Tag Archive | "WWE"

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Chapter 5: The Orioles and Colts weren’t the only teams that mattered

Posted on 16 August 2018 by Nestor Aparicio

(Originally published as a prelude to the “Free The Birds” walkout in Sept. 2006, this is Part 5 of a 19 Chapter Series on How baseball, my father and the Orioles created WNST.net. We are planning some civic action on Thursday, April 5. Please plan to join us…)

This is probably the story that I hate to admit the most on the radio. It involves youthful ignorance, disgusting twists and turns and, ultimately, I think more than just a tad bit of old-fashioned adolescent rebellion.

I don’t think anyone could ever picture me as a rebel, right?

If what I really say about comparing the Baltimore sports scene is true  — “the Ravens are my girlfriend, but the Orioles are my wife” and I DID warn you that I can find a baseball analogy for virtually ANY situation in life, or vice versa — then at one point I had a few “flings.”

A couple of those steamy, whirlwind romances that feel so good you don’t even feel GUILTY about it in the morning. It’s a “new” love, a satisfaction that only something “fresh” will give you.

My first one occurred back in the 1970’s, really the first day that the “fan” came out in the fanatic.

My Pop took me to my first Colts game on Sept. 23, 1973 to see “Broadway” Joe Namath and the New York Jets. No need to run you through the whys and wherefores of Super Bowl III (if I gotta do THAT, you probably shouldn’t be reading or hearing this!), but suffice to say this city had what my Pop would describe as a “hard on” for the Jets — to say the least!

I was three weeks shy of my 5th birthday, so I was technically 4 years old and off to a Colts’ football game we go. Unlike my memories of my first Oriole game being a little more cloudy and distant, my recollections of my first Colts game is so vivid it’s really kinda spooky.

The Colts lost that game 34-10, and even though I don’t need to look that up, I AM staring at the program from that game just six inches to my left. The fact that I can move my left hand and touch this program and, somehow, touch my father through it and touch the smell of the air that day is incredible — a powerful, powerful thing.

But that’s just how good sports can be and why The Rally on Sept. 21st downtown is important.

On that day in September 1973, Johnny Unitas had just left, the franchise was in a shambles and the embryo that would birth an exit from Baltimore, “Tiger” Bob Irsay and his drunken ownership hijinks, was gestating. Marty Domres was the starting quarterback and Bert Jones was a puppy, but the team had the key compenents to what would go on to be a fabulous team to watch from 1975 through 1977 — a team that gave Pittsburgh and Oakland a run for their money each year as a solid AFC East team. Lydell Mitchell, Ken Mendenhall, Joe Ehrmann, David Taylor, Mike Barnes — they were all there that day.

Stan White knocked Joe Namath out of the game that day and, 33 years later, I get to compete with him every day on Baltimore radio. I just think that’s kinda cool, even if he never has! Stan White was a hero of mine as a kid because he smacked Joe Namath in the mouth (or in the case, the shoulder).

My Pop didn’t think that sucked, either!

We sat in the middle of centerfield — or at least that’s what it was to me, the bleacher seats. I thought it was kinda nifty that we got to actually WALK on the baseball field. I remember how BIG everyone was and how gigantic the stadium looked from centerfield. I remember the band and I’m sure it was the first time I ever heard the “Colts Fight Song.”

At some point during the blowout, my Pop and I left, resigned to grabbing the No. 22 bus back to Highlandtown. En route, I wanted to stop and get a souvenir. I wanted to get something that had something to do with Johnny Unitas. I didn’t really know who Johnny Unitas was but I knew he was

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WWE champion Rollins leaves mark on Baltimore this weekend

Posted on 18 May 2015 by Luke Jones

BALTIMORE — Rookie Mike Wright was the story of the day for the Orioles, but he wasn’t the only one to leave his mark on Sunday as WWE World Heavyweight Champion Seth Rollins had a full schedule in Baltimore.

Before successfully defending his world title at the sports entertainment giant’s “Payback” pay-per-view event at Royal Farms Arena, the 28-year-old Rollins hammed it up with Adam Jones and threw out the ceremonial first pitch prior to Sunday’s series finale against the Los Angeles Angels. It’s just one of the many new perks and obligations for Rollins, who won the WWE title at WrestleMania seven weeks ago after cashing in his “Money in the Bank” contract, a scripted stipulation that allows a performer to challenge for the title at any moment on WWE programming.

