the influx of Japanese and Mexican talent into ECW, and would rather watch ECW than most (but not all) of Raw and Nitro, but I?ll let these fellows settle their own thing. And speaking of juice, if you enjoyed last issue?s special on the history of blading, tell a friend. It?s almost ten years into this, and it?s still tough getting the word out.

Like pimpin?, editin? ain?t easy.

By the way, the NAACP is considering The Godfather for this year?s Black Image Award.

That?s a joke, folks.

Thanks to the many indy promoters who have been supportive of this sheet and have rolled out the red carpet for WT&N. We do what we can to get the word out about your shows in our little sheet and on my radio spot and Web site, and we appreciate your reciprocation as well. Paul Sarachelli thrilled a crowd of 2,600 (!) by bringing in Kowalski and Albano to sign autographs, and our beloved Killer even did some reffing. Promoters, bringing in guys like Kowalski and Lou definitely draws the old-time fans, so keep this in mind when booking talent--especially in the Northeast where these guys are Gods. Albano?s going to be one of our feature interviews in the '99 Annual, which may just be out a little later this year to coincide with our 10th Anniversary issue. Details shortly. Mike O?Brien along with Mike Henry continue to draw huge crowds for Northeast Wrestling. They recently had Reckless Youth vs. Tommy Rogers which was one of the best indy bouts I?ve seen all year. This is one together promotion. A new unit I?ve been in touch with is Total Mayhem Pro Wrestling out of Union City, N.J., and when I get to one of their events I?ll fill you in. If you haven?t hit an indy yet, check one out. Listings as I get them in WT&N.

Support these fellows, ?cause promotin? ain?t easy.

(Do I know how to kill a good gag or what?)

In the major event department, mark July 18 on your calendar, as the WT&N crew hits the San Bernardino Arena in an attempt to save the freakin? building! That?s right, there?s talk of turning this historic building into a jive-ass office or some such nonsense, so we?re bringing in the equivalent of the Justice League of America to save the day with a big benefit: come meet special guest referee Killer Kowalski, main-eventer Brian "King of the Jobberlock" Walsh, Author Jeff Archer, promoter Bill Anderson, and fanboy supreme "Iron" Mike Einhorn. Maybe we?ll even get the King of dentistry/King of men Dr. Mike Lano down as well, as you know this is one guy who always has his heart in the right place when it comes to events like this. It?ll be a party for all. as wrestling meets reality--a card to save this historic community landmark. Inexpensive program ads available--drop Jeff an e-mail at, or drop me a line if you have any questions. If you have any clippings of the San Bernardino Arena, memories, etc. rushthem to us so we can get them in the next issue or two.

Speaking of Jeff, special thanks for his masterminding the juice issue last month. What originally was a Bryan Walsh column involved into an entire WT&N, and Jeff made a lot of long distance calls on his own dime to put it together. We want each issue to be different than the one before, and with production ace Jeff in control we may just be able to keep doing that. When this turns totally predictable, it?ll be time to call it a day.

So with that in mind, we have some bugged out interviews to finish out our first decade of publishing. We have an interview with noted blues guitarist Red Alperin who compares the blues and wrestling life. We also have plans to talk with 75 year old Don Arnold who is a former wrestling great and is now a practicing nudist! This is one great character, and he?ll tell you firsthand that on a chilly day, "nudism ain?t easy!" (Stop that, Evan! Just stop it!)

Evan?s surreal world, volume 37. I take my mother to see a fine Brazilian jazz act. They?re playing this beautiful, sensitive music played on instruments made from nature (including an actual tree). You can tell these dudes are very soft spoken and spiritual. So I approach the band to book them for the radio show, as we?re an arts program, not a wrestling show per se. I?m giving them my standard spiel, "We?re on 3-5 AM but it?s 50,000 watts and we have eight to twelve thousand listeners," yada, yada. Meanwhile, my mom pulls out last month?s WT&N with the blood drenched photo of Bryan Walsh on the cover and tells the trio with great motherly pride, "My son also publishes this wrestling newsletter. He?s very diversified." I watched in horror as the befuddled Brazilians nodded in mock approval and the music from the Twilight Zone played in the distance.

