A WRITER ON WRESTLING: A Kid Again (Oct. 23, 2015)

A WRITER ON WRESTLING is my occasional look at the world of professional wrestling through the eyes of a storyteller. Much like books, movies, and other television shows, I think it can be very worthy of scholarly discussion, in spite of its rather low-brow outward appearance.

Time for my biannual post on the old thejoehansen blog. Last night, I enjoyed my first ever CHIKARA show at Mill City Nights in Minneapolis – “Making a Stand.” For those uninitiated, CHIKARA is a wrestling show unlike any other — it’s the fun-filled lucha libre super party and a living comic book. To save this from being CHIKARA’s wikipedia page before I get to my point, I’ll flesh that out by saying it grew from a wrestling school into a full-fledged, much beloved wrestling show that has its own mythology and storytelling through a roster of masked wrestlers and other wild characters. I followed CHIKARA during its in-story shutdown and rebirth last year but for the most part know little about the characters besides some names and faces (or masks, as the case may be).

That being said, I had no trouble getting emotionally invested in the characters and matches quickly — and feeling like a kid as my roommate and partner-in-crime Logan sat in the front row for the action. Now, mind you, live wrestling is incomparable to watching on television, but the show had us wondering afterward: how the heck is the WWE in such dire straights creatively and in its television ratings?

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A WRITER ON WRESTLING: The marathon concludes, sort of…

A WRITER ON WRESTLING is my occasional look at the world of professional wrestling through the eyes of a storyteller. Much like books, movies, and other television shows, I think it can be very worthy of scholarly discussion, in spite of its rather low-brow outward appearance.

Oh yeah, I have a blog! Work is finally in a down period. So, I figured it was as good a time as any to revive the old blog site dot com. Since WWE just wrapped up a schedule of 176 special events in a three-month span with the Money in the Bank live event last night, what better time to dive back into writing about the world of professional grappling?

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8 IS GREAT: Mario Kart 8 Review

mariokart8Wow! I devoted almost two hours to Mario Kart 8 straight out of the box today – a rarity for me to donate that significant amount of time to gaming at all lately as I’ve been gaming Mario Golf: World Tour and NES Remix in spurts over the past month. Keeping in mind that I left work early so that I could dive right into it, that’s still a way of saying: I really liked it!
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A WRITER ON WRESTLING: Mania

maniaA WRITER ON WRESTLING is my occasional look at the world of professional wrestling through the eyes of a storyteller. Much like books, movies, and other television shows, I think it can be very worthy of scholarly discussion, in spite of its rather low-brow outward appearance.

For the first time in a long time, I can say that I spent a night watching WWE, and I was entertained from start to finish. Wrestlemania 30 was one of those shows that reminded me of all the reasons why I watch wrestling as a fan – hard-hitting action, big spots, compelling drama, shocks, and yes, a feel good story at the end of the show involving one of my favorite competitors finally getting his chance to shine did not hurt. That said, not everyone was happy. When The Undertaker’s vaunted 21-0 undefeated streak at Wrestlemania was snapped by part-time superstar Brock Lesnar, fans’ reactions were obviously mixed.

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Tropical Freeze Leaves Me Out in the Cold

dkcI’ve long said this would be an eclectic blog. There’s been wrestling, sports, random thoughts, reviews. This falls in the last category. First, a little background.

On the internet, if you are an adult or teenage fan of Nintendo, you are criticized for being a “fanboy.” Obviously, you are immature or blindly clinging to your childhood if you still like Nintendo’s offering in the Super Mario, Legend of Zelda, or other series rather than strictly sticking to games like Call of Duty, Grand Theft Auto, or others with guns, blood, and violence. I don’t subscribe to that theory.

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A WRITER ON WRESTLING: I went to Elimination Chamber 2014, and it was okay.

echamber

It’s been a big week in the world of professional wrestling. On Monday, WWE launched its new “WWE Network,” a 24-hour streaming service akin to Netflix which also features one 24/7 live channel. The night before, it hosted its last traditional pay-per-view event in Minneapolis, Minnesota, the 2014 Elimination Chamber event, and yours truly made the last-minute decision to attend (full disclosure: I was in town for work, otherwise I would not have been there). I had not been to a WWE event since I was a teenager, and while I had my fun, the event was very underwhelming. (more…)

Why should I not be allowed to boo Derek Jeter?

JeterLet’s talk about sports.

The buzz in the sports world Wednesday was the retirement of Derek Jeter, the shortstop for the New York Yankees. In Minnesota, this brought out the sports pundits to discuss the Minnesota’s fans tendency to boo sports stars from other teams. Most feel Jeter should be cheered, and that’s fine, but why do those he choose to boo him deserve criticism?
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Power Moves & Postal Routes: Dadboner is Chinasky for the 21st Century

Here’s a vintage Joe Hansen blog post from August 21, 2013 that I wanted to maintain on the new page after deleting the old one.

Last summer, two books I read back-to-back created a strange juxtaposition for me that I couldn’t quite shake. I started the month of August picking up Power Moves: Livin’ The American Dream, USA Style by Karl Welzein, AKA @dadboner, and finished reading Post Office by Charles Bukowski.

Now, Bukowski is a beloved (or hated, depending on who you ask) American poet and author while Captain Karl is a Twitter bit, but from reading them in this order, I can’t help but think: Karl is Hank Chinasky for a new generation. (more…)

Forget your preconceptions and buy this album.

againstmeTurn on their new album on your record player, iTunes, Spotify or other (new-fangled) media for any fan of the genre, and you’ll probably recognize the familiar growling vocals of Against Me!’s lead singer. The noncomformist, anti-establishment theme is still there throughout, and on its surface, it should appeal to anyone who’s ever enjoyed the band’s sound in the past – but anyone who has followed the band’s history over the past two years knows that Transgender Dysphoria Blues is Against Me! fighting a whole new battle. (more…)