That moment came during the main event of the WWE’s “Super Bowl” as Rollins reached the pinnacle of professional wrestling.

“It’s fairly surreal. It’s gone so fast,” said Rollins, whose real name is Colby Lopez. “You said seven weeks, it doesn’t even feel like it’s been that long to be honest with you. Every day is a new adventure. It’s been very exciting, and to be honest, it’s been everything that I hoped that it would be. Getting opportunities to do things like this, the “Today” show, and just main-event pay-per-views for WWE, it’s always been a dream of mine. All this stuff is just the icing on the cake and the cherry on top.”

Previously performing as Tyler Black in the Ring of Honor promotion, Rollins has quickly climbed the WWE ladder after signing a developmental contract in 2010 and becoming the inaugural NXT Champion in 2012. Soon thereafter, Rollins would make his WWE debut as a member of The Shield, a group that also included Roman Reigns and Dean Ambrose.

Despite the trio’s popular run, the script called for Rollins to turn on his partners last year and he has since become one of the top heels in the promotion. This was evident as he walked out to the mound to throw out the first pitch at Camden Yards to a mixture of boos and cheers from fans.

“Oh, they hate me. It’s great. They hate everything I do. It’s phenomenal,” said Rollins, who has drawn comparisons to a young version of WWE legend Shawn Michaels. “They want someone to take this title off me so bad, but the problem is it’s not going to happen because I’m that good. I’m just going to keep it, and I’m going to beat everybody. Bring on all the challengers, whoever it might be — anybody on the WWE roster or Adam Jones if he wants to step into the ring. Anybody, it doesn’t matter. They hate my guts; it’s wonderful.”

Beyond laying down the challenge to the Orioles center fielder — who attended Sunday night’s WWE event along with Steve Pearce and J.J. Hardy — and throwing out the first pitch, Rollins relished the opportunity to return to Baltimore after last month’s unrest that drew national attention and painted the city in a negative light.

Having regularly performed in the Charm City with both Ring of Honor and WWE over the last several years, Rollins is well aware of Baltimore’s strong wrestling fan base and history and doesn’t want the events of last month to define the city.

“The whole weekend has been great for the city between the horse racing, the Orioles having some games back-to-back finally with some people in the stands, and ‘Payback’ bringing a lot of excitement to Royal Farms [Arena],” Rollins said. “I think it’s a great community. It’s really just a crappy thing that that had to reflect on the city of Baltimore. I’ve been here a billion times, and that’s not the character of the city at all. It’s cool to have a weekend like this where everybody is just out having a good time showing what Baltimore’s really all about.”

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This week’s #WNSTSweet16 grapples with one of Baltimore’s favorite pastimes

Posted on 01 April 2014 by Luke Jones

The road to WrestleMania culminates next Sunday in New Orleans with the 30th edition of the best spectacle in sports entertainment, so we dedicate this week’s #WNSTSweet16 to the greatest professional wrestling moments in Baltimore history.

Baltimore has a rich pro wrestling history that includes countless moments from WWE (and the WWF and WWWF before it) and WCW as well as a strong presence of smaller promotions such as Ring of Honor and Maryland Championship Wrestling to this day. In fact, WNST.net’s own Nestor Aparicio named a WWE card at the Baltimore Arena on the #WNSTSweet16 list of “must-attend” events for Baltimore sports fans.

Professional wrestling has changed dramatically over the years as the legendary Vince McMahon began referring to his product as “sports entertainment” years ago and began peeling back the curtain on his brand of theatrical athleticism, but Baltimore’s passion hasn’t waned as events are well-attended on a regular basis.

Without further ado, we present the #WNSTSweet16 Greatest Professional Wrestling Moments in Baltimore History:

Continue to next page for No. 16

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Top 10 Baseball Distractions

Posted on 13 December 2011 by WNST Staff

Honorable Mention: High School Basketball-Bel Air @ Perry Hall (Wednesday 6:30pm), St. Frances @ John Carroll (Wednesday 7pm); Mixed Martial Arts: Strikeforce-Gilbert Melendez vs. Jorge Masvidal (Saturday 10pm from San Diego live on Showtime)

10. Lyle Lovett and His Acoustic Group (Thursday 7pm Rams Head Live); Bret Michaels (Wednesday 7pm & 10pm Rams Head on Stage); Pietasters (Friday 8pm 9:30 Club), Virginia Coalition (Saturday 8pm 9:30 Club); Devo (Thursday 8pm State Theatre), Phil Vassar (Sunday 8pm State Theatre); Chris Isaak (Monday 7:30pm Birchmere); Anthony Hamilton “Back to Love” available in stores/on iTunes (Tuesday)

I am not a Lyle Lovett fan, but I am a human being. Because I am a human being, I am ABSOLUTELY a fan of this tune. One of the happiest days in my life may have been the day I walked off a hangover into the DC Farmers’ Market and saw a folk band playing the song. If it hadn’t been in DC it would have been the HAPPIEST…

Is there any chance I could go see Bret Michaels and skip everything besides this?