This is just too darn entertaining, so let me ruin the flow with some plugs. And like the rappers, I dohave serious flow. "You know what I?m saying?" If one more rapper says, "You know what I?m saying," I?m going postal and taking out MTV. You know what I?m saying? (Jeez, I wonder how this stuff reads overseas?!) Anyhow, before I so rudely interupted myself, Thom Parks now has a "wrestling mall" on the net at WWW.WRESTLING-BUZZ.COM Great merchandise you can buy. Jeff Archer?s epic 450 page Theater in a Squared Circle remains available at 1-800-382-7922. The Professional Wrestling Trivia Book is available from Branden Pub. Inc., 17 Station St. Box 843 Brookline Village, Ma. 02447. 2nd Edition. Tel # 617-734-2045/Web address for $9.95 plus $5 postage and handling. If you love trivia, you?ll love this. Questions vary in difficulty. Beautiful color cover of Bundy. Poor production on inside photos. Some golden age stuff, too, not just today?s rasslin.? Listen to Slash on 92.7 FM WLIR Sunday nights at 1 AM in N.Y.C. with the ECW boys and hardcore music. My own big wrestling spectacular appears on WBAI-FM 99.5 Friday night/Saturday morn 6/25 when we hopefully have on Steve Regal as well as a live all-female blues vocalist jam session. What better at 3 AM? Combat Sports is PO Box 161, Gracie Station NYC 10028-0006 at $3. They actually have roller derby coverage mixed with the wrestling. I was saddened to learn that Ralphie Valladeares of the Thunderbirds died at 62. This guy was 5-feet-2, 115 pounds of dynamite. I still see him on the Classic Sports reruns Sunday AM in N.Y.C. I love the old roller derby interviews with the very clear heel and face going head to head. It brings a tear to my eye. Really. By the way, did you know that R&B star Shuggie Otis did the theme from the old roller derby show? Funky blaxploitation soundin? jam.

But I?m getting off the subject, ain?t I?

is by far the best wrestling sheet in Australia at PO Box 3034 Ripponlea, Victoria 3183 ($3). Editor Laz tells me I?ve incensed some of his readers as I trashed today?s wrestling something awful in my guest editorial their previous issue. Sure, Aussies, Steve Austin isa good role model. And today?s wrestling isintellectual fare.

Classic Sports Network recently showed a 1951 draw between Jim Londos and Primo Carnera reffed by Max Baer. Ed "Strangler" Lewis was also introduced before the bout. When giants walked the Earth, huh? It just had the feel of a sporting event, rather than sports entertainment. The audience wore suits! Even the ref giving instructions had an intensity that said, "This matters." Fans popped for things as simple as a thumb to the eye. Today you?d have to set the guy on fire and put him through seven tables to garner the same reaction. My only complaint was that this lengthy match was edited for TV to a fraction of its original length.

If things go as planned, there should be an AWA piece in this issue?s WT&N. I remember catching the AWA cards in N.Y. and N.J. when they tried to expand, and it was just such a thrill to see Nick Bockwinkle at the end of his career. He could still work in his early 50s and was feuding with Larry Zbyszko and Rick Martel. Nick was class. I also saw some strange AWA title matches like Rick Martel vs. Kendo Nagasaki and Backlund and Brody appeared in prelims (Brody vs. Steve O) which shows just how ridiculous the politics are in this biz. Slaughter also got a huge push but seemed shot just a few years after his classic series with the Iron Sheik. Billy Robinson disappointed as he had put on a lot of weight at the time and wasn?t what he was in his prime. They even brought Larry Hennig back to team with Curt vs. Roadies which was a big flop. And don?t forget Kamala played congas on his belly. Road Warriors vs. Freebirds series was a big disappointment, too. These teams were huge at the time, but the matches were in the three star range. Nothing special. Leon White early on in his career was nothing to write home about either, and Von Rashke was pretty much shot. AWA on the East Coast was a mixed bag back then, but it was worth it just for Nick. And "Rock and Roll" Buck Zumhoffe, too. (Just kidding, folks.)

