Friday, September 29, 2023

Rebel at Blizzard Brawl 2021

Great Lakes Championship Wrestling's Blizzard Brawl returns to Waukesha, Wisconsin on December 2. As usual, I will be "On the Beat" capturing all the action.
Blizzard Brawl 2023 starts at 4:30 with a huge meet-and-greet with all of the wrestlers. There are usually about 20-25 legends and current wrestlers. The wrestling starts at 7 pm. The wrestling card is always solid. It features mostly current stars, with a few legends in the mix.
A couple years ago, one of the wrestling guests was Tanea Brooks, better known as Rebel. Rebel has had multiple stints in Impact Wrestling, Ohio Valley Wrestling and other independent companies, as well as All Elite Wrestling, where she currently is.
Aside from meeting her, there are tqo cool things about this picture. The first is a photobomb by wrestling legend Gail Kim (far left). The second is a photobomb by my friend and the legendary photographer Bob Mulrenin. Because Bob never liked publicity, this is a rare (almost) picture of him in (almost) action. Bob was a great man, but he died about a year ago. We all miss Bob.
Only a couple wrestlers have been announced for Blizzard Brawl 2023. More will be announced soon and I will be updating things as they develop.
Go to for more info and updates. Check back here for my coverage.
Rebel and me in Waukesha, WI-December 2021.

Thursday, September 28, 2023

Absurdities: Facebook Opt Out

Absurdities is a recurring series in which I point out absurdities I find in life. You don't have to agree with me, but I challenge you to prove me wrong if so. Also, feel free to send me similar absurdities.

If you're on Facebook, you have probably seen some form of the post below. Hopefully, you haven't posted it.

This nonsense has been around for a long time, yet I still see people posting it. The times and charges change, but the basics remain the same and all of it is untrue.

First, payment info is not needed to signup for Facebook. Therefore, how could we be charged?

Second, if you read the many paragraphs in the Terms of Service we all had to check upon signing up for Facebook, they do have the right to use our posts.

Third, copy and pasting this does not upgrade the system. There is not system like that to be upgraded.

This public service announcement is brought to you by me in hopes it prevents at least one more person from posting this absurd notice. Please stop the nonsense.

Wednesday, September 27, 2023

Dan Parent at New York Comic Con 2021

New York Comic Con is underway. Running through tomorrow, it is one of the country's biggest comic cons. I will be "On the Beat" meeting celebrities and creators of all sorts.
Comic book artist and writer Dan Parent is a regular stop on my Artist Alley circuit at comic cons. Somehow though, I have never gotten Parent for an interview. I hope and plan to change that soon, now that comic cons are starting to return.
Parent started working for Archie Comics right after graduating from the Kubert School. He might be best known for introducing the first openly gay character in Archie Comics when he created Kevin Keller in 2010. In 2013,  he was given the GLAAD Media Award for Outstanding Comic Book.
Parent also started the Die Kitty Die comic series. The comic features young witch Kitty Ravencraft, who stars in her own comic book. Her greedy publisher wants to increase sales and plots to kill her in the comics and in real life.
There's so much content for an interview just in that paragraph. Actually, his work on Archie alone is enough for an interview. Archie recalls simpler times, when comic books were part of every kid's life. While Archie would seem to be a dinosaur in today's larger-than-life comics world, he remains popular. That's a major credit to Parent and all involved. I'd love to pick his brain a bit about Archie and the rest of his work.

Go to for more info on Dan and his latest projects. Check for updates and scheduling on NYCC.
Dan Parent and me in New York, NY-October 2021.

Tuesday, September 26, 2023

On the Beat With Kaia McKenna

When I was preparing to cover StarrCast VI, Kaia McKenna was one o my main targets for an interview. Due to the noise level and crowd, I could not do it there, but Kaia graciously agreed to a Zoom interview later. Last week, I got that interview.

After listening to other interviews of Kaia, I knew she would be a fascinating guest. Still early in her career, she has overcome a serious shoulder injury, but also has an amazingly mature look at the overall world of pro wrestling.