I saw the Pietasters most recently at Artscape this summer. They were fantastic. They always are.

Virginia Coalition is ABSOLUTELY the best band you’re not listening to. Unless you’re not listening to U2. There aren’t people that don’t listen to U2, are there?

9. Glenn Clark’s Christmas Party (Saturday 8pm undisclosed location in Monkton); “Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows” & “Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol out in theaters (Friday); Christian Finnegan (Thursday-Sunday DC Improv)

This is how last year’s Christmas party ended…

That’s my girlfriend cleaning up vomit. The vomit happened to be on the ceiling. It is what it is.

Oh…and last year’s party also involved the following….


Ours were of course much manlier than this, but you get the point. This is not to be missed…like…say…ever.

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I always had great Eck-spectations for my best pal and Dundalk wrestling hero Kevin Eck

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I always had great Eck-spectations for my best pal and Dundalk wrestling hero Kevin Eck

Posted on 24 August 2011 by Nestor Aparicio

It’s been an emotional week for me on many levels with more big news forthcoming about WNST.net and its future, so please allow me a little space today to write a very personal blog that comes from the heart.

Kevin Eck – you probably know him as the “Ring Post” guy at The Baltimore Sun — has been in my life since 1979 and for large swaths of time we were as close as any brothers could be. We met at the Games store at Eastpoint Mall (remember that place?) at an autograph signing for Billy Smith. We also both met Al Bumbry, Scott McGregor, Mike Flanagan and Rich Dauer (his favorite) there on the north end of the mall during that “Magical” summer. I was a legitimate “mall rat” at Eastpoint Mall in the early 1980’s – PacMan, soaping the fountains, that sorta thing.

As Bruce Springsteen once wrote so eloquently in the E Street Band classic, Bobby Jean: “We liked the same music, we liked the same bands, we like the same clothes.” That could’ve been the story of Nestor and Kevin. Except we liked the same girls, baseball, football, basketball, rock bands and, of course, professional wrestling of the WWWF and the land of Bob Backlund and George “The Animal” Steele.

This isn’t just a story about my lifelong best pal from Holabird Junior High and Dundalk Senior High. It’s not just a media or journalist story.

It’s really about a kid from Dundalk who dreamed of working in professional wrestling and next week is embarking on a journey of a lifetime.

I can say with all of the conviction in my being that Kevin Eck ate, slept, talked, walked, learned, researched, watched, critiqued, worked in and worked out of nothing but the world of professional wrestling.

The genesis of our friendship wasn’t born of the Orioles or Colts or any rock music band like Rush — and they’re all closer to the heart of our friendship. The truth: Kevin was the only other WWWF wrestling aficionado and wrestling magazine nut when I was in the 7th grade. It was our special bond – a love of the squared circle and the work of Bruno Sammartino, Superstar Billy Graham, Greg Valentine and Andre The Giant.

So, this isn’t just about another “Dundalk boy did well” story, it’s more like a Willy Wonka kind of story with imagination .

Look, I could tell Kevin Eck stories all night. Chasing girls in the 8th grade. Attending every middle school and high school dance. Girlfriends, births, deaths, jobs, journalism, careers, wives…we’ve done it all.  Crazy weeks in Jamaica. Long weekends in Ocean City. All-night benders in Las Vegas and San Diego. You name it. World Series games, crazy cab rides that I chronicled in “Purple Reign” when Eck was the first person in Baltimore to hear the news that the Browns/Modells were moving their NFL franchise to Baltimore.

Eck and I have been around the world together and have shared our lives together. If you want to see a bunch of crazy old, embarrassing pictures I posted them all on my Facebook page here. Please feel free to fan me and I’ll try to make you laugh more often.

And there’s nothing better in life than when your friends do well. Nothing!

Especially when your oldest friends succeed and thrive and live their dreams.