I spoke to current AWA Prez Dale Gagne who told me King Kong Bundy is their champion, as he?s one of the few name indy guys who not only works regularly, but appears throughout the world (and is generally in the main-event). They?ll allow him to defend the AWA belt in different areas, so they feel this will give the crown some of its old prestige.

The WWF?s lucha show packs three matches, several interviews, skits, and commercials into 30 minutes. How do you say "sucks" in Spanish?

The last WCW house show to hit New York at the Nassau Coliseum featured over a half dozen major no-shows at $50 ringside plus main-events that changed almost weekly. Gotta love the balls on these guys.

Why do ECW?s "smart fans" always mark out when a washed up ex-WWF guy enters the promotion? Just asking.

I love wrestling. Really I do.

Thanks to each and every individual out there who has sent in clippings, newspaper articles, etc. I wish I had the time and energy to thank each and every one of you personally, but having just gotten our one millionth reader, it?s quite impossible.

(And if you believe that number, there?s a beautiful bridge in Brooklyn overlooking Gleason?s Gym I can sell you.)

Special thanks to Joltin? Joe Psonek for his generosity.

And special thanks to the imbeciles at NBC for canceling Homicide, which was probably the best show on TV. The episodes where the dude gets hit by the train, the one where the cops "off" Junior the drug dealer, and Pempleton?s stroke are among the great moments in TV history. Hell, let?s have more shows with households of precocious kids and laugh tracks. Or more stupid wrestling.

WWF?s "going public." They hope to raise about $150 million, which would value the company at around $750 million. Imagine me as a stockholder at the Board meeting screaming about what a goddamn circus they?ve turned it into? I?d be real popular. Actually, it could be a helluva lot of fun. Hmmmm. . . .

Do you realize that the WWF recently sold out MSG without announcing the freakin? card! That?s how hot this thing is now.

Fightin? Phil Mushnick in the 5/21 Post took on Jesse Ventura for not tackling the steroid issue in wrestling. "Ventura knew then and he knows now why pro wrestlers have a highly under-publicized habit of dropping dead before 40. He knows that his former profession was and is lousy with illegal drug abuse. Ventura has the first-hand knowledge and now commands the kind of attention where in one press conference he could bring the kind of heat on the pro-wrestling industry that would prevent the deaths of performers. He knows that illegal drug use is part of the unwritten terms of engagement with greedy, twisted promoters. But he doesn?t say a word."

Phil . . . Phil . . . Phil . . . to the fans, Rick Rude?s a cartoon. They pop in a video and he?s still there, just like Popeye or Batman. Hercules is getting canceled--to these sensitive, deep thinkers, so was Rick. He ain?t dead, dude, he?s in "re-runs." The only thing I can think of that might actually hit a nerve with the dumbass fans is that they may be able to relate to a boss dicking over loyal employees. Do stories on down and out ex-wrestlers living in squalor while the WWF and WCW bring in hundreds of millions per year, and you may just get the people on your side. Phil?s knowledge of wrestling is seemingly limited to the one sheet he gets, so I guess he?s oblivious to the fact that there are other wrestling journalists, some of whom agree with him on certain points. Jeff Archer, for example, is taking on the industry in a different way, bringing up such issues as pensions and emergency funds for the wrestlers in both this sheet and on literally dozens of radio stations throughout the country. He?s getting shocked responses like, "Really? I thought all the wrestlers are rich."


Ol? Phil probably didn?t see the recent issue of Perspective, either, in which Tom Cole, the teen at the heart of the WWF sex scandals a while back, tells of mucho sleaze during his days in the whiff. You would not want to give the WWF a dime after reading this sizzler.

But since I?m going to be a stockholder, hey, spend lots of money on ?em.

(That was a joke.)

By the way, I don?t see The Post turning down the WWF?s ad money now, do they? You guys talk a good game, though.

