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Our 2nd Anniversary

Mark Coale




Props to the man himself for inviting me to the / anniversary party.

One of the questions CRZ asked in his invitation email was "Do you enjoy wrestling?" The answer is yes, with a caveat. The business is certainly at a crossroads and I for one am not anxiously to take the trip. I want the Invasion angle to work, but have little faith in it being done correctly. And by correctly, I mean the way *I* would book it. Which among the smark Internet writers doesn't secretly believe that they can do a better job than most of the bookers in the business? (Admittedly, a thousand monkeys typing away would be a better booker committee than that fucker Vince Russo.) I love wrestling, but not Mainstream American Wrestling in 2001.

Do I like the indy scene? Yes, from the companies that I've worked for in the past to the ones I watch on video. A decade or so ago, I religiously waited every month or so to get SMW tapes and now I do the same with OVW. And now that I know people in the business, I have a new appreciation for it, especially at the indy level, where most of the people are doing it beacuse they want to and don't necessarily expect to show up on the McMahon family payroll.

Do I like the international scene? Oh yeah. On the whole, I enjoy watching EMLL Tuesday nights more than watching RAW. Can I speak Spanish? No. But, wrestling in the ring is universal. And EMLL is like watching old school NWA. And that's what I like. Now, I can't stand AAA. I usually don't even watch it. It's too ECW for my taste. And I'm a longtime puroresu mark. Love Toryumon. Still love AJ and NJ, even if it's not the same as the glory years of Mutoh/Chono/Hashimoto and Misawa/Kawada/Kobashi. Still hate garbage promotions like FMW. No matter what the country, I hate that shit.

Do I like watching old tapes? Hell yes. Nothing can make me feel better after sitting through a lame episode of RAW than watching Mid-South tapes. Or All Japan Women.

Do I like wrestling video games? Without a doubt. Fire Pro for the new Game Boy Advance is heaven sent. Not only is a great stepchild from the phenomenal Fire Pro D for Dreamcast, but it's a handheld wrestling game. I can play it while sitting at my desk during my lunch hour. I can play it while waiting for a movie to start at the cineplex. If only the game had Kurt Angle and Stoker Ishikawa in it. And I still love playing the All Japan Dreamcast game, since it was made before the NOAH split.

Which leaves us with, Do I like the WWF/WCW? Some days yes, some days no. Is Benoit and/or Angle in the ring? Is Regal on the mike? Is Stephanie McMahon in a really slutty outfit? Then I'm cool. Unfortunately, there's not enough wheat amongst the chaff. And most nights, I'd rather speed through RAW in 30 minutes after work, just so I can go to bed sooner.

CRZ, do I still visit the site? Yes, even though he doesn't often post my columns when I send them anymore. (WHAT? Well, I MEANT to... - CRZ) I always read the recaps here, rather than someplace else. And now, I don't even have to make the choice. I try and zip through the message boards, although, in all honesty, I usually only read what CRZ posts and skip everything else. And I'm happy for the links to sites that I don't want to bother keeping on my own links (like Herb and the DVD guys).

Plugs, I've got a few. If you're in the Tidewater area of Virginia, choose the new Borders over Barnes and Noble; they pay my salary. Most of my time now is being spent on my wacky lucha comic, Dr. Alquimia. You can find ordering info about the preview and other stuff at my magazine's web page, And, since I can, shoutouts to some other comics and wrestling people: Milk and Cheese's Evan Dorkin & Sarah Dyer (, Scary Godmother's Jill (the original artist for Mick's Xmas book) Thompson ( and indy valet extraordinaire Velvet Divide (

Thanks CRZ. Happy Anniversary.

Mark Coale
Odessa Steps Magazine

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