Kevin Eck’s life and dream came full-circle and into the squared circle a few weeks ago when he accepted a job to work on the WWE creative team with Stephanie McMahon, Triple H and Dusty Rhodes in Greenwich, Ct. He’s packing up his family and moving to take a job a lifetime at Titan Tower.

In baseball, we’d say he got the call to “go to the show.”

And this must be what it feels like when your brother or best friend or son makes his first big-league start.

You almost want to pinch yourself for them, you know?

Our lives and our career paths have followed a similar, strange path – we’ve worked directly in the same industry as competitors for the better part of two decades and somehow have managed to keep our friendship (and that’s not always easy with two fiery personalities).

I got a job at The News American in September 1984. He soon followed.

I got a job at The Evening Sun in January 1986. He soon followed at The Sun.

I left The Sun in January 1992. He left a few years later to go to work for Ted Turner and WCW as a magazine editor in the last 1990’s and was there during a turbulent corporate time when Vince McMahon’s then-WWF empire usurped the entire industry and my pal came back from Atlanta having to start his local journalism life all over again.

Because of his immense talent and deep depth of knowledge of local sports, Kevin got his job back on the editing desk at The Sun, right back in the sports department. He began writing his passion – a little blog called “Ring Posts” a few years ago and it quickly became a viral hit. (As I told him it would be…)

So many times I talk about expertise in journalism, integrity in reporting and fairness in news judgment and I’m proud to say Kevin Eck has all of that and has for the most part been a “behind the scenes” guy at The Sun, who never had a high profile beat but has been a rock star in his department on the high schools and the dirty work that so many don’t want to do in the journalism business — editing, planning, managing people.

He’s kind of like that lunch pail rock star football player – a Jarret Johnson, Kelly Gregg kinda underrated guy. But a guy you’d never want to lose. And he’ll be the first guy in the clubhouse and the last to leave.

The Sun is taking a major hit losing a guy like Kevin Eck, especially given his deep knowledge of Baltimore sports, which I sadly never put to better use. I always thought Kevin would’ve been a star doing local sports talk radio and I told him that. But he already had a gig and one that both of us dreamed of having as kids, which is what took us into the newspaper business back in 1984.

We both watched “The Odd Couple” as kids and wanted to be Oscar Madison, truth be told.

Meanwhile, the WWE is getting a rock star – someone who is so dedicated to wrestling that it honestly baffled all of our friends, especially when it became apparent through his mom taping every single episode of every single match on VHS tapes for the better part of 25 years.

Kevin Eck has watched as much wrestling as Mel Kiper Jr. has watched college football tape.

Seriously…

This summer, as a hobby, I took it upon myself to work on one project outside of direct WNST sales and development business and that’s been collecting all of my pictures, memorabilia and boxes o’memories to use on my Facebook page and in an upcoming reality TV show I’m participating in with a friend. (I can’t tell you more about it until they let me.)

Two weeks ago, at the bottom of a box, I found this gem of a memory.

And even though it happened on July 25, 1981, I remember it pretty well. Kevin and I were crashing at his Mom’s house and we began working on a project to quietly unseat Vince McMahon from his kingdom by publishing our own Pro Wrestling magazine. We were gonna make millions with this partnership venture.

His mom Shirley, who has struggled with her health lately and was like a second mother to me, was the only person we knew who could type so she was our typesetter and we had to go to the library to make copies and we planned to sell them for 25 cents.

Kevin and I worked all night to make the inaugural (and only) edition of Wrestling, Inc. with Dusty Rhodes on the cover.

That was 30 years ago last month. I don’t think Kevin has missed a WWE wrestling match since 1981.

Other than Dave Meltzer and perhaps Alex Marvez, my pal Kevin Eck is as expert about all things professional wrestling as anyone on the planet outside of Vince McMahon himself.

There’s not much Kevin Eck doesn’t know about pro wrestling, except now he’ll be on the inside of the WWE kingdom helping put on the show and make it better.

He’s off to the WWE to make a difference to follow his dream.

He loved The Baltimore Sun. He loves Baltimore sports and has quietly dedicated his life to it the way I did.

I was the loud boisterous pal. He was always the quiet one in the shadows.

I traveled the world, got syndicated, did my thing and he was always so supportive – like a brother – through all of my victories and challenges.

