Author Bio & Stories

  • July 13, 2012
    Keep Austin Aries Weird

    New TNA champion Austin Aries has a dickishness that seems to have very little to do with his persona in the ring. But that innate dickishness—well, that and the fact that he's great at wrestling—makes him one of the most appealing champions in a long time. In a promotion that has long relied too much on puffy, bloated dinosaurs, Aries is something new.

  • May 31, 2012
    All the Old Punks

    In the lower bowl of the Richmond Coliseum sat a couple of old tatted-up hardcore guys, well into their 30s, guys who'd probably seen all kinds of acrobatic berserk-ninja mosh pit mayhem in their day, poised with the customary old-hardcore-guy rigid-back posture. They were there for Monday Night Raw, and they radiated a sense of purpose.

  • May 16, 2012
    Mr. Wrestling

    Kevin Steen—nicknamed Mr. Wrestling—is a pudgy Québécois dude with a patchy beard and the sort of spiky hair that only spikes because it doesn't know what else to do. He wrestles in basketball shorts and a ratty T-shirt with the sleeves torn off. He has a couple of prominent tattoos, and they are not great. He is nothing like the mulleted flex-monsters that have come to define professional wrestling. At this precise moment in American indie wrestling, he is the motherfucking man.

  • Promo speeches are a hugely important part of wrestling; you generally don't get to be a big star, or a beloved figure, if you can't convincingly and compellingly make the verbal case that you're ready to beat somebody's ass. One of last year's best came from the Briscoe Brothers, a pair of tatted-up skinheaded goons who have been indie fixtures for a decade.

  • April 18, 2012
    Down Goes the Good Guy

    The WWE owed its crazy late-90s popularity boom to a simple idea: The whole concept of good guys and bad guys was obsolete, and crowds wanted to cheer assholes. After that cultural wave inevitably ended, the WWE tried to go family-friendly. But now, fans are cheering heels and booing the good guys, and the company is trying to play both sides of the fence. 

  • April 4, 2012
    Brock of Ages

    The Rock's return to WWE avoided the celebrity-cameo pitfall, and another graduate of the company returned home to smash people's faces for old time's sake (and money).

  • March 21, 2012
    A Firestorm to Purify

    Wrestlemania is supposed to be overstuffed, over-the-top, and even at times ridiculous. But with The Rock taking a break from show business to wrestle again, and CM Punk's countercultural roots front and center in his match with Chris Jericho, this year's Wrestlemania will up the ante in strange, unexpected ways. 

  • On a night where most everyone was glued to the warm glowing warming glow of the Oscars or the NBA All-Star tilt, Tom Breihan tuned out and dropped in on Impact's house show, a touring carnival of hucksterism, $20 autographs, and even some wrestling.

  • Once a month, Ring of Honor rolls up on the Burns Arena and tapes all of that month’s TV shows in one night—four kinda-grueling hours of wrestling, with extended breaks for the TV crew to keep everything rolling. When you show up to these tapings, you’re essentially watching the future. Wrestlers will storm to the ring to rant about what such-and-such did to them last week, when it really just happened 20 minutes before. It’s weird.

  • Reliably ridiculous and reliably great, the Royal Rumble is empty calories even by the WWE's usual standards. But just because nachos aren't prime rib doesn't mean they aren't also delicious. This year's model was no exception, in terms of ridiculousness and goofy greatness.