And on the subject of scandals (good segueway, huh?), Yokozuna was double-booked the night of Paul Sarachelli?s Iona College indy, so he no-showed this event which benefited the Boys and Girls Club. Now no-shows are nothing new, but what blew me away was that the program had an actual copy of Yoko?s signed agreement. The program reads, "The West End Sports Club would like for everyone to know that Yokozuna a.k.a. Rodney Anoai was scheduled for tonight?s pro wrestling event. He was given up front money with two plane tickets prompting his appearance for tonight. Yokozuna signed a contract binding himself for our show tonight at Iona College, he chose not to honor our contract, thus working in Great Britain as you read this. You can read the contract that was signed by Yokozuna on the next page."


Result? The buffet busting baddie sure came off looking like a heel to the kiddies who wanted to see him.

Betcha didn?t know, department: I used to get squeamish every time Yokozuna would pick his massive girth off the canvas and that sickly gray sweat would be pouring off him.

This reminds me of the time ex-Yankee David Wells was paid $18,000 to speak at a children?s charity dinner in N.Y. ($18,000 speaking fees sound pretty darn charitable to me, huh?) He no-showed at the last second. Muhammed Ali surprised everyone, got up to the mike, and said simply, "David who?" The place roared. Wells later pissed and moaned when he was traded. Hey Dave, it?s just business; just money. Isn?t that all that matters? Babe Ruth, who spent two hours after each game signing autographs for kids, rolled in his grave three times when he heard this story. Don?t miss the HBO documentary on Ruth. Fabulous.

Everybody should read The Muhammed Ali Reader edited by Gerald Early from Ecco Press. It features Bob Greene, Joyce Carol Oates, Gay Talese, Hunter S. Thompson, Ishmael Reed, Roger Kahn, Pete Hamill, Norman Mailer, Irwin Shaw, LeRoi Jones and a bunch of other writers.

Speaking of programs, Jeff Archer and myself just did our very first program for what was supposed to have been Steve Regal?s debut indy appearance in N.Y. (6/4/99) For you program collectors and/or WT&N completists, it?s only $1 for the program & line-up sheet (including postage). Promoters, if you?re looking for inexpensive programs with a high profit margin, get in touch with us and maybe we can work something out.

For those of you reading this for the first time, you?re most likely wondering, "Where are those all-important blow by blow, move for move, pay-per-view reviews that have become the incredibly high standard by which all wrestling journalism is judged?" Answer: nowhere to be found.

So where?s U.S. wrestling going in the millennium? Let me tell you. It?ll get more sci-fi Onita-like with "Electrified Barbed Wire--Jabronie Gets His Butt Blown Up" type bouts. Or else it?ll go back to a purer form with more guys like Goldberg in plain tights. The hardcore extreme/softcore T&A stuff today is just played out and has pretty much reached the saturation point. After bumps like McMahon and Mankind?s off the cage and Nu Jack?s leaps off balconies, what else do ya have to pop a crowd?

Everybody check out the movie Election. Hilarious.

Serious jams caught live--bluesman Tutu Jones. Dynamic. I was terribly saddened by the deaths of singers Roger (Zapp) Troutman, the incomparable Basie vocalist Joe Williams, and Leon Thomas. Leon mixed jazz and yodeling. Unique. Troutman was one of the great R&B live acts, sold millions of records, was sampled on tons of rap tunes, and was murdered by his brother who subsequently committed suicide. The fact that it barely rated a mention in the media shows that yes, racism is quite alive in America.

What?s Ginzburg listening to? Chaka Khan?s Come 2 My House.

What?s any of this have to do with wrestling? Who the hell cares? After nine and a half years of publishing, I write from the heart, and folks, much of what I see on Monday nights breaks my heart. I don?t even want to write about it, because it gets me sick just to think about most of it.

Thanks for putting up with me for almost a decade.

Home Page | Nikolai Volkoff | Latest News | Johnny Valiant | Wrestling in the Classroom | Light Show | Galleries | Columns | Indys | Interviews | Sample Articles | Merchandise | Message Board | Yahoo! Group | Links | Plugs | Contact Information | Sign Guestbook | View Guestbook