Kevin did the family thing, came back home to Baltimore to be a factor at his dream job in The Sun sports department and now he’s gotten the job of a lifetime at WWE and one that he’s richly deserving of and one where he’ll thrive and be the best in the world.

You should follow him. You should root for him.

I’m so proud of him and so happy for him that I could explode.

I just wanted to brag on my pal, spread his great news and tell him “good luck” in the most public way that I can because I’m proud of how his hard work has paid off for him.

And I have a feeling I’ll be watching a lot more WWE and SmackDown in 2012 and pining away for the days of Lord Alfred Hayes and Captain Lou Albano.

And if somehow they could only bring Bruno Sammartino back into the ring for one night at the old Civic Center!

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Big bucks rolling into Baltimore .....

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Big bucks rolling into Baltimore …..

Posted on 20 June 2011 by WNST Interns

While it’s no secret a soured economy has negatively affected the core of our nation, a window of hope and renewed prosperity will impact Baltimore over the next ten days or so …..

That’s right, an influx of money is headed this way. It will be in the form of entertainment dollars from local residents, as well as loyal tourists of a few given products.

With all due respect and love for the local landmarks, I am not referring to Ft. McHenry, Babe Ruth’s birthplace or the lure of Camden Yards, amid its quaint reputation among summer-traveling baseball enthusiasts.

Baltimore’s downtown restaurants, hotels, parking garages and mitigating businesses are about to get a GREEN shot in the arm, with thanks to some huge personalities who’ll bring their displays of talent and attraction to local venues …..
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I have never watched half-naked men grapple with each other, while drinking cold beers with Glenn Clark. But, that will change tonight as rasslin’ returns to 1st Mariner Arena.

Randy Orton and his choreographing cohorts will be certain to attract the dollars of several thousand squared-circle drama pheens. Turnbuckles, tag teams and total chaos is bound to rule tonight’s LIVE television event.

Can Glenn and I co-exist amid our propensity to disagree on just about everything … and with alcohol involved? Stay tuned …..
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What can I say about the legend of U2? They’re coming to town on Wednesday night and 50,000+ wallets and purses will be opened up by visitors and residents, alike.

For many music lovers, this is a pilgrimage in witnessing one of the GREATEST rock bands ever. And, Wednesday’s event also serves as the largest collection of consumers to ever see a concert, in Baltimore.

With or without you … Bono and his bandmates will most certainly bring an awesome energy to our city. It’s a grand celebration, even in a mid-week atmosphere. By the way, WNST and Bud Light have organized a pub crawl in the hours preceding the show. Nestor will be at the Tiki Barge at noon, and the Stalking Horse at 4pm.  Stay tuned to WNST for further information.
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When a sports franchise from Cincinnati comes to Baltimore, it’s rarely observed as a major windfall. But, in this case we’re not talking about the Bengals …..

The last time the Cincinnati Reds played a baseball game in this town, Pete Rose, Johnny Bench and Tony Perez comprised the primary parts of the BIG RED MACHINE. They were among the best players of that era.

This coming weekend, the Reds will return for an inter-league series with the Orioles. While this Cincy team is not nearly as revered as the 1970’s product, they have spawned some of the best up an coming talents in baseball.

Joey Votto is the defending National League MVP, and his supporting cast of Jay Bruce and Brandon Phillips are pretty good, too. The Reds are a popular team and their collection of young stars will seize the convenience of a weekend opportunity to produce attendance figures similar to visits by the Red Sox and Yankees.
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Keep your fingers crossed on this final potential cash-cow opportunity for Baltimore’s business community over the next ten days …..

Albert Pujols is regarded as the best player in baseball, period. His steady cache’ of triple crown-caliber statistics, combined with a hulking presence and goodwill nature make him the most embraceable player in the game.

But, he’s hurt.

In yesterday’s game against the Royals, Pujols sprained his wrist in a collision with Wilson Betemit. Further information concerning the injury will be relayed later today.

It’s simple … if Albert Pujols plays, it will be three days of Yankees/Red Sox type crowds, again. If he doesn’t play, the series will probably be more resembling of a visit by another National league team.

Of course, I hope he’s healthy and capable of putting on a power display on Eutaw Street, next week. And, downtown businesses are undoubtedly hoping for the same thing.

Show Baltimore the MONEY !!!!!  Oh yeah, and if you want to save some money, while enjoying local restaurants and entertainment, please check the WNST Save Baltimore Coupons page, RIGHT HERE

I will chat with you at 2pm ….