During her time in wrestling, Kaia has filled many roles. Not only did she enjoy those parts, she also learned a lot from doing those duties. All of that will help her in-ring career, but also is fueling a vision of running a promotion. This plan isn't some armchair wrestling fan playing fantasy wrestling. Kaia has a wealth of knowledge and a good grasp of what is needed. I have no doubt she will be a great promoter if she follows that path.

She also indulged me in talk of being a witch. This isn't the hokey black, pointy hat stuff. She talks of crystals, focus and energy. Maybe to an outside, it is just a mindset. To Kaia it is being a witch. Whether you believe or not, there is a lot to be learned from Kaia

 Lessons in improving one's focus can help in all aspects of life. Taking energy from crystals isn't a totally strange concept. It's not necessarily a black and white picture. Why not take whatever good you can from anyone?

In any case, I appreciate Kaia for her time and consideration. I am grateful she was open about her career and life. I am also thankful she accepted my request to learn more about witches as a genuine interest.

The full interview is at On the Beat With Kaia McKenna. Also, check all of the wrestling coverage on

Monday, September 25, 2023

Friend Encounters: Gritty and The Blue Meanie (and Swoop)

Friend Encounters is a weekly series featuring friends who have met celebrities.

I love the picture for today's feature. Two mascots and a larger-than-life character are always a welcome sight.
The big character is Brian Heffron (aka the Blue Meanie) of pro wrestling fame. Brian is a huge fan of Philadelphia sports, as proven in my latest interview with him, which is at On the Beat With The Blue Meanie.
Brian can often be seen at all Philly sports games. He's not a celebrity bandwagon guy. He knows his stuff. He's not just there for the party, although today he appears to be celebrating with Gritty, mascot of the Flyers, with Swoop, of the Eagles, photobombing them.
Aside from all of that, Brian is a great guy. He's always up for an interview or just casual chatter. It's especially fun when he is with his Blue World Order mate Mike "Nova" Bucci. They go at it pretty good supporting their teams (Bucci loves the Dallas Cowboys). 
Along with my friend Adam Barnard, Brian does The Mind of Meanie podcast. Go to Brian's links to find all of his projects.

Brian Heffron and Gritty (and Swoop) in Philadelphia, PA-October 2022.

Sunday, September 24, 2023

Celebrity Jersey Cards #654 Brandon McManus & Philipp Grubauer

Celebrity Jersey Cards is a weekly series in which I create virtual trading cards for celebrities wearing sports jerseys. Today, I continue my season-long alphabetical journey through all Major League Baseball teams.

Brandon McManus was born in Philadelphia, PA and went to Temple. The kicker went undrafted in the 2013 NFL draft. After signing and being released by the New Orleans Saints and New York Giants, McManus was signed by the Denver Broncos, where he kicked for nine seasons, including the Super Bowl champion team of 2015. McManus signed with the Jacksonville Jaguars for the 2023 season. Before leaving the Mile High city, McManus took a turn in the batting casges to merit his Celebrity Jersey Card.

Born in Germany, Philipp Grubauer is enjoying an 11 year career as a goalie. He started with the Washington Capitals, played a couple seasons with the Colorado Avalanche and is currently with the Seattle Kraken. It was during his time with the Avs that he took BP with the Colorado Rockies to earn his Celebrity jersey Card. Grubauer showed great form, but he is still better at stopping scoring. 