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50 words or less .... the top-10 wrestling personalities of all-time

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50 words or less …. the top-10 wrestling personalities of all-time

Posted on 25 May 2011 by WNST Interns

During Monday’s edition of the Afternoon Drive, I discussed the recent death of Randy “Macho Man” Savage with my cohort, Luke Jones. We’re both rasslin’ fans and consider our in-depth knowledge of squared-circle history to be among some of the most worthless information we’ll ever possess in our lifetimes.

But, it was a fun conversation, and the segment served as an opportunity to introduce my list of the TOP-10 WRESTLING PERSONALITIES OF ALL-TIME. Is it a groundbreaking roster of talent? Does include the biggest rasslin’ legends known to fans?

Hmmm …. not exactly.

After all, I’m considering it a list of PERSONALITIES. Thus, this group represents the competitors who served as the best “actors” and/or personas of the wrestling world. Are big names missing? HUGE names are missing …..

But, with all due respect, Bruno Sammartino, Bob Backlund and Andre The Giant lacked the shtick that catapults a talented individual into stardom. In other words, their biggest weakness was in opening their mouths to say anything. They just didn’t possess that dynamic personality found among notable others.

Without further delay, here is today’s list of the GREATEST WRESTLING PERSONALITIES OF ALL-TIME ….. and it has a couple changes, since Monday’s discussion:
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#10
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#9
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#8
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#7
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#6
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#5
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#4
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#3
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#2
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#1
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Well, that’s my list. If you have an opinion, feel free to make comments, below. I’ll talk with you, today at 2pm …..

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This is a big day for my favorite WNST caller .....

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This is a big day for my favorite WNST caller …..

Posted on 29 March 2011 by WNST Interns

When I first joined the WNST family, I possessed a few curiosities regarding the local flavor and personalities revolving around the originality of Nestor’s concept. Aside from the mantra of hearing and speaking the TRUTH, my mind piqued with an interest in hosts, guests and callers.

I had a favorite host and he has become a trusted mentor, ally and friend.

I had a favorite guest and he has become an occasional contributor to my daily efforts.

I had a favorite caller and she has become a dependable diversion from anything ordinary.

Call me simple, shallow or easily amused, but whenever Nestor chatted with “Lisa in Baltimore”, I always made time to listen and enjoy the very thoughts of someone who shared her version of a daily life’s normalcy with the listening world.

I never expected to hear sports analysis or an in-depth opinion of the Orioles or Ravens, but I still listened with as much or more overall interest.

For me, she was a refreshing changeup from the common caller and the predictable persuasions that accompany the dependably opinionated voices from Parkville, Reisterstown and Phoenix. Lisa absolutely embodied the meaning of different, because I knew her calls would be humorously original, if not totally outrageous.

And, if I’m being vividly honest, I was so drawn to her calls, that I started to grow suspicious that she was either 10-96 (police code for a crazed individual) or an orchestrated part of the show, known as “shtick”. Indeed, I found her to be that distinctive.

Since succeeding Nestor, more than a year ago, I have inherited a few of his regular staples. I get to talk baseball with a devout, expert analyst, in Allen McCallum. I also get the same benefit, albeit from the NFL perspective, with Chris Pika. And, I happily enjoy regular calls from Lisa.

Over the last year, I have learned a good bit about the innocent nature and spontaneity of my favorite caller, ever. Her calls are quite authentic, and she harbors nothing more than a desire to seek a few minutes of our day, while innocently sharing a few minutes of hers, in exchange.

Lisa does not embellish, mislead or provide anything outside her world of reality, regardless of how drastically different many of us may receive such thoughts and expressions. Everyone knows she is special, yet, her plight is something I never take for granted, nor exploit.

I truly love being part of Lisa’s day and I wouldn’t change how we handle her calls, because they’re authentic and representative of how she views incidents and events. Call it what you will, but I’ll simply label it one person’s very special take on anything and everything around them.

Recently, we brainstormed an idea for breaking Lisa away from her routine calls, while providing a few fun moments of conjecture. It was our way of leading her into analyzing and offering some opinions and ideas – even if such musings blurred slightly outside the world of sports.

To coincide with the NCAA Tournament, we developed Lisa’s “MARCH MADNESS CELEBRITY WRESTLING TOURNAMENT”. Our concept was to develop a field of 64 personalities she knows and allow her to determine the outcome of hypothetical rasslin’ matches, in a bracketed structure.

We started with four regions; Curtis Bay, Pigtown, Dundalk and Pimlico. We formulated a list of personalities, including ME, Joe Flacco, Ric Flair, Frankenstein, Nick Markakis, Nestor, Babe Ruth, Eddie Murray, Charlie Sheen, Tonya Harding, a Great White Shark, Earl Weaver and many more.

Each day, Lisa has been presented with respective matchups, while also introducing the extenuating circumstances and outrageous storylines that accompany a WWE event. After all, everybody knows Lisa loves wrestling and she enjoys talking about it in nearly every respect.

To date, we’ve worked our way through the field and presently stand with our FINAL FOUR primed and ready for her determination of who advances to the championship match. Lisa will be calling today’s matches at some point during the Afternoon Drive. The matchups are:
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NESTOR vs. KODIAK BEAR
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FAT ALBERT vs. BEN ROETHLISBERGER
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I can only imagine the humor and intriguing rationale she’ll employ in determining the outcomes of such a comical set of circumstances. If nothing else, Lisa’s impressions will be original and lightheartedly amusing.

I will concede an initial hesitance in actually carrying this concept toward a daily reality. I am quite aware of our emphasis and devotion to discussing sports on a primary basis. But, I trusted my heart and innovative knack for knowing that diversions can be fun and a way of breaking away from routine conversations, especially during the spring season.

In totality, I have been pretty flattered by the positive reaction and kind words expressed by listeners, regarding this little segment and appealing to Lisa’s good nature. It tells me something special about our listeners. It’s only a few minutes of our day, but it most surely gratifies her in a very special way.

I will be taking Lisa bowling over the next few weeks, as a means of thanking her for making us a part of her innocent and compassionately-social daily life. It will not be an event …. just a day at the bowling alley for friends.

Thanks for listening.

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If you can't beat 'em .... steal their idea !!!!

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If you can’t beat ’em …. steal their idea !!!!

Posted on 16 March 2011 by WNST Interns

 

Hey, it’s made more than one career, right?  Don’t invent your own wheel, just take your neighbor’s, when he’s not looking …. smear a little paint or touch-up on it and of course, make it even better.

 

When I walked into the WNST studios, yesterday, I looked at Ryan Chell and suggested that we add our own selections to the Morning Reaction’s “Tuesday Top-7” theme of the day.  I found it thought provoking, as usual, and I had my own list to share.

 

However, the Afternoon Drive’s format dictated a little more diligence and we weren’t able to squeeze in our picks for “ESPN Documentaries We Would Like To Make” …..

 

But, it was after I arrived home for the evening and enjoyed a couple tall glasses of Cherry Vodka and Diet Coke, that a quite original idea crossed my mind.  Funny how that happens, huh? 

 

Why add to Drew and Glenn’s List? 

 

Let’s just take it – make it better and give it a different name.  After all, Drew is ALWAYS gonna be hung up on Tiger Woods and Atlanta Braves pitchers.  Glenn, on the other hand, loves Andy Roddick and I’m pretty sure he knows Juan Dixon’s birthday and favorite ice cream flavor.

 

No surprises, right?  Well, I would imagine that restraining order precluded any Gary Williams mentions for hopeful documentaries …..

 

I figured my selections would be a little more zany or unpredictable.  But, I need a name for the general concept and subsequent blogs.  How about the “Wednesday Wish List?”  I won’t even need to come up with a weekly idea – I’ll just wait for the sun to set on Tuesday and steal the morning show’s idea.

 

Without further delay, here’s my WISH LIST for “ESPN Documentaries I would Like To Make” …..

 

5)  EXILED …. THE STORY OF MIKE MARSHALL

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The former Cy Young Award winner has re-invented the pitching motion, in an effort to eliminate the very injury leading to Tommy John surgery.  Today, he is Dr. Mike Marshall, an esteemed graduate of Michigan State University, with a doctorate degree in kinesiology.

 

He has built a distinguishable track record in developing young pitchers who thrive on his prescribed motion, while minimizing arm injuries.  Marshall suffered serious arm injuries and upon developing his technique rebounded and thrived in the game.  He appeared in a record setting 106 games (with 208 innings amassed) in 1974, all in relief.

 

Yet, he is shunned by Major League Baseball executives.  He can’t crack any organization, nor the league’s administration, itself.  Why is that?  He would like to know, and I would too …..