Saturday, September 23, 2023

Marshe Rockett at Rocket Pro Wrestling

It's just a cool name coincidence, but Marshe Rockett seems a natural for Rocket Pro Wrestling. When he becomes champ (and I believe he will), there are a lot of storyline and marketing ideas because of it.
I have known Marshe fo many years. I first met him when we worked together at Resistance Pro Wrestling. Call it scripted, but when Marshe won the RPro title, there was real emotion in his face and voice. That wasn't faked. That win and title meant something to Marshe.
That's just the type of wrestler he is. He cares for his craft. This isn't just a throwaway weekend gig. Marshe is one of the best on the independent scene. He has had several appearances in the big copanies, too. Marshe deserves all the success he gets, because on top of being an excellent wrestler, he is a class act.
One of the highlights for me covering RPW has been seeing Marshe and his family. If you're lucky enough to be friends with them online, you'll see plenty of heartwarming posts. Even though I follow them, I was a bit surprised at how big their eldest son is. It's great watching his family literally grow.
Marshe is just one fo the stars of RPW. He's one of the reasons why it is the fast-growing wrestling company around Chicago. It quickly is becoming the favorite of so many fans.
I really think Marshe will eventually capture the title. Then will he rename it Rockett Pro Wrestling?
RPW's next show is Darkness Falls on Saturday, October 14. It promises to be full of suprises as usual. Go to for more info on that event.
Marshe Rockett and me in Joliet, IL-September 2023.


Friday, September 22, 2023

Traci Lords

Traci Lords has led an interesting life. In her younger days, she starred in some adult films, but managed to leave that world behind and carve out a successful mainstream career.
I'm sure there were a lot of bumps along the way, but Traci has come through brilliantly. Despite your opinion of her past, all must give credit to what she has become.
Aside from her work, Traci is one of the sweetest people I have met. I have seen her enough at conventions to become a "convention friend" of hers. I don't claim to be best pals with her, but she does recognize and remember me every time.
She is also willing to do goofy pictures. Sometimes, she even instigates the shots. A few years back, as I greeted her, she immediately asked what silliness we would do that day. I laughed, but said I didn't want to keep pestering her with that stuff. Hearing none of that, she suggested the photo below, where she hid behind me. Being that I am too often oblivious to folks around me, it is actually the perfect picture. I would miss Traci, despite her standing directly behind me!
Most celebrities are fan-friendly at these conventions, although some seem like they'd rather be elsewhere. Traci, however, gives the extra effort to make it memorable for her fans.
For more info on Traci, go to She's got plenty of merchandise and her appearance schedule here. If you see her, tell her Johngy sent you. It won't get you or me anything, but she might have fun trying to remember who Johngy is without seeing me.
Traci Lorda and me in Schaumburg, IL-November 2018.

Thursday, September 21, 2023

Vehicles: X-wing

Vehicles is not a new series on Johngy's Beat, at least not yet. It is merely a little detour.

If I'm writing about Star Wars, I'm probably writing including my pal Jason. At C2E2 a few years ago, Jason saw an X-wing. For those like me, who don't know a lot about Star Wars, an X-wing is Rebel Alliance starfighter that balances speed with firepower. It is the aircraft piloted by Luke Skywalker in the original Star Wars (of 1977).
I could write more, but I would merely be rewording bits from other sites and bordering on plagiarism. If you need more info, go to those sites (but come back here later) or find Jason. I featured an X-wing as something different from the usual array of celebrities.
This is the kind of stuff you can see at C2E2 (or NYCC, it's sister comic con). Go to or for more info and scheduling.
Jason Fleigel and an X Wing in Chicago, IL-April 2019.

Wednesday, September 20, 2023

Harry Smith at Blizzard Brawl 2019

Great Lakes Championship Wrestling presents Blizzard Brawl on December 2 in Kenosha, WI. It's not too soon to make your plans. I already have.
Promoter and #Superfriend David Herro always puts on a fantastic event. There a big meet-and-greet featuring all of the wrestlers, followed by a full night of wrestling. There are always a few legends mixed with a talented bunch of current wrestlers.
A few years back, one of the wrestlers was Harry Smith, son of Davey Boy Smith of the British Bulldogs. I met Harry several years earlier when he was the first Heavyweight champ at Resistance Pro. Harry has wrestled all over the world. Harry looked great and was super friendly with the fans.
that's not a surprise. All of the wrestling guests at Blizzard Brawl are very engaging with the fans. The full list hasn't been announced yet, but "The Fannypack Kid" Kal Herro, Leile Gray, "Iron" Mike Curkov and Al Snow are good bets to be there. I'll update that list as more names are announed.
Go to for more info and updates. Check back here for my coverage.
Harry Smith and me in Waukesha, WI-December 2019.