 

4)  HEELS & BABYFACES …. THE MODERN WORLD OF PRO WRESTLING

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If you’re thinking I want to make a documentary based on who the next WWE Champion will be, you’re mistaken.  But, I would like to take a look inside this world of choreographed sports entertainment.  From storyline development to the actual casting of characters, I think it’s a fascinating product.

 

Yeah, Vince McMahon has hands of gold when emptying the pockets of a certain demographic when it comes to the WWE’s consumers.  But, he employs some of the shrewdest and innovative minds when it comes to development of his shows.  It’s high-tech theatrics blended with physical abilities.

 

The world of rasslin’ is a soap opera of sorts, but they’ve found a way to get millions of viewers to watch every second of it.  I want to see the product from behind those curtains …..

 

3)  OCHOCINCO …. THE SAGA OF CHAD JOHNSON

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He’s the ultimate split personality, right?  I’m not so interested in how Chad develops his ideas and ploys for public relevance.  But, I would be interested in taking a look back at his life to see where the narcissism originated.

 

We know the deal …. he’s an immense talent, purveyor of self-importance and social media star.  But, he’s not a champion, nor has he ever really achieved his potential as a winner.  There must be a reason behind his overachievement in image, while underachieving in on-field success.

 

What leads a guy to change his name?  What compels a man to latch onto the moments of others?  What causes the outbursts of negativity toward teammates, followed by multiple acts of generosity for complete strangers.  Damn, I’d like to know …..

 

2)  HELD TO A HIGHER STANDARD …. THE BYU ATHLETE

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Yeah, you’re right, I’m not ready to let this go.  Ever since Brandon Davies was dismissed from the BYU basketball team, I’ve cast a discerning eye toward that program.  Something is not adding up and this is probably a storyline to be covered on an upcoming edition of 60 Minutes or Dateline NBC.

 

The common rationale by American sports consumers is “he agreed to certain rules when he accepted the scholarship.”  For me, that’s a weak way of looking at it.  The BYU “Honor Code” reaches beyond sexual activity, to include caffeine abstinence and use of profanity.

It applies to everyone – not just scholar athletes.  Fair enough – but give me a Friday night in the BYU social circles and I’d be willing to bet I could uncover some cans of Pepsi along with a few slurred bad words.  Hey, it’s against the “Honor Code”.

 

In fact, I have no doubt that I could walk around the BYU dorms for an isolated hour and profile likely residents who would flunk the ‘ole code if their rooms were searched.  I would love to see a documentary that sheds some transparency on the BYU institution …..

 

1)  THE LUCKY GENIUS …. INSIDE THE CAREER OF BILL BELICHICK

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He is without a doubt one of the most polarizing individuals in the pro sports world.  Distinct opinions abound when it comes to Bill Belichick; cheater, champion, aloof, fortunate, gambler.  You name it ….

 

I think one of the most compelling characteristics about Bill Belichick is he doesn’t give a damn what anybody thinks about him.  He’s probably the complete opposite personality from a Chad Ochocinco.  But, he’s powerful – and he knows it.

 

Detractors will say Belichick’s success is directly hitched to Tom Brady, because “he stunk” without the Hall of Fame quarterback.  While his early head coaching resume’ is not as polished as this past decade, he did convert a kid who had never taken an NFL snap into an 11 game winner, in 2008.

 

I think a documentary about Bill Belichick would answer many of the queries posed of him.  Personally, I think he is a GENIUS and I will always be upfront about it …..

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Bruno Sammartino dinner is postponed

Posted on 11 July 2010 by Nestor Aparicio

For all of you fellow 1970’s WWWF fans, I’ve got some good news and bad news.

Earlier this week Bruno Sammartino’s wife had an emergency knee replacement and he called me two days ago and asked if we could reschedule the July 18th date to later in the year. Obviously, it’s disappointing that we’re going to move the date into the fall but at least we’re doing our best to make it happen.

Candidly, ticket sales haven’t been what we anticipated but we’re still in a position to make the event happen even if it’s downscaled a bit.

I want to give Bruno a week to get his wife’s rehab in place and we’ll look for an appropriate date in the Fall.

Hope you understand and know that I’m JUST as excited as the many who’ve written me to say it’s a pretty cool and unique event. I’ve still never met Bruno and it’s been a thrill to just chat with him on the phone.

If you know of some other wrestling friends who would like to attend the event we still have every intention of making this happen.

We’ll get you more details when I can circle the wagons and get a